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Harrison
3rd July 2008, 16:46
I promised Ghost that I would do him a rough list of components to build a PC. I worked on a budget of around 500 for the main components, plus the additional cost of case and monitor if needed.

Here is the setup I've come up with:

Harddrive - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA II 7200rpm 16Mb Cache 11ms 300Mb/s - 45.24

Motherboard - Asus P5N-E SLI 650I Motherboard DDR2 PCI-E Gigabit LAN - 62.35

Ram - DDR2 800 - Geil Black Dragon PC2-6400 800Mhz 4GB Kit (2x2GB) - 56.40

CPU - LGA775 package - Intel Quad Core Q6600 95Watt G0 Stepping (This is the one that Overclocks) 4 x 2.40Ghz 8Mb Cache 1066 FSB Quad Core Processor - 127.49

PSU - Hiper 580 Watt, ATX v2.2, Temp control Act. PFC, Sli Cert - 48.76

Graphics Card - XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX 512mb DDR3, 256-bit, GPU clock 700mhz, Dual-DVI, HDMI, HDTV, Company of heroes bundle - 130.43

Total price: 470.67 inc. VAT


Cases
=====
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream Black Aluminium Case No PSU - 62.56
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream Black Aluminium Case With Window No PSU - 70.90

Monitors
=======
SAMSUNG SM245B 24" 16:10 LCD TFT with 5ms Response time, DVI, 1000:1 Contrast Ratio. 1920 x 1200 - 289.05

Dell E248WFP TFT Monitor 24" 5ms 1000:1 Widescreen Silver/Black DVI - 3 Years Warranty - 297.27

All of these prices are quoted from a local store via their website. Doing a bit of shopping about should get some cheaper prices.

With this setup you would end up with a Quad Core Intel CPU, 4GB ram, 9600GT graphics card, and 500GB HD. More than enough for most gamers. This setup will run current games well in Vista.

The only component I've missed out is a DVD-RW. I recommend the Pioneer DVR-215DB 20x SATA for 19.39, or a similar NEC one. Make sure you get an SATA drive though and not IDE.

Ghost
20th July 2008, 13:55
Actually my budget is 951.791 GBP.

Zetr0
20th July 2008, 16:01
@Harrison

A finely spec'd machine, the only thing i noticed missing is a cooling block for the CPU (unless that comes with the CPU, like an AMD PIB)

for those that argue graphics cards I found something here, that comes straight from the manufactures.. the complete specification lists of all models and revisions of gfx card, I have ATI and NVida.

Although mega-texels are only half a story, there a good indicator of the pure speed of the card. and when i went through these lists i was quite surprised.. very much so...

see attached :)

infact H, these might be useful for the CA crew in general :)

Zetr0
20th July 2008, 16:12
hmmm the added pics got even more compressed... hmmm bad!!!!

sOoooo heres some luscious linkies

ATI (http://www.guildserver.co.uk/data_images/gfxspecs-08/ati_4_big.png)
NVIDIA (http://www.guildserver.co.uk/data_images/gfxspecs-08/nvidia_4_big.png)

Harrison
21st July 2008, 13:04
Actually my budget is 951.791 GBP.

Well, once you have added the main components, plus case with side window and Samsung 24" monitor it comes to 830.62. That leaves you about 120 spare.

Don't forget I haven't included the cost of a mouse or keyboard in that price, so you could add the price of a decent Microsoft intellimouse and a reasonably nice keyboard for around 40, leaving you with 80.

With that additional money you could maybe opt for a slightly faster quad core CPU, but I wouldn't bother with that. Instead use the extra budget to opt for a slightly more powerful PSU (600W) and a higher end graphics card.

@Zetro Regarding the CPU heatsink. The retail packages come with a heatsink. But even a decent third party one is only going to set you back around 15-20 at most.

@Ghost. If you want me to rejig the list of components with the extra budget included, let me know and I will replace the graphics card and PSU with higher end ones for you.

Something else to consider might be a sound card. Except Vista still has many issues with XFI soundcards at the moment, and built in motherboard sound is great these days, so not worth bothering with.

Zetr0
21st July 2008, 17:11
what about an OS?

personally i would plumb for WinXP64, but then being a Dev at heart i can easly live without all the bells and whistles of Vista

Sharingan
21st July 2008, 21:35
Perhaps any spare money can be spent on a quieter cooling solution. My experience is that stock coolers aren't the quietest beasts around, nor do they have the best cooling performance.

Rigging your CPU with a better heatsink/fan combo not only reduces the noise output from your system, but also allows you to overclock your processor further. Thus, enabling better performance indirectly.

Quieter case fans and fan controllers are great ideas, as well.

Harrison
22nd July 2008, 07:28
If he goes with the Thermaltake case I listed then case fan noise won't be an issue as it comes with a two (front and rear) 120mm fans, plus the clear side case version also has a quiet 90mm side fan. These easily keep the internals nice and cool.

My experience of stock heatsinks is varied. Some can be very quiet, as is the case with my current AMD64 CPUs, whereas some in the past have been quite noisy. One of my old Athlon XP stock coolers had a very noisy fan, but switching the fan for another fixed that.

That is a good point regarding an OS. If you have an original copy of XP then you can buy an upgrade to Vista and I would highly recommend getting Vista Premium 64bit, or Ultimate 64bit if you can afford it. Maybe the extra budget you have should be keep for that. The 64 bit version is worth it over the 32bit version because you can take full advantage of the current 64bit processors, plus you can use the full 4GB of ram. With the 32bit version the system will only have access to the first 3GB of system ram, with the rest allocated to other system resources.

Remember to order the OS at the same time as some of the hardware. That way you can buy the OEM version and save a lot of money on the price. The 32bit version of Vista Home Premium has dropped in price. You can get the OEM version for 58. Or the 64bit version for the same price. Vista Ultimate 64-bit or 32-bit are moth more expensive at 106 for either version but worth paying the difference if you can afford it.

Harrison
22nd July 2008, 08:52
Here is a revised PC setup, based on the higher total budget of 951:

Harddrive - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA II 7200rpm 16Mb Cache 11ms 300Mb/s - 46

Motherboard - Asus P5N-E SLI 650I Motherboard DDR2 PCI-E Gigabit LAN - 56

Ram - DDR2 800 - Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5(5-5-5-18) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty - 52.99

CPU - LGA775 package - Intel Quad Core Q6600 95Watt G0 Stepping (This is the one that Overclocks) 4 x 2.40Ghz 8Mb Cache 1066 FSB Quad Core Processor - 117

This retail boxed processor version includes an Intel reference heatsink and fan. This increased the warranty of the processor to 3 years as long as this heatsink is used.

PSU - Coolermaster eXtreme Power 650W PSU - 54.43

This PSU is Intel ATX 12V v2.01 compliant which is important. When getting a PSU also make sure it has 2 PCI-E 6pin power connectors as many high end graphics cards need them both. Also make sure there are at least 2 12V rails to give system stability.

Graphics Card - XFX 9800GTX 512MB DDR3 Dual DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card - 184.99

Very powerful graphics card for the money. This one should easily run any current game, and those released over the next year.

DVD-RW - Pioneer DVR-115DBK 20x DVD?RW Dual Layer Internal IDE Black Bare Drive - OEM - 15.74

Case - Thermaltake VA3000SWA Tsunami Dream Black Aluminium Case With Window No PSU - 70.90

120mm case fans at the front and rear, plus the clear sided version also has a 90mm fan to draw air into the case directly over the CPU. I've got this case (as does JT) and it is a great case. Nice and quiet too.

OS - Vista Home Premium 64-bit - 58.75 (or Vista Ultimate 64-bit - 107.75)

Total price: 656.80 inc. VAT

Monitors
=======
SAMSUNG SM245B 24" 16:10 LCD TFT with 5ms Response time, DVI, 1000:1 Contrast Ratio. 1920 x 1200 - 289.05

Add in the price of the monitor and it comes to just under your total budget at 945.

This new setup has a much more powerful graphics card, Stronger PSU, similar ram to before but slightly cheaper different brand with long warranty, plus I've added a SATA DVD writer to the list and the Vista OS into the price.

If you were not going to include a monitor into the cost of your total system build, then if I were building this system the only things I would consider upgrading further would maybe be the motherboard and the PSU.

The ultimate motherboard to get at the moment is the Asus Striker II Formula 780i, but that would set up back 167.43. It can overclock the Q6600 I've included in this setup to over 3.4GHz though (with the right heatsink) and is the current gamers choice. But if you were opting for this then an even bigger PSU of at least 700W would be recommended.