View Full Version : Good setup for under $1500???

05 May 2002, 01:51 AM
I want to start getting into CG, but my current PC is a 400mhz piece of crap.. I need something better :) I'm not looking to spend much, probably under $1500.

How much do you think something like this would cost?

Athlon XP 1800 (OR should I go duals)
Asus Mobo/Or other good Mobo
60-80 GB HD (I've heard getting one slow (IDE) and one fast (SCSI) is a good idea)
52X CD ROM (Dont need a DVD or CDRW, well possibly a CDRW)
GF3, or GF4
19" Monitor

What would you recommend for a PC under $1500? I think i'll be using Softimage mainly since that Softimage Experience CD has a lot of tutorials and videos..

05 May 2002, 03:48 PM
If you know how to build your own computer you could try searching for the cheapest price on all of the parts at

Adam Klein
05 May 2002, 06:12 PM
this is the place for you

whole machines, some refurbished but I've gotten A LOT of stuff from them over the years and its all good stuff that last way beyond the couple years until it becomes obsolete
then just buy yourself some RAM at pricewatch and a graphics card of your choice, ubid has some of them too..

go duals if you can, but you'll probably have to assemble to get a price you'd like

05 May 2002, 06:35 PM
Building your own system is nice because you can hand-pick the exact parts you want and nothing that you don't. However, the total cost of building your own system can actually cost you as much as 30% more as the same system built by one of the big manufacturers. The reason that is is because they can buy all of their parts in bulk and get discounts that are much larger than anything you or I could get. For example Dell get's their p4's for about the same or a little less than we pay for athlons.

Anyway, as far as your question goes here are some links to smaller manufacturer's out there on the web that cater a bit more to the graphics and gaming people. Honestly though, if you just want a newer system and can't spend over 1500 then your best bet is something like Dell or Gateway or HP or whatever.

hope that helps.

Adam Klein
05 May 2002, 07:21 PM
here's a direct link to their desktop section, its an auction so you can sneak in a snag a HOG for cheaaaap

I see a handful that would do just fine with little upgrade on the stuff I mentioned

05 May 2002, 08:17 PM
I thought if I built my own it would cheaper than a dell, gateway, or the others...

05 May 2002, 08:19 PM
I know about and pricewatch... but is building a pc really that hard? I think I could do it..

Would it be best to build my own?

And.. Should I get XP or Win2k?

Adam Klein
05 May 2002, 08:36 PM
na, just check your compatabilities.... mainly mother board to the graphics card you'll want, I have a damn comp that wouldn't work with the GEforce 2s, which is unfortunately what I had ordered for it, oh well :shrug: I say go for it.

05 May 2002, 11:13 PM
Do you trust UBid?
Something like that would be great.. $600, plus I would add in a Gf3 or Gf4, monitor, and maybe more RAM..

Which is better?
GF3 or GF4?
Windows2K Or XP?

Adam Klein
05 May 2002, 03:04 AM
yeah I really do, over the year I've picked up quite a bit of stuff there, my dual 1ghz machine I found on there last year, before that I got Dell from them that work like a champ, a couple moniters, some home speakers.. (cerwin vega with 15" subs:airguitar the shipping was a bitch on those) among other stuff. and believe it or not, regardless of refubished or not, its all still up and running well.

if anything, watch the prefered dealer auctions a bit closer, besides that bid away

Ge4, but make sure you don't get the one that's not the beefcake, I forget the label for the right type, but they are very similar

I still like windows 2K:shrug:

05 May 2002, 05:00 AM
@ adam klein: the MX series of GeForce4's are the ones that are based on the GeForce2 and 3 chips. The Ti series are the ones that use the new chips.

05 May 2002, 10:37 PM
I can make a computer for less than a retailer with the same parts just because when you do you don't get yourself tech support and warranty from them. However, you should still have warranties with the companies for whose parts you bought. I personnally don't feel I'll ever go back to buying a system from a company, it just irks me too much. The only way I'd see doing it is for a laptop which I haven't been able to find any way to really make these for cheaper.

And btw, I shop at almost exclusively although I do some "pricewatch"-ing as well.


05 May 2002, 04:13 PM
My 2 cents worth on this.
I take it you're in the US, which means you're already better off than somebody like me. We really get stung on prices here in the UK.
For CPUs, from your price range, I would think you could just about manage good speed, dual AMDs.

about $550 for two MP1800 and a Tyan Tiger MPX on pricewatch.

I think that board can use non-registered, but I would use registered just to be safe (and you'll have to go that route if you planning on filling all the RAM slots in the furture anyway).

about $400 per 1GB on pricewatch. (although i would be happy with 512MB, saving $200)

For HDD I see no need to get SCSI (unless you plan on doing some really hardcord AV editing). The Western Digital JB model performs really well because of it's 8MB cache.

$130 for 80GB on pricewatch.

about $200 for a decent monitor, about $100 for a good CDRW, maybe about $50 for a reasonable soundcard.

As for Gfx, i would be quite happy to pick up a quadro 2 pro on ebay. They can be had for less than $150. It's still quite a capable card.

giving you about $1600 total (or $1400 if you compromise on RAM).
Or you could sacrifice a processor and drop to a single CPU board saving about $250. That would still get you an XP2000.

06 June 2002, 10:56 PM
I'm currently in the process of building a new machine. Here are the specs

-Antec Server Case w 350Watt Power Supply

-Abit KG7 Raid Motherboard (Onboard Raid Card, + Holds up to 4 gigs of DDR RAM)
-AMD XP+ 2000 CPU
-512 MB Kingston RAM (You should get more if you plan on doing lots of rendering or working with polygon heavy scenes)

-IBM Deskstatr 80 GIG Hard Drive 7200 RPM
-TEAC 40x12x48 CDRW
-TEAC Floppy Drive

-Nividia Geforce 4 ti-4400 128 Meg Video Card
-Creative Labs Soundblaster Live 5.1 Sound Card
-3Com Network Card

-Logitech Cordless Keyboard and Mouse
-Creative Inspire 5.1 5300 Speakers

The total price is about $1200-$1300

Here are the places I have bought from or plan on buying from

-Motherboard + CPU + Ram + Shipping $470
-Video Card $250

These guys have great motherboard bundles. They gaurantee compatibility, throw it all together and test it for a couple days before shipping, and then warantee for 2 years. I've bought from them several times and have always been pleased.

I haven't bought from these guys yet, but they have good deals and a good rating on most price monitoring sites.

-Hard Drive $ 105
-CD Burner $100
-Floppy Drive $17
-Mouse/Keyboard Combo $80
-Speakers $85
-Sound Card $35

I just bought the case and network card from COMP USA

-Case/Power Supply + Network Card $150


I wouldn't recommend shopping from them. I placed an order with them recently and they claimed that they could not verify my shipping address (even though it was correct and was the only address on file with my bank). However they had no problem whatsoever verifying my billing address (which was the exact same as shipping address!) and charging my credit card. Needless to say after several calls to VERY RUDE customer service people (not to mention at least 2 hours on hold each time before speaking to someone) I was able to cancel my order. It took nearly 3 weeks from the time I originally placed the order till the money was credited back into my account. I would reccomend staying away from them. They have cheap prices but in my opinion not worth the hassle.

06 June 2002, 10:20 AM
Do you actually intend to use the RAID feature on that MoBo? (I'm assuming it's IDE RAID).
And what prompted you to get a deathstar? Have you not heard the horror stories?

06 June 2002, 01:09 AM
I'm not planning on using the RAID right now, but it was only $7 more than the same motherboard without so I figured what the hell. No I haven't heard the horror stories. Luckily I haven't purchased the hard drive yet so maybe I'll reconsider. What would you suggest? Western Digital? I've heard Maxtor aint so hot either.

06 June 2002, 01:36 AM
The IDE IBM drives of recent years are well documented as being very unreliable. Suffering from things like making a horrible noise, random crashes, followed, ultimately by death (hence the nick 'deathstars') and complete loss of data. Around the time of the release of the 120GXP, IBM addressed this issue by making a press release that openly stated that the drive shouild not be operated for more than 8hrs a day.
Now I dont know about you guys, but my main machine does at least twice that, every day.
Personally, I'm using a mix of SCSI and FC, but if I were to go back to IDE (which is still a perfectly good option for workstation use) then my choice would be the Western Digital JB model, without a doubt.

06 June 2002, 05:52 PM
Thanks for the info. I think I'll be spending the extra couple bucks for a Western Digital ;)

06 June 2002, 06:20 PM
Wise move.

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