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Thread: PC for £500 required

  1. #1
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    PC for £500 required

    A friend has asked me to build a pc to a £500 budget.

    He wants good overall performance for general office suite progs, the odd game now and again, and storing his music collection.

    I have come up with the following:


    Case - Antec Solo Quiet £57
    PSU - Tagan 480w £60
    HDD - 1xSamsung 160GB 1xSamsung 400GB £92.80
    Mobo - Asus P5B £75
    GPU - 8500GT £58.74
    CPU - E4300 £72.72
    RAM - 2GB 5400 £63.54
    DVDRW - £20

    Total £502.80

    Anyone recommend any changes?

  2. #2
    Hello jackvdbuk's Avatar
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    • jackvdbuk's system
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      • OCZ Nvidia SLi Edition 4GB (2x2gb) pc2-6400 DDR2
      • Storage:
      • lots of TB
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      • BFG 8800GTS 512MB
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      • Dell 2407WFP
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    OS? display? ...

    i think dell would be better... better value for money, i think there e520 is like £340 basic, add a better gfx card of some sort and u got better performance

  3. #3
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    Do not need a display and transferring windows xp from old pc (very old nothing worth keeping)

  4. #4
    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    • Thorsson's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
      • CPU:
      • i5 3570k
      • Memory:
      • 2x8Gb Corsair Vengeance PC1866
      • Storage:
      • 256M4 SSD; 2Tb 7200RPM Barracuda; 2Tb Linkstation
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX970 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX650
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Win10 64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2515H
      • Internet:
      • Fibre Optic 30Mb
    OK what then is the display? If it's naturally 1280x1024 or greater then the 8500GT is going to be too slow to play even older games comfortably. It's just not a card for playing games, which means that its DX10 capability (the only thing going for it) is wasted.

    I don't understand the point of two HDDs. The performance benefit is extremely marginal and you'd save ~£25 getting one 500Gb drive.

    I think there are other areas that you could also save a bit of money in order to get a better graphics card, like the motherboard and the power supply. The P5B is a fine board, but is going to be wasted here. 480W is overkill for this setup.

  5. #5
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 100Mb
    Change the PSU to:

    380W Seasonic S12-380 ~ £39.95

    Replace the motherboard with this:

    Abit IB9 i965 ~ £62.26

    And then use the money saved to buy:

    256MB XFX 7600GT ~ £66.96

    Give him the £20 left and ask him for a nice Christmas present.

    EDIT: Or if he wants to spend it on the system then get the next CPU model:

    Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 ~ £88.11
    Last edited by NightshadowUK; 16-06-2007 at 03:34 PM.

  6. #6
    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Careful not to try and push enthusiast parts onto a friend who's not really interested in becoming a pc tweaker. It just costs extra money that could be saved / spent elsewhere.

    I'd have though one hard drive is perfectly adequate (although two of the same size - 2nd for backup - everyone should have a backup ) As above the 8500GT is more a video-playback hardware decoder good for 1080p h.264. 7600GT should be better for gaming - depends how occasional the occasional gaming is and what games he plays? Picking the external case is a matter of taste for the owner so make sure you double-check the aesthetics with him first For a budget system there's no reason why AM2 parts aren't good enough. Generally cheaper processors and motherboards available.

    A Dell (or a Mesh or whatever) with a gpu upgrade might be a decent choice.


    p.s. I think the nsk4000 (same as the nsk4400 but without the psu) is a cheap version of the solo I think?
    Last edited by jamena; 16-06-2007 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 100Mb
    I agree with what jamena said about AM2 actually so here goes:

    - AMD AM2 Athlon 64 4600+ ~ £75.19

    - Abit KN9 NF4 Ultra ~ £40.52

    - 2GB (2X1GB) Corsair VS PC5400 ~ £46.45

    - 256MB XFX 7600GT ~ £66.96

    - 320GB Samsung HD321KJ ~ £47.19

    - Antec Solo Quiet Mini Tower ~ £56.62

    - 120mm Sharkoon 1000 ~ £7.26

    - Optiarc (Sony/NEC) AD-7170S-0B ~ £20.20

    - 380W Seasonic S12-380 ~ £39.95

    Total: £400.34

    Much better suited to what the guy's gonna use it for me thinks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something
    Pritty good Nightshadow
    Although

    2Gb (2X1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 for £46.46 (yes a whole penny more )

    If you can strech the budget / use the saveing on other bits
    256MB Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro £94.22
    or
    256MB Palit 7900GS Sonic £107.50
    Last edited by Pob255; 16-06-2007 at 06:06 PM. Reason: corrected link

  9. #9
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    2 HDD's originally chosen 400GB for music, videos etc. 160GB for OS and Apps and space for backup of important files.

    NightshadowUK - interesting spec. I didn't choose AMD purely because I have no experience with them. Thought Intel would be better for overall performance and future proofing.

    I definately over specced the PSU so will be changing.

    GPU Hmmm... DX10 would be good for future proofing not sure here.

    jamena - probably was thinking of enthusast parts will look at AM2 option, how will this compare with C2D E4300?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    OK what then is the display? If it's naturally 1280x1024 or greater then the 8500GT is going to be too slow to play even older games comfortably. It's just not a card for playing games, which means that its DX10 capability (the only thing going for it) is wasted.

    I don't understand the point of two HDDs. The performance benefit is extremely marginal and you'd save ~£25 getting one 500Gb drive.

    I think there are other areas that you could also save a bit of money in order to get a better graphics card, like the motherboard and the power supply. The P5B is a fine board, but is going to be wasted here. 480W is overkill for this setup.
    He currently has 17" CRT looking to upgrade 20 19-20" LCD in the not so distant future. Maybe the 7600GT will be a better option.

  11. #11
    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    • Thorsson's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
      • CPU:
      • i5 3570k
      • Memory:
      • 2x8Gb Corsair Vengeance PC1866
      • Storage:
      • 256M4 SSD; 2Tb 7200RPM Barracuda; 2Tb Linkstation
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX970 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX650
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Win10 64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2515H
      • Internet:
      • Fibre Optic 30Mb
    It's good to see that NS & me, posting within seconds of each other, came up with pretty much the same message...

    I think you could stretch to a 7900GS or a RX1950Pro if you put all the other suggestions into practise.

    P.S. IMO these cards are better VFM than the two suggested by Pob255.
    Last edited by Thorsson; 16-06-2007 at 08:21 PM.

  12. #12
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 100Mb
    Future proofing is pretty impossible these days, right now DDR3 is around the corner and AMD are busy creating a CPU that'll rival C2D.

    And the 4600+ will outperform a E4300 (both at stock) by quite a lot.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus M5A99X EVO
      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something
    Yes Thorsson they are both better than the one's I posted but also more expensive, I went for the lower cost options considering a £500 total budget.

    Jayos, as Thorson has already said, no point in a DX10 card if your useing win XP and as the current 8500 and 8600 are both underperforming massively compaired to 7900 and x1950 your best option for a DX10 card with any reasonable gameing performance is 8800GTS for around £190 or waiting for ATi's DX10 cards

    Future proofing is rather up-in-the-air at the moement as no one seems sure as to how the upcomming tech is going to perform and what DX10's uptake is going to be like by games developers.
    As a large number of games are bought by people who don't have top spec pc's and haven't spent £200+ on graphics cards. If the DX9 / OpenGL performance is any indication of DX10 performance then we don't actually have any real afordable DX10 midrange cards, which will lead many developers to hold off from massively slashing there potential market.

    Considering this your best bet is probably to go for a 7600GT as it gives reasonable performance at 1280x1024 (common resolution for both 17" and 19"TFT) and once the technology and games have settled down a bit you will not of lost much cash if you decide to upgrade.

  14. #14
    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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      • Graphics card(s):
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      • PSU:
      • Seasonic X-series
      • Case:
      • Lian-Li A70B
      • Operating System:
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      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2408WFP
      • Internet:
      • 8M ADSL24
    Nightshadow's is an excellent spec for the money. Certainly better saving the £100 going AMD unless there'll be a lot of CPU intensive work going on (video editing being the main one). Other than that, spend the money elsewhere, or just save it.

    Personally, the only things I'd change would be to get the Samsung DVDRW (£17), change the RAM to that which Pob255 recommended (for the same price), and erm... get a motherboard which can fit inside the case, eh Nighty?

    Something like this Abit NF-M2S. It has onboard graphics, but that's no problem - it'll just disable itself when you plug in a dedicated one.

    Alternatively, grab an ATX chassis to use an ATX motherboard.

    Other than that, all I can think of is an 1950Pro or 7900GS, but it depends just how much gaming is going to be a part of the system.

  15. #15
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    • kungpo's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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    The NSK 4400 is a great case with decent PSU, and at £45 is a good saving. Granted the PSW not as good as the Seasonic, but as a mainly "office" machine might be enough?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=509820

    Spend the savings on better GPU?

  16. #16
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    • NightshadowUK's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z87M GAMING
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i5 4670K [4GHz w/ Macho Rev.B]
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LP
      • Storage:
      • 240GB Crucial M500 & 1TB HGST 7K1000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 4GB Sapphire 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • 620W Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Silverstone TJ08B-E [AP181 & NF-S12B]
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium [64bit]
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2412M
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 100Mb
    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    and erm... get a motherboard which can fit inside the case, eh Nighty?
    ATX case - Antec Solo Quiet Mini Tower
    ATX motherboard - Abit KN9 NF4 Ultra

    Don't see a problem man.
    Quote Originally Posted by kungpo View Post
    The NSK 4400 is a great case with decent PSU, and at £45 is a good saving. Granted the PSW not as good as the Seasonic, but as a mainly "office" machine might be enough?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=509820

    Spend the savings on better GPU?
    Get the best of both:

    - Antec NSK4000 without PSU ~ £29.95

    Then buy the 380W Seasonic.

    ----------------

    Updated spec:

    - AMD AM2 Athlon 64 4600+ ~ £75.19

    - Abit KN9 NF4 Ultra ~ £40.52

    - 2GB (2X1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 PC5400 ~ £46.46

    - 256MB XFX 7600GT ~ £66.96

    - 500GB Samsung HD501LJ ~ £68.09

    - Antec NSK4000 ~ £29.95

    - 120mm Sharkoon 1000 ~ £7.26

    - Optiarc (Sony/NEC) AD-7170S-0B ~ £20.20

    - 380W Seasonic S12-380 ~ £39.95

    Total ~ £394.58

    ----------------

    Gonna stick with the SATA DVDRW Gav cos it'll mean faster boot times due to no IDE detection.

    You could spend more cash on a better GFX card or a higher model CPU but to be honest I don't think there's a point.
    Last edited by NightshadowUK; 17-06-2007 at 05:25 PM.

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