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Low budget build - help please!

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July 4, 2007 10:37:06 AM

Hi.

I gotta put together a couple of machines for my company after our IT guy offered us some crap machines at rip off prices and my boss turned to me.

* Used for database work and general office stuff.

* I'll probably do a moderate overclock on the CPU seeing as there's no reason not to really. As such I need a decent OC-friendly motherboard.

* Would be nice to be able to just switch up to a Conroe quad core or something in the future without needing to start from scratch. Not sure if the board I chose can do this though. Anyone know for sure which P965 boards will be ok in this regard?

* Any suggestions really need to be available from ebuyer as we're in the UK and have an account with them.

* I'm looking at pretty low end dual core, so with that in mind is there much benefit in holding off until the 22nd? From what I understand the biggest benefit from the price drops is at the high end quad cores, is that correct?

Asus P5B motherboard £51.05 ex VAT

Core 2 Duo E4300 CPU £61.81 ex VAT

Seagate 7200.10 160GB hard drive £29.80 ex VAT

Corsair XMS 2GB DDR2-5400 RAM £40.36 ex VAT

Sony Opticarc SATA DVD writer £16.46 ex VAT

Antec SLK1650 case w/ 350W PSU £34.78 ex VAT

Total £234.26 excluding VAT

Anything glaringly wrong with that selection? I guess onboard video should be fine for what we do here, and the board has got a slot for a video card if we ever need one in the future. With that in mind though, might it be a better idea to get a Sonata II case? It's £17 more than the one I listed but comes with a 450W PSU.

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July 4, 2007 12:36:41 PM

That mobo hasn`t got a integrated video, i thing the G965 series have. Using a integrated video MB will decrease you overclock. I suggest going for a 7100GS videocard.
July 4, 2007 1:09:51 PM

Ah ok, thanks for that. I'll take a look at cheapo video cards then.

I also noticed the case I chose is down in the micro ATX section so it might be a squeeze to say the least, and on newegg (which is more useful for user comments than UK sites) a fair few people had problems with the PSU. I myself have a Sonata II and it's never given me shit, so seeing as it's not my money I'll use those instead I think. :) 
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July 4, 2007 1:45:23 PM

Well for general office use you should go for low end low power setup. It's more efficient and economical use for your company and thus requiring small amount of money to run. Your setup looks good to me.
July 4, 2007 2:15:42 PM

I think an AMD 3600+ Brisbane with the Sapphire 690 MOBO would be well suited to this. You can get the 3600+ bundles with 2GB G.Skill PC6400 for $140 shipped and the Sapphire MOBO for $65. The board overclocks well if you decide you want to and the on board video is great (x1250)

That would make a great, low power, cool, budget office setup. Thats what I would build. Those brisbanes overclock to 2.5Ghz on the stock cooling too.

Good Luck. (Both prices were from newegg) Oh, and I would go with the Sonata II or III too. Good quality case. A Small mATX may be a good idea too.
July 9, 2007 3:28:25 PM

Thanks a lot for the help, eventually opted for:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ £44.15
Sapphire 690G mATX £46.43
Corsair XMS2 (2 x 1GB) DDR2 667 £47.43
Seagate 7200.10 250GB 16MB cache £42.07
NEC Optiarc 7170S SATA DVDRW £19.45
Antec SLK1650 w/ 350W PSU £30.59
Windows XP MCE 2005 £69.31

Total £299.43
July 9, 2007 3:42:37 PM

I've been told its best to use DDR 800 RAM on AMD processors. Is that correct?

It may raise teh price of your build though.
July 9, 2007 7:50:40 PM

Yes it's correct about the ram and AMD cpus, and why don't you look for the E2140 instead of the E4300, it's about $45 bucks cheaper in america, don't know in britain.
July 10, 2007 8:46:32 AM

yzerwing: "Best" in what way? Obviously it's always best to use faster RAM if your budget allows for it, but mine didn't really; in the US DDR800 seems to have price parity with DDR667 but that's certainly not the case in the UK sadly. But if it's "best" to use DDR800 because slower RAM causes problems then that's a different matter.

Emp: I went for AMD processors in the end as I couldn't justify paying nearly twice as much for an Intel CPU/board combo.

EDIT: Looked into it a bit and I assume yzerwing is referring to memory divider issues? Whereby DDR800 will operate at 100% efficiency at a wider range of CPU speeds than slower RAM. Well while annoying, that's not the end of the world (in fact by the looks of it if I leave the 3800+ at their stock 2Ghz then the DDR667 will run at 100% speed).

http://www.behardware.com/articles/625-2/socket-am2-ddr...
July 10, 2007 1:01:10 PM

Man 667 and 533 is fine with x2's. If it for SOHO use. I mean honestly ddr2 800 is almost twice the price of 667 and 533 outside the US for a little bit better performance. ($50 for 1gig 667 OCZ and $85 for OCZ 800) It doesn't win bang for buck in general office apps unless you happen to work for a video production company and need to max out performance wise. Honestly, what typical office apps will be compromised by the difference. It's not like office apps are as intensive as Oblivion
July 10, 2007 1:55:06 PM

foxrocks said:
yzerwing: "Best" in what way? Obviously it's always best to use faster RAM if your budget allows for it, but mine didn't really; in the US DDR800 seems to have price parity with DDR667 but that's certainly not the case in the UK sadly. But if it's "best" to use DDR800 because slower RAM causes problems then that's a different matter.

Emp: I went for AMD processors in the end as I couldn't justify paying nearly twice as much for an Intel CPU/board combo.

EDIT: Looked into it a bit and I assume yzerwing is referring to memory divider issues? Whereby DDR800 will operate at 100% efficiency at a wider range of CPU speeds than slower RAM. Well while annoying, that's not the end of the world (in fact by the looks of it if I leave the 3800+ at their stock 2Ghz then the DDR667 will run at 100% speed).

http://www.behardware.com/articles/625-2/socket-am2-ddr...


AMD CPUs take a performance hit if not paired with DDR2 800, Intel CPU on the other hand work the same with 533, 667, 800, and above.

Look at these kits:

GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C5 800MHz Value DDR2 Dual Channel Kit [£44.99]

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 TwinX (2x1GB) [£51.99]

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

Is it worth losing performance over saving $5 bucks? I don't think so
July 10, 2007 1:56:44 PM

if its for your office, then i wouldnt overclock as reliability and stability are more important for an office. Also overclocking will heat up all the internal components more. I think the key to an office computer is to run it as cool as possible. I would focus more on setting of a raid configuration with decent harddrive cooling to protect the company's important data.

for processor you might also want to consider the athlon X2 BE processors (45watt) or the new celeron core solo processors (35watt)
July 10, 2007 9:06:13 PM

Emp: I'll hold my hands up and admit that's me being guilty of not shopping around enough. If I can I will return the DDR667 to ebuyer and get some DDR800 from overclockers. Thanks for pointing that out!
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