Building my first PC

8
Found 30th Oct 2017
I've purchases a case and now looking to build my first ever PC. I'm only looking at a general all rounder and not interested in playing the latest games etc, though may play the odd older game.

I'm trying to keep it as low cost as possible while still building a decent PC. Quite happy to purchase second half parts from eBay etc, spec I'm looking for will be roughly:-

BD Player / DVD Writer
Possibly an older i5 or an AMD FX 8350 type processor
Motherboard
8gb or 16gb RAM

Already have an SSD to be the boot drive and a 2GB HDD to put in.

Any ideas in decent parts to put in or any suggestions? Completely new to it so all pointers welcome.
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You probably don't need an i5 for a daily driver..
Forget the old many-core processors unless you're doing data crunching or something else CPU heavy. For normal use it's single core performance that matters most so a newer i3s will be faster for the same cost, or the latest Pentium G4560.
If you want something cheap and have no particular performance demands, you're as well buying a prefab refurb, or a laptop. Computers as you describe are obsolete - you don't need to give up the corner of a room to a desktop & desk anymore, and there's nothing to be saved or gained by building for the low end these days.
dxx13 m ago

If you want something cheap and have no particular performance demands, …If you want something cheap and have no particular performance demands, you're as well buying a prefab refurb, or a laptop. Computers as you describe are obsolete - you don't need to give up the corner of a room to a desktop & desk anymore, and there's nothing to be saved or gained by building for the low end these days.


That's been true for the entire industry since the 90s. There's the occasional real need for custom desktops - mining rigs spring to mind - but the vast majority of people would be more sensible buying pre-built.

Assembling computers as a hobby is just as valid with cheap parts as expensive ones.
Original Poster
I would like to eventually build an all singing and dancing desktop eventually but while I'm having my first go I don't mind building a reasonably cheap and cheerful one that's still going to be a decent desktop that can do a bit of everything. If single core performance is more important am I right in thinking that an intel would do the job and use less power?

What are the integrated Intel APU processors like compared to AMD? Or should I buy a basic dedicated card?

Thanks.
AMD do still have a GPU advantage on the desktop, so something like an A8-9600 would deliver similar or better game performance to a G4600 for £20 less. It's slower on the CPU side though, more akin to a £35 Celeron G39##.

Dedicated GPUs are old and slow until you get up to the GT 1030 and RX 550 level at £65-70. Integrated graphics are a far better choice these days.
Original Poster
Ok, so I bought myself a case with a 500w power supply built in for a mere £15 - maplin.co.uk/p/c…gog


I've now also bought a second hand PC for £78 which comes with an i5-3470 processor, motherboard and a Windows 8 licence - ebay.co.uk/itm…=nc


I'm planning on butchering the motherboard and processor from the second hand PC and rebuilding in the new case along with a Blu-Ray drive. The fact the motherboard has an official Windows 8 license is a bonus, so what else do I need to put this together?

Would 8gb RAM be enough even if I wanted to make it into a basic - mid range gaming PC? I was thinking of possibly adding in something like a GTX 660 or such like? Absolutely open to suggestions though :-)

Thanks for all your help so far!
You'll probably find the HP case and power supply are better quality and more capable so I'd be careful unwrapping the maplin one as you may be returning it.

Cheap cases tend to be as flimsy as they can get away with and cheap PSUs lie massively about their capacity. Expect it to only deliver around 25-30A at +12V (which most high demand components use exclusively these days) compared with the ~40A of a real 500W model. The 300W HP PSU likely has a similar 12V output, from blurry online pictures it looks like 28A.

8GB of RAM is sufficient for a mid-range gaming system.

The GTX 660 is five years and several generations old now so it's rather slow. I don't know what the second hand GPU market is like given the recent gyrations in the new market, but something newer may work out better value.


You'll need a drive of some sort to install windows on, I'd suggest a 240GB SSD. You'll need a power lead but they're pretty common as they've been in use decades so someone will likely have a spare if you ask around.
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