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Multi Use PC for £600

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Anonymous
June 16, 2011 8:23:08 PM

Right, here's the deal:

I need a new family PC. I've had a little experience upgrading RAM and such but I don't feel confident enough to actually go and built one from scratch. I've seen some UK websites which allow you to configure builds; the best seems to be http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/pcs/ for components available. However; I'd be quite happy to add in a component ordered separately as long as they did most of the work - so for example if there's a better video card option not on the site, I could order it from somewhere else and install it myself.

So without further ado:

Approximate Purchase Date: Maybe a week or two from now.

Budget Range: £600 from the site mentioned above; or including a couple of parts sourced individually from other UK parts websites. Just select "NONE - I ALREADY HAVE A ..." on that website.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: A lot of internet browing, moderate gaming, photo, video and audio editing. Also, Sibelius (music editing software).

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Monitor, Mouse, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/pcs/ for main build, any UK one for extra parts.

Country of Origin: UK

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: I doubt it for £600? Not sure...

Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050... with the possibility of upgrading to 1920 x 1080, and then maybe using the two together?

Additional Comments: None really...

Right, so those are the uses. Now I specced two builds (one Intel, one AMD) using only parts from the website. Both were within £1 of £600. They are:

____________________________________________

Case COOLERMASTER ELITE 310 BLUE CASE

Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™i5-2500 Quad Core (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache) + HD Graphics

Motherboard ASUS® P8P67 (NEW REV 3.0): USB 3.0, SATA 6.0GB/s, CrossFireX™

Memory (RAM) 4GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 2GB)

Graphics Card 1GB AMD RADEON™ HD6850 - 2 DVI,HDMI, DP - DX® 11, Eyefinity 3 Capable

Hard Disk 500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

Power Supply 450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£29)

Processor Cooling SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£19)

____________________________________________

Case COOLERMASTER ELITE 310 BLUE CASE

Processor (CPU) AMD PHENOM II X6 1100T (3.30GHz/9MB CACHE) - BLACK EDITION

Motherboard ASUS® M5A87: AM3+ PLATFORM, DUAL DDR3,SATA 6.0GB/s, USB 3.0

Memory (RAM) 8GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz (2 x 4GB KIT)

Graphics Card 1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 - DVI,HDMI,VGA - 3D Vision Ready

Memory - 1st Hard Disk 500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

Power Supply 450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£29)

Processor Cooling SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£19)

___________________________________________

So;

1. Which would you recommend? I hear that the i5 is pretty amazing - and more suited to gaming than the hex core? - but the AMD hex is cheaper and therefore I can up the RAM (and it's speed) and the graphics card.

But have a look on the website and see what else is on offer, and then;

2. What (if anything) would you change (either on the site or using other parts) to make them fit my requirements better?

Thanks in advance :) 

Mark

More about : multi 600

June 16, 2011 8:51:12 PM

Hey Mark, welcome to the forums.

I just checked out the site. Tried to configure a PC, but couldn't get a good one for the price (best I could get was about £40 over) . However I built one on Ebuyer with similar specs (better in some cases) and came out with a £547 build, shipped. I know you don't feel comfortable, but it's about



Asus P8H67-M R3 H67 1155 Socket 8 Channel HD Audio mATX Motherboard £78.82

Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz Memory Kit Unbuffered CL9 £34.17

Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus Case £53.36

XFX HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Dual Mini Display Port Out Graphics Card £123.99

Corsair 500W CX Series PSU £44.97

Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM £32.07

Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz Socket LGA 1155 6MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £149.01

LiteOn iHAS224 24x DVD±RW DL RAM & Lightscribe SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black £14.49

Total was £547 SHIPPED on ebuyer.

For PCspecialists? £638.

It's your call. Either way, I would configure your build like the one above. The i5-2400 WAY outstrips the Phenom II x6. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/147?vs=363 Not the higher is better/lower is better. The i5-2400 is they way to go.
4GB of ram is fine.
If you must have £600, drop the GPU to a 6850 I guess.

The last point I want to make is this is for sure a gamer PC. If it's a general purpose, we could easily get the price much lower. This is probably a BF3 ready system.

Cheers Mark!
Anonymous
June 16, 2011 9:26:55 PM

Thank you for the quick reply :) 

I reckon I might try giving a complete home built a try, I do have a few friends who have built gaming rigs before and this forum looks good if I have any queries.

I think you're right as to goign for an i5 over the hex core - the hex might have the edge for video editing maybe, but as those processors are being phased out then Sandy Bridge is probably better for future proofing.

I thought I might as well get the i5-2500 over the 2400, as it only costs £4 more on Ebuyer... I'd regret not getting it.

As to the mobo, the h67 seems to fit the needs of the other components specced, but is less upgradable? Is that correct?

What's the hierarchy in terms of HD6850 vs HD6870 vs GTX 560?
Related resources
June 16, 2011 9:42:32 PM

Alrighty! Glad you came round xD

If you are going 2500, go 2500k. Allows overclocking to crazy levels (think 5GHz) which will significantly speed up your pc. it's only $7 more (Tired of doing the alt codes. £=$ for me from now on :p ), so totally worth it IMO.

Yes, H67 is a slight inhibitor. You'd best go P67 or Z68 (they allow overclocking)

And it goes 6870>GTX 560>6850

Let me know what you come up with :) 
Anonymous
June 16, 2011 10:29:35 PM

Thank you, I'll have a further look round in the morning and post here...
!