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General Use PC - Small Budget

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March 21, 2010 12:39:29 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: One Month (This is a very rough guess)

BUDGET RANGE: 200-300 GBP (300-450 USD)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: This is a very general use PC, Mostly office work, some very small Design applications, Web Browsing etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Ebuyer.com, Overclockers.co.uk, Aria.co.uk

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England

PARTS PREFERENCES: None (Cheap but reliable parts)

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 (1x 19" Monitor)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: A Quiet PC would be good, but I am Aiming to get as close to the low end of the buget as possible. The build is nnot for me but for my Girlfriends dad. He's asked me to look into it for him. I would like to install Win7 on the system if the budget allows for it but i think he has a copy of XP already that he could use if it came down to it.

Lots of help required, i will value any and all suggestions into this as im a little stumped on where to start for such a budget build. Thanks

More about : general small budget

March 21, 2010 1:23:50 PM

For such a low budget I'd consider a pre-built system (new or refurbished). If your build doesn't meet expectations, will it get you into trouble with your girlfriend and/or her father?
March 21, 2010 1:37:36 PM

GhislainG said:
For such a low budget I'd consider a pre-built system (new or refurbished). If your build doesn't meet expectations, will it get you into trouble with your girlfriend and/or her father?



You've got a point there, im just trying to consider options really. i might have a go and see what prebuilt systems i can lay my hands on first then.

His computer at the moment is about 7 years old and not even a pentium4. Any PC i put together would be an improvment to what he has already so there is not too much of an issue there i wouldnt have thought. i just told him that i would look into a few options for him so there is nothing set in stone yet.

Thanks for the advice, i will keep an eye on the thread just in casesomeone has any other ideas but for now i shall look into the prebuilt route.
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March 21, 2010 1:42:36 PM

It really is up to you, but there's a huge difference between building your own gaming system and an office PC for someone you most likely don't want to be upset at you.
March 21, 2010 2:11:03 PM

Ok I usually use newegg for parts so I'm not sure about other websites.

Processor: Rana 435 2.9 ghz triple core ($75)
MotherBoard: ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard ($69)
HardDrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB ($55)
DVD: Cheapest DVD burner ($20-25)
ram: 4GB of DDR3 $100 (Don't get OCZ!)
case: Total preference, the antec 300 is good.
PSU: 400W+ Of a good brand (see below) Should come to around $50
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4650 $40.

total $400 (Depending on case selection and PSU selection)

Video card can help speed up every day use of a PC. If you don't want a dedicated video card your going to have to spend more on the mobo to get one that has built in. I couldn't find any good Mobo's that support DDR3, ATX form factor, and have 4 ram slots, the cheapest one was $89 and it would be a much better idea just to get the above mobo with the $40 dedicated video card.

Now to the power supply, look for ONLY and ONLY these brands.

Corsair, Pc power and cooling, antec, seasonic, silverstone, and lastly OCZ. Any PSU with 400+ Watts of power by the following brand would be perfect, but ONLY those brands.
March 21, 2010 2:27:45 PM

BUDGET RANGE: 200-300 GBP (300-450 USD)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Ebuyer.com, Overclockers.co.uk, Aria.co.uk


That is a pretty rough budget requirement. I stayed with ebuyer.com since I assume that the prices there are actually possible for you to get with decent shipping charges.

What I actually recommend is:
Recommended = £381
Motherboard = £63
Asus M4A785D-M PRO 785G Socket AM2+ DVI VGA HDMI Out 8 Channel Audio MATX Motherboard
- includes video (ATI Radeon HD4200 512MB)
- includes audio (VT1708S High Definition Audio 8-Channel)
Processor = £78
AMD PHENOM X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHZ 6MB Cache Retail Box Processor
- 4 cores unlockable with motherboard
Memory = £70
OCZ 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5300 CL 5-5-5-15 Value
Hard drive = £34
Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blue
DVD drive = £12
LiteOn iHDS118 18x DVD-ROM Drive SATA Black Bare Drive – OEM
Card reader = £7
All in 1 Internal Card Reader Plus One USB2.0 Port (Black)
Windows 7 = £82
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Version upgrade package - 1 PC – DVD
- you will need the XP disk for this to install
Case = £10
Casecom 6630 Black Midi Tower Case With Front Panel USB2.0/Audio
PSU = £25
OCZ 400W Stealth XStream PSU - 140mm Fan 1x PCI-E 4x SATA

It does not stay with your really small budget so you may have to go with this:
Super budget = £259
Motherboard = £34
Gigabyte GA-M61PME-S2P 6100 Socket AM2 onboard graphics 8 channel audio mATX Motherboard
- supports AM3 with bios update
- includes video (NVIDIA GeForce 6100 w/shared memory)
- includes audio (Realtek ALC883 Audio 8-Channel)
Processor = £53
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Socket AM3 3.0GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail
Memory = £36
OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5300 Memory Unbuffered CL5 1.8VHard drive = £34
Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blue
DVD drive = £12
LiteOn iHDS118 18x DVD-ROM Drive SATA Black Bare Drive – OEM
Card reader = £7
All in 1 Internal Card Reader Plus One USB2.0 Port (Black)
Windows 7 = £82
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Version upgrade package - 1 PC – DVD
- you will need the XP disk for this to install
Case = £10
Casecom 6630 Black Midi Tower Case With Front Panel USB2.0/Audio
PSU = £25
OCZ 400W Stealth XStream PSU - 140mm Fan 1x PCI-E 4x SATA


I highly recommend that you spend the extra if you can!
March 21, 2010 4:36:49 PM

Thats fantastic, thank you for all the help so far. The budget is very vague and i apologise for that. I havnt actually been given an exact one so it was the best i could do.

I will talk to him and see if i can narrow it down and also if there is any room to get a few extra pounds for the build.

So far though the options above will definatly give me something to talk to him about and let him know what he could get for his money.

Thanks again.
March 21, 2010 4:41:34 PM

Iman_ said:


What I actually recommend is:
Recommended = £381
Motherboard = £63
Asus M4A785D-M PRO 785G Socket AM2+ DVI VGA HDMI Out 8 Channel Audio MATX Motherboard
- includes video (ATI Radeon HD4200 512MB)
- includes audio (VT1708S High Definition Audio 8-Channel)
Processor = £78
AMD PHENOM X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHZ 6MB Cache Retail Box Processor
- 4 cores unlockable with motherboard
Memory = £70
OCZ 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5300 CL 5-5-5-15 Value
Hard drive = £34
Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blue
DVD drive = £12
LiteOn iHDS118 18x DVD-ROM Drive SATA Black Bare Drive – OEM
Card reader = £7
All in 1 Internal Card Reader Plus One USB2.0 Port (Black)
Windows 7 = £82
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Version upgrade package - 1 PC – DVD
- you will need the XP disk for this to install
Case = £10
Casecom 6630 Black Midi Tower Case With Front Panel USB2.0/Audio
PSU = £25
OCZ 400W Stealth XStream PSU - 140mm Fan 1x PCI-E 4x SATA



Could you please explain why you recommend the above build over the extremly low budget one that you drew up for me? I realise that in general that this is more future proof than the other. But are there any other advantages?
March 21, 2010 5:08:29 PM

I love building my own systems, but I think for what you'll be doing with it, a $500us ASUS from Bust Buy would work great. I assume you have BB over there, .
March 21, 2010 5:12:43 PM

scooter69 said:
I love building my own systems, but I think for what you'll be doing with it, a $500us ASUS from Bust Buy would work great. I assume you have BB over there, .



Im afraid no Best Buy over here.....unfortunatly. As you are not the first person suggesting a prebuilt solution i am looking into it. Most of them push me over budget for what i need, thats why i wanted to look into building a system.

But its a work in progress.
March 21, 2010 5:15:31 PM

Baldwonder said:
Could you please explain why you recommend the above build over the extremly low budget one that you drew up for me? I realise that in general that this is more future proof than the other. But are there any other advantages?


It is in general about being faster/better/more future proof. But there are some things like the 4G of RAM that I really recommend for Win7. There is a lot more headroom on the recommended build.

I actually just used that same proc/motherboard combo for my son's budget upgrade. I easily unlocked all 4 cores of the processor (something that is not guaranteed to happen, but seems to happen a lot). Both are very good quality and speed/power for "budget" parts.

Hope that helps explain the rationale.
March 21, 2010 5:22:40 PM

Iman_ said:
It is in general about being faster/better/more future proof. But there are some things like the 4G of RAM that I really recommend for Win7. There is a lot more headroom on the recommended build.

I actually just used that same proc/motherboard combo for my son's budget upgrade. I easily unlocked all 4 cores of the processor (something that is not guaranteed to happen, but seems to happen a lot). Both are very good quality and speed/power for "budget" parts.

Hope that helps explain the rationale.



Yea thats great thanks for the quick reply. Now i have a little more info to backup the reason to spend more money.
March 22, 2010 2:15:13 AM

If you can find my suggested parts at one of the websites that ships to you that would probably be the best bang for your buck IMO.

The build Iman selected isn't all that great. DDR2 is a thing of the past, stick with DDR3. and the mobo I selected is a very good cheap mobo that supports it. Also the Rana 435 will beat the Phenom II 550. Also, OCZ ram is not good for DDR3 as it has a lot of issues with some of the motherboards.
March 22, 2010 7:46:45 AM

whitefang said:
If you can find my suggested parts at one of the websites that ships to you that would probably be the best bang for your buck IMO.

The build Iman selected isn't all that great. DDR2 is a thing of the past, stick with DDR3. and the mobo I selected is a very good cheap mobo that supports it. Also the Rana 435 will beat the Phenom II 550. Also, OCZ ram is not good for DDR3 as it has a lot of issues with some of the motherboards.



Its going to be tought to create a DDR3 based system for the small budget i would have thought, but i can look into it. Your build does seem to make it look possible.

Iv never heard of the Rana 435 - ill have to look into that also.....so much to do! :) 

Thanks again
March 22, 2010 8:26:49 AM

Ok, the closest i could get to Whitefangs system is below...any pointers guys??

Asus M4A77TD Pro AMD 770 (Socket AM3) DDR3 Motherboard - £72.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM - £42.99
Asus DRW-2014L1T 20x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer Lightscribe ReWriter (Black/Silver) - £13.99
Geil Value 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel - £81.99
XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 1024MB DDR2 TV-Out (PCI-Express) - Retail - £41.99
Antec Basiq 430W Power Supply - £24.99
Coolermaster Elite 360 Mini Tower Case - Black - £24.99
All in 1 Internal Card Reader Plus One USB2.0 Port (Black) - 6.49
AMD Athlon II X3 435 2.9GHz Socket AM3 1.5MB L2 Cache Retail Box Processor - £60.81

Total = £371.23
April 1, 2010 12:51:02 AM

Seems good, only thing I would change is the power supply. If you can get the earthwatts 380W, or if they have some cheap antec eco neo power supplies those are all sufficient too.

OCZ PSu's would be good too for that price range.
!