View Full Version : Best buy for $800 in NY? ( 3D GB, MBoard + chip + memory)
My parents are going to New York next week, and after 6 years I have the chance to have a cheap and good update on my hardware. I want to update with certain parts that are not available in my country (Brazil), or if available, are extremely expensive due high importing tax.
I will give them 800 hundred dollars, since for more than 1000 (they want to buy their stuff...), they would have all the taxes. I have no ideas of a nice and trustworth place to buy there... Just by looking for stores on google is not a good deal, since I just can't trust random store reviews. No real warranties for me. Besides, I don't have a clear idea of clearly what to buy only reading reviews. No one here have cards that runs smoothly any of the last 3 year's games, so that I can have a practial mental picture of what the reviewrs say.
So people, can you tell me the best deal for 800 dollars? I want to spend every cent on that. I´d like to get a hint the best combination for mother board+chip+graphics card+memory card available. Even if you don't know anything about NY stores, I'd appreciate just suggestions about the prices. What I want is graphics processing power for games.
Thanks for your sugestions.
sorry for the double thread...
Whats your current hardware? And also, how long are they staying in NY?
My current hardware is XP 1800, some old kind of 256MB, with a TNT2 2 Ultra... I'd like something really cool and nice
My parents will stay there for 10 days. From march 29th until april 9th.
For 800 it seems you will be looking at something like the 7600gt, or maybe you can stretch a little more. If you buy from some birck and mortar you will pay a huge premium though. I believe that some of the good internet stores are in NY, so perhaps they can drop by the warehouse and pick something up.
I would say to make sure you buy from good brands, but that is already obvious.
Asus, Abit, etc.. DFI is probably in there, I am not as big a fan of msi from personal experience, but it is up to you.
From march 29th until april 9th.
Hasn't that already passed?
Typo or next year?
Sorry, from April 29th to May 9th :s
I don't know how much it costs for a store like CompUSA to assemble and test your components, but in this case it might be worth considering. No sense in saving money by buying here only to find out that a part is broken back in Brazil.
Sxotty, really, good internet stores in NY? I've heard to avoid NY internet stores. Maybe that's just Brooklyn stores. :)
If your room temp is going to be hot, that should be a factor with your components. I guess that's mainly related to something like a X1800 or X1900, which are already hot and therefore loud, or maybe something like a 7600GS which relies on passive cooling. I think a simple fix for passively-cooled cards would be a fan bracket like the Zalman FB123 or even just attaching a fan to the case door vents I see in many new cases (or just cut one out yourself).
CPU, I'd personally go with an Athlon 64, though I guess a socket 754 or 939 Sempron would be fine if you're not planning on upgrading the system for years (which might be likely, considering your current one).
I don't really know what specific MBs to recommend, though you can read reviews at Anandtech or the like to figure that out. I do remember reading at TR that the new nForce 4 SLI boards can draw a lot more power than ATI's Xpress boards, if that matters to you. (It does to me, thus my interest in the A64, P-M, and Core.)
Memory, I'd say buy the cheapest at the speed you want--provided you have it tested by the store. I'd also suggest one or two 1GB sticks, but if 1GB sticks are too expensive at retail then 2x512MB would probably be OK considering your $800 budget, although not ideal for some new games.
GPU? I'd say a Radeon X1800+ or a GeForce 7600+, depending on what's on sale. $330 for a 7900GT (http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=147049&WT.mc_n=57&WT.mc_t=U&cm_ven=AFFILIATE%20MARKETING&cm_cat=BEFREE&cm_pla=DATAFEED-%3EPRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=57) isn't that bad a retail price, though I don't know if that'll fit within your budget considering retail prices for other parts. I think a Sempron with a 7900GT is a more ideal gaming platform than an A64 with a 7600GT (http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/EVGA-e-GeForce-7600-GT-Graphics-Card-256P2N553DX-/sem/rpsm/oid/147048/catOid/-13043/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do), though. XbitLabs.com has a few good game CPU scaling articles if you'd like to do some research, comparing A64s with Semprons. And obviously you can see GPU scaling in most GPU reviews. Realistically, 7900GTs will probably be as hard to find in stores as on the internet, so a 7600GT is probably more likely to be available. In that case, you can set aside $200 (http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=338095&pfp=BROWSE) to $250 (http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=338239&pfp=BROWSE) plus tax for it and plan the rest of your system around that.
If there are rebates involved, if you have a friend in the US maybe they can help you with them. Especially with memory and video cards, you could save a lot. That 7900GT has a $50 MIR (ends before the 29th, tho), and some 1GB PC3200 DDR sticks have a $30 MIR.
Heck, what about adding a 7600GT or 7900GT to an eMachines A64 or Sempron system (http://www.compusa.com/products/products.asp?dimtype=brand&N=200005+401159&Ne=400000&) with an available PCIe x16 slot? If power supplies are affordable in Brazil, and if you'll need to add an OS, HD, and all that too, I'd consider it. Mostly b/c eMachines seem to have decent basic setups (A64 + decently expandable motherboard), and I like how their power light fades in and out when the machine is on standby (I hate blinking standby lights :mad: ).
Hi, Pete, I really liked your answers. Can you add me to msn?: email@example.com . My parents are not fluent in English at all, so I would like to talk to you closely, if you don't mind...
BTW, yes, heating is a problem here. Using an airconditioner here is too expensive, since it's almost always hot. I turn it on during winter...
Sorry, Juan, but I don't have MSN, if you're looking to IM me. As much as you may like my answers (and I'm glad you do :)), don't take them as gospel, as I have no experience running a PC in a constantly hot and humid environment. Because of that, I suggest we continue the conversation here, in public, so there's at least a chance someone'll say if I'm wrong. We can email if you'd like to, but I think you'd be better served by making this a public discussion.
One thing I recall about humid environments is that some cheaper capacitors don't do so well. I remember reading about this a while back about video cards, but it'd probably apply equally to the capacitors on motherboards. The point was that the all-metal ones (top and right card edges of this 7600GT (http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/14-130-284-03.JPG)) are better than the shrink-wrapped ones (to the right of the heatsink). (I think there's also a newer kind in that pic, the square black unit on the upper-right corner.) Ensuring the MB or GPU you buy uses the better caps might be a smart investment, but it's probably not possible, and you can see that even 7600GT use multiple kinds. Then again, your current MB & GPU are a few years old and probably use the older, shrink-wrapped ones, so I may be blowing this out of proportion. And the problem I read about may have been about a bad batch of that older type of capacitor, rather than the entire type.
But something like a 7600GS with a passive cooler is probably not a good idea unless you add a fan pointing right at the card.
I'd definitely suggest housing this new PC in a case with good airflow, and powering it with a quality power supply. I guess buying an eMachine and adding a good PSU and maybe a case fan would still be the same as if you bought separate components, but the idea of this PC being in an unairconditioned room all summer makes me wary of any corners that eMachines (or any company) may cut to sell <$500 PCs. Again, maybe I'm overreacting. I'm still fairly impressed at the middle two eMachines (http://www.emachines.com/products/desktops.html), considering their price. The A64 3500+ is worth the extra $50 over the Sempron 3400+ for the extra speed and L2 cache and the guaranteed Cool 'n Quiet, but if you can't spare $50 trying to squeeze in a new GPU and PSU and maybe more RAM for under $800, then the Sempron 3400+ isn't a bad compromise (as it's still 64-bit and I think supports CnQ--this review may clarify (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/sempron-3400.html)). These (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/28cpu-games.html) two (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/cpu-games2.html) CPU scaling articles might be helpful, too.
I'd start browsing CompUSA.com, CircuitCity.com, and BestBuy.com to get an idea of pricing and availability in NYC (if that's where your parents are headed). There are surely local PC shops, but I don't know their prices or their reputations.
There are some Microcenters in NY, here's some prices for what I'd probably build on that budget (save for the fact that I'd be ordering from newegg or directron)
AMD® Boxed Sempron Processor 3400+
K8N Neo3-F nForce4-4X Socket 754 ATX Motherboard
Value Select 1.0GB Dual Channel PC-3200 DDR SDRAM Memory Kit
e-GeForce 7600 GT CO 256MB GDDR3 PCI-E x16 Video Card
hard drive $129.99
Caviar SE16 250GB SATA 2 Hard Drive
which leaves you about $100 for a case and powersupply. you'll have to use onboard sound. and you'd have to provide the OS yourself...
Hello guys! Thanks for the advice.
( Pete, my name is Daniel :D. I just got that name from a scientist many years agot ^_^).
I think I will just stick to the videocard, since the other components are usually more popular here, so they are not that much expensive (30% more expensive, whereas the videocard is 300% more expensive :s) . I guess I will choose a 7900GT.
But... I need help with the cooler... What should I get? Certainly, there are not those kinds of things here. Thanks!!!
Try the arctic cooling NV Silence 5 Rev3,best thing about it is that exhausts heat OUT of yr case, I've aleady ordered mine, my 7800GTX reaches 90c(stock) and summer hasn't begun yet here (Egypt), So good heatsinks/fans are a MUST in countries like ours.
in my experience those arctic cooling silencers don't really expell much hot air at all, but they're not bad coolers...
$269 for 7900gt from circuit city. I don't think it would work for him, but that seems a darn sweet deal anyway :)
Heh, OK then, Daniel. :)
I hoe my doom and gloom didn't scare you away from buying things. I mean, I figure the odds are a MB will work, as will a GPU. RAM, I'd be slightly worried about being defective. A CPU is probably also a safe bet. So, if you can save 30% buying three out of those four here, I'd probably go for it. It's your call, though.
Yeah, you'll probably want a quieter cooler for the 7900. An Arctic Cooler is nice b/c it'll push hot air out of the case. Even if Archeolept is right and it won't push much hot air out (which I somewhat doubt), it's better than nothing. OTOH, I had to work at getting my first-generation Silencer to fit into my cases because of some stupid case ridges separating the PCI slots (solved by squishing the ridges with a clamp and plier--what a PITA). You may not have that problem with the new ones.
Or maybe a Zalman VF700 or VF900 (http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29433). They'll be awfully expensive (http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=335794&pfp=SEARCH), though if that tiny stock cooler sounds as annoying as Xbit says (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/geforce7900gt_4.html), $50 would be a bargain. The Zalman also won't evacuate hot air from the case, but the 50W a 7900GT puts out shouldn't be too bad. The VF900 looks to perform better than the VF700, but I can't find it on CUSA's, BB's, CC's, MicroCenter's, or JandR's sites. Maybe a smaller local store will have it.
Sxotty, it's a good price, but the sale ends a day before his parents get here, and I'm not sure if they'll mail the rebate to Brazil. :)
I will certainly ask my parents to bring me the cooler and the graphics card. But I can't count on them to do any complex buy because they don't know english very well... BTW, I will wait the video card price drop until the half, and I will import another one. Probably, the difference in tax import (60%) will be payed by the price I sell it here.
It's likely that I will have a new and good graphics card every year...
So, did everything work out?
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