As I mentioned in my previous post, I am looking for a wireless keyboard & mouse, a 1GB memory card and a graphics card for $300. After spending several hours frantically searching for various deals I finally came to a conclusion about what I want. However the budget has gone overboard.
For the memory, the search was simple. I need a 1GB 800MHz RAM for under $30. I first went to newegg.com as usual and found a deal almost immediately. The link is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146117. I know the link will not live for ever, so for reference it is a mushkin 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory. It comes with a heat spreader (awesome :-), and a near 5 star rating in newegg.com. The only complain people had was about its large heat spreader which may obstruct another memory when attempting to place beside it in the next DIMM slot. I don't think that will be an issue for me. Let us see. And it has free shipping too! Sweet. The total cost came out to $27 shipped. It saved $3 from my budget allocation. Score!
Next I need a nvidia 8800 GT 512MB for about $230. This was very difficult. I searched for deals everywhere I could find. The best I could get was $268 (because of taxes in CA, for the first time I hate to be in CA). But I sold my soul to the devil and went with a cheaper offer, but it was in backorder. The ETA it seems is 30 Jan 2008. Not too bad, just 5 more days. I guess I can take that kind of risk :-). But the good news is that it is an EVGA card. From the reviews I found out that it is one of the better cards. Although some reviewers said the fan was loud when the PC boots, it is not a problem for me. My PC is always on. Many have reported that it can be overclocked considerably. However I don't plan to overclock it any time soon. I plan to play games at 1280x720 resolution on my TV and that should be plenty for the games I intend to play. Once more demanding games come about I will probably overclock it. Finally for the price. It weighted in at $242. Damn the shipping costs. The card itself goes for $228, but there is a $14 shipping charge. By the way I found it at ncixus.com. I went $12 over budget. Oh well.
Finally it is time to buy a wireless keyboard and mouse. This turned out to be the most difficult of all. I researched and searched and searched. There are far too many parameters. It should have a long range. 10 ft is a good start but most of them have a range of 6 ft only. The next problem is mouse not being very responsive. So no matter what the product specification says about the mouse's DPI, it just is not good enough if the receiver cannot pick up all the data. I have never used a wireless mouse or keyboard from close range let alone controlling my TV from my couch. Hence this will be a big risk. The next parameter to worry about is the batteries. I wanted a product that comes with rechargeable batteries and a charger. This made the task of finding a product incredibly difficult. Add to it, the budget of $40. These things are very expensive. I did not allocate the budget wisely. After much research I finally set my eyes on Logitech 1500 laser wireless keyboard and mouse. It comes with a charger. The ratings are average at best (I found very few reviews). No one mentioned the range exactly. All they said was "the range is great" or "the range is better than most wireless keyboards I used". Whatever that means. The best price I could get for it is $58 shipped. That is $18 over my budget! It is a no go for now. My plan is to go out to some local stores and see if I can find anything better. If everything fails, I will be back and purchase it for $58.
So a little more searching and I found the keyboard and mouse for $53. If I use Google checkout for the first time I could get it for $43 which will be very close to my budget. What do I do? Just ask my friend to open a Google account and make her buy it! Simple. The final price came out to $43 and the site I bought it is buy.com.
My total comes out to $27 + $242 + $43 = $312. I wish I could find a cheaper GPU. From looking at past deals I know I should have brought the card during thanksgiving when dell was carrying it for $208 + shipping and tax. I probably would have made it with my budget. But all in all I am quite satisfied with my adventure. Just $12 overboard.