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Thread: Help with a new computer specification.

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    Help with a new computer specification.

    I am looking at a components list for a gaming computer for one of my friends. The budget is not high at about £400 for the base unit only without any software only. Games to be played on it include WOW,Dragonage Origins and Starcraft. The ability to upgrade the computer would be useful and the computer will not be overclocked at all. Reliability is important as they do not know much about computer hardware. The system will be running XP and Ubuntu for the time being.

    They are using a 17" monitor ATM but I would want the build to last as long as possible between upgrades.

    I am uncertain what CPU to go for TBH! It is a choice between the Phenom II X2 550BE or the Athlon II X3 440. AFAIK the Athlon II should be better in game which support multiple cores.

    I had a quick look at Ebuyer and this is what I came up with:

    Casecom 6788 ~ £25

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172779

    AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz ~ £66

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

    Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB ~ £37

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146252

    OCZ 400W Stealth XStream PSU ~ £33

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/152505

    MSI 770-C45 ~ £47

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/165438

    4GB low latency 1333MHZ DDR3 ~ £91

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278

    PALIT GTS250 Green 512MB GDDR3 ~ £87

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/168911

    I am hoping to talk them into spending around £50 more.

    This would mean that they could get a better graphics card like an HD4870 512MB or an HD5750 512MB for around £100 off Aria. The remaining budget could be spent on a better PSU like the 530W Be Quiet unit which Ebuyer sells and perhaps a better motherboard such as one which is 870 based.

    Alternatively I could probably keep the existing PSU and get an HD5770 1GB instead.

    If anyone could list some alternate builds within the £400 to £450 mark I would be grateful!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 18-05-2010 at 05:34 PM.


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  2. #2
    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    I'd be tempted to suggest the P2 over the Athlon - the extra cache will be quite useful as well as clockspeed and although you've mentioned stability, the core unlocking shouldn't go un-noticed.

    Could it be worth waiting for those newer 5670's to come out for the GPU ? If they perform similar too the 4770 then thats not a bad little card.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Mayby try the Athlon X3 435 instead?

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176043

    Its £61 but its whether that extra £5 would make a difference elsewhere in the build. Dont think you could do better than that unless anyone has any Phenom II X3's they dont want.

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    if upgradability is important i would do my best to fit in an 8 series AMD mobo as it gives you sata 6 and usb 3. Ruins the budget though

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    SVP are selling the Phenom II X3 710 for around £80.


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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    not trying to sound like I'm nit picking but will he need a dvd drive

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  11. #7
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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Sights View Post
    not trying to sound like I'm nit picking but will he need a dvd drive
    I just realised that. BTW it is for a "she".


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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I just realised that. BTW it is for a "she".
    oh.... *thinks of a witty comeback*

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    It seems that the budget "may" have increased to around £450 to £500 (hopefully).


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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Aria have 1gb 4850 for £90 odd; not that its going to help atm at those res. You're not delving into the 2nd hand market? There were a fair few RV770s and g92s around a few months ago.

    i3? otherwise I would probably take the X3 instead of the 550. I suppose at low res's you're going to be as much CPU limited as opposed to gpu so its a tricky decision.

    Don't forget to get some more case fans.

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    I've just bought the X3 435, decided it was worth it over the 425 but didn't need the extra 100mhz of the 440 for £5, seemed to me the OC ability of each chip was similar so save that fiver?

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domestic_Ginger View Post
    Aria have 1gb 4850 for £90 odd; not that its going to help atm at those res. You're not delving into the 2nd hand market? There were a fair few RV770s and g92s around a few months ago.

    i3? otherwise I would probably take the X3 instead of the 550. I suppose at low res's you're going to be as much CPU limited as opposed to gpu so its a tricky decision.

    Don't forget to get some more case fans.
    I thought of the Core i3 or even the Core i5 but AM3 looks to be a bit longer lived. Also the USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 ability of many of the AMD 870 motherboards will also be good in the long run IMHO. ATX socket 1156 motherboards with SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 are not cheap!

    Hopefully if the budget can be increased to around £500 a Phenom II X4 can be included in the build.


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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Does a user of her type need a quad core CPU, really? Is she worried about those extra 4FPS she'll get? Are you building a rig for her or for yourself?

    Xbitlabs have an article on the 435, got it to 3.7Ghz, unlocked the 4th core & 'only' got to 3.5Ghz, if you're not OCing the unlock would be a nice suprise with no downside (if it worked)
    Last edited by Rob_B; 19-05-2010 at 11:08 AM.

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Surprised to see people still want to use XP and have 4 gig of ram when XP can only address 3.25 gigs of the installed ram (if using 32 bit XP that is)

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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    Does a user of her type need a quad core CPU, really? Is she worried about those extra 4FPS she'll get? Are you building a rig for her or for yourself?
    This build needs to last as long as possible. Getting a quad core would mean she would not need to worry about the CPU for a while. AFAIK games like Dragonage Origins seem to scale well with cores.


    Quote Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
    Surprised to see people still want to use XP and have 4 gig of ram when XP can only address 3.25 gigs of the installed ram (if using 32 bit XP that is)
    This is because another mate has a spare copy ATM. Most likely at some point it will be replaced by 64 bit Windows 7 or 8 I suspect. Ubuntu is also being installed too.

    Anyway, I have a XP install on my computer too(have Vista also) and it is 32 bit since 64 bit Windows driver support was not so good in 2006. Yep, my computer is that new!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 19-05-2010 at 11:14 AM.


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  22. #16
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    Re: Help with a new computer specification.

    There are already games out there that don't like 512MB graphics cards, if longevity matters shouldn't you be looking at 1GB cards?

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