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Thread: Building the Cheapest Work Horse

  1. #1
    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    Building the Cheapest Work Horse

    Ok, just a plan really.. I have some money to burn.. but not alot..

    I'm intending to expand my current work horse computers

    I have currently 2 systems running full time on quantifying my biological research as per sig..

    I was thinking a cheap extra one to ease off the load from my X2 which I was feeling to do 'other' more complex calculations on it..

    I need something cheap.. best to fall within £250.. with everything, CPU, Mobo, HDD and ram.. I don't need a massive drive I have a NAS with 1TB that the work can flow safely to it.. Onboard graphics would be good enuf as it wont be doing any serious graphical work (that I was planning to leave it to the X2).. Would be great to leave an expansion 16x slot just in case I feel like throwing in my X1800XT once I upgrade..

    Don't really mind if its Intel or AMD, just as long as its as cheap as it can get.. also, Dual core would be a plus..

    I know its hard to squeeze everything into £250.. but maybe someone have an idea how to get it done? I'm a very very poor researcher..
    Last edited by sawyen; 07-07-2006 at 05:20 PM.
    Me want Ultrabook


  2. #2
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Something like a Pentium D 805?

    80 quids for the CPU, 25 quids for the cheapest PCIe GPU, then GA-8N-SLI for 55 quids, 512MB DDR2 for 25 quids
    Cheap X-Cilo PSU and Case for 50 quids

    You got 15 pounds to spare for harddrive/optical/keyboard.

    Probably take another 10 quids off if you go as low as a PCI display

    Otherwise you'll have to buy a socket 939 Venice 3000+/3200+ setup which have cheaper cpu and mobo (around 65 for the CPU and as low as 35 for the board?) but that would be half of the potential power of the 805
    Last edited by arthurleung; 07-07-2006 at 08:26 PM.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
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    Dell maybe?

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    Senior Member Dark Horse's Avatar
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    Pentium D 805 sounds like the best bet, scan prices look like:

    CPU - £80
    Mobo with onboard vga (xpress 200?)- £40-50
    1gb generic ddr2 - £45
    250gb hdd -£50
    Case and avg psu - £30 (I would be tempted to get a decent £30 psu and then a £10 crap case second hand)

    Totals approx £265 so not too bad. You can then oc the 805 and it should make a tidy little system.

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    try looking at socket 754 on ebuyer, or wherever, they have some seriously cheap, although admittedly slow, stuff

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    Hi,

    What with Conroe, Pentium D's are a bargain at the moment. I also hear on the grapevine that because of Conroe, X2's are going to go down in price over the next week or two, so keep eyes peeled!

    Whats the research? Biological researcher here myself, but wet lab stuff mainly, tinkered with bioinformatics during the PhD but not for a while now, unfortunately!

    Was mainly interested in programing applications to aid wet-lab workers, such as PCR primer design programs and the like (check out my web-site - www.biocomp.co.uk), but alas, not recently.......

    Let me know what you're up to!

  7. #7
    WEEEEEEEEEEEEE! MadduckUK's Avatar
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    even as a diehard amd/via/cyrix(remeber those?) fan id go with the intel 805 right now for ultra cheap dual core goodness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephesians
    Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit
    Vodka

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    Conroe all the way. It has a good price and also a nice overclockability
    Last edited by Metroid; 09-07-2006 at 04:13 PM.

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    I've just built an AMD 3200 AM2 based system for someone.
    The CPU is only £66 inc. vat!

    I put it with this mo-bo:
    Gigabyte AM2 nForce 430 ATX Audio Lan GA M55 PLUS S3G
    full-sized atx, 4 ddr2 slots, 7.1 sound,ehternet, 4x sata2, firewire, 6100 nvidia graphics etc. etc.
    Another bargain at £65 inc. vat.

    Not dual-core, but the basis for a very solid and cheap system.

    W.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    • sawyen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Laptop motherboard
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 740QM
      • Memory:
      • 8192MB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 256GB SSD, 1TB WD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD Mobility HD 5870
      • PSU:
      • MSI stuff
      • Case:
      • N/A
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 64bit
      • Internet:
      • Virgin ADSL rubbish
    sorry guys.. internet-less for thwh week

    I'm in the office now..

    and yea.. forgot to mention it MUST have at least 2GB of memory.. speed is not essential all it needs is immense volume..

    no need for a case.. but needs a decent PSU..

    I know will be hard..

    Here's a spec I thought out.. but still off budget..

    805D £80
    A motherboard that supports D which I have no idea (needs help).. but I reserve £60
    2GB of cheapo mem £86
    80GB HDD £33
    PSU 430W Seasibuc £41

    All adds up to.. £300...

    Any ideas where I can shave off bits to hit somewhere close to £250?
    Last edited by sawyen; 09-07-2006 at 12:24 PM.
    Me want Ultrabook


  11. #11
    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    • sawyen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Laptop motherboard
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 740QM
      • Memory:
      • 8192MB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 256GB SSD, 1TB WD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD Mobility HD 5870
      • PSU:
      • MSI stuff
      • Case:
      • N/A
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 64bit
      • Internet:
      • Virgin ADSL rubbish
    bump?
    Me want Ultrabook


  12. #12
    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Asus P5P800-VM - £35, so that'll shave off £25 (it's AGP though, sorry).

    Can't see where you can save more without sacrificing on the PSU.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dark Horse's Avatar
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    You could save £10 if you get a cheaper psu. I mean less expensive (not worse) because you really don't need 430w unless you're running a newer graphics card which will suck 200w.

    350w should do it easily, scan have 350w fsp for £32 which looks sensible enough.

    If you really need to save money scan have 40gb hdd for £25 although that seems a bit silly when you can get twice that for £5 more.

    The motherboard doesn't really need to be £60, have a look at the "Motherboards - Pentium® 4 (Intel/VIA/SIS) - S775" section in scan. The ASUS P5VD2-MX for £39.35 looks like a solid choice, integrated graphics and dual core support.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=421269
    http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l...00&modelmenu=1

    You could get a 2nd hand hdd, motherboard or cpu to save money too?

  14. #14
    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    • sawyen's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Laptop motherboard
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 740QM
      • Memory:
      • 8192MB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 256GB SSD, 1TB WD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD Mobility HD 5870
      • PSU:
      • MSI stuff
      • Case:
      • N/A
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 64bit
      • Internet:
      • Virgin ADSL rubbish
    Yea.. I was looking at that too..

    But things that are coming out 2nd hand are like only a few quids off retail price.. might as well settle for new..

    40GB is a too small.. I need about 45-50GB of swap space during simulations on top of 2GB of memory.. raising system mem to 4GB drops swaps by 10GB.. but pointless IMO..

    The Asus board seems okay.. but I was hoping for 4 DIMM slots as I was going to raise it to 4GB in the future probably..

    I was going for the 430W to be a wee bit future proof as when I retire this system in the future.. its going to be another home system with some good enuf graphics card..

    So at the moment, this stands.

    805D £80
    Motherboard £40
    Mem (cheapo 2GB) £86
    PSU £41
    80GB £33

    Totals up to £280... pretty close..

    I might be able to get 2nd hand HDD for cheaper.. that might shave £10 or something..

    Well.. looks decent enough.. if anyone have anymore ideas then that would be great..

    Or this is probably the config I'd be going for in the next couple of weeks..
    Me want Ultrabook


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