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Thread: £300, what would you build?

  1. #1
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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    £300, what would you build?

    My brother,wanting "a computer" having moved into a new house, asked me if i thought a recent Dell machine for £300 (inc 15" TFT monitor, inc Vat and Del - actually quite a good deal!) was any good. Largely for email and word etc but knowing him also for multimedia and gaming too at some point. Not 'cutting edge' gaming, but the ability to play some first person shooters a bit.

    I was impressed with the Dell offer for what it was to be honest, but it had a Celeron, no discrete graphics and no real upgrade potential.

    "Don't worry" said I. "I'll make you a system for the same money or less that will trounce the Dell". £300 came my way, and then i started to actually worry.

    My first thoughts were to use up spare components from my own previous upgrades. I had
    A) a fairly good case (Chieftec Dragon tower, inc a 340W PSU),
    B) a GeForce 4 Ti4200 (AGP) with Zalman silent cooler,
    C) 2 x 256 MB RAM (PC 3700 with heatsinks),
    D) a 17" Sony CRT and
    E) a spare DVD ROM.
    I also was willing to give away an older seperates system for sound (amp and speakers), and had an old webcam too!!

    Given this, for the money, what would you buy to make a complete system??

    I have already gone and bought, built and delivered a system which he is happy with, but wanted to ask what you guys would have done. I'll post back later with what i did. What decisions would you make? IE keep decent but old graphics and spend money elsewhere, or upgrade that but have less for CPU etc...

    Cheers lads (and ladies).

    PS I forgot to budget for the OS when i quoted him too (which of course Dell provided with their machine) so that cost extra!!!
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
    - Another poster, from another forum.

    System as shown, plus: Microsoft Wireless mobile 4000 mouse and Logitech Illuminated keyboard.
    Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones. Creative Gigaworks T40 SII. My wife.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ifyouknowme's Avatar
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    300 quid qould build

    3000+ A64
    cheap mobo
    2* 256 mb ram sticks
    300 gb hdd
    6200 gfx
    cheap case and psu
    dfi sli-dr | AMD64 3700+ san | 2 Gb kingston PC3200 | SLI XFX 6800GT | emu 1820m + ADAT 32 channel audio card | 600w modualar PSU | 300Gb maxtor maxline | 3 X 300 samsung spin point sata2 hdds | 70Gb raptor | akasa case | Zalman Reserator 1 Plus with two cpu blocks |
    ifyouknowme also know as HEXUS|Mrbeef

  3. #3
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
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      • Win 10 Pro x64
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    heh so with the 300 quid you're actually using components you already have? That's hardly fair on dell

    I have a shock horror story as well, in that I actually got fantastic support from Dell for my last computer!

    I'd keep the case, CRT and DVD, then buy
    AMD64 3000 -97
    asrock dual sata2 m/bo -43
    XP home -53?
    Maxtor dimondmax10 80gb hdd - 35
    512mb corsair vs cas2.5 PC3200 - 30 (can buy another stick later to take advantage of dual channel)
    Radeon 9600 pro -49

    Comes to just over 300 quid and includes OS, but personally I would buy the gfx card off ebay and get something better for a few quid less.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC
    wanted to ask what you guys would have done.
    I would have said that for a pure budget pc he should go with dell. Its hard to beat them on cheap PCs and if he wanted to pay a couple of hundred more you could build him a better and more upgradeable one.

  5. #5
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    I built a friend of mine an A64 939 PCI-E system using mostly second hand parts for £240

    Antec aria
    MSI RS480M2 (onboard graphics and a PCI-E slot for funture upgrade)
    512MB PC3200 (new)
    A64 3000+ Winchester
    80GB HDD
    DVDRW Drive
    he has a screen already

    I did the same for my brother inlaw but he wanted a game system it cost him £450

    Antec SLK3000B (New)
    350W FSP PSU (120mm fan)
    AMD opteron 144 running at 2.5Ghz on stock cooler (new)
    2 x 512 MB PC 3200 Ram
    MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum
    Gigabyte Passive 6600GT
    120GB HDD
    DVDRW
    17" 13ms TFT

    These systems offer a better upgrade path than the dell but dell cant be knocked for the price of thier low end systems

  6. #6
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    • MSIC's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASRock H170M-ITX
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 6500
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 4GB Corsair Veng DDR4 2666
      • Storage:
      • 240GB SSD (boot) +1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ASUS GeForce 750Ti
      • PSU:
      • Silverstone 450W ST455F
      • Case:
      • Silverstone SG06-450
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2309W
      • Internet:
      • PlusNet FiberTTC
    Well, I ended up using the above hardware and buying the following:

    £44.95 x 1 - Asus K8N-E nForce3 250GB (Socket 754) Motherboard
    £74.95 x 1 - AMD Athlon 64 3000 Newcastle 130nm (Socket 754) - OEM
    £26.95 x 1 - Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort ver3.0 - OEM
    £26.80 x 1 - NEC ND4550 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Silver) - OEM
    £9.95 x 1 - Xpro 3.5" Internal Card Reader - Silver
    £64.50 x 1 - Samsung SpinPoint P SP2514N 250GB ATA-133 8MB Cache - OEM
    £17.94 x 1 - Gigabyte HSF 3in1 GHPCU22-SE (CPU Heatsink & Fan)

    (All prices are plus VAT = 255.04 + VAT = £299.67 plus postage)

    I've ended up with quite a nice system that for the money certainly whips the Dell machine, and remains upgradeable too. For me, i have advised my brother to consider (in either order) changing the graphics card and monitor next if and when he feels the need.

    I also found a load of sound deadening material which came in useful - i forgot how relatively loud the PSU is in the Chieftec case (compared to my current setup) so adding that in whilst maintaining air flow really helped.

    This was however quite a difficult process, particularly deciding whether to use an old but still decent graphics card and go AGP, or try the PCI-E route for a better future, but have poorer components now to fit the budget. Am not convinced that I would do the same again next time. The other thing that I would try to do differently next is go with a 939 A64 rather than a 754 one. I actually intended initially to go with a Sempron (hence a 754 Motherboard) but was in the end able to stretch to an Athlon 64, which i don't regret at all.

    One final comment - I am very, very impressed with the PATA Samsung drive. Quietest drive i've never heard.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
    - Another poster, from another forum.

    System as shown, plus: Microsoft Wireless mobile 4000 mouse and Logitech Illuminated keyboard.
    Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones. Creative Gigaworks T40 SII. My wife.
    My Hexus Trust

  7. #7
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    AGP isnt dead yet! ATI are releasing an AGP X1800 card and there iis word of some new AGP Nvidia cards as there is still a big market for them. That system should last a good while nice work

  8. #8
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    • MSIC's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASRock H170M-ITX
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 6500
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 4GB Corsair Veng DDR4 2666
      • Storage:
      • 240GB SSD (boot) +1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ASUS GeForce 750Ti
      • PSU:
      • Silverstone 450W ST455F
      • Case:
      • Silverstone SG06-450
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2309W
      • Internet:
      • PlusNet FiberTTC
    Cheers man! I am happy with it, and always like to put theory into practice instead of just advising people.
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
    - Another poster, from another forum.

    System as shown, plus: Microsoft Wireless mobile 4000 mouse and Logitech Illuminated keyboard.
    Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones. Creative Gigaworks T40 SII. My wife.
    My Hexus Trust

  9. #9
    Nox
    Nox is offline
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
      • Storage:
      • Yes
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Yes
      • PSU:
      • Yes
      • Case:
      • Yes
      • Monitor(s):
      • Yes
      • Internet:
      • Yes
    Esh, Dell are king of value PC's, especially when they do a 'hexus bargain section' special.

    Only problem with using your old components, is if they break, do you cover the warranty?

    Otherwise, nice spec.

    Nox

  10. #10
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    • MSIC's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASRock H170M-ITX
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 6500
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 4GB Corsair Veng DDR4 2666
      • Storage:
      • 240GB SSD (boot) +1TB Samsung F3
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ASUS GeForce 750Ti
      • PSU:
      • Silverstone 450W ST455F
      • Case:
      • Silverstone SG06-450
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell S2309W
      • Internet:
      • PlusNet FiberTTC
    My problem isn't if provide a warranty or not, it's that when i build machines for family & friends they seem to think they get automatic 24/7 tech support with on-site call out!!!
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
    - Another poster, from another forum.

    System as shown, plus: Microsoft Wireless mobile 4000 mouse and Logitech Illuminated keyboard.
    Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones. Creative Gigaworks T40 SII. My wife.
    My Hexus Trust

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC
    My problem isn't if provide a warranty or not, it's that when i build machines for family & friends they seem to think they get automatic 24/7 tech support with on-site call out!!!
    I know that feeling lol. I answer the phone " hello helpdesk"

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