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Build Advice Building a non-gaming rig

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by superego, 13 Oct 2010.

  1. superego

    superego Member

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    My girlfriends laptop is a few years old now and it's on its last legs. There's an error with the HDD, its slow to boot up, hangs frequently, heats up quickly and has Vista on it. I've managed to convince her to go for a desktop rather than a new laptop on the basis that you can upgrade a PC for cheaper than a laptop when it starts to show signs of slowdown etc. Plus the components are going to be better since I'll have control over what goes into it so it should last longer as well.

    Build profile

    Budget: £500 ideally, but prepared to go toup to £600

    Main uses of intended build: Word processing, powerpoint, storing photo's and music, web-browsing, Youtube, and playing Minecraft. Something that could run Left 4 Dead would be a bonus as I have a disused Steam account with a copy that she could play.

    Parts required: Everything except mouse and speakers

    Previous build information (list details of parts): None - this is to replace a laptop

    Monitor resolution: N/A - the monitor is part of the build.

    Storage requirements: 320GB to 500GB

    Will you be overclocking: Possibly

    Any motherboard requirements: None in particular, although onboard VGA to keep cost as low as possible would be ideal

    Extra information about desired system: The quieter and cooler the better. A balance between the two would be ideal. Also, Windows 7 must be included in the cost. Absolute minimum of 2GB RAM but 4GB preferred unless you can justify needing less.

    General info

    Must include Windows 7, a decent monitor and keyboard. Since it's not going to be used for gaming very much, onboard VGA is ideal to keep the cost down. Also, 4GB of RAM. I see a lot of non-gaming builds with 2GB or RAM but I'm a firm believer that 4GB is the way to go whether it's for gaming or not.

    Also, if it's future-proof then all the better.

    So far the key components I'm considering are as follows:

    Coolermaster Elite 335 Case - Black at £29.99
    Asus P7H55-M/USB3 Intel H55 (Socket 1156) DDR3 microATX Motherboard at £74.99
    Intel Pentium Dual-Core G6950 2.80GHz (Socket LGA1156) - Retail at £64.99
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 CPU Cooler at £18.99
    Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CMD4GX3M2A1600C9) at £70.49
    Corsair CX 400W ATX Power Supply at £34.99
    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache at £31.49
    Samsung SH-S223C/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM at £13.99
    Samsung B2030N 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor - Glossy Black at £117.49
    Logitech Ultra-Flat Keyboard (967653-0120) at £11.99
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Retail (Full Version) at £113.96

    Total: £590.63 before shipping

    No mouse required (she has an awful pink one I've failed to talk her into replacing). She's also keeping the speakers she recently got.

    Prices are from www.overclockers.co.uk - I will likely shop around if it's beneficial, unless the savings are outweighed by multiple shipping fees.

    The cooler can go if it's not really needed, but I've put it in for overclocking the CPU if needed.


    I welcome any suggestions - feel free to recommend alternate components to those I've listed.
     
  2. superego

    superego Member

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    Over 60 views and no replies? Come on peeps - give me some feedback.
     
  3. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    With £600 I would highly reccomend that you get a low-mid range graphics card, otherwise Left for Dead would run at lowest settings with issues. Something like a 5770 or GTX 460. Anyways, I think you should get an Antec 300 instead of the Elite 335, It's more expensive, but it does come with more fans (Better cooling, more silent opposed to less fans spinning faster) and some dust filters. I also think that the RAM should be 1333MHz unless you're going to overclock it, and if you are, you might as well get a better cooler like a Gelid Tranquillo. You might want to do some more research on the monitor though, your Girlfriend will be staring at it for quite some time. I'll look around for some other monitors aswell, is there any preferred resolution which you'd like? Keep in mind though, that the higher the resolution, the worse games like Left for Dead will run.
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2010
  4. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    That spec looks fine to me. I see you haven't included a graphics card in that price so I think playing L4D might be out of the question using onboard graphics.

    Make sure that ram is the correct voltage, I believe all the socket 1156 cpus are limited to 1.65volts ram, I know the i5s/i7s are not sure about the pentium dual cores though.

    Any reason you are going for retail windows 7 and not OEM, if you only ever plan to install it on that machine then OEM saves quite a chunk. I have never had any issues reactivating an OEM copy of windows on completely different machines(only installed on 1 machine at a time) anyway.

    If you could push to an antec 300 you would benefit from far better cooling and a nicer looking case, they go for around £45. I think for £15 they are well worth it over the cm elite.
     
  5. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    Front page!

    We see these threads every day. Use that as a base. Drop the GPU down if not required.

    The Corsair CX400 is End-Of-Life, more or less, so go for something else - warranty claims may be irritating with that. My personal recommendation would be something like this - quiet, plenty of connectors, albeit non-modular.

    I'd also recommend going from Scan - OcUK's customer service record isn't good, and as a Bit-Tech member, you can get free next-day delivery on orders over £20 - check the Scan forum for details.

    Monitor-wise, just pick something cheap, cheerful, in a size she likes. She won't be too bothered with resolution, colour gamut, etc, so your choice is OK.
     
  6. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Last edited: 13 Oct 2010
  7. bulldogjeff

    bulldogjeff The modding head is firmly back on.

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    not to sure of the exact amount , but it's something lake that.
     
  8. superego

    superego Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I'm looking over that affordable all-rounder now. Looks quite good. I've seen the MSI 770-C45 in Custom PC a while ago. I'll compare the one on that page to the build in the mag and see what the differences are.

    I did consider the Antec 300 initially as my mate's got one and it's really good for cooling, and a decent size. I've got an Antec 1200 but thats above and beyond the size and cooling requirements for a build of this nature.
     
  9. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    The Elite 335 comes in colors, unlike the 300. Surely a bonus?

    Are you sure the benefits of the G6950 are worth the price increase over an AM3 setup? User experience won't be much better, esp for such a casual PC user. Also, the G6950 only really shines with high overclocks, probably not something you want to do on someone's PC other than yours. I'd recommend an Athlon II X2 based build for your needs.
     
  10. superego

    superego Member

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    Okay, made some changes to the build. What do you think of these choices?

    Items from www.ebuyer.com

    Case Coolermaster Elite 335 £32.00

    Cooler Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 £15.53

    Optical drive Samsung SH-S223 DVD-RW £11.99

    Net total: £59.52
    Delivery: £0.00
    Total: £59.52

    Items from www.amazon.co.uk

    PSU Corsair CX400W £34.36

    Net total: £34.46
    Delivery: £0.00
    Total: £34.46

    Items from www.scan.co.uk

    HDD 500 GB Seagate ST3500418AS Barracuda 7200.12, £29.66
    SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 9.5 ms, NCQ

    CPU AMD Athlon II X2 250, Regor Core, S AM3, 3.0GHz, £46.12
    512KB x 2 Cache, FSB/HT 2000MHz, 65W

    RAM 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), £64.33
    Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.65V

    MB MSI 770-C45, AMD 770, AM3, PCI-E 2.0(x16), £51.68
    DDR3 1600(OC), SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX

    O/S Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, Single, £72.93
    OEM

    GFX 1GB XFX HD 5770, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 4800MHz £112.29
    GDDR5, GPU 850MHz, 800 Cores, 2x DL DVI-I/
    mini DP

    Net total: £377.01
    Delivery: £8.21
    Total: £385.22

    Grand total: £479.20

    * This does not include a keyboard or monitor
     
  11. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    drop for a faster samsung F3 500GB at the same price.

    if your not overclocking id also drop the after market cooler
     
  12. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    If I had the option, I'd order all from 1 retailer, so everything arrives at once. 20 posts total in these forums will open up free next-day delivery on Scan, so that'd be my choice.

    Case - it's actually £28 through the Today Only section.
    Cooler - a quid more, but hey...
    DVD drive - same drive, 91p in it.

    As far as a PSU goes, Scan have the Corsair CX430 (the new model) on their Today Only page for £31.71. There's also a 1GB 5770 on there for £103 (or an overclocked GTS450 for £97), 4GB Corsair XMS3 for £57 (interestingly enough, same price for 1333MHz and 1600MHz), the Barracuda HDD for £26 (although at £29, I'd take the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB further down), and down nearer the bottom, MSI's 770-C45 for £50. All small savings, but you'll take £30 off the cost of the build from those savings alone. Another tenner for postage, and you're down to £440. :thumb:

    Those offers will change tomorrow at 1pm (ish), so if you can't wait for 20 posts, just order now. It's still a sizable saving, right?
     
  13. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    I agree with Adam, you don't really need the aftermarket cooler. The optical drive can be found at Scan for the same price, and the Elite 335 sells for less there as well.

    Oh, and the power supply, the CX400's are going end of line soon/now, so you might want to get another power supply. Bindi seems to like the Antec Earthwatts 380w, so I'd say you might want to replace the CX400 with that and save some money from the seperate deliveries.

    That way, you end up buying everything from Scan :D
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2010
  14. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN I want to change my name but I also don't

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    If you're really going for a dedicated graphics card i think you should stretch for a passively cooled one. But then i'm a passive-whore.
    STOCK COOLERS ARE NOISY AS HELL
     
  15. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    only if you push the CPU hard and office stuff you tube isnt gunna stretch this system much.

    plus the OP never said must be quiet and its not like GTX480 loud
     
  16. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 14 Oct 2010
  17. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    It's up to the OP I suppose, if he wants to spend £17 for a significantly quiter and cooler HSF. Keep in mind though, that if you're using the 5770 close to it's full potential, it might get a little noisy.
     
  18. GingerFox

    GingerFox New Member

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  19. MaverickWill

    MaverickWill Dirty CPC Mackem

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    Also, the Geforce GT310 will have about as much graphical horsepower as if you hand-drew every frame of a L4D campaign and made a flip-book.
     
  20. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    Hahaha!! That cracked me up! I'm new to these forums but you can't beat a sarcastic sense of humour. :clap:
     

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