Desktops forum

General discussion

Needing Pro Help in Putting Together System

by digitall565 / February 28, 2007 4:00 AM PST

Kay, here's the deal. I've asked here and on other sites before, but I've yet to relieve responses I'm happy with.

I'm looking for a nice Vista PC, within my budget. I'm not a gamer, but I am looking to do a bit of gaming, not hardcore. Perhaps World of War, definitely my Star Wars games, some other RPGs.

I don't need VERY good graphics or sound, just acceptable features. Good memory, graphics sound, speed is a must, I often have open various applications including image editors, torrent downloaders, and large apps.

I'm not being too demanding, just a good Vista system (probably Home Premium), that can run on a budget system.

My basic question is, what is the best I can get for a maximum $1,500 (preferably $1000-$1200). Of course, I'm including a cheap keyboard and mouse since this system will be passed on to a sibling. For Vista, is a new monitor necessary?

I'd like for someone to please put together a cheap system on Newegg, or preferably a website such as CyberPowerPC that can deliver a custom-made pc cheap.

As I said, I've received several pieces of advice before as to how to pick parts for my computer, but most of the time I don't have the slightest idea what I'm doing, and for so much money, I'd rather not take the chance and build it myself.

Any help is much appreciated, thank you!

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Needing Pro Help in Putting Together System
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Needing Pro Help in Putting Together System
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Ouch? Vista and gaming.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2007 4:16 AM PST

From what I've seen this means you need to double the ram and same for the video card since you selected Vista. That blows that budget in my mind.

Any chance of sticking with XP?


Collapse -
$1000 gaming pc for vista
by ramarc / February 28, 2007 6:24 AM PST

here's a config that can handle casual gaming in vista.

mobo, $112: gigabyte ga-965gm-s2
cpu, $185: core2duo e6300
2gb ram, $165: corsair vs2gbkit667d2 2x1gb ddr2-667
250gb hard drive, $80: seagate st3250824as sata
mid-range video, $155: sapphire radeon x1950gt 256mb
dvd burner, $40: any lg/lite-on/sony 16x-18x retail
keyboard/mouse, $42: microsoft 69n-00013s wireless combo
vista premium oem, $120

newegg total: $899

case/power supply $125: antec sonata ii w/450w power supply from circuit city/best buy/compusa
(i always buy cases locally so i don't wind up with a damaged unit; price is about the same since shipping is pretty expensive.)

grand total: $1024

if you want a nice monitor, here's an acer 20" widescreen for $225:

here's a couple of articles on what to expect when gaming in vista.,1697,2090571,00.asp,1697,2096940,00.asp

Collapse -
Seems Good
by digitall565 / March 1, 2007 1:27 AM PST

That seems like a pretty good system from what I know.

Contrary to my first post, I'm now more confident in simply ordering the parts from a non-custom computer builder. I found a small shop nearby that for $75 will put it together for me.

Collapse -
x1950pro is same price after rebate
by ramarc / March 1, 2007 2:08 AM PST
In reply to: Seems Good

i tried to stick closely to the $1000 budget without resorting to rebates. for about the same money you can upgrade to an x1950pro since they have $20 rebate now.

Collapse -
by digitall565 / March 1, 2007 2:21 PM PST


I'm really pleased with your system specs. as I learn more about picking out components for computers. If you will, please answer some questions for me that I have about your choices.

Motherboard: Fine, I'm not too knowledgeable about them but it has good ratings.

CPU: I noticed it was only 1.8GHz, I've read about suggestions of a minimum of 2-2.2 and up. Could this be a problem with Vista?

RAM: Fine, perfect.

Memory: Perfect.

Video: I'm not too familiar with video cards either but I've heard of Sapphire before. Would I have to buy a new card for future DirectX10 support?

DVD Burner: I picked the "SAMSUNG 18X DVD

Collapse -
Ideas on New Build
by rsternb / March 2, 2007 10:32 AM PST
In reply to: New Build

My personal choice would be a 550w power supply or larger.

Case - what looks good to you - ATX - and it would be nice
to have front I/O plugs - usb, headphones, ,

Usually the case outlasts a number of upgrades and most can
be had in the $50 - 70 range includeing shipping.

I have never had damage on any shipment of cases - even when
purched via ebay.

Monitors - now theres a fun trip - there are as many as there
are mother boards or video cards and the price is all over the
figure what you want to spend - then check out whats avail.
I usually stick with mitsubishi, nec, asus, which are a little
more spendy - but the mitsu 17in I am useing right now I got in
hmmmm bout 92 or 93.
my next will prob be 20 to 24 in nec or ( am debateing ) a
mitsubishi 32 lcd tv hahaha helluva price diff hahaha
good luck

Collapse -
by Penguin Warlord / March 3, 2007 3:12 AM PST
In reply to: New Build

Definately go with the 32bit operating system as many programs will not work on the 64bit. Also Intel processors don't support 64bit. So you'll be el screwdo if you buy 64bit.

Collapse -
(NT) Many Intel processors do indeed support 64-bit OS'es.
by linkit / March 3, 2007 3:23 AM PST
In reply to: OS
Collapse -
DX 10 Video card
by spike56532 / March 2, 2007 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: Comments

There is currently only ONE video card available with DX10 support, the NVidia 8800, prices vary, from a GTS, at $300, to a top of the line GTX for a little over $600.

Collapse -
by digitall565 / March 2, 2007 12:20 AM PST
In reply to: DX 10 Video card

I suppose I can hold off on that and upgrade later, being on a budget.

Is the rest of the build okay?

Collapse -
yup, your changes are good
by ramarc / March 5, 2007 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: Expensive

if you want dx10 (there's no *need* for it now since no dx10 games are out), then going with an inexpensive video card is a good choice. you can then upgrade in a few months to a $200 card that will be as fast as $300 cards now.

definitely get the 32-bit vista unless you have specific need of 64-bit (like adobe photoshop). you can easily upgrade to 64-bit for practically nothing, but you can't downgrade from 64 to 32bit without doing a complete re-install.

i just threw in the cordless keyboard/mouse to show that they're not that expensive and the microsoft combo is very good.

a core2duo e6300 is a very fast cpu. from your initial post, it should handle your usage nicely.

as for the case, just visit your local circuit city/best buy/compusa. the case is purely a matter of your preference. as for the power supply, get a good name-brand unit (antec, enermax, coolermaster, thermaltake, seasonic, etc.) or one with a good reviews from a hardware site (,,, etc.). a 450W power supply from a name-brand is sufficient for all video cards, even a geforce 8800gtx. i spec'd antec since their power supplies are good and the case is quiet.

Collapse -
Needing Pro Help in Putting Together System
by ashekumar / March 1, 2007 9:06 PM PST

I recently decided to assemble my own system. I found that has the best prices. Listed below my list of purchases. The key was a 64 bit CPU with AM2 socket and a matching motherboard. I still have to add Graphics card, case and power supply, DVD RW and most likely a high end flat screen. Good luck

SKU QTY Description Item Price Ext. Price

AA36090 - - 1 WD 250GB WD2500KS SATA300 16MB 7200RPM (Bare drive)
? DATA CABLE OPTIONS $67.50 $67.50

? AMD ATHLON 64 X2 5200+ - WINDSOR
? MWAVE 2GB DDR2 667
? (1GB x 2)
? TESTING OPTIONS $472.55 $472.55
Thank you for choosing Sub-Total $540.05
Shipping & Handling Fee $11.74
Sales Tax (CA only) $0.00
Order Total $551.79

Shipping Information
You have selected the following shipping method:
Ground - Approx. 5-6 business days
Your order will be processed within one business day.
Please be sure to check your e-mail for any updates or progress regarding your order.

Collapse -
Getting a Vista PC At a good price
by bluewee / March 2, 2007 8:35 PM PST

You need to go to; they can show you step by step on how to buld a good gamming vista system for about 1,200. I looked at that and Down graded it to about a $900. system. It works about as good as theirs. I hope this helps you out.

Collapse -
What to do?
by Hunter42558 / March 2, 2007 9:20 PM PST

I recently built a system for myself and it took me a while before I decided on a motherboard for the system. It is about the most important component in the system and you might pay more for a better board and end up waiting on putting the best upgrades in it. I have a friend that works for intel and they have been doing some testing on the new duo core processors and my friend has told me that he is not all that impressed with the performance, and that even though the company gives upgrades to the employees he isn't going to use the duo core. The system I built has a p-4 3.0ghz. with 1 gig ram, and fast video and good sound cards in it, plus 2hard drives a dvd and a cd burner as well as a memory card reader drive that is in the floppy drive. I have around $600.00 in mine total although I didn't have to buy a monitor. My brother bought one from Dell that has a 2.8 ghz.Pentium 4 and less ram and spent over $2,200.00 on it. If you find out what you are looking for you might try checking out You might find what you want there and get it cheaper if you catch it at the right time. Just make sure that whatever you decide to do try and get the technical data on the components before you buy them and if you don't quite understand it all someone will and be able to explain it to you. Bill

Collapse -
Why go this way?
by waytron / March 3, 2007 7:57 PM PST

For about $700, you could configure a nice Dell Dimension E520 that includes a 19" Flat panel monitor and meets your requirements. Building your own computer is like building your own car, the sum of the individual parts is always more expensive then buying it pre-built. If cost is no object and you want the experience of building it yourself and fighting through some of the initial problems, then go for it.

Collapse -
by digitall565 / March 4, 2007 3:29 AM PST
In reply to: Why go this way?

I built this on Dell:


Collapse -
System #2 wins easily
by linkit / March 4, 2007 4:29 AM PST
In reply to: Reply

It has a much better CPU and a better video card with dedicated video memory (no TurboCache).

Collapse -
by digitall565 / March 4, 2007 4:36 AM PST
In reply to: System #2 wins easily

That's what I thought, thanks.

I'm gonna go with the second system.

Collapse -
Building vs. Buying?
by Urkel. / March 6, 2007 9:56 AM PST
In reply to: Yeah

The argument between building it yourself and buying from a major manufacturer really just comes down to a couple of points. Are you willing to be your own tech support and how often do you plan on doing major upgrades to your system? Doing a major upgrade to a pre-built computer will usually invalidate your license, swapping a motherboard is impossible without the purchase of a new license. (Windows detects it as a different computer and OEM software is locked to the system it was first installed on). As for being your own tech support, that's easy with forums such as this one.

Current Specs:
Cooler Master Centurion 5 Mid-tower, (slightly modded)
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 Mobo*
Memorex 52X CD-RW
Memorex 16X DL DVD/CD-RW
Memorex 3.5" Floppy Drive
ATI X1650 Pro 512Mb PCIe Video Card
Intel P4 630HT 3.0GHz CPU
2X Centon 512Mb PC-5300 DDR2 Ram
2X Centon 256Mb PC-5300 DDR2 Ram
Antec SP500 PSU
Samsung SyncMaster 731b 17" LCD Monitor
Windows XP SP-2

*= Recent upgrade from a Gigabyte GA8I945P-G Mobo, so I can upgrade to C2D in the future.

My total cost to build the system was about $1000, parts were bought at both NewEgg and at my local CompUSA.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Big screens for the big game

Still looking for the best TV deals ahead of Sunday's game? Here are our top three big screen picks.