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Thread: Please help spec up a computer for £500

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    Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Hello,

    My soon-to-be 16 year old brother is getting a computer for his birthday. Please could you help spec it up as I have no idea what's good at the moment? Budget is about £500, already have a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers etc. If it makes a huge difference to what he could have in it the old hard drive could be used for a bit so there's not necessarily a need for a new one.

    He mainly uses it for a school work, but there's a lot of gaming that goes on in there too so a half decent graphics card is a requirement.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    IMO drop the quad down to a duo. You dont need them for games and normal PC use.

    A Core 2 duo would be completely fine. Try to get an E8, but they are out of stock at most places so you may need an E6

    Actually, after checking the prices, the Q6600 is very well priced, so it is a good buy.

    My attempt (from Scan):

    LN21079
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8200, S775, 2.66 GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 6MB Cache, Retail £98.54 £115.78

    LN19398
    MSI P35 NEO2-FR, iP35, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 1066/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £56.99 £66.96

    LN14277
    2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12 £30.89 £36.30

    LN20817
    512MB SapphireHD 3870 PCI-E 2.0 (x16), GDDR4, 320 Streams, S-Video 2 x Dual Link DVI-I £118.69 £139.46

    LN19074
    Antec Sonata 3 Super Black Mini Tower Case with 500W aPFC PSU £66.89 £78.60

    LN11176
    160 Gb Hitachi 0Y30006 Deskstar T7K160, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, 8.5 ms, NCQ £24.59 £28.89

    LN19998
    Samsung SH-S202N/BEBN 20x DVD±R, 16xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, PATA,Lightscribe, Black, OEM inc. Nero £14.49 £17.03

    Comes up to £495
    Last edited by Bhavv; 09-02-2008 at 11:57 AM.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    I'd suggest something like this, and add a a pair of those. Some bits may be cheaper on Ebuyer (e.g. Graphic card), but the whole thing should fall within your budget. Ah, shoot, I forgot the DVDRW though - probably another £16 from here.
    Last edited by TooNice; 09-02-2008 at 12:03 PM.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Good lord you can get quite a lot of computer for not a lot of money these days can't you?! Thank you for the suggestions. None of you guys went for the non built-in power supplies...last time I was on here everyone was saying how you shouldn't go for not so good ones. What are those like in the cases?

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    the power supply i suggested in the Antec case is a very decent power supply and will most definately not let you down..

    what Bahv said about the quad core is true yeah.. but it's always nice knowing you have 4 cores instead of just 2.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    You also need to factor in the cost of an operatng system too into the price.

    Here is what I came up with from Ebuyer:

    Gecube HD 3850 Pro 512MB GDDR3 Overclocked Edition Dual DVI PCI-E Graphics Card 136216 £109.98 £93.60

    Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 Socket 775 2.4GHz (800MHz) L2 2MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor 135668 £90.06 £76.64

    MSI P35 Neo-F Socket 775 FSB1333 onboard 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard 128047 £58.95 £50.17

    Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5400 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5 Lifetime Warranty
    £29.99 £25.52

    Corsair VX450WUK 450W PSU 131052 £47.92 £40.78

    Antec NSK4000 Super Mini-Tower Case Black/Silver - No PSU £29.99 £25.52

    Lite-On SOHW-1693S 16x DVD±RW Dual Layer Internal IDE (Black) - OEM 092095 £14.09 £11.99

    Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM 130454 £59.50 £50.63

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium x32Bit OEM 1PK DVD 123052 £61.10 £52.00

    *FREE SHIPPING ON THIS ORDER»

    Total: £501.58

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    To be honest, I wanted to be able to squeeze a Seasonic SII or a Corsair 450VX with a cheap-ish case (e.g. one of those CoolerMaster Centurion 5). Actually, that would work, the price doesn't change much.

    That said, the EarthWatt is by no mean 'poor'. It's not a favourite, is a louder, but I've not heard horrid things.

    Here's a revised version. I dropped the Ultima-90+fan combo to make place for the DVD-RW. Plus, I wasn't sure if it'll fit the Centurion.

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    • matty-hodgson's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
      • 4GB OCZ DDR2 890MHz (5-4-4-15)
      • Storage:
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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    if he doesn't need an operating system that £52 is wasted and could be spent on Office 07 or he could download them illegally but i personally wouldn't 'cause MS always find out in the end.

    so, unless you already have an OS i suppose you need to take that into consideration.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Good point about the OS. No easy way around it, just have to drop the GT for the 3850.

    On my build, you'll have to drop to the 256MB version to stay within £500 unless you are willing to sacrifice 2GB of RAM or drop to a Pentium Dual.

    How big is that monitor?

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    IMHO the 384mb 8800GS is better than the 256MB 8800GT and costs around the same as the HD3850 512MB. It depends if you want an ATI or Nvidia card! Both cards are evenly matched. Anyway a HD3850 512mb or 8800GS 384mb should have around 70-80% of the performance of a 8800GT 512mb and both cost between £30 to £40 less.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Quote Originally Posted by matty-hodgson View Post
    if he doesn't need an operating system that £52 is wasted and could be spent on Office 07 or he could download them illegally but i personally wouldn't 'cause MS always find out in the end.

    so, unless you already have an OS i suppose you need to take that into consideration.
    OpenOffice and Gimp will do the job for free.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    I am actually referring to the 256MB of the 3850. Dropping from the 512MB GT to the 512MB 3850/GS would only free £38. Come to think of it though, I can free another £12 assuming free shipping from Scan. That might just be enough to squeeze the OS in. I've actually not seen many reviews of the GS, I'd expect it to be a touch faster than the 3850. Strictly speaking, the 256MB GT does have more 'muscle' (raw speed when not memory bottlenecked), but crashes (performance wise) above once it hit that limit. Oddly enough, it seems more sharply affected than the 256MB 3850. Anyhow, if dropping to the 512MB 3850/GS is enough, then go for that instead.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Sorry - I though you were referring to the 8800GT 256mb! You can get free Supersaver postage with Ebuyer so reaching the budget of around £500 with either a HD3850 512mb or 8800GS 384mb and a OS is possible. With free Scan postage it is possible too! The HD3850 in my suggested specification is also an overclocked one with an aftermarket cooler.

    Here is a review:

    GECUBE Radeon HD 3850 X-Turbo III :: TweakTown
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 09-02-2008 at 01:04 PM.

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Antec PSUs that come with their cases are top quality antec branded PSU's, not the generic crap in unbranded cases. If you need a new case and PSU, you cannot go wrong with antec.

    I had the 380 watt psu from the sonata 1 powering 2 6800's and an AMD 3000+ overclocked to 2.6 Ghz for over a year. Very good PSU for 380 watts!

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    Re: Please help spec up a computer for £500

    Heres my opinion as i just built mine(im 15 xD) and it came to £560, needed new psu and hard drive though which could take off a £100.

    CPU: e8400-£130 roughly
    GFX card: 8800GTS 512mb BGF OC edition, get the gts imo as they are instock and bfg warranty is probably the best.
    Ram: dual channel 2gb corsair ram(2x1gb) pc6400-£37
    Motherboard: asus p5n-d, perfect as it supports 45nm and has pci-e 2.0 and sli, £100
    Dont think theres anything else except
    PSU: 700W Xclio-£60 i think
    Hard drive: some WD 250gb sata 2, 16mb cache 7.2k rpm-£40

    Good luck on the build .

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