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Joe’s Blog » Blog Archive » A New Hobby?

A New Hobby?


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I’m trying to do a build-it-yourself desktop.  I’ve got the components, and now just have to build the case (or cry uncle and buy a case) and get things going.   My goal was to have all the pieces cost less than $500, and I managed it with a little to spare.  I’ll list my components for the computer-o-philes who might stumble by.  I’ll start with Windows XP (got a copy for $25 on the way), but my set-up is OK for Windows 7 64 bit when I decide to take the plunge.Here’s what I had to buy:

 Processor:  I picked last year’s quad-core from AMD, the Phenom x4  9850 — it’s 2.5 GHz.  I actually looked up performance benchmarks, and this was better than the Core 2 Duo’s by Intel.  Not as slick as the i7 or Intel Quads, but not nearly as expensive, either.

Motherboard:  This is apparently the key to the whole thing.  You of course have to get one that is compatible to the processor socket set.  Mine has an integrated LAN card and sound card (8-channel).  I also have six built-in USB ports plus the other usuals.Memory:  I got 4 GB RAM (2 x 2 GB) on sale.  Turns out that with Windows XP I’ll only be able to access >3 GB due to address limitations, but this be enough and set me up to get Windows 7 when I decide to.Video Card:  I chose an NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 “low profile” card with 1 GB internal memory.  According to benchmarks, it is five time better than the graphics card I’m currently using in terms of performance.Discs:  I’ll have a CD/DVD Burner and a 500 GB Hard drive.I also had to get a power supply and a CPU fan.   I already have a wireless network adapter card.

I’ll let you know how things work out.  I want to make a custom-case that fits on the back of my monitor, so I have a home-made all-in-one, but we’ll see if I stick to that or not.   I’m anxious to have a fast machine that actually meets recommendations for my games and can do all my work-stuff, but will also be portable (I got everything low profile so I can make a case only 2 - 3 inches thick).  This will be a great machine for under $500 if I can pull it off.

2 Responses to “A New Hobby?

  • 1
    Michelle
    June 18th, 2010 21:38 Good Luck, I’ve heard you can build yourself a decent desktop comp for under 500 bucks. I’ve yet to try this, myself. I haven’t gotten that far in my studies to feel bold enough, lol
  • 2
    jjc
    June 19th, 2010 00:38 Yeah, I really need Paul Taylor right now. I think he’s build PCs for his whole family.

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