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Will this do the job?

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Last response: in Systems
November 9, 2009 8:19:43 AM

Hi all,

I've been out of PC gaming for a while, but now want to put a new system together to play Dragon Age: Origins.

I'm on a tight budget so was thinking of buying this system from ebay (I'm in Australia):

I've got a Coolermaster Centurion case (not sure of exact model) that I'd transfer everything to. Obviously I'd buy a new video card, too.

Here are the system requirements for DA:o :

It seems to me that the motherboard, CPU/RAM combo in that system would do the job. It seems like a good deal when looking at Australian prices. I'm concerned about the "ASRock" motherboard though - I haven't heard of them before.

Keep in mind I'm not looking for anything hardcore. I don't play FPSs on PC. Just want to play DA:o  and maybe Mass Effect 2 when it comes out.


More about : job

November 9, 2009 2:17:06 PM

Pretty cheap BUT:

1) The psu looks to be crap and you will want to buy a new one with your new video card purchase.

2) It has an OS loaded but what OS? Do you get the original CD with the key? I doubt it.

3) He seems to hide explicit info such as the exact model of that cpu used and the OS info.

My spidey senses tell me to tell you to build your own instead of this system.

Hand pick your parts. You seem to be educated enough to build one if you can move parts from one system to another case so build your own.

Whats your max budget and what parts do you not need to buy? We will give you some suggestions on a parts list once you give us those parameters... ;) 
November 9, 2009 2:53:49 PM

I didn't get the impression the seller was "hiding" anything, I just got the impression that they don't know a whole lot about computers. I do agree with everything you said though.

For only $250 AUD, this computer is definetely a bargain, but it also has plenty of "bargain-quality" parts. I'd recommend it for a cheap business workstation, but not for a personal gaming PC.
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November 9, 2009 6:38:55 PM

He may not know much info about the pc he is trying to sell, I will give you that. But, if you are going to sell something on ebay and promise to install windows XP it's not an ethical practice to install an OS on a system you are selling and not give the OS disk and CD key and he should give more detail such as the exact cpu that is installed.

He may be including the OS disk but I have to assume hes not since he doesn't specify, thats part of the info I feel he is mainly withholding. If you can't give the disk don't offer the install. otherwise say the disk is included...
November 9, 2009 7:36:38 PM

If you go through his links at the bottom of the add, you can see it's a Phenom II Black Edition X2 550. He's posted a photo of his actual box.

I think I should stress that I'm not necessarily looking for a modern "games machine". Want I am after is a machine that will play Dragon Age: Origins at low to medium settings, at say 1440x900.

That said, I'd be looking to spend as little as possible to achieve the above.

In terms of re-usable parts I have, there's:

* Centurion case (not sure of model, 2x120mm fans)
* 430W power supply that came with the case
* My hard drive, can't recall details (am at work) but it's 7,200rpm SATA
* My optical drive
* All peripherals
* Monitor

Here's a shop that I find has good Australian prices:

Any feedback much appreciated.
November 9, 2009 8:05:04 PM

It sounds like you are primarily interested in the mobo, CPU, and memory.

ASRock is one of the better manufacturers of entry level mobos and the model listed is a solid unit.

The X2 550 is a great entry level and a little above CPU - here is a recent THG review of $100 CPUs including that one.,243...

Corsair makes solid although not necessarily spectacular RAM. I would need to know the timings to say more about it except that it should be more than adequate for your intended use.

Note that the AU $250 is just the minimum bid - do you think it will go for that?
November 9, 2009 8:15:46 PM

What are your plans for an operating system?

Without the disc the OS likely cannot be transferred to another system. Even with the disc, if it is OEM (original equiment manufacturer) version rather than "retail boxed" it is not transferable. Obviously this could add another significant amount to your costs.
November 9, 2009 8:16:27 PM

Thats a decent processor and can handle your requirements fine.

It appears you need an operating system? You don't have that on your reusable list. You need to consider this due to if you have a hard drive failure or need to reinstall for some other reason you will need this.

November 9, 2009 8:35:39 PM

If you win this system, why transfer it to a different box instead of just using as is?

I checked a few prices on the site you listed and came up with this - with an option on the CPU - both are reviewed in the link given above so you can decide which best meets your particular needs. Note that the site did not have much in the way of lower end products with which I am familar - so this is not a "cheap" build but a good one. And it might be a better option if the eBay system sells for much more than its minimum bid.

AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6Ghz AM3 95W
Internet Price : $129.00 - Retail Price : 139.00
AMD Phenom II 550 DualCore 3.1GHz 7MB CACHE 80W BLACK ED
Internet Price : $116.00 - Retail Price : 126.00

Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P AMD770/SB700 chipset/DDR3 1600 $108.00

Corsair TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX 2GB (2x XMS3 1GB) PC-10600 (1333MHz) DDR3 RAM $75.00

Total with the cheaper CPU - $309

Note that is is AM3 socket with DDR3 memory - both better for future upgradibility and the memory is 1333 MHz - faster than the 800 MHZ in the eBay system. Also note though that it is only 2 GB of memory vs. 4 GB in the other. 2 GB is considered the minumum for a system running Vista and I - and others - recommend 4 GB - but that would be another $75. Also note that the mobo has 4 memory slots so you can add two more GB later if you choose.

This would really make a nice system - much more than you are looking for. I just did not know how to craft a cheaper one from their parts and I would hate to build an AM2 and DDR2 system now - not that there is anything wrong with the eBay one - but future upgradibility starts becoming an issue later with the older parts.
November 10, 2009 12:36:17 AM

I second rockyjohns suggestion. I am all for building your own if you can get even close to what it costs buy the ebay system. You will need to add the additional cost of your own OS if you don't have one to use. That will be around another 100.00 or so but still makes for a much better system and will have a warranty that you can RMA the parts if they fail (mobo most likely to go).

The ebay purchase is an as is and if it dies on you it will be your responsibility to pay to repair it...
November 10, 2009 1:13:23 AM

Han - I see the ebay computer sold for the $250 minimum bid. Did you get it? If so you may have gotten a real bargain.

Please update us and we need some feedback about the above questions and items if you want us to try and help you further.
November 10, 2009 1:50:49 AM

That wouldn't be a bad deal for that. Hopefully you won it for that price. If not, we will be glad to try and help you put something together.

If you didn't win, put your max budget what you are willing to put into the parts and we will get to work for you.
November 10, 2009 5:16:43 AM

I was waiting to hear back on postage as I didn't think his $20 was realistic, so I didn't win it unfortunately! However, there are a few other similar options that I found today. They're on my work computer though, so I may post some up tomorrow.

One positive I saw on the ebay buy (if the price was right) rather than a new build was the potential to sell off unwanted parts, as well as a spare hard drive, etc. Although I am liking your build above, rockyjohn.

Also I have an XP disk around here somewhere, will probably put that on, as I note that Dragon Age lists lower requirements for XP.

November 10, 2009 6:16:23 AM

Sorry to hear you were not the winner. But as some solace keep in mind that had you started bidding against the person who won - you don't know how high they might have been willing to bid anyway.

Regarding XP, it does put less of a load on system resources so it is a lot easier to get by with 2 GB of memory with it than with Vista.

If you can find a supplier that handles those ASRock mobos you might be able to knock about $30 (just guessing based on US prices) of the mobo cost.
November 10, 2009 6:25:59 AM

Here's another one, ending soon (hopefully I get some responses quickly!):

The processor isn't up to the same standard ... but it's cheaper. Also I could use the 500 gigs of HD. Do you guys reckon it'd need much upgrading to run Dragon Age decently, on XP (see link to specs in my first post)? It'd be handy if I could limp through on that video card and upgrade when the next big game came along ...
November 10, 2009 8:25:36 AM

Scratch that. The bidding just went ballistic.