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First build for a few years - Advice please!

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August 29, 2011 11:37:45 AM

Hi all, I'm looking to purchase and build my first PC for a few years, so have been trying to get back up to speed on everything that's involved and all the different hardware which is out there now, so I wondered if you all might be able to give me some help and guidance on the setup I am considering.

The machine is only to be used for basic tasks, so web browsing and light image/video editing from time to time. I would like at least one HDMI output as I will be using a HDTV as the secondary output and watching TV/movies etc.

Budget is somewhat flexible, but I really don't want to have to spend more than I need to, so keeping it under £500 is pretty essential.

Anyway, here's what I have come up with so far:

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100, S1155, Sdy Bridge, 3.1GHz, GPU 850Mhz, 3MB Cache - £89 (~$145)
Mobo: MSI H67MA-E35 (B3), LGA1155, upto 32GB DDR3 memory, DVI HDMI VGA out, SATA6G+USB3.0 - £60 (~$100)
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3, PC3-10600 (1333), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.50V - £40 (~$65)
Case + PSU: Ezcool 727-03B Piano Black micro-ATX Tower Case with Ezcool 500W PSU - £24 (~$40)
HDD: 1TB Seagate ST31000524AS Barracuda 7200.12, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, 8.5ms, NCQ - £40 (~$65)
Optical: Sony AD-7261S-0B 24x DVD±R, 12xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RWx6 ,12xRAM SATA, Black, Lightscribe, OEM - £17 (~$30)

So before buying Windows 7 and a decent CPU heatsink plus some case fans etc, this comes in at about £270 (~$440). Once I add those things, it comes to about £370 (~$600). Any pointers on things I could/should improve for not too much more money? I wondered if the PSU which comes with the case I've chosen will be sufficient? I presumed that with no GFX card and only a single HDD and Optical Drive, 500W should be enough, but am I wrong?

Any advice greatly welcome!

More about : build years advice

August 29, 2011 11:43:07 AM

if your not gaming or doing ram intensive apps like maya then 4GB will be fine but thats a nice little system and almost exactly what i would get. for your needs. but if you never remember to close programs 8 GB wont hurt.
August 29, 2011 11:59:20 AM

Looks a pretty solid build. Far as PSU for a system like that I tend to use Antec Earthwatts 380s, usually around $40. Some of the only PSUs I've ever had issues with were the cheap ones that come with cases. I typically just go with 4GB of ram on a build like this. Only other thing would be going with a cheap AMD x3 for around 75 w/ a 60 880g board if you wanted to go even cheaper.
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August 29, 2011 12:05:52 PM

I would buy a cheap laptop if I were you. The only reason to own a tower nowaday is for graphical power.

Do yourself a favor and get a cheap Acer or Toshiba laptop for 330$.
August 29, 2011 12:08:02 PM

Thanks for the replies so far guys, good to know I'm on the right track at least!

With regards to my Case/PSU - I am considering going with a better branded PSU (Corsair, Collermaster etc) and am just wanting to make sure I understand the physical size implications of my setup.

Am I right that my Mobo is Mini-ATX rather than full ATX size? If so, does this necessarily mean I need to have a Mini-ATX case, or will this mobo fit in a normal ATX case too? Finally, if I do need a Mini-ATX case, does this mean I need a Mini-ATX PSU as well, or how exactly does all the sizing work?

Thanks again!
August 29, 2011 12:10:45 PM

redgarl said:
I would buy a cheap laptop if I were you. The only reason to own a tower nowaday is for graphical power.

Do yourself a favor and get a cheap Acer or Toshiba laptop for 330$.


Although I suppose the portability of a laptop would be handy and presumably the price gap between desktop and laptop is not as large as it used to be, I think a desktop makes more sense for me in terms of potential upgrade path later on and the ability to choose exactly the spec I want/need.

Should I be convinced otherwise for any reason?
August 29, 2011 12:24:05 PM

Case : Any decent ATX mid tower
PSU : Corsair CX430 - $39.99
!