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Thread: Small desktop for uni?

  1. #1
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Small desktop for uni?

    I've been promised a MacBook Pro for uni as an 18th/going to uni thing - seemed more useful than a fancy watch that i'll never wear anyway. However, as it now looks like the overhaul to centrino 2 and so forth isn't happening till mid october, i'd like to semi upgrade my desktop as a stand in.

    I've been looking at the various options and i've been advised by people to wait until Nehalem to do a serious upgrade job. At the moment i think it'll be a uATX case (pref. aluminium to keep the weight down), possibly a new, quieter PSU, a cheapo 775 mobo and i'll put in my old processor for the time being. Graphics i'm undecided. The 4850 doesn't really warrant an upgrade (from an 8800GT) at the moment since the performance jump is about 5-10fps in most things. I'm tempted sorely by the 4870, but wondering whether funds justify it.

    Alongside this i'm planning to upgrade my now ancient, but great (imo) CRT. 22" or 24" seems like the best option, and i'm not to worried about TN or not - so long as it looks decent for gaming/movie watching. If graphics stuff gets serious then i can just DVI to my MacBook and use that monitor which will presumably be good for it.

    So, as it stands, i need:

    Case: http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=378734
    -Nice and small, probably the one i'm most tempted by (especially at the price)
    PSU: Not too sure really.. recommendations? (quiet and modular are the main concern)
    Current hopefuls
    - http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=801618
    - http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=777994
    -There are also plenty of Akasa's which i wouldn't mind at all, providing the non-modular thing isn't going to be too much of an issue in a small case

    Mobo: Recommendations!
    - needs to be pretty cheap since i'd like to upgrade to nehalem (775 too)

    RAM: Scrounging 2GB DDR2 from this build
    CPU: Scrounging my E2160 and hopefully reoverclocking it
    Cooler: Scythe Mine if it'll fit still!
    HD: Getting a 640gb anyway
    -probably: http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=798906

    Graphics: 8800GT on standby
    -the upgrade i'd be most happy with would be a 4870 i guess!

    Drives: Scrounged
    OS: Thinking about making it a linux box, or just good old XP.
    Monitor: Open to recommendations!

    Price needs to be fairly cheap, so perhaps 150 on the case/mobo/psu? The HDD will be about 40-50 i assume, OS will be basically free. Monitor i guess can stretch to 250 absolute maximum. Call it 400-500 on the whole shebang (maybe 600 with the monitor included). I can probably get about 60 for the GT on fleabay, plus odds are i'll have a PK5-C for sale on Hexus if this goes through.
    Last edited by Whiternoise; 05-09-2008 at 01:19 AM.

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    PSU: Corsair 520W HX, best value for money modular out there at around £65 but as you won't need all that power you choices are good though. Very efficent and quiet too Modu82 would probably get my money from your picks.

    Great choice of case BTW, I have one and it's fantastic.

    BUT you would probably get away with an antec NSK3480 with 380W earthwatts. It's only £55 and you get a decent case and PSU.

    ideally something like this for overclocking
    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=616586

    But you could skimp and go for the G31
    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=663061 (so ugly lol)

    There is the nvidia based 630i but they only have single channel RAM
    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=744915

    Just notice the budget sorry.

    Well with the TJ08 and any of the PSU's you're looking at around £40 left, which puts you in the danger zone lol

    The antec route leaves you with £95 .. so more than enough for the G33 and £35 left over..

    The mine will fit in either case, I have the ninja in my TJ08
    you'll have to excuse the mess on the bottom lol


    These monitors are supposed to be pretty good
    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/s/product?product=600010

    I'd probably save a bit and go for a 22" though
    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=628496
    Last edited by staffsMike; 05-09-2008 at 01:23 AM.

  3. #3
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    The antec is tempting, but it's fugly (imo!)

    Just realised that going the nehalem route probably rules out a uATX case for the moment - and that i'd probably be better with a cheap C2Quad when the prices start to drop. In any case, no way i could afford a nehalem rig for a while..!

    I was thinking:

    Silverstone + Enermax + http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=848062 makes it to about 160-170. Which i can cope with

  4. #4
    SiM
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Nice pic mike

  5. #5
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiM View Post
    Nice pic mike
    Lol got a new one for you





    What is the PC for? Just gaming and general uni work? Don't think the quad would be worth it for that anyway, your Pentium dual core should be enough

    That will do the job. Just make sure the board has all the overclocking bits you want in the BIOS because I seem to remember G31's not being to great for it. Even though your overclocking is probably going to be below native FSB for the board.

  6. #6
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    hehe niiiice

    loving the eclipse!

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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    you can the 24" yuraku monitor for about 200 quid. there has been some discussion on the forums regarding the appearance of tn panels instead of the suggested pva panels recently. if you do bag a pva panel then for the price its a steal.

    the gfx card if you have enough money for i'd suggested getting a gtx260 over the 4870, with the recent price drops its cheaper than the 4870. not only is it cheaper but its cooler and runs quieter without the need to buy an aftermarket cooler. the 100 or so quid more for a gtx260 over the 8800gt depends on whether you'll be doing a lot of gaming.... i came from a 8800gts 640mb and the difference on a 24" monitor was amazing, i can play crysis with everything on v. high quite smoothly!

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    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?


  9. #9
    Senior Member Lanky123's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    PSU: Corsair 520W HX, best value for money modular out there at around £65 but as you won't need all that power you choices are good though. Very efficent and quiet too Modu82 would probably get my money from your picks.
    Out of interest, is there anything wrong with Be Quiet, I don't know their history...it does seem to be very flexible as far as choice of cables is concerned, 14 modular ones to choose from...struggling to find a review of the 450W version...

    http://www.be-quiet.net/be-quiet.net...hp?StoryID=105

    Enermax is always a safe bet though.

  10. #10
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    I'm actually quite impressed with the recent LG TN's. Cost a bit more but with a bit of tinkering they can be very good

    Nothing wrong with the be quiet's no. They are quite expensive but no more so than the Enermax, same sort of fan noise (i.e none) and very efficent overall. It's just who you feel safest putting your money on I guess, or if you feel the need for the extra power the corsair delivers.

  11. #11
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Just thought I would but my backing behind the TJ08 great case Here is a photo of one with a bit more stuff in



    And if you can stretch to the G33 chipset the Gigabyte G33m-DS2R is a blinder (thats what is in the pic above), see pic below for what FSB it can achieve with no voltage adjustments to anything but the CPU.



    Of course to get it there you need to have some pretty fast RAM My Rig currently runs (as shown in my sig from CPUZ) at 3.5GHz Memory at DDR 1000 at 4-4-4-12 swift it most certainly is

  12. #12
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=792509

    Would that one be the sort you were thinking?

    Or this one presumably:http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=605384

  13. #13
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    The second one is webby's yeah, very nice board but a little pricey these days, I swear it used to be cheaper. The ASUS is on today only at around £56 today (and for the weekend).

  14. #14
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Yeah it used to be cheaper, I got mine for £55 almost a year ago and I don't think it was on offer, I think its just a case of it hasn't fallen in price the same as others that are available. Would expect the Asus G33 to have a similar spec so would go for that saving almost £15 is probably worth it.

  15. #15
    Pseudo-Mad Scientist Whiternoise's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=571840

    Reckon that's any good? It's very light, looks pretty small - only issue appears to be that you can't fit an 8800GTX in.. but i've got a GT so whether that matters?

    Oh and i'm sort of going all out on the motherboard now, getting one of these buggers:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=876380
    Last edited by Whiternoise; 10-09-2008 at 07:53 PM.

  16. #16
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Small desktop for uni?

    Very nice, I want one of those at the moment, just have nothing to put it in

    Case wise, they are ok yeah. You don't hear much good or bad about them usually. Personally I prefer these
    http://www.xcase.co.uk/p/329285/aero...ll-black-.html

    Although you should be able to find them elsewhere cheaper
    http://www.google.co.uk/products?cli...-8&sa=N&tab=wf

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