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Thread: Check my hardware before I buy..

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    Check my hardware before I buy..

    I'm looking to help a nephew build a gaming rig.. playing Grand Theft Auto 4 and a like titles. I don't expect him to be overclocking.

    He has around £350 to spend initially and is looking to get some fundamentals, with some headroom for upgrading in the year to come:

    CPU
    Motherboard
    PSU
    RAM
    Entry GPU

    He already has some kit he can reuse:

    Case
    Optical drives
    IDE hard drive
    Monitor
    Mouse
    Keyboard
    etc.

    He's aware he won't be able to game seriously until he has a GPU and will have to save up for a gaming graphics card at a later date by himself. I can't see him running 2 graphics cards.

    Could do with some hexus opinions on suitable hardware for this price range. Rough list is below and I expect to be running WinXP then Windows 7...

    CPU - £130
    Core2Quad Q6700 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148900
    or
    Core2Duo E8400 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139971

    MOBO - £65
    ASUS P5QL PRO iP43 Socket 775 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149274

    PSU - £65
    Corsair 550W VX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 5 Year Warranty
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132563

    RAM - £35
    OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Titanium Memory Kit CL4(4-4-4-15)
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/154644

    GPU - £55
    Sapphire HD 4670 512MB GDDR3 VGA DVI HDMI HDCP PCI-E Graphics Card (maybe stretch to a 4870 if the rest comes in cheaper)
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158995

    Thoughts, looking to order Monday / Tuesday .

  2. #2
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    All I can say right now is an AMD dual or triple core system will be cheaper and perform better.

    StaffsMike or Cat-The-Fifth have the knowledge on AMD budget systems

  3. #3
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    I... is here

    Reasonable components but I wouldn't actually get any of them, sorry

    I'd buy

    AMD Athlon II X2 245 ~£50
    4GB PC6400 DDR2 ~£35
    Asus M3A76-CM, AMD 760G ~£45
    OCZ Z-Series 550w ~£65 (dont bother with the 550W VX, it's not a seasonic underneath)
    or
    Be Quiet/ enermax/ corsair in other guises.


    If you want more system flexability, add £45 to the cpu and get a tri core (X3 720 Black edition )

    Doing it the above way leaves money for an HD4890 if you want to fill the budget, that'll knock his socks off Most games won't really notice a difference between dual/tri/quad core , it all rests ont he graphics and you can afford a monster

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    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    appreciated chaps, I thought Intel were knocking AMD back at the moment so I didn't look to AMD. I've been out the market for 2-3 years...

  5. #5
    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    £50 - AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 2.7 GHz Socket AM2 2MB Cache Retail Box Processor
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/167284

    £48 - Asus M3A76-CM 760G Socket AM2+ onboard VGA DVI 8 channel audio mATX
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161330

    £35 - OCZ - 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 Titanium Memory Kit CL4(4-4-4-15)
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/154644

    £162 - PowerColor HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/160976

    Leaves £55 for a PSU... is this any good http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152009 ..?

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    Yep that psu is exactly waht i would have recommended before the power series.. it's still very good. Not as efficent as some but still very good

    I'd get the cpu I mentioned before from scan. You qualify for free delivery if you didn't know
    http://www.scan.co.uk/product.aspx?ProductId=30153

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    I'd go for:

    AMD Phenom II 550 - £76 Scan.
    Biostar Ta790GX 128mb - £68 Scan.

    Whatever 4gb Kit of ram you want - £30 - 35 Ebuyer / Scan / Where ever.
    The PSU you listed above (Corsair VX 550) - £65 Ebuyer
    GPU Any Radeon HD4850 - £75 Ebuyer / Scan

    Comes to £319 and the CPU might unlock to a quad core Phenom II.

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    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    hmm what's the difference between the two? sorry didn't realise I'd selected something different

  9. #9
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    phenom core vs older athlon design. New tech vs. old and same price basically. No brainer

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tifosi View Post
    hmm what's the difference between the two? sorry didn't realise I'd selected something different
    Like the other guy says, its on a newer design. The Phenom II 550 is faster clock for clock, it overclocks further if that interests you (3.5ghz, possibly higher), and it can sometimes "unlock" to become a quad core processor (AMD manufactures them all as Quad Core CPUs and disables 2 cores, sometimes you get good ones). I think it may also have better power consumption but it is minor if I remember rightly.

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  12. #11
    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    would I be better saving £10 quid and going XFX over PowerColour...
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-X...-DL-DVI-I-HDTV

    and spending the tenner on the AMD Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz 1MB L2 Chche Socket AM3 Retail Box Processor
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166519

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    No i'd get the slower clocked 245 (its barely slower..) from scan

    and get this HD4890
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1Gb-S...90-1GB-VAPOR-X best card, cooler and manafacturer imo.

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  15. #13
    I'm just looking Tifosi's Avatar
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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    thanks for your help Mike, bang for buck was what I was after!

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Pulseammo View Post
    Like the other guy says, its on a newer design. The Phenom II 550 is faster clock for clock, it overclocks further if that interests you (3.5ghz, possibly higher), and it can sometimes "unlock" to become a quad core processor (AMD manufactures them all as Quad Core CPUs and disables 2 cores, sometimes you get good ones). I think it may also have better power consumption but it is minor if I remember rightly.
    yeah he's 14 I'm going to leave OC'ing out of scope since I don't want him tinkering solo and frying his dad's cash.

    Until games are mainstream multithreading I don't think his use will justify a tri / quad core system, but I'd like to leave the mobo, ram and gpu in a position where they can be reused in 12-18 months if he chooses to upgrade his CPU.

    Thanks for your input, I'm on an AMD64 3200 on socket 939 and a 7800GT so you can see how I'm out of touch..

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tifosi View Post
    yeah he's 14 I'm going to leave OC'ing out of scope since I don't want him tinkering solo and frying his dad's cash.

    Until games are mainstream multithreading I don't think his use will justify a tri / quad core system, but I'd like to leave the mobo, ram and gpu in a position where they can be reused in 12-18 months if he chooses to upgrade his CPU.

    Thanks for your input, I'm on an AMD64 3200 on socket 939 and a 7800GT so you can see how I'm out of touch..
    Plenty of games are now multithreaded and these include ARMA II,Bioshock,GTA IV, FarCry2,World in Conflict and the new Ghostbusters game. Certainly ARMA II,GTAIV,World in Conflict and FarCry 2 benefit quite well from multicore processors. If anything with DX11 arriving soon and more multi-platform games coming out a tri or quad core processor is going to become more and more for relevant gaming.


    This is what I would get:

    AMD Phenom II X3 720 ~ £102

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 ~ £56

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...-SATA-RAID-ATX

    Has all solid capacitors and is an Ultra Durable 3 design.

    4gb PC2-8500 RAM ~ £34

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    1GB XFX HD 4870 XXX ~ £112

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    I use an overclocked HD4830 which is around the same speed as an HD4850 IMHO and I can play Crysis Warhead at 1440X900 on max settings and only sometimes does the framerate dip below 25fps. An HD4870 1gb will be much faster and IMHO an HD4890 is overkill unless you want to run games at 1920x1200 or 1920x1080.

    OCZ 500W Mod XStream Pro PSU ~ £55

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152009

    Scan has free postage for Hexus members with 20+ posts on orders over £20 excluding VAT.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 20-07-2009 at 01:08 AM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Check my hardware before I buy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tifosi View Post
    ...but I'd like to leave the mobo, ram and gpu in a position where they can be reused in 12-18 months if he chooses to upgrade his CPU.
    Just remember that the AM2+ Roadmap finishes at the end of 2010, you'll still be able to put a decent quad in there though, and all other roadmaps (including event intel i7 I believe) end at the same time for new gear, so it is the best bang for buck.

    Just make sure any motherboard you buy supports 140w quad cores and AM3 (AM2+ boards should support it) to cover all your bases for if he ever decided to dump a quad in it at the end of 2010 (although power usage is getting lower now).

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