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Old 04-15-2011, 11:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help - new build for a friend

Right, I'm quite experienced when it comes to buying and building but I've been out of the loop for the past year.

A friend wants me to build a PC for him but there are so many new parts around and I don;'t have that much time to research for him.

We are from the UK, his MAX budget is £500 but if it's possible, stick to £450 as he MAY require an OS. Parts are mainly going to be bought from Scan.co.uk: Computer Hardware

He wants a gaming computer mainly and it has to last 5 years at least. He doesn't need a monitor or peripherals as he has a 32 inch LCD which he can use (so the graphics card needs to be GOOD). He will be playing all the latest games and on high settings. Surround sound (even if it's just on-board for now) is needed. 1TB HDD should be enough (a Samsung 1TB spinpoint F3 I believe is good and cheap, I have 3 of them and have no problems with them).

I looked into an i5 sandybridge build for him and it seems possible at first sight. I just haven't researched motherboards and the new graphics cards in detail.

I have managed a £500 build 4 years ago for another friend with the same requirements and he is running fine still so it should still be possible.

Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Your friend wants a £500 build that will let him play high settings for the next four years? Or do you mean high settings now?

Quote:
Surround sound (even if it's just on-board for now) is needed.
Onboard is fine for the vast majority of people. Only audiophiles will see any benefit in getting a dedicated one (the advantages of dedicated ones aren't what they used to be).

Anyway, I'll chuck a build together. I usually use Scan so I'll just be a minute or two.
Will he be overclocking, btw? If not, then it saves money on a premium motherboard and CPU. Makes about £40-50 difference.

Also, when is he buying? If it's within the next week then that lets me use the Today Only deals (which last a week if you keep the links), which will make easier to keep to the budget.

If he's not overclocking:
CPU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476586
Mobo https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476642
RAM https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476877
GPU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/sho...ductid=1382748
PSU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1477007
Case https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476914
HDD https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476681
ODD https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/sho...ductid=1120722

Total is £545.17 exactly, inc. VAT and shipping. You can best cut the price down by getting a different motherboard, or by getting a weaker GPU.

If he does want to overclock, then it will be much closer to £600, but if he does he will probably get an extra year out of it if he OC's it to 4.3GHz (that's a relatively easy mark to reach).

Alternatively, if £545 is a bit much, then he can always go the AMD route
CPU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/sho...ductid=1259833
Mobo https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/sho...ductid=1210901

That changes the total to £480.89 inc. VAT and shipping, which is within the budget - I would certainly say that going with the i5 is the better choice if your friend is able to put the extra money into it (especially since upgrade options for the AM3 socket will be limited).
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Thanks Yami for the reply. I'll look over the build tomorrow morning but it seems about what I would have chosen, I just wasn't sure on what GPU and MOBO to choose.

I doubt for his budget he could play on high settings for the next 4 years. Just something that will last 4-5 years and still be playable enough on at least medium settings.

It could potentially be bought next week.

Overclocking is not on his list. You make a good point about the sound cards, it's what I told my friend. Only worth it if you have decent speakers/headphones, I enjoy mine .

£545 is stretching it as he will need an OS now. I'm not too keen on AMD myself and think the i5 is better. Is the 6850 card good enough? Can we cut down cost with the MOBO at all?

I've really been out of it the past year, so much new stuff around now.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake64_009 View Post
I doubt for his budget he could play on high settings for the next 4 years. Just something that will last 4-5 years and still be playable enough on at least medium settings.
It will probably achieve that - I put my system (see my signature) together in mid-2008 and I'm only just now having to start putting games near medium settings.

Quote:
£545 is stretching it as he will need an OS now. I'm not too keen on AMD myself and think the i5 is better. Is the 6850 card good enough? Can we cut down cost with the MOBO at all?
I've had a look and this is about as cheap as is sensible to go https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476634
If he gets that board he'll need to get this RAM instead - which is good because it saves another fiver
https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476874

6850 should be good enough. Going the i5 route is better at this point, since it will leave probably an extra year until an upgrade is needed, compared to getting an AMD Phenom II X4.

Edit: Hang on, I just realised that I must've missed out the RAM when doing my total in the first post. With the old mobo+RAM, the actual total is £584.76. With the different motherboard and RAM from this post, it's £555.96 - sorry about that :-\
Looks like he'll probably have to go AMD if he's buying now, though I recommend he save up for the i5, if that's possible.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

I'll speak to him but I don't think he will be able to go that far. Can we save on the case at all? What would a weaker graphics card be whilst still being good enough?

Windows 7 is another £80 or so onto the price, though if he stays on XP he will not have to pay anything then. Keeping him on XP may be a good idea for now.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Could certainly save on the case, now that you mention it.
Here's a couple good options:
Case https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476912 £27
Case https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1476925 £35

This GPU is as low-end as your friend will likely want to go.
GPU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/sho...ductid=1323139

Can save a couple quid by getting a weaker PSU
PSU https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Sho...ductId=1477000
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

That £27 case was the one I looked at too. The total is down to £490 with the weaker PSU and 5770 card. I'll speak to him, but he may be able to push up the GPU to the 6850 bringing the total to £540. The 550 W will still be enough for the 6850 won't it?
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake64_009 View Post
The 550 W will still be enough for the 6850 won't it?
Yup.


And yeah, I'd recommend he stick with XP, and save up to get Win7 in future (It's worth it).
Don't suppose you or your friend would qualify for getting a student license? It's a bunch cheaper if he does.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

What about a 5830 over a 5770?

Scan.co.uk: XFX HD 5830 Graphics Card - HD-583X-ZADA

I could maybe get a student license for him. I'll look into it. I can get XP for free if it doesn't work out.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help - new build for a friend

Tbh, I wouldn't recommend either; they're both roughly as powerful as my GPU, which as I've said earlier I think, is quite far into the category of 'it has to play most new games on medium'.

Either of them are fine though if that's the level you want to go for.
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