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Thread: Second PC with room for improvement

  1. #1
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    Second PC with room for improvement

    Hi

    I have enjoyed the reviews and forums @ Hexus for some time now and thought it was about time I joined in.

    I am looking at specs for a new build (well most of it will be new) as I have run out of upgrade options on the existing machine. It will be used as a second PC for internet, light gaming and homework (hopefully!). I wanted to reuse the mATX case I already have (a basic h.e.c. thing with extra fans) along with a 500W OCZ PSU and a couple of IDE hard drives.

    I was decided on an Intel set up when I read about the 780G chipset and thought that AMD might make a decent budget option. If anyone wants to have a look at the sample specs below and offer comments or advice that would be great.

    Intel
    Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L ~ £40
    Intel Dual Core E5200 ~ £64
    Akasa AK 965 cooler ~ £10
    Sapphire RADEON HD 4670 ~ £65 (or other)
    Corsair 2GB DDR2 kit ~ £25
    TOTAL £ 204

    AMD
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H ~ £65 (or ASUS equivalent)
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e ~ £47
    Stock cooler
    Sapphire RADEON HD 4670 ~ £65 (unlikely to run hybrid so assume discrete gfx required)
    Corsair 2GB DDR2 kit ~ £25
    TOTAL £ 202

    I am most likely to be using 32 bit OS (if MS will let me reactivate), probably XP but will be looking to upgrade OS, RAM and CPU to 4 cores in the future.

    Perhaps not very a very exiting build but as more people need 2 PC's these days I thought it might be worth revisiting the mATX/Intel/AMD issue.

    Thanks for looking.

  2. #2
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    Re: Second PC with room for improvement

    If you will only be playing older games and using it for homework/internet I would go for the 2nd option and wouldn't bother with the 4670 just use onboard graphics.

    If you want to play some of the more recent games I would go with option 1 and get a 4830 for £90 instead of the 4670 much better performance for just £25 more.

    Both options have good motherboard/cpu/coolers selected for a budget build.

  3. #3
    Folding Flunkie Webby's Avatar
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    Re: Second PC with room for improvement

    If your planing on quading it up in the future you need to know that 780G boards are limited to 95W processors (in the main the may be boards with better circuitry but I don't know off hand which). If AMD is still an option and you are discounting the onboard graphics you could drop down to the 740G and save a few £s which could be put towards a cooler or better graphics solution. You could also consider the Geforce 8200 chipset a few boards available there for £50.

    Motherboard: Abit A-N78HD (8200) - £56 or Gigabyte 740G - £48
    CPU: X2 7750 BE - £65

  4. #4
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Second PC with room for improvement

    The upper end Asus boards support 140W cpu's. My 780V (slightly cut down but more than capable for blu ray) has a phenom 9950 black edition in it

  5. #5
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    • Time Bandit's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 CAS 4 DHX
      • Storage:
      • Intel X25-M 80GB, 2 x WD Caviar Blue 640GB
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    Re: Second PC with room for improvement

    Thank you for your suggestions. I am away from home atm but will certainly look into the 740G options and do a quick budget check to see if I can stretch to a better gfx card. My design plans are beginning to suffer from what we used to call 'creeping elegance' and I am considering a second higher end build in tandem with this one . . .

  6. #6
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    • Time Bandit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 CAS 4 DHX
      • Storage:
      • Intel X25-M 80GB, 2 x WD Caviar Blue 640GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire HD4850 vapor-x 1GB GDDR3
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX550W
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung SM2233BW, 1650x1080

    Re: Second PC with room for improvement

    Given the current crop of quads and dual cores I am inclined to go with intel for a higher spec build. Although with the Phenom II it looks like AMD have woken from their slumber I reckon that socket 775 will keep me going until ddr3 systems are a bit more mainstream.

    So how about putting together a higher system based on the Q6600 (which still seems like decent value) and P45 chipset (I have an ATX case already). With this more lavish setup I would have no qualms about sticking in something like an hd 4850 (like the HIS IceQ job) for the gfx. Then, if I was feeling kind and the kids really wanted to leave the santuary of their xbox, we would be able to cope with some newer games.

    It looks like there might still a fair bit of headroom with a setup like this and I'm guessing that most of the bits would slot straight into the intel budget setup I first mentioned when it came time to upgrade its big brother.

    Does this seem like a reasonable way to keep 2 pc's going without having to play 'catch up' too hard - or am I missing something (entirely probable!)

    cheers

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