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Old 07-05-2009, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First build help

Hi there

So now I'm in need of a new desktop, and i really like the idea of putting one together myself. I'm studying architecture, so I need the power for fairly intensive 3D rendering programs etc... At the same time i'm planning on using this PC as a sort of all-in-one, by putting in a tv-tuner and sound card so i can use it for both music and tv/film. Gaming isn't necessarily a priority, I've been just using a laptop for years so haven't had a chance to play anything decent for a long time (although i do reeeaaallly want to play crysis and empire:total war).

I've been scanning these forums, and everybody seems to buy from newegg, problem is, i'm over here in Britain so no newegg i'm afraid. From looking around, EBuyer.com is the best equivelant here, i boughtmy laptop from them a couple years ago and it got to me in less than 24 hours!

In terms of budget, i'm not looking at more than say, £750 ($1250) for the comp itself. This is excluding monitor, speakers, keyboard and i guess sound/tv cards as they can be added later.

Any recommended builds would be great. I know this budget may mean compromising but I'd just like advice on where to spend the money, and any recommended parts.

I had a go at what i could put together:

Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Case - No PSU - Ebuyer
ASUS M4A79T Deluxe 790FX Socket AM3 DDR3 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard - Ebuyer
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor - Ebuyer
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 DHX Memory Kit - Ebuyer
ZOTAC GTX260 192 Core SYNERGY EDITION 896MB DDR3 Dual DVI HDTV PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card - Ebuyer
Arctic Power 700W PSU - With PCI-E, 4x SATA, 20+4, ATX12V, 8pin +12V Connectors - Retail Boxed - Ebuyer
LiteOn 20x DVDĪRW Dual Layer & Ram IDE Black Bare Drive - OEM - Ebuyer
Hitachi DeskStar 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM - Ebuyer

that's the basic idea, comes in at £622 (about $1000), so under my budget, for £750 I can add another 4gb ram, sound card and tv card pretty much.

To be honest I'm pretty clueless, so could be all wrong, so adjustments or a whole new build would be very welcome.

Thanks for reading all this, cheers

Lorcan
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

hi,

if you're willing to exclude the sound card and tv card and go about ~£25 over your budget then you could consider this

total is £774 inc.vat.

https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=35938 i7 920 (D0)
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=36711 asus rampage II
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=34299 ocz 3x2gb ddr3 1600
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=34504 sapphire 4870 512mb
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=30998 samsung f1 1TB 32mb cache
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=31918 samsung 22x dvd+-r sata
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=29383 corsair 550vx
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Comp...roductId=31087 antec 300

you would be getting an i7 build instead with 6gigs of ram which should yield you better performance over an amd. if this is too over budget, then you can go with an amd build.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

Alright, there's a few things we can fix up here.

Firstly, you don't need a 790FX board, or an AM3 standard board. You can grab a 790GX for much cheaper:
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H AMD 790X Socket AM2/AM2+ Motherboard - Aria Technology

I was going to say get an x4 940 instead of the 955, but it's only 10 pound difference, so...buy away.

The GPU has got to go. It's a Zotac (which I'm not fond of) and it's the older model of the GTX 260. Grab this one instead:
XFX GTX260 896MB Core Edition Dual DVI HDTV Out PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card With Free Terminator Salvation Game Download While Stocks Last - Ebuyer

Because we're getting a different board, you need different RAM. DDR3 is pretty much wasted on AM3, and the board we picked out is AM2+ which supports AM3. So get this kit:
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 DHX Performace Memory CL4 2.1V - Ebuyer

Different PSU would be nice, I don't recognize that brand, and you don't want to skimp on a PSU. Also, you don't need that much power. Here's a good one:
Corsair 650W TX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 80+% Efficiency, Single +12V Rail - Ebuyer

Also, I'm definitely not a fan of Hitachi drives. Nothing but bad luck with them. If you really still want 1tb, get this drive:
Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache - OEM Green Power - Ebuyer

By the way, these parts mixed in with what's left of your parts come out to be £645.93 inc. VAT.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

Thanks very much for the quick reply Muffin Man.

well i'm on a student budget, so not able to spend loads, the reason i wanted the tv/sound card was to avoid needing to buy a tv/soundsystem, and to i tend to watch alot of movies. A friend has a 7.1 speaker set which he needs to get rid of so he'll give it to me for £50, and I can borrow a 23" monitor off someone else pretty much indefinitely so that sets me up really, hence wanting those cards.

In terms of difference between that particular AMD and the i7 920, how big a difference will i see in games/renders etc...? is it enough to merit the £100 difference in price for the cpu and mobo?

I know very little about Radeon vs NVidia, any advice on the £100-140 price range for both (with a look to getting a second eventually perhaps)

Thanks again.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

If you're looking to get a second card, you'll need to go ATI with the AMD motherboard. You can either get this 4870:
XFX HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card - Ebuyer

And later on you could get a second one. In which case I would keep the 650w PSU I recommended.

With that card, your build cost would be brought down to almost 600 quid.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

Cheers Hokaricloud, lots of useful info there,

Like i said i'm pretty new to this so was just trying to get an idea of what to go for. I started with the processor which listed as AM3, hence why i went for that particular Motherboard. Out of interest, will AM2+ make full use of the cpu?

I assumed DDR3 was significantly better, but if the difference isn't much that's good to know, just thought with this ddr2 at 800mhz and the set i saw running 1600mhz that would make quite a difference.

That GPU does look better, thanks for pointing that out.

Cheers
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

AM3 works in AM2+ boards for the most part. The only real difference between AM2+ and AM3 motherboards is the fact that DDR3 is supported on the AM3 sockets. But Like I said, DDR3 is a waste on AMD, since it's only dual channel and not significantly faster. DDR2 will run fine for you.

I currently have an AM3 processor in an AM2+ board and it's in no way limited.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

Hikaricloud, justreading the reviews etc.. on that WD HDD you recommended, a couple of people saying as it's a 'green' drive (which apparently means it's slow to get going) it's best used for storage, not for main OS drive. Would you say this is the case?

As for the Ati Radeon you mentioned. I understand it's needed if i want 2. But i just thought, with a Tv and Soundcard in there too, will there be space for a second card? Also i realised i may need a wireless card for internet as i'll be in a house with 7 others and the wireless hub is on the ground floor (no way of getting a lead up to my room) So there won't be loads of space and slots for a second GPU

I prefer the look of the GTX260's specs, and I figure i could simply upgrade down the line rather than having 2 cards (it seems to me GPU's move very quickly and prices go down quite fast). What do you think?
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First build help

You can get a wireless USB instead of an actual card, saves a slot.

The only reason you'd need more than the onboard sound is if you had a really nice setup of speakers, otherwise onboard is fine.

The TV card can go in the bottom PCI slot and it will fit just fine with 2 video cards. But you may not need to get 2 video cards for a while anyway, considering the 4870 on its own is pretty beastly.

The GTX 260 and the 4870 are really a neck and neck battle. Depending on which website is reviewing them, it seems the 4870 pulls ahead more often than not. Personally, I like the GTX 260, but that's because I fold, and I would need CUDA (which the 4870 doesn't support). But the 4870 is much cheaper, so you can't beat that cost.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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fair enough, the only reason I want the sound card is as i'm gonna buy my friends 7.1 speaker set after i build this comp, so when i have those and a 23" screen it'd be a pretty sweet set up for films/games. The original mobo i posted with the am3 and ddr3, also had 7.1 support, had all the jacks on the back, which i thought could perhaps save me getting the card.
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