Help me assemble a system ($1000-$1200)


Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
Okay, I'm in the process of piecing together a system for my father. I have built 6-7 pc's in the past few years, so I'm very comfortable with the process. This is the first time I've had a smaller budget, so I'm looking for a little advice on components. The budget is $1000-$1200 and the target is 1GHz. Personally, I only have experience with Intel cpus, but I'm considering going Athlon on this one (due to price, primarily). The only component I have is the case (Enlight 7237 300w PS), so I need everything else:

cpu (considering Athlon T-Bird 1GHz)
mobo (considering MSI K7T PRO2-A)
memory (128M-256M)
HD (at least 20G, 7200rpm)
cdrw (optional)
sound card
vid card
speakers (optional)

No monitor, keyboard, mouse, or modem is needed. The pc will likely not be very heavily stressed, but I'm looking for quality components that will last him a while (he's still running a P166 if that tells you how often he upgrades, hehe). There will likely be no overclocking. I am doing research/info gathering on my own, but any input you all could offer me would be appreciated.


Senior member
Nov 25, 2000
memory=> 256 if you are using win2k buy brand name ones.
mobo=> you have selected the best or atleast one of the best.
Video=> ATI Radeon 32 mb DDR.
HD=> Best is IBM 75 GXP. but you can buy maxtor or western digital both are decent hard drives.
CD ROM=> I would suggest go for a DVD ROM anyhting like 12x and up DVD rom will be great. there is not a huge difference between the brand but you might buy a decent brand for better customer support.
sound card=> creative sound blaster live!
CDRW=> plextor 12x10x32 with burn proof technology.

office boy

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
Sound = SBLive (oem=$50)
Video = Matrox G400 or G450 ($100-$150)
The lovely Asus 50x CD, for nice quiet and fast eh cd-rom'ing ($45)
With that budget you can get 256Mb of ram. (256MB PC-150 = $170 from Mwave)
Nice Plex 12X burner = $250 (you can get deals for a lot less)
Drive = Quantum from Staples 20/30/40GB models, (lot of coupons, and rebates PM me if you need help with those)
And about the motherboard, Everyone here says good stuff about the MSI K7T, but I just don't see any good reviews for it. (I like the Asus).
And then the CPU.. that should get you up to the mid $1100 range.



Oct 1, 2000
Aim for a bigger hard drive, 40-45 gig are the best value currently you can find them for $120-$150.

CDRW- for the money- Cendyne (with Nero 5) / for the best- Plextor

Don't be afraid of Athlons, be afraid of cheap power supplies that I wouldn't even run a Pentium on (get a sparkle or other top rated PSU since you can take it with you on practically any further upgrade, and be afraid of cheap motherboards (I think the one you picked is the only one that goes to 1.5GHz and is stable. It looks like you are on the right track. SBLive Value is good, it will give you plenty of sound inputs for your drives, but may be touchy setting up.


Platinum Member
Oct 22, 2000
I'd suggest the Quantum Fireball AS (7200rpm, quiet, 8.5ms, 2platters). On you can get it for around $100 for a 40gigger after the coupon and the Quantum $40 Mail-in rebate :)


Sep 5, 2000
If he doesn't want to play games consider cheaper graphics cards. You could buy a TNT2 or something and save some cash instead of getting a geforce or radeon. Youmay even consider one with little to no 3d acceleration, but i think if you want it to last a bit, 3d accelration is a must.