Desktop PC needed mainly for designing - Budget is around £500

19 replies
Found 27th Dec 2008
I am looking for advice (please!) I have read so many reviews online that I feel like I am back at square one with my research.

I am studying Graphic Design at Uni and need the PC for programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator + After Effects. I was originally looking at an iMac until I discovered that for around £500 you can get a good PC potentially with Blu Ray? I will buy a monitor separately.

So, does anyone have any ideas of what I should go for, or avoid in a PC. OR maybe someone would like to convince me to buy the mac? Either way, some external opinion will be great!

Thanks in advance.

19 Comments

MSI K9A2VM-F V2 780V Socket AM2+ 7.1 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard 150347 £46.84
AMD Phenom X4 9950 2.6GHz Black Edition Socket AM2+ 125W 4MB L2 Cache (512KBx4) Retail Boxed CPU 150466 £137.71
Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI Dual slot cooler HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card 148468 £119.89
EV Black Mid Tower Case with Carry Handles and Mesh Side Panel - No PSU 134802 £19.57
Kingston 4gb (2x2gb) Ddr2 800mhz Memory Non-ecc Cl5 143803 £27.71
Sony DRU-V200S 20X DVD1RW DL & DVD-RAM Serial ATA - Retail Black & Silver Bezel & Nero 151827
17.30
LG Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATA - Retail Box With Software 139985 £65.77
Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm *32MB Cache* - OEM 130826 £42.28
Sumvision 550W 20+4pin SATA 2x 80mm Fan PSU - Retail Box 120676 £17.21

Cart total inc vat: £536.55


This is not a bad start, it is £36 over your budget, but from your post it sounded like you would pay a bit more for the right things and this is the sweet point before things get really expensive but it is all top of the range. the CPU is the best AMD, the GPU is in the top range and very powerful card, It has 4Gb of memory, Blu-Ray & HD-DVD player with DVD-Re-writer and a seprate DVD-Writer so you dont use the Blu-Ray all the time, and 2x500Gb Hard Drives.
So it is easy to make it under your £500 budget
Perfect for what you want and a bit more.

defo a mac, if you can afford it. it's a left brain right brain thing. a real graphic designer wouldnt want to be caught dead with a computer less than a mac.

oh and those who tell you it's not the machine but how you use it are nerds, not designers. as you will find out it's the difference between a well designed product, and a product to help you design.

good luck in your studies btw.

Original Poster

Chuckles1001 - Thank you very much for all that! Where did you price it all up? You mentioned not using the blu-ray all the time, is it bad for the drive? Thanks again!

kippy;3872387

defo a mac, if you can afford it. it's a left brain right brain thing. a … defo a mac, if you can afford it. it's a left brain right brain thing. a real graphic designer wouldnt want to be caught dead with a computer less than a mac.oh and those who tell you it's not the machine but how you use it are nerds, not designers. as you will find out it's the difference between a well designed product, and a product to help you design.good luck in your studies btw.



Thanks for the input kippy, but I disagree with some of what you said. Its not about what you are caught using. I couldn't care if using a PC made me look less like a designer! I also think it is about how you use it, you see so many people around Uni using macs but they don't design any better than myself!

I do already use a macbook pro, have done for a couple of years. So I understand the argument for both sides!

Thanks for wishing me luck!

I worked very closely with people who do very highend graphics and there really is a split on what they like some do like Mac's and others a powerful PC and they are not the Nerds who like the PC's. Both have there good and bad points but a PC is a lot more versitile.

Nickest1988;3872519

Chuckles1001 - Thank you very much for all that! Where did you price it … Chuckles1001 - Thank you very much for all that! Where did you price it all up? You mentioned not using the blu-ray all the time, is it bad for the drive? Thanks again!Thanks for the input kippy, but I disagree with some of what you said. Its not about what you are caught using. I couldn't care if using a PC made me look less like a designer! I also think it is about how you use it, you see so many people around Uni using macs but they don't design any better than myself! I do already use a macbook pro, have done for a couple of years. So I understand the argument for both sides!Thanks for wishing me luck!




Sorry that was taken from Ebuyer.com and the code number in the line of the parts is the quickfind number
Using any drive limits its lasting, for £65 and the fact I would want 2 drives anyway, I would use the DVD as the drive i used most off the time and then the Blu-Ray when you need it.

I am glad you said that ;-) cos i was byting my tounge lol

Original Poster

Chuckles1001;3872585

Sorry that was taken from Ebuyer.com and the code number in the line of … Sorry that was taken from Ebuyer.com and the code number in the line of the parts is the quickfind number :)Using any drive limits its lasting, for £65 and the fact I would want 2 drives anyway, I would use the DVD as the drive i used most off the time and then the Blu-Ray when you need it.I am glad you said that ;-) cos i was byting my tounge lol



Thanks again for all your help! The quickfind codes will be a great additional help.

Chuckles1001;3872585

Sorry that was taken from Ebuyer.com and the code number in the line of … Sorry that was taken from Ebuyer.com and the code number in the line of the parts is the quickfind number :)Using any drive limits its lasting, for £65 and the fact I would want 2 drives anyway, I would use the DVD as the drive i used most off the time and then the Blu-Ray when you need it.I am glad you said that ;-) cos i was byting my tounge lol



Same here I use my blu ray combo drive just for blu rays and my dvd player for dvds and games.

Chuckles1001;3872323

Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI Dual slot cooler HDTV Out PCI-E … Sapphire HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI Dual slot cooler HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card 148468 £119.89Sumvision 550W 20+4pin SATA 2x 80mm Fan PSU - Retail Box 120676 £17.21



Wouldn't be too sure on this combo myself.. would rather get a better PSU.

emasu;3872705

Wouldn't be too sure on this combo myself.. would rather get a better PSU.




It is a good compromise, like i said you can always do better and make it cheaper. for an extra £40 you could get a very nice PSU, but its £40 more.

[IMG]i194.photobucket.com/alb…png?t=1230410447[/IMG]

It all depends on what you need. 1TB could be cut to 500GB for Blu-Ray/Better Graphics etc...

This comes to £490.09 delivered from scan/ebuyer.Good PSU/RAM/GFX although no blu-ray, but as above it depends on what you need the most. The motherboard is good; I have it and it's been rock solid so far.

Original Poster

Thanks emasu! I am unsure with what to go for now. Ryouga suggested another setup in a PM as well! I am tempted to add a little cash to my budget as that isn't too tight. I want to spend £800 max after I have added a nice monitor.

Emasu's setup looks good and I would add a blu-ray/HD drive.

Thanks again everyone! I think I am well on my way now.

Original Poster

I think I may go with this for the PC. Leaving to add a sound card and TV card later as they aren't too essential.

Just got to find a nice monitor, any ideas? :-D

http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q83/Nickest1988_photo/Picture2.png

Looking at emasu's post I may have missed a free shipping code. Whoops

Scan come out cheaper for the processor/HDD/BD-HDDVD drive with their AV froums free delivery setup.. depends if you wanted two deliveries as it would save you nearly £25.

ebuyer's free delivery is the last option on the shipping scroll down.

Original Poster

emasu;3873986

Scan come out cheaper for the processor/HDD/BD-HDDVD drive with their AV … Scan come out cheaper for the processor/HDD/BD-HDDVD drive with their AV froums free delivery setup.. depends if you wanted two deliveries as it would save you nearly £25.ebuyer's free delivery is the last option on the shipping scroll down.



Yeah, I had problems with Scan when I built my last PC and I want to stay away. + One delivery would be handy, maybe not worth 25 quid but never had an issue with ebuyer. Thanks for the heads up though!

Is it bad news hooking this up to a HDTV instead of a monitor? I am so behind with all the new developments in HD + TV + Monitors. For example, to make the blu-ray player worthwhile, is it just a case of getting a display with a high resolution?

Sorry to keep nagging for advice! I am appreciating everyones help a lot!

EDIT: I will add this I think.

hotukdeals.com/ite…-2/

Sorted. Thanks again everyone!

If you wanted to, you could get the PSU on its own (very good value IMO) ebuyer.com/pro…522

and then get a case you like

]This seems to get good reviews. Depends if you want a 'brand'.

Original Poster

emasu;3874216

If you wanted to, you could get the PSU on its own (very good value IMO) … If you wanted to, you could get the PSU on its own (very good value IMO) http://www.ebuyer.com/product/116522and then get a case you like



Check this little number out!

]Antec Skeleton - Revolutionary Open Air ATX Case

How strange!

Nickest1988;3874272

Check this little number out!]Antec Skeleton - Revolutionary Open Air ATX … Check this little number out!]Antec Skeleton - Revolutionary Open Air ATX CaseHow strange!



lol... would be scared to have that in case i dropped drink into it >.
The antec 300 is a very good case for £40 or so.. space for 4 120mm fans and one 140mm on top to suck out the air... mine does a very good job and my HD4850 is at 39 degreees idle and about 50 in a game with the stock plastic cooler still on it. I have all fan spaces filled.

Original Poster

emasu;3874278

lol... would be scared to have that in case i dropped drink into it .The … lol... would be scared to have that in case i dropped drink into it >.The antec 300 is a very good case for £40 or so.. space for 4 120mm fans and one 140mm on top to suck out the air... mine does a very good job and my HD4850 is at 39 degreees idle and about 50 in a game with the stock plastic cooler still on it. I have all fan spaces filled.



That monitor looks brilliant for the price, considering the positive reviews.

Not sure what to do with the case, the one bundled with the psu seems fine. I like those mini ones, but that changes everything! haha! I am thinking a horizontal case would fit well in my room if everything will fit and can be kept cool.

This is stressful!

Just noticed the PSU and the case are almost the same price separately! Might shop around for a case.
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