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Budget system ideas needed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DarkReaper, 17 Mar 2006.

  1. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    So I've got a budget of roughly £500-£550 for what is almost a complete rebuild to give me a hopefully reasonably decent gaming PC. I have a rough spec with aproximate UK prices that is pretty much ripped from Sharky but would appreciate all advice. List is currently:


    Need ideas for a case - the Arctic Cooling Silentium T2 looks tempting but I already have a few (IDE) HDDs so wonder if I should go for one that can handle 4 or 5 drives rather than the 2 which it seems is the T2's maximum.

    Optical drives I already have, will pick up a DVD writer at some point in the future along with a decent set of speakers and a TFT.

    Are there any glaring inconsistencies there? Have I missed anything?
     
  2. hitman012

    hitman012 Minimodder

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    I'd recommend getting an Abit AN8 Ultra with the passive heatpipe cooler. They have plenty of features along with a pretty good package and don't overclock badly, either. I've used one myself and it was an excellent board.

    I'd go for a Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 - it's more reliable and also faster with roughly the same noise levels (although the seeks are a bit sharper).


    I'd try to pick up an X800GTO if you're interested in good performance for about £100. Stick a good cooler on it (or buy the HIS one that comes with a huge heatsink) and you should be able to overclock it quite well. The only disadvantage is the lack of SM3 support, which brings it behind the 7600.

    If you can afford the NVIDIA part though, then it's worth it - it's miles faster than a 6600 and shouldn't clock too badly either.
     
  3. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    [edit] never mind, found it...
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2006
  4. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    So how would I actually buy one of those motherboards - do I have to ring Scan directly?

    Still need case (this one, maybe?), CPU cooler (Zalman super flower, or maybe 7700 series), and to decide on graphics.

    Is corsair value ram decent stuff? I've never overclocked a PC and don't really plan to start (the idea worries me slightly) so it's all going to be used stock.
     
  5. Fr4nk

    Fr4nk Tyrannosaurus Alan !

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    I have no idea what "call for price" means, i'd assume it means ring up scan but I'm not sure. The Antec P180 is a very well made case but I don't personally like it, I'm more of a Lian-Li guy but it's entirely upto you :). Finally if you don't intend to Overclock then Cosair Value ram will be fine ( and even if you do overclock you can run a divider)

    Hope this helps :)

    -Fr4nk
     
  6. Austin

    Austin Minimodder

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    :thumb: O/c'ing isn't for everyone but there's nothing to fear so long as you're careful esp with voltage. Essentially CPU's are marked up to meet market demand rather than what they are capable of, most modern Athlon64 (including the £90 64_3000+) are capable of faster than £200 64_3800+ performance without needing much (if any) extra voltage. If you don't want to o/c the 64_3500+ is a fine CPU to go for.

    :D The MSI K8N Neo4 'F' should be good because the 'Platinum' and 'SLI' versions certainly were; solid, very good o/c'ers and offer lots to tweak. The NB fan is a little noisy but this is in keeping with 99% of nForce4 mobos, curse nVidia (esp for the awful ActiveArmour). Anyway the main reason for getting a good mobo is for o/c'ing so if you're sure that isn't for you even the K8N Neo4 F may be more than you need.

    :hip: Corsair Value is good stuff, you could also consider TwinMOS and Crucial amongst others.

    :naughty: I'd stick with Seagate personally, Maxtor or Samsung would be my second choices. In my experience Seagate are reliable, offer a wicked 5 year warranty and are very quiet. I've had woeful experience with multiple Hitachi HDs but then everyone has their own preferences when it comes to HDs. I've found the 300GB 7200.8 really sweet. The newer 7200.9 uses SATA300 (which is of no real benefit) and varying platter sizes. The 250GB version uses two 125GB platters while the 200GB uses two 100GB platters, in theory build costs would be very close.

    :dremel: For the gfx card the link below should help you. It is VERY tightly packed between £70 and £150. The 6600 is decent for the money but the 7600GT is simply beautiful for the money, well worth paying the extra £50 as you're beyond 6800GT performance! As said the X800GTO is very sweet and yet very close to 6600GT in price.

    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1200335#post1200335 (post 6 especially)

    EDIT: Updated link to show entire thread.
     
    Last edited: 18 Mar 2006
  7. Heavytank2

    Heavytank2 What's a Dremel?

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    Don't know about over there, but a 6800 plain is $130 usd now. Plays all my games just fine. Farcry, Doom, BF2, etc @ 1024x768 with mild AF/AA on a barton. But I feel it will start lagging in the next season of releases.

    Then again you will be playing with an A64.
     
  8. Austin

    Austin Minimodder

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    :thumb: Yes the 6800 plain is often missed. The core is slightly slower than the 6600GT but it has mounds more memory bandwidth which allows it to outperform the 6600GT (which is choked with 128bitDDR). Not only that but with 12 pipes and 256bitDDR every extra mhz really counts, the core is only at 325mhz by default so it has good potential.
     
  9. unclean

    unclean SMP obsessive

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    I'd be extremely tempted to go with the Pentium Dual core 805. It's pretty much guarenteed to do 3.4GHz-3.8GHz on the stock cooler. Would be much more futureproof with DDR2 memory as well.

    The best LGA775 mobo to go with this would be the £110 Asus P5WD2 - second best P4 LGA motherboard, only bested by it's sibling the P5WD2-E.

    That means instead of £120 + £80 for the Athlon + mobo, you'd be paying £95 + £110 for the Pentium dual core + mobo.

    Another, probably prefered option would be to squeeze a 3800+ X2 into your budget, whichever you do, dual core is definitley the way forward and worth the extra for a long term system!

    Also consider a 6800GS for graphics @ ~£120
     
  10. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    What are the current benefits of dual over single core? Do the current generation of games, programs, OSs etc use the processor to its full or is going dual just future-proofing?
     
  11. hitman012

    hitman012 Minimodder

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    If you can get an X2 3800+, go for it. While not all titles are optimised to utilise both, newer games (Quake 4, CoD2 and FEAR, for example) take advantage of dual-core processors for a fair performance boost.

    You will also find that Windows is more pleasant to use on an X2 system - everything seems to load instantly. While that's more a product of the hard drive and RAM, I have used a system similar to mine but with just a 3500+ and found that the single-core system just didn't like doing a lot at once. Even if you're not into serious multitasking (encoding a DVD while gaming, for example), it's definitely worth looking into.
     
  12. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    2nd hand ~6800GT and a 2nd hand NF4? Might be worth asking in FS.

    People have all sorts lying around.
     
  13. Austin

    Austin Minimodder

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    :thumb: Win2000 & WinXP take full advantage of dual-core systems and will really help Windows to run smoothly. Many apps do support dual-core, the latest version of DivX is a fine example and the gains are often very good too. However few games take advantage of dual-core and the ones that do don't really gain much at all. However factor in that in real-world usage your system is always multi-tasking when you're gaming primarilly because of Firewalls and AntiVirus so a dual-core CPU would help to keep the gaming smooth and uninterupted as well as significantly improving the responsiveness during general Windows use.

    :worried: Do bear in mind that not all dual-core is equal. The Athlon64-X2 have awesome dual-core, it was always part of the design but Intel's P4 derived dual-core, though cheap, leaves a lot to be desired for many reasons as you do sacrifice single-core performance for the sake of dual-core. P4's have long used HT Technology which, though no where near true dual-core, does make Windows more responsive and does lend a hand in multi-tasking and some apps. Since gaming is your primary purpose I wouldn't recommend P4-derived dual-core CPUs although they are great for those on a tight budget who spend most of their time doing mundane tasks in Windows. Anyway dual-core is becoming increasingly common and more and more will make use of it, the current problem in gaming is how to utilise dual-core without crippling single-core users (who are still the significant majority).

    :waah: AFAIK the cheapest A64-X2 dual-core come in at £200 and are only clocked at 2.0ghz which is equal to the 64_3200+, not ideal for gaming grunt. If you're not going to o/c I'd suggest a faster single-core like the 64_3500+ which also saves you a good £50. If you were willing to give o/c'ing a go I would recommend going for the A64-X2_3800+ and see how fast you can run it ... or of course try o/c'ing the 64_3000+ or 64_3200+ which would save you £100.
     
  14. unclean

    unclean SMP obsessive

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    The Athlon X2 was better thought out, but the Pentium D is no slouch; I wouldn't say no to dual 3.6GHz Xeons for £95!

    The Athlon X2 3800+ should do 2.6GHz no problem when overclocking, they overclock no worse than their single core couterparts in general and you really can't compare an overclocked single core to a dual core - the dual core will blow it away.

    In regards to gaming, CPU has very little to do with performance at higher graphics settings, especially the newer the game is. I'd also take a dual core over single core for gaming, as you can sometimes experience stuttering if you leave MSN/winamp, etc running in the background whilst your gaming. With a dual core; one core handle all the background processes and then you have one dedicated core for games. I'd consider if you weren't overclocking getting a 3500+, but it is only 200MHz difference vs. a whole extra core @ 2GHz.

    The main issue with buying a single core, is not neccesarily for today, but futureproofing. More and more games will infact take advantage of multiprocessing systems, so, where CPU power is an issue in gameplay, they will blow single cores out of the water and generally more and more apps will become threaded.

    As Bindi says, you can get major discounts in the for sale section, might be worth hunting for a mobo/graphics or processor in there.
     
  15. ashikamlani

    ashikamlani What's a Dremel?

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    antec p180 is a bit of an overkill for your system, especially if your r not overclocking?
     
  16. AJB2K3

    AJB2K3 What's a Dremel?

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    Ive got a medion titanium from aldi and its built around an MSI PM8PM which has the 2 sata's iv was hoping for.
     
  17. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    It's in my room and on nearly 24/7, I want silent :)

    I did look at the Silentium T2 but it only has two hard drive bays which isn't ideal.
     
  18. ashikamlani

    ashikamlani What's a Dremel?

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    also the silentium does not have a high power PSU
    if you want it to be quiet, then go for the P180
     
  19. DarkReaper

    DarkReaper Alignment: Sarcastic Good

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    The silentium T2 has a much better PSU than the one BT reviewed, but the case still ain't for me. It would do marvellously for our general family PC though
     
  20. ashikamlani

    ashikamlani What's a Dremel?

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    but the problem is that the P180 eats away a lot of your budget....
     

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