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Building a PC from scratch advice

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Tynesider, 14 Sep 2009.

  1. Tynesider

    Associate

    Joined: 25 May 2009

    Posts: 16

    I am going to help my brother build a new computer and he wants to do it from scratch.
    I built my own a couple of years ago but components have changed since then so if anyone has the knowledge I would appreciate your input.
    He is looking to spend around £500 and that includes everything but the monitor.
    He's not into games but wants a good fast processor with good motherboard that supports sata and ide. He doesnt want to buy the components because they are cheap but not the the most expensive either.

    Thanks
     
  2. PGdude

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 3 Aug 2007

    Posts: 2,493

    Location: London

    Non-Gaming
    Fast Processor
    IDE and SATA
    £500


    What does your brother want to use the PC for, exactly? You can have a fast processor, that's either dual or quad core. :p
     
  3. Tynesider

    Associate

    Joined: 25 May 2009

    Posts: 16

    General browsing, some photo work, graphics.
    He's got a real old Sony computer and he just wants to upgrade it so its fast to display images etc, like I said he doesnt play games but he does use it to make slide shows and video. I think dual core would be enough but with a motherboard that could be upgraded to take a quad in the future.

    Thanks
     
  4. Ast3r

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Jun 2009

    Posts: 655

    Location: London

    Here mate this should work just fine.[​IMG]

    ;)
     
  5. beefybarn

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2008

    Posts: 3,750

    Location: Brighton

    This should do you and includes the o/s as well.Product NameQtyPriceLine Total[​IMG]Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail£79.99
    (£69.56) £79.99
    (£69.56)[​IMG]AMD Phenom II X2 Dual Core 550 3.10GHz Black Edition (Socket AM3) - Retail £77.99
    (£67.82) £77.99
    (£67.82)[​IMG]Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P AMD 770 (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard£76.99
    (£66.95) £76.99
    (£66.95)[​IMG]G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)£66.99
    (£58.25) £66.99
    (£58.25)[​IMG]Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Retail£65.99
    (£57.38) £65.99
    (£57.38)[​IMG]Coolermaster eXtreme Power 650W Power Supply£49.99
    (£43.47) £49.99
    (£43.47)[​IMG]Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ)£41.99
    (£36.51) £41.99
    (£36.51)[​IMG]Coolermaster Elite 335 Case - Black (No PSU)£28.99
    (£25.21) £28.99
    (£25.21)[​IMG]Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM£16.99
    (£14.77) £16.99
    (£14.77) Sub Total : £439.92Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
    DPD Next Day Parcel
    (This can be changed during checkout)Shipping : £11.75VAT is being charged at 15%VAT : £67.75 Total : £519.42
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Tynesider

    Associate

    Joined: 25 May 2009

    Posts: 16

    Wow excellent,thanks very much its really apreciated.
     
  7. EffBee

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 9 Dec 2006

    Posts: 1,329

    First off you need to honestly sit down and work out what the PC will be used for. The usage determines much about the characteristics of the components you buy for your PC. Alternatively you can buy top quality of everything and have a PC that will do anything but you may end up spendin a lot with power or features you never use.

    There is usually a trade off between what you want and what you can afford so you have to understand how to compromise on what you want and what you buy. Buy what you NEED, not what you want.

    A PC is 15 to 20 components, and if you decide to buy a better this, and a better that, than you actually need - you end up spending a lot more money than you expect.

    Watch out for the reputation of companies and manufacturers with regard to post sales support, RMA etc.

    The starting point is the processor - decide what you need.

    Then work out which cooling solution, including TIM cleaner and thermal paste you need. Ensure any heat sink will actually fit in any case you decide to buy.

    Processor choice points you towards a certain family of motherboards. Look at motherboard specs and again buy one sufficient for your needs.

    Motherboard choice points you towards memory. Ensure the memory you choose is suitable for the motherboard and the cost is balanced with the cost of the motherboard and processor. No point putting top quality fast memory in a system with budget processor and motherboard, and vice versa. Good quality memory can be surprisingly cheap at the moment. Make sure you get enough. The total amount USEABLE is determined by choice of OS, no matter how much you actually physically install.

    The purpose of a case is to physically support the components and aid cooling. There are secondary aesthetic issues. Spend as little or as much as you like but make sure it is fit for purpose and not just a pretty face. You may end up looking at it and using it for a decade so get one you like the look of!

    Buy a good quality power supply from a reputatable manufacturer. Don't skimp on this - the power supply is one of the most critical components in the PC. Ensure it delivers sufficient power. As a rule - the heavier in weight a power supply the more likely it is to be a good one. Try to ensure it will fit in any case you choose without fiddling around removing power supply fan grilles etc.

    Keyboard and mouse are a matter of personal choice and comfort. Easy to replace if you get it wrong.

    Soundcard and headphones/speaker system is a matter of peronal taste - look at a hi-fi magazine to help you understand what to look for with respect to sound quality. More important for musicians and gamers.

    Good quality hard drives are cheap as chips now - OC forums give good advice.

    Optical drives are also very cheap unless you want Blu Ray. Look at OC forums for recommendations around £20.

    Do you want floppy drive, card readers, or a combines unit for both? Nice and cheap in any case.

    Screen and videocard should balance with one another. Decide on a screen and from the screen specs (native resolution) decide on a video card. The actual video card will be heavily dependent on usage - games or not, Directx level needed. office work, etc. Ensure the video card will fit in the case you choice - some long ones will not, or will block key areas of the motherboard, or will block access to drive bays etc. For photograpic work a little care might be necessary in screen choice.

    OS - Windows 7, Vista or XP. Which version of DirectX do you want, do you have any applications that demand a specific OS? Don't buy OEM licence if you intend to use the OS in later years on a different PC - get a retail licence.

    Hope this brain dump helps.
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2009
  8. SlugForAButt

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Sep 2009

    Posts: 2,546

    Location: God's own country

    I like the look of Ast3r's build.
    Similar to my build except for the Video card, I went for the 4870 because I play some games.
    He suggests a better CPU than mine (mine is e7500 @ 3.3Ghz), but I bought the same MB (P5Q Pro Turbo) for forwards compatibility (quad compatible) and it's nice for the price (lots of features but the onboard sound conked out on me after a couple of days. But who needs onboard sound?).
    I bought OCZ Reaper 8500 RAM but I'm expecting delivery of my Kingston Hyper-X 8500 tomorrow as I've seen nothing but good reviews.
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2009
  9. BigRazer93

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Aug 2009

    Posts: 2,845

    I think this would look very nice, its similar to Astr3r's build but better
    [​IMG]
    Good luck, thats the best your going 2 get imo
     
  10. PCRHitman

    Associate

    Joined: 25 Dec 2005

    Posts: 58

    Location: Nottingham

    I remember my friend telling me he wanted a computer, but doesn't really like playing games.

    then i helped him build a pc, with a half decent graphics card, and next thing he's not doing anything else but play games.

    once you have a computer that has gaming potential, people tend to game, its scientific fact. There isn't actually any real proof, but its still scientific fact
     
  11. Ast3r

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Jun 2009

    Posts: 655

    Location: London

    Yeah but he has only 500 pounds:p
     
  12. rexehuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Jun 2009

    Posts: 4,007

    Location: My own head

    Bens build tbh. (not sure about PSU though)

    But the 4870 1gb for £100 is a steal.
     
  13. Ast3r

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Jun 2009

    Posts: 655

    Location: London

    That PSU is more than enough.I myself use OCZ ModXStream 500W(Modular) and it can handle all I put in my PC...HD4870,Q8200,Antec 900
     
  14. BigRazer93

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Aug 2009

    Posts: 2,845

    I chosen antec insted of ocz because i aint really keen on it, but yeah its more than enough
     
  15. beefybarn

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2008

    Posts: 3,750

    Location: Brighton

    But bens build is missing an o/s
     
  16. BigRazer93

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Aug 2009

    Posts: 2,845

    yeah but he can dwn it cant he lol
     
  17. rexehuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 13 Jun 2009

    Posts: 4,007

    Location: My own head

    My concerns over the Antec wern't to do with the power output. Just not a brand id put my faith in that's all.
     
  18. BigRazer93

    Mobster

    Joined: 24 Aug 2009

    Posts: 2,845

    hmmm true, but from what ive seen ocz are good yeah but not reliable plus the antec is modular aswell so
     
  19. Stormar

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Aug 2009

    Posts: 600

    Location: Lincoln

    shame i be selling my pc in a few weeks so it be up for grabs as won,t need 2.
     
  20. beefybarn

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2008

    Posts: 3,750

    Location: Brighton

    Can he, i thought that had been stopped for win 7