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Thread: Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

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    Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

    Hi,

    I'd like to build a powerful, future-proof system to replace the setup that I've been making do with for the past couple of years, which is an old Celeron-based office PC that I scrounged from my last workplace, and a free desk and CRT monitor that I got off Freecycle! I'm prepared to spend about £1,000 on the PC components, £400 on the monitor and £100 on the Windows OS (give or take 10% for all those), so it's going to be a massive step up for me. I'm thinking of buying the monitor first of all on November pay day, and then all the PC parts and Windows together at the end of Jan. After spending £1500+ on the system I'd expect to still be using it on a daily basis in 5 years' time, albeit perhaps with a few new or upgraded components.

    I'll be wanting to dual-boot Debian (Linux) and Windows 7, and using it for the following:
    • Programming. I write cross-platform GUI apps for a living and I work from home a lot so I'll want to use virtual machines for testing them, which will make a nice change from having to reboot like I do on my current home setup!
    • Games. I buy about 4 or 5 games a year for my Wii and I was just trying to decide between getting an Xbox 360 or a PS3 when my wife suggested why not just get a decent graphics card for this PC instead? Doesn't need to be top-of-the-line, if it'll happily play the current crop of PC games then that's good enough, and if it supports SLI or Crossfire then even better, as I can just stick an extra graphics card in there when the games start to demand more powerful hardware.
    • Watching movies, including Blu-ray discs and hi-def video files.
    • Casual graphics and design work, nothing too CPU-intensive.

    Here's my first stab at a spec, seems to me that the i7 route would be better than AMD as far as future-proofing is concerned, but I've no real preference so I could be swayed on that:

    • Monitor - Having read quite a few views and reviews it seems that 24" is the ideal size for me, and so far the HP LP2475w really stands out, you can pick one up for about £425 from Dabs although it isn't clear whether it comes with the S-IPS or H-IPS panel. However, it's occurred to me that I could buy two half-decent 24" monitors for that price, which is also tempting! Just how much difference is there in quality between a £200 monitor and a £425 one?
    • Case - I've been looking at the Antec 1200 + 850W PSU, which is on special offer for £200 at Ebuyer. This will be the first decent case I've ever bought so I don't know if that's overkill, but I am likely to want to add a few extra storage drives over the next few years so those 12 drive bays would be nice to have.
    • Motherboard - I did a bit of reading and came across the Asus P6T Deluxe V2, which costs about £200
    • CPU - Intel i7 920 2.66 GHz is apparently the best value-for-money i7 @ £200
    • RAM - 6GB of DDR3 should be plenty for starters, and that motherboard supports up to 24GB. Prices seem to be fluctuating wildly at the moment, seems as though 6GB would cost about £100 if I were to buy it right now (which I'm not, as stated above). Is there much difference between the cheaper brands like OCZ and the more expensive ones like Corsair?
    • Graphics - The Asus HD 4890 sounds as though it'd fit the bill, which costs about £150.
    • Hard drive - I was thinking of getting a 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 @ £60, or perhaps 2 of them.
    • Optical drive - Would like it to be able to play Blu-rays; a BD-ROM drive can be had for £50, and I could also put my current DVD±RW in there.
    • Operating system - Not sure whether it's worth going for Windows 7 Pro over Home Premium? It'll have to be a fresh install either way (obviously Debian is costing me nothing!)

    So there we have it, does that sounds like a realistic spec for what I'll be using it for? I realise the prices will undoubtedly come down between now and the end of Jan, so I've got a couple of months to fine-tune it

    I could also do with a new computer desk as well, a fairly small corner one to go in the study, but obviously large enough to accommodate a 24" monitor (or two!) and possibly a full tower case if I go for the Antec 1200. Where would be the best place to pick one of those up?

  2. #2
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
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      • Less E-PEEN
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      • Massive E-PEEN
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      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
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      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
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      • OVERSIZED
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      • UNDERSIZED
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      • DOS 6.22
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    Re: Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

    IMHO,spending £200 on a motherboard is OTT unless you are really into overclocking.

    OTH,I would also get an HD5850 if you can get hold of one for around £200:

    http://www.dabs.com/products/xfx-ati...ml?q=hd%205850

    You will need to be a bit patient though and check around a few retailers.

    It has DX11 and will be run most current games at 1920x1200 using decent settings:

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/...o_card_review/

    Also with the discount code HPSPLDIS and 6% cashback from Quidco you can get the LP2475W for under £370 from HP:

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en...0Monitor&cc=uk

    http://www2.quidco.com/hewlett-packard/

    The advantages of IPS screens over the cheaper TN ones are deeper blacks,better viewing angles and better colour accuracy. I don't know how much longer the discount code will last though as the LP2475W is the best monitor under £500 IMHO and for under £370 it is excellent value for money.

    Edit!!

    The faster Core i7 930 is replacing the Core i7 920 in January:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...ving-q1-2010/1
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 19-11-2009 at 01:34 AM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Also with the discount code HPSPLDIS and 6% cashback from Quidco you can get the LP2475W for under £370 from HP:
    Wow, thanks for that, think I'll order it now then before it's too late!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The faster Core i7 930 is replacing the Core i7 920 in January:
    Glad I'm holding off buying til January, then Thanks for all that

    EDIT: Ordered the monitor, paid £383.98 after entering your code, which should go down to £360.02 with the 6% Quidco cashback
    Last edited by pisco sour; 19-11-2009 at 08:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Keep it sexy Zhaoman's Avatar
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    Re: Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

    With your budget you could be looking at a nice SSD as a boot drive:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/80GB-...ite-70MB-s-OEM

    The 5850 is the one to get at the minute definitely:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-S...DMI-plus-Dirt2

    And echoing CAT's suggestion that £200 for a motherboard is a bit much tbh:

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

    I don't know what PSU that ebuyer deal includes but I can give good recommendations for BeQuiet PSUs since I own one

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W-...lar-PSU-87-Eff

    Silent, runs cool and looks fantastic! Your build is looking really good so far

  5. #5
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Less E-PEEN
      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
      • Memory:
      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
      • Monitor(s):
      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
      • Internet:
      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Complete new build inc. monitor and OS, £1500

    Quote Originally Posted by pisco sour View Post
    Wow, thanks for that, think I'll order it now then before it's too late!



    Glad I'm holding off buying til January, then Thanks for all that

    EDIT: Ordered the monitor, paid £383.98 after entering your code, which should go down to £360.02 with the 6% Quidco cashback
    IIRC,Quidco have a £5 a year fee which is deducted from your any cashback you get so the total you paid for the monitor would be around £365.

    Also the PSU seems to have a decent review too:

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story&reid=142

    I agree with perhaps getting an SSD as a boot drive.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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