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Thread: Advice on choice of components

  1. #1
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    Advice on choice of components

    Hello
    This is my first post and hope to get some advice on components. I'm thinking of upgrading my 5 year old PC, which will mainly be used for word processing, surfing and the occasional photo editing. I plan to re-use some of the old parts (17inch CRT monitor, 300W power supply, ATX case, floppy & CDROM drive and soundcard) and want to buy:

    1. Motherboard (maybe Asus K8N-non deluxe)
    2. Memory DDR 512 MB
    3. CPU Semprom 3100+ and fan
    4. Dual Layer DVD writer
    5. SATA Harddisk 160GB - thinking of Seagate because of the 5yr guarantee
    6. 128Mb Graphics card

    My budget is between £250 - £300. Any recommendations for motherboard, DVD writers and graphics card? Thoughts on the other components are also most welcome.

    Many thanks in advance.

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    if your looking at socket 754 then that board will be fine.
    Get some decent ram from someone like crucial or corsair. Corsair vaule ram at £37.00 from scan is probably all you need.
    NEC make some good DVD burners get which ever is the latest version Saw them on offer for £29 somewhere this week. Scan do an Aopen burner for 30.
    Hdd whatever floats your boat everyone has there own faves
    Graphics hmm an Ati 9800pro is probably more than you need but at £80ish they are good value so may as well get that or a geforce n660. You may want to add another case fan to your system, semprons run rather warm and with a decent card in things may get a bit too warm. I reckon you could build a machine to suit your needs for about £322.19 if you use scan

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    For an extra £30 I'd get a socket 939 3000+ with double the cache and a little more future proof.

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    Ah, Mrs. Peel! mike_w's Avatar
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    Be careful with using that old PSU - what brand is it? If it is a decent brand, such as Antec or Tagan, then might be okay, but definately consider getting a new PSU if it is generic or a Q-Tec.

    For hard drives, I like Seagates, and the five year warranty is an extra bonus.

    If you're not playing games or anything like that, then you don't really need a good graphics card - a low end card such as a Radeon 9250 should be fine.
    "Well, there was your Uncle Tiberius who died wrapped in cabbage leaves but we assumed that was a freak accident."

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    Have a read of this before you purchase. Might presued you not to buy s754...

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    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    • sawyen's system
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    s754 are fine for stepping stone systems.. if you're worried about 939 getting phased out by M2 and you want something that will play anything available today, s754 A64s are almost identical to their 939 counterparts.. abeit the dual channel and lower power consumption.. they're as cheap as dirt now.. and u can safely get a clawhammer 3700+ for the price of a 3200+ venice.. pretty good price tbh..

    But if you're waiting for something further than M2.. u might as well get a 939 as u will have a possible upgrade path towards dual core.. and DDR is still alive and running.. not that M2 and DDR2 is going to make any big difference..
    Me want Ultrabook


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    I think 754's are a great buy for certain types..
    if you honestly have no intention of re-upgrading within the next couple of years, then spending the extra on a 939 would probably end up being of no use by then anywayz..

    Also, you dont sound like ur in need of a powerful graphics card.. i'd limit it to a max £50.

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    Thanks for all your replies. It's been helpful in making me think about what I really need.

    "Be careful with using that old PSU - what brand is it? If it is a decent brand, such as Antec or Tagan, then might be okay, but definately consider getting a new PSU if it is generic or a Q-Tec."

    The current one is a HEC 300W power supply, which I got a couple of years back. Anyone heard of this? Will 300W be enough? An article in
    http://www.linuxhardware.org/feature.../1525211.shtml
    suggested something around 350W would be more suitable.

    Still debating between the Socket 754 and 939. My previous buying habit suggests that a 754 will be sufficient. Afterall, it has taken me 5yrs before I decided to upgrade. But the other part of me says `Go on, you know you want the 939 for a bit more future-proofing'.

    As for graphics card, if all I want to do is wordprocessing, surfing and the occasional photo editing, could I get away with my old GeForce 4MX 64MB?

    Thanks again for all the very useful feedback.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    • Thorsson's system
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    1 year for upgrade = 939, so stick with the 754.

    PSU - get a new one, Fortron are usually the cheapest of the decent makes. Yes you can re-use your graphics card. If you use XP get a Gig of value RAM, it'll make more difference to the speed than anything else.

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    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeeble1
    As for graphics card, if all I want to do is wordprocessing, surfing and the occasional photo editing, could I get away with my old GeForce 4MX 64MB?
    It would be fine, except for the fact that it is an AGP card, and the boards your are looking at are PCI-Express.

    You could buy an nForce-3 based board with an AGP socket, but that would be quite a technological dead end, and few people here would recomend it.

    Aternatively, perhaps you should buy a motherboard with integrated graphics. There is a new nVida chipset out that looks quite interesting, and will have better performace than your old GeForce-4 MX card, and will also be quite cheap.

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