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PC for about £300?

Mattitude Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
Well, I'm considering getting another computer, and thought self-build may be the option (well, I say self-build, but I'd actually get a family member to build it for me) - I am very familiar with computers, but more the software side than the components unfortunately, so obviously everything needed would need to be included (all cables, power supplies, fans etc.) :thumbsup:

I'm hoping for an AM2 X2, good graphics (PCI-E, HDTV preferably), at least 1GB DDR2 RAM, wireless included in the motherboard if possible (if not, I'd be open to other options), as well as hopefully a Lightscribe DVDRW and Floppy Drive (as cheap as possible obviously).

I'm hoping it'd be something that would be capable of running Vista Ultimate when I get some extra money up in the future, but no OS needs to be included in this for the time being.

TIA :thumbsup:
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Mattitude Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
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#1
Any particular reason why the AM2 X2's? Much as I used to like AMD chips, Intel have blown them out of the water with Core 2 Duo, but then they are more money :-(.

eBuyer seems to be the place to beat on price these days, wouldn't hurt to have a nose through their pages see what you like the look of.

Do you need monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, etc? I'm assuming not as a monitor would really stretch the budget.

Any ideas what you'd want to use the machine for? Obviously a gaming machine requires a whole different outlook to machine to check emails with.
#2
megalomaniac
Any ideas on Budget? Any particular reason why the AM2 X2's? Much as I used to like AMD chips, Intel have blown them out of the water with Core 2 Duo.

eBuyer seems to be the place to beat on price these days, wouldn't hurt to have a nose through their pages see what you like the look of.

Do you need monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, etc?

Any ideas what you'd use the machine for? Obviously a gaming machine requires a whole different outlook to machine to check emails with.


As per the topic title, about £300.

Well, I assumed that the AMD's are still ahead of Intel, but if I'm wrong, feel free to offer the alternative option from Intel (I would've preferred quad-core, but as far as I am aware, they are very expensive at the moment, so I should not bother with them yet).

I already have the monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse etc., so none of that would be needed.

It would indeed be used for a lot of gaming.
#3
http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/113963
ASUS P5B DLX/WIFI-AP £106.98

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/114046
Antec NSK6500 Black/Silver Super Mid Tower Case - With 430W PSU £57.51

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/121407
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 £72.40

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/106133
Crucial 2GB kit (1GBx2) DDR2 PC2-5300 £44.43

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/112227
Seagate ST3160811AS 160GB 7200.9 SATA II 7200RPM £32.06

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125208
NEC Optiarc AD-7170S-0B 18x DVD±RW/DL/RAM Serial ATA Black £19.50

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125020
Sapphire X1950GT 256MB GDDR3 DVI-I TV Out PCI-E £84.17

Total: £417.05......bu**er......

Motherboard with separate wireless will save you some £:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119051
ASUS P5GZ-MX LGA775 6 Channel audio mATX £33.67

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/122088
ZyXEL ZyAIR G-202 Wireless USB Network Adapter 802.11g £12.77

Which takes the total down to: £356.51

You could go with a cheaper case/PSU combination, an AMD processor would save you a few £ as the motherboards tend to be cheaper and you could save on the g/c too, maybe an ATI X1650 or NVIDIA 7600. But for £50 over budget I personally think that would be a cracking system well worth the extra if you can stretch and it's kind of "about £300", lol.

Hope that helps :thumbsup:
#4
The best I've been able to find with the features I'd ideally like is the following:

Casecom Black/Silver Mid Tower Case - No PSU - Front Blue LED 120mm Fan - With Side Window
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=115480

Casecom 500W 12cm Fan - 20+4pin, ATX12v, 4x Molex - Retail Box
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=109466

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Socket AM2 Dual Core OEM Processor
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=119734

Asrock ALIVESATA2-GLAN SKT AM2 VIA K8T890 chipset 8 channel audio SATA ATX
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=119411

LG GSA-H42LBL 18x DVD±RW DL/RAM Lightscribe Internal - Black Bare OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=125730

Sony 3.5" Floppy Drive Black - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=74629

OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Memory Gold GX XTC CL5 DUAL CHANNEL (LIFETIME WARRANTY)
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=114728

Point Of View 7600GT 256mb DDR3 DVI HDTV TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=106578

Maxtor STM3160211AS 160GB SATAII 7200RPM 2MB Cache - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=120302

Total: £353.46

First of all - are all of these things that I have listed, definitely compatible with each other?

Secondly, is there anything that I'm actually missing that I'd need (cables, screws etc. since I'm unaware if the components come with all that are needed? - I am aware that I haven't included wireless though, so please ignore that for now)

Thirdly, would you say the spec I have found for myself, is able to do what I want it to do, and is definitely a good price (and therefore worth saving up more)?

Based on the above 3 questions, please do feel free to tweak.

Thanks again for your help (and anyone else who may reply to this thread).
#5
Short answer:

Yes they're all compatible, you should get all the cables etc. you need with the appropriate bits, most things should come with the motherboard.

Long answer:

Personally I still think the £350 option I pieced together offers better value on the whole, although you could tweak a couple of things here and there, get rid of the wireless dongle and put the money saved towards a better processor for example: http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/127326.

Speaking of processors, while I'm a long time AMD fan and say this with a heavy heart, the Core 2 Duo's beat the AMD's in every department, they're faster, more energy efficient, etc. They may be more expensive but they're well worth the extra, that particular AMD processor starts to struggle when compared against the E6400's and is completely blown out of the water by the E6600's. But I personally think non of those will offer as much benefit as the same money spent elsewhere, even if you still want to go with AMD I think you'd be better with a cheaper CPU and spending more money elsewhere.

The graphics card in your spec isn't in the same league as the one I listed, an X1950GT would eat a 7600GT for breakfast and if you're gaming that is the most important thing. Also if you did prefer an NVIDIA based card, I wouldn't buy a PoV. They only offer 12 months warranty, you can easily get 2-3 years with other higher regarded brands like Asus, MSI etc. or BFG offer a lifetime warranty on some of their lines but you will pay more for one.

Good choice on the RAM, Corsair, OCZ, Geil, Kingston and Crucial are the guys to look for with RAM as they all offer lifetime warranties. But it wont make as much difference as you might hope and a better graphics card would make more of a difference for your gaming if it came down to choosing one or the other to stay within your budget.

I wouldn't skimp on the PSU either, that's one of the most important and overlooked parts of a PC, as if that dies it can take a lot of other things with it. If it were my machine I'd wouldn't risk anything less than an Antec, Coolermaster, Enermax, Seasonic or similar. Something like this: http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/120376 energy efficient model would be an ideal pairing with a Core 2 Duo system as it would save you money in the long run on your electricity bill, comes with a 3yr Antec warranty and is nice and quiet too.

With the case, while not so important, if you spend a few extra £ on the right case it can make your life a whole lot easier when building and maintaining a machine (with a tool-less design for example), can make you machine less noisy, less prone to overheating with better ventilation, prettier etc. Antec, Coolermaster, Thermaltake etc. are the names to look for and something like this: http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/124929 would be as low as I would personally go on a case.

I wouldn't bother with a floppy drive, with USB pen drives and recordable CD's/DVD's etc. being so cheap, I doubt you will ever use one.

The Seagate HDD is worth the extra few £ imho if only for the fact they offer 5 years warranty vs Maxtors 2-3 years (FYI Maxtor are now effectivly Seagate's budget arm, since the 2006 takeover)

That's just my 2p's worth, but at the end of the day it's not my money. Hope it helps :thumbsup:
#6
That helps immensely - thanks for the info :)

The main reason for wanting the floppy drive though is for OS installation purposes (it might be that I'd put XP on it, I don't know yet, and would therefore need it to read the floppy drive for them).

Still, you have provided a lot of information in your post and I appreciate it :-D
#7
Well you can format a pen drive and make it a boot disc recognisable in DOS and XP formatting.
#8
All modern Bios can be set to boot from CD, XP will boot straight into the install. There are live CD's available that have whole operating systems on them that will run straight off the CD with no need to install (http://www.ubuntu.com/ for example) and you can even run one off a pen drive as you can just boot straight to one as ryouga points out. I honestly could not see anyone needing a floppy drive these days.

Good luck with the build :thumbsup:
#9
ryouga
Well you can format a pen drive and make it a boot disc recognisable in DOS and XP formatting.

Yes, but doesn't XP always want to look on the floppy drive for the drivers?
#10
Mattitude
Yes, but doesn't XP always want to look on the floppy drive for the drivers?


Sometimes yes, particularly with SATA. But there are ways around needing a floppy drive if you have a quick Google you'll find tonnes of articles on it. Also I'd just rip one out of an old machine if you have one (or know someone with one) rather than buying a new one, as that's probably the only time you'll use it.
#11
megalomaniac
Sometimes yes, particularly with SATA. But there are ways around needing a floppy drive if you have a quick Google you'll find tonnes of articles on it. Also I'd just rip one out of an old machine if you have one (or know someone with one) rather than buying a new one, as that's probably the only time you'll use it.

Fair point, I didn't think of that.

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