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Thread: New Budget Build - comments

  1. #1
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Question New Budget Build - comments

    I've just built a computer for a friend using almost all the spare parts I had lying about and I took the motherboard/CPU/CPU Cooler/Memory from my media machine to complete the build.

    So I'm looking to replace those parts in my media machine. It's only for video and audio playback so I don't need high spec.

    I've selected these parts and would welcome any comments.

    Asus M2N68, NF630a, S AM2+, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 1066/533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ AM2 Dual Core 2.7GHz, 512KB x 2 Cache, Retail

    2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12

    That lot comes to £128.02 (I get free postage at Scan)

    I'm wondering whether or not to get a third party CPU cooler or use the stock retail AMD cooler.

    Also, which memory timings are best as the Corsair memory comes in two flavours but both the same price.

    Settings available are

    CAS 4-4-4-12 & CAS 5-5-5-18

    The rest of the components will be:

    Thermaltake Bach silver aluminium media case
    DVDRW; DVD-ROM; Floppy drive
    BFG Nvidia 7600GT 256Mb Vid card
    Jeantech 350W PSU
    Soundblaster Audigy 2 Soundcard
    Hauppage digital twin tuner Nova T 500 TV card with remote control
    2 x Samsung 500Gb SATA II HDD's
    Linksys wireless WMP54G network card

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    I'd got a 740G, 780G or 780V if it were me.

    Ebuyer sell the asus 780G -EM version which has VGA, DVI, HDMI and display port out.. perfect. Chuck the 7600GT away

    4-4-4-12 always best for AMD. Stock cooler isn't too bad, give it a try.

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    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    I'd got a 740G, 780G or 780V if it were me.

    Ebuyer sell the asus 780G -EM version which has VGA, DVI, HDMI and display port out.. perfect. Chuck the 7600GT away

    4-4-4-12 always best for AMD. Stock cooler isn't too bad, give it a try.
    Thanks for the reply.

    Your suggestion sounded promising until I read the reviews at E-Buyer, apart from one guy getting three faulty boards, there was also this (I have that exact same TV Tuner)

    This motherboard didn't work with my Hauppauge Nova-TD tuner (a dual digital terrestial tuner). Adding a separate PCI USB high-speed card resolved that issue - it seems this may be a known problem with this chipset.

    I've also been unable to get HDCP working over either DVI or HDMI to my Samsung 2693HM display (required for Blu-Ray playback over digital).

    As I bought this primarily for building a media PC it's been frustrating, but performance-wise it seems solid. Hopefully future driver updates will resolve the HDMI issues.
    So I don't fancy risking sixty four quid on that.

    I think I recall reading something about problems with the 7600GT not working with a dvi to hdmi out lead - any truth?

    I don't mind buying another vid card or considering decent onboard grafix if need be.

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    get a 780g great boards & a AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    IIRC isnt 4-4-4-12 @ 2.1v and 5-5-5-18 @1.9v ?
    I usualy use 5-5-5-18 for AMD ( or kingston ram )
    and 4-4-4-12 for Intel as some AMD boards wont easily go to 2.1v
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  6. #6
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    Ok, sussed the AMD 5050e @ 2.6Ghz for media machines with a little searching, that's the one for me now.

    Will have to further research the 780g boards.

    All feedback (here & elsewhere) suggests 4-4-4-12 timings are more suitable.

    Thanks, all, for input, I still be head-scratching though.

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    Timings wont make a huge difference for what you will use it for but at the same price lower timings are better

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    Memory in general is a final consideration since it has the least impact on performance of any componant.... As long as it works ofc. Also a good motherboard is the basis of any system, its one of the worst things to scrimp on.

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    In the most part i would agree but all depends on the use of the machine and how likely it is going to need any upgradability. As long as you dont really scrape the bottom end of the market something basic and cheapish would be ok, its the power supply which i always ensure has a good healthy chunk of the budget.

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    I know but if you get a lemon of a motherboard not only can it give you headaches first identifying that that's the problem but also the hastle of replacing it is the worst of all.

    I would agree that the PSU and motherboard are at least close to each other, especially if you OC then things like the CPU can be sorted later ^-^

  11. #11
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    I've always considered motherboard and PSU to be the most important parts in a system, mostly because everything else depends on them.

    My Jeantech 350W is a humble little PSU but it's now about three years old and for the past 18 months or so has happily run the above parts plus an AMD AM2 4000 single core 2.6Ghz CPU, Asus M2V motherboard, Zalman CNPS8000 cooler and 2 x 1Gb OCZ DDR2 800Mhz memory.

    Those are the components I'm replacing, btw.

    It's morning now, head's refreshed, time to look into those media boards suggested above.

    I've also just realised that the Hauppage TV tuner mentioned in the E-Buyer review above was almost certainly the external USB version whereas mine is the pci model. So it's likely not a problem.

    I do like the idea of having hdmi out on the motherboard although I don't actually have a TV yet, will be getting one this year sometime when budget permits.

    At the moment the machine is sharing a monitor and peripherals via a KVM switch - Samsung 24" monitor, using DVI input; Logi G5 mouse and Logi G15 keyboard. Different speaker setup on each machine.

  12. #12
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    Ok, been having a rethink, am now considering this motherboard with a 780g chipset, reasons being:

    Made primarily for media centre computers, has an hdmi output. Also has VGA o/p and a hdmi to DVI converter supplied with it if you want to use DVI (which I do for now).

    It also has 1066 fsb which means if it's fitted with a Phenom processor it can take advantage of 1066Mhz RAM.

    M3A78 PRO ATX AM2 780G 8Gb DDR2 VGA PCI-Ex16 Hybrid Crossfire SATA2 Raid 2x1394a GigaBit LAN Audio

    With a 2M gold plated hdmi cable and postage, that will cost me £78.78 from e-buyer.

    And from Scan I would buy:

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e, Socket AM2, Dual Core, 2.6GHz, 512KB x 2 Cache, Retail

    and

    2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2 Dominator, PC2-8500 (1066), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5

    Those items would cost, inclusive, £95.08 from Scan.

    That makes a total price of £173.86

    I've selected 1066mhz memory as that would make the setup ready for an upgrade to a Phenom processor when and if they are reduced in price. The 1066 RAM costs about ten pounds more than the 800 type.

    So, for another £46.00 when compared to the first system, I would get a faster fsb and inbuilt graphics with direct hdmi out. It would also leave me a spare 7600GT vid card.

    Such are the physical size limitations of the case that were I to choose the 780g board I would either have to do away with the floppy drive fitted or cut about 6mm from the end of the 5.25" drive bay it's fitted to. Not really a problem. The cheaper motherboard fits into the case perfectly.

    Both boards have enough pci slots to take TV Tuner, wireless NIC and sound card.

    So, do you think the extra expense is worth it, considering it will only be used for video and audio?

    £128.00 vs £174.00

    I'm undecided but am leaning slightly towards the cheaper option.

    Your views welcome.

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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    I would not get that memory, I'd get either

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/116755

    or if you would like 4Gb.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143844

    or

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132904

  14. #14
    sugar n spikes floppybootstomp's Avatar
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    Re: New Budget Build - comments

    After a lot of deliberating, head scratching and several pints of Guinness I decided to go with the cheaper option.

    I have ordered the Asus motherboard and memory linked to in the first post plus the AMD 5050e CPU, all from Scan.

    I also ordered This hdmi lead set for when I can eventually afford a nice big telly.

    I figured the only real advantage with the 780g chipset based board was direct hdmi out. And because my internal case restrictions are a bit limited I would either have had to lose the floppy drive or cut about 6mm off of the 5.25" bay it's housed in. Not a problem, but I'd rather not have to have done that.

    I also figured if ever I wanted to play a few PC games on a big screen, I'd like the option to upgrade the video card.

    So, medium range Asus Board, 2Gb Corsair 800 memory, 2.6Ghz dualie CPU and an hdmi lead set for £150.00

    To everybody who contributed to this thread, a sincere thank you. All suggestions were sensible and ceratinly gave me options to think about

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