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Toasty667
22nd May 2007, 15:35
Hi peeps. Ok what I am getting is a pc with the minimum spec I need for deathmatch style multiplay games that me and a mate play. I also idealy need this PC once I get to the network section of my computer course. The great thing about all this is the computer will be in my doorless built in wardrobe space so it takes up no extra room!:D

My point is that I'm on a tight budget. I have been quoted 400 (inc VAT and delivery) by http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk for the following: 80gb hard drive, Pentium 4 3ghz processor, 1gb RAM, 128Meg 7 series Geforce graphics card, combined CD/DVD ROM drive, wireless network card (I'm on broadband and my dad is on the wireless, I use the Ethernet connection already). I dont need a monitor as I have two spare.

Does anyone reckon they know anywhere that does better than this? I'm not being fussy, I mean the above is a really good price and I doubt I'll find cheaper, but I need to save as much as poss. Ta.:)

Harrison
22nd May 2007, 16:37
That actually seems quite expensive for the hardware you have listed as none of it is really state of the art.

I always build my own PCs and you can save a lot doing it that way. Many people are put off from building their own PC from scratch but it isn't that hard and can be an interesting learning process at the same time. You also get exactly what you want building it yourself too. And don't forget that hardware components come with their own 1 year warranty so it is no different to a PC makers warranty. And some CPUs come with a 3 year warranty.

Looking at the specs I can see a lot of areas of improvement that would still leave you under your 400 budget and with a much nicer PC.

First the Pentium 4 CPU. Personally I would change that for an Athlon 64 x2 as they are better. They cost less, run cooler and are quieter due to the lower temps. Only the current Intel Core Duo chips are beating the current Athlon 64 X2's in tests, but for 55 you could buy an Athlon 64 x2 3800+ dual core processor!

Second the harddrive. Harddrives are very inexpensive these days. You can now buy a 500GB drive for under 80, so could get at least a 250GB drive for much less.

Ram is also now very cheap. For an Athlon 64 you could buy 1GB of ram for around 50. And a 7 series graphics card is fine but which model? 7600, 7800? The 7600 is good value but now starting to age for newer games. The 8600 has just been released.

I had a quick look at some current prices and this is the sort of setup you could build for 400. I got these prices from http://www.ebuyer.com/uk/

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (retail with 3 year warranty and fan/heatsink) 53.80
Ram: Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz PC2-6400 Ram 74.99
Motherboard: Asus M2N-E SLI Nvidia nForce 500 Socket AM2 with 8 channel audio 52.49
HDD: Seagate 7200.10 320GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB cache HDD 50.88
Graphics card: Point of View 7600GT 256MB PCI-E 64.95
PSU: Hyper 530W Black Type M PSU 46.91
Case: Thermaltake Soprano VB1000BSs Black 48.29
DVD-RW: NEC Optiarc AD-7170S-OB 18x SATA DVD-RW Black 21.78

I think that is everything needed for a full system. Total price = 414 including VAT.

You could reduce this total price down to 389.75 including VAT by changing the 2GB ram for 1GB. And you could trim prices in other components I've listed. You could reduce the HDD to a smaller until but the price isn't much less and you than lose a lot of space for little saving in money. A cheaper motherboard is an option but I personally only buy Asus motherboards due to their excellent built quality and reliability. PSU and case are both the best you can get for the price and have excellent quiet cooling and look great. The DVD-RW is one of the new state of the art SATA type which means it is faster overall than the older style ATA most PCs have and only cost a few pounds more. And very tempting is that for 30 more you could get a much faster CPU. The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ dual core processor!

Tempted? That is a lot better than the system you have been quote for!

Demon Cleaner
22nd May 2007, 16:45
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 54.33 That's so typical Harrison, why don't you marry AMD mate ;)

Harrison
22nd May 2007, 16:47
I'm just waiting for the new ATi DX10 cards to be released this month then it will be great. AMD processors and the new AMD owned ATi graphics cards. Perfect.

You beat the PC I just listed for a better price using Intel CPUs! ;)

Don't get me wrong, if I were going to build a new PC without a fixed budget, at the moment I would probably go for a Quad Core Intel CPU and a nVidia DX10 card, but for a lower budget more realistic system AMD are still the much better option for price to performance. Also Athlon 64 CPUs are very reliable and run much cooler than anything Intel produce so end up creating a much quieter system.

Toasty667
23rd May 2007, 09:46
Cheers for all that! My problem is at the moment I have very little knowledge of hardware so that's why I thought I'd ask. It doesnt need to be a major gaming rig as I need to run games that my current machine is capable of but those specs are very good, so cheers again for the info.:)

On a side note me and a friend were playing Doom deathmatches over a wireless LAN the other day using my fathers computer and we forgot how much fun it is.:D

Harrison
23rd May 2007, 11:52
Doom is definitely still a great game for pure out and out shooting action. Because it is so simple and fast paced it still works well.

As for building a PC. If you did want to do this I, and some of the other here, would be more than happy to walk you though the process and answer any questions as you build it.

As I said before, building a PC isn't actually that hard, but it is a daunting task for anyone who hasn't ever tried. The biggest thing most people worry about is installing the CPU into the motherboard, and the motherboard into the case. These steps are actually very simple, and made even easier with the retail AMD Althlon CPUs as they come with their heatsink which is very easy to install and connect to the motherboard.

With building a PC it is just a set of simple steps you need to do in the correct order and everything is then straight forward.

As I said, if you did want to go ahead and give building your own PC a try then I would be more than happy to answer any questions before and during the process. And with the main site's live chat, if you were to get stuck you could talk directly with the rest of us about anything.

Toasty667
23rd May 2007, 11:59
Cheers thats great. Will take me a while to get the funds and the time I need for all this but I'll defo give it some consideration.:D

Harrison
23rd May 2007, 12:12
Well if it is going to take you some time before you are ready to reconsider it then let me know at the time because hardware prices and the actual components change very quickly so you might even be able to build an even better system by the time you can afford to.