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atom
24-06-2006, 01:56 PM
Hi, I am thinking of going to Low Yat to buy a custom-built computer. I will be buying a Samsung LCD monitor BF760 (glossy white in appearance) to go with it. Can anyone write down the spec for me if my budget (excluding the monitor) is RM1500? For example what model and brand of speaker, audio card, graphic card, DRam etc. besides the main stream Pentium 4 processor and XP home edition window. Will appreciate if you give estimated price for the components. Also, which particular shop is recommended (i.e. one which is more unlikely to con)? Most of my work at home will be Word, PowerPoint presentation, simple photo-editing from digital camera (home collection into CD), some scanning job (from desktop platen scanner), web-surfing and occasionally download movie trailers or some game or animation from the web. Thank you so much for help. Will belanja teh tarik in future Friday meet.

cars
24-06-2006, 02:14 PM
Hi,

Check out www.computerwar.com.my for your price needs. Its in PJ. Or lowyat.net.

Firefly
24-06-2006, 03:17 PM
It's gets more complicated now. Both Intel and AMD are branching to different processors and more confusion is in stalled for the future.

If you only look at your current requirement, any processor will do but then mainboard will depend on your processor selection.

Firefly advice to go for the PCI express graphic enable board. Even if you are not getting a high end graphic board now, make sure the board supports that.

Next is the DDR2. Get at least 1Gb. 512mb is the minimum but then the shop will sell you 2pieces of 256 which you will have to discart in the near future. So getting 2 pieces of 512mb is better.

HDD, Think the sweet spot now are the 80Gb. (firefly could be wrong). SATA is the way to go now.

forget to add...DO NOT USE THE CELERON OR THE SEMPRON processors.

Do not stinge on a casing and a PSU. You may need to upgrade if you decide to use a more powerful graphic board. think the current standard is 550W. (Firefly is currently using 2X 450W in 1 PC...but that's another story)

Another thing to avoid is them USB keyboard and mouse. Use the normal PS/2 ones. Somehow they are more stable.

bslee
24-06-2006, 05:38 PM
Another thing to avoid is them USB keyboard and mouse. Use the normal PS/2 ones. Somehow they are more stable.

I shun to pimp any particular brand here but I've been using a Logitech MX series USB mouse and its better build and performer than Microsoft mice. I shuttle it between my laptop (no PS2 port) and desktop with ease.
Don't stinge on mice either..the cheap ones just don't last! Look out for "combo" Keyboard + mouse for value!.
As for keyboard, there can be found some Dell or Compaq over production or older model keyboards for 20+ bucks at Low Yat. The feature I go for is terrific build quality. Here again! the cheap ones can get irritating, very plastiky and have rubbery keys!. I'm just NOT used to el-cheapo keyboards!
In IT hardware, you get what you pay for!.
As for monitor, LCD is the way to go, saves electrical consumption and considerably less glare. Save your eyesight..Monitors are replaceble..one's EYES aren't!.

SunwayKid
24-06-2006, 06:30 PM
First of all, you must appreciate that RM1500 is not going to get you much state of the art components and you will probably end up with a semi-budget set-up. And do remember Firefly's advice on avoiding those two budget processors.

Mother Board & Processor - for future proof, a dual core processor is the way to go with a compatible motherboard. Problem is, any dual core (Intel or Athlon) will overshoot your budget. Next option, a Pentium 4 with 2 MB cache or Athlon 64 Bit 3500+. Damage will be around RM700 - RM800. Benchmarking exercise has shown the Athlon processor to be comparable with Intel. Do make sure it has an integrated Ethernet for your broadband and a modem for dial-ups.

You should follow firefly advice on the graphics but again, your budget will only allow a board that support that, not the actual high-end graphics card which you consider upgrading in future. A low end 16x PCI Express Graphics card with DVI support will set you back by around RM300. Or you can end up with 8x for RM100 less. For a budget set-up, you can compromise by going for an integrated motherboard which support both graphics and sound and save on this expenditure but forfeit upgrade path.

Memory - you can't go wrong with 1 GB ( 2 x 512 MB) and the speed will depend on your processor. 1 GB will set you back by around RM300.

Hard disk - SATA is future proof but 80 GB is definitely not enough, if you are video intensive, 160 GB is the minimum and minus another RM250 from your budget. If you need to to stinge, go for IDE with 16 MB cache.

If you do the sums, you will be in what the gormen call a budget deficit. To the gormen, this is normal; to you, it is not! You will need more money for a DVD writer (RM150), 3 piece subwoofer setup (RM100) plus all the others Firefly mentioned (RM300).

And in the end, all these components can either work in tandem or cause you mayhem. Although unlikely but bear in mind with custom-built, you could encounter comptability issues if some of these parts refuse to communicate with each other. The worst part is that these issues might only surfaced when the art-of-the-shop PC is on your table; not the vendor's!

Wait.....you have not even consider software cost yet! Support Tulen. (RM300 for OS) To save you a lot of headache and vendors taking you for a ride; if you know not what you want and what you are getting inside the case, Dell and Compaq weekly promotions are worth considering and some are actually good deals. Please note that I only mentioned these two brands and I don't work for either.

Now, if we can go for a cup of tea and some sticks of satay, I can pass you this week promotion for Dell / Compaq. :D

Firefly
24-06-2006, 10:22 PM
Think for the time being, get a mainboard with builtin graphic. That way you can save a couple of bucks for something else.

Sunway suggestion seems practical..go the dell way.

Oh yes bslee, firefly not hammering any brand here mah. Firefly's advice for non USB is that they do use resources as compaired to PS/2 type (tradtional socket) Firefly have a USB wireless microsoft mouse plugged into a pc, the limited USB ports are already filled 1 X WiFi device, 1 X external HDD, 1 X multi card reader. Firefly do experience lagging in the mouse. This do not happend when a PS/2 mouse is used.

yvonnefoong
24-06-2006, 11:22 PM
Haha... sunwaykid... the way you put it means the best is to get those readily assembled ones la for that budget. :) Which is I think is practical for low budget lor. Unless you know exactly what is important to you in a PC and skim on the rest.

joker2107
25-06-2006, 12:44 PM
some pretty good advice above.

but first things first, atom. what do u intended 2 do with this custom made pc? if u r not gonna need it 4 special-needs tasks eg video editing, there's plenty of ready made stuff u can get 4 slighty more than yr budget. it is not normally cheaper 2 custom build. dell n compaq hv been running a price war. they hv good deals if u purchase online. lots of shops in low yat hv their own bundled packages at attractive prices. it if fits yr needs, go 4 these - at least theres warranty on d entire package instead of individual parts.

lynndhia
25-06-2006, 01:07 PM
go to lowyat.net if u ever need more info.
they have a forum there as well

chin_wan
25-06-2006, 01:55 PM
Your best bet is Dell. You can custom build it and the support is superb. Cost wise also not that much difference.

FineTuned
25-06-2006, 03:48 PM
Your best bet is Dell. You can custom build it and the support is superb. Cost wise also not that much difference.
It seems that Dell has a lot of supporters here!
I'll add in my vote for Dell too.
Reasonable hardware and backup service not withstanding, Dell also gives you original software worth over RM500 in value (WinXP Home + Works 7.0) - this is something you won't get if you buy from Low Yat. Unless you are quite an expert on Windows software, and you know how to overcome the issues of Windows Activation and now the WGA thingy with `ahem' software, I would hesitate to recommend any attempt to get a custom built PC from the local guys at my favourite haunt.

Sorry, lynndhia, I wouldn't advice atom to get onto Lowyat.Net. Post a query like this, and he'll get a thousand and one recommendations from dealers and their kakis, parttime salesmen, online conmen, and those who will start an argument over each others' recommendations at the drop of a hat.

Wild_Explorer
25-06-2006, 06:25 PM
It seems that Dell has a lot of supporters here!
I'll add in my vote for Dell too.
Reasonable hardware and backup service not withstanding, Dell also gives you original software worth over RM500 in value (WinXP Home + Works 7.0) - this is something you won't get if you buy from Low Yat. Unless you are quite an expert on Windows software, and you know how to overcome the issues of Windows Activation and now the WGA thingy with `ahem' software, I would hesitate to recommend any attempt to get a custom built PC from the local guys at my favourite haunt.

Sorry, lynndhia, I wouldn't advice atom to get onto Lowyat.Net. Post a query like this, and he'll get a thousand and one recommendations from dealers and their kakis, parttime salesmen, online conmen, and those who will start an argument over each others' recommendations at the drop of a hat.
How true....I have suffered a couple of years with non-existence support and warranty...before sales, anything possible but after sales everything not covered.

I have since moved on to a new machine from Dell and the after sales service support is just fantastic with next day response. Frankly speaking, no false promises and no "tai-chi" on the problem. Their interest was just to settle the problem and move on.

This is something that I truly value and really really rare in Malaysia nowadays. In addition, I find the price much much cheaper/comparable and with option to have interest free installment with certain credit card. To me that's value and not to mention the free original software especially Windows XP.

Enough said else I start sounding like a Dell salesman. :p

jand
25-06-2006, 10:08 PM
Erm, guys. Aren't some of the recommendation's a little too excessive?

Firefly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Celeron and Sempron. You gotta match the right hardware with the budget and the what it is mainly used for (the usage in percentage for those applications mentioned).

An entry level video card will suit your needs (Radeon 9600 or Geforce 6000 series level). Processor wise, the entry level will suit your requirements fine (2GHz Athlon/Sempron or 2.4GHz Pentium4 C/Celeron D).

Memory, get a 1 stick 1GB. HDD, 80GB is a good start.
Motherboard, an entry level with built-in audio and network. If you want to save a few ringgit, one with built-in IGP from ATI or Nvidia will be good enough and you can save from purchasing a separate video card.

Power supply, a good 300W from a reputable brand will be fine. A 500W from a no name brand is not necessarily better. Look at peak load/maximum draw (that's when your PC starts up and there will be a spike with the sudden draw) and continuous draw of 230W+ (that's when your PC is running) should be sufficient at this moment.

With this, you should have an idea on what's needed. With a RM1300 budget, it will be tough and some 'sacrifices' will be needed. Dell's a good brand for first time buyers but even then, the budget's quite low.
I've not looked at the Dimension series much, perhaps those flyers that come with newspapers can give you some ideas on their pricing.

Firefly
26-06-2006, 10:33 AM
Not condaming them low end capped CPUs but Firefly thinks they are not worth it mah. Since graphic board can be onboard for the moment, future upgrade to an offboard graphic card (PCI Express) to take full power loh. If using them capped CPUs, then sharing the processing power with the graphic card is really gonna show dow them processing power. But that's still the user's decision. :o

mlkok
26-06-2006, 07:28 PM
With hardware design today, you can throw the idea of upgrades out the window. Every 6 months, the CPUs that comes out uses a different socket. That means new motherboard. New motherboard means compatibility issues with older parts like RAM, PSU, etc.... When you come to look at it, the cost of upgrades later would be as much as getting a new machine.
With this budget, can't really expect much. You get what you paid for. :p

PJS
26-06-2006, 10:50 PM
I beg to differ on the HDD, i think 80GB is the today's standard for laptop HDD but for desktop SATA drives 160GB is the norm these days.

And to config all the goodies into a custom rig for RM1.5K seems like a bit of an imposisble task unless u r willing to forego the latest duo-core processors, satisfied with an average graphics card n el-cheapo DVD drive, skimp on the power supply, etc, etc. And then u may have all the headaches of sw/hw incompatibility, functionality, interrupt settings, and so on....

I wld also rather stretch the budget a bit n get a Dell configured to my needs, hehehe, guess we're nothing like the hardcore overclocker types in lowyat.net :D But personally I will nvr go back to a desktop PC, once a laptop user, forever a laptop user. Even the full sized keyboard feel funny in my hands nowadays, really... :o

atom
27-06-2006, 04:24 PM
Thank you everyone here for valuable input. After pondering over what you all have said, I will probably stretch my budget a little and go for a Dell.
Hope to make it to the next teh-tarik seisson for more discussions on computer stuffs and anything else from sea to space. Cheers. :) :)

atom
04-07-2006, 03:28 PM
Your best bet is Dell. You can custom build it and the support is superb. Cost wise also not that much difference.

Thanks to all for such detailed explanation on the basic hardware of a home computer, you all really know the stuffs well. By the way, chin wan, how do you custom build with dell? I looked in every corners at their website and could not find any link to custom build a dell. What should I do? anyone know?

joey180
04-07-2006, 05:13 PM
Dell's after sales service is superb with nx biz day on-site service. However, once the warranty period runs out, any service from Dell will cost a bomb. It may be advisable to pay a little extra to have 3 years warranty instead of the normal 1-year, unless u are a computer whiz and able to trouble shoot or repair ur own pc.

PJS
04-07-2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks to all for such detailed explanation on the basic hardware of a home computer, you all really know the stuffs well. By the way, chin wan, how do you custom build with dell? I looked in every corners at their website and could not find any link to custom build a dell. What should I do? anyone know?

To customize a Dell means taking a standard model and configure it with bigger HDD, add a DVD-R, upgrade sound card, add RAMs, change to bigger monitor, etc, etc at a nominal cost. Don't think Dell takes a real 'custom' order with custom paint jobs and all :p

bslee
04-07-2006, 05:41 PM
Dell's after sales service is superb with nx biz day on-site service. However, once the warranty period runs out, any service from Dell will cost a bomb. It may be advisable to pay a little extra to have 3 years warranty instead of the normal 1-year, unless u are a computer whiz and able to trouble shoot or repair ur own pc.

Extended warranty is more applicable to laptops as it DOES cost bomb to replace vital parts like motherboard, LCD and other ancillaries, which is not entirely available at PC shops. My advice is NEVER budget a new laptop at retail face value with limited 1 year warranty. Extended warranty prices must be included and are available for viewing at manufacturer website.
The thing I don't like from Dell or HP is sometimes the use of custom motherboards which only fits their casing. If its normal ATX, easier for after market replacement.