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Thread: Help with new budget build for a mate

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    Help with new budget build for a mate

    Hi all,

    Friend of mine wants me to put together a general purpose PC for him but I'm not particularly up to speed with the latest offerings in the budget end of things. I know the AMD APUs are quite popular at this sort of price point as good all rounders but I'm pretty sure you can get quite capable Intel dual cores for peanuts that will easily handle most day to day tasks.

    Uses of the PC: Email/browsing. Occasional excel spreadsheets. Iplayer/watching videos. "Making simple posters" so I'm guessing he will be using something like Photoshop Elements, nothing too taxing. He assures me he will not be using it to play games.

    Special requirements: "Low power. Relatively quiet would be a bonus"

    Budget: £250 max not including monitor or OS.

    OS: I've advised he go for Windows 7

    Thanks in advance

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    This combo on Scan's Today Only page for £191 looks good, would probably need to replace the PSU though:

    1TB Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 6Gb/s 7200rpm 64mb Cache 8ms NCQ OEM
    4GB Corsair Value DDR3 PC3-10600 (1333) Non-ECC Unbuffered, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
    500W ScanFX PSU Standard ATX-500 rear 80mm Fan, ATX v2.03, PSU
    Coolermaster K-350 Black Mid Tower Performance & Gaming Case with USB 3.0 and Side Window w/o PSU
    Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3V, Intel H61, S 1155, DDR3, SATA II - 3Gb/s, PCIe 3.0 (x16), D-Sub (VGA)/ DVI-D, Micro ATX
    Intel Pentium G2020, S 1155, Ivy Bridge, Dual Core, 2.9GHz, 5 GT/s DMI, 3MB Smart Cache, 29x Core Ratio, 55W, Retail

    Thoughts?

  3. #3
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Personally, I'd always go AMD rather than Intel at the bottom end of the market. If price and power draw are the key factors, then socket FM2 with a low end APU makes most sense, so:

    A4 4000 - £33
    Biostar A55 mobo - £35
    4GB DDR3-1600 RAM - £35
    1TB hard drive - < £50
    mATX mini tower case - < £25
    Decent 350W PSU - £30
    DVD Drive (because why not ) - £13

    Total: £223 for complete base unit.

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Personally, I'd always go AMD rather than Intel at the bottom end of the market. If price and power draw are the key factors, then socket FM2 with a low end APU makes most sense, so:


    Biostar A55 mobo - £35
    That motherboard doesn't have a digital monitor connection, which might be a problem?

    Personally, I'd spend a bit more and go with this mobo:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/397490-asus-f2...sor-f2a55-m-lk

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    You'll also need to budget for an OEM Windows 7 licence (about £65), although given that your mate isn't interested in gaming, Ubuntu or similar OS might be a way of saving some cash...

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Or you could get this, with an extended warranty for peace of mind?

    http://www.ebuyer.com/407538-zoostor...p-pc-7873-1076

  7. #7
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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbobgod1969 View Post
    Or you could get this, with an extended warranty for peace of mind?

    http://www.ebuyer.com/407538-zoostor...p-pc-7873-1076
    Not a bad call actually, it certainly isn't the worst pre-built box in the world If you do go that route be prepared to swap out the PSU though; it could be a no-name cheapo deathtrap

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Thanks for answers so far. I did wonder whether pre-built might be the way to go at this low end. £150 is dirt cheap and would leave some for a 60GB SSD which would probably make it fly.

    As for low power I thought Intel had the edge on AMD in that respect?

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    I would get these parts:
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/554...tion-/PSU0202/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/803...rnal-/HDD1439/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/102...-Case/CAS0758/
    http://www.ebuyer.com/398815-amd-a8-...-ad560kwohjbox
    http://www.ebuyer.com/432657-biostar...ard-hifi-a85s3
    http://www.ebuyer.com/410560-liteon-...k-ihas124-19cu
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Patriot-Vipe...ds=8gb+1866mhz

    Including free postage,the total is £266.05 and you get a copy of SimCity with the CPU,which you should get around £20 to £30 on Ebay.
    You can also get cashback on CCL Computers and Ebuyer purchases using Top CashBack and Quidco and you get Nectar points on Amazon purchases.

    Some alternate components:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/917...-Card/CPU0149/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/982...t-OEM/PSU0486/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/763...W-PSU/PSU0307/

    Edit!!

    The A8 5500 would do the job and it will be easier to cool.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-07-2013 at 01:22 PM.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would get these parts:
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/554...tion-/PSU0202/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/803...rnal-/HDD1439/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/102...-Case/CAS0758/
    http://www.ebuyer.com/398815-amd-a8-...-ad560kwohjbox
    http://www.ebuyer.com/432657-biostar...ard-hifi-a85s3
    http://www.ebuyer.com/410560-liteon-...k-ihas124-19cu
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Patriot-Vipe...ds=8gb+1866mhz

    Including free postage,the total is £266.05 and you get a copy of SimCity with the CPU,which you should get around £20 to £30 on Ebay.
    You can also get cashback on CCL Computers and Ebuyer purchases using Top CashBack and Quidco and you get Nectar points on Amazon purchases.

    Some alternate components:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product/917...-Card/CPU0149/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/982...t-OEM/PSU0486/
    http://www.cclonline.com/product/763...W-PSU/PSU0307/

    Edit!!

    The A8 5500 would do the job and it will be easier to cool.
    Thanks Cat, as ever. Do you not think that some of these components are a bit overkill for the usage of the PC? Especially 8GB of 1866MHz RAM. I was wondering whether the build you have specced up would perform faster in day to day tasks than the Zoostorm above coupled with an SSD (the latter being a much cheaper option).

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    The main problem is the PSU the Zoostom uses,ie,is it something like the OEM FSP PSUs I listed or something really rubbish??

    The 8GB of 1866MHZ RAM costs the same as 1600MHZ RAM. The CPU is also a quad core too,which means for general day to day multi-tasking it should be quite smooth. The IGP also is not bad for GPU acceleration too,which is becoming more and more common.

    An SSD would no doubt be a good improvement,but I would say the system I suggested should probably be fine for a few years,and have extra performance in the tank if required.

    Having said that I have also used an A6-3670K with a Samsung F3 500GB(the same HDD I suggested in the build) under Windows 8 and it was surprisingly snappy.


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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobull View Post
    As for low power I thought Intel had the edge on AMD in that respect?
    Load power draw favours Intel, but only slightly at the low end (more significantly at the top end). Idle power draw currently favours FM2 as a platform, and a computer spends most of its time at idle, particularly for web-browsing/office type work.

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    If there's no gaming at all, the A4-4000 is a good choice for general office/web type stuff. Anything over 4gb RAM is excessive. You can get a cheapy Intel CPU for about £10 extra, but it doesn't come with Sim City, and you won't see any performance benefits.

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobull View Post
    Thanks for answers so far. I did wonder whether pre-built might be the way to go at this low end. £150 is dirt cheap and would leave some for a 60GB SSD which would probably make it fly.

    As for low power I thought Intel had the edge on AMD in that respect?
    Peak power on the high end parts is better on Intel.

    Idle power is better on AMD.

    Edit to add: Gah, distraction and lag on posting, beaten to it

  15. #15
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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    Ahh as ever, decisions. I do think 8GB ram would be overkill for his uses, he can always add more later if needed. I don't want to push his budget too far, I know he'd probably be better spending the money elsewhere. Going to have to relay all this to him.

    Thanks for the input so far guys, keep it coming!

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    Re: Help with new budget build for a mate

    I don't think you'll get anything lower price. I'd go with scaryjim's suggestion, though personally I would spend a little more on the motherboard (you can get Asus/Gigabyte FM2 ones for about £45-50). You can also cut costs a little by getting 4gb 1866MHz RAM on Amazon for £23, and of course selling Sim City (you'd get at least £15 for it).

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