Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Challenge: Fast Apps, Good Sound, No games, £300?

Last response: in Systems
Share
April 17, 2008 10:59:33 AM

So here's the challenge knowledgeable members of Tom's Hardware Guide:

We're attempting to build a system that is fast on applications, useful for light video editing, reliable, long lasting (the last one went for 9years!!), quiet, gives good quality 5.1 sound and is not for gaming all for a budget of £300.

We already have:
  • Windows XP
  • Case
  • Power supply
  • Optical drive
  • 22" screen
  • IDE to SATA power connector, required for new SATA drive £3
    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?QuickLinx=2HSL

    Suggested spec:
  • 250Gb Seagate 7200.10 £44
  • Motherboard, CPU, RAM bundle £219 // MSI P35 Board, E8200, 2Gb 677 DDR2, onboard sound
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?MBB-P3...

    Total: £266 (Prices from Dabs.com)

    OR
  • 250Gb Seagate 7200.10 £44
  • CPU: E8200, 2.66GHz £119
  • Board: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 Rev2 £71
  • RAM: OCZ Technology 2x1GB 240DIMM PC2-6400 DDR2 Platinum £33
    Total: £270 (Prices from Dabs.com)

    Questions

  • Is it going to be better to just buy a box?
    For example http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?PC-113...
    E2200, 2Gb 667 DDR2, 250Gb HDD, New PSU etc
  • Remembering that this is not for games can you suggest a cheap graphics card capable of 22” screen for applications, currently an Nvidia N6200 is working fine in the old system? It would be preferable to find a new better one that fits the budget and it would need to be PCI and with a DVI output.
  • Should we be downgrading something to buy a better component somewhere else?
  • Comments on component choice? Is there a better memory brand out there, will it work well with this motherboard? Is the motherboard a good choice?
  • Are these prices reasonable - could I find these components cheaper somewhere else? (NB: I'm trying to avoid rebates as they complicate matters)


    Many Thanks
    Jeremy Dykes
  • More about : challenge fast apps good sound games 300

    April 17, 2008 12:38:49 PM

    I've briefly looked at graphics cards since I posted.

    Either:
    Ati X1550, 256Mb, DDR2, £30.76 (Dabs)
    Ati X1650Pro, 512Mb, DDR2 £35.72 (Where the budget allows)

    I don't think either of these are very powerful, but this system isn't really after graphics power. Would they be suitable?

    Also:
    Would this system be better build on an AMD platform? I'm generally in favour of Intel as they have mainly been the top preformer recently but open to suggestions.
    April 17, 2008 5:30:53 PM

    I've just been considering what an AMD system might look like:

    MB: Asustek AM2 nForce 570 SLI ATX Audio Dual Lan DDR2 £64
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AM2 3.0GHz £98
    RAM: OCZ Technology 2x1GB 240DIMM PC2-6400 DDR2 Platinum £33
    GPU: Ati X1650Pro, 512Mb, DDR2 £36
    HDD: 250Gb Seagate 7200.10 £44

    This system comes £25 under the budget of the other Intel based systems but is it compromised by the AMD structure?
    Also am I going to need newer power connectors for the motherboard that a 9 year old one supplies?
    Related resources
    April 17, 2008 5:36:11 PM

    Your PSU is 9 years old? Spend the money and get a new one. The last thing you want is to fry your new system with that old PSU. Also, the connections on the PSU won't fit modern mobos.
    April 17, 2008 5:40:28 PM

    Yes it is. What should I be looking to replace it with and where should this saving come from?
    April 17, 2008 5:58:07 PM

    I don't know what you're prices are like in the UK but I'd go with a 5000+ Black Edition with a 780g board. That'll get you the most bang for your buck. No need for a discrete graphics card if you're not going to game. The 780g's graphics card should be more than enough. You can spend those savings on a new power supply.
    April 17, 2008 6:07:54 PM

    I'm struggling to find a 780g board at the moment in anything other than mATX.

    Would you go with AMD over Intel setups?
    And if AMD why the 5000+ black (2.66GHz) rather than the 6000+ (3GHz)?
    April 17, 2008 6:11:13 PM

    Ok

    Asus M3A78-EH Motherboard AM2+ AMD 780G ATX £48.94
    With other speced components and no graphics card = £225 not including a PSU.
    April 17, 2008 6:20:22 PM

    You can easily overclock the 5000+ Black to 3GHz.
    April 17, 2008 6:23:36 PM

    This system is not one for overclocking. It needs to be very reliable and long lasting. I am building for a friend and overclocking is an absolute no. (Sorry!)

    Is it better to go with an AMD base rather than Intel?
    April 17, 2008 10:26:20 PM

    Ok just a round up so far:

    250Gb Seagate 7200.10 £44
    CPU: E8200, 2.66GHz £119
    Board: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 Rev2 £71
    RAM: OCZ Technology 2x1GB 240DIMM PC2-6400 DDR2 Platinum £33
    Ati X1550, 256Mb, DDR2, £30.76 (Dabs)

    Total: £301 (Prices from Dabs.com)

    OR

    MB: Asus M3A78-EH Motherboard AM2+ AMD 780G ATX £48.94
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ AM2 3.0GHz £98
    RAM: OCZ Technology 2x1GB 240DIMM PC2-6400 DDR2 Platinum £33
    GPU: Ati X1650Pro, 512Mb, DDR2 £36
    HDD: 250Gb Seagate 7200.10 £44

    Total £261

    Both of which are in need of a PSU.

    Questions
    - Intel vs AMD and why? What is the preformance difference likely to be?
    - Integrated graphics or not?
    - Do integrated boards come with the option of putting in a graphics card later?
    - Are integrated graphics capable of a 22" screen?
    - Where should I cut back to buy a PSU and remain in budget?

    Thanks, Jeremy
    April 17, 2008 11:43:11 PM

    Intel Q6600 OEM £139
    OCZ DDR2 800 CAS 4 2x1GB £29.99
    Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2L iG33 £51.85
    Western Digital WD3200AAKS 320GB £45.67
    Cooler Master Hyper TX 2 £9.26
    550W ATX PSU 30A@12V £20.99

    as you are only for video editing.so no graphics card are needed!plus if you get a low end graphics card which is point less as they perform similar to onboard graphics.

    video editing will be better off with quad core.as encoding software are better coded for multi core system.

    i wouldnt get an AMD system as they offer very low performance on the same level.as even the latest phenom would be able to beat the Q6600 at stock.so that tells you AMD is behind in technology.

    as the motherboard i have selected for you.its got an onboard graphics.plus its a intel chipset so overclock should be decent.and its got a PCI-E 16X slot so you can add a graphics card later if you want to.

    my above quote should be in your budget.PM me if you need further advice from me!

    Nice day.
    April 18, 2008 8:34:12 AM

    iluvgillgill that's a brilliant setup and great answers to the questions. Thank you very much.

    I'm amazed that you could get a quad core system for £300!

    There is one problem with the system as it stands. I have an old case that contains an ATX board. I'm not sure that an mATX board will fit.

    Maybe:
    - Gigabyte S775 Intel G33 ATX DDRII GLAN 8CH Audio VGA £68.71

    That puts the build £14 over budget although it is a good board meeting all the speifications except a DVI out if possible.
    April 18, 2008 8:52:00 AM

    I've just added up those prices from Dabs.com

    For the setup:

    Intel Q6600 OEM £143.47
    OCZ DDR2 800 CAS 4 2x1GB Platinum £31.07
    Gigabyte GA-G33-DS3R £68.71
    Western Digital WD3200AAKS 250GB £39.36
    Cooler Master Hyper TX 2 £12.98

    Total: £295.59

    I'm struggling to find the power supply you specified. There is an old one on Dabs that is 550W but seems to be talking about P4's in the blurb?


    April 18, 2008 11:38:02 AM

    Also will I need thermal paste for the OEM processor or will it come with some already applied?
    April 18, 2008 12:56:14 PM

    dabs is over priced.go to www.ebuyer.com instead.they are the cheapest and provide good customer services.if the delivery missed you there is someone email you on the same say ask you what you want to do with the delivery.

    go to ebuyer and put in these quickfind code in the shopping basket(one by one though) and see the magic happen:
    136623
    124732
    116755
    139787
    131823
    102994
    125310

    just got enough space for the nice thermal paste!!!

    good luck.PM if need anymore help!
    April 18, 2008 12:56:34 PM

    dabs is over priced.go to www.ebuyer.com instead.they are the cheapest and provide good customer services.if the delivery missed you there is someone email you on the same say ask you what you want to do with the delivery.

    go to ebuyer and put in these quickfind code in the shopping basket(one by one though) and see the magic happen:
    136623
    124732
    116755
    139787
    131823
    102994
    125310

    just got enough space for the nice thermal paste!!!

    good luck.PM if need anymore help!
    April 18, 2008 2:12:36 PM

    Brilliant that's cheaper thanks.

    The MB will have to be the Gigabyte GA-G33-DS3R (£68.71) motherboard though because all of the ones with integrated graphics on are mATX or more expensive.

    CPU: Intel Q6600 OEM + Themal Paste £138.95 + £4.22 = £143.17
    RAM: OCZ DDR2 800 CAS 4 2x1GB Platinum £29.99
    MB: Gigabyte GA-G33-DS3R £68.71
    HDD: Western Digital WD3200AAKS 250GB £37.29
    FAN: Cooler Master Hyper TX 2 £9.26

    Total £316.41

    If there aren't any more comments I'll get on with that. Thanks again.
    April 18, 2008 3:19:57 PM

    I stand corrected, an mATX will fit in an ATX case so I've gone back to the board you told me to use earlier. I've also gone for a Seagate 320Gb HDD as there was almost enough in the budget and I felt the extra £1.42 wouldn't hurt.

    CPU: Intel Q6600 OEM + Themal Paste £138.95 + £4.22 = £143.17
    RAM: OCZ DDR2 800 CAS 4 2x1GB Platinum £29.99
    MB: Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2L iG33 £51.85
    HDD: BARRACUDA 7200.11 320GB 16MB £46.16
    FAN: Cooler Master Hyper TX 2 £9.26

    Total £301.42

    Any comments? I feel we're getting very close to having this finished. (And with a considerably better spec than the one I made origonally! Again!!)
    April 18, 2008 7:59:54 PM

    Right I obviously spoke to soon the guy I'm building for is really after a DVI out to make the most of his screen, I'm not sure if he can uses HDMI? He's not really looking to overclock this system what do you recommend?

    I've checked out the MSI system. I can't get my head around whether it comes with a DVI or not?

    MSI P6NGM-FIH GeForce 7150 £48.99
    http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php [...] at2_no=170

    I've also gone for a Artic Freezer 7 Pro as the Hyper TX2 cooler was out of stock.
    May 9, 2008 8:35:33 PM

    Just an update on this tread:

    Big thank you to those of you who helped out with this design. It ended up as:

    •Processor: Intel Q6600, £143.97,
    •Motherboard: MSI P6NGM-FD, £37.95,
    •Memory: OCZ 2Gb DDR2 800MHz, £29.99
    •Hard Disk: Western Digital 320Gb, £40.74,
    •Case: Coolermaster Elite case with PSU, £42.99,

    Total: £295.64

    I spoke to the guy I was building for today and he is very happy with it. So good result and many thanks again.

    Jeremy

    P.S. Next challenge new graphics card and PSU for my own system!
    !