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Build Advice Replacing my old noisy desktop

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by urobulos, 13 Apr 2010.

  1. urobulos

    urobulos Minimodder

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    Budget:

    version 1: 600-700 pounds
    version 2: 800-900 pounds


    Now what do I mean by that?

    First, I plan to use my 32 inch 1080p Toshiba HDTV as a monitor. I am using it for my laptop right now, got it set up on my desk, is gorgeous. So no monitor is needed. I will try and eBay my old 19 inch wide screen LG LCD, but I don't expect it to fetch much :-(

    My old PC is an Advent bought from PC World, I upgraded the GPU from some old Geforce (7300LS I think) to an HD 4670 since the generic PSU would not handle more. I also exchanged the optical drive after the old one failed. I hate this PC. Apart from being sluggish, it is just unbearably loud. Seriously at full load the noise is dreadful. It is probably a combination of crappy machine and bad PC maintenance on my part, but I reached the point when I just want to throw the bloody thing out the window. The GPU and optical drive are the only things I would consider putting into a new computer.

    I will order the parts around May 20 (right after my final uni exams), so this is just a preliminary build since the exact prices will likely change.

    Build one assumes that I will just put the HD4670 to carry me over until the release of Nvidia midrange cards, or ATI 6xxx series in Q4. Therefore, I can either save some money, or upgrade the CPU+mobo.

    Build two will use one of current HD58xx cards and use the i3 to cut down the costs. I'm still not sure which one is the better idea, so here I am asking for advice.

    I can use my old keyboard/mouse, headphones or my old speaker set. Will need Win7 either retail or OEM.

    Main use
    Gaming at 1080p. The games I play most often: Europa Universalis 3, Civ 4, Rome Total War with mods, Medieval 2 Total War, Ragnarok Online. I think the HD 4670 should handle all those at mid settings even at higher res. Eventually I would like to try and play some more demanding titles, but I am in no rush. My PS3 takes care of most non-strategy gaming needs. But somewhere down the line playing PC version of games is sexy because of the availability of mods and there are a few nice PC exclusives as well.

    Other than that: full HD video playback; web browsing, word processing, pdf readers, basic office work. I used to convert media files to formats compatible with ps3, but with the PC connected to the TV now, I think I won't need to use the media server for a PS3 any more. Looks like most of my uses are low on threading.

    OC

    Not really. I am thinking about buying the pre OC'd bundles from Scan, but I am unlikely to do any OC myself.


    Storage:

    1TB Samsung F3. I also have a 750 GB external HDD, but would only use it as a last resort to keep the number of cables down.

    Eventually I will add one or two 2TB F2 Ecogreen drives once I run out of space.

    Special requirements:

    Less noise than the old PC. No need for a really silent PC, just something that will not wake up my flatmates sleeping in the other room. USB 3.0 and Sata III would be nice, but I don't know whether they really offer enough compared to the cost. Besides once USB 3.0 becomes the standard then I can just buy an expansion card for around 20 quid, no?
    Also, I want to have a case and PSU that will last me at least one or two builds after this one. No cutting corners in there. I would downgrade the CPU and GPU before I downgrade case/PSU.

    I was thinking about Crossfire, but at the end of the day I am not sure that putting, say an HD 5850 and adding a second one a year down the line is practical. Availability might be bad, which pushes prices up for last gen hardware, paired with increased mobo costs, it might not provide much in terms of price/performance. Anyone has experience of adding a second 4850 to the rig they built 12-18 months ago? Was it worth it?

    K, so here are the builds I was thinking about; used Scan, but feel free to direct me elsewhere if you think I can get better value:


    Intel Core i3 530 - Dual Core Processor (OC'd to 4 Ghz)
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 Memory
    Gigabyte H55M-UD2H Motherboard
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Cooler

    316 pounds (all prices include VAT)

    or
    Intel Core i5 750 - Quad Core Processor
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 Memory
    Asus P7P55D LE Intel P55 Express PSS Motherboard
    Akasa AK-CC017 Freedom Tower CPU Cooler

    428

    I heard the Akasa is a bit loud, but maybe they will do the Gelid Tranquilo once it is in stock.

    Case

    Fractal Design R2, 80 I love the understated design. Comparable HAF cases might be more functional, but their looks... I am not a fan of windows, mesh, LEDs and such. Give me a clean sheet of aluminium or steel any day.

    PSU

    620W Seasonic S12II-620 Bronze

    69

    HDD

    Samsung F3 1GB;

    61,5

    OS

    Win7 Home retail

    87


    613,5 with the i3 build, 725 with the i5.

    It would be nice to add one of the HD58xx cards straight away, but the more I browse, the more I feel that I can't justify it. I just can't force myself to spend money on goods which are more expensive now compared to half a year ago. I thought about maybe putting an HD4890 to carry me over until next gen card release, but again I would be spending money on hardware which has good price/performance but is obsolete from day one. So it is either the i3 build + the overpriced (compared to launch) HD 5850/5870, or i5 and the 4670 for now and playing my current games, and an upgrade whenever something with a better price/performance ratio comes out.



    EDIT

    I just noticed that Yoyotech is based 5 minutes from my flat. I had a look at their website and their choice seems good, but every component seems 3-6 pounds more than at Scan. Still somehow having to deal with people face to face in a shop a short walk down the road seems appealing. And I could save on delivery and just pick up the parts myself. Btw I live in London, if you know of any other PC parts vendors based here let me know please. Scan seems to be getting the best reviews, but having the vendor close to me is a nice bonus.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2010
  2. Transk53

    Transk53 What's a Dremel?

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    For convenience, using yoyotech would be easier to eliminate any chance of brokern packaging. If you want a DC, then stick with the I3 maybe for budget purposes. I would go for the I5 though if kept at stock.
     
  3. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    Definitely stick with Fractal if you want a quiet PC. Every time I walk into my brothers room, I don't realise his computers on because its so quiet :)
     
  4. shah

    shah Minimodder

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    Second that Fractal case. Very quiet, i have one for myself.
     

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