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Hi people...Advice for a Senior please

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  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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November 24, 2006 8:07:26 PM

My computer is five years old now and starting to show it's age (like me) and it's giving me problems. It was built for me to my specs.

I want to build a new one just for the satisfaction of doing it.

I'm completely out of touch with modern components. I've spent hours reading forums and each time I choose a motherboard or processor someone comes along and says don't use that, it's rubbish.

I don't want to overclock and I'm not a serious gamer, however I do like to edit digital photographs, make photo cds and edit video. I' like to spend a maximum of 500 uk pounds.

So, the questions are:-

(a) which motherboard
(b) which processor
(c) what memory

The rest of the items I can sort out for myself.

Thanks in advance.

More about : people advice senior

November 24, 2006 8:25:22 PM

i dont really know of any e-tailers in the uk, so im just going to link to newegg, all prices in USD.

the core 2 duo's are the only choice for any kind of computer these days, ther just the best. the E6600 is the best bang for you buck cpu if your not oc-ing (or are).
E6600 - $308

its ram, its 2gb, its cheap.
G. Skill 2GB - $200

i like Asus boards, and i like the P965 chipset, so naturally i like this board alot. really stable
Asus P5B deluxe - $183

total - $691 USD, or 362 pounds

its funny really, those parts are of higher quailty then the ones im going to put in my next build, mainly becuase you have a much higher budget then me, (ie: 500 pounds is about $1000 here, and $1000 is my budget for my entire pc, and your buying 3 componets with that much. lucky.) :) 
November 24, 2006 8:54:11 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, really appreciated.

I probably mislead you with the budget, I meant £500 total for everything.
However your suggestions interest me. I was leaning more towards AMD, simply because that's what I currently have(an ancient 1.4 Athlon) and it's given me good service.
However more and more people seem to prefer the Intel so I may go down that road.
My current motherboard is Asus A7v266 and that too has served me well, but I seem to be reading a lot of negative views on Asus lately regarding stability and memory compatibility.

Thanks again.
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November 24, 2006 8:56:58 PM

I have no idea if their prices are representative of UK prices, but I saw this site in another thread: http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/k.asp - probably give you some idea of what prices are like.
November 24, 2006 8:58:38 PM

oh, ok, so you ment 500 for everthing like video, hdd's, psu, case, ect. you also said you can figure everthing else out yourself, if so, why dont you post what youve already spent for the other stuff, that way we know how much cash there is left to work with.
November 24, 2006 9:21:49 PM

Haven't actually bought anything yet, I was planning to rob the old machine.

There's a fairly new 160gb Maxtor HD, a new 450W ps, and a new and old dvd burner, so all I need is probably a new atx case, video card and sound card. As I said I' m not a gamer so I don't need a fancy video card.

It was really the motherboard and processor I needed advice with, there's so much choice and what one person thinks is superb another person says is useless.

Thanks again.
November 24, 2006 9:28:05 PM

Believe it or not, you cant build em as cheap as buying them pre-built.

My advice is get a Dell or an ACER.

ebuyer.com is about the cheapest around for most everything PC related.

Ebuyer have a T180 that you could add a decent video card to.

Your old HD, despite it's size is probably only useful as a slave. You wanna go SATA.

Alternatively novatech.co.uk do a wide range of machines to suit any budget.
November 24, 2006 9:29:39 PM

what kind of drive? (sata, ide, ect.) you dont really need a sound card unless your an audiophile. i think that this card should be fine for a non-gamer. the core 2 duo is definitely the cpu you want though.
November 24, 2006 9:36:26 PM

Quote:
...I don't want to overclock and I'm not a serious gamer, however I do like to edit digital photographs, make photo cds and edit video...


Starting with the basics.
The best cpus for video editing are Intel Conroe E6xxx.
No overclock means you only need value-ram. It is stable, costs the least and will POST with any motherboard. What you are looking for is 1.8 volt DDR2 533 @ 4-4-4-12. You will want/need 2GB (2x1GB sticks).
The most stable, simple and cost effective motherboards use the Intel P965 chipset and a single PCI-Ex16 videocard slot.
The most often recommended board lately is the Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 or DS3 (better caps). Many other good boards are out there.

IF you really want AMD, then:
You will want a socket AM2 X2 dual core, not the single core cpu.
You will need to buy DDR2-800 ram.
I would recommend a motherboard which uses an NVidia 550 or 570 chipset.

I don't live in the UK, but here are some sources I have found. Maybe you will find a surprise or two...

Overclockers (UK)
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/

Komplett CO. (UK)
http://www.komplett.co.uk/

ebuyer.(UK)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/home/

dabs.(UK)
http://www.dabs.com/

scancomputers(UK)
http://www.scancomputers.co.uk/
November 24, 2006 9:38:38 PM

Thanks monkeymanuk, but I really want to build one just for the fun of it.

apt403, the HD is IDE. I know I should be thinking of Sata because there seems to be a lack of IDE slots nowadays. How many pci slots are in the Asus board you recommended ?
November 24, 2006 9:43:31 PM

i would suggest you get a sata drive, i remember reading somewhere that P965 based boards dont play nice with IDE drives, to answer your question, there are 3 normal PCI slots, 1 PCI 1x slot, and 2 PCI express 16x slots.
November 24, 2006 9:48:24 PM

Thanks everybody, it's now 11:45 pm here in the UK so I'm off to snooze.

Any more comments appreciated and I'll be back tomorrow.
November 24, 2006 9:50:18 PM

Quote:
...It was really the motherboard and processor I needed advice with, there's so much choice and what one person thinks is superb another person says is useless...
Usually this is a case of "buy what I have or you're stupid". There are few components which are truly junk. There are many which are not a good fit for your needs. Asus sent some of the first Conroe boards to market using a chipset that didn't work well with enthusiast ram. It got trashed in the reviews but a simple BIOS update fixed the problem. Other brands had the same problem but by then the issue was well known and accepted.
November 25, 2006 8:56:09 AM

No problem,

With your budget you won't get that good a machine.

Firstly, I would ditch your old machine or use it a file server or something.

Now here's my list of priorities when building a new machine and this goes for my own and systems those I build for cusotmers.

1) PSU - got to be a good one at least 450W, look to spend 10% of your budget on this item alone. £50
2) RAM - Depending on your requirements 1GB min, 2GB recommended £70 - £140
3) HD - Is data important? If so then consider a RAID 1 setup, it can be tricky to set up if you've not done it before as you need the drivers on a floppy during the windows XP set up procedure. £70
4) Motherboard - Again don't scrimp get a good one. I am particularly keen on those that have passive cooling. £60+
5) CPU & GPU. Gotta go dual core, spend less on CPU to get better GPU depending on your game playing if any. lot's of choice, you can get Intel dual core 820 for £70, Intel E6300 or AMD Athlon X2 4200+ for £125.
6) Case - Anything under £30 is probably made from flimsy steel. Buy one without a PSU to get better quality. My personal favourite at the moment is coolermaster centurion http://www.aria.co.uk/productinfocomm.asp?id=16357 .It's good quality plenty of expansion inside, fan slot to cool drive bays.
7) DVD/RW dont spend too much, they arent made to last these days.


PSU - £50
RAM - £70
HD - £70
MB - £60
CPU/GPU - £180
CASE - £45
DVD/RW - £20

£495!!!

As far as buying mobo etc, anything that overclocks well is a good indicator of quality. Unfortunately I don't have much experience with Intel boards so can't really help with recommendations. AMD boards, I would go for DFI, ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE mostly in that order.

Hope that helps.
!