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Thread: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Hi folks,

    Since my laptop is going funny I'm looking at a cheap PC to use in the home. I've seen the below for sale @ £280 (including 19" LG TFT + Desk/chair) Do you think it's worth that?

    Base unit on it's own is £270 from PCWorld.

    Packard Bell iMedia A2620
    AMD AthlonII X3 425 triple core processor
    3GB Memory
    320 GB Hard Drive
    DVD Super Multi Drive
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
    (Possibly Geforce 9200 gfx)

    Looks ok for a cheap desktop to me, I won't be using it for gaming & will of course be removing the bloat asap!

    Any opinions?

    Thanks,

    Rob

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    My wife had a look at desktops in PC World recently, and they do seem to be doing some surprisingly good deals with the AMD-based range. You might be able to do the base unit for < £270 as a self build, but with the monitor included @ £280 it's remarkably good value! Be aware, however, that the chair and desk will be pretty naff...

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    It's a private sale, not seen the desk/chair yet!I could probably build for that price but I don't want a large case & I don't think (including the OS) it'd be that much cheaper, maybe I need to look at that option...

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    Admin team peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    I've always thought of Packard-Bell as a bit cheap and nasty - but I'm sure it would do the job. However for a little more you could pick up something from Dell, and if you buy from the outlet/refurb store, you might get a lot more for not a lot more cash.
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Looks like a good deal. PB are fine.

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    I didn't think of the outlet, I really don't want to spend much though, to be honest £280 is more than I thought I'd have to pay already. I might have a nosey though.

    I was thinking of of a 17" laptop, modded to fold back on itself then I could mount it in a frame & use a USB/wireless KBM. This would keep the desk free of clutter as I could just wall mount it & use slim trunking for any cables. Decisions, decisions!

    Gone are the days when I can be bothered to build, it's no challenge any more!

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    I assume this is the computer you are talking about:

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/packar...tab-tech-specs


    General Information Processor AMD Athlon™ II X3 425 Processor
    - 2.7 GHz
    - 2.0 GHz HT (4000 MT/s)
    - 3 x 512 KB L2 Cache
    Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    RAM 3GB
    Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 9200 integrated graphics
    Screen type None
    Hard drive 320GB SATA 7200rpm
    Optical disk drive DVD Rewriter
    Memory card reader Yes
    USB 6
    FireWire No
    Modem/Ethernet 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port
    Wi-Fi No
    Bluetooth No
    Video interface VGA
    Audio interface 1 x Audio line out
    1 x Audio line in
    1 x Microphone in
    1 x Headphones out
    TV output VGA
    Extension card slot No
    Sound Realtek ALC 888
    Keyboard & Mouse Yes
    Accessories included Keyboard, mouse, power cable, AC adapter, documentation
    Software included Adobe Photoshop Elements Full Version
    Adobe Premiere Elements Trial Version
    Nero 8 Essentials; Works 9 SE
    Office Home & Student Trial Version
    Norton Internet Security 2009 Trial Version

    TBH,the software bundle looks quite good.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    It's not from PCWorld so doubt I'd get the full bundle, i never use bundled stuff anyway though really

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Guy didn't get back to me so sod him.

    I'm not going to build, I don't think I can get something SFF-ish for the same price unless someone knows any better?

    I'm looking at £60 for something like an X3, + mobo (£50+), RAM (£45+), PSU, case, optical etc etc = More than £240 I think!

    Looking at PCWorld there are the below specs, I can't seem to compare the GT210/7100 gfx although I know they won't be great anyway, any links?

    Phenom 8550, 3GB, 32GB HDD, Geforce 7100 - £260
    Phenom 8550, 2GB, 320GB HDD, GT210 - £240
    Q8300, 4GB, 320GB, GMA3100, Wifi - £280 (best CPU by far but worst GFX)

    Then I just need a monitor!

    ..or…a 17" Advent (yuck) laptop with T3400 CPU, 3GB, 250GB HDD, DL-DVDRW for £290...
    Last edited by Rob_B; 13-05-2010 at 05:15 PM.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Yoiks! Don't touch a computer with a Phenom X3 8000 series - that's the original Phenoms that were very low clocked and performed pretty poorly. If you're looking at an X3 it has to be Athlon II 400 or Phenom II 700. That solves the problem comparing 7100 to GT210 (btw, GT210 is basically the same as a 9400GT and would be a discreet card, GeForce 7100 is a 4 generation old integrated solution that has no place in a new computer...). In fact, I wouldn't touch any of those Computers with a barge pole.

    As to a self build, it looks like you'd be happy with 2GB RAM, so...

    Athlon II X3 425 £61, ASRock GeForce 8200 mobo £48, 2x 1GB Kingston DDR2-800 Hyper-X £43, 320GB HDD ~ £30, Optical Drive ~ £15, so a bare total of £182 before case & PSU - should let you get something nice and SFF and stay within £250...

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Well thats them avoided then

    I'm struggling with the case more than anything, only need 1 HDD, 1 3.5" bay but cheaper cases seem to have 4 or 5 & they're just far bigger than I want! Might look at those parts, the mobo AM3 ready, ok or better off with a 'proper' AM3 board?

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    You might find something here http://www.xcase.co.uk/Cheap-Pc-Cases-s/37.htm - or elsewhere on the site.

    I recommended this site earlier to watercolloed. I have bought from them myself. Good CS and very helpful.
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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    DDR3 is slightly more expensive than DDR2 for no real gain, and you don't seem to get any AM3 motherboards under £50. Since you don't seem to be looking for ultimate performance I don't think it'll make a vast amount of difference, and you'll save money sticking with AM3.

    As far as cases go, you'll probably want a proper mATX case by the sound of it - if you like towers something like this Casecom could be an option (taking a standard ATX PSU), and of course the Coolermaster Elite 341 is always a popular choice. If you'd prefer something desktopish I have an older version of this AOpen H360b and it's a really well built case, but I'm also a huge fan of the Antec Minuet 350. Or, for a bit of a leftfield choice, how about an Antec NSK1380? A bit overpriced in my opinion, but a lovely cube case

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    and you'll save money sticking with AM3.
    Do you mean AM2+ 'AM3 ready' ?

    From Scan:

    2Gb (1 stick) DDR2 Hynix PC6400 - £38.48
    Asus M4N78-AM - £50.15
    Sony AD-5240S-OB DVDRW - £16.38
    AMD Athlon II X3 435 - £59.56 (faster than the 425 but cheaper??)
    320GB Hitachi Deskstar - £30

    = £202.78

    EDIT: Will PC6400 be ok for the X3 425/435?
    EDIT: Mobo would go with Asus M3n78-VM for the HDMI - £52.03

    Need a Case/PSU/HSF (OEM usually suck?)

    I've had an Xcase years ago, big blue thing, bit garish now I think about it! This looks nice, would it fit those components & should I get the mATX PSU for £18 with it? Only downside, 60mm fans
    Last edited by Rob_B; 13-05-2010 at 08:28 PM.

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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    also don't forget about the OS and other peripherals eg Keyboard and Mouse, it all adds up

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions appreciated on this cheap home PC & whether it's good value

    I've got Win7 so I'll use that, got a bluetooth mouse & an old PS keyboard I can use if I need to

    Also need a monitor, nice big one methinks!

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