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Build Advice Build my wife a PC..

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AndyDEL, 4 Aug 2009.

  1. AndyDEL

    AndyDEL What's a Dremel?

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    My wife has a macbook – she loves it for all her photos etc. But she wants a proper PC and i’m pretty keen to keep her away from my new one. She’s going back into work soon (Primary School Teacher) so really is gonna need a desktop.

    I’ve no idea what to go for at the low/mid end, AMD / Intel Etc.. So please – give me a spec i should get and i’ll then go buy it from ebuyer.

    Requirements:

    1) Cheap – really no frills – So don’t need a fancy case – motherboard can be as bog standard as you like etc..

    2) Powerful enough to play Sims 3 at mid settings and Supreme Commander at mid settings (She likes Sims 3 and can then i can use it as a 2nd PC for when a mate comes round.. Since we like a bit of supcom)
     
  2. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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    You have an interesting wife :p, ok
    First of all:

    AMD Sempron/Celeron is your perfect base - you need to chose between those then you can get onto:

    Motherboard: Asrock make very cheap motherboard and although enthusiasts will scoff at them they are ok for what you'll need - ther P5KPL-AM is also an excellent motherboard and is cheap

    Hard Drive:
    She sounds like she'd need a large amount of storage? - 1TB to be safe? Its not expensive as it use to be

    ODD - Standard DVD+DL will do, no Blu Ray needed

    RAM - She could use 4GB or you could get 8GB seeing as its cheap and DDR2 is near is end of life (apparantly)

    OS - This is interesting because you said she has a mac book - I suggest you stick with the Apple Operating system

    Case - As you said no frill and asus make some cheap and mean looking no frills cases

    I'll get back to you with a suggested build
     
  3. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Can't go far wrong with this one mate TBH, stick with the Intel route, its win :thumb: ...

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/buyers-guide/2009/07/08/what-hardware-should-i-buy-july-2009/2

    If you can afford a touch more than that, sub out the CPU for an E7400 which is around £88 on Ebuyer at the mo, and if you want to up the gfx a bit, you can get the HD4870 512mb for around £90, or the 4870 1gb for around £110, and as I own the latter I can confidently say its a lotta card for not a lotta dosh. You could also up the hard drive a touch to a caviar black 640gb which will be around £55. That'll bump it up by around £100 overall.
     
  4. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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  5. AndyDEL

    AndyDEL What's a Dremel?

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    Hard-Drive wise – 500GB is fine if it shaves off a few quid - as i run a server in the house with a few TB drives in it for storage.

    Performance wise – i guess the highest bar for the PC is that i’d like it to play Supreme Commander at mid settings. Although a bit of a hog – it’s a pretty old game now. I mean a 4870 512mb should play that and other stuff? Perhaps even play Supcom 2 when it comes out? - Or is that overkill?

    Otherwise though – go as cheap as possible.. 4GB of RAM rather than 8GB.
     
  6. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    Yeah it is budget gamer. He asked for a cheap second PC, which will play the odd game.

    This has a HD4770 and as it stands on the BiT website its £380.

    Cheap.

    Workstation.

    Games.

    Where's the problem?

    Sure you could probably push that under £300 quite easily, but then its just cheap.

    Andy: ignoring what I said about CPU and hard drive, for the sake of £15 and pushing it to a near enough even £400 you should get quite a boost from the 4870 over the 4770, where it comes to Supreme Commander 2 :)
     
  7. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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    I got this build for £255

    Case: Casecom Mid Tower - No frills but needs exhaust fans - £11.99
    PSU: Artic Power 500W - checked and there are no bad reviews of this - £26.16
    Motherboard: Asrock G31M-S - no frills - £30.59
    RAM: 800MHz Corsair Twin XMS 4GB - £33.90
    Graphics: Zotac 512MB DDR3 9600GSO - £50.00
    HDD: Samsung 500GB - £39.85
    ODD: LG DVD+DL DVD+R Drive - £16.69
    CPU: Intel Celeron E1600 2.4GHz 2 cores - £41.95
    HSF: Xilence Frozen Figter - it sounds good :p - £4.56

    Some of the specs are quite weak but its cheap and it'll do what you asked for

    you may also want this: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Apple-Mac-OS-X-Leopard-v1054-Operating-System-English-UK-DVD - its Leopard OS for PC
     
  8. AndyDEL

    AndyDEL What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the help – so considering peoples suggestions.. Such as pricing it up with Moyo’s PSU / RAM / DVD Drive etc and going for the CPU / GFX Zoon suggested... I’ve got this..

    Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8GHz Socket 775 1066MHz FSB 3MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor
    Gigabyte GA-P31-ES3G iP31 Socket 775 5.1 channel audio ATX Motherboard
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Kit CL5 1.8v
    XFX HD 4870 512MB DDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card
    Western Digital WD5000AADS Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache - OEM Caviar Green
    Casecom Black/Silver Trim Mid Tower Case - No PSU
    Arctic Power 500W PSU With PCI-E 2x SATA, 20+4 ATX12V 8pin +12V Connectors - Retail Boxed
    LG GH22NS50 22x SATA DVD±RW Dual Layer & RAM Black Bare Drive – OEM

    Comes to a total of £349.50 inc VAT

    Now is the motherboard ok? – also what sorta of performance should i hope to see on Supreme Commander / Sims 3 with this.. Also reckon it’ll handle Supreme Commander 2 reasonably when it comes out?

    Is there anywhere in this spec i could save an additional £50? That wouldn’t compromise the performance by much at all and still allow me a good performance on Supcom 1 and reasonable on 2?

    OS wise she’s going to be on Windows Vista – just due to compatibility with all the work she gets. I’ve got spare copies of Vista so don’t need to shell out on an OS thankfully.
     
  9. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    I'd honestly say you've gotten yourself a big bargain there, without compromising performance.

    Having said that, you asked for options, so:

    - You could step down to the E5x00 CPU to save yourself most of that £50, but if you do that, then you should also drop back the gfx to the HD4770, which will save the rest. In terms of gaming, if you drop the CPU down in that setup, you'll bottleneck the gfx, and likewise vice versa.

    - You could drop the size of the hard drive back to 250gb (I mean, how much work will she actually be putting on it, and you DO have a fileserver!) although that would perhaps only save a fiver.

    - Does it need a burner? The macbook has one right? That'd save a tenner.

    - Cheap ram still works fine, although you're probably only talking a fiver here again. This would probably be a compromise too far IMO.
     
  10. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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    Nice choice :p *high fives Zoon* - It'll eat Supreme Commander 2 for breakfast - the HD4870 is a monster, speaking of which, I really advice investing £10 in exhaust fan(s) for the case because the HD4870 runs pretty hot
     
  11. Digitalize-

    Digitalize- What's a Dremel?

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    I Would get the DVD Burner, the MacBooks Laptop drive can be a little picky about the media it uses, and in the usual lap configuration, its terrible (Sit perfectly still for 10 minutes :p)

    I Assume you have a monitor? Unless its under 1440x900 the 512Mb will be holding the 4870 back.
     
  12. Moyo2k

    Moyo2k AMD Fanboy

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    The 512MB HD4870 will handle 1280x1024 (Crysis) and even 1600x1200 on some games so the monitor shouldn't be too much of a problem, besides Sims 3 isn't the most graphically advanced game :thumb:
     
  13. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    I have that exact same XFX HD4870, in the 1gb variant. It doesn't get hot or noisy! I'm pushing out 1680x1050 with full AA and AF on everything I can throw at it so if it was, it would be :) I think the XFX card uses a better cooler than stock, because I've heard repeatedly that the stock cooler makes a horrendous noise and gets very hot. That one don't!
    *back at ya*
     

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