Help with Budget Build


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Hey everyone so Its been awile since my last visit here on the forums but everything since then has been awsome, I love Windows 7 and did some cool little mods like changing the Start Orb and the Log on/ctrl+alt+delete screen

So I have a freind who is looking to get four computers set up to basically play counter-strike LAN that will be all he needs the PC's for. He basically wants to try and spend no more than $400 a PC I'm not sure if he thought about input/output devices though :/

So maybe you guys can help me find some hardware to help complete this task, Also wouldnt it be cheaper for me to just build the pc's seperatly or should I just buy already prebuilt systems?

Thanks in advance for anyone that helps
 

catilley1092

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Good to see you back, Infernx! To build a computer for $400, you're really going to have to do some bargain hunting on parts. I can only hope that your friend already has his monitor(s)/keyboards & mice, as well as his own OS's to install on them. That budget range is going to make some eagles scream.

You may have to consider some refurbished parts, though I'd avoid eBay like a plague in that regard. Whatever I bought that was a refurb from them turned out to be junk.

Computer Geeks has some good deals, I just ordered a HDD enclosure from them Friday night for $10.99, w/shipping it came to $16.72. They have a wide variety of parts, many at lower prices than Newegg. And their prices (and selection) are attractive.

http://www.geeks.com/

I think you'll find the site a starting point in finding the deals that you'll need. You may want to give them a call, if you're buying multiples, you might get a small discount.

Best of Luck,
Cat
 
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Digerati

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Also wouldnt it be cheaper for me to just build the pc's seperatly or should I just buy already prebuilt systems?
Since Dell, HP, and Acer can go to Western Digital and buy 1,000,000 hard drives, and go to Crucial and by 2,000,000 sticks of RAM, and 1,000,000 motherboards from ASUS, they can get parts at deep discounted wholesale prices. Buying 4 of each might get you a tiny discount but generally, there is no way self-builders can compete in price with the big boys.

But home builders can build a better computer because one size does not fit all. Home builders can pick the parts and customize the build for their specific needs.

And, as Cat suggests, what you bring to your build matters. If you already have 4 keyboards, 4 mice, 4 monitors and 4 sets of speakers, you can save some big money on the computer themselves, and building your own may be worth it. This is an option to extend the budget too. Perhaps in 6 - 12 months of savings, you can rebuild the budget enough to go buy 4 new matching monitors. And if having a LAN party, make it BYOKB&M (bring your own keyboard & mouse).

Don't forget Windows. You can get 3-pack OEM System Builder licenses, plus a single. This is another area where Dell and HP get HUGE discounts as they can buy (or promise to buy) 5 million or even 10 million licenses.

Understand, and make sure your friend understands that ONLY full "Retail" licenses of Windows are transferable to new computers, if uninstalled from all other machines. If your friend has 4 full "Retail" licenses, then no problem. But OEM licenses are tied to the "original" equipment and cannot be transfered to these new computers. Period. Doing so is stealing so step away if your friend's intentions don't include using retail or purchasing legitimate Windows licenses (and other software) for these new machines. You don't want "conspiracy" charges on top of fraud charges. Again, even if the original equipment is destroyed, any OEM Windows license that came with that old computer (or motherboard on custom builds) cannot legally be transfered to any new computer (or motherboard). This is easily verified by reading the EULA, end-user license agreement.

Alternatively, there are many free Linux options.
 

catilley1092

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Digerati brings up a good point. If your friend can't afford everything (at the present time), then consider a Linux OS, at least for the present time. Choosing a Linux OS isn't that hard.

The Ubuntu based ones, Mint being one of them, and my favorite, are the easiest to install and learn. It configures the system for you, w/o the user needing to hunt down drivers, in most cases.

My only issue with any version of Linux is the lack of software support for printers & other accessories. This is not the fault of the OS, but of the hardware OEM for not producing Linux/Unix drivers. There are workarounds for some, but to a newbie, that can be a PITA, as I know this firsthand.

Other than that, Mint is a good "newbie" OS, with over 30,000 apps in their repositories to download & install at anytime. The updating is simple, and not intrusive at all. You apply them when you're ready to.

It may not be the ideal solution, but $400 each can only stretch so far.

Cat
 

Digerati

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I was thinking along the lines of buying new keyboards, mice, and monitors at a later date. In this way, he can legally buy new Windows OEM/System Builders licenses with the hardware it is being purchased for - which is how it is supposed to be.
 
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Right on guys well I dont teally wanna mess with another Operating system other than windows I was planning on getting him 4 legal copies of W7 OEM the only thing with OEM is they are bound to that machine right?

Basically you can install it as many times as you need but just on that machine, correct?

So the 400 dollars is for just basic hardware after talking to my friend I explained how the monitors/keyboards/mice will all be a seperate cost I think I can get 4 decent machines going for $400
 

clifford_cooley

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I see you are pricing 2x2GB memory.

Why are you pricing the 32-bit OS when a 64-bit OS is the only way to use all 4GB of memory?
 

catilley1092

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With that collection of hardware, you should be able to run 64 bit Win 7 with no issues, once you have your drivers & all. I just looked on Newegg, the Win 7 64 bit OS's costs no more than the 32 bit ones do. Plus, most recent 32 bit programs work perfectly fine on 64 bit Win 7. Most of our browsers are still 32 bit.

As long as the hardware supports it, 64 bit is the way to go. You'll be able to take advantage of that 4GB of RAM. Plus, your video card is 512MB, installing a 32 bit OS will only leave 2.75 GB RAM for the OS to work with. That leaves .75GB as a total waste.

Step up to that 64 bit OS, then your OS will have a full 3.5GB of RAM to work with, in addition to be able to multitask much smoother. I had my doubts at first over the 64 bit deal, in fact, it was only after the purchase that I noticed that I had bought a 64 bit PC. I started to cancel my order (for other reasons, I wished that I had), but it turned out that I liked 64 bit better.

Too, I noticed that the heatsink & fan was included with the CPU. Is the optional ones necessary?

I believe that your friend will like 64 bit better, too.

Cat
 
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catilley1092

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One thing that I'm seeing here is encouraging to me, it doesn't cost as much to build a computer as I thought that it did. There are a couple of things that I'd add, but that build will have 2x the power of mine, even assuming what's not on the list, the monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers, it'll still be less than I paid for this one.

My next notebook will probably cost more than my next PC will.

Good Luck with the build. Let us know how it turns out, as I'm interested in the outcome.

Cat
 

yodap

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2 observations: Not sure you need the after market cooling fans. And the GPUs are showing as sold out. In fact you don't need them at all. (Unless you want to Fold @ Home with them) (Shameless recruitment attempt) :)

Good luck with the builds.
 
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catilley1092

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I would love to be able to add that GPU to my desktop, but due to the way it's built, there's no room for it. Plus, the MOBO has integral graphics. I don't know how that would play out, even if I had the room for it.

Cat
 

Digerati

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I was planning on getting him 4 legal copies of W7 OEM the only thing with OEM is they are bound to that machine right?
That's perfect. Yes they are tied to that machine, the motherboard specifically with custom builds.
Basically you can install it as many times as you need but just on that machine, correct?
That is correct. However, after several times, you may trigger a prompt to contact Microsoft to complete the authentication process. But simply telling the truth and saying that you are reinstalling on the same computer will get you quickly on your way, no problems. It is annoying, especially when you know you are legitimate. But every time it has happened to me, the Microsoft representative was very professional and the whole process, including hold time, took maybe 2 minutes.

Regarding the use of an aftermarket or 3rd party Heatsink Fan (HSF) assembly, note the AMD CPU Warranty states the following:
"This Limited Warranty shall be null and void if the AMD microprocessor which is the subject of this Limited Warranty is used with any heatsink/fan other than the one provided herewith."
I am just the messenger. I am not expressing my opinion. I provided the link to the warranty so you can read and learn the facts and consequences for yourself should you decide to use a 3rd party cooler. Note the warranty does not cover damage if the CPU is overclocked either.
 
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yea i guess i could just go with 2 gig of ram huh?

:rolleyes: I guess I'm not used to not going a little more extreme
 

Nibiru2012

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Get the 4 GB of RAM and go with the 64-bit OS, you'll be glad you did.

If not, you'll still be able to use the 3.25GB of RAM anyway.

The 64-bit OS is now and the 32-bit is old and dying a slow but sure death.
 

catilley1092

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That's right, the only 32 bit computers that OEM's are manufacturing for consumer use happens to be netbooks. Probably by now, much of the leftover stock of 32 bit computers are gone.

64 bit is here to stay for a long, long time. 32 bit computers are headed in the same direction as IE6 is. In fact, MS has already put the death watch on IE6.

http://www.ie6countdown.com/

Cat
 
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Ok So I didnt notice the board had integrated video output...So I can lose the cards and save some money for him

as for the Cpus I honestly wasnt aware that they came with a stock cooler Iv never bought a CPU before I got my Rig through Dell as a gaming machine, Since then I have learned so much by taking apart and rebuilding it :)

So this will really be my first build if my friend goes through with it, Thanks for the help guys
 
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That's right, the only 32 bit computers that OEM's are manufacturing for consumer use happens to be netbooks. Probably by now, much of the leftover stock of 32 bit computers are gone.

64 bit is here to stay for a long, long time. 32 bit computers are headed in the same direction as IE6 is. In fact, MS has already put the death watch on IE6.

http://www.ie6countdown.com/

Cat

Cool Link man, yea I remember when that IE6 came out.

I am so glad I made the jump to 64 bit I was stuck on 32 basically out of not knowing the unknown:eek: but I came here and you guys showed me the light and I will never look back @ 32bit
 
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