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Thread: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

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    I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Hey everyone.

    I've been on these boards a while but havent got round to posting but I've actually saved up some cash to spend on a pc. I was just wondering whether you could help.

    The situation is I've got £650 to spend on the computer that includes components, PSU and the tower case itself. I'm doing an illustration course in uni so I'd be using applications like dreamweaver, illustrator, photoshop etc. I'll also be using it for gaming and I was wondering what would you experienced pc builders reccommend for this budget?

    So that's £650 to pay for motherboard, memory, PSU, Processor, hard drive etc. I've already got money aside for a monitor and the peripherals so that's not an issue.

    I hope you guys can help as I'm really confused by the masses of stuff out there!

    Thanks in advance.

    Richie Lee

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Being able to do coursework during dull lectures is a godsend, so consider a Dell Vostro notebook. You could even get one and a second monitor

    If you're after a more traditional solution, You might just be able to sqeeze a Core 2 Quad Q6600, 4Gb of DDR2, windows vista 64 bit home premium, and a 320Mb 8800 GTS based system into your budget. It's very tight, however. The heavy media work means 4Gb of ram would be a good idea, so I'm unwilling to recommend the cheaper option at this time :S

    If you can allow another £50 to £100, then you certainly can manage a very impressive system. You might also be able to save a fair bit using today only type offers and the like.


    What do people think? A less powerful graphics card than the 8800 GTS to allow the 4Gb of ram and a complete system, or save money by only having 2Gb of ram (since it is hard to use that much anyhow)?

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    I already have a HP laptop for uni work so I wont need to get another, thanks though! I'm spending money on a pc so that I can use it to back up the files I work on at uni and also to do some work at home.

    Monitor wise I've eyed up the 22" Samsung pebble which is a HDTV aswell I'm told.

    I may be able to stretch to £700 at a maximum. I was thinking of sticking to windows XP SP2 for the meantime as I've heard things are quite sketchy on Vista in relation to games etc. What I want from the machine is essentially an all rounder. Good enough to play games, decent memory storage, be able to watch my dvds on it and keeping it quiet

    thanks for the advice I'll look into it.

    Richie

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Don't bother to go over 2Gb if your sticking with XP
    Keeper of the Gates of Hell

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Yeh I've been told anything over 2gb was excessive for XP. Thanks for that. Well I'm heading off now, any other advice you guys could give it would be great.

    Regards
    Richie Lee

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    I don't think you should get that monitor. This is a sticky subject because people always argue about it, but basically, all 22" monitors are 6bit panels that use dithering. An 8bit panel is much better and you'll be glad you got one some day. So you should look at 20" monitors (or 24" if you can extend your budget quite a lot). With a 20" you aren't losing much screen size (2inches is hardly noticeable), and you still get the same resolution. But the plus side, is that there are 20" monitors with good 8bit panels.

    I also suggest finding one with an IPS or S-IPS panel, not a TN panel. Of course, if you aren't too fussy about the quality of your display, then ignore this. But having seen various types of panels recently, for me, there is no contest.

    As for your PC itself, can you build it yourself? Or would you be looking at getting one pre-built? If you can build it yourself (its easy nowdays), just go to www.scan.co.uk and price up your parts. I can double check later if you like, but just off the top of my head, you should be looking at what Rosaline said basically. The Q6600 is an amazing CPU and is a fairly good price. Then an 8800GTS (get the cheapest brand you can find). Then get 2gig of DDR2 ram, even the corsair value stuff. Stick in a 320gig hard disk (any brand except Maxtor), and a keyboard and mouse and you are ready to go. Oh, and a case and PSU. Case can be fairly cheap, but a PSU I'd suggest the Corsair HX 520W

    I can't say for sure without pricing it up, but that shouldn't be too far from your budget. If it is, its possible to save a bit by getting a cheaper CPU. Also, whether you need a copy of Win XP or not, will matter. Cause thats another little expense that adds up.
    Last edited by acrobat; 17-10-2007 at 09:35 PM.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    I don't think you should get that monitor. This is a sticky subject because people always argue about it, but basically, all 22" monitors are 6bit panels that use dithering. An 8bit panel is much better and you'll be glad you got one some day. So you should look at 20" monitors (or 24" if you can extend your budget quite a lot). With a 20" you aren't losing much screen size (2inches is hardly noticeable), and you still get the same resolution. But the plus side, is that there are 20" monitors with good 8bit panels.
    Can we have a source please on that sweeping generalisation? As far as I am aware, and having looked at the colour quality reviews, I don't believe that to be the case (especially since some are known to use the same panel as their 20" cousins).

    As for finding a monitor, RichieLee will probably benefit most from one with a good colour response. The Samsung 6BW range seemed to do pretty well for their price in this regard.

    Going back to what Richie said, if he's sticking with XP, then 2Gb should suffice.

    Will you be needing an XP licence? You might be able to acquire a legal student copy via your university, talk with their IT Services helpdesk for more information. If you don't know if you will need it or not, remember to factor it into the cost.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Rosaline is right, as you are at University, depending on what course you do, you could get Windows XP Professional, Vista or 2003 via MSDNAA. That's if the University subscribes to MSDN.

    Good luck anyhow with your search.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosaline View Post
    Can we have a source please on that sweeping generalisation?
    Its not a sweeping generalisation. Find the source yourself. I dont like your tone, so I wont be going out my way to help educate you.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Calling all 22" monitors a special case that larger or smaller monitors don't have is a sweeping generalisation when you don't include the details, such as they predominantly use TN panels. Technologically, there is no reason why they all have to be this special case, so again, a sweeping generalisation.

    There's nothing wrong with that, however, if it's true

    A quick google search found the TN thing (which has nothing inherently to do with screen diagonal) mentioned on forums, but obviously most forums are not to be trusted. Without providing more information, how can a consumer know that a larger or smaller panel will not have the same problem?

    And surely the colour reproduction quality is more important anyday than the techniques used to reach that colour?
    Last edited by Rosaline; 19-10-2007 at 10:25 AM.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    Its not a sweeping generalisation. Find the source yourself. I dont like your tone, so I wont be going out my way to help educate you.
    No need to be like that. There was no tone, just a question to ask you to back up your statement. I would also like a read of whatever source you post, based on your comments adn the fact that I own a 22" monitor.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Mmm, when the flames have died down a bit I might add a constructive post...

    From the sound of it you need some raw processing power, so there is no question you should get a Quad core, Get a q6600 and make sure it is a G0 stepping (newer - cooler).
    Any P35 motherboard with DDR2 memory support will be fine. I like Gigabyte, but it really is up to you.

    Do stick with XP if you are unsure. I see little advantage if it doesn't bother you not having the latest eye candy. Thus with XP 2GB RAM should be fine.

    The powersupply kinda depends on your graphics card... getting a mid range card - then 500W will do, maybe even 450W. Make sure you get a good brand. If you think you will have a high end graphics card now or in the future then get at least a 600W supply. OCZ, Corsair, Enermax, Seasonic, and a few others.

    Graphics card. Well, if the primary purposeis really gaming (and we know it is, you already have a laptop then really you should spend most on the graphics card - it will make the most difference. 8800GTS 320Mb or 2900Pro is a minimum. If you can wait a bit, new cards are coming which will give much more bang per buck...

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    Hey all,

    Thanks I appreciate all the posts.
    Yes the laptop I already have to do uni work on is a HP nx6125. Nothing special, does the job and I take it to uni every now and again. I was thinking of upgrading the shocking standard RAM on this up to 2GB but I thought if I was gonna do that then I might aswell get myself a gaming PC as well as TV all in one. A entertainment jack of all trades if you like, hence the option of a Samsung pebble monitor/TV just found this (Samsung SM2032MW 20" LCD TV/Monitor HDTV) which seems to be of reasonable price.

    So what's the benefit of the Quad core processor then? Is it for "futureproofing"? The only reason I ask is that a friend has a dual core processor that runs the same clock speed standard as a quad core and works out to be like £75 cheaper, which could be used elsewhere. Again I know it's tricky to work out a good combination but anything you'd like to add would be great.

    And yes I'll be building the computer so no need for prebuilt options.

    Thanks

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    oh yeah I forgot to add I'll be looking to opt for a GTS, probably the cheaper 320mb version I've heard good things about the BFG pre-overclocked GTS.

    RAM wise I'll go for 2GB:

    OCZ Dual Channel XTC 2GB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Gamer Memory (2 x 1024MB) &#163;44.82 on Yoyotech

    Possibly an Antec p182 case.

    not sure what PSU to go for.

    Processor wise I was thinking of an intel E6700 a few months back but not so sure now!

    Havent got a clue what motherboard

    No idea what hard drive.

    Also need a dvd drive.

    I wont be needing an XP licence thanks.

    Remember guys I'm building this completely from scratch so I presume I'll have to buy cooling fans? Or are they included?

    Anyway thanks again

    not too sure on any other components atm.

    Regards,

    Richie

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    The advantage of Quad core is that most media generation software packages support scalable multiple processor systems, meaning the more cores, the faster photoshop applies filters, the faster flash compiles, etc.

    However, given your tight budget, and desire for gaming (which has yet to really love quad core systems), dropping down to a regular Core 2 Duo will allow you a better graphics card that will offer a more noticeable improvement for the price when it comes to gaming. An E6750 for &#163;118 would probably be ideal.

    Some cases include cooling fans, simply make sure to check the specifications carefully.

    If you are not going to look into overclocking, that ram will do, but remember that for &#163;10 you can often get 2Gb of crucial balistix PC6400, which would give you some layway for overclocking (which is fairly simple now, thanks to Clunk's guide). That said, your price point is very tight, so every penny saved is good.

    For the motherboard, a basic P35 board at around &#163;70 will offer you good features. Any cheaper with these and I start to worry about what's wrong with them

    DVD rewriters are thankfully very cheap now, with almost every single one on the market coming in at around &#163;20. I've heard good things about the Samsung drives.

    For the PSU, you will want a quality named brand. It is worth paying extra for a PSU that will not fry your system. I'll let others suggest these as they know them better.

    Finally, as for the hard drive, this might sound a little odd but see how much money is left over at the end. Hard drives are one of the few components with little but size effecting the price, and that can be easily added to in the future as you need. Frankly, even an 160Gb drive will be more than enough for most legal uses aside from film editing. However bigger is better and it always has been, so simply see what you can fit in after the rest.

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    Re: I've got £650 to spend what would you suggest?

    OCZ Dual Channel XTC 2GB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Gamer Memory (2 x 1024MB) £44.82 on Yoyotech
    For £2-3 more this is faster OCZ memory: http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(14386)...n-Edition.aspx

    or
    and although i dont like to use them OCUK are doing OCZ Platinum PC6400 2x1gb for £45.
    I paid over £120 for this pack aonly 7 months ago

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