Jack of all trades - help.

Aloha community,

My stipend has finally come through after a distressful drought period in my applications and I thought I'd award myself with a new Desktop system.

Since I'm a thrifty student, the operation costs - i.e. the power consumption - play an important role. So not surprisingly I'm inclined to use an AMD X2 BE-2400 due to it's low TDP. However, after some reading I'm not quite sure, if the newest Intel generation of dual cores won't be similary frugal in terms of power demand.

What do you guys think? Is it worth waiting and investing in an E5xxx? I don't need top gear equipment, as the maximum I'd like to play is probably TES IV - Oblivion.

I only have vague ideas about the rest:

Mainboard: I guess an AMD790 chip if I'm going for the AMD and a P35 board for the Intel processor? I don't think I'll need Raid, but I suppose a heatpipe with covers north- and southbridge would be advantageous, no?
CPU-cooler: Not a clue. I probably won't overclock though. Doesn't really go inline with my 'low-power' PC idea.
Graphic-card: Radeon HD3850 - apparently able to idle as well.
RAM: DDR2 800MHz, 2GB should be alright?
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint series? SATA
DVD-RW: No clue.
Sound: onboard will suffice.
Case: Mini-Tower?

Comments on any of my points highly appreciated!

6 answers Last reply
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  1. I forgot something (I couldn't edit the initial post):

    Budget is ~£400-500, but I haven't come across a good online store for the UK yet.

    PSU: I've seen that 'be quiet' devices are very efficient. The price/value ration seems to be a bit unreasonable. Are there good alternatives? I suppose that one could go down to 300W with the according PC components.
  2. PSU: Corsair 550VX or anything listed in the top 3 tires here:

    CPU: E21xx <== Low power consuming CPU even if OCed. (not 100% sure on this)
    MB: P35-DS3L
    for OCing info on that motherboard.

    Case: Any mid tower/full tower with enough space
    RAM: 2GB DDR2 800 RAM preferably from Corsair, Crucial, and other good preformence level RAM manufactures.
    HDD: At least 250GB
    GPU: The 3850 if on a budget but consider a 8800GT if possible.
  3. The fact you mentioned 790FX chipset indicates your intention to go Phenom which is the MOST power hungry quad out now. Have you looked at Phenom power consumption charts in reviews? You don't want to.

    Either go with an AM2 X2 brisbane build or the one suggested above.
  4. I do not see any mention of games. That being said(if you are not going to game), onboard video like that found on any Nvidia NF630A based board should do fine. ASUS M2N-VM DVI is a good start

    If you are going to game then a 3850 will work well. It has a good power to performance ratio...

    Case and power supply wise i am willing to bet you can get a Sonata III with a 500 watt earthwatts high efficiency power supply for a good price...

    For a CPU, grab any old Athlon 64 X2 EE(energy efficient) edition.

    You needs will determine you hard drive size.

    For a DVD/CD burner. Just get whats on sale. In general they all tend to fail at the same rate with heavy use.

    For memory Crucial has a there value line Rendition for dirt cheap....grab 2 sticks of it. Be aware some users have had compatibility(Due to the fact that from time to time the rendition sticks are changed, like any value ram) problems with this ram. So getting it from a local store if you can....also Asus motherboards tend to have good ram compatibility....
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    I'm wondering if I shouldn't postphone my buying plans for a couple of months. I just read about nVidia hybrid SLI technology coming to the market soon. Since I will only be occasionally using the computer for playing and the fact that most graphic-cards idle at ridiculously high 100W, hybrid SLI is extremely attractive.

    Does anyone know if AMD and Intel will be producing similar chipsets?
  6. It's unclear how exactly a monitor is hooked up to a hybrid sli. If the onboard video kicks in, do we unplug the sli video & plug it in the onboard connector? We know it's power saving. If we had to have 2 monitors, power saving out the window.

    No, it's only nVidia.
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