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Thread: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

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    The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Want the latest system suggestions? Wondering how the hardware has changed since this was first posted? Check the last pages of this thread for the latest builds!

    It seems that we're regularly getting requests on this forum for help picking out parts for a computer costing between £400 and £500.

    To help new posters quickly get an idea of what to expect from such a build, and to have some communal forum fun, I think it's time that we worked together to specify some nice systems within this budget

    The rules:
    • Post updates as a new post, rather than updating your old post (make it easy to find the latest ideas)
    • Discuss the suggestions - this is a forum, after all But please keep this thread on-topic and focused on the latest systems under £500.
    • All suggestions should come to less than £500. Some wiggle room within sensible limits is allowed, use common sense And remember - you don't have to use up all of the budget!
    • All suggestions must include an estimated cost at regular retail values. You may suggest checking Today Only type offers, of course, but don't use such prices in any estimate.
    • You don't have to post a complete system, but if it it not complete, please state what else might be needed
    • If your system suggestion does not include the cost of an operating system, make sure to mention that one will be needed.
    • You can specify a build for any type of user, from a video editor to a gamer to an office workhorse - use your imagination and make this interesting!
    • If you have a specific type of user in mind, let everyone know
    • Quad core or dual core - it's up to you! Have fun and mix it up a little!
    • Complete system suggestions must include a case, a PSU, a CPU, a motherboard, RAM, optical drive, hard drive, and a consideration of graphics output (just mention if you're using motherboard on-board).
    • Use of stock HSF will be assumed unless a HSF is included in the parts list, similarly for all other components that normally come with other needed parts.
    • Optional features that you can ignore or choose to use to make this harder include monitor, keyboard and mouse - can you fit those into the budget too?

    If there is some other useful rule or guideline that I've forgotten, just let me know

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    As good an idea this is, it's going to be hard to cater to individual needs. Also getting everyone to agree will probably be a nightmare

    Never the less I will do a few builds to attempt to suit different people.

    Can I suggest a typical format for your suggestions too

    CPU
    Motherboard
    RAM etc..

    Justifications can come after

    Quad Core Gaming

    CPU: Intel Q6600 ~£130
    Motherboard: Abit IP-35 dark Daider ~£65
    RAM: 2GB PC6400 Corsair XMS2 ~£30

    Case: Coolermaster CM690 ~£50
    PSU: Corsair 520W HX ~£65

    or

    Combo: Antec sonata III or Antec NSK6580 With 430W EarthWatt

    Hard Drive(s): Samsung Spinpoint 500GB F1 ~45
    Optical: Samsung DVD-RW ~£20

    GFX:Nvidia 8800GT or ATi HD3870 ~£105

    Total: ~ £510

    Combo Total: ~ £455

    Options I would Include:

    HSF: Scythe Mine/Ninja ~£25 (total £535)
    GFX: 8800GTS 512MB ~ £145

    using combo case and PSU, total is £520

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dual Core Gaming

    CPU: Intel E7200 ~£80
    Motherboard: Abit IP-35 dark Daider ~£65
    RAM: 4GB PC6400 Corsair XMS2 ~£60

    Case: Coolermaster CM690 ~£50
    PSU: Corsair 520W HX ~£65

    or

    Combo: Antec sonata III or Antec NSK6580 With 430W EarthWatt

    Hard Drive(s): Samsung Spinpoint 500GB F1 ~45
    Optical: Samsung DVD-RW ~£20

    GFX: Nvidia 8800GT or ATi HD3870 ~£105

    Total: ~ £490

    Combo Total ~ £435

    Options I would Include:

    HSF: Scythe Mine/Ninja ~£25
    GFX: 8800GTS 512MB ~£145

    Combo Total: £500

    You could also use an Intel Petium Dual core at around £40 and 2GB or RAM to save an extra £70 on the dual core system. This should still get to around 3.0GHz when overclocking
    It would also leave extra money in the budget for something like a 9800GTX HD3870 X2 or their equivalent at the time

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Media PC

    CPU: Athlon 64 X2 4450e ~£50
    Motherboard: Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI ~£50
    RAM: 2GB PC6400 Corsair XMS2 ~£30

    Case and PSU: Antec Fusion with 430W Earthwatts or the £60 downgrade version. ~£115

    Hard Drive(s): Samsung Spinpoint 500GB F1 ~45
    Optical: Samsung DVD-RW ~£20

    GFX: integrated on motherboard

    HSF Scythe Mini Ninja (Run passive)

    Total: ~ £340

    Options I would Include:

    2x Scythe Slipstream 800 fans ~£20

    Total £360

    That leaves plenty for specialist equipment like TV cards, media controllers etc.. and will run silently.

    A similar budget would also buy an Pentium dual core and Intel G33 CPU and motherboard setup but I would only get this if you plan on getting a dedicated graphics card, for which I would buy passive.

    ATi HD3450 ~ £25
    ATI HD3650 ~ £50
    ATi HD3850pro ~£120
    ATi HD3870 "Extreme Edition" by sapphire ~ £135 (OCUK)

    You can buy things like Arctic cooler acceleros cheaply but they will not fit in this case afaik.


    That'll do for now and as Thorsson points out, NO O/S included so factor in £60 odd if you want windows XP/Vista etc..
    Last edited by staffsMike; 23-05-2008 at 08:44 PM.

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    SiM
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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Look in every other one of staffsMike's post's. Job done
    The other posts that staffsMike makes is the famous photo of his computer...

    Of course I am just kidding, no one get offended, Mike is a great asset to Hexus forums

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    You're right that a one-size-fits-all is difficult, but most threads I've seen people post want the exact same thing - a gaming system But I left the type of system vague so that people could suggest other ideas, and so that when you make a post on someone's own help thread, it can appear here, too

    The aim isn't for me to arrange a single system suggestion, or for everyone to agree, but for people to play around for suggesting possible ideas and have some fun debating choices. New visitors and old alike can then just look at the latest posts for one that fits them to get an idea

    Normally I'd prefer a standard layout, yes, but I know from past experience that it discourages people from posting Hence whilst I'd love for people to do as you suggest, I'm going to leave the layout up to the individual poster for now.

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    No OS in those £510 boxes...

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosaline View Post
    You're right that a one-size-fits-all is difficult, but most threads I've seen people post want the exact same thing - a gaming system
    true, i wouldnt do a one size fits all comp, but a htpc, low power pc, super quiet pc, basic office pc, kick ass office pc, are all things that would be worth a look

    i approve of this idea an index of different specs leading to different posts that are updated when needed. wouldnt be the first place to do it, but really should be one here
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit
    Vodka

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by SiM View Post
    Look in every other one of staffsMike's post's. Job done
    The other posts that staffsMike makes is the famous photo of his computer...

    Of course I am just kidding, no one get offended, Mike is a great asset to Hexus forums
    I havn't used it that much have I? I hate my PC anyway, I just like the cabling haha.

    Nice to be appriciated though

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    No OS in those £510 boxes...
    What is the latest price for Ubuntu?

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    You like your cabling? Strange person.

    What the general problem (it seems) for those building computers >£500 is the fact that they over choose or underselect the PSU... if someone could post a list of what NOT to buy, we could save ourselves the time and effort of posting on 90% of threads "This is not a good thing"
    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

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by mediaboy View Post
    You like your cabling? Strange person.

    What the general problem (it seems) for those building computers >£500 is the fact that they over choose or underselect the PSU... if someone could post a list of what NOT to buy, we could save ourselves the time and effort of posting on 90% of threads "This is not a good thing"
    Good idea... Might take a while but I think I will come up with a system build guide rather than just say here by this. Got a few things on my plate so might be a week before a complete guide materialises but hopefully it will be very helpful

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    Good idea... Might take a while but I think I will come up with a system build guide rather than just say here by this. Got a few things on my plate so might be a week before a complete guide materialises but hopefully it will be very helpful
    It already exists..

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...s-project.html

    That contains the fundamentals for creating a system, it just rarely gets updated now and is not price specific.

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    Noxvayl (23-05-2008)

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    I'm building the following system tomorrow. I have purchased the parts already and most were from Scan. The case/psu was from eBuyer. The MS Office was from Amazon. I took advantage of a couple of Today Only offers from Scan. It includes Vista AND MS Office. It's a full base system with Vista 64-bit and 4GB of RAM, but doesn't include a monitor. Remove the MS Office and it's well under £500.

    I opted for a dual-core system after much deliberation. The target user is someone who won't be gaming, but will use it for MS Office and a couple of other apps, some Web surfing and emails.

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, Conroe Core, S775, 3.0 GHz: £115.14

    HSF: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro: £14.38

    Case/PSU: Antec NSK6580 Mid Tower: £59.69

    HDD: 320 GB Western Digital WD3200AAKS Caviar SE16: £40.83

    OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1* 64Bit: £61.79

    DVD-RW: Toshiba/Samsung TS-H653, 20x DVD±R: £14.09

    Graphics: 256MB Sapphire HD3450 PCI-E 2.0: £26.43

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L: £56.75

    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR2 6400 2x256Mx64: £58.16

    Keyboard/Mouse: Microsoft B2L-00045 Comfort Curve 2000 Wired Keyboard + Mouse: £14.06

    Office App: Microsoft Office 2007: £79.98

    TOTAL: £541.30

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    It already exists..

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...s-project.html

    That contains the fundamentals for creating a system, it just rarely gets updated now and is not price specific.
    Thanks for pointing that out... would of been a rather large waste of time when a perfectly good guide exists. Think I'll save that link for everyone who posts to ask about what to buy... read that first then come back

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by ExHail View Post
    Thanks for pointing that out... would of been a rather large waste of time when a perfectly good guide exists. Think I'll save that link for everyone who posts to ask about what to buy... read that first then come back
    I'm sure this thread will suffer the same fate as that one tbh but we can try

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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    I'm sure this thread will suffer the same fate as that one tbh but we can try
    The problem with that thread it is that the initial posts tried to be the guide itself, which would have required Steward to keep them updated. The very nature of a guide thread makes it hard for later posts to obviously supersede the original post. That's why I did not intend to create any 'master list', but instead solicit updates in new posts. Less work for me, and it automatically keeps the thread up to date

    See that bold text I wrote at the top? I'd already thought of this problem, see

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    SiM
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    Re: The HEXUS.hardware £500-or-less computer building thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by ***soul-edge*** View Post
    recommending an amd processor for a media pc.
    thats funny.
    Lol, here we go again. Please enlighten us with your superior intellect like last time.

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