[New Build] £250-300 Case (no psu), CPU, RAM, Motherboard

Approximate Purchase Date: (this week (unless something is round the corner))

Budget Range: (e.g.: £250-300) Case (no psu), CPU, RAM, Motherboard (discrete graphics card next month)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Computer Aided Design, Rendering, Transcoding, Counterstrike Source (no other games), Audio Creation, Small LAN Server)

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) Re-using EVO 650W Power supply P/N EP10N1 (temporary power supply while using onboard graphics)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.: ebuyer.com, kustompcs.com)

Country of Origin: (England, United Kingdom)

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (ATI for Ubuntu graphics support using open source drivers, Nvidia for closed stable gnu/linux drivers, Intel for potential use as hackintosh later down the line. AMD for performance/price in Mid low range). Intel (again for potential as Hackintosh and if it doesnt cost the earth Quick Sync for rendering).

Overclocking: Yes (what ever the board will do at the push of a button, not changing voltage etc manually)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (later down the line when I have saved more cash

Monitor Resolution: (dual screens after buying discrete card at 1280x1024, or above, preferably around 1600x1200)

Additional Comments: (Lots all below)

I'm looking to build a new system and wanted to run a couple of things
by you. I've been hunting around for a month and get more confused with every passing day. As Im the sort that only buys a new computer when the old hardware fails (6 years on the last system) I am really looking to future proof on a budget. Thats why so far I have only come up with an AMD build due to budget. I gave myself £250 for Case (no psu), CPU, RAM and Motherboard. However Im willing to push this if it will give me a solid machine that will do the following things well for the next 5 years..or more.

1. I dont game apart from Counterstrike Source
2. I will be rendering, transcoding, 3D Modelling and pretty much all other design tasks though these are the most resource intensive.
3. Would want to start off with Ubuntu with WINE using integrated/onboard graphics, 1 as a backup and 2 allowing me to save up for a great discrete graphics card.
4. May also set up as a small server to distribute content (but this is for testing and not enough to require a server board).
5. SP/DIF optical audio ouput

Here are the parts I have found so far:

Antec One Hundred 100 Case (cheaper than the 300 with most of the trimmings)

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AMD 880G (probably not going to use a quad GPU setup maybe not even crossfire so not sure i need 890 chipset, have read issues with some of the ASUS boards and wondered if this one is very stable?)

G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz Ripjaws Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24)
1.6V (Quality Vendors List F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM (XMP) has xmp in brackets but im sure this is extreme memory profile to do with Intel or just the way it looks?)

AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95w 1.5MB L2 Cache Retail
Boxed Processor (Apparently its easy enough to open a stable 4th core on
them if your lucky so looking for a bargain here)

Any ideas on this?
Looks like its to long to wait for Bulldozer cores but am i just investing in very old architecture here?
Should I wait longer, however after recent events in Japan i can already see some component prices beginning to rise?

Last system was an Athlon 3000+ venice core, 1 Gig OCZ DDR ram, DFI Lanparty CF-DR and an Saphire Ati x800/850 GTO card so whatever I buy I should be happy with the speed increase.

4 answers Last reply
More about build 250 300 case psu cpu ram motherboard
  1. For 320 pounds I got this on ebuyer.com:
    CPU: £167 i5-2500K
    Mobo: £90 MSI P67
    RAM: £37 4GB (2x2GB) 1600MHz CL9 DDR3
    Case: £26 Anything

    Save money on the case and get a CPU that's twice as powerful. It won't look as cool, but if you're on a budget, you may as well get the computer that will be awesome in two years.
  2. dalauder said:
    For 320 pounds I got this on ebuyer.com:
    CPU: £167 i5-2500K
    Mobo: £90 MSI P67
    RAM: £37 4GB (2x2GB) 1600MHz CL9 DDR3
    Case: £26 Anything

    Save money on the case and get a CPU that's twice as powerful. It won't look as cool, but if you're on a budget, you may as well get the computer that will be awesome in two years.

    Hi dalauder, thanks for the response. Are there any major reasons why you picked the MSI P67 board and not the others in the tomshardware comparison like the Asus P8P67 Pro (only going off a fair few comments saying they are more stable than the MSI boards and others, but I may be wrong)?

    Plus seeing as this is going down the Intel route which I have never done before is there anything I should be aware off? For example is the £90 MSI board on ebuyer guaranteed not to have the issues seen in the first wave of P67 boards or is that all out of the way now?

    Forgive my lack of understanding for these next questions.

    With the B3 chipset being £135 is there a reason I should spend the extra cash on that? Is this in case I use a different processor later down the line or does it just effected using certain SATA ports?
    And finally does the i5-2500K have integrated graphics which are Ubuntu friendly?

    Many thanks again.
  3. Graphics--Oh, I thought you meant that you already had an old PCI-e graphics card. If you want integrated graphics, you have to go with the H67 chipset. It cannot overclock though, which is forfeiting 35%+ performance gains. As far as "push of a button"--you don't have to mess much with voltages with an unlocked processor until you start pushing it. You often can get a big boost (600MHz or more) on stock voltages. I do not know about Ubuntu compatibility, but from my experience with Linux, the developers are pretty spot-on in terms of keeping up with new graphics hardware.

    B3 Revision--My bad, I didn't see that ebuyer was actually still offering the non-B3 Revision motherboards. You want a B3 board, but as you said, it ONLY affects certain SATA ports. It will not impact the socket or CPU compatibility. That said, you should get a B3 board. I only picked the MSI board because of your budget and because it was cheap.

    In terms of longevity/future proofing, you'll get double the lifetime out of a Sandy Bridge build than an AMD K10 (Phenom II/Athlon II) build. This is analogous to the lifetime of a Bulldozer build vs AMD K10. It'll cost you an extra 80 pounds when it's all said and done, but you get a much faster and cooler running PC for much longer. If you can afford it, it's the way to go. What I really wanted to show you is that Sandy Bridge is cost competitive right now.

    You can get an H67 mobo and i3-2100 right now. It will save you money and beat any stock AMD K10 build, but will NOT allow any overclocking.

    The Z68 chipset for LGA 1155 is coming out soon. If you can stand waiting for it, it will have integrated graphics and the lucid hydra chip can allow you to use the Sandy Bridge superior transcoding performance along with discrete graphics (which you can just buy later on). It is also overclock capable (K series only).
  4. Yep if u can wait, especially for your apps Bulldozer floating point numbers are looking mind boggling
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