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Thread: proposed pc specs

  1. #1
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    proposed pc specs

    I am looking at building a new pc (my first attempt) and after much trawling thro the internet I have come up with the following spec

    case Skyhawk c/w 300w psu (Aria CSE-MID-5619W) mainly cos its ally

    processor AMD Athalon XP 2500 Barton

    MB MSI K7N2 Delta ILSR

    Memmory 2x Corsair or Twinmos 512gb pc3200.
    (this is kind of a guess Iknow there is a compatability issue but the choice seems daunting eg what is xxs or "low latency"?

    Vid card MSI FX5200 128

    Hard drive Maxtor 120gb 8mb cache sata150

    Ialready have a CD/R/RW/DVD from my old system along with monitor keyboard etc that will do for the moment

    I would apreciate any comments or advice on this

    thanks Windog

  2. #2
    TiG
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    To help with suggestions can you give us an idea about what you are going to be using the machine for and how much money you are looking to spend on it?

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    Thanks TiG

    Mainly its a family computer, I am not a dedicated gamer but I do play some and have 2 young kids who will only become more interested in such things I hope to use the machine for some digital photo editing as well but mainly general household use. We are manageing with an old packard bell wiyh a 366 celeron but this is getting seriously frustrating especially since i put win xp on it and my wife has a Gericom laptop with a 800 or so mhz celeron she uses for her ou course.
    As to spend, I supose the answer is a little elastic! as little as possible whilst ending up with a good fast reasonably current machine that is at least a little "future proof"

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    TiG
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    I take it you won't be overclocking then?. Important to state as otherwise you'll end up with 1 single answer on here.

    TiG

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    Hadn't planned on it since I don't think my ability stretches that far yet tho I take it from your reply that there is some issue here that would prevent it ?
    I have just added up the cost and it comes out at arround £500. probably near the max I would like to spend

    Windog

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    TiG
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    TwinMOS PC3200 DDR-DIMM 256MB CL2.5 - Memory 184-P (for DDR-PC400MHz)
    £73,78

    Abit NF7-M mainboard for Socket A, LAN - nForce2IGP/MCP/, ATX, VGA, USB2.0
    £86,02

    Maxtor IDE ATA-133 120GB 7200RPM - DiamondMax Plus 9
    £79,12

    AMD Athlon XP2500+ 1.833 GHz 333 MHz bus - Socket A (Barton) processor, 512kb BOXED
    £71,93

    Sky Hawk Midi tower , Silver - Aluminium Case, Without Power Supply
    £67,43

    Chieftec PSU ATX 360W- Power Supply for P4/AMD CPU
    £38,66

    Okay, I'll quickly run you through why i've chosen these,
    You don't need Corsair memory, a home machine not being overclocked doesn't need it, Twinmos is a good manufactuer and is value for money.

    I've paired that with a Nforce2 motherboard from Abit with intergrated Graphics, Sound card, Network card and USB2. This will do all you need at present, If you need to upgrade your graphics in the future you can just turn off the integrated graphics and put in an AGP card, (the fx5200 is not worth it in my opinion)

    I'd recommend choosing a Retail AMD CPU pack so you get a retail heat sink and fan as well, it will do you fine and give you 3yrs warranty instead of just 1 with an OEM processor.

    This will all save you a few pounds so you could maybe get a speaker set or a few extra bits and pieces to make your machine tidier.

    I'm not sure about your case choose, I'd personally spend a bit more on getting a case you really like - tho i'd say a 360W or 400W power supply for what you will be doing is fine.

    I've not gone with Sata hard disks as i don't think you'll really notice the difference and the sata hard disks are a fair bit more expensive with no real noticable difference.

    Hope this helps and let me know if you got any more questions.

    TiG

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    dgr
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    agree with TiG except I would say go for dedicated graphics straight away. also consider getting an antec case, they come with antec psus (brilliant, some of the best) and are great value for money, e.g.
    Antec Plus 1080AMG

    from OCuk is £110, including a 430W psu worth £70 alone. granted you don't need it now, but will in the future. don't skimp on the psu...

    the antec case is okay, i wouldn't suggest the case you have picked, cheap aluminium cases aren't great. the coolermaster201 alu. case for OCUK is brilliant (I have one) and is under £80.

    dgr
    dothan 745 @ 2.4ghz | 2gb Corsair XMS (2-3-3-6) | dual raptors (raid0) | ATI 9700pro | CM201 | dual lg 1810

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    dgr
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    oh, don't foget to buy some zip ties for when it comes to building the pc!!!!

    dgr
    dothan 745 @ 2.4ghz | 2gb Corsair XMS (2-3-3-6) | dual raptors (raid0) | ATI 9700pro | CM201 | dual lg 1810

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    Thanks guys tho I am probably going to get more confused by the time I get to build this!

    TiG can you tell me where you got the Skyhawk case details from .
    You say you dont like the fx5200. What I was going on was it got best value for money in computer shopper, and at the price (£60)
    had vivo in case we bought a video camera.
    Thanks for the comment on the memory.
    I was looking at the MSI mobo as it also had the IEEE1394 port, not that I necessarily have a use for it at the moment but as I said I wanted to be a little "future proof" or am I just looking for extra's that I will never use? The prices are very similar the MSI board is about £84
    Yes I was looking at the boxed retail processor for the same reasons

    dgr who is OCuk is this the overclocking store as the link I have to thier web site says they have ceased trading?

    If in the future I decide I am more confidant in my abilities and go to overclock would this change things seriously in my choices?

    Windog

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    TiG
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    Sure WinDog it was from www.komplett.co.uk - Great retailer in most peoples opinions, Bought a fair bit from them myself.

    Best Value for the cards it was reviewing maybe, but certainly not good value in the scheme of things out there. the FX5200 is designed for a cheap Direct X9 part, but there isn't anything out there that you will use that could make use of Direct X9, so i'd avoid it.

    You'll get fine performance from the integrated board i suggested, or you could change to the NF7-S board without on board graphics (about £20 cheaper) and spend some money on an indenpendant card. Believe me you could get a £20-30 card that will do everything you want for ages. Its only high performance games that need this power. (my shuttle runs the integrated card that the motherboard uses and i'm perfectly happy with its performance)

    I believe you will get S-Video connectors on the motherboard, my shuttle has got dual monitor + svideo connectors on it. and the Abit NF7-M has definitely got a firewire (IEEE1394)port on it - very useful for cameras etc too.

    If you where thinking of overclocking, i would suggest a better Heat sink and fan, spending a bit more money on the memory and getting the TwinMOS with Winbond memory which is about £10 per stick more expensive.

    Just keep asking if you get confused, people here are more than happy to help

    TiG

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by TiG
    I'd recommend choosing a Retail AMD CPU pack so you get a retail heat sink and fan as well, it will do you fine and give you 3yrs warranty instead of just 1 with an OEM processor.
    good choices TiG, only one comment on the above bit tho

    problem with the retail boxed is the heatsink is a bit of a nightmare to fit if its your 1st attempt at PC building....i used one of these on my 1st & it scared the crap out of me, having to use that much force with a screwdriver so near to my precious motherboard!!

    much better to go for somehthing which is easier to fit such as the coolermaster heatsinks with the thumb-thingy on the clips

    eg - coolermaster xdream is only £10 from cpucity (see here ) which isn't much more than the difference between an OEM & a retail CPU

    just my 2p

    also, good luck & have fun mate!

    i'm sure everyone here will agree its a real buzz when a machine you've just built comes to life for the 1st time
    Last edited by petrefax; 08-08-2003 at 11:59 PM.
    if it ain't broke...fix it till it is


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    I think everyone's already pretty much covered the important bits.

    But to answer your question about OCUK. You can find them @ http://www.overclockers.co.uk. They dont just stock overclocking and specialist gear, in fact they sell quite a large range of products. I've never had any problems with them and their prices have never been too bad. Hope thats of use to you.

    And good luck

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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    • Spud1's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Mac Pro
      • CPU:
      • 2x 2.8ghz Quad Core Xeons (octo-core)
      • Memory:
      • 4gb DDR2 FB-Dimm
      • Storage:
      • 1x1TB, 1x320gb, 2x500gb, 1x250gb, 120GB SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia Geforce 560Ti
      • PSU:
      • Mac pro PSU
      • Case:
      • Mac Pro Case
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 8
      • Monitor(s):
      • 1x22" LG 3D TFT 1x 19" ViewSonic
      • Internet:
      • 80mb BT Infinity
    keep your

    case Skyhawk c/w 300w psu (Aria CSE-MID-5619W)

    processor AMD Athalon XP 2500 Barton

    MB MSI K7N2 Delta ILSR

    Hard drive Maxtor 120gb 8mb cache sata150

    but replace that Gcard, most games will give up at the sight of it.

    get a GF4 ti4200, they are about £60 (look in the bargin section of the forum, links are there)

    the Gcard is the only thing wrong with your system, replace it with what i suggested and you'll have a decent mid-range system

    DONT go for onboard graphics as they are never any good EVER

    the MSi has excellent onboard sound and loads of features, plenty of future proofing

    As for memory there are definitely compatability issues with that board (i have the board myself) and I have found that the best memory to use with it is as you said corsair, but also crucial (what i use) 2x256 PC 2700DDR direct from cruicial would work well for you, as you can run in dual channal mode too

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    Hexus.Jet TeePee's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a good retailer, try looking at http://www.romulus2.com/feedback/chart.php?1 It's a site which has many comments about different hardware retailers in the UK, and could save you a lot of hassle if something is faulty and you have to return it, as you will know what kind of service you can expect.

  15. #15
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    Thanks TeePee usefull list

    Spud1
    Interesting comment. The reason I was looking at the MSI board was that it came out as best value in the price range in a computer shopper review, (and this was the only comparison I could find-see my post re component comparison)

    Iam interested in why you are so definate about the difference. Not to disagree or argue the point but to learn how to make comparisons in the future. I realise that in many ways such comparisons must be subjective as one manufacturers chip may be better at some function whilst anothers may be better at something else altho they are supposedly equivalent.

    interested in your comments

    Petrefax
    usefull comment I shall look at that, is it as good a contact for cooling

    TiG
    one reason I liked the case I chose is the sliding door (it will hide my computer beige CD drive!

    Windog

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    Great link TeePee.

    I don't disagree with any of the above but to give my opinion...

    For the CPU The AthlonXP2500+ is VERY good and has plenty of scope if you do plan on o/c'ing. If you are sure o/c'ing is not for you the XP2600+ is slightly better and often marginally cheaper too. As for retail or OEM, I'd prefer an OEM version and use the money saved on a seperate HSF like the CM Xdream or better yet TT Volcano 9 or 11 (check out Dabs for rock bottom Volcanos). www.refreshcomputers.com are good for the XP2500+ and also for cheap RAM, practically generic but known to be very good esp for the money.

    For the mobo, if you don't need every last 1% of per and tweaking options then there's no need to go nForce2, SiS748 or KT600 are far more than you need. KT400 is a great budget choice only lacking in 400FSB support but that's not overly important anyway. Manu (Gigabyte, Asus, Abit, MSI etc) is far less important than the chipset (KT400, nForce2 etc), chipset dictates speed, features etc so decide on that first. There is no bad option ... just be sure to get a mobo supporting multiplier adjustment if you plan to o/c at any point in the future, 400FSB largely for the same reason. On a budget and without tweaking (o/c'ing) the SiS748 or even SiS746FX (lacking 400FSB) are excellent options.

    For the gfx card (the most important part when it comes to gaming) the onboard gfx of nForce2 (IGP is GF4MX, ie GF2!) are barely passable but you can invest in something beefier when you get more cash at a later date. If you go with a seperate AGP card the FX5200 is an excellent budget solution but gains from a GF4TI4200 or GF-FX5600 are very noticable, better still Rad9600pro or GF-FX5600ultra which are even better and far more future-proof. If you buy a seperate AGP card be sure you get 128MB.

    For the HD I doubt you'll notice any diffs between any new drive, so you could just go by price and capacity. The best are the Maxtor and WD drives but the Seagate is close behind and known to be very quiet. The 8MB versions are a little faster but that's reflecte din the price, SATA isn't needed and at this moment in time I'd suggest any ATA100/133 drive. 80-120GB are good capacities to aim for.

    RAM wise I'd say get PC3200 preferably branded Crucial or TwinMOS. Generic can give too meny head-aches while top end stuff like PC3500+ or Corsair is so not worth the money definitely for the less tweakable user. If you get nForce2 with Dual Channel RAM (std or ultra400) then 2 sticks is optimal otherwise a single stick is better. 512MB is easily plenty, I wouldn't waste your money on more.

    For the case I suggest looking for them in local computer shops. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it's far easier to ensure it has build quality, fan mounts and good ventilation. PSUs which come with cases are almost always poor and over-rated, you get what you pay for really so you'll have to weigh up whether to get a good seperate PSU (350W Antec, Enermax for eg) or save the cash and beef up other parts of your PC.

    I'd suggest buying the majority of your kit from www.dabs.com or www.komplett.co.uk but the only place I'd rec you avoid is Ebuyer.

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