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Build Advice Help with a mid range graphics computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Meerkat, 6 Dec 2010.

  1. Meerkat

    Meerkat New Member

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    Hi all, I need some advice on a mid-range computer build.

    I had a look at the monthly buyer's guide, but didn’t find anything seemed to fit my needs.

    These are as follows…

    A budget max. of, say £900 to £1000; cheaper if possible. (Maximum performance for the pound).
    The main uses would be, Video/Photo editing, Home theatre/Media playback, 2D art and design, Web browsing, Word processing, Spread sheets, Visual basic. (Not gaming)
    Parts required within budget are a complete system really; CPU, Motherboard, Memory, Graphics card, PSU, Cooling, Case, Optical drive, Storage, keyboard, mouse, Monitor, speakers (if not in monitor), Webcam, cables etc. not sure if I missed anything.
    I don’t have any parts available as previous computer was a HP pavilion zd8000, zd8181ea laptop.
    I have not chosen a monitor yet, but would like a full HD, PVA monitor (1920x1080/1200) 20”/23”. (e.g. Samsung F2380 23”)
    For storage requirements I thought 1 TB.
    I’m not interested in overclocking.

    Motherboard requirements; not sure, say expansion slots, min 8Gb memory, 4 to 8 USB, firewire, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, TV/Video I/O, SD slot, etc.
    Extra info; I would like low noise and moderate power consumption.

    My initial thoughts were for an ‘Intel Pentium Dual Core E6700, 3.2 GHz.
    It’s a bit cheaper than the i3 Dual Core but appears to have very similar features and performance.

    Any help and advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. agoose77

    agoose77 Turn it off and on again. really?

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    my build that i am going to make is £650 with i5 760, 4gb corsair vengeance, 1tb spinpoint, gtx 460 msi 768...
    i think your idea of dual core isn't value for money, i5 760 is £115 on google shopping....
    make a spec list of what you want, i am using a spreadsheet with SUM functions and conditional formatting, so you can see total cost easier.
     
  3. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    I think you would benefit from a quad core processor rather than the dual. Especially if your not gaming. So perhaps an i5 760.

    I would have said go for the i7 on your budget, but as you require quite a decent monitor you might be better of with the i5 (unless perhaps an i7 860 would be good value?, this would allow the same socket/mobo/memory as with the i5, but would have hyper threading)
     
  4. Meerkat

    Meerkat New Member

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    Hi All,
    Thanks for the advice, I didn’t realise how obsolete my knowledge would be (from the 386 days) until I started checking out equipment specs.
    These are some estimates I’ve put together based on your replies and on other ‘build advice’ threads I’ve been reading through…

    With i5 Dual Core
    CPU i5 650 Dual, 3.2GHz £134.13
    Motherboard MSI P55A-G55 £88.77
    Memory Corsair XMS3 DDR3 8GB £129.44
    GPU Gigabyte GTX 460* £153.99
    Storage HD 103SJ Spinpoint 1Tb £40.88
    DVD R/W estimate £20.00
    PSU estimate £120.00
    Case estimate £50.00
    Fans estimate x3 £45.00
    Monitor Samsung F2380 23” £203.90
    Speakers estimate £15.00
    Software Windows 7 £70.00
    Total £1,071.11

    with i5 Qaud Core
    CPU i5 760 Quad, 2.8GHz £139.94
    Totals £1,076.92

    with i7 Quad Core
    CPU i7 860 Quad, 2.8GHz £204.65
    Totals £1,141.63

    Not sure if I’ve missed anything, their only estimates, but they’re all pushing against my budget, but not to bad.

    What’s the advantage of a 2.8 GHz quad over a 3.2 GHz dual when it comes to graphics? Will today’s graphics software take full advantage of 4 cores?

    Also, checked out the ‘MSI P55A-G55’ mobo after reading jhng’s thread, it seemed a good choice, but I’m not sure if crossfire is any use to me, and I don’t know if the 6Gb/s SATA are wasted on the 3Gb HD 103SJ Spinpoint. Is it a bit over the top?

    I’m completely clueless about GPUs, I don’t really know what’s important to my particular requirement.

    Still haven’t thought about the DVD r/w, quite fans, Case, and PSU. Any thought’s?

    Thanks
     
  5. Wiremaster

    Wiremaster Folding Fanatic

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    I agree that going the 1156 route would be good. I can't make specific recommendations, but here's what I would do.

    i5 760
    Cooler. Gelid Tranquilo, perhaps?
    8Gb DDR3 1600
    Asus or Gigabyte P55
    At least a 5750
    Seasonic X-series
    Fractal Define or Antec P series.
    Boot SSD such as a Corsair F40.
    2 x Spinpoint F3 1Tb in RAID 1
     
  6. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    Hmm... htpc+development on your budget =

    LGA1156:

    i5-760 ~ £140

    Cheap cooler just to keep noise levels down (or stock) ~ £0 - £25

    2x4GB 1600MHz ~ £110

    Some motherboard with P55 NB that supports 1600MHz memory and crossfire/sli. Also would be good to have another PCI-E slot in 8x/8x config if you wanna SLI/Crossfire later ~ £100-£140

    460 768MB or higher ~ £120+

    450-550W psu ~ £60-£100

    CM 690 II/Fractal Design Define R3 ~ £60-£70

    Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 ~ £40

    Dell monitor? (dell's not the only brand but ppl here have been getting them) ~ £150-£200

    Windows 7 x64 ~ £50(upgrade)/£70(OEM)/£90(Retail)

    Total: £830-£1055
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2010
  7. xxxsonic1971

    xxxsonic1971 W.O.T xxxsonic1971

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    :thumb:i7 920 and 5850 and overclock them- my5850 runs 850/1200 my cpu at 3.66 and it rocks most games in high res. the stuuff above is coming down in price now too!!!
     
  8. Meerkat

    Meerkat New Member

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    Hi All, and again thanks for the advice.

    I’ve been checking on the spec and price of the parts suggested and had a couple of question…

    I can’t find a Gigabyte ATX mobo in Scan with; P55 chipset, 1600 DDR3, 16Gb mem slot, (and crossfire). Am I misreading the specs?

    Also, I’m not clear what PCI-E 8x/8x config is, all the mobos only seem to have 2x1 or 2x16, could you suggest an example for me to look at.

    The Seasonic X-650 looks good, but the fan seems to be mounted on the bottom, and in most midi towers the PSU seems to be fitted against the bottom of the case. Is there space for the fan to work?

    The Antec P cases are a little expensive, what are the benefits over coolermaster?

    I like the idea of a Boot SSD for faster booting, but it pushes the price higher, I’m not sure I can stretch that far…

    Budget so far (please tell me if any of these parts don’t go together for any reason)…

    CPU; i5 760 Quad, 2.8GHz, £139.94

    Motherboard; Asus P7P55D-E, £107.57
    Memory; Corsair XMS3 DDR3 8GB, £129.44
    GPU; Gigabyte GTX 460*, £153.99 (on offer on ebuyer)
    HDD drive; HD 103SJ Spinpoint 1Tb, £40.88
    DVD R/W; estimate, £20.00
    PSU; Seasonic X-650, £114.90
    Case; Coolermaster ??, £50.00 (will I need two cooling fans?)
    Fans; Gelid Tranquillo, £24.64 each
    Monitor; Samsung F2380 23" PVA TFT, £202.00 (ebuyer)
    Keyboard & Mouse; estimate, £15.00
    Speakers; estimate, £15.00
    Software; Windows 7, £90.00

    Total; £1,103.36
     
  9. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Im not sure about your mobo quesiton mate - Hopefully someone else will be able to pick that one up. Just thought i would say that you could deffo save some money on that PSU. It looks to be overkill for your system. Not to mention quite expensive for a 650w (agreed it is quality).

    I got a coolermaster silent m 650w for circa £60, and i run a GTX 460, and an overclocked C2D e8600 @ 3.8GHz. Again, 650w is actually more than you will need, you could make do with a decent quality 500w, but im just giving you an example that there is some money to be shaved of the bill there :)
     
  10. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    Where you can save most money is in the PSU area if you don't plan to do dual graphics cards you can drop the PSU to 450W-550W. If you have windows already installed on another machine somewhere, it makes you eligible to use the Windows 7 Upgrade media to do a clean install. If you're interested google clean install of windows 7 from upgrade disk and there's tons of articles about how to do it.
     
  11. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Im pretty sure you can install using an upgrade disk, even if you dont have a previous OS installed. Wasnt bumsrush hammering that message in another thread recently?

    Something along the lines of install it using the upgrade disk (but dont put in the key), get into windows and run the disk again and select upgrade...... HMmmm that sounds wrong lol, but its something similar to that
     
  12. Meerkat

    Meerkat New Member

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    Hi all,

    I’ve put together another build list (below). I set a budget limit of £900 and looked to see what compromises I’d have to make to stay within it.

    I just wanted to check if this hardware is compatible, and if I’ve missed anything.

    I’d be interested to know if anybody thinks my choices are too much of a compromise, or if I could get better value or quality for around the same money.

    Unchaged parts
    CPU, i5 760 Quad, 2.8GHz, £139.94
    Motherboard, Asus P7P55D-E, £107.57
    GPU, GeForce GTX 460 OC 1GB, £140.37
    HDD storage, HD 103SJ Spinpoint 1Tb, £40.88
    Monitor, Samsung F2380 23" PVA TFT, £202.00

    Compromised parts
    Memory, Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3, £75.56
    DVD R/W, Sony, AD-7260S-0B, (OEM), £13.97
    PSU, Corsair TX CMPSU-650TXUK, £64.77
    Case, Coolermaster Elite 330, £29.25
    Fan (1 extra), Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm, £11.97 (I think the case comes with one)
    Keyboard & Mouse, Genius KB C100 KB & Mouse PS2, £8.11
    Speakers, Genius SP-J200 5W, £10.87
    Software, Windows 7, estimate, £50.00

    Total, £895.26

    I've reduced the memory fro 8 to 4 Gb, probably the easiest upgrade later.
    The Corsair TX 650 PSU seems to be cheaper than the 550.
    The Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E is the quietest 120mm I could find, but its flow rate isn't the highest. I'm not sure how much is needed.

    Thanks
     
  13. Uxon

    Uxon Member

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    Looks good, seems a lot for the RAM though, seen some 4GB kits of decent brand memory for £45 or so lately.
     
  14. r3loaded

    r3loaded Well-Known Member

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    Are you able to wait a month or so? Just saying because the new Sandy Bridge platform is right around the corner, and rumour has it that it'll show a big performance jump over the current offerings. If you do need the computer *right now*, then by all means go ahead and buy.

    Also, 4GB RAM is available now for less than £45: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4gb-...600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-165v
     
  15. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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    Case change to this instead:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/cool...-with-window-120mm-front-led-blue-fan-w-o-psu

    RAMs to these instead:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-...600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-165v

    Get this CPU cooler:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akas...-pwm-quiet-fan-s775-1156-1366-am2-am2plus-am3

    Motherboard...if you stick with your original choice the MSI P55A-G55, it would support Crossfire (but not SLI) at x8/x8, and you could consider getting a 6850 instead of a GTX460 1GB:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244431

    DVD rewriter change from Sony to Samsung/LG, as Sony drives can be picky and have compatability issue.
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2010
  16. Meerkat

    Meerkat New Member

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    Thanks for the advice,

    I’ve changed the case, GPU, Memory and DVD drive.

    I changed my mind about the MSI P55A-G55 mobo because it doesn’t support 1600MHz memory without overclocking. I don’t know what I’m looking for, for SLI at x8/x8, could you give me some examples.

    Does the Akasa CPU cooler replace the intel boxed cooler, and if so, does the boxed cooler give problems.

    CPU, i5 760 Quad, 2.8GHz, £139.94
    Motherboard, Asus P7P55D-E, £107.57
    GPU, Sapphire HD 6850 1GB GDDR5, £135.75
    HDD storage, HD 103SJ Spinpoint 1Tb, £40.88
    Monitor, Samsung F2380 23" PVA TFT, £202.00
    Memory, Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3, £44.84
    DVD R/W, Samsung, SH-S223C/BEBE (OEM), £12.27
    PSU, Corsair TX CMPSU-650TXUK, £64.77
    Case, Coolermaster Elite 430, £31.13
    Fans (1 extra), Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm, £11.97
    Keyboard & Mouse, Genius KB C100 KB & Mouse PS2, £8.11
    Speakers, Genius SP-J200 5W, £10.87
    Software, Windows 7, estimate, £50.00

    Total, £860.10


    It looks like the Sandy Bridge launches 5th Jan, and it’s a different socket. Any guess as to how long it could be before CPUs and mobos will be available to buy, and what do think prices will be like?

    Thanks for the help
     
  17. ak_2020

    ak_2020 Member

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    Seems like a pretty reasonable build. I'm not convinced that you need a 650w PSU, but theres rarely any harm in getting too much when it comes to a PSU - you have more scope for future upgrades. You could spend an extra fiver for the Antec True Power 650. Its got modular cables, and has a bronze 80+ certification.

    However, you really are in a tight spot when it comes to CPU/Motherboard etc. If what we have heard is true, the new 1155 will be superior to the old 1156, preformance wise - at a similar price. Personally, I would hold off until we know for sure. As for availability, its hard to say - I'd imagine that some motherboards will be available straight away, but will they be any good?
     

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