Help me spend $600


Senior member
Aug 17, 2004
Hey everyone, here is my rig as of now:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Newcastle
MSI K8N Neo Platinum
Corsair Value RAM 1GB (512 x 2)
BFG GeForce 6800GT OC
Fortron 400W PSU
Lite-on 52x32x52x16 CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
Western Digital 10,000RPM 74GB Raptor
Seagate 160GB 7200.7RPM SATA
Mitsumi 1.44Mb Floppy
Viewsonic E90fb Monitor
Creative Labs Inspire 5.1 Digital 5700 speakers

Here's my tenative plan:

The first thing I'd like to do is make this computer use my television as a monitor. THIS is my television.
It does not look very good just using S-Video, but I was wondering if I used THIS DVI to component adapter ($28.00) if would look good not only for gaming, but for watching DVDs and doing everyday computer stuff like browsing the internet. If it won't, then that pretty much screws up my plan so far. So, do you all think it will work?

So, if I used my TV as my monitor, I would need a wireless keyboard and mouse. I would like to get the Logitech MX1000, but it apparently is not bundled with any keyboards, and I cannot find any feasible wireless keyboards that come by themselves. Therefore, I would go with the Logitech Cordless MX Duo Elite Keyboard w/MX700 ($59.99). This isn't really a HUGE loss in performance...(I would probably be like 6-8 feet from the TV, 10 max), but if someone could figure out a way for me to get the MX1000 without buying another keyboard/mouse combo, I would greatly appreciate it.

This is where the free reign comes in for the last $500 or so.

The internet connection is in my bedroom, which is right next to the living room with the TV. This means that I would have to run an annoying cat5 cord to my computer in another room. I would only need the router and one wireless card for a desktop. The computer upstairs can remain corded for now and my laptop already has a wireless card.

So I'm looking for your suggestions on that front. I would probably go the LINKSYS route, but if someone can recommend something better, that's fine. Also, is it worthwile to go with 802.11g, or should I just use 802.11b? We're talking about maybe 15 ft. at most with a straight line. There is only one wall inbetween where the router would be and where the computer would be. I would like to keep this under $120.00, leaving me with a little under $400 to spend.

The next thing I would want would be a DVD burner. I would probably go with NEC's ND-3500A for $69, as recommended by Anandtech. Then I would get these DVD's ($39 with shipping)

And that's where I'm stuck...with a little under $300 to spend.

Do I liquid cool my system? It's got 5 case fans, the stock amd cpu cooler and the stock fans on the BFG card. Or do I just beef up the CPU cooler? My CPU right now is 47C, and the system is 22C, and it doesn't get too much worse under a heavy load.

Do I get one more stick of RAM to make 1.5GB? I'm prett much strapped for Anandtech users, what would you do with the money? You could even suggests alternatives if you don't think the TV monitor setup will work out. I'm pretty much open to any ideas except a new monitor or speakers, or a printer.

Thanks all,


Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Aug 23, 2003
I suggest you go to AVSForum, go to their HTPC section, and do some reading. You have the right idea with the DVI to Component Adapter, although I'm not 100% sure that it will work with your Nvidia card (I see no reason for it not to).

The biggest thing about enjoying the setup is to tweak the display correctly. You'll be wise to purchase a copy of PowerStrip so you can tweak the display timings to best match your HDTV.

Get the Cordless MX Duo; it's accurate and the range is good.

802.11b is adequate, but it's going extinct. Most new devides are G, and if you plan on gaming you'll be better off getting the highest speed/lowest latency wireless connection possible. Look at the LinkSys Super-G products, and get their SuperG router and PCI card.

Get the ND3500A; great burner. Skip the "Legacy" 8X media and get good Ritek 4X G04 media for less (also at Newegg for under $30 for 100pk).

I would hold onto that last $300; it won't do any good right now, but in a year it will be enough to buy a new motherboard and a 2.4GHz 90nm CPU (that will overclock to 2.8, hopefully :D)


Senior member
Aug 17, 2004
I must say, that is actually very good advice :) If there were some kind of karma system or something on this board, you would most definitely be getting some :) Thanks a lot man :)