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Budget homebuilt PC

Last response: in Systems
July 25, 2010 9:07:12 PM

Hi all,
I am after a bit of advice, I currently have an old AMD machine that is in dire need of an upgrade.
So having just had another baby my funds are very depleted now, however had around £400 or so to buy a CPU mo-bo, RAM, PSU, cooler and ideally a case, although I can pop it into an old case for the time being, I also have a X800GTO that I can use for a while for gaming, I know it is not up to current games, but it will cope for a while. I know that buy today's standards that is a pretty low budget.
I think my approach is going to be as follows,
Buy a decent mo-bo such like the Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2
Buy the Pentium G6950 proc, cheap but good over-clocker
4gb Corsair DDR3 XMS3 memory
Samsung SpinPoint F3 HDD
some BRANDED modular PSU around 500-650W (Not decided which make/model yet)

Then at a later date upgrade from the G6950 to an i5 or something, after an upgrade to the GPU and case.

My main uses for the machine will be gaming, web browsing and business stuff, accounts marketing material etc, as well as some video encoding from mini DV tape. I am also keen to try folding.
From what I have read, it won't be up to much folding wise until the GPU is upgraded but what the hell, I'll try anything once!

Thoughts please people, have you got any ideas that can improve the spec I am proposing. I am not opposed to Intel/AMD as long as I get the most bang for buck.
Thanks in advance.

More about : budget homebuilt

July 25, 2010 9:27:52 PM

At a low budget, AMD has better value in both CPUs and MB chipsets.

Phenom II X2 550
About the same price as the Pentium. Faster. Get lucky and unlock the cores and you won't need to upgrade for a long time.

Gigabyte 880G board

Kingston value RAM 1333 CL9


Seasonic S12II 520
July 25, 2010 10:20:23 PM

I agree with above. Goign AMd route is really your best bet... plus the ywill be using the AM3 socket for a while... so in the future when the Phenom II x4's drop down i nprice you could easily put one of those in (if you can't unlock the cores like Proximon said - theres lots of websites with tutorials for unlocking them)

When you get around to it... I'd scoop up an ATI 5770 (which are awesome cards and now down to around $130-$140 after rebates)
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July 26, 2010 12:33:00 AM

Is your X800GTO pci-e or AGP? If it is agp, you might as well try to sell it.

I really like the G6950. I built a mini-ITX box with one, and it flies. I have no need to overclock it.
I would consider using a H55 based motherboard instead of P55. You will be able to use the integrated graphics of the G9650, at least for starters.

That said, the i3-540 will be reduced in price this month to $115 to compete with AMD. You could consider basing your build using that chip and not have to plan on an upgrade.
Read this tom's article on gaming with sub $150 processors:

You can't go wrong with any Corsair PSU. Good quality and reasonably priced.

You also might want to consider going mini-ATX, Motherboards are a bit cheaper and perhaps cases too.
July 26, 2010 8:40:48 PM

Thanks everyone, I will take a look into AMD, I had initially dismissed them as they have higher heat and power, but if they will be better performers I will check them out.
Have just read that article and have had my mind changed. AMD all the way!
Just need to figure out Phenom II x2, x3 or x4...? Yime for some more researdh