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Thread: The New Machine

  1. #1
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    The New Machine

    Okaayy....

    I recently decided to buy myself a computer. I thought, "Let's go have a look at prebuilt computers and find a cheapish one.... at the local computer shop."

    Then I realised that they were vastly overpriced. The computer you could buy for £330 on the web was going for about £450.

    So I decided to save up £350 to buy myself a computer. Not a problem.. in about 2 months could do that without breaking a sweat and still have enough left over to go to the cinema the day after.

    Alternatively, I could spend about £100 less (occasionally slightly more than £100 less) on buying the parts and just build it myself.

    Now, I'm not really one for building computers from scratch. Yes, it's not beyond me to plug in a Hard Drive, or install and operating system, but the biggest thing I'd handled was a 8GB hard drive and 256mb of RAM... and a 20x DVD Drive which I pirated off of a computer someone gave me.

    Anyway, I thought "ARGH!!! I'm not sure if I can build it!"

    So I looked for help. And I found it. Turns out it's not too hard to build yourself a computer... just takes a bit of time, money, sweat, blood and hopefully not body parts.

    So I've saved up about £200-300 (not sure of exact amount... selling couple of old computers in a few days for varying amounts, and using this to finance buying a bigger and better one )

    Here's what I thought I might buy... any ideas and so on would be nice... along with how to get them cheaper than what I've got down on this list.

    GA-MA69VM-S2 Motherboard (onboard Radeon X1200) £31.89
    AMD Athlon 5200+ Processor £62.66
    2x1GB 800mhz Kingston RAM £30.53
    160GB Seagate Barracuda Hard Drive £28.66
    Vista Home Premium £58.17
    4x80mm Akasa Fan £11.94
    Case w/ 400W PSU £23.49

    Total (inc VAT): £268.12
    Delievery: £9.98
    Total (inc Delivery/VAT): About £280.


    I'm sure you can think of at least two ways of either improving it, or cutting down on the price of it!

    Any ideas at all would be nice! Shout them out.. and don't forget that the maximum I'm spending on this particular machine is only £300!


    The last forum I posted this on they immediately said to spend about £250 on a CPU, £100 on a Graphics Card and the rest of it on everything else.

    Looking for advice,

    mediaboy
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune117
    Kids are getting smarter, eventually no amount of parental controls will be able to stop them
    I guess we're expected to do quite well

  2. #2
    Señor Member Flewis's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Im pretty sure everyone will recommend you go down the intel core 2 duo route, Its just better than amd's offerings. The pentium dual cores are your best bet:

    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Using the stock cooler (to save money) these will overclock to at least 2.4GHz with volts within warranty limits.

    Obviously you would need an intel motherboard too, something like this might be ok and allow some overclocking:

    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Someone else might be able to recommend a better mobo but that chip is probably you best bang for buck.

    Id also recommend getting a psu from a reputable manufacturer not a generic one, you wouldnt want a cheap psu to destroy your whole system. Get a case with built in fans to save money eg. akasa zen

  3. #3
    Señor Member Flewis's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Sorry, just realised that mobo doesnt have onboard graphics, maybe something like:

    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK
    OR
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Also i remember seeing some cheap case+psu combos from coolermaster on ebuyer that might be suitable:

    Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Case With CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU *SPECIAL OFFER* - Ebuyer
    Last edited by Flewis; 21-02-2008 at 10:45 PM.

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    Senior Member Hicks12's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    im not to certain with kingston but i think corsair/crucial ram is better, you can grab a 2x1gb set of corsair cas4 for £35 from scan. Imo amd's dual cores are great for the budget, intel are offering more the high budget end etc. Get 64bit vista because its better so i hear and actually benefits in dx10 more.

    Delivery should be free for you, link your account to hexus one and get 25posts(really easy).

    £250 for a cpu? insane xD i spent £128 on my e8400 and i think tbh its just too expensive.

    Do you game more then anything else? if so what games do you want/normally play? that will give you a better answer as different spec=different tasks.

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    Salazaar Clone! mediaboy's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Flewis View Post
    Im pretty sure everyone will recommend you go down the intel core 2 duo route, Its just better than amd's offerings. The pentium dual cores are your best bet:

    (url removed)

    Using the stock cooler (to save money) these will overclock to at least 2.4GHz with volts within warranty limits.

    Obviously you would need an intel motherboard too, something like this might be ok and allow some overclocking:

    (url removed)

    Someone else might be able to recommend a better mobo but that chip is probably you best bang for buck.

    Id also recommend getting a psu from a reputable manufacturer not a generic one, you wouldnt want a cheap psu to destroy your whole system. Get a case with built in fans to save money eg. akasa zen
    lol... OC to 2.4ghz? the 5200+ is already at 2.6ghz... and it only costs £20 more. Add on to the 5200+ another 1mb of cache (the Intel one you suggested only has 1mb, and the 5200+ has 2mb) and the 5200+ is still looking better

    Besides I've heard : -
    ...that Intel isn't so good for gaming - true/false?
    ...that AMD is slightly cheaper for the same specs - true/false?
    ...that in the next 6 months I'd have to upgrade my specs - true/false?
    ...that in the next 12 months I'll be buying everything but a new processor - true/false?


    This is a mid-range computer.. budget as well. If Intel/AMD are the same for gaming and the motherboard's cost about the same, then I might go down the Intel route.. and add £5 onto postage charges because I'll be buying from another site...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune117
    Kids are getting smarter, eventually no amount of parental controls will be able to stop them
    I guess we're expected to do quite well

  6. #6
    Señor Member Flewis's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    ...that Intel isn't so good for gaming - true/false?

    Im pretty sure this isnt the case, but it doesnt look like ur building a gaming pc as your using onboard graphics. This will struggle with anything u throw at it

    ...that AMD is slightly cheaper for the same specs - true/false?

    Sort of, if you dont overclock. The 2160 could easily get to 3GHz. Also clock for clock the intel is much faster. 2.4GHz was a very low estimate of what the chip could do and even at 2.4GHz id rather have the intel. I dont think you will get much more clock speed out of the 5200 as they run rather hot.

    ...that in the next 6 months I'd have to upgrade my specs - true/false?

    Depends what u want to do with it, without a graphics card u wont be gaming but as an office pc it would be fine.

    ...that in the next 12 months I'll be buying everything but a new processor - true/false?

    again personal preference.

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    Re: The New Machine

    "that Intel isn't so good for gaming - true/false?" and "...that in the next 6 months I'd have to upgrade my specs - true/false?"
    Sorry but this makes no sence to me, you want to spec a cheap system with onboard graphics to play games and expect it to be up there In six months time. It will not be hot stuff now never mind 6 months.

    I suggest, state what you want the machine to do and some kind person will give you a machine at a value point to meet that. intel or AMD. Remember you get what you pay for cheap isn't always value.
    Last edited by switchmode; 22-02-2008 at 01:01 PM.

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    Re: The New Machine

    switchmode is right. You need to say what you want to use the machine for (and if games, what games).

    Certainly if you want to game then the emphasis has to be on the video card, but there are a few things I can say about your original thoughts:

    Don't skimp too much on the PSU. Cheap ones have a habit of blowing up and are often the cause of instabilities. While there are 1 or 2 case/PSU combos that are OK (like the Antec NSK4400 if you can find one), if you're strapped for cash you'd be better off skimping on the case rather than the PSU. But something like this combo is about the minimum:
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Don't buy 80mm fans - they are very noisy and don't move much air. 120mm FTW.

    I'd probably stay away from Vista on this budget. Also EBay is quite good for picking up cheap OS.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Flewis View Post
    Also i remember seeing some cheap case+psu combos from coolermaster on ebuyer that might be suitable:

    Coolermaster Elite 330 Black Case With CM eXtreme Power 460W PSU *SPECIAL OFFER* - Ebuyer
    Now the problem I have with that is that the PSU can be bought separately in the US for $29. Coolermaster don't make PSUs, just re-brand them. This price would make me nervous about who made it, and the quality of the components.

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    Salazaar Clone! mediaboy's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    switchmode is right. You need to say what you want to use the machine for (and if games, what games).

    Certainly if you want to game then the emphasis has to be on the video card, but there are a few things I can say about your original thoughts:

    Don't skimp too much on the PSU. Cheap ones have a habit of blowing up and are often the cause of instabilities. While there are 1 or 2 case/PSU combos that are OK (like the Antec NSK4400 if you can find one), if you're strapped for cash you'd be better off skimping on the case rather than the PSU. But something like this combo is about the minimum:
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    Don't buy 80mm fans - they are very noisy and don't move much air. 120mm FTW.

    I'd probably stay away from Vista on this budget. Also EBay is quite good for picking up cheap OS.
    Case only fits 4 80mm fans... else I'd be using bigger ones
    Not that bigger=better mind.

    This comp is only for the next few months till I've got the money to up the vid/graphics card to something alright.

    I was planning on (in the next 6 months) grabbing a 24" monitor and a GeForce 8800 from a friend whose busy saving up for his new computer.... which is on his own, basically limitless, funding (he's got about £2K to spend on the comp already... I think he's trying to save up for an Alienware, despite me pointing out you can buy the parts for Alienware elsewhere - or equivalents for them...)

    Also, I was planning on using this comp as a LAN party comp - something to drag around... already have a PC carrybag, with all the necessary pockets 'n' stuff, so I've got ways of carting it round. Will the onboard card work alright with a 14" LCD Flatscreen? All I've got at the minute, but might be getting a 15" LCD off of the local recycling group (who give away stuff for free... that they pick up off of other people.)

    EVENTUALLY It'll be used for gaming. At the minute, with the current specs, just about everything else I use comps for... word processing, slideshows, schoolwork - nothing too demanding in other words.

    Oh - and I'm a UKian... not wanting to pay shipping charges for buying stuff from the US

    I was going to go look at OS on eBay... but not sure if they'll work - after being installed on a different computer already.. Anyone know what the limits are for number of OS installs you get from one disk? Also don't trust eBay lots, so not wanting to spend £30 and it turn out to be nothing but a case or picture.

    Hopefully getting my friend's spare Vista Home Basic 32bit to use for the meantime, which will be useful (saving me £60 for the moment) but will get Premium 64bit ASAP... like - as soon as I've got more money to spend!

    If you haven't already picked up on it... I'm the sort of person that takes EVERYTHING computer-based or relating to computer's that my friends are either throwing out, or don't want. I then upgrade them slightly and sell them on for a profit of £30-50.... the profit then pays for the next decent computer. most of the stuff in my current computers is taken from friends (mouse/keyboard/monitor/network card/vid card/casing/PSU/motherboard and most the software) and it cost me about £20 to buy all of it. I'm selling the same comp on for about £70

    If 2.4ghz is minimum after OC, what's max... without running too much risk of everything blowing up in my face and costing me £300?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune117
    Kids are getting smarter, eventually no amount of parental controls will be able to stop them
    I guess we're expected to do quite well

  11. #11
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    Re: The New Machine

    In the case of fans (pardon the pun) bigger IS better. That's why I'm saying get a case that takes 120mm fans. Two will be enough, and many cases come with 1 or (preferably) two pre-fitted.

    If you are going to get an 8800 in future then you could get a mobo with onboard graphics, but I'd suggest rather getting a decent mobo and a cheap (maybe EBay) graphics card.

    Buying an OS on EBay is like buying anything else on EBay. Buy from people with good scores, read the description carefully, and ask questions. You don't want to buy an OS that has already been activated. You are aware that OEM versions cannot be transferred from one computer (seemingly defined as a motherboard) to another?

    There is a question of whether you buy all cheap parts now and then upgrade them all later, or buy some components that will last you through. My advice would be to get a decent motherboard & PSU, (I would say Case too, but your budget is limited), and as cheap a CPU & GPU as you can. You have the graphics covered, and CPU bang per buck is always improving. DDR2 RAM is so cheap that either strategy is OK, but I'd tend to get 'named' PC6400. Your HDD choice is probably adequate for some time.

    So I'd say go with something like the Abit Dark Raider, paired with an E2160, comes to about £115.

    Maybe a slightly more powerful PSU, like this one: Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    For Graphics, this is very cheap, but still better than onboard: Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    I think you could come in around your budget of £300, and not have to upgrade everything.

  12. #12
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    Re: The New Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
    This is a mid-range computer.. budget as well.
    depends upon your pov obviously but lots of here would say that it isn't (although it'll do all your office type tasks no problem).
    & at the bottom end it's often hard to beat Dell for value simply because of their massive purchasing power for components & software.
    Of course it won't be much good for overclocking because it will have a neutered BIOS but so far oc'ing doesn't seem to be your thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flewis View Post
    I dont think you will get much more clock speed out of the 5200 as they run rather hot.
    should do ~3.2GHz with decent cooling.

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    Re: The New Machine

    If this is a PC to make do until you upgrade completely consider that if you buy an OEM licence for Vista and then change your motherboard when you do a full upgrade you will need to buy a new Vista licence.

    So with that in mind and the fact that you will save more in the long run by buying a few components now that will last you through the next upgrade this is what I would be looking to buy, all prices from Scan.

    CPU: Intel Celeron Duel Core E1200 - £35, Pentium Duel Core E2160 - £44
    Motherboard: Abit IP-35 Dark Raider - £73 (often on Scan today only for ~£60)
    Alternatives with onboard graphics: Gigabyte GA-G33-DS3R - £72 or GA-G33M-DS2R - £66 (µATX)
    Memory: 2GB Corsair PC6400 XMS2 C5 - £33
    Hard Drive: 160GB Samsung Spinpoint T166 - £29
    Graphics card (if required): 8600 GT - £50, 3650 (GDDR3) - £50, 3450 - £30
    Case: Akasa Zen V2 - £30, CoolerMaster RC331 Elite - £26 plus 120mm Fan ~£4
    PSU: XClio 550W Modular - £50, Corsair VX550W - £55
    OS: Vista OEM - £54

    From this you could keep when you upgraded: Case, PSU, Motherboard, Hard Drive, Memory and Vista.

    Total price would depend on what options you picked and if you are willing to wait for items to come up on special offer.

    Obviously the most cost effective method is waiting until you have enough money to get everything you want in one hit.

  14. #14
    Salazaar Clone! mediaboy's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    So that'd be 'bout £300-350 (got a headache else would be able to get it exactly right)... so about another 2 months saving....

    Out of interest - if I decided to go for a non-OEM version of Vista would it install on multiple computers? If so - how many would it install on? Also - what's the main difference between the different graphics card, and how would it influence what sort of res I'd be using?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune117
    Kids are getting smarter, eventually no amount of parental controls will be able to stop them
    I guess we're expected to do quite well

  15. #15
    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Non-OEM Windows can be moved from one computer to another. You can't use it on two different computers at the same time. If you have an existing OS (maybe one of your friends has a spare XP) then you can buy the Upgrade version, which is exactly the same but costs less. Also if you are in full time education you can get Vista at a discount.

  16. #16
    Salazaar Clone! mediaboy's Avatar
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    Re: The New Machine

    Ok.. million dollar quesiton: how do I get the discount?
    I'm definitely in full time education..

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