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Thread: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

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    Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Hello one and all,

    I have a got a really old computer and have started to notice a few problems in terms of speed.

    I would like to buy a really high spec computer but, in light of the new i5 coming out, I shall be waiting until next year now for

    reviews on the CPU and the new mobos.

    I have decided to build a budget computer for the time being and then plug it up to my 40" LCD in my living room once I buy my

    top spec computer.

    Having scanned the internet and magazines, it seems that AMD offer the best value and have come up with
    the following:

    Athlon 64 X2 4200+
    Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
    Gigabyte GZ-X1
    Hard drive for Windows and my progs
    DVD-RW - taken from my old computer
    1TB Spinpoint (which I keep my music, camcorder footage etc) - taken from old computer
    500GB IDE Hitachi Drive for Back up - taken from old computer
    4GB RAM
    Antec Basiq Power 350w ATX

    Using the above bits and canabilising bits from old computer, I reckon I can build a fairly good computer to keep me going that

    is cheap as chips.

    Just a few bits advice would be appreciated:

    Q1. Will the power supply be good enough for all this? and some upgrading in the future?
    Q2. The CPU is the lowest spec dual core - would it be cost effective to get something a little better?
    Q3. I would like the ability to upgrade bits as time goes one. I really do not understand how the AMD chips are named. I know

    that the MOBO supports AMD2+ - what CPUs could I upgrade to in the future?
    Q4. What speed of RAM should I get - noted that they range from DDR2-400 to DDR2-1066. Obviously, the fast it gets, the

    more expensive, but what is the recommended speed, without being a waste on my board, and would be good for my situation
    Q5. Have no idea which HDD to use for windows and my programmes. Not only do you have to consider brands, but also cache

    size and size. Would anyone recommend anything in particular? One thing that concerns me that only the biggest drives have

    the big cache, but then would a big cache necessarily help with a modest build? Also, would a huge drive then be wasteful as I

    am unlikely to stick masses of programmes on it and I read that system drives should be kept small
    Q6. As my back up drive and RW are ide, I was thinking of using round shielded cables instead of the usual ribbon ones - is this

    a good idea?

    As you can probably tell, this is the first computer for which I have had to choose the bits for myself and your help would be

    great. Hopefully I can learn some stuff before I have to build a fast one next year.

    Noobo-k
    UK

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    • staffsMike's system
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    The PSU is enough juice but try this
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166784

    THose chips are old now, try and get this
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-A...MHz-65W-Retail

    Stick to Pc6400 with DDR2 good bangs for bucks.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Bad psu, sort of, It would be fine as long as you don't plan to overclock or put a graphics card in.

    the basq are antec's budget range, don't get it mixed up with their better psu's like the earthwatts and NeoHe

    Now it does depend on what you have planned for your new pc, but I would say get a good psu and case you can carry over.

    I'd agree with mike on the ram pc-6400 (800mhz) is still the price break point, if this is only for short term and if the i5 uses ddr3 (?not sure about that?) then get 2gb of cheap stuff like the corsair value select, don't bother with 4gb if this is just short term, 2gb really don't sturggle with anything.
    Heck if your just using this for internet and office then 1gb is fine

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Do you already have an OS to use? If not you could use Win 7 RC or Linux, both of which are free
    I agree with what's been said above^
    The AM2+ socket gives you room for future upgrades as it should also support newer AM3 CPUs with a BIOS update.
    For a HDD, one of these would be a good choice for a boot drive but there's nothing wrong with using your existing drive. Also for your IDE drives, rounded cables would be a good idea IMO as standard ribbon cables can get in the way more.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Actually I fine ribbon cable eaiser to work with as long as it's long enough, I found round ide cable annoying because it's far less flexible.

    One BIG word of warning all new motherboards only come with 1 IDE port so you can only use 2 ide drives, no more.
    if you have 2 ide hard drives you want to keep using then get your self a sata DVDrw as they are around £15 and again you'll eaisly be able to carry it over and use it in a new build.

  6. #6
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    This is what I would get:

    Coolermaster Elite 340 with 460w PSU ~ £50

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coole...60W-PSU-Fitted

    OR

    Coolermaster Black Elite 330 Case With eXtreme Power 460W PSU ~ £55

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

    The PSU is actually more like a 430w unit but is a decent budget unit.


    AMD Athlon II X2 245 ~ £49

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-A...MHz-65W-Retail

    Asus M4N78-AM ~£47

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...-RAID-uATX-VGA

    My new recommendation for a budget AM2+ motherboard as it has better media abilities than the 760G and more connections too!



    2gb PC2-6400 DDR2 ~ £25

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/2GB-%...d-CAS-4-4-4-12

    Samsung F1 320gb ~ £33

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/320-G...MB-Cache-89-ms


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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Have been on a few websites and have found that a decent case is the Antec 300 - the price has gone up recently but has been voted as the top budget case.

    One are that I am really not sure on is the PSU. This is the only thing that appears to be one never to scrimp on. The Antec I was looking at has mixed reviews. Do you think it would be worth stretching to something like an Antec VX-450 just in case?

    Also decided that the AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition, would be worth considering. What do you think?

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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    The VX 450 is a Corsair, not Antec, but yeah it's a very good unit and would provide plenty of power for that build. Or you could go a bit cheaper with http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166784 for £29.99 + postage from ebuyer. What Antec model were you looking at originally?

  9. #9
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Please help - advice on building cheap computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Noobo-k View Post
    Also decided that the AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition, would be worth considering. What do you think?
    There is no point going for the Athlon X2 7850 when the Athlon II X2 245 is faster and consumes less power and yet costs the same.


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