US$800 Home System Proposal


Jul 4, 2009

BUDGET RANGE: US$800 approx.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Office work - writing, desktop publishing, PowerPoint, spreadsheets, database; Internet surfing; Video Chat; Photo editing; Gaming - more Spore kind of stuff than Grand Theft Auto

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor (have an HP w2207 I'm happy with)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, but open to suggestions


Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Two - OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

hec X-Power Pro 600 600W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - Retail

Two - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

SUPER TALENT INTAIN1MCR All-in-one Card Reader - Retail


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe - but don't think I'll need it anytime soon



With current (7/4/2009) various discounts and a tool kit - US$766.81

Trying for a good, basic, long-lived computer - and the rewards and challenges of building it myself. Am currently using an 8 year old Dell Dimension 4300 with an added DVD burner and hard drive but with a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 processor and 512 MB of RAM that just can't handle new software anymore. Want RAID 1 Array for data security.

Intent is to use Windows XP to start while awaiting Windows 7 delivery in the fall, avoid Vista if at all possible. Know that XP won't recognize 8gb of RAM, but my experience with MS says Windows 7 will be another memory hog and that having more RAM will help. Any insight on this would be much appreciated.
If you don't plan to overclock, remove the CPU cooler and use the stock one. Downgrade your CPU a little and get a second 4850.

If you have gaming in mind, go for a second 4850 card. It will be the best investment to do before everything else.

You can get a 4850 for 90$, so go for it.

In that range of CPU power, Phenom II are cheaper and better. Maybe you should go AMD... also you plan to use ATI cards, try to build yourself a Phenom II X3 720 system with 2 4850 cards in Crossfire.

That's the PC I got and I am really impressed by the power for a mere 165$ of graphic power.
Despite the mb supporting faster RAM there is no advantage in using RAM faster than 800 MHz for C2Q . Focus on getting good quality 800 MHz ram.

The sapphire 4850 is a good card but it is a little noisy . For you purposes you can replace it with a 4770 which is very similar in gfx output but is much lower power consumption so it can use a quieter fan . Noise is always a distraction when working , but not so much in games which tend to be loud anyway .
I presume the cpu fan is all about reducing noise? You wont need it for just cooling when the stock hsf will do fine

The psu is only moderate quality .The good news is that you dont need such a high wattagee so you can afford a better quality model
SeaSonic S12 II SS-500GB 500W $68

Dont be fooled by hig peak wattage ratings . Many cheaper psu are called "600 watt" because they can peak at that level for short periods . Quality units are rated for the level they can maintain 24/7 . Either way the total draw from your build will likely be under 250 watts