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Thread: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

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    Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    A friend of mine is looking to upgrade his current PC. In fact, it's such an old PC, it's not really worth the upgrade in my opinion. So I've told him I can build him a PC from scratch. There is a catch however, keep the budget below £400!

    He's given me a list of requirements which he'd like the PC to perform.

    1.) Perform day to day tasks such as web browsing and document editing, YouTube etc
    2.) Have the capability to play casual e sports titles such as league of legends and Rocket League, medium setting at 1080p for example
    3.) To run a Plex server and stream to a maximum of 2 devices
    4.) Linked with number (3), Primary location for media storage. So far he's got 3TB worth but would like to increase this over the next couple of years

    Now, I'm not a fan of building cheap budget systems. It's a constraint you can do without in my opinion. So I've put together a list of parts that I think could do the trick. However I'd like a second opinion from the experts here, perhaps come up with a different build altogether...?

    https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/adamsonm/saved/sw2YJx

    This parts list doesn't include a case or power supply as I'm going to delve into purchasing a case with PSU combo. It's the first time I've done this in a build as I'm quite sceptical on the quality of the PSU, however I'll give it a shot. Unless someone out there has a very good reason not to go with a case with PSU combo.

    The link for the case/psu combo is here http://www.ebuyer.com/713418-cit-qua...rt-quartz-usb3

    The total price comes to £363 roughly.
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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Avoid CiT PSUs like the plague.


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    I agree, a cheap PSU seems a no brainer until you find it won't really power the equipment properly or in my case it actually blew up in a puff of smoke. Now I just buy quality. You know the rule, buy cheap buy twice.
    Jon

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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Yeah, I mean it's no coincidence that both of you say more or less the same thing. I'll reconsider that case psu combo


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    I'd recommend dual channel ram - the ram you've chosen only has a single stick. The price difference is small (here's one for a couple of quid more, here's one from the same series as the ram you chose for a little bit more), and you get literally double the bandwidth

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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Regarding the build you suggested OP,it looks pretty solid,but I would probably look at this PSU:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/663454-antec-v...761345-06451-4

    Also I would try to get dual channel RAM:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=63867

    SKL/KL shows improvements in gaming performance with more memory bandwidth,so dual channel is useful.

    BTW,you need to add shipping to the Aria price but they are one of the few retailers to still have any G4560 stock left.

    The Gigabyte motherboard is out of stock so this should do the job:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=67082


    Edit!!

    The PSU is cheaper at Aria:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=61949

    Second Edit!!

    This SSD is better:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=66558
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 16-03-2017 at 03:08 AM.


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    This is what I probably would get:

    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=67247
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=63867
    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=67082
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=65131
    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=61949
    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials...roductId=66558
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-li...N%3DB01JBYQBGC

    Now,the build you suggested OP comes to around £370ish including postage from Aria but CiT PSUs have taken out rigs. Once you add a reasonable PSU it will be closer to £400.

    If you look at the build I suggested it comes to around £406. Most of those parts are on offer at Aria,and they are decentish parts including the case which is actually respectable for a sub £30 one.

    If your mate baulks at it being £400,remind them that even over two years say £10 to £20 is really not much if any saving.

    Second Edit!!

    In fact I would even suggest using a smaller SSD if they really want it to be under £400.


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    For those two games, the integrated Intel HD 630 should do. Now, the Pentium G4560 only has HD610, but the G4600 (about £19 more) has HD630. That way you could leave the graphic card out, and later if they want to play more demanding games they can get one.
    Problem is next to nobody ever benches low-end GPUs or IGP in many games, however, LoL and Rocket League are both playable on HD 630. Unfortunately I only found benches for both on Youtube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IpsnaGd1uA
    That shows around 90 FPS for LoL at 1080P high.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZJj04933Bw
    And this around 55 FPS for Rocket League again at 1080P but this time low settings.
    PC Gamer did a longer benchmark but didn't feature those two games
    http://www.pcgamer.com/gaming-withou...p-on-i7-7700k/
    And NBC review just about every laptop and CPU including the HD630
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-H....187948.0.html
    Those NBC benches might be thermally limited. Didn't see what they benched but they bench laptops with 15W U processors. AFAIK, none of the above overclocked or used faster RAM for their benches, so a desktop part should give you extra options.

    Also, if you can find a vendor you can trust, you should be able to buy a cheaper H110 board (trust to tell you it is new stock and has BIOS support for the Kabylake Pentiums). I'd want 4 DIMMs since as while I am not really convinced that dual channel would make a big difference if you went with a dGPU, if you're going with the integrated dual channel and higher speeds will make a big difference. Hence the 2x4GB. And then you really want spare slots to be able to upgrade in the future.

    EDIT: actually, Hardware.fr do test LoL but they didn't bother to review KabyLake. However, here is Skylake 6600K (HD530) at 1080P (high except AA):
    Last edited by kompukare; 16-03-2017 at 10:24 AM.

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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Yeah the dual channel ram is a god idea. To be honest I didn't think it would make too much difference, getting single channel or dual channel as I remember reading the difference between the two isn't a lot. However if the option is there to try and gain a 10-15% difference I'll take it.

    Regarding the power supply and case, I like the look of the Antec you've found and as you say, most of the parts are on offer on aria. In fact the case is pretty good too.
    Regarding the SSD, now the mobo I've selected has an m.2 slot available. I'm not too familiar with it and stuck with the SSD that we all know about. However my question is, will an m.2 SSD provide any differences in speed and quality?

    I've had a look at the videos provided on the Intel HD 630 graphics and I'm quietly impressed and it makes me doubt whether the rx 460 is even needed. I mean, will the performance of the pentium downgrade considerably if the integrated gpu was to me used a lot? If it won't, I don't see why I can take out the rx 460 and he can chose to purchase it at a later date for example


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsonm View Post
    'm not too familiar with it and stuck with the SSD that we all know about. However my question is, will an m.2 SSD provide any differences in speed and quality?
    Will is probably too strong a word. Can would be better. Normal SATA3 SSDs are limited to around 550MB/s, while PCIe M.2 ones can go higher than that. However, not all PCIe M.2 drives are that fast (and some are just SATA in an M.2 form factor), plus (and this is way more of a problem in ultrabooks), there can be issues with thermal throttling especially for writes.

    As for quality, the same drive should be fairly similar but of course on a 2.5" SATA drive you can't touch the chips, nor is temp a problem although the thermal throttling should protect the PCB.

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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    AMD IGPs are still much better if you look at gaming performance on average and an A8 7600 can be had for £60. Intel also has much worse driver support - when the G4560 launched they didn't even have proper drivers!

    Remember,most reviews use a Core i5 or Core i7 to test IGP performance,and for whatever reason,if you look carefully in most cases the Core i3 with a similar IGP tends to be slower,this is why they tend to quietly ignore them. In one of the AT articles the Haswell Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs were upto 30% faster than a Core i3 with the same IGP.

    Personally I would just stick with the RX460,and that way your mate will be fine for a while.

    Edit!!

    Another issue I have is Intel stock coolers are horrible,so it makes me wonder when the CPU is under heavy IGP load if it can maintain boost for longer periods - Intel only specifies a 350MHZ base clockspeed,and a 1100MHZ boost clockspeed.


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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    Under about £500 building a PC will tend to cost you more than buying whatever's on special. Unless there's a special requirement I'd save yourself the hassle and look for deals instead.

    You're a bit vague about the storage. How many drives does he currently have and how many is he thinking of adding?

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    Re: Building a cheap PC - Advice needed

    I am not sure you save anything even at under £500.

    I had a look on Ebuyer and the issue is:
    1.)The cheap PCs can have worse PSUs
    2.)They tend to have much worse motherboards with only two RAM slots - the one I specified is one which Asus sells for small businesses
    3.)They tend to have only one RAM stick and often at lower rated speed
    4.)None of them seem to even have a card as good as an RX460


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