Please help a first timer


Although I'm a geek through and through, I haven't been keeping up with the hardware side of things lately. Which means that now I'm looking to build a machine for the first time, I've lost myself in a big soup of Core 2 Duo (doesn't that make it a quad??? but there is already a quad!), AMD PhoneHome and random other things.

So... I would love your help in pointing me in the right direction. Considerations:

1. Here in the UK, what's a good place to buy component? I don't care for super-fast delivery but I want cheap and reliable. I'm assuming online is best and I've been looking at eBuyer.

2. Should I get everything from scratch or are there good barebones systems out there?

3. Budget is £300-500, the lower the better.

4. Linux compatibility is important.

5. I already have a DVI monitor.

With that, the questions:

1. What mobo + CPU combo to get? Is a quad core processor really necessary these days? I do some graphics work but nothing complex - just cook up some images for websites. Is an FSB of 1033 needed or would something lower work? What's a good cheap Intel processor?

2. What kind of RAM to get? What are the good brands? I think 2GB is sufficient for now.

3. Case + PSU. I've come across 650W PSUs and that just struck me as ridiculously high. What's a good PSU size these days? Any good cases to consider? I don't care what it looks like - the key is how easy it is to build with. Size is also important - nothing too big.

4. I can figure out a HDD and a DVD+/-RW drive. Is there a good cheap BluRay drive? If not, no matter.

5. Graphics card: I have no idea how to choose one. I want something good and fast, but I don't do 3D gaming. A good middle-of-the-range card.

6. Anything else I'm missing?

Thank you in advance for all your help.

2 answers Last reply
More about please timer
  1. -CASE: Antec Sonata3 comes with a decent power supply for about $100 American.
    -Processor: Q9550 (quad 2.83 GHz) or a E8400 (dual-core 3 GHz)
    -Memory: 4GIGs of DDR2 cost about $40 right now.. Try Kingston, Corsair, Mushkin
    -Motherboard: Asus p5q pro or deluxe
    -Video card: ATI 4830
    -MX-2 thermal paste.

    Unfortunately I am in Canada, I have no clue where you buy hardware… that list should get you started.
  2. Thanks for that grieve. I'm looking at putting something together.

    Any other suggestions most welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
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