Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

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RichardMcN
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Location: New Zealand

Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby RichardMcN » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:17 am UTC

I currently use a 2 year old Compaq laptop (3019au - AMD Turion X2 1.6GHz, 2gb ram, 60gb hdd) for everything, dual booting Ubuntu and Win XP. I use Ubuntu for day to day use and web dev stuff (LAMP stack) and use windows if I'm doing image editing (Photoshop/Fireworks) or playing the occasional game (AOE2, Civ).

I'd like to move to separate computers, so I want to build a windows box, and have just Ubuntu on the laptop. The difficulty is I'm in New Zealand so I need to purchase from suppliers here and also in NZD (our exchange rate is rubbish at the moment, 1USD = 2NZD). My budget is $1000NZD/$500USD. The site I'm using to compare prices is www.pricespy.co.nz

At the moment I'm looking at (all prices in NZD):

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 ($376.82)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R mATX ($170.33)
Case: Antec NSK1380 MicroATX Case (w/ 350w PSU) ($151.88)
Graphics: I haven't decided. I need to balance cost with power use and I want to be able to play the occasional game.

I already have a 200GB Seagate HD, monitor, optical drive and accessories.

Any advice on whether this is what I should be buying would be much appreciated.

RichardMcN

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Gojoe
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Gojoe » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:27 am UTC

Hello fellow kiwi.

I personally hate pricespy. I am currently in the land of the free atm, and I find that laptops are CHEAP as hell here. the only problem is the exchange rate. You should try looking online at places like bestbuy.com and see if you can get them to ship, I think it will still work out cheaper (places are throwing in 4 gigs of ram in most computers because of the new ddr3.)

Anyway, don't be afraid of buuying international, you may save money, despite the current exchange rate.

Good luck!!
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InstinctSage
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby InstinctSage » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:53 am UTC

Those prices seem pretty steep for what you're getting. I don't know of any suppliers in NZ, but I can't imagine there wouldn't be a good source somewhere near the city. If you check my thread, I'm going through MSY in Melbourne and getting the kind of price that makes importing not worth it right now.

I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to find a local supplier that'll do better than importing yourself.
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RichardMcN
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby RichardMcN » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

I also dislike pricespy, but I checked out some of those US shops and none want to ship internationally, so I'll just have to stick with what I've got.

I think I'll have to move from mATX to ATX though, I don't need 9 drive bays, but it can't help to be prepared for extra hardware. So;

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 ($376.82)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L ($217.10)
Case: Antec Sonata III (w/ 500w PSU) ($241.88)
Graphics: GeForce 9800 GT 512MB ($219.26)

Total: $1140.16 (NZD)

This is pushing my budget a bit. Is there anything I could cut back on now and upgrade later, or something else that will give me almost as much performance for a bit less?

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InstinctSage
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby InstinctSage » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

I picked a 9800 initially for my build but was recommended a Radeon HD4850 which could be later combined with a second for extra grunt. Apparently not worth it for a 4670 or below, but for a gaming PC I think it might well be worth the extra cash, as you're leaving the door open to spend $250 to keep your rig running smooth graphics without having to replace anything. If you sacrifice on a cheaper GFX card now you'll have to replace it sooner and that means selling the card on eBay to see what you can recover.

Of course, that's getting more expensive, not cheaper. Perhaps you can step back to a cheaper motherboard?
nightlina wrote:We get stick insects here.. they're pretty cool and stick-like.

RichardMcN
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby RichardMcN » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:36 pm UTC

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 ($376.82)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: ASUS P5QL-PRO ($184.50)
Case: Antec Sonata III (w/ 500w PSU) ($241.88)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB ($299.99)

Total: $1188.29 (NZD)

I think it's worth spending a bit more now to get a good base that can be easily upgraded later that have to buy all new components next time I need an upgrade.

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InstinctSage
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby InstinctSage » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:32 am UTC

It's looking more and more like the one I'm getting every post! :wink:
Here's hoping we're happy with our purchases.
nightlina wrote:We get stick insects here.. they're pretty cool and stick-like.

Carnildo
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Carnildo » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:48 am UTC

RichardMcN wrote:playing the occasional game (AOE2, Civ).


I believe these games do just fine with integrated graphics. If that's the case, you can save quite a lot by not having a separate graphics card.

Mzyxptlk
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Mzyxptlk » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:22 am UTC

I think the C2D is above your budget. Switching it for an AMD CPU is probably a good idea (this also requires a new mobo). As for Crossfire/SLI, it's outside your price range and more performance than you're likely to need anyway. Look into the 4830 as an alternative to the 9800, they perform similarly, and are priced similarly, but you might be able to shave off $20 by extending your search pattern.
"Once upon a time, an infinite number of people lived perfect, blissful, eternal lives."

RichardMcN
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby RichardMcN » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:31 pm UTC

So is it worth getting a system like this:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ 3.2GHz ($245.00)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2H ($121.50)
Case: Antec NSK1380 MicroATX Case (w/ 350w PSU) ($151.88)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB ($242.70)

Total: $846.18 (NZD)

Or is it worth waiting a bit longer, saving up and getting the system in the previous post?

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Axman
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:56 am UTC

Woah, if you're going to go AMD now you should go 45nm or 65nm not 90nm--dual core or otherwise. It doesn't matter that the clock speed is lower, they'll perform on par or better with a lot more overclocking headroom. Consider the AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma; it's in the same performance range. Plus, you're paying out the nose for that 6400+, even in New Zealish money. The 7750 shows up for about NZ$160--spend the rest on a 780G or 790GX motherboard. Biostar T-Force motherboards are good, inexpensive overclockers.

Carnildo
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Carnildo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:39 am UTC

RichardMcN wrote:So is it worth getting a system like this:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ 3.2GHz ($245.00)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2H ($121.50)
Case: Antec NSK1380 MicroATX Case (w/ 350w PSU) ($151.88)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB ($242.70)

Total: $846.18 (NZD)


The mainboard you've selected has onboard graphics. You could defer purchasing the graphics card until you've determined that the games you play need the extra power.

RichardMcN
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby RichardMcN » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:34 am UTC

Carnildo wrote:
RichardMcN wrote:So is it worth getting a system like this:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ 3.2GHz ($245.00)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2H ($121.50)
Case: Antec NSK1380 MicroATX Case (w/ 350w PSU) ($151.88)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB ($242.70)

Total: $846.18 (NZD)


The mainboard you've selected has onboard graphics. You could defer purchasing the graphics card until you've determined that the games you play need the extra power.


Yeah, but I'm going to be doing some image editing stuff. Then again, that's been running pretty well on the integrated graphics in my laptop.

We're at:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 7750 ($167.60)
Memory: 2x Kingston DDR2 2GB PC2 6400 ($85.10)
Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EM ATI 780G ($157.44)
Case: Antec Sonata III (w/ 500w PSU) ($241.88)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB ($242.70)

Total: $894.72 ($652.02 w/o graphics card)

I've gone back to the larger case because it has the larger power supply. I have another $100 to play with, where should I use it?

Thank you everyone for your help.

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Axman
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Axman » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:47 am UTC

Slightly faster video card? High-performance aftermarket heatsink? A game or two?

Mzyxptlk
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Re: Computer Build - Difficulty: New Zealand Dollars

Postby Mzyxptlk » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:27 am UTC

That setup looks pretty good, I'd pocket the remainder of the money.
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