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Last Updated: 27 July 2008


In this category of personal computers the main priority is pricing, with reliability as a close second consideration. Price has always been the number one concern of most Malaysian PC buyers.


While performance is important, we do not consider it a top priority when building a budget system; it is something that is considered after the total cost and system reliability has been established. This is not to say that performance is ignored - it has just taken a back seat due to budget constraints. We also believe that you're more than likely to be keeping this budget system for quite a long time without modification - at least 2˝ to 3 years. Some of our clients are still running their Intel Pentium III 750 MHz PCs purchased over five years ago!


System Platform

2006 is a year of change and both Intel and AMD have moved on to higher performance platforms featuring higher bus speeds and DDR-2 RAM. In July Intel will launch a new processor, the Core 2 Duo, to replace the under-performing Pentium 4 and Pentium D. Meanwhile, AMD will launch its new platform with socket AM2, together with new and lower power consumption CPUs. The current sweet spot for budget systems is still with the AMD platform, with the AMD Sempron now occupying the low end of the market. For those wanting a little more performance and smoother multi-tasking, the Intel Pentium D 805 (2.66 GHz) is worth considering, albeit at a higher system price.


With AMD transitioning to the higher performance Socket AM2, there are bargains to be had on the Socket 754/939 platform, now into its final six months or so of production.


Mainboard: K8NGM-V  (nVidia GeForce 6100 + nForce 410)   CPU: AMD Sempron™ 64 2800+ processor in a box
Approximate Retail Price: RM 505


The MSI mainboard is a solid board and its main attributes are reliability, up to date features and excellent price. The performance of the nVidia GeForce 6100 integrated chipset is competitive and there is no need to buy DIMMs in pairs. Its feature set is basically sufficient to serve the needs of the home users or small businesses. With an onboard Serial ATA, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet controller (LAN and broadband ready) and USB 2.0 ports, there is little left to ask for in a low cost system. The AMD Sempron™ 64 2800+ runs at a 1.6 GHz clock speed. This CPU offers excellent performance in today's business applications and games while being very light on the wallet. The Sempron is also 64-bit capable and there should be no problem running the latest Microsoft Windows Vista when it is released in 2007.


Graphics Card & Memory


Graphics Card: MSI MS-V040TD RX1300PRO (256MB RAM)  Approximate Retail Price: RM 375

Memory: 1 x 1 GB Apacer PC3200 (CAS 2.5) Approximate Retail Price: RM 300


The GeForce 6100's integrated video controller is generally capable enough for non-gamers and the purchase of a discrete video display card is not deemed to be necessary. 2D quality will live up to business users' needs, that is, crisp text and excellent clarity in general. The MSI RX1300PRO should be considered optional and only required if you play 3D games on your computer. At less than RM 400, it is a reasonable enough for an upgrade to enable 3D games to be playable. The Apacer memory module is rated at PC3200 CAS 2.5. The price of memory has declined significantly and 1 GB is generally considered to be highly affordable. As the motherboard needs to allocate some system memory to the on-board integrated graphics controller, having a little more RAM than usual will ensure that the PC is not bottlenecked and performance is maintained.


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