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Thread: A games PC for £200-£250

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    A games PC for £200-£250

    After years of extreme use and abuse, my friend's old Fujistu-Siemens Amilo lappie passed away in a puff of smoke today. So he needs a cheap temporary replacement for about the price stated in the title. And he's going for a desktop.

    He's got a monitor, speakers and a mouse, but needs everything else. So what's the best-performing system that you can squeeze into such a budget? He mostly needs it for games, and some university level web-design, coding etc.

    I'm currently browsing Scan for some ideas, but would appreciate any input from you guys.

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    I'd pop onto your favourite auction site and go second hand.

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I'd pop onto your favourite auction site and go second hand.
    Actually, good idea. Didn't think of it in the first place =) Thanks!

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    What size / res monitor? That'll make a big difference to whether it's doable or not...

    You're probably looking at either AM2+ and Athlon 7750 BE, or Socket 775 and Celeron / Pentium Dual Core. 2GB of RAM would do, and then a HD4770 for preference: unless the monitor has a max res of 1280 x 1024 in which case you can get away with a 4670 for ~ £20 less. I'd say a 250 / 320 GB hard drive, and the cheapest case you can find, plus a half decent 400Wish PSU. But it's gonna be very tight on £250 - the best I've done recently was £350 and I don't think I could trim £100 off that... second hand is almost certainly your best (only?) option.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    How good was the graphics in the lappie? Better than cheap integrated motherboard graphics?

    £83 Cheap Asus barebones
    £25 AMD Sempron cpu
    £24 for 2GB of RAM

    looks do-able.

    Cost of a Windows license is going to hurt.

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    What size / res monitor? That'll make a big difference to whether it's doable or not...
    It's some very wierd 1440x900 or somesuch. So 4670 should do the trick.

    I've managed to throw something together for just under £300, with an Athlon 7750, ATI 4650, an nforce 7 mobo and 2GB of ram. The rest - as cheap as possible. Still above the budget, but might be just withing the stretch limit =)

    And I've also found a very similar config on ebay, gonna watch how high that'll go.

    @DanceswithUnix
    It had a discreet ATI x700, I'm not sure how that compares to modern integrated ones.

  7. #7
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    ATI x700 probably isn't that different to the nVidia 7000-series in that barebones: it would definitely struggle at 1440 x 900 (which is the standard res for a 19" wide, AFAIK). I can stretch you out the following from ebuyer at sub-£250:

    ASRock G31 mobo
    Celeron dualcore 1400
    2GB Crucial DDR2-667
    ASUS HD4670
    20x LieOn DVD-RW
    Seagate 250GB SATA drive
    Generic Case
    Anetc Basiq 350W PSU

    Total: £241.63

    Your issue is going to be a windows license, but you could use Win 7 RC if you download it before the end of June - it's good for a year. Some games may have compatibility issues though, since Win 7 isn't officially released yet (I know some DRM software dislikes it).

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Your issue is going to be a windows license, but you could use Win 7 RC if you download it before the end of June - it's good for a year. Some games may have compatibility issues though, since Win 7 isn't officially released yet (I know some DRM software dislikes it).
    My friend was already using Win7 RC when his lappy fried, so I think that should not be an issue for the time being. And also, he's a student, so has access to all the goodies MSDN Academic Alliance has to offer for free =)

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by Crevan View Post
    And also, he's a student, so has access to all the goodies MSDN Academic Alliance has to offer for free =)
    Lucky bugger

  10. #10
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    I would look at spending a bit more IMHO. This will mean that you have a decently specced PC which should last you a reasonable amount of time.

    AMD X2 7750+ ~ £48

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/155158

    2gb DDR2 ~ £19

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139662

    780V motherboard ~ £43

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150347

    It maybe worth spending a bit more for a 760G,780V,780G,8200 or 8300 chipset motherboard with 4 RAM slots.

    I would not go for a cheaper motherboard as the HT will not be run at full speed as the X2 7750+ uses HT3.0!

    Elite 340 case with 460w PSU ~ £55

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146338

    DVD writer ~ £13

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/101321

    Maxtor 250gb 8mb cache hard drive ~ £32

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131214

    HD4670 512mb ~ £57

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152940

    Total ~ £267

    You could an XFX HD4830 for around £69 instead of the HD4670:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s....html?XFX-4830

    This would raise the cost to around £280 but it will be a better system for playing games. I have an HD4830 and it will run most games at decent resolutions and settings including Crysis! The XFX HD4830 comes with an aftermarket dual slot cooler too. HD4830 cards are known to good overclockers too and can approach the performance of an HD4850 once overclocked.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 14-05-2009 at 05:11 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Lucky bugger
    He was not the only one!!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    ATI x700 probably isn't that different to the nVidia 7000-series in that barebones: it would definitely struggle at 1440 x 900 (which is the standard res for a 19" wide, AFAIK).
    But if that is the performance level the chap is used to, then perhaps the integrated graphics on a 780G motherboard is overkill and a 4670 would be jaw dropping

    What games is he playing? Perhaps you could miss out the graphics card for now, can always add one back in later.

    OTOH, Cat has (as usual) put together a stonking list there.

  14. #13
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    But if that is the performance level the chap is used to, then perhaps the integrated graphics on a 780G motherboard is overkill and a 4670 would be jaw dropping

    What games is he playing? Perhaps you could miss out the graphics card for now, can always add one back in later.

    OTOH, Cat has (as usual) put together a stonking list there.
    You got a point there!!

    If the user does not play many newer games I would think that the following motherboard should do very nicely:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=903767

    It has 128mb of DDR2 for the onboard HD3200 graphics card!

    Perhaps it should be called a discrete onboard integrated graphics card!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    I'm pretty sure that if it runs WoW and Warcraft 3, he'll be fine with it. He's also been into L4D and Team Fortress 2, I think. But the fact that his graphics card wasn't good enough was actually preventing him from from playing some other stuff. So 4670 or 4830 would probably hit the sweet spot.

  16. #15
    HEXUS.kitty Haiku32's Avatar
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    You can play WoW and WIII on nearly anything. I have a really old laptop running Ubuntu and I could still play WoW with no lag through Wine. I don't think you'll be able to get anything for £250 that will play L4D or TF2 though.

  17. #16
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    Re: A games PC for £200-£250

    If he can stretch to an HD4830 I'd do that. It will age better than most and allow gaming potential for some time to come.

    I'd pretty much build CAT's pc apart from the maxtor drive.. eugh..

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