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Can I build a system as good as this for under £500?

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June 16, 2009 10:20:31 PM

Hey

Need a new computer for my brothers and had my eye on this:

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODUCTV...

Was wondering though would I be able to build something with a similar spec for a similar price to that Mesh PC?

More about : build system good 500

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 11:22:01 PM

That's a pretty nice deal, but I need to point out the problems with it:

The power supply will be weak and incapable of running a better graphics card.
The RAM is sub-standard now. should be 4GB.

How about we see if you can build better for £500?

I'm going to use scan because they are well organised. You may want to check Dabs and ebuyer for prices:

http://www.scan.co.uk/
http://www.dabs.com/homepage.aspx
http://www.ebuyer.com/

MB
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigabyte-GA-MA770-UD3-AM...

CPU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Phenom-II-X3-720-Bla...

Memory
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=1030794

Case
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coolermaster-RC-330-V2-E...(New-Improved-Version)-Scan-Exclusive

PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/400W-Corsair-Power-Serie...

GPU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512Mb-Sapphire-HD-4670-D...

HD
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/320-GB-Western-Digital-W...

Optical
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Samsung-SH-S223B-BEBE-22...

Monitor
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22-Neovo-H-W22-Widescree...

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 11:27:52 PM

You can save quite a bit on the monitor by not paying shipping and buying locally.

As I said, those are not the best prices.

You got a much faster processor, GPU, and a much stronger PSU.
You also go a roomier case.

Compare prices and you'll come under 500.... but you won't have the OS yet.
Related resources
June 16, 2009 11:37:27 PM

Proximon said:
That's a pretty nice deal, but I need to point out the problems with it:

The power supply will be weak and incapable of running a better graphics card.
The RAM is sub-standard now. should be 4GB.

How about we see if you can build better for £500?

I'm going to use scan because they are well organised. You may want to check Dabs and ebuyer for prices:

http://www.scan.co.uk/
http://www.dabs.com/homepage.aspx
http://www.ebuyer.com/

MB
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigabyte-GA-MA770-UD3-AM...

CPU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Phenom-II-X3-720-Bla...

Memory
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=1030794

Case
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coolermaster-RC-330-V2-E...(New-Improved-Version)-Scan-Exclusive

PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/400W-Corsair-Power-Serie...

GPU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512Mb-Sapphire-HD-4670-D...

HD
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/320-GB-Western-Digital-W...

Optical
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Samsung-SH-S223B-BEBE-22...

Monitor
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22-Neovo-H-W22-Widescree...



Thanks for your excellent reply.

I think you misread on the Mesh website but the PC I linked to is 4Gb RAM.

Also if you click the customise it lets you choose a different graphics card, it also tells you that to do so you have to upgrade the case to one with a better power supply. Adding the new case and graphics card bumps to price up to £650 however!
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 11:42:42 PM

Sometimes I handle too many threads at once also :) 

Anyway, I think the answer is yes, you can do better. Especially if you can get Windows 7.
June 16, 2009 11:45:06 PM

I thought Windows 7 wasn't out yet?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 11:48:42 PM

It isnt out yet, thats why you can save quite a bit of money for now. Download the RC from the microsoft website, you can use it for free until march 2010, presumably you will have upgraded to a real version of windows 7 by then.
June 17, 2009 12:02:57 AM

Oh right I understand.

Thanks for your help guys. I will research a bit more into prices.

Would all those components you selected make a good system?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 12:06:16 AM

For being a budget system and including the monitor that is quite good and better than the one you were planning on buying in every respect.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 12:30:05 AM

And please do shop around and come back to us with a final list, we'll look it over.
June 17, 2009 12:53:33 AM

I will definitely be back once I have compared prices and read reviews for those components.

It seems you have chosen some really good stuff there though :D 

Can you recommend any other cases however?
June 17, 2009 10:29:45 AM

Thanks for your reply :) 

Really like how that case looks! Will definitely consider it.


Another question...

The hard drive...if I wanted to use more than 320Gb would I just need to find a Sata drive? Or am I looking for anything specific to work with that motherboard?

June 17, 2009 7:32:21 PM

Cheers :) 


Sorry for having so many questions but have had alot of free time lately and have been reading up on this stuff alot.

I read that the CPU you recommended is only tri-core...how much more would it cost to go for a full quad-core?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 7:40:46 PM

And to be clear, you do understand that the X3 is FAR faster than the original quad you were looking at, right?
June 17, 2009 7:53:53 PM

Yeh I understood that. Ive just started taking all this quite serious and would fork out a bit more money if it meant I would be better of in the long run.

Whats it like compared to a full quad-core like that X4 940?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 9:08:33 PM

What is the X3 like compared to the X4 in games?

This article covers that pretty well, both overclocked and stock. For most games and with a single GPU, the difference is not large. If you were video encoding or doing a lot of photoshop it would be different. The X4 would be more future proof however.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-cpu-overclock,2...
June 17, 2009 9:46:39 PM

I really cant thank you enough for all your help.

Am I right in saying that the motherboard is still compatible with the X4?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 10:07:46 PM

The motherboard is an AM2+ socket which is compatiable with Athlon II's, and all Phenom II's from the x2 dual core, to the x4 quad core. Benefit of the AM2+ socket, it works with processors in need of AM2, AM2+, and AM3 sockets.
June 17, 2009 10:37:25 PM

You guys are amazing thank you so much!

My list of components is really coming along now.

Was wondering though now that I have changed my case is that PSU still compatible?

a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 11:01:40 PM

If you are going to get anything stronger than the 4670 for a graphics card you should upgrade to a 450 or 500 watt psu, compile your list of parts and then we will assist you in finding a power supply that will suffice.
June 17, 2009 11:20:22 PM

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 £57.49
CPU AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition £143.68
Memory 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2 £40.08
Case Antec 300 £30.23
GPU Sapphire HD 4670 £54.27
HD 640 GB Western Digital WD6401AALS £52.28
Optical Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22x DVD±R £16.96
Monitor 22" Neovo H-W22 Widescreen LCD £130.99
Extras 2 x S12-EB - 120mm Coolermaster Silent Internal Case Fan with Blue LED Quiet 22db @ £5.62 £11.25

Total: £525.98

Still looking into prices but have spent most my time just deciding what components to go for.

What PSU would you recommend for that build then guys? Anything you would change?

Also it it worth spending a bit more on a better graphics card to go with the X4?

And finally, if I wanted to upgrade in the future to Blu Ray would this be compatible?

a b B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2009 11:23:27 PM

Since you kept your graphics card the same i would stick with the same power supply that proximon suggested earlier. BluRay drives work just like any other optical drive, as long as you have a spare power connector and a spare sata cable you can add BluRay down the road.
June 18, 2009 10:58:52 AM

I think for now I will be sticking with the HD 4670 for the graphics card.

Are there any places there where I could be saving money?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 18, 2009 2:21:23 PM

See if you can find a good monitor locally and avoid shipping costs.
June 18, 2009 4:27:49 PM

I was thinking of doing that, taking the monitor out the equation right now would drop the build to £480ish which is amazing really.

But component wise for that price have I got a good build there?

Also Windows 7 is good to use on a new build?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 18, 2009 9:38:42 PM

Yes I think it's a good collection of parts, and Windows 7 should be happy with it.
June 18, 2009 10:01:49 PM

Is there anything else I need to purchase or am I good to go?
June 18, 2009 11:15:10 PM

Really cant thank you enough for your help with this whole thing. Same thing goes for hunter too.


If Im not going to be overclocking are they necessary?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2009 4:33:59 AM

No, although I encourage you to give it a try. :) 
June 19, 2009 9:23:04 AM

For only £23 more pounds I may have to consider it. Can you get good results from the AMD Phenom II X4 940?

Is a 400W PSU going to be enough for all this?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2009 3:36:04 PM

Either of the two that proximon listed will work just fine, they are both good solid units. That 450 watt from corsair is rated to deliver more power than some 700 watt generic brands i have seen.
June 19, 2009 3:46:23 PM

Ahh I see. Sounds good. You said earlier about how if I chose a different graphics card I would need a different PSU, would 450W be enough?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2009 3:53:44 PM

As long as you dont exceed an HD 4850 that Corsair 450vx will work just fine, anything more than that or crossfire and you are going to need to upgrade your PSU but unless you are doing alot of hardcore gaming i doubt you will need much more than that.
June 19, 2009 6:04:22 PM

Thanks for your reply.

I think I will go for the 450 to stay safe.

Out of curiosity, was wondering is it much more money to go for a motherboard with built in wireless?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2009 7:06:08 PM

That's usually a feature found only on deluxe boards, but I think there are exceptions. It would not surprise me though, that you need to buy a separate wireless card. They don't cost too much.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/45602/show_product_overvi...
If your router is a G type.
June 19, 2009 7:31:00 PM

Ahh well I already have all I need for my wireless network but might as well stick to the USB dongle to save some money.

Thinking of upgrading the HD and going for 1TB Hitachi Sata drive. Still not sure about what graphics card I want though!

Hopefully I will be ordering all my components tomorrow.
June 21, 2009 12:39:40 PM

Ordered all my components today...but appears that the Sapphire HD 4670 512MB is out of stock in a lot of places!
June 22, 2009 5:15:36 PM

Cant find this graphics card anywhere!

Can anyone recommend a similar value one?
June 22, 2009 6:00:36 PM

lol must be fate that thats the one I was going to get because I literally ordered it a minute before you posted.

Was panicing that all my components would be here tomorrow apart from the GPU!
June 23, 2009 9:45:17 PM

All my bits arrived today and I am posting this message from my brand new machine. :D 

Cant thank you guys enough!!
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 23, 2009 11:21:21 PM

Yay :) 
!