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£550 - £600 PC for games & films & watching cable

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Anonymous
June 23, 2010 6:56:35 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: before friday 25th.. BUDGET RANGE: £550 to £600 (absolute max)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: watching HD films & cable tv (virgin), gaming, general

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ebuyer.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

PARTS PREFERENCES: n/a

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: not sure yet.

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I have picked the following parts so far:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.5GHz Socket 775 1333FSB 4MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158333

Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L iG31 Socket 775 onboard VGA 7.1 channel audio mATX Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152225

Kingston 2GB 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Unbuffered Non-ECC CL6 1.8V
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148853

Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Soundcard - Retail Boxed
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127553

Samsung SH-B083L 8x BD-ROM with DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA - OEM Black
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/221349

Casecom MA-1199 Shiny Silver with Black Front MATX Tower Case - No PSU
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/160917

Arctic Power 700W PSU
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124927

Kworld PlusTV PE355-2T Dual DVB-T TV PCI Express Low Profile Tuner Card With MCE Remote
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/177471

Hitachi Deskstar 0S02573 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/206080

not 100% sure on the graphics card yet!

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Im building this computer for a friend and this is what I have so far. I need some advice on a graphics card for around about £100. I am also looking for your thoughts on what I have put together so far and whether there is anything I could improve upon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!
June 23, 2010 6:59:13 PM

For gaming id get an ati 5770 and instead of that intel you might want the AMD Phenom 955 or the Athlon 640.
Anonymous
June 23, 2010 7:18:48 PM

hey,

thanks for the reply. just to elaborate a little, the machine will be used for casual gaming rather than enthusiast gaming! also would you be able to briefly say why you are recommending the parts you are? cheers!
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June 23, 2010 7:54:44 PM

Well, it depends on what you want to run. But the 5770 should run anything you want on max settings if your just a casual gamer. Its a good card. And also, the 955 black edition has an l3 cache so it may go a little faster then the intel chip. Its supposed to be great for gaming and since its a black edition, its easily overclockable.
June 23, 2010 8:24:29 PM

Here is an alternate build that uses parts which I would consider to be either newer, more modern, more appropriate, better, faster and higher quality parts:

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz £65
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

Mobo: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO 785G £67
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169532

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £87
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278

HDD: Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB £55
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804
Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12 1TB £53
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158798
These are widely regarded as the best choices as they use 500GB platters, which allows them to perform very fast, while being quieter than a lot of harddrives. Also the fewer platters mean that

GPU: Sapphire HD 5770 512MB £120
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/199404

Disk drive: Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW £14.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

Case: Antec 300 £42
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

PSU: Be Quiet 530W Pure Power £45
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190751

Total: $496

Onboard sound on AM3 boards I know is of a pretty good standard, so I'd suggest checking it out before buying a soundcard.
You could cut down to a single 2GB stick of 1333mhz DDR3 RAM in this build if you wanted to be able to afford a quad core/Phenom or something else. As for your uses you don't need a quad core CPU and the X3 440 is a very nice choice for all kinds of uses.
The PSU in your build does not look like good quality to me as it only provides PCI-E connectors via molex adapters. It also may not have horror stories attached to it, but you won't find a professional/technical review of it. Such a review will tell you whether the PSU has stable voltages. The lackthereof would be likely to damage your other components (mobo, RAM etc). Personally I think it is wise to find a PSU that has been shown to provide stable voltages. Which the Be Quiet has done, it is also 80Plus certified, which is another sign of quality, has hardwired PCI-E connectors and is from a reputable brand/OEM - many of it's units have been shown to provide stable voltages and been highly recommended as high quality PSUs. The same can't be said for Arctic Power.
The Antec case is a typical budget recommendation. It should be higher quality than the casecom, has much greater potential for cooling/airflow, can fit large graphics cards.
!