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A reliable and snappy PC build ?

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February 21, 2013 10:57:07 AM

Hello,

Would like to make a smallish, reliable and snappy PC.
Is the parts list below balanced - how do you think it could be improved?

The budget is £600, uk. Main apps are Sketchup, Libre Writer, GIMP and browsing. I've already got a HP 1920x1200 monitor. Preference for Intel CPU's. There's no overclocking, no gaming & no dvd movies. I'd like to use Intel HD4000 internal graphics and save the cost of a graphics card.

Looking to use a smallish case, volume approx 10 -15 litres. An internal 5.25 dvd data drive would be prefered. The PC will be used by for writing books, articles, picture correction, cabinet making cad models. I've tried to select parts with a reputation for reliability and performance.

(Motivation: current PC getting old and wanting to preempt aging failures, plus XP is unsupported next year. It's not bad, but it does feel a bit slow loading and running with larger docs, manipulating images, and larger sketchup models)

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£102.98 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75N LGA1155 Mini-ITX Motherboard (£65.99)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.00 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£99.74 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Silverstone SST-SG05B-USB3.0 (Black) Mini ITX Desktop Case w/300W Power Supply (£83.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD/CD Writer (£19.50 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
Total: £542.15
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 12:09 GMT+0000)

More about : reliable snappy build

February 21, 2013 12:59:10 PM

looks good, you can save money by going with ddr3 1333
February 21, 2013 1:05:25 PM

^ stay with DDR3 1600 as it is used by intel HD 4000

very neat build, as an alternative, you can swap the case with Cooler Master 120 and separate PSU. we all know PSU that comes with case is usually not good in quality

Xfx 450, seasonic 360, corsair cx 430 V2
those are high quality low wattage PSU
Related resources
February 21, 2013 1:08:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£102.98 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.00 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Intel 520 Series Cherryville 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£99.74 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case (£30.95 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£34.99 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On DS-8A8SH DVD/CD Writer (£19.50 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£65.99 @ Aria PC)
Other: Gigabyte GA-B75N LGA1155 Mini-ITX Motherboard (£65.99)
Total: £524.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 15:08 GMT+0000)
February 21, 2013 1:23:47 PM

Just 1 quick thought.

At that price range and no graphics card would you consider an A10 5800k?

Con: not intel
uses more power

Pro's: capable of overclocking (not required)
much better graphics capability (APU vice CPU)
much better performance (4 cores operating at a faster speed)

Just a thought - you'll be happy with either !

Good Luck !
February 21, 2013 10:07:19 PM

odiervr said:
Just 1 quick thought.

At that price range and no graphics card would you consider an A10 5800k?

Con: not intel
uses more power

Pro's: capable of overclocking (not required)
much better graphics capability (APU vice CPU)
much better performance (4 cores operating at a faster speed)

Just a thought - you'll be happy with either !

Good Luck !


If you need a strong CPU, you won't find it in the A10. It may have four cores but those four cores are very weak in comparison to the i3's dual core. If you want to use integrated graphics, this is better sure, but it's not a strong CPU.
February 22, 2013 3:31:01 PM

Thank-you, for all of your comments, much appreciated.
alvine said:
looks good, you can save money by going with ddr3 1333

AMD Radeon said:
^ stay with DDR3 1600 as it is used by intel HD 4000

Staying with the ddr1600 for the HD4000 is a subtlety that I would never have found out – thanks to both of you.

odiervr said:
Just 1 quick thought.
At that price range and no graphics card would you consider an A10 5800k?

A10-5800k: Ah, I'd thought hard about this option and was worried I might be missing a trick here. In the end I was left with the impression that the i3-3225 would make a better all-rounder.

AMD Radeon said:
you can swap the case with Cooler Master 120 and separate PSU. we all know PSU that comes with case is usually not good in quality

Xfx 450, seasonic 360, corsair cx 430 V2
those are high quality low wattage PSU

Agreed. I found the case and psu selection have been very challenging, so far requiring compromise. I even have a spreadsheet sorting 20 itx cases by volume etc to help selection. Initially disregarding cases with a) cost >£100, b) no cooling fan, c) without space for 1x5.25, 1x3.5, 1x2.5 drives, d) without onboard psu, e) volume >15 litres. This left the Silverston SG05 and SG06.

Add the Lian-Li PC-Q16 (allowing an external 5.25 drive) but the case is still supplied with a 300w psu, so overall no better.

Being more flexible, the Lian-Li PC-Q03, PC-Q07 are small (10.2 & 11.6 litres), with drive bays, and interestingly use PS2/ATX psu's (max size 140 and 160mm). But, NO cooling fans, relying on the psu fans to pull air. I think maintain external air through the case is very important to component temperature and hence reliability. I don't understand what control, if any, there is of the PSU fans, but I suspect little to none?

Another option is the Lian-Li PC-Q11 (17 litres). Like the Coolermaster 120 (19.9 litres and a whopping 401mm deep), it also supports PS2/ATX and includes a fan. These cases are starting to feel large.

Frustration. So, my focus returned to the SG05 with the supplied PSU. A little digging suggested the supplied Silverstone 300w psu is made by FSP, and is a modified FSP300-60GHS. I did find a test article: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FSP300-60GHS-Pow... This seemed to indicate this psu is okay. How would you view the quality of this psu?




February 22, 2013 3:35:56 PM

Quote:
A10-5800k: Ah, I'd thought hard about this option and was worried I might be missing a trick here. In the end I was left with the impression that the i3-3225 would make a better all-rounder.


Yes, if you want a strong CPU, you won't find it in the A10. The A10 is a great GPU, but it's not really a solid CPU.

Quote:
Frustration. So, my focus returned to the SG05 with the supplied PSU. A little digging suggested the supplied Silverstone 300w psu is made by FSP, and is a modified FSP300-60GHS. I did find a test article: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] view/757/1 This seemed to indicate this psu is okay. How would you view the quality of this psu?


FSP is supposedly one of the better OEMs. Seasonic, Sirtec, and Super Flower are among the best you can get. You might want to check the OEM index to be sure: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...
February 22, 2013 4:22:21 PM

People saying the A10 isn't a strong CPU are smoking it. If you consider the i3-3220 a decent CPU, the A10-5800k is in the same class, in terms of performance (and you can overclock the A10). It's advantages are way better 3d graphics, disadvantages are more power usage which equals more heat to get rid of. For a mini-itx build where you never see yourself gaming, an ivy bridge is going to run cooler and make running a silent build way easier, but it is *not* going to be any different in day to day usage as far as speed. FX-4300, A10-5800k and i3-3220 are all basically in the same class/similar performance in day to day usage.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/A10-5800K-vs-Cor...

Edit to add, AMD's problem is that there isn't much available *better* than the i3-3220/A10-5800k/FX-4300 class, not that they can't even match an i3.
!