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Thread: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

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    Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Looking at buying a cheap PC for use as general facebook terminal, but also for use as a multimedia PC linked up to a HDTV + speakers, and possibly the odd game. So really needs a GPU with HDMI/VGA (TV) + VGA/DVI (Monitor), soundcard for 5.1, at least 2 cores and 2gb RAM, DVD RW, but not much else. The shop also has to take AMEX.

    Having bought a TV, Wall mount, Printer, Speakers and some Wii accesories we have a little over 500 left for everything else, but ideally we want to spend just over £400 so we've got some spare for cables or any extras. This has also been dictated by the fact that for ~£370 delivered Currys sell a dual core with TFT, we'd just like better value for money. Alternatively if anyone knows a good value pre build, that would be welcome.

    So although our budget is ~£400, genuine Windows + TFT is at least £150
    So realistically we have to be spending £250 all in

    Any help would be much appreciated.

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    What type of games do you intend to play?? If it anything like a modern FPS you would need a bigger budget.

    This is what I would look at getting if you want to be play some modern FPS games at reasonable settings:

    AMD Athlon II X3 445 ~ £59

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-A...MHz-95W-Retail

    ASROCK M3A770DE ~ £51

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/174597

    4GB DDR3 ~ £39

    http://www.oyyy.co.uk/product.php/12...ory-module-kit

    Inno3D GT 240 512MB GDDR5~ £60

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179471...edium=products

    500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3 ~ £32

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500Gb...-Cache-8ms-OEM

    Corsair CX400W ~ £32

    http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/

    Casecom 6630 Black/Silver Midi Tower Case ~ £11

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/119588

    Samsung SH-S223 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive ~ £12

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

    80mm Black Case Fan ~ £1

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/23880

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium~ £72

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173787

    19" DGM L-1935WD Black Widescreen LCD ~ £72

    http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/

    The total comes to around £440.

    If you don't intend to play any modern games I would get the following motherboard instead which has the HD3300 IGP:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166041

    You could then get a bigger monitor.

    BTW,you are also eligible for free postage from Scan:

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-he...tup-guide.html

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-he...0-07-08-a.html


    Ebuyer and oyyy also do free postage too.


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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Just to add ... i'm about to buy a full rig on the same sort of budget as the above. So registering a BIG interest in this thread! I've got £400 ish to spend but could be swayed to go a little over/under if it's worth it.

    I have a sub/5.1 speakers, a Raptor HDD, a 500gb HDD, a MX1000 mouse and gaming keyboard to start with already tho. The TFT is my biggest hurdle/expense I think...

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Thanks for your help CAT-THE-FIFTH. I remember you being a huge help the last couple of times I was on here. I used to be really into system building but its hard to stay current.

    The gaming element is a nice to have if anything. No need for FPS on high settings. If the the HD 3300 can support 2 separate outputs simultaneously then the IGP will probably meet our needs, although it would feel nicer to have a discrete GPU.

    Bought a Samsung LE40C580 and Logitech Z5500 speakers. Should be a sweet set up.

    Am I right in thinking that on the X3 445 we will likely be able to unlock the L3 cache for Phenom like performance, and possible be able to unlock a fourth core for X4 performance if it's stable?

    Edit: The money saved by going for an IGP could go towards upgrading to Blu Ray perhaps

    And Ebuyer don't take AMEX, although I could get the buyer to set up Paypal, or just pay the premium for Scan.
    Last edited by strengthofmind; 03-10-2010 at 02:02 AM. Reason: update

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Quote Originally Posted by strengthofmind View Post
    Thanks for your help CAT-THE-FIFTH. I remember you being a huge help the last couple of times I was on here. I used to be really into system building but its hard to stay current.

    The gaming element is a nice to have if anything. No need for FPS on high settings. If the the HD 3300 can support 2 separate outputs simultaneously then the IGP will probably meet our needs, although it would feel nicer to have a discrete GPU.

    Bought a Samsung LE40C580 and Logitech Z5500 speakers. Should be a sweet set up.

    Am I right in thinking that on the X3 445 we will likely be able to unlock the L3 cache for Phenom like performance, and possible be able to unlock a fourth core for X4 performance if it's stable?
    The HD3300 IGP can support one monitor with a DVI connection and another with a VGA one.

    There is also this very similar 785G based motherboard too which has the HD4200 IGP:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179183

    Basically,the HD4200 IGP is a slower version of the HD3300 with lower idle power consumption and better media decoding abilities.

    You can always get a better graphics card at a later date as a CX400W will handle an HD5770 1GB.

    Regarding the unlocking if you are lucky you can unlock some of them to a Phenom II X3 or X4 or an Athlon X4. However,you may not be even able to unlock the processor to an Athlon II X4. However,the Athlon II X3 445 is still a fast processor for the price.

    BTW,the RAM is quite cheap for a 4GB set!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 03-10-2010 at 01:58 AM.


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    CPU Deals

    Also a big thanks to you 'CAT-THE-FIFTH'. I don't know how these factor into your above budget 'strengthofmind' but i've just seen these two CPU deals knocking about. Not sure if they will work on the newer boards tho:

    AMD Phenom OEM II X4 940 (3GHz QUAD CORE) CPU £75.35 Delivered + 3% Quidco @ CCL Computers
    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/amd-...ad-core/765680

    A cheap £6.16 cooler for the above OEM CPU: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/126790

    OR.....

    AMD PHENOM II X4 (QUAD CORE) 940 - 3 GHZ, 6MB L3 CACHE, SOCKET AM2+ Black Edition £79.90 + P&P! @ Pixmania
    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/amd-...40-3-gh/763070

    It seems i'm in the same boat as you 'strengthofmind'. I once knew everything there was to know about hardware/software but have been left in the dirt from when the first duel cores came out. I'm now more out of touch than a nun in a convent!

    PS: Hope you don't think i'm thread hijacking but it seems we are after the same thing here, i.e. same needs and price points. So ... two minds and all that! If my contributions are bugging you just give me a shout and i'll get a new thread going. I'm buying these components by Tuesday.
    Last edited by ERU; 03-10-2010 at 09:55 AM.

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Given the Oyy DDR3 offer is out of stock, and 4Gb DDR3 is ~ £60, is it worth downgrading to a DDR2 Mobo or just spending the extra £20?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-%...9-9-24-DHX-16V

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    The RAM, PSU and Monitor were out of stock, and I fancied a nicer case.

    Scan:

    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 PC3-10666 £62.22 (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...9-9-24-DHX-16V)

    400W Corsair CMPSU-400CXUK £32.88 (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/400W-...ncy-UK-Version)

    500GB Samsung HD502HJ £32.07

    19" DGM L-1935WD £74.95 (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/19-DG...-5001-Speakers)

    AMD Athlon II X3 445 £59.27

    £261.39 inc free shipping

    Ebuyer:

    Keyboard - USB/PS2 £3.49

    ASROCK A790GMH £57.57

    Samsung SH-S223 £11.99

    Sunbeam 3D Storm £22.99 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150296)

    £96.04

    Guy who pre-ordered Win7 for £50:

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium £50

    Optical Scroll Mouse - USB £3

    £53

    So £410

    Given this build should eradicate the need for a WD TV, the price difference is probably okay.

    Is this case worth it? http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Xclio...e-Pane-w-o-PSU
    Or the one I've chosen, or the original ebuyer one?

    Had a look in my geek box, and I've got kettle leads, DVI connectors, and a wireless N card, so all I may need now is a long HDMI cable.
    Last edited by strengthofmind; 03-10-2010 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Looked in my box of geek, found Win7 for £50

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    I have the athlon II x3 445. I had it stable at 4 cores all the cache and 3.4 GHz. Then it just went and I have stock speeds and settings. It's utter luck, I'd say chances of getting the 4th core AND cache is about 10%.
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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Also, am I right in thinking that the HD3300 can pass digital 5.1 audio over HDMI, then the Samsung LE40C580 could pass that digital 5.1 audio over optical to the Logitech Z5500? And likewise for any other HDMI devices, consoles, SkyHD, etc?

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    The HD3300 can pass 2 channel LPCM,Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 over HDMI:

    http://www.anandtech.com/print/2582


    BTW,as I said before this motherboard would be better if you are using your system more for playing back media than gaming:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179183

    The HD4200 IGP has UVD2 as opposed to UV in the HD3300 but has a lower clockspeed.


    Regarding the Phenom II X4 940 it will be faster than an Athlon II X3 440 or 450:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/80?vs=119

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/80?vs=189

    However,the Phenom II X4 940 only has a DDR2 memory controller and also has a 125W TDP.


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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    So as a sanity check, having switched for the HD4200 mobo, the build is good? The new case is fine?

    Not worth paying £10 to jump to an Athlon X4 (630)?
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/105?vs=119
    Obviously its easy to get drawn into increasing each component to the next notch and spiral away from your budget...

    N.B the mobos we are looking at specify non compatibility with the 940

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Don't bother with the propeller case.

    The sunbeam cases are decent, older style internal layout, however decent quality and cheap.
    Also the 3 supplied 120mm fans run at 1000rpm and are quiet.

    Alternativly I'd conside the Coolermaster elite 330 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coole...r-Case-w-o-PSU
    Although you'll also want to get an extra 120mm fan for it.

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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    The X4 940 can only work with DDR2 motherboards as it does not have a DDR3 memory controller.

    TBH,an X3 445 will be fine for general usage and in games which only use 2 or 3 cores will be faster than the X4 630.


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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Alternativly I'd conside the Coolermaster elite 330 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coole...r-Case-w-o-PSU
    Although you'll also want to get an extra 120mm fan for it.
    The main advantages being that it's higher build quality and screwless? It'd be another £4 or so for a fan, so ~£10 more overall. All the coolermaster fans on scan appeared to have LEDS, which I'm not keen on.

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    Re: Cheap build challenge: ~£250 delivered

    Don't get a coolermaster fan then
    If you want a seriously good fan, then scythe gentle typhoons cannot be beaten. But they are £10+
    Join the HEXUS Folding@home Team!!


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