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What do you guys think of this?
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Captain_Tea
is a Veteran Poster


Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:02 pm GMT    Post subject: What do you guys think of this? Reply with quote

I have been looking for a new computer and I liked the look of this one. What do you guys think? I know just enough about new hardware to be dangerous so any help would be greatly appreciated. This computer is $649 at Circuit City.

Gateway Desktop PC (GT5228)
•AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4200+
•Burns DVDs and CDs
•2048MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200) (expandable to 4GB)
•9-in-1 media reader
•250GB 7200RPM hard drive
•Integrated nVIDIA® GeForce™ 6100 graphics(PCI-Express x16 slot gives you the option to add even more powerful graphics)
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:27 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

That doesn't look like a bad machine. If this is going to be for gaming you'll need to add a gfx card. The integrated gfx won't work that great for newer games. That'll add $150-$500 to the cost depending on what you get. Building your own might be cheaper. Is that an option?

I like the Intel Core 2 Duo cpus better, but that's going to raise the price a bit. What's your budget for the computer? Is a monitor needed?
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OLDMAN(Co30)
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 573
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:02 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I go to Circuit City and Best Buy to see a product not to buy. Take that same unit and price it at www.zipzoomfly.com or www.clubit.com and you see why. Now I never buy onboard video. To build a new pc now days is a cake walk and you get what you want and need and later if you need to upgrade yank and load. Games change way to fast and if you can not upgrade you will find a way to kick your own butt.
If you want to build your own we be more than happy to help you through it, just start out with a ball park price and what you want to play and we go from there. Thumb
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:53 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first thought was to build my own, but I am not sure what's good and what isn't. People used to say that AMD was the way to go, and now people are saying the new Intel dual core. That is why I asked you guys before I just went out and bought one. I have done memory, video card and processor upgrades and added other cards to my computers over the years, so a am pretty confident about putting a machine together. Where I lose confidence is knowing what brands are good, and knowing when to draw the line to where it will be good enough for my needs so I don't over do it and spend too much money. I have found that the sky's the limit when it comes to sticking money into these things. I really don't wan't to spend over $1000, but on the other hand I don't want a piece of junk that I can't upgrade either. I learned my lesson when I tried to upgrade my old Dell.

I will be using the computer to play UT2k4 and eventually UT2k7. I also will use it for 3D CAD solid modeling for a little side tool & die design work. I don't really play any other video games anymore besides UT. I have found that UT2K4 is as much a community as it is a game in some strange way. I haven't found that with other games, it's kind of cool.

I really appreciate your help, I know that some of you guys are into computers and IT so I knew this would be a good place to find advice.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:03 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: P5WDH DELUXE/WIFI-AP
Item #: N82E16813131025

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$224.99 $224.99

Update
eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: 640-P2-N821-AR
Item #: N82E16814130071

Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$429.99 $429.99

Update
OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: OCZ700GXSSLI
Item #: N82E16817341002

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$149.99 $149.99

Update
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6600
Item #: N82E16819115003

Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy

In Stock
$322.00 $322.00

Update
Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC22G6400ELK - Retail
Model #: PDC22G6400ELK
Item #: N82E16820220174

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$264.99 $264.99

Update
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3320620A 320GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620A
Item #: N82E16822148139

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$94.99 $94.99

Update
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM
Model #: LH-20A1H-185
Item #: N82E16827106055

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$37.99 $75.98

Update
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2b w/Upgrade Coupon for Vista - OEM
Model #: M93-00439
Item #: N82E16832116171

Return Policy: Software Return Policy

In Stock
$109.99 $109.99

Update
Thermalright XP-90C CPU Copper Heatsink - Retail
Model #: XP-90C
Item #: N82E16835109122

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$44.99 $44.99
Subtotal: $1,717.91


This is what I came up with at todays prices. This doesn't include a case, and is before rebates and shipping. The gfx card really pushes the price up on this. You'd be able to get something significantly cheaper if you wait awhile.

I'd guess you could get this system for about $1,000 in 4 or 5 months including the case and misc. stuff you'd need (fans, keyboard, mouse etc...) If you really want to build now I could try pricing a system that fits a $1,000 budget.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:25 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Zoe, That didn't take you long to find. Which site are those from? Perhaps I should just look for sales and put one together piece by piece over the next several months. Are barebones systems worth looking at? It looks like I'm going to spend a little more than I wanted, but from what you guys are saying, I will be much happier with it.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:27 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barebones are ok, but I prefer building everything from scratch, that way you get exactly what you want. If you want to pick up components slowly I'd start with the ones that are fairly stable in price:

O/S Windows XP Media Center If you buy now from Newegg it comes with a coupon for an upgrade to Vista Home Premium.

PSU I like the one I picked above(that's what I'm using) there's other good brands though. Wait for a sale then buy.

Case, find one you like, or wait for a sale on one that's acceptable. I got one for my son that's free after rebate. It's a little on the plain side, but very well made. I'd be happy to use it myself.

Hard drive Wait until you're within a month or 2 of finishing build unless you find a great deal. They're fairly stable in price but tend to creep down slowly over time.

Heatsinks are fairly stable, wait for a special then buy

gfx cards drop like a rock after release. This should be one of the last things you buy.

CPU start seriously looking about 2 months before build completion, then grab one on sale.

Optical drives, buy when on sale. They're stable in price

Sound card? I didn't price one above because you may not need it. Try onboard first, then buy a sound card if you aren't happy.

Motherboard These come down gradually over time. Pick one you like, then wait for a sale to buy.

Memory fluctuates wildly. Start looking now to get a feel for prices. Buy as soon as it's cheap. It could go up again a week later. I've heard that memory prices tend to drop after the first of the year. Keep your eyes open for deals.

For companies to buy from, I like Zipzoomfly, Frys, and Newegg. Buy.com has some good deals, but their customer service isn't the best. I'll buy from them again with some hesitation.

Check out Anandtech.com's forums. They have a hot deals section where people post good prices on things http://forums.anandtech.com/categories.aspx?catid=40&entercat=y Good stuff pops up there regularly, check every day.
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OLDMAN(Co30)
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 573
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:27 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intel e6600 oem $309

http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=CA1938408

Heres how I find stuff real quick, you can set up a whole page of what you want and have a quick look at prices daily, set a target price for each item and they e-mail you if the target price was met. http://www.pricegrabber.com/home_comp.php

Another place I just started to use, click on Market place and you can figure out the rest. http://www.slizone.com/page/home.html Of course I use let me build my own button and this site shows links that Pricegrabber doesn't so you get more info.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:54 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot! This advice should help give me a good start. I'm sure I will have more questions along the way regarding different components. I appreciate your willingness to help. Very Happy
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birch
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Joined: 29 Oct 2003
Posts: 311
Location: Canada, Eh !

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:47 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original machine spec's you listed at the top wasn't bad except the video card. But it has the open slot so future expansion is a option. The on board video is probably a bit of a pig. For $649 that's not bad and you have a store you can always take it back to. Really, if you aren't into looking at putting it together yourself that's not a bad machine + additional video card.

Buying you're own parts can be a PITA. You're dealing with Mfg warranties after a few days. Web prices fluctuating, not knowing which parts to through together, If you aren't a hardware guy at heart, buying a Mfg PC and plunking in a add on video card isn't a bad way to go.

All that being said a Core 2 Duo system is currently the top dog. Maybe look for a bare bones special on one of them. AMD is lagging a tad behind these days.
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Zoe
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 363
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:52 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the case I got my son for xmas http://www.outpost.com/entry?site=op:mfe031406&sku=4997441 It's free after rebate. It has room for an 80mm fan up front at the hds, and a 120mm fan in the rear. The side hole has a shroud that goes close to the cpu heatsink and fan, or it can be removed and an 80mm fan put in it's place. It doesn't come with fans, but they're cheap enough to buy. I put red led fans in my sons. The build quality is very good, and the price is hard to beat Wink
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:21 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

birch wrote:
The original machine spec's you listed at the top wasn't bad except the video card. But it has the open slot so future expansion is a option. The on board video is probably a bit of a pig. For $649 that's not bad and you have a store you can always take it back to. Really, if you aren't into looking at putting it together yourself that's not a bad machine + additional video card.

Buying you're own parts can be a PITA. You're dealing with Mfg warranties after a few days. Web prices fluctuating, not knowing which parts to through together, If you aren't a hardware guy at heart, buying a Mfg PC and plunking in a add on video card isn't a bad way to go.


That was kind of what I was originally thinking before I posted this thread. Zoe and Oldman both had valid points about building a system from scratch though. It is going to be a couple of months before I am ready to buy or build, whatever the case may be, because I am not going to have the funds until I get my income tax return back. In the meantime I will start doing my homework and weigh my options. I will definitly start pricing out different options like motherboard processor combo's, barebones units, piecing the components together individually or perhaps buying an upgradable pre-mfg PC. To be totally honest I was hoping there would be better after Christmas sales on PC's, but nobody seemed to be cutting very good deals this year.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:24 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe wrote:
This is the case I got my son for xmas http://www.outpost.com/entry?site=op:mfe031406&sku=4997441 It's free after rebate. It has room for an 80mm fan up front at the hds, and a 120mm fan in the rear. The side hole has a shroud that goes close to the cpu heatsink and fan, or it can be removed and an 80mm fan put in it's place. It doesn't come with fans, but they're cheap enough to buy. I put red led fans in my sons. The build quality is very good, and the price is hard to beat Wink


I have seen that case in a lot of the barebones kits
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OLDMAN(Co30)
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Joined: 10 May 2003
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:12 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats why you need to set up Pricegrabber deals happen now and change quick. The e6600 I had it tagged and it was holding at $305 for weeks and one day I get an e-mail alert for Pricegrabbers that my target of $300 was met, apon looking Clubit had it listed at $269, PayPal never had a chance I hit that buy button, anywho 2 days later back to $305.

The same with the new 8800gts cards their dropping every week avg is $429 but already theres $30 rebates. Yes GTS not GTX Gts will do fine and save the cash.

OCZ memory bought it at $224 with a $20 rebate, it then went up to $250 and held, but now back down with rebates again.

Get a good Power Supply I had the OCZ that Zoe listed because it has 4 rails of power.

Pick your system ask us for help, we be glad to, and two months from now you will have a killer system.
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Captain_Tea
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 227
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:22 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will get some components selected over the next several days and run them by you and see what you think and then i'll get them put into pricegrabber. Thanks again for your help.
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