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First Time Build, Budget £5-600(ish)

Last response: in Systems
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May 8, 2010 10:41:04 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of May/Early June


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet, Movies, Word Processing


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Mouse


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Ebuyer or Dabs


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK


PARTS PREFERENCES: No Preference


OVERCLOCKING: Maybe


CROSSFIRE:NO


MONITOR RESOLUTION: No preference

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for a responsive. respectable system that can be upgraded gradually over the yers as my finances (hopefully) improve. A quiet PC would be nice!

Here is what I have come up with (shamelessly plagarised from a magazine):

AMD ATHLON II X2 240 2.8GHZ AM3
http://www.dabs.com/products/amd-athlon-ii-x2-240-2-8gh...

MSI 770-C45 AMD 770 AM3 DDR3 Support 8 channel Blu-ray Audio GB LAN ATX Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/165438

Asus GeForce GTS 250 512MB PCI-Express 2.0 HDMI
http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-geforce-gts-250-512mb...

Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz Memory Kit Unbuffered CL9
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/178943

Akasa 3U HEATPIPE CU BASE ALI FIN HEAT SINK PWM FAN
http://www.dabs.com/products/akasa-3u-heatpipe-cu-base-...

Antec 300 Three Hundred Case
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

Western Digital WD5000AADS 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache - OEM Caviar Green
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167819

Sony AD-7240S 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM Internal SATA Black Bare Drive - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164449

22"Acer P225HQbd Black Full HD 1080P TFT Monitor, 1920x1080, 50,000:1, DVI/VGA
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22Acer-P225HQbd-Black-Fu...

With Windows 7 64bit on a student deal that works out about £607 in total.

They also recommended an intel Core i3 530 2.93GHz Socket 1156 4MB L3 Retail Box Processor http://www.ebuyer.com/product/185937

Along with a Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H H55 Socket 1156 VGA DVI HDMI Out 8 CHannel Audio ATX Motherboard
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/189292

But I'm unsure as to if these will give a noticeably improved performance/be generally worthwhile.

Many thanks for all your suggestions.

May 9, 2010 12:07:23 AM

When I add all the listed components up it comes to around £570, so it looks to me like you've forgotten to list your PSU. Let us know what it is so we know or we can suggest one.

If your not going to be gaming then you can use integrated video perfectly fine. Also you should try and order from as few sites as possible to save on delivery charges. AMD is probably the better route for being able to upgrade the CPU and cheaper for getting a motherboard that can do two ATI graphics cards. The i3 530 has an IGP so you could easily go that route to drop the graphics card. I'd say that the i3 530 would be a bit faster than a dual core Athlon, but with what I'm thinking you could get an AMD CPU that would be as fast/faster than the i3.

You should change your harddrive to either this Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB £38 or this Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB £39 as these are much faster than any green drives and hardly use any more power.

If you go onboard video then you can always add a video card later if it turns out you need one. I would suggest this motherboard for the onboard route: Asus M4A785TD-V Evo £72. You might even be able to afford one of the new 800 series chipsets with onboard so that next year or later you might be able to add a fast SSD.

This set of RAM is a tad faster due to the lower timings/latency/CL than the set you linked: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £95.

For a quiet cooler I would suggest this: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 £17. I wouldn't really recommend this for a proper overclock.

You'll probably be able to get a good tri or quad core after the saving from losing the graphics card. Or a more expensive monitor, if the extra expense can get you a better one would be nice.

Hopefully you will either save some money or be able to improve the build even more.
May 9, 2010 10:39:40 AM

Thanks ever so much for your feedback.

The PSU is:
Corsair 400W CX PSU - 12cm Fan 80Plus Certified Efficiency 6x SATA 1x PCI-E
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150985

So just to clarify:
- replace the harddrive, RAM and cooler with your recommendations
- change the motherboard to your recommendation and drop the graphics card

I am a bit confused, would you suggest to stick with the AMD CPU or change to the i3 530?

Many thanks
Related resources
May 9, 2010 12:18:09 PM

I would stick with an AMD CPU, but from the saving from not having a graphics card then you should easily be able to afford a tri or quad core which will be much better at multi-tasking. I haven't read that many reviews of Asaka CPU coolers, but I know the Arctic Cooler has a good reputation for being quiet and it's quite cheap.

AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz £67
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2 £17
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176157

Asus M4A785TD-V Evo £72
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169532

Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £95
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278

Corsair 400W CX PSU - 12cm Fan 80Plus Certified Efficiency 6x SATA 1x PCI-E £42
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150985

Antec 300 Three Hundred Case £43
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

Sony AD-7240S 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM Internal SATA Black Bare Drive - OEM £17
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164449

22"Acer P225HQbd Black Full HD 1080P TFT Monitor, 1920x1080, 50,000:1, DVI/VGA £114
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22Acer-P225HQbd-Black-Fu...

Total £467 (+ however much Win 7 costs for you.)

This build would be perfectly adequate at the lower end of your budget. If you went to the top end of your budget you could get a faster quad core, which would be even faster at your tasks, you could get a 800 series chipset (probably 890GX) with onboard video and SATA 6Gbps/USB3, maybe a power supply that could more easily accommodate a graphics card if you wanted to add one at any point, maybe a nicer case - the Antec 300 is a very nice budget case, maybe a nicer monitor. I don't think you would be able to make all of those changes, so you would have to decide if you wanted to spend up to £600 and then which of those things would be most important/appealing to you.
May 9, 2010 4:22:12 PM

Thanks for your comments. Is there a quad-core that you could suggest/recommend?
May 14, 2010 2:35:45 PM

Yea that would be fine, good price for an appropriate CPU.
!