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Thread: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

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    CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Hello

    My bro is looking to upgrade his PC but hasnt alot of money so hes challenged me to build a cheap system for him. He will be re-using the old case and DVD drive etc to cut down on costs so it will just be the Hardware which needs upgrading.

    The main use of the PC is for gaming so it will need to play most modern games moderatly well. Normaly I build PCs for overclocking capability but this is not importent in this build so was wondering which bits I can save the most money on? Firstly, is buyin budget ram worth it? also, what with AMD being cheaper, is it worth going AMD instead of intel? obviously I cant save too much on the graphics cards so I need to save more on the other parts. I was thinking a 5770 would do the job?

    Any advise/opinions would be much appreciated.

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    ALT0153™ Rob_B's Avatar
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    What is the max budget?
    What is the optical drive/HDD/etc that he will be keeping? (ie IDE/SATA?)
    What are the current specs ie mobo/CPU/PSU/RAM so we can see if he could keep any of it?

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    You might find this review interesting:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpu...0-cpu-review/1

    It's a cheap + mediocre CPU until you overclock it, and boy does it overclock well.

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Some games it needs to play would also be useful

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    For £361.32:


    1x Intel Pentium G6950 £67.80 Cube247
    3x 1GB Hynix DDR3-1333MHz CAS7 £24.79 Scan
    1x Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H £69.97 Scan
    1x 1GB MSI HD 5770 £115.13 Scan
    1x 500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3 £33.23 Scan
    1x 400W Corsair CMPSU-400CXUK £34.55 Scan
    1x Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2 £15.85 Scan

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Taken from a wanted thread I commented on recently:

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim
    ... you can actually cut <the budget> even further with a Sempron X2 2100 (1.8GHz) and a Sapphire 690V motherboard (combined CPU + mobo cost == £52.57!) - Add a 2GB Crucial DDR2-800 kit for a good system base for £89.56!
    So that would be £90 for a 1.8GHz dual core, 2GB RAM and an mATX mobo: could be a good starting point...? Does he have a monitor already, and what resolution is it? That'll determine what graphics card you can go with. The CPU should overclock a bit too - you'd want to overclock it from stock though as ideally you'll want somewhere around 2.4GHz for decent gaming performance...

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    The specs are:
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+
    Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9
    Geforce 6600
    512Mb DDR RAM

    Monitor will be kept. its res is 1680x1050

    The HDD will be changed

    there is no max budget realy, just looking cheapest possible upgrade which is capable of gamming

    So do you think there is anything I can keep in that spec? I wouldnt have thought so.

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Nothing worth keeping to play a half decent modern game.

    I'd go for what scaryjim said, as an absolute minimum - maybe try for an X2 5000+ (45nm edition - very important!) for a slight improvement on the CPU.

    If you can pick up a 4830/4850 second-hand, that would make a fairly nice cheap combo.

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    X2 5000 now available at ebuyer - it's about another tenner on top of the Sempron X2 but will be significantly faster. If you're going for that I'd suggest a 760G mobo like this Gigabyte which has the SB710 southbridge which *may* let you unlock disabled cores and cache on the X2 5000+ (people have managed to get full Phenom II X4s out of the 45nm X2 5000+ before!). Stick with the 2GB RAM kit I suggested earlier.

    For 1680x1050 you'll want at least a 5750 512MB. A 5770 would be fine, as would (as snootyjim has suggested) a 4830 or 4850, if you can find one.

    That little lot will push you just over £200, but give you a pretty decent gaming system: particularly if you can get that 5000+ unlocked and overclocked. If you don't fancy taking the risk and want a decent processor at stock, look at one of these (price increase over 5000+):

    Athlon 64 X2 7550 2.5GHz (£13.50)
    Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz (14.50)
    Athlon X2 7850 2.8GHz (£17.00).

    My choice would probably be the Athlon II - it's newer architecture should help it eke out a small performance lead - but the older 7000 series (based on the original Phenom) do carry some L3 cache which helps in some applications. Unfortunately, Hexus don't seem to have done an Athlon II X2 review, but you can compare the 240 and the 7850 directly at the Anandtech bench site - which suggests that it's pretty much swings and roundabouts with both processors winning some and losing some, but not by much. Perhaps you could get the 7550 and try overclocking it to 2.8GHz - in an ACC-enabled motherboard like the Gigabyte I linked to above that should be possible...

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    The saphire board is an AM2 board which is fine if I go for the 7550 which is what I had planned.

    but you got me thinking, the X2 240 is only a quid dearer for a faster CPU but its an AM3 socket. Are they backwards comptible or should i get the gigabyte board instead?

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    jim
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    You can put an AM3 chip in an AM2+ or AM3 board (BIOS dependent, as ever).
    You can't put an AM2 chip in an AM3 board.

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Thanks, I thought i remembered reading som,thing like that.

    so is there any disadvantage to putting an AM3 CPU in an AM2+ socket?

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Maybe memory bandwidth, but I wouldn't say my PC was "slow", though I run an AM2+ setup. Maybe just the fact that you probably won't be able to add 2GB more RAM afterwards, since they will be all but gone - DDR3 is steadily taking over, and the price of DDR2 will just increase.

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    jim
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    No disadvantage really, no.

    It's just a question of RAM and board features - and there's no particular performance reason to rush for DDR3 RAM, especially not at this end of the market.

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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Do you mean if i go for an AM2+ board then i wont be able to use DDR3? Is there any other disadvantage using an AM3 CPU in a AM2+ board compared to an AM3 board?

    I guess if I did go DDR3 that would start costing me more?

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    jim
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    Re: CHALLENGE: Cheapest possible build

    Yeah, afaik you can't get AM2+ boards with DDR3, because AM2 chips don't have DDR3 controllers (so an AM2+ board with DDR3 RAM wouldn't support AM2 chips, and therefore couldn't be an AM2+ board).

    To be honest, I think you're better off going for DDR2 and AM2+. Both of them will be cheaper than their more modern equivalents at the moment, and the performance impact will be negligible.

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