Originally Posted by Ralph3
Believe it or not I have spent most of this week researching this exact idea. After reading tons and tons of user reviews and manufacturer websites, I have my system all speced out, and ironically it totals up to just under $1,500. Amazingly, NewEgg carries every single part (except of course the HDHomeRun), and, happens to have the best (or close to it) pricing that I found on each part as well.
Here's what I came up with. It includes everything except a remote control, which I've yet to decide on. Total price without the remote is $1,496.
300 Western Digital WD10EACS 1 TB HDD
199 Antec FUSION black microATX media center computer case w/ 430W power supply
195 Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz processor
180 Vista Ultimate
125 MSI RX2600XT-T2D512EZ Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB PCI-e x16 DVI/HDMI silent heat-pipe video card
120 ASUS P5K-VM LGA 775 Intel G33 MicroATX mainboard
70 Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250 GB HDD
58 CORSAIR XMS2 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz SDRAM (2 DIMMS)
42 Iogear GKM541R wireless keyboard & mouse
29 ASUS black SATA DVDRW drive
9 Zonet ZEW1602A b/g PCI wireless adapter w/ extended antenna
Last night I finished testing a new build. I purchased the Dual-Core E2180
processor ($92) and overclocked it to 3500 Mhz. It can run at 3000 Mhz on stock voltage. I also purchased the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 to cool the processor. I tried the stock cooler, but the Arctic Cooling one was about 10C cooler on load. The Abit IP35-E motherboard (no firewire) is very good and I have seen it for about $70 with rebate.
For a video card I purchased the Sapphire 2900Pro when it was $264 at newegg. I used the Overdrive feature of the Catatlyst Control Center to automatically overclock the card to 856/900. Last night I 3DMark06 several times and my highest score was 13,131. Using Rivatuner, the fan can be set to run at 25% and is inaudible at that speed.
I was building a couple computers, so I purchased both GSkill and Geil 800 Mhz RAM. The Geil Esoteria
was able to run up to 1080 Mhz. It is only $45 after rebate.
I have a Silverstone LC14 case and love it, but I don't see it at newegg (a different build than the one I just did). I have also built an HTPC with the Silverstone LC17
and it is also a very nice case. This case with a Corsair 520HX is very quiet. I just paid $80 for my 520HX (at buy.com). It is an excellent modular power supply with the 8-pin connector for the 2900PRO.
You can save money on the processor and spend more on the video card, have a more powerful computer, and possibly spend less money altogether. The only problem is that the 2900PRO is usually only in stock at newegg for a few hours.