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British newbie general purpose system

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October 31, 2010 6:33:53 PM

Thankyou very much for looking. I would really appreciate your advice. I am keen to build a reliable and long-lasting system for home use with plenty of storage.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week


Budget Range: £850 approx


System Usage from Most to Least Important: web browsing, writing and editing documents, running Napster via Sonos music system, basic picture editing in Photoshop essentials, watching movies, perhaps son trying out a game or several....


Parts Not Required
: None


Preferred Website(s) for Parts:
Any UK site if possible, but scan.co.uk o roverclockers.co.uk look hopeful.


Country of Origin: United Kingdom


Parts Preferences: No particular preferences. Enough room for a biggish case if needed. Silence not essential.


Overclocking: Unlikely


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: Would like a decent monitor


Additional Comments:
newbie, relatively time poor, keen on reliability above all and keen to keep system for some years if possible +/- new bits. I'd like to have generous storage on hard drive. I've been reading around, including a new book called Build a Better PC, and wondered about the following (prices include VAT):

Processor: Intel® Core i3 540

Motherboard: Biostar TPOWER I55, Intel P55, S1156, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 1333/1600/2000, SATA 3Gb/s RAID, ATX (clearance price £110.43 at scan.co.uk, recommended by Build a Better PC)
Power supply: BeQuiet Dark Power Pro P8 650W Modular Power Supply £109.99 (overclockers.co.uk, recommended by Build a Better PC but looks as though it might be considerable overkill)

Memory: Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600) Dual Channel Desktop
CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 - 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.65V (no particular reason)

Case: Antec 300 Antec 300 Three Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case - Black £50.98 (overclockers)

Hard drive: 1TB (1000 GB) Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - HDD
1TB Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, 8.5 ms, NCQ £42.88 scan.co.uk

Graphics card: ?None to begin with at least - integrated graphics on card

Monitor: BenQ G2420HDBL 24" Widescreen LED Monitor - Black [9H.L3XLB.QBE] £164.49 (overclockers, recommended in magazine)

Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium

Speakers:
Creative Labs 2.1 Speakers RMS Sound System 51MF0355AA003 - Creative Inspire A200 Speakers £22.30 scan.co.uk

If you can help I'd be very grateful, even if your advice is that I am clearly not suitable to build a system and should just go get a Dell!

Ben



November 1, 2010 9:55:36 AM

Ben:

I see nobody has replied to you so figured I'd give it a shot. To give you a bit of background on my knowledge, I have built two PC's previously and have started to gather data for my third build.

I wouldn't consider myself to be a pro by any means but do have a few pointers for you.

- First off your motherboard choice I would say is a bit overkill for your usage. You have choosen a P55 board which is a nice board however you mention you aren't even purchasing a video card to start yet have a motherboard that supports two. I would suggest switching to an H55/H57 Board, in fact you have to, the board you selected doesn't even support I3 processors. This change will save you about 50 pounds.

- However to follow up on my suggestion with the motherboard after saving some extra money there I would suggest a quad core processor http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-i5-760-s1156-lynnf.... This processor (Intel I5 760) is about 60 pounds more than the one you have selected. However you are looking for longevity, dual cores are the way of the past and wouldn't suggest anyone build a PC today with one. Now this processor is one of the more attractive ones because of it's over clocking ability. I know you said you aren't interested in overclocking, which is fine I want you to be aware if you switch to an H55/H57 board you likely will have very little space to over clock.

- In regards to your power supply this is essentially a personal choice. I say that because the power supply you have choosen (from a specifications point of view) looks to be pretty good even though I hadn't heard of the company. The price you are paying for it is very very high, I'm assuming this is because it's modular. The modular power supply will allow you to only plug in the wires you require to use without having to hide or clean up the ones left over. Modular is nice but Corsair is one of the best power supply companies and this PSU http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-corsair-cmpsu-650tx... is 50 pounds cheaper.

- The rest of it is fine, for the hard drive good choice, I've always used Seagate and never had a problem. I'd start with just 1000 gigs, hard drives are really easy to add later and will likely be cheaper the next time you need one.

I hope some of the above helps with your purchase.
November 1, 2010 12:12:00 PM

Intel CPU Core i3 540 - £75.19 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Inte...

MSI P55A-G55 - £88.77 Inc VAT
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-p55a-g55-intel-p55-s...(x16)-ddr3-2133(oc)-usb3-sata-6gb-s-sata-raid-atx#ProductFeatures

Gladiator Intel i3 540 @ 4.20GHz Overclocked Gaming Motherboard Bundle - £199.99 inc. VAT
https://www.aria.co.uk/Systems/Bundles/Gaming+Bundles/G...

Corsair DDR3 1600MHz 4Gb - £66.61 inc. VAT
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID...

Asus ATI Radeon HD 5770 - £104.56 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Asus...

Antec Three Hundred - £46.94 inc. VAT
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID...

1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 - £41.78 Inc VAT
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/ss1tb-samsung-hd103sj-sp...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit - OEM - £71.87 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Software/Operating+Syste...

XFX 650W XXX Modular Power Supply - £66.96 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/XFX+...

Or go for an AMD quad core set-up.

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 - £102.21 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Proc...

Asus M4A89GTD Pro AMD 890GX - £86.70 inc. VAT
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID...

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AMD 880G -£79.90 inc. VAT
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...

ASRock 880G Extreme3 -£80.45 inc. VAT
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?prodID...



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