Apple guy building a PC question

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ckurowic, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. ckurowic macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2007
    Hey guys. I know I'll get lots of flack for even mentioning PC's here, but here goes anyway.

    The situation: I have a PowerMac G5 1.6GHz and need to run Windows pretty frequently. I have to use Virtual PC which is slow.

    Proposed Solution: build my own PC with Windows XP Professional

    Why?: I always found building PC's to be interesting, and I am an IT guy (with education), but need some input.

    I went to JDR's web page and found a "bare bones" system with these specs:
    *Intel Celeron-D Processor at 3.0GHz
    Yes. Thats pretty bare indeed. It needs RAM, HDD, optical, but has a case included. Total price is $174.

    What I know: this system will provide good performance running Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office.

    What I don't know: Would this system (with adequate RAM and a good video card) run some PC games? Is there a "faster" system I can build myself for the same amount $$$? Will this system compare speed-wise to my G5?
  2. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    celeron = bad gaming
    get at least a newer pentium or core 2 duo.
  3. Xanis macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I built my own PC a few years ago and I've been assembling/tinkering with them since then.

    If you're looking for good performance in gaming you should just spend the extra cash and get a Core 2 Duo and pair it with a cheap motherboard. Go for 1-2GB of RAM (2GB is MUCH better, but you can get by on 1GB). You probably don't need a massive hard drive so I'm thinking an 80GB should be fine for your needs. Storage is cheap these days so if you want more it shouldn't be too much money. Your going to need to do some research for a video card. That's one area of PC hardware I haven't kept up with. I think if you go for a lower-end 8 series Nvidia with at least 256mb of VRAM, you should be fine.
  4. ckurowic thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. I was considering doing just that...getting a core 2 duo processor and finding a cheap motherboard that will support it. Cases are cheap. I could always gut an old ATX based computer and use that, it would probably need a heftier power supply though.

    Here is a decent motherboard. I can pre-order it with a 2.2GHz core 2 duo processor. It has the GMA 950 graphics, but has a PCI-e x16 slot for a better graphics card. This may be the way to go.
  5. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    If I were you I would get an AMD based computer. I built a computer a while back using AMD dual core processor and it is still fast by today's standards, and I got it for a good price then too. I have a friend who works in a computer shop and he always gets me good deals on stuff, about 20 percent off retail!

    If you interested, hit me up. All I need are the part numbers for him to get the right prices.

    Another thing, don't over-spend. It is good to get high end stuff but it will be out-run someday. Get the one notch under high end. Always make sure that no matter what you are choosing that it is future-proofed. That is what I did and I can now use the next gen ram that is out now.
  6. Xanis macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007
    I'm honestly not an Intel fanboy, but I think the C2D processors have a slight edge over their AMD counterparts. The performance difference won't be THAT big, so if you can get a simliar AMD chip for less than a C2D one, by all means go for it.
  7. ceiph macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    being a new switcher ill try to help

    for building a pc on a budget you HAVE to go AMD

    yes the c2d is a great chip and really top of the line but for a desktop an athlon x2 wont be much diffrent and since your on a budget thats where you can save alot of money

    that said my previous windows laptop was a pent m, and my mac is well duh a c2d but all of my desktops and desktops i build have been amd athlons and i will say there quality is amazing and for the price to perfromance ratio your better off
  8. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I think if you're aiming for a performance PC, it's really not worth building your own unless you know exactly what you're doing. Too many people get cooling above all - but many other things too - wrong and complain about "crappy Windows" on an unstable rig when it's actually the crappy builder.
  9. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    avoid the bare bone systems they end up costing more in the long run. If you have the old case to gut than I suggest doing that. I also suggest an AMD system as you will get the same if not better performance for less money. Get an nvidia 8800 if you are serious about gaming.
  10. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Really you just need to research into how things work before you build a high end PC because often people's research is what wish lists they found on Newegg. Building a high end PC is actually no more difficult than a lower end PC - its just making sure that you realize that things like power supplies, cooling, and overclocking shouldn't be a skimped-on job.

    If you are building a budget PC, AMD is a good choice because their motherboards are cheap as are their processors. Intel budget PC's will be a bit more expensive as their mobo's and processors are usually a bit more expensive, but for budget Intel get a Pentium Dual Core (it's really just a lower cache and clocked Allendale/Conroe-derivative): E2140/E2160/E2180 which are all under < $89 and a budget P35 board (or G31/G33 micro-ATX board) for < $100.
  11. ckurowic thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2007
    I'd say I got an overwhelming response. Thanks for your expertise. The system I was looking at has an Intel mobo, capable of handling anything from a P4 up to a Core 2 Duo. I have zero experience with AMD, to be honest, but the consensus seems to be AMD is cheaper but still has the performance I need. As far as PC hardware goes, I'm pretty familiar having worked at numerous help desk positions and using both platforms since...well, too long ago :). I will most certainly check out AMD, the only reason I looked at intel only was I have some experience with them. As far as gutting that other PC goes, well, that motherboard is TINY. It must be a micro ATX which seem to be more expensive. I can easily get a case for under $20.

    As far as that 20% off deal, I'd be VERY interested in that, mainly for the CPU/motherboard (depending on what I choose to go with). Being a poor college student (and the Air Force doesn't pay me much) I really appreciate it. I will do some more research and get back to you :).

    For reference, here is what I was thinking about getting:

    I was thinking about putting a Pentium 4, 3.0GHz CPU in it. Though like I said, I am researching AMD now.

    I found this AMD board for pretty cheap:

    What do you all think? Gut an existing PC and put the AMD motherboard in it, or getting the bare bones Intel? It seems like gutting a PC and putting the AMD would cost less, though I did find a 2.2GHz core 2 duo for $119. (CPU only)

    How about this (for AMD):
  12. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    I'm sure other people have good advice to give out, but I would definitely avoid Pentium 4's. Trickiest processor to make stable on a desktop rig due to the high heat / high power requirements, and a bad choice for a performance machine. We evaluated P4 workstations and abandoned them within a short period to go Opteron.
  13. thefnshow macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    if you are near a fry's store they always have motherboard/cpu combos fairly should check them out
  14. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    If you are going to get a P4, you might as well get an AMD K8 processor since they are far faster than a P4.

    I'm not sure what your budget is and if you want a discrete GPU for gaming, but if you need a quick build for a PC at a budget:

    Asus M2A-VM 690G AMD Motherboard:
    $64.99 ($10 more for the HDMI-out version of the motherboard if you intend to use an HDMI connection w/ the integrated graphics processor)

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Brisbane 2.1GHz dual core processor:

    Any ATI 3850 Video Card: $179 (if you intend to go w/ a discrete GPU for gaming, these are the best bang for the buck atm)

    Now pick up a DVD+/-RW drive ($30), a 320GB hard drive ($70), a good 450W PSU (the corsair 450W PSU for $65 after rebate is good), and a case (can go w/ a micro ATX case too if you want, $50 max should be a good choice) and 2GB of RAM (should be $50 tops right now), you'll have a MEAN rig for $600-700.

    Honestly, at that price, you can get 80% of the performance of a $1000 computer at 60% the price.

Share This Page