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Thread: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

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    Question build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    Hello,

    hope you lot dont get too bored of providing this sort of advice!

    looking to build PC for £350.

    do not require - monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse, dvd drive - just internals and a case.

    I should be recieving a 500gb external HD as a gift so the budget does not need to include a storage drive either. just one to run the systems / programmes off.

    case can be cheapest thing that fits, a cereal box will do as long as its got the correct attachements!

    machine will be primarily for buisiness, running mostly adobe design software. though i will play the occasional game ;]

    just looking for the absolute best i can get for my money, that will all work harmoniously!

    THANKS!


    -Theo

    just to clarify, i require - case, cpu, ram, gfx, psu, hdd.

    thanks again.
    Last edited by designosaur; 14-03-2008 at 01:19 PM.

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    A question or two, do you want to overclock or do you best performance straight out of the box?

    At this sort of budget I'd often by suggesting uATX rather than a full ATX tower, is that an option?

    With your budget I would buy something like this as a non-overclock, bare in mind I'm making slight embelishments to make this damn near silent

    Case and PSU: Antec NSK3480 + 380w Earthwatts ~£60 (that is uATX and a very tidy little quiet tower) Antec NSK 3480
    CPU: AMD 5000+ X2 Black edition + Scythe mine cooler ~£85
    Motherboard: Asus M2A-VM or similar ~£35
    RAM: 2GB PC6400 ~£30
    Hard Drive: 320GB Western Digital AAKS ~£45
    Graphics: Passive Geforce 9600GT or Passive ATi HD3850/3870 ~£120 (pushes slightly over budget but these card can be had for around £90 in non-passive guise especially the HD3850)

    That CPU overclocks based on an unlcoked multiplier meaning you simply change one number x10, x 12, x14 etc.. in the bios and it overclocks I have one and it runs 2.8GHz automatically for some reason and then 3.0GHz very nicely while staying amazingly cool.

    With the passive cooled PSU that will be next to silent and run all the games you could want to for a good while
    Last edited by staffsMike; 14-03-2008 at 03:00 PM.

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    Thanks Mike,

    I was looking for something that at least initially would run out of the box really.

    what you have suggested sounds very good (and comprehensive).

    Beyond the fact that they are smaller im not really sure about the differences between UAtx and Atx motherboards.

    silence is a handy bonus but in the end as long as it works it doesnt matter if it sounds like a aero engine!

    thanks for the suggestions, ill check them all out.

    -T

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    As the gaming is occational & performance out of the box is more the focus, i would i probably gone down this route...

    also with a uATX case you are going to limit the size fo the graphics card so a 3870 may be a bit of a squeeze

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    cheers biscuit. will check that out aswell.

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    Thanks for the advice guys, in the end we went with:

    Antec NSK3480 + 380w Earthwatts - Lovely case, seriously very nice, fantastic advice! love the two 120mm's with speed selectors!

    C2D 8200 - or the 7200, can't remember :s might have been a drunken misclick! It's running stock at 2.66 though so i assume the 8200 was aquired, lol

    Asus, 3650 256MB version - didn't seem to need the 512MB as he's using twin monitors at nothing more than 1280x1024. Maybe room for an upgrade further down the lines.

    250GB WD 16MB cache version - he also went for a 500GB external storage drive

    Asus P5K-VMiG33 - Nice board!

    We ditched the ram in the end as I had 2Gb of Geil PC6400 4-4-4-12 lying about, would maybe get some 8500 in the future if an o'clocking need arose.

    Overall, thanks very much for the suggestions, build was clean and easy (apart from the inevitable issue with the stupid pushpin cpu HSF mounting!)

    One thing i did want to check was the temps at stock speed with stock cooler. What type of idle and load specs would be reasonable?

    I cleaned up the default goo, and AS5'd it up a notch! so wouldn't expect anything too toasts, but I think he might be hitting 40-42 after about 8 hours and no serious usage, would you guys advise a re-seating? or it is just the stock cooler having an effect?

    There would obviously be room to get a decent aftermarket cooler but to keep costs down we avoided it initially.

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    under load those temps are pretty good. If you want to be sure then intstall orthos and run a stress test. Keep an eye on that and when it gets to the intense CPU and ram tests u will c the temps rise! if it hits the 60s and remains stable under orthos u are pretty much fine, no regular software is likely to stress hardware any more than that, although most people see 60 as a 'too high' point

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Graphics: Passive Geforce 9600GT or Passive ATi HD3850/3870 ~£120 (pushes slightly over budget but these card can be had for around £90 in non-passive guise especially the HD3850)
    I wouldn't go for a passive version. According to SPCR even the stock cooler are really quiet and even under load considerably quiet. So I'd go for a 3850 for the occasional gaming. If the games are of the older generation then Mike's solution of the 780G integrated graphics will be fine and you can chop another £100 off the bill.

    I wouldn't spend too much on the processor. Even the E2xxxs should be perfectly fine for office work and overclock well enough for a game now and then.

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    Quote Originally Posted by DougMcDonald View Post
    Antec NSK3480 + 380w Earthwatts - Lovely case, seriously very nice, fantastic advice! love the two 120mm's with speed selectors!
    Glad you like it, not actually used it myself yet but read some good reviews and am planning a build in the near future with it

    Quote Originally Posted by DougMcDonald View Post
    We ditched the ram in the end as I had 2Gb of Geil PC6400 4-4-4-12 lying about, would maybe get some 8500 in the future if an o'clocking need arose.
    The 45nm processors are not supposed to be particularly great overclockers, they hit the speeds ok but their life is shortened quite considerably by upping the voltage. The ram that you have there should be fine for a modest overclock anyway, if you hit a limit due to the ram then drop the timings int he bios from 44412 to 55515 and it should be able to go further

    Quote Originally Posted by DougMcDonald View Post
    Overall, thanks very much for the suggestions, build was clean and easy (apart from the inevitable issue with the stupid pushpin cpu HSF mounting!)
    Yeah i hate those bloody push pins! The AM2 clip is soo much better i often wonder what was going through intels mind

  10. #10
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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    A slight update on the temperature concerns.

    I spent some time over the weekend testing out temps etc because via core-temp at boot it's reporting 41,52 for the two cores.

    Obviously these temps caused my concerns as I would think under load it would top 60 pretty damn fast. To confirm this I ran Orthos for an hour or so, what was interesting is that the core reading 41 rose to match the core reading 52, and then they both rose evenly from that point.

    After an hour or so, we were approaching 60, but the temps didn't really go any further, they were flicking between about 58-61 and whilst i have no doubt over 8-12 hours they would probably rise, these temps for an hour or so under load didn't really concern me.

    Did a bit of reading and it seems some of the new Wolfdale chips have shipped with dodgy temp sensors which would explain the weird idle temps.

    What i wonder is whether it would be worth RMA'ing the chip (which doesn't have any stability issues) just because the temps seem to read wrong. Or whether we should just accept it as a chip flaw and live with it.

    Anyone got any experience with these chips? or opinions about the 'return or not return' question?

    Cheers,

    Doug

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    Re: build advice please - £350 - excluding all peripherals and some storage

    I vote 'not return' (it's what i would personally do anyway).
    Your chip is working, you know why the readings are as they are, plus someone somewhere has to bear the brunt of returning it (the retailer?).

    If you want to keep an ongoing eye on temps, i love Speedfan, and it allows you to manually adjust temp readings (eg -10 degrees on CPU reading).

    Nice thread though, i might well get a similar setup soon
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