Home Systems April 2003

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
May 1, 2003
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19621
The home systems return for April. Find out our picks for budget, midrange, and high end home systems!
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Page 1
<B>Intro</B>:

Our Bi-monthly system builders guide has returned! You already have seen that gaming systems, so now it is time for the home ones. Home systems are different than gaming, just by the fact that at home, you want a system that does more than play games. It should burn CDs, rip music, and be fast enough to provide entertainment value. Without further intro, read on for the home systems for April 2003!

<B>Case</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Case</td><td>I also used <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=11-154-021&DEPA=0">this case</a> just like the gaming rig, it is cheaper than the last home budget system and it is a better PSU. I'm not worried about getting a cool modded case, it is for home after all. You'll spend a scant $33.99 on this one.</td></tr></table>

<B>Motherboard</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Motherboard</td><td>A motherboard is the most important aspect of a computer, we don't want a bad one going in any system. I'll be chosing an AMD based motherboard for the budget system again. An all in one motherboard is perfect for this type of system. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=13-127-150">Abit's NF7-M has everything</a>. And I mean everything. Even though it does have everything, it has expansion slots for all your upgrading needs. $126 from Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>CPU</B>:

<table><tr><td>System Guides CPU</td><td>An AMD motherboard requires an AMD CPU. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=19-103-336">An Athlon 2400+ is perfect</a>. Speedy at 2 Ghz, and it is the new Tbred B stepping (if you wanted to dabble in overclocking). It comes with a heatsink and fan, but you can get a better one is you want. $105 at Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>Memory</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide RAM</td><td>Hot deals abound. For $52 a stick of <a href="http://www.hotdlz.com/deal/6f156eaca301a8a9c96756fd6ea1352e/">512MB of Crucial memory</a> is just what you need. Great stuff at a good price. </td></tr></table>

<B>Video Card</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Video Card</td><td>Cheap and easy, onboard video.</tr></table>

<B>Optical & Magnetic Storage</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Optical</td><td>Systems Guide Hard Drive</td><td>Home systems require a DVD player and a CDRW for burning stuff. Remember, we look for the best deals around.<a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=18&threadid=174229">Fatwallet has it</a>. A 120GB drive and a 48x CDRW for $40, how can you go wrong. Newegg has the <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=27-131-112">Lite-On DVD drive for you</a>. It costs $38. You absolutely can't beat this deal.</td></tr></table>


<B>Monitor</B>:
<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Monitor</td><td>17 inch ViewSonic Monitor. Click <a href="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=50179898&pfp=BROWSE">here</a> from CompUSA for a price of $135.48</td></tr></table>

<B>Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Mouse</td><td>Systems Guide Speakers</td><td> Systems Guide Keyboard</td><td>Altec Lansing AVS500w are nice 4.1 speakers on the cheap. Good quality, and the price is right at $35.18 (CompUSA +tax). You also need a mouse and keyboard so go for the Logitech cordless elite duo from Office Max for a price of $49.99. Network card is onboard. Sound is onboard. Like I said, that board has everything.<td></tr></table>

<B>OS</B>:

Linux is free, but <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=37-102-014&DEPA=6">Windows XP Home</a> will run you $93 at Newegg.


<b>Summary</b><br/><br/>

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2GHZ) $105<br/>
Abit NF7-M $126<br/>
Case + 400Watt PSU $33.99<br/>
Crucial 512MB $52<br/>
OfficeMax Deal CDrw + 120GB $40 (+tax)<br/>
Liteon DVD $38<br/>
Logitech Elite Duo $49.99<br/>
Speakers $35.18 (+tax)<br/>
17inch Viewsonic Monitor $135.48 (+tax)<br/>
WinXP Home $93<br/><br/>
Pretty Impressive, good stuff for a budget system.<br/><br/>
Total: ~$720 After rebates. Awesome.
Page 2
With another $400, we can upgrade the video card and monitor, even the CPU and be fine.

<B>Case</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Case</td><td>The same case. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=11-154-021&DEPA=0">This case</a> is cheap and easy. Why go with something more elaborate if you don't have too? You'll spend a scant $33.99 on this one.</td></tr></table>

<B>Motherboard</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Motherboard</td><td>Since we are not having everything on the motherboard. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=13-127-144&depa=0">Abit's NF7 is a good choice</a>. Loads of expansion and nForce2, this is what a new system needs. $104 from Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>CPU</B>:

<table><tr><td>System Guides CPU</td><td>An AMD motherboard requires an AMD CPU, just like before. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=19-103-379&depa=1">Barton 2500+ is great</a>. It is only 1.83Ghz, but it has 512KB of L2 cache. It comes with a heatsink and fan, but you can get a better one is you want. $131 at Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>Memory</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide RAM</td><td>Can't get the same stick with a faster FSB CPU. $68 gets a stick of <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-059&depa=1">512MB of Crucial memory PC2700</a> is just what you need. Great stuff at a good price. </td></tr></table>

<B>Video Card</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Video Card</td><td>A Radeon 9700 is faster than the 9600 Pro and is great at DVD decoding and games. Get it from Newegg. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=14-131-201&depa=1">Powercolor for $246</a>.</tr></table>

<B>Optical & Magnetic Storage</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Optical</td><td>Systems Guide Hard Drive</td><td>Home systems require a DVD player and a CDRW for burning stuff. Remember, we look for the best deals around.<a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=18&threadid=174229">Fatwallet has it</a>. A 120GB drive and a 48x CDRW for $40, how can you go wrong. Get two of this deal if you want a midrange system! Newegg has the <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=27-131-112">Lite-On DVD drive for you</a>. It costs $38. You absolutely can't beat this deal.</td></tr></table>


<B>Monitor</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Monitor</td><td>19 inches here. Still <a href="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=296017&pfp=BROWSE">a Viewsonic one</a> from CompUSA for a price of $229.97 (AR)</td></tr></table>

<B>Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Mouse</td><td>Systems Guide Speakers</td><td> Systems Guide Keyboard</td><td>Logitech's z540 is good. Good quality, and the price is right at $62.68 (CompUSA +tax). You also need a mouse and keyboard so go for the Logitech cordless elite duo from Office Max for a price of $49.99. Network card is onboard. Sound is onboard.<td></tr></table>

<B>OS</B>:

Linux is free, but <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=37-102-014&DEPA=6">Windows XP Home</a> will run you $93 at Newegg.


<b>Summary</b><br/><br/>

AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (1.83GHZ) $131<br/>
Abit NF7 $104<br/>
Powercolor 9700 $246<br/>
Case + 400Watt PSU $33.99<br/>
Crucial 512MB $68<br/>
OfficeMax Deal CDrw + 120GB $40 (+tax) (x2)<br/>
Liteon DVD $38<br/>
Logitech Elite Duo $49.99<br/>
z540s $62.68 (+tax)<br/>
19inch Viewsonic Monitor $229.97 (+tax)<br/>
WinXP Home $93<br/><br/>
Pretty Impressive, good stuff for a budget system.<br/><br/>
Total: ~$1150 After rebates. Great deal.
Page 3
$2000 is the upper limit here, and we want the best of the best.

<B>Case</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Case</td><td>The same case. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=11-154-021&DEPA=0">This case</a> is cheap and easy. Why go with something more elaborate if you don't have too? You'll spend a scant $33.99 on this one.</td></tr></table>

<B>Motherboard</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Motherboard</td><td>The newly released Canterwood will do just nicely for our best of the best. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=13-131-449">Asus is good</a>. Audio and Lan included, this is what a new system needs. $199.99 from Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>CPU</B>:

<table><tr><td>System Guides CPU</td><td>The newest 3.06Ghz with 800Mhz FSB will be the speed king until you get it Wink. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=19-116-156&depa=0">Don't gawk at the price</a>. Intel CPUs usually have good quality heatsinks. $545 at Newegg.</td></tr></table>

<B>Memory</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide RAM</td><td>Two times the memory for the Canterwood. $68 (2x) gets a stick of <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-059&depa=1">512MB of Crucial memory PC2700</a> is just what you need. Great stuff at a good price. </td></tr></table>

<B>Video Card</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Video Card</td><td>A Radeon AIW 9700 Pro. Get nothing else, you won't be sorry. Get it from Newegg. <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=14-102-250&depa=0">Get an ATI one, $356</a>.</tr></table>

<B>Optical & Magnetic Storage</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Optical</td><td>Systems Guide Hard Drive</td><td>Home systems require a DVD player and a CDRW for burning stuff. Remember, we look for the best deals around.<a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=18&threadid=174229">Fatwallet has it</a>. A 120GB drive and a 48x CDRW for $40, how can you go wrong. Get two (or three) of this deal if you want a great system! Newegg has the <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=27-131-112">Lite-On DVD drive for you</a>. It costs $38. You absolutely can't beat this deal.</td></tr></table>


<B>Monitor</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Monitor</td><td>19 inches here. Still <a href="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=296017&pfp=BROWSE">a Viewsonic one</a> from CompUSA for a price of $229.97 (AR)</td></tr></table>

<B>Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers</B>:

<table><tr><td>Systems Guide Mouse</td><td>Systems Guide Speakers</td><td> Systems Guide Keyboard</td><td>We need crap in the pants speakers. The Logitech's z560 (THX) is good. Really really expensive $200 (CompUSA +tax). You also need a mouse and keyboard so go for the Logitech cordless elite duo from Office Max for a price of $49.99. Network card is onboard. Sound is onboard.<td></tr></table>

<B>OS</B>:

Linux is free, but <a href="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?description=37-102-014&DEPA=6">Windows XP Home</a> will run you $93 at Newegg.


<b>Summary</b><br/><br/>

Intel 3Ghz (800Mhz FSB) $545<br/>
Asus Canterwood $200<br/>
ATI AIW 9700 Pro $356<br/>
Case + 400Watt PSU $33.99<br/>
Crucial 512MB $68 (2x)<br/>
OfficeMax Deal CDrw + 120GB $40 (+tax) (x2)<br/>
Liteon DVD $38<br/>
Logitech Elite Duo $49.99<br/>
z560s $200 (+tax)<br/>
19inch Viewsonic Monitor $229.97 (+tax)<br/>
WinXP Home $93<br/><br/>
Great system, it'll last for a few years.<br/><br/>
Total: ~$1980 After rebates. Great deal.<br/><br/>
We hope you liked our picks for April, stay tuned for the June guides! Please leave us some feedback!

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