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Easy First Build (is this too good to be true?)

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September 6, 2011 1:57:25 PM

Hi guys and gals.

I've been recently looking at buying all the components and building myself a PC - And funnily enough today i got an email from Saverstore advertising a 'Build it yourself' Kit, with all the relevant bits to make myself what seems to be a relatively good 'all rounder' system:

http://www.saverstore.com/product/20075912/Savervalue-D...

Summary:

Intel Pentium G620 Dual Core Processor
Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2V-B3 mATX Motherboard
MA Black PC Case with 500W PSU
1TB Hard Drive
DVD±RW Optical Drive
4GB DDR3 Memory (2 x 2GB)
Keyboard
Mouse (with built in Compact Flash card reader)

I would combine this with a Gigabyte Radeon HD 4650 Graphics Card (1GB) i already have (that is currently adding a new lease of life to an old machine) - the ideal outcome being i could potentially spend only £200, and get a relatively decent system that i can enjoy building from scratch myself and it can do everything my wife needs it to do (i.e. office/entertainment and some games - i.e. LOTRO/WoW/EvE etc. - at medium etc. setting and above)

So, is this all too good to be true? Is it worth the money? Would this potentially be an inexpensive way to get into building my own PC's, with a little bit of a helping hand to get me started?

As always, appreciate the help guys and gals :) 

- Robert

More about : easy build good true

September 6, 2011 2:44:04 PM

its not really that good of a deal, i reckon you could get a better deal looking on sites such as dabs, ebuyer, amazon, novatech and eBay.
September 6, 2011 3:06:17 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
its not really that good of a deal, i reckon you could get a better deal looking on sites such as dabs, ebuyer, amazon, novatech and eBay.


Ok, arguably i could always save a couple of ££ here and there buying the things individually, but for convenience and the knowledge that everything provided will be compatible, i was considering this option.

Would the resulting rig (i.e. components + GPU) make a relatively 'decent' machine that does what i need it to do?

Thanks!

- Robert
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September 6, 2011 3:15:47 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
its not really that good of a deal, i reckon you could get a better deal looking on sites such as dabs, ebuyer, amazon, novatech and eBay.


and SCAN :) 
September 6, 2011 3:17:37 PM

HomeGamer said:
Ok, arguably i could always save a couple of ££ here and there buying the things individually, but for convenience and the knowledge that everything provided will be compatible, i was considering this option.

Would the resulting rig (i.e. components + GPU) make a relatively 'decent' machine that does what i need it to do?

Thanks!

- Robert


Don't let the "easy option" cost you a few ££ more than it needs to. There's plenty of people on TOMS willing to help and give build advice. Just simply fill out the template on this form on a new thread, and people will build the best they can based on your needs and budget.

Building yourself and choosing your own components will almost always result in a better build than any pre-compiled package.

Link here to template: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261222-13-build-adv...
September 6, 2011 3:31:41 PM

AdrianPerry said:
Don't let the "easy option" cost you a few ££ more than it needs to. There's plenty of people on TOMS willing to help and give build advice. Just simply fill out the template on this form on a new thread, and people will build the best they can based on your needs and budget.

Building yourself and choosing your own components will almost always result in a better build than any pre-compiled package.

Link here to template: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261222-13-build-adv...


Hey, thanks for the reply! I confess it really was a case of 'it looked like everything i need' but for cheaper than the individual prices were listed; but tbh i don't know enough about the individual components to determine whether the bundle would be decent enough, or if it is just crap that will fall apart inside 6 months.

So, here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: £200.00 (oh yeah, REAL budget...)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming - In particular one MMO (LOTRO)

Parts Not Required: GPU - Already have HD 4650 Graphics Card as well as keyboard and mouse (and monitor etc)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference - have always used Amazon because of free delivery etc - but no preference

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: Absolutely no preference - basically the best i can get for not very much money

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No preference

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900

Additional Comments: My wife currently uses an old single core PC with the above GPU recently added (qwhich gave a nice performance boost over the old card in there) and can play LOTRO *OK* on low/medium settings, but we would like something relatively cheap that will give a nice upgrade - the machine itself is so old that upgrading will be largely impractical (older parts seem to cost a lot more than newer ones...) - which is why the above (Savastore link etc.) looked like a relatively quick and easy solution to get just that.

Thanks all!!

Regards,

- Robert
September 6, 2011 3:40:08 PM

its just the parts that that combo comes with are very low grade (not all) for example the non-branded, low efficiency, high noise PSU in that combo, the ram (which runs at 1.65V), the substandard (worse than a 3 year old HDD) 5900 RPM HDD, the low quality (and easily scratchable ) case.
September 6, 2011 3:54:27 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
its just the parts that that combo comes with are very low grade (not all) for example the non-branded, low efficiency, high noise PSU in that combo, the ram (which runs at 1.65V), the substandard (worse than a 3 year old HDD) 5900 RPM HDD, the low quality (and easily scratchable ) case.


And THIS is the reason i love Toms Hardware forums - people who clearly know their stuff helping out!

Fair enough - I'll give the bundle a miss and will look at buying a few components individually here and there and building my own...

Thanks!!

- Robert
September 6, 2011 4:00:31 PM

HomeGamer said:
And THIS is the reason i love Toms Hardware forums - people who clearly know their stuff helping out!

Fair enough - I'll give the bundle a miss and will look at buying a few components individually here and there and building my own...

Thanks!!

- Robert


NP ill gather a build for you later (don't have time right now). Im sure some of the others here will be able to do so too (or atleast help you with what parts suit you).
September 6, 2011 4:45:50 PM

Ok so on £200:

CPU: AMD Athlon II £46 http://www.ebuyer.com/235423-amd-athlon-ii-x2-260-3-2-g...

Mobo: BioStar A770L3 ATX £43 http://www.ebuyer.com/255203-biostar-a770l3-socket-am3-...

RAM: Corsair 4GB 1333MHz £20 http://www.ebuyer.com/178943-corsair-4gb-2x2gb-ddr3-133...

PSU: Antec Basic 350w £27 http://www.ebuyer.com/114928-antec-basiq-power-350w-atx...

HDD: SeaGate 500GB £31 http://www.ebuyer.com/272944-seagate-500gb-3-5-sata-iii...

Optical Drive: Samsung DVD-RW £14 http://www.ebuyer.com/268621-samsung-sh-s222ab-22x-dvd-...

Case: Xenta Mid Tower ATX £17 http://www.ebuyer.com/251825-xenta-black-mid-tower-case...

Total: £198

----

NOTE: The processor and motherboard choice might not be the best, just my suggested idea. Dont take it as gospel :) 
September 6, 2011 5:54:16 PM
September 6, 2011 6:00:49 PM

Not bad and an its an Intel Build aswell :)  *fanboy* haha
September 7, 2011 7:59:49 AM

Hi Guys!!

Wow - Two pretty decent looking builds there that look like they tick all the boxes - thank you very much!!

Now comes the tricky part, how can i tell which of the two is the *best*, or which offers highest/fastest performance i.e how does one effectively compare processors for 'actual' performance?

This is the point where i feel woefully under qualified to make a decision - for example i don't know what is more important - the Intel chip has a 3Mb 'cache' rather than the 2MB offered by the AMD, but the AMD looks like dual core and faster too - 3.2Ghz rather than 2.6 Ghz - so which is more important? Is one more noticeable than the other? Personally i've always preferred AMD (a throwback to where there were the newly emerging underdogs against Intel) but if one is significantly better than the other i'll pick performance over brand name.

Is the motherboard worth spending a little more on for something more permanent? i.e. could an extra £10/20 spent now prevent a performance bottleneck down the line, or are these both 'fine' for a good few years?

Same with the PSU - from looking around it seems it might be worth spending a little more and getting a 500W PSU now (as long as it is a semi decent one etc.) - to save me having to replace this PSU entirely if/when i want to upgrade the GPU later a few years down the line. Something like this perhaps? http://www.amazon.co.uk/CiT-750W-Power-Supply-Rails/dp/... or this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/650-WATT-supply-Alpine-Silent/d...

Again, please do forgive my rather nooby questions - i am doing my best to learn but it seems the more i find out about building and components, the more i discover i don't know lol

Thanks again!

- Robert
September 7, 2011 8:12:19 AM

In terms of which performs better ill have to do some research on that and get back to you since I have no experience personally, with either processor.

Spending extra on the motherboard - You could, but I don't think you would be getting any better performance or features. In both builds the mATX motherboards listed have a PICe x16 lane which is enough to support any good graphics card. Unless ps3hacker12 can suggest any good reasons to upgrade the motherboard, i really dont see it giving much advantage.

PSU - Buying a good PSU from the get-go never hurts. It allows room for expansion, especially if you would like to add a graphics card. A GOOD 500w unit should allow you to add any graphics card up to about the £200 range (6950 and GTX 560Ti). However when supporting higher end equipment such as GPU's, its important not to go cheap on a unit. The one you listed for example is 750w, but comes with no 80PLUS rating, meaning it could only be delivering half the total wattage or less at peak loads. If you do want to spend the extra on a PSU, id recommend doing it "properly" and buying something around the £50 mark for a good 80PLUS model from a brand like Corsair or XFX.

Depending on how much money/what graphics card you plan on adding in the future, something like this would probably be perfect for a PSU: XFX Core Edition 450w @ £35 its 80PLUS Bronze Efficient http://www.scan.co.uk/products/450w-xfx-core-edition-p1...

450w should be enough to cover you for anything up to about a 6850/6870 (the £100-150 GPU range)
September 7, 2011 8:23:36 AM

Thanks Adrian - see, i'm learning already ;) 

So, and here goes, it looks like something like this could be 'better' all round, and will also allow for further upgrading (of GPU etc.) - http://www.ebuyer.com/278634-corsair-500w-cx-v2-psu-cmp...

*Braces for opinions*

Also, looking at your suggested build (love the case btw!); would upgrading the AMD chip to this one be worth the extra: http://www.ebuyer.com/198349-amd-phenom-ii-x2-555-black...

Athon vs Phenom? Some very brief research leads me to believe (rightly or wrongly) that for an extra £20 on the chip now, could get me quite a nice performance boost and again, potentially save money in the long run.

Am i making progress/making valid observations? Or am i still slower than a village idiot running through treacle?

- Robert
September 7, 2011 8:39:30 AM

PSU - Great choice, Corsair comes highly recommended from pretty much any builder. Depending on what GPU you would be planning to purchase, the cheaper XFX 450w one i listed above, would possibly be a better buy due to slightly higher efficiency rating. However, this really is totally dependant on what GPU you will be using as its the most power-hungry component.

Spending more on a CPU will give you better performance (that's at least the general trend, and in this case, true)

If your looking at spending a little more on a CPU there's 2 options:
£65 AMD Phenom II x2 555 http://www.ebuyer.com/198349-amd-phenom-ii-x2-555-black...
£65 AMD II x3 460 Athlon http://www.ebuyer.com/270556-amd-athlon-ii-x3-460-3-4gh...

Again due to my lack of AMD processor knowledge, im not entirely sure which will perform better but ill look into it.

UPDATE:
I've had a quick look for comparisons and didn't find anything "direct" to compare the 2. However PASSMARK showed these results, suggesting the Athlon is better.

Athlon:
CPU Mark (Higher is better) 2649
Rank (Lower is better) 265
CPU Value (Higher is better) 29.44
Phenom:
CPU Mark (Higher is better) 1988
Rank (Lower is better) 354
CPU Value (Higher is better) 22.59
September 7, 2011 8:51:52 AM

Details taken from http://www.cpubenchmark.net and comparing 'Passmark CPU Mark' it seems the single core Intel (and cheaper...) out performs the dual core AMD ones (unless i am reading this wrong?)

Intel Pentium G620 @ 2.60GHz 2,484
AMD Athlon II X2 260 1,928
AMD Phenom II X2 555 1,988

AMD Athlon II X3 460 2,649

So, looking at the list, the 460 looks to be the best shout; but it has only 1.5Mb cache (split over 3 cores at half a meg each) compared to the 3MB cache of the Intel one. How important is the cache size?

And, and here may well come a really dumb question, are three cores three times more powerful (i.e. do you get 3 x the 'power' as is listed or is it a total of all three working together?)

Is having three cores, a lower cache and 10% higher score (as above) a good spend of the extra money?

*Feeling like a massive noob right now*

- Robert

September 7, 2011 9:15:05 AM

It might be worth having a look through this article on cache size:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cache-size-matter,1...

In short - Cache does seem to provide performance improvement, the more cache, the better in most real-world application.

However im not sure which would come out on top between a 2.6GHz 3MB cache, and a 3.4GHz 1.5MB cache.

I have a feeling it the Athlon would be the clear better performer, however my AMD knowledge really is bare minimum. It might be worth putting up a thread on the AMD/Intel section of the forums and get some opinions on the price difference and performance between all 3.
September 7, 2011 4:07:25 PM

you can compare different CPUs here:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=120

eg that comparison is the G620 vs the Phenom 555, in which case the G620 wins in most cases while using less pwoer/less heat too.

[EDIT]:
yah chache doesn't play a big part its more down to the architechture of the processor and ofcourse clock speed/number of cores.
September 9, 2011 8:14:38 AM

Ok... So... Amended build here (Huge thanks to Adrian in particular for the build suggestions where i started.)

Originally had planned £200 for the system then £100 for the OS (so £100 total) - But found i can get OEM Windows for £75... So i spent a little more on components: Total build is £327 - which is £27 over budget but the extra covers a much better PSU than i need right now, and also gives 8Gb of RAM rather than 4Gb - So hopefully it future-proofs it a bit more...

So (he says nervously) - how does all this look:

CPU: AMD Athlon II (@ £45)
http://www.ebuyer.com/235423-amd-athlon-ii-x2-260-3-2-g...
Mobo: MSI 870-C45 AMD 770 (@ £50)
http://www.ebuyer.com/241003-msi-870-c45-amd-770-socket...
RAM: Corsair 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 (@ £35)
http://www.ebuyer.com/247674-corsair-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-133...
PSU: Corsair 600W CX Series V2 PSU (@ £52)
http://www.ebuyer.com/269259-corsair-600w-cx-series-v2-...
HDD: SeaGate 500GB (@ £32)
http://www.ebuyer.com/272944-seagate-500gb-3-5-sata-iii...
Optical Drive: Samsung DVD-RW (@ £14)
http://www.ebuyer.com/272944-seagate-500gb-3-5-sata-iii...
Case: KM-9188 (@ £25)
http://www.ebuyer.com/205157-casecom-km-9188-black-mid-...
Extra Fan: 120mm Black Case Fan (@ £2)
http://www.ebuyer.com/63281-120mm-black-case-fan-4-pin-...
OS: Windows 7 64 Bit (@ £72)
http://www.ebuyer.com/259863-microsoft-windows-7-home-p...
GPU: Gigabyte HD 4650 OC 1GB (Free!!!)
http://www.ebuyer.com/160857-gigabyte-hd-4650-oc-1gb-gd...

Total Cost: £327.00
September 9, 2011 9:52:15 AM

600w PSU? Although it gives you alot of headroom, 500w really would be more than enough...500w is enough to support your build + GPU up to 560Ti or 6950 (£180+ GPU) so unless your planning a more serious card than that, you might aswell save a few ££ on a 500w PSU?

RAM - 8GB is a good choice, it will more than likely be enough RAM for as long as you have your build. Again if it was a matter of cutting costs, buy 4GB now, and just keep an eye out in a few months time for another nice cheap deal and grab 4GB more.

^^ Based on the above, spending say for example £10 less on the overall build, would enable you to upgrade the HDD from 500GB to 1TB SpinPoint F3 (1TB being about £42 on ebuyer) - totally depends on the space you require though, 500GB might be more than enoug h for your needs :) 
September 9, 2011 10:34:26 AM

AdrianPerry said:
600w PSU? Although it gives you alot of headroom, 500w really would be more than enough...500w is enough to support your build + GPU up to 560Ti or 6950 (£180+ GPU) so unless your planning a more serious card than that, you might aswell save a few ££ on a 500w PSU?

RAM - 8GB is a good choice, it will more than likely be enough RAM for as long as you have your build. Again if it was a matter of cutting costs, buy 4GB now, and just keep an eye out in a few months time for another nice cheap deal and grab 4GB more.

^^ Based on the above, spending say for example £10 less on the overall build, would enable you to upgrade the HDD from 500GB to 1TB SpinPoint F3 (1TB being about £42 on ebuyer) - totally depends on the space you require though, 500GB might be more than enoug h for your needs :) 


Cool cool - looks like i'm not that bad a student then lol ;) 

Re: PSU - Not a bad call; i think i just saw the Corsair ones and they are so damn pretty i fell in love lol - Having a look at a more 'cost effective' option, would something like this do the job just as well, whilst saving me £20

http://www.ebuyer.com/160349-powercool-550w-80plus-cert...

Plan was to upgrade the GPU down the line with something a bit more heavy hitting - and i figured that i could spend an extra few ££ now and then i am not limited by PSU as to what GPU i get; plus... I think i just really *like* the Corsair 650W one lol

Not too fussed about HDD size to be honest - my old one still has about 100G space free in it after several years of use (i tend to stick things on external HDD for storage/backup and clear out internal HDD's fairly regularly... But again, an extra £10 now could save more down the line - are there any noticeable differences in performance Re: HDD's? If not might just stick with the 1Tb one you mentioned and *know* that i'll have more than enough space forever lol) :) 

Any last minute tweaks/anything i've forgotten? (or shall i spend the extra £10/15 and get the triple core AMD rather than the dual core one... Hmmm... lol)

If i can get the whole thing for less than £350 - and i'll have a decent gaming machine that will last me/the wife years, then i think that's a bloody good job :) 

Thanks again for your help mate!!

- Robert
September 9, 2011 10:46:37 AM

Im really too inexperienced with AMD to comment on the price vs. performance of the CPU :(  I wouldn't like to say if spending the extra will be worthwhile or not.

The Samsung SpinPoint F3's are considered to be very good HDD's and perform better than the more expensive WD Caviar Blacks. Personally i use the same HDD you listed above, the SeaGate, but the 1TB version and have experienced no problems with it at all. If you dont think you will make use of the extra space, its probably not worth spending the money.

Im not sure about the delivery costs from www.SCAN.co.uk, but you can get the 500w Corsair PSU there for £45 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-psu-corsair-builder...
Again though, your right. If you buy a 650w unit (which for the sake of about £7 more is probably well worth it) you'll have no worries when it comes to buying a Graphics card. The only cards you would struggle to run would be GTX580/590 and 6990 (all of which prices start around £350+ so im assuming you wouldn't be considering those anyway :)  )

September 9, 2011 10:51:21 AM

AdrianPerry said:
The only cards you would struggle to run would be GTX580/590 and 6990 (all of which prices start around £350+ so im assuming you wouldn't be considering those anyway :)  )


Haha - yeah - probably going to shy away from looking at GPU's that cost more than the rest of the machine put together :) 

It's likely to be something similar to what i have in *my* machine - which is a Asus 1GB Radeon HD 5670PCI-E 2.1 HDMI - DX11 and some relatively decent performance for less than £80 i think - so not too bad at all. But of course... It's nice to have the option of going for something that much more powerful based on the fact i have so much spare Wattage... SO yeah... Good to keep one's options open :) 

Although yes, expect to see me back in a few months asking for advice on which one to get, with whatever budget i have at the time :D 


- Robert
September 9, 2011 10:54:58 AM

Something like the 6850 might slip under that £80 budget in a few months time :)  (currently priced around £100 mark) Maybe even 6870 if your really lucky :)  (currently priced around £125 mark).

Look forward to seeing you back in a few months :) 
!