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Thread: Simple PC - advice please

  1. #1
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    Simple PC - advice please

    Hey everyone

    Looking to build a simple, reliable PC for a good friend, who has a very simple need - general MS Office, and Internet/browsing, music, and watch DVDs, etc.

    No real gaming plans as far as I know.

    Budget ? Around £300, just for the base unit. Got a nice 17" monitor already.

    Thought of getting a pre-built branded PC, but I'm not too happy with random problems with systems (Dell, HP, iDEQ Cube PCs) I've purchased at work, hence my temptation to build one myself.

    Now, I don't know where to start looking. What is a good base, chipset, CPU, memory, etc. combination at the moment ?

    I've been too busy with implementing projects and firefighting everyday IT issues at work, so haven't really checked latest happenings for about 3 months

    So, please point me in the right direction with ideas. All advice will be highly appreciated.


  2. #2
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    • Papa Lazarou's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte P55M-UD2
      • CPU:
      • Core i5 750
      • Memory:
      • 4gb OCZ PC12800
      • Storage:
      • 1tb Samsung F1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Geforce 9800GT 512mb
      • PSU:
      • Tagan 430w
      • Case:
      • Lian Li
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • 2 x Philips 22"
      • Internet:
      • 8mb
    Just an example one I chose out of parts from Ebuyer. This will run office apps etc all day. You could put together an Athlon 64 system for the same money depending on preference. Think I'd take a P4 HT or A64 over a Sempron. For that sort of use I'm sure integrated graphics will be fine. A little extra will get you an entry level video card like a Geforce 7300GS which, while it won't be any good for running current 3d games, will not use up system memory in ordinary use. The motherboard below uses an Intel 945GZ chipset. In AMD I'd probably use the Nvidia Nforce 430/Geforce 6150 chipset. You will want at least 1gb memory, and I would choose DDR2. I would avoid very cheap unbranded cases with PSUs bundled as I believe they are a false economy.

    Kingston 1GB Kit (2x512MB) DDR2 PC2-5300/667MHz - Non Ecc - Cl5 - 1.8V 091126 73 in stock £54.12
    Seagate ST3250820AS 250GB 7200RPM SATA300 8MB Cache - OEM 111515 702 in stock £41.04
    NEC AD-5170A-0B 18xDVD±RW/RAM DL Black - Bare Drive 117543 2407 in stock £16.19
    Antec Black SLK1650 Mini Tower Case - With 350W SmartPower PSU 072294 249 in stock £35.77
    ASUS P5GZ-MX LGA775 6 Channel audio mATX 119051 30 in stock £35.57
    Intel Pentium 531 (3.0Ghz) Socket 775 800Mhz 1MB Cache EMT 64 Retail Boxed Processor 093133 372 in stock £42.83
    Cart Total: £225.52

    Shipping Band: £4.89
    Shipping Surcharge: £5.20
    Subtotal: £235.61
    VAT: £41.27
    Total: £276.88
    Last edited by Papa Lazarou; 21-01-2007 at 08:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    For a bog standard office type pc, keep an eye on dells special offers, and make sure you take off the 3 year warranty, that should reduce it to cheapness.

    Have a look here, they start at £223 delivered, but you can ring up and haggle
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions

    eBuyer has messed things up before, even on orders worth £5000, so I don't want to touch them.

    Been looking at the Scan website, and doing some reading about chipsets, etc.

    How about this specification :

    Gigabyte GA M55Plus-S3G, NF430, S AM2, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 400/533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX - £52.16
    AMD AM2 Athlon 64 4200+ Windsor Core, Dual Core 2.2GHz, 2x 512KB Cache, OEM - £90.42
    1GB (2x512MB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 - £88.88 (not in stock, so may have to consider option below)
    1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12 - £70.49
    80 Gb Samsung HD080HJ SpinPoint P80, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ - £29.36
    Scan 8024-C43 Silver/Black Midi-Tower Case 400W Quiet PSU - £28.14
    LiteOn LH-18A1H 18X DVD+/-RW/RAM Lightscribe black internal - £21.73

    Optional :

    460W SilverStone Strider aPFC PSU (Titanium black colour), Temp Controlled Fan (22 dBA min) - £46.94

    All prices are Inclusive of VAT.


    That's £310.69 + Delivery, when using the PC2-6400 DDR2 RAM, or I could get the PC-5400 RAM for £18.39 less.

    Then total is £292.30.

    Could also go for a slightly less powerful CPU and save some money ?

    Like : AMD AM2 Athlon 64 3800+ Windsor Core, Dual Core 2GHz, 2x 512KB Cache, OEM - £76.35. Saving of 14.07.

    Which brings the cost to £278.23 ?


    Then use the savings to get a good PSU ?


    Comments please ? Thanks....

  5. #5
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    From what you describe its being used for, value RAM (good stuff though) will suffice as opposed to more expensive performance RAM. You could save a few quid more by going single core too (dual core is unlikely to be worth the additional cost for the low usage).

    If the above is agreeable, I'd be tempted to go for a bigger HD as the price difference is pretty small all the way up to 200Gb. I'd also go for a better quality case such as this without PSU:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=509815

    or this with:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=509820

    Cheaper no-name cases always tend to have a 'cheap' feel about them.

    If you do go for another PSU, then you can't really beat this for the money:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=277840

    380W may not sound a lot, but with a quality unit like this it will be more than enough to run what you propose.
    Last edited by scrandman; 23-01-2007 at 08:34 PM.

  6. #6
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    • jimbouk's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS M5 A97 R2.0
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 8GB DDR3
      • Storage:
      • 128GB SSD + 500GB HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • AMD Radeon HD 7870
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX 520W
      • Case:
      • Some large ATX case
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • Orange...
    Using a barebones as a base might be a good option for you. Asus have a nice range (and their Pundit's are good'n'small). AMD or Intel flavours available.

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