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Novice and on a budget... But hopefully a decent build...

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September 9, 2011 9:25:15 AM

Hi All,

Following discussions across a couple of different forum posts (mainly here – http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/320341-13-easy-buil...) i have what i hope amounts to a pretty decent, all rounder, capable of replacing an aging PC and providing my wife with a relatively cheap, but pretty stable, capable and futureproof system that will provide many years of gaming joy (by games i mean largely MMO’s like LOTRO on medium (+) settings etc.)

Huge thanks to ‘AdrianPerry’ in particular for the build suggestions where i started btw – Not to mention all the superb help and support provided by the community here in general.

So, summarising the previous posts etc. - 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 10:40:43 AM

Looks pretty good to me, considering your budget. The GPU is a bit weak but you say it's Free, so I can't fault that. Power supply should be good for future upgrades but I've seen some 'less than pleasing' reviews on this unit. See Newegg.com for reviews from customers.
You will probably get some responses that your CPU and/or MoBo aren't the latest and greatest, but you have a budget, right?
September 9, 2011 10:46:52 AM

Hey there - Yeah pretty much; originally all this is a result of some lengthy discussion here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/320341-13-easy-buil... but thought i would post a regular 'what do you think' post to get some other opinions/sense check some decisions without people having to wade through my (painfully slow) learning process lol :) 

Re: CPU - Yeah - i was actually looking at spending an extra few ££ to get the Triple core version of the CPU, figuring it would again save me money in the long run. And yeah; the plan is to get something now for a total cost of less than £350 - that is as powerful/stable/future-proof as it can be (for the limited budget) - and then, in a month or two, get a nice big fat shiny GPU to plug in to again, hopefully give a very nice improvement (but yeah, for now the GPU is in an old machine and is coping fine, so i figure i can save some money on that right now and get that extra bit of RAM/extra PSU now, then upgrade the GPU later on)

Thanks for the feedback :) 

- Robert
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September 9, 2011 11:09:21 AM

There is a way better build for this budget.

A basic mATX case from Asus

Asus Vento TM-B11 Black MicroATX Case - No PSU
http://www.ebuyer.com/158478-asus-vento-tm-b11-black-mi...

A powerful PSU from Silverstone for future upgrades (ex Radeon HD 6670)

Silverstone Tech. Strider SST-ST50F-ES 500W Power Supply (PSU)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-psu-silverstone-tec...

Triple Core Athlon II. At 2011 we don't get crappy Dual Core CPUs!

AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95w 1.5MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
http://www.ebuyer.com/238326-amd-athlon-ii-x3-450-3-2gh...

The best motherboard perfomance / dollar wise.. Socket AM3+, high quality components (all solid capacitors), USB 3.0 and Core Unlocker so there's a good chance to turn your 3 core CPU into a 4 core one. The only bad thing is that it doesn't support SATA 6.0 GB/s. Unless you get a SATA 6GB/s SSD you won't feel any difference in perfomance though!

Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 AMD 760G AM3+ mATX Motherboard
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-m5a78l-m-usb3-amd-7...

8GB are great of course but with this budget 4GB will do the job too. I choose a high speed kit in case of future upgrade!

Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX XMP Kit CL9 (9-9-9-27) 1.65V
http://www.ebuyer.com/253155-kingston-4gb-2x2gb-ddr3-16...

A better HDD both in perfomance and reliability

Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/146252-samsung-spinpoint-f3-500gb...

Optical

Samsung SH-S222AB 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black
http://www.ebuyer.com/268621-samsung-sh-s222ab-22x-dvd-...

And Windows 7 64 bit

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English
http://www.ebuyer.com/259863-microsoft-windows-7-home-p...


Sum is 322£ for a much better pc fully upgradeable to AMD FX CPUs and with very good perfomance! With the first chance I would add a 6670!
September 9, 2011 11:13:47 AM

^^ how is a SilverStone 500w, more powerful than a Corsair 600w??
September 9, 2011 11:14:54 AM

AdrianPerry said:
^^ how is a SilverStone 500w, more powerful than a Corsair 600w??


LOL didn't notice that :D  Thought it was the 430 watt version :D 
September 9, 2011 11:15:51 AM

michxymi said:
LOL didn't notice that :D  Thought it was the 430 watt version :D 


Fair enough :) 
September 9, 2011 11:18:29 AM

Either PSUs will do the job of course..even If you add a 6670 ;) 
September 9, 2011 11:18:47 AM

michxymi said:
LOL didn't notice that :D  Thought it was the 430 watt version :D 


Heh - You had me wondering there - i was checking the stats on both trying to figure out how the cheaper 500W one was more powerful than the 600W one lol

Looks like a pretty decent build though - really does; very much persuaded by the triple core (with potential for quad) AMD CPU, and that motehrboard looks great too - Only slight concern is that case - My Gods that's ugly lol ;) 

So... Now to do some maths and see if i can take the case and RAM from *my* build, and the rest from yours... And see if i can get the lot to under £350 :) 

Thanks all!!

- Robert
September 9, 2011 11:19:08 AM

Also the motherboard spec says this:

DDR3 - 1066
DDR3 - 1333
DDR3 - 1800(OC)
DDR3 - 1866(OC)
DDR3 - 2000(OC)

Im guessing its a typo and 1800 should say 1600?

Double checked ASUS website and seems ok:
4 x DIMM, Max. 16GB, DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066 Hz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

EDIT:
Also this:
* AMD FX Series CPU on this motherboard supports up to DDR3 1866MHz as its standard memory frequency.
* AMD AM3 100 and 200 series CPU support up to DDR3 1066MHz.

Be very careful which RAM you choose. Check its supported from ASUS website first based on your CPU choice.
September 9, 2011 11:25:42 AM

Case is your choice of course...anything around this price point will do the job!

EDIT:

If he upgrades he can o/c the memory I choose, I guess and reach 1866Mhz or something close..
!