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Thread: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

  1. #1
    he of many questions...
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    Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Hello everyone! Firstly, thanks very much to all those who've replied to my earlier posts re. possible configurations for my new PC, your time has been appreciated! But I'm still confused, umming and ahhing about just what I should spend my hard earned on... So I thought I'd throw it out to the forum and see what you all recommend, ie.

    For the past 3 years I've been getting by with my trusty Pentium M powered Fujitsu laptop; it's most taxing task is image editing in Photoshop Elements & Lightroom (large RAW files up to 14MB and layered TIFF's etc up to 100MB+ each...), plus I play the occasional non-demanding game (mainly C&C and Warcraft)... It certainly can't play the newer games like Crysis, World in Conflict etc, so that's why it's time to upgrade (plus I want much better performance in my imaging programs as well, I'm looking to upgrade to Adobe CS3 which is a much more system intensive program, I think)

    My budget is anything up to £1000 or thereabouts, so it's quite broad... This excludes a monitor, as I'm budgeting an extra £500-£600 for a quality 24" display (suggestions on this would be useful as well!)

    What I can't figure out is where I'll get my best 'bang-for-my-buck'... Will a £1000 PC be 100% better than a £500 PC (ie does double the money = double or more the performance)??? The more I save on the PC, the more I can spend on a monitor if need be, so the value equation is important!

    I'm also confused as whether I should take a hands-on approach and build this PC myself (I've never done it before, but I'm technically minded and can follow instructions, so I don't figure it'll be out of my league, right?) Am I under (or over) estimating the difficulty?

    Do you save money building your own? Or is it just that you can choose every individual component yourself, along with the satisfaction of knowing the in's and out's of your PC? What about warranty and that sort of thing? Am I on my own if things go wrong? How likely is it that things WILL go wrong? I've never had to use the warranty on my laptop, or any other PC that I've had in the past; is this just lucky?

    So... what would you do in my place? Would you build your own or buy pre-built? What system configuration would you go for? Who would you buy from if going pre-built? Have fun helping me spend my money wisely!

    Thanks guys, really appreciate your advice!

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    You certainly get a lot more for your money building yourself. An although you have to sort them out yourself, the warranties are usually very long, 3 years + on most components you buy.

    As for spending £1000, that isn't necessary. If you just want an awesome PC I would think you will need to spend around £800 but if you just want a pretty damn good PC I think £600 would do. Oh and for 24" screen I would probably but the dell 2408wfp, I like dell screens

    I'm gonna attack the £600 budget so you can have £400 in the piggy bank for upgrades.

    Intel Q6600 + Scythe Ninja ~ £170
    Abit IP-35 dark raider ~£60
    4GB PC6400 RAM ~£60 (corsair, geil, ocz etc..)
    Antec Sonana plus + 550 modular PSU ~ £100
    500GB Western Digital AAkS ~£60
    DVD-RW ~ £15
    8800GTS 512MB ~£150 (at this price on scans today only yesterday so it will probably be again)

    Total comes in right around £600. Ample gaming power for now, you might want to tap into the £400 upgrade money in a couple of years for the new games then but I think it will do a very good job now.

    If you want an graphics upgrade have a look at the 8800GTX for £15 more, or the ATi HD3870X2 for around £230

    That will be a very quiet system, I'd imagine all you would hear is the graphics card. You could spend more on the case and PSU but that is a great combo imo.

  3. #3
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Building your own PC is not hard (& a lot easier if you can access the `net for advice whilst you`re doing so).

    For the tasks that you`ll be doing - similar to my own usage - I`d recommend:

    Q6600 - I don`t really think that at the current prices, anything is better value (although the Q6700 is supposed to be reduced to Q6600 Price [£160 approx.] at the end of the month - this might be better - will you be overclocking?).

    Abit Darkraider/Pro seem to be favourites for a solid `board (again, partially depends on whether you`ll be overclocking) - no need to spend more unless you want SLI/Xfire.

    4GB RAM - at current prices this should be your minimum (remember you`ll need 64bit OS to fully utilise it).

    You can get a 1TB drive for £99 now (Samsung F1 - very fast, but there MAY be issues with this drive) The Western Digital `drives have a good reputation (particularly AAKS series - new 640GB is very fast [£70]).

    PSU: Corsair HX, Enermax.....

    Don`t forget a decent `cooler if you are going to overclock (a crime not to squeeze at least a bit more out of them, they have so much to give!)

    Well that`s my twopence worth (for now).

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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    staffsMike, sorry to bother you, I take it that you mean today only, the day before yesterday - the 8800GTS doesn`t seem to be on there currently (Thursday) or am I being stupid?

    tensim: Apologies for the hijack.

  5. #5
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    yeah it's flicked over now to thursday.

    Wednesdays had the gainward version in the supersavers for £150

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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Missed that! Thanks staffsMike.

  8. #7
    he of many questions...
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    • tensim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit iX38 QuadGT
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB (4x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 DHX
      • Storage:
      • 640GB WD AAKS
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATi HD 4870
      • PSU:
      • 650W Be Quiet Dark Power PRO
      • Case:
      • Cosmos S
      • Operating System:
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      • Internet:
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Hi Staffsmike,

    Thanks for that, it's pretty much what I was thinking (though I was looking at the P182 case and Enermax Modu82+ 525W), another £70 or so I guess (is this worth it for future upgradeability?)

    Is the 8800GTX worth the extra cash?

    I will probably overclock a little bit, though I'm a complete beginner so I'll be very conservative I'm sure (I'm thinking 3.0GHz should be OK with the cooler you've mentioned?)

    cheers

  9. #8
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
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      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    3.0GHz will be easy for that cooler and will remove any stress on the motherboard

    8800GTX uses a fair bit more power I think but will give better frame rates @ 1920 x 1200, so it could be a good buy for you especially at £165.

    The P182 is my favourite case and with it I like to pair the Corsair HX. They work really well together, i'm sure the modu82+ would be good too though, just not sure if the fat cables will fit nicely behind the mobo tray.

    The antec PSU did really well in it's custom PC review so I wouldn't say it was bad at all but obviously the modu82+ is insanely efficent and apparently even more quiet than the corsair HX (which is damn near inauidiable anyway)

    I personally would spend the extra on the case and PSU but I also have no problem recommending the sonana plus to save money, it's suposed to be an ever quieter case than the P182 lol

  10. #9
    he of many questions...
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    • tensim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit iX38 QuadGT
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB (4x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 DHX
      • Storage:
      • 640GB WD AAKS
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATi HD 4870
      • PSU:
      • 650W Be Quiet Dark Power PRO
      • Case:
      • Cosmos S
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Home Premium 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2709W
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 20MB+

    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Hi staffsMike, I'm assuming you mean the Antec Sonata Plus 550? I do like the look of the P182, very stealth and understated; I like the door as well (can it be hinged to open either left or right?)

    With graphics cards, do you reckon it's worth going for something like the ATI HD3870X2 ? What's representing the best value for around £200 or thereabouts?

    Cheers

  11. #10
    he of many questions...
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    • tensim's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit iX38 QuadGT
      • CPU:
      • Q6600 @ 3.2ghz
      • Memory:
      • 8GB (4x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 DHX
      • Storage:
      • 640GB WD AAKS
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATi HD 4870
      • PSU:
      • 650W Be Quiet Dark Power PRO
      • Case:
      • Cosmos S
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Home Premium 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2709W
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media 20MB+

    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Also, what about the newer Yorkfield chips, such as the q9300? It's only £20-£30 more than the Q6600 and is newer technology, will it perform better?

    Cheers

  12. #11
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • e6600
      • Memory:
      • geil ultra pc6400
      • Storage:
      • WD 320gb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • leadtek 8800 GTS 640mb
      • PSU:
      • ocz gameXstream 700w
      • Case:
      • akasa eclipse
      • Monitor(s):
      • dell 2007wfp and Lg L194WT
      • Internet:
      • pipex homecall

    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    I'm not a fan of the 45nm quads at the moment. They don't represent value for money in my eyes as they are bother harder and less safe to overclock.

    The door only opens one way but is double hinged so it folds flat against the side.

    I like the HD3870X2 but it's supposed to be quite noisey. It is a great card for 1920 x 1200 and above but I think the 8800GTX at around £170 makes for a better buy.

  13. #12
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    • dagger_meerkat's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: Spend my money for me! - (new build advice :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by tensim View Post
    Also, what about the newer Yorkfield chips, such as the q9300? It's only £20-£30 more than the Q6600 and is newer technology, will it perform better?

    Cheers
    Don't bother with anything else apart from a Q6600. The latter will give you the best price/performance ratio, there's a predicted price cut of $20 for the this processor 20th april onwards. However I think some retailers have already lowered the prices in anticipation of this, so you might be able to get it for approximately £135 next week or end of month or even lower.

    Overclocking this with a good cooler is your best bet. You will easily hit 3.0Ghz on the abit board and increments after that need a little bit more effort, and if you are lucky you can get 3.6Ghz although i doubt if you would want to run it at this, so probably 3.4Ghz. This is higher than the q6700 or the qx6850 that are selling at over 300 and 600 respectively.

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