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Balance

So unfortunately, I've had to back out on my promise to donate my "economic stimulus" cheque. The main reason we got the cheques in the first place was because the economy was hurting so badly that it needed a kick in the ass. This means that unfortunately, I have to hold onto my cheque, as I need the money.

It's embarrassing that we - my mother and I - don't live with any significant vices - what, I buy a game or two a month, maybe $100 worth, bite me - and make, combined, well over the American median income for a two income house (median is just shy of $50K; if you count hockey this year, I'll rake in $50,000 tops, so let's split the difference and go $45,000 gross, whereas my mother brings in $25,000; $70,000 gross when the median is $20K less), and we still have to tighten up to the point where I have to take this blood money, $510 worth ($90 went to an old debt I apparently had to the West Haven VA, which is fine, I'll give anything to that hospital I can), and put it to my own needs.

However, my mother is convinced that money is going towards a new computer, to the point where she refuses to put it towards the house. I told her specifically to put it into the bank and use it if we need to, but she absolutely refuses. That money is going to my new rig, and that's final.

Thankfully, that means that between that, a quarterly bonus that comes in Friday, and a $255 rink cheque that comes in tomorrow, combine all that with a break in our bills this pay period (just the phones, lights and my student loan due)...

... And I'll have enough money for my new computer.

This doesn't mean "lol buy a mac" or "lol buy a dell"; my mother got my Dell for me in '03 as a present for getting out of the service, and it's been serviceable (single core PIII @ 2.4GHz, running maximum 1GB of RAM, doesn't support anything above PCI), but nothing outstanding, save that it's still doing OK in 2008; I'll still be using it, though likely as a Linux exclusive box on a KVM. Nope, I'm buying my own parts, and building this fucker! I already have a case from someone's old Alienware case, so that saves some money, and my mother, for my birthday, got me a 300GB SATA drive, so if push comes to shove, I don't need a hard drive. That leaves me buying everything else. Let's see if I can keep it under... $1,000!

MOTHERBOARD: ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - This gives me a good board at a good price with great reviews.

POWER SUPPLY: ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ800 800W ATX12V / EPS12V Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply - Retail - I'd like to get something a little beefier, but I don't think that would be too cost effective.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Thanks to Blacken for this one! Wolfdales are really good chips, and I'm not going to sniff at two 3.0GHz cores. I'm a little worried about heat, but I think I'll manage with a good cooler. And I don't need a quad-core; I'm not doing any big rendering, I mostly just run a lot of small programmes.

CPU COOLER/FAN: ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm 2-ball UFO Bearing / Transparent CPU Cooler - Retail - This'll do.

MEMORY: OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - 4GB is the most that XP will support (fuck Vista), so this works for what I need.

VIDEO CARD: VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - The one thing that I have to go balls-out on in my system is a really good graphics card, and this delivers. Another recommendation by Blacken; I've always been an nVidia whore, but he's really high on the ATI line, and when it comes to building systems, I'm out of practise.



This stuff alone takes me up to $955.95. Not bad! Now, let's see if I can get a faster data drive affordably...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - I couldn't find the Raptor drive I wanted, but this will do as a good secondary data drive, and my 300GB drive can act as a data, partitioned off so that it can store more data. Not as fast as I'd like - I wanted a 74GB Raptor at 10000RPM - but the price can't be beat.

That takes me up to $1,030ish. If I'm doing well enough financially, I might even replace my dying PC speakers with these.

If anyone has recommendations, offer them, because it has been so long since I've built a PC that I'm very out of practise, and might have 1) forgotten something, or 2) not had a good deal on something.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
dmajohnson
Jul. 9th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
If anyone has recommendations, offer them, because it has been so long since I've built a PC that I'm very out of practise, and might have 1) forgotten something, or 2) not had a good deal on something.

I just killed a hard drive and a power supply upgrading my system, so I think I might sit down and shut up for awhile. XD

This doesn't mean "lol buy a mac"...

Can you even afford a decent Mac for under $1,000? I have my doubts.
superbus
Jul. 9th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
No, I'd have to partially finance a Mac, and I am a powerwhore, so I'd be going with either a MacBook Pro ($2K minimum) or a Mac Pro if I stuck with a desktop ($2,800 MINIMUM). And I'd also lose most of my core software. No thanks.

To me, Apples are a novelty. So if someone sold me a Macbook cheap, I'd grab it - even an older one - but it wouldn't be my primary computer at all.
dmajohnson
Jul. 9th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
$2,800? Pfft. With a Mac Pro, I could easily top $5k and continue climbing. :( I pitty, since I'd dearly love access to Final Cut. -_-
burning_phoneix
Jul. 9th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
I'm nowhere near as Tech Savvy as Blacken. But according to my knowledge the Geforce8800GT is better then the ATI equivalent. Infact, it's even better then some 9000 series geforce cards.

But Blackens info seems to be more up to date since I didn't know ATI released the 4800 yet. :(
superbus
Jul. 9th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he said the 4800 ATI series is comparable to the 9800 nVidia line, and he says that it's come leaps and bounds. He was like me (I didn't trust ATI cards), but if he's been converted, so can I; he's more up to date on hardware than I am.
burning_phoneix
Jul. 9th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
I used to be an ATIer but then Nvidia just upped the anti since th introduction of DirectX9 but it looks like ATI has managed to pull the lead this time. Looks like I'll convert back. :D
dmajohnson
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
I generally don't choose my manufacturer allegiances based on power. :(
burning_phoneix
Jul. 9th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Then what? 0_o
superbus
Jul. 9th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Actually, NVidia is taking a beating lately. Their low-end and mid-end cards are all shitting the bed because they're overwatting, and they're really not doing anything about it except pointing fingers at HP and their board makers.
rantmaster_mark
Jul. 9th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Looks like you have a decent setup; everything you need is on-board or you're buying nice parts to work with.

::shrug:: If you want an assist building the fucker, I can give you my number, but otherwise the gear looks good to go.
superbus
Jul. 9th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I can build the PC; that's not the issue. I am just way, way behind on what's good and bad nowadays considering I haven't built one in awhile.
samuraiter
Jul. 9th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Altec Lansing does a great set of 5.1 speakers, too, and they do it cheaply. That's what I've got on my current rig, which is of the same age and about the same spec as yours.
(Deleted comment)
superbus
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Fully aware; it hasn't changed, and I know that going in. If push comes to shove, my CPU will support 64 bit.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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