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Hi all , Novice would like help & advice on home build

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Last response: in Systems
January 30, 2010 4:10:02 PM

Hi to you all

I`m new to the site and forum and wondered if possible some of you might be able to help me in my build ?

Thing is I'm not a wealthy man and have up until last year been using a hand me down pc given to me by a neighbour, this pc has been faithful to me for the last 5 years but has now sadly died due to moby failure, now I have been looking around for the purchase of a new system but any that are half descent cost more than I can afford, so I decided to have a go and build my own as I'm quite capable with most things and a quick learner, but like any thing its always nice to have help & advice for those who more than I

Ok story so far, parts I have stripped down and salvaged from the died pc are as followed

1/ Intel P4 Prescott 2.8 GHz (478) plus cooler + fan

2/ Hitachi 160gig p-ata hard drive

3/ EZ cool 550W (atx-550 jsp) psu

4/ HD 2400 PRO AGP graphics

5/ Pioneer DVD-R/RW writer

6/Hitachi DVD-ROM drive

7/ 2x DDR400 1g rams

If any of the above are not worth keeping please say

Parts I have brought new so far are


As you can see I need all the help I can get

I m not looking for a state of the art top spec Pc , just a half decent one and I can`t afford top spec parts and I will be sourcing all I can second hand from the likes of Ebay , sorry if this goes against some of you but moneys tight if you have a small family / mortgage ect

The moby I have been looking at is a ASUS P4P800-VM now I don`t know if this is any good or not? , from what I have found out ASUS seems to be a good brand?

Any help you folks can give me in helping me build my own pc would be very much appreciate but please keep it in layman's terms for me

I mainly use a pc for internet / large music collection / photos / some gaming for the children / and home filing

Thank you all for your time I hope I have not bored you too much lol

And please any help & advice would be great but please remember I'm a novice and may ask some what you in the know might call stupid questions for this I apologise for in advance

Look forward to hearing from you

More about : novice advice home build

January 30, 2010 4:36:35 PM

Don`t seem to be able to edit the above?

But have a couple of things to add

If anyone thinks or know of better mother boards please tell me, I see that GIGABYTE seem to have a good rep?

As I'm sure you have worked out be now I'm very new to this lol and I know very little but I'm keen to learn and I'm a bit of a perfectionist and looking forward to this challenge ( with your help ) (hopefully) I will post pics as I go and I will listen to all helpful advice

Thanks again
January 31, 2010 8:23:06 AM

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January 31, 2010 11:28:55 AM

Well, I can't really suggest building on a P4 build anymore since they're so outdated. Also, going with used parts dealers is always a bit sketchy since you don't really know what the part has been through beforehand, just thought I needed to add that warning.

Could you give us the budget range for this and the intended usage (assuming just home use)? This will allow us to better help you. I'll look into finding an extreme budget build for you right now, but if you could give me an actual budget that would be great.
January 31, 2010 11:50:09 AM

Alright, so here's a build that I put together for a guy a while back, but he didn't need a GPU, so we'll see what we can do. It might be worth it just for now for you to get an integrated graphics card, then later you can upgrade if you wish.

CPU: Athlon II x2 240 ($56.99)

Mobo: Open Box: ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM ($62.99, I wouldn't regularly suggest open box items, but I'm hoping that doing this will keep you off of eBay)

PSU: OCZ MODXSTREAM Pro 500W ($64.99 before $25 MIR)

HDD: Samsung F3 Spinpoint 500GB ($54.99)

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB ($49.99, one stick of RAM make upgrading easier in the future)

OD: LG DVD Burner ($23.99)

So, this brings the total to: $313.94 before $25 MIR. I'm hoping that this is in your budget and that you can get away with buying all these parts at Newegg.

If by chance you decide you don't want to spend $300 (on a computer that will kick your old computer in the arse) and you're going to reuse your old build, stay away from that PSU. It's had it's day and you don't want to be reusing something that could easily fry your computer if it breaks. Hope all of this helps, and good luck.
January 31, 2010 1:52:09 PM

Hi Mavanhel

Thanks for your reply

My budget is around £500 maybe more as time goes on, my use for the pc is net / some gaming / home filing / music

I'm in no real rush and would like to build a midd range system I guess, I understand why not many have replied and to an extent I don't blame them thing is I have read all the threads on build your own and all the help threads but I'm a real novice and don't really understand fully what I'm reading hence my post for help, thought a few might talk me through it over time

I'm cool about not using a P4 platform and maybe even starting all over just not sure what good and what's not and don`t want to buy to wrong stuff and the very start.

Is the tower case I have brought anygood?

Im looking into your suggestions now Mayanhel cheers again
January 31, 2010 1:55:59 PM

Looked at Newegg but cant seem to find out about cost or shipping over to the uk? might have to look around for a UK based parts source.
January 31, 2010 2:13:15 PM

That case will definitely be fine for you. As for newegg, I'm almost certain that they don't ship to the UK, sorry, didn't know you were there. 500 pounds is more than enough to get a decent computer, and I know that we can throw something together for you. The only problem is that I don't know of any UK parts retailers. If you could tell me about one that you like and trust I can help you further.

Specifically if you put up a post following the outline in my signature we can definitely help you and put something together.
January 31, 2010 2:25:08 PM


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Home, some gaming, surfing the internet, music )

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: ( keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, cage )

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (unknown if anyone knows of any in the UK please advise ) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (UK)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type ( NO pref)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / No / Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes / No / Maybe (( don`t understand)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (would like it to be reasonably fast)
January 31, 2010 2:45:19 PM

I have found this supplier if anyone could have a look please
January 31, 2010 2:48:50 PM

Well, here's something that I found that Silvune put together for someone:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 £100
Mobo: MSI 770-C45 AMD 770 AM3 £47
RAM: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £85
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB £40
Sata DVD Drive £20
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 600W £58

which totals 350 pounds before adding a GPU. At that price range I'd suggest the HD 5770 for 133 pounds.

This would bring your total to 483 pounds and looks like exactly what you need. If you do want to XFire (run two graphics cards at the same time) you'd need a different motherboard (one with 2 PCI-E 2.0 x16 ports) and a better PSU. For your needs XFire shouldn't even be considered so I think this build would be perfect for you.

If you think that you'd prefer a quad core, look into AMD Phenom II x4, up to the 955, which would add 28 pounds, but it probably wouldn't be a big upgrade in performance.
January 31, 2010 5:21:38 PM

CPU: Has it (although out of stock at the moment) at +£4

Mobo: Not available. The only mobo reasonably priced for you would be ASROCK SKT-AM3 at £90 although this does have onboard graphics, so you could save by not having to get a graphics card at the moment. Probably a better decision for you here.

RAM: Not available. These guys have a pretty terrible selection of RAM, so you might think about ordering this part off the web, but if you're going to go to this place I'd go for GEIL 2GB DDR3 1600 CL8.0 at £64.14.

HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500GB at £44.80

Optical Drive: The cheapest SATA drive

PSU: Antec EarthWatts 500W £67.68
January 31, 2010 7:37:32 PM

How does this sound?

Mobo = ASROCK SKT-AM3 M3A790GXH/128M S/V/L 5200MT/s


ram = Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V






Im unsure about the on board graphics so if you doubt it or know of a better one for gaming please say same goes for any of the above if you feel my choices are not that great or could be improved on again please say, I want to build a system that I can later improve on / add to so if any of my choices will limit me for the future please say what I need to be changing/thinking about

I have decided to do this build over time that way I can buy better and end up with a better system,
January 31, 2010 8:16:13 PM

That doesn't look too bad. The onboard graphics should be fine if you just doing minor gaming. The 5770 is a great card if you want to get something infinitely better. With a board with onboard graphics there is still a PCI-E slot to put a dedicated graphics card in, so you could start with onboard, but then upgrade to dedicated.
January 31, 2010 9:16:28 PM

Could you tell me please what the difference is between 32bit and 64 and would my planned system be able to run 64 ?
January 31, 2010 9:30:30 PM

The big difference is that you can use all 4GB of your RAM in 64 bit. 32 only read ~3.5GB. Almost any system these days can run a 64 bit OS.