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Thread: New build

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    New build

    My current pc is showing its age so im looking to upgrade (but build it my self) in the near future. As im a bit out of touch im looking for a bit of advice as to what to go for. Cost isnt a major issue but im not exactly loaded either.

    I would like a powerful all rounder that I can add to if necessary without the worry of incompatibility issues all the time.

    This is my current spec

    Compaq s5500uk
    Amd athlon xp 2.17ghz
    2 gb ddr ram (fully upgraded)
    ati radeon 9200 128mb graphics
    120gb hdd

    Its about 4 or 5 years old now so it was pretty good in its day but it just dont work too well any more (im just waiting for it to keel over!)

    Ive been doing my research and have some ideas of my own but i would rather see some more experienced opinions before i reveal mine. I really would appreciate some input on this. Thanks.

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    Re: New build

    We need to know your budget and what you use your PC for??

    The following thread maybe useful for you:

    http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardwa...een-while.html

    You will need to add another £70 to £90 for a copy of XP and Vista. If you want to game you will need to get a separate graphics card too which will cost at least £55 upwards. If you do not game modern integrated graphics(on the motherboard) are very powerful unlike a few years ago and are good enough for general usage!

    A 20" LCD screen will cost at least £100 to £120 and a decent keyboard and mouse combo will be at least £20.

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    Re: New build

    I tend to do all sorts with my pc. I want to be able to use it for anything but i dont expect it to excel in any given area although have the potential to if the need arises.

    Im willing to add to the pc over time if it starts to get past say the 8 - 900 quid mark. From the research ive done it seem to me that its better to invest more in the mobo so as to avoid future proofing issues (for a good while anyway).

    For that reason alone ive been eying boards that support ddr3 and the phenomII/i7 processors, expensive i know but maybe more cost effective in the long run.

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    Re: New build

    The problem with the Core i7 is cost!! You are looking at roughly £155 for 6gb of DDR RAM,£180 for the cheapest motherboard and £250 for the cheapest i7 processor!! This is nearly £600 excluding everything else. A copy of Vista Basic is £70.To be honest unless you are into high resolution gaming,heavy video encoding and manipulating large images frequently then a Core i7 system is a waste of money.
    Also DDR3 is not necessarily any better than DDR2 as cheaper DDR3 has much higher latencies too!!

    However if you really want to get an i7 then buying one from Dell is the most cost effective option!!

    For £800 it is excellent value for money:

    http://configure.euro.dell.com/dells...=D02SX04&s=dhs

    I would increase the memory to 6gb so it would run in Tri-channel as this is faster!! For £840 it would difficult to buy 6gb ddr3 ram,a motherboard,an i7 920 processor,an HD4850 graphics card,750gb HDD, a copy of Vista Premium and all the other bits.

    If you want a system with a screen then the Mesh Matrix II is good value for £750:

    http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/ind...1&limitstart=8

    http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default...77584&source=3

    However the Core i7 is still faster than either a Core2 quad or Phenom II clock for clock although higher clocked Core2 quad and Phenom II processors can still challenge the Core i7 920.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 03-02-2009 at 12:40 AM.

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    Re: New build

    Cheers for the advice, but id still rather build one for myself. If anything just to say that ive done so.

    So if you can think of anything to recommend me let me know.

    Thanks for your help

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    Re: New build

    Price Breakdown:
    Core i7 920 ~£250
    x58 motherboard ~ £180 to £200
    6gb DDR3 RAM ~ £150+
    3gb DDR3 RAM ~ £80+
    500GB HDD ~ £45+
    Decent PSU ~ £40+
    DVD writer ~ £12+
    Case ~ £30+
    Graphics card~£55
    Copy of Vista or XP ~£70+

    You maybe able to manage a Core i7 build for under £900 if you watch your budget.

    Alternatively you can save yourself £200 to £300 and a get a Core2 quad or a Phenom II system.

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    Re: New build

    Perhaps a Phenom II then. To be honest, I would rather stick with amd because the 2 previous pcs i owned before the compaq were intel based and both had short lives. The first was a pb which went through 4 hdds in 6 months before i finally managed to get it swapped for an advent. Which ended up freezing nearly every time i used it. Wether thats the processors fault or not i dont know but my good old amd based machine still plods on no matter what i throw at it!!

    Now that my mind is a little bit more at rest, if you could recommend a phenom or phenomII based system for me i would be a happy man.

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    Re: New build

    Here is a Phenom II build then:

    Phenom II 940 3ghz ~ £180 to £190
    Phenom II 920 2.8ghz ~ £155 to £165
    790GX motherboard ~ £80 to £100
    780G motherboard ~£60 to £75
    4gb DDR2 ~ £40 to £50
    500GB HDD ~£45
    HD4850 graphics card ~ £120
    HD4830 graphics card ~ £90
    Xigmatek 650W modular PSU ~ £60
    Antec 300 ~ £40 to £50
    DVD writer ~ £15
    Vista or XP disc ~ £70+
    22" Samsung LCD ~£140
    Logitech keyboard and mouse ~£20

    So for around £800 to £900 you can do a complete build which should last a while!!

    I have an Athlon XP processor which I still use in a server at home and it is still plodding along over 5 years later!! My old ATI 9500pro graphic card which is over 5 years old is still working in a colleague's computer too!!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 03-02-2009 at 01:28 AM.

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    Re: New build

    Cat youre a star, thanks alot. Will get the ball rolling asap. All i need to do now is convince the wife that this "absoloutely essential" upgrade will change our lives for the better.

    You shouldnt have been so helpful, cos when i finally get round to setting this thing up im gonna end up really bugging you.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: New build

    Tell her that Sudoku runs better on a 3ghz quad core with 4gb RAM and as a result it will expand your minds to the next level of perfection !!

    Ehh! I think I need to go to sleep now.....!

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    Re: New build

    Xigmatek power supplies, they good?

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    Re: New build

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Xigmatek power supplies, they good?
    Yep!! The 650w I mentioned is made by CWT who also makes some of the Corsair TX range.

    Here are some reviews:

    http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/163...ply/index.html

    http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling...spx?i=3231&p=7

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    Re: New build

    JonnyGuru reviewed the Xigmatek NRP-PC501 500W and found some faults with it. Overall it seemed an ok PSU. I wouldn't shell out the sort of money you would spend on a Corsair for one though.

    HardOCP was a little less favourable with a NRP-MC851 850w.

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    Re: New build

    Quote Originally Posted by tonpal View Post
    JonnyGuru reviewed the Xigmatek NRP-PC501 500W and found some faults with it. Overall it seemed an ok PSU. I wouldn't shell out the sort of money you would spend on a Corsair for one though.

    HardOCP was a little less favourable with a NRP-MC851 850w.
    Yet the two reviews of the 650w are very favourable. Since the Xigmatek units are actually made by CWT who makes some of Corsair's units like the TX750 the Xigmatek will be more than good enough for the OP. Also Corsair's equivalent modular units have skyrocketed in price as the 620w HX620 is over £100 at Scan and Ebuyer. Considering that the Xigmatek unit is modular and cost £57 from Scan it is a much better buy IMHO!! The money saved would be better spent on other components as the PSU will be hardly stressed by the system he is building.

    Edit: The 500w unit is not modular and probably is a different design. HardOCP considers that 850w is pushing the reference design a bit too high and that other units under 700w of the same design made by CWT for other companies are excellent PSUs.

    The Thermaltake Toughpower QFan 650W which is the same design as the Xigmatek 650w has got good reviews so IMHO the PSU is a good one.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 03-02-2009 at 01:20 PM.

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    Re: New build

    you have to remember that CWT dont just make the PSU and corsair stick a badge on it, they actually replace some components and change the official wattage ratings. I do agree that corsair are a little too expensive for their own good at the moment.

  16. #16
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    Re: New build

    In my view it is more likely that the CWT factories (or factories which they use) make all these units anyway. They probably just make some changes to the reference design for the different companies themselves. It seems the most logical way to do things and the cheapest!!

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