Bill Mao's New Computer

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OK, my third system this year based on the Shuttle. Bill wants to edit videos mainly and also use this machine to access the Internet. That sort of thing. He was looking at the Sony system which costs $1900. That machine has a Pentium 3.2GHz, 1GB memory and a 200GB hard disk plus a DVD and CD drive. Let’s see if we can do better. Here is the targeted buy. The main difference is that it uses the absolute best components, but doesn’t have a warranty or software on it nor an extra CD. It is much more compact though.\
The main changes even since the December recommendation are the new ultra-quiet Western Digital fluid bearing drive is just out. No reviews yet, but promises to be good and finding on pricewatch.com a bundle deal for the CPU and Shuttle system at $715.
| Component | Price | Comment |
| Shuttle SN85G4 | “$340”:http://pricescan.com/itemsx/item368733.asp | “$330”:http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=150965 at zipzoomfly, but out of stock. Ewiz has CPU and Shuttle for “$715”:http://ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-S85G4%2BC |
| AMD Athlon 64 3200+ | “$300”:http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=80700-OEM | “3000+”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=1734754/blsrt=1/ut=0ce4169308a239fb is $215 |
| Corsair TWINX2048-3200 2GB | “$504”:http://www.pricewatch.com/1/33/5550-1.htm | Or, Kingston 1GB PC3200 KHX3200AK21G for “$198”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=939430/blsrt=1/ut=0ce4169308a239fb |
| Optorite DD0401 | “$136″:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=1595697/blsrt=1/ut=0ce4169308a239fb | 8x DVD+/-RW and Optorites are good |
| Western Digital WD2500PB |”$210”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=1571747/blsrt=1/ut=0ce41693ae1ec9b4 | Hitachi Travelstar 7K250 is “$292”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=1519733/ut=0ce41693ae1ec9b4 and 10% faster |
| ATI Radeon 9600 All in Wonder | “$211”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=1089875/blsrt=1/ut=0ce41693ae1ec9b4 | Has video capture too |
| Total | $1,661 | Without monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers |
| Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard + Mouse | “$28”:http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=211209 | OEM keyboard, in black as he likes |
| AOpen | “$10”:http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=36-154-010&catalog=60&depa=1 | He’s not fussy about these 🙂 |
| Total | $1699 | Without monitor |
BTW, the really great monitors right now are is the Samsung Syncmaster “191T”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=552795/ut=0ce41693ae1ec9b4 at $641, it got a great Tom’s Hardware review.
“ExcaliberPC”:http://www.excaliberpc.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=24&products_id=2973 is doing a promotion for a Shuttle XPC SN85G4 and the AMD Athlon 3200+ for $725, which is normally $740 from Zipzoomfly. There is also a $30 rebate on SN85G4 through January 5 as well. Only issue is I’ve never bought from Excaliber before.
“Storage Review”:http://storagereview.com/articles/200309/20030904WD2500JD_1.html. The Western Digital product line is really confusing but the folks at Storage Review demystify. Basicaly, the is the basic BB line, the JB line has 8MB cache and is very fast, the PB has quieter fluid bearings and the JD are their serial ATA versions. The last should be faster but aren’t because they are really using bridging from EIDE ATA-100 to Serial-ATA-150. Best best right now is the WD2500PB which is quiet and fast.
“AnandTech’:http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1905&p=8 had a quick review of the ATI Radeon 9600 All-in-wonder. Said it had decent performance at a decent price which at $145 makes it a great price/performance buy if you need analog input or PVR functions.

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