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Hardware Thread, New PC 500 Budget - What shall I do?! in Technical; Originally Posted by tmcd35 BenQ 18.5" monitor - 68.99 Logitech Keyboard & Mouse - 14.98 Creative 2.0 Speakers - 12.78 ...
  1. #16

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    BenQ 18.5" monitor - 68.99
    Logitech Keyboard & Mouse - 14.98
    Creative 2.0 Speakers - 12.78
    PS style gamepad - 11.00
    Win7 Home Prem OEM - 72.36
    D-Link USB WiGi Dongle - 7.96
    Powercool 450W PSU (80+ Bronze) - 28.14
    2xKingston 4Gb Ram - 57.58
    AMD A10-5700 - 91.00
    Asus A55BM mATX mobo - 39.76
    LiteOn DVD Drive - 9.99
    Fractual Design Case - 26.98
    WD 1Tb HDD - 45.74

    All in - 2.72 over budget delivered
    Not sure the A10-5700 is worth bumping up to if there'll be a proper GPU upgrade later on. A8-6600K has a higher clockspeed than the 5600K wot I linked to, though, so that might be worth considering.

    A55 motherboard isn't worth the small saving either IMHO, no SATA6gbps or USB3 ports, which is the sort of thing that'll really grate in a couple of years (I bought a USB1.1 laptop months before USB2 was everywhere, I have learnt this lesson).

    Never heard of Powercool as a PSU manufacturer before either, they any good? eBuyer sell a lot of rubbish PSUs that are completely lying about their power rating, and I'm always a bit cautious when it comes to power supplies as one bad PSU will ruin all your components.

    I did forget the Wifi card, though, I knew there was something missing and a game controller is all but essential for PC gaming these days as well, they work so well - though I won't consider anything less than a 360 controller, I'm fussy like that

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    Thanks for all the responses guys, I really do appreciate the help!! Quick question, probably an obvious one, but I don't have any knowledge in the gaming hardware stuff. But if I go with a AMD APU and decided I did want more GPU grunt so brought a dedicated graphics card, is it easy enough to disable the onboard graphics?? :S

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    Also I think I may go with this set-up. Coming out at 508... Honest opinions please, things to consider changing etc?? That's everything from eBuyer, will check Amazon etc for cheaper prices on things.
    New PC.PNG

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    Looks a good 'un to me .

    GPU upgrade is easy: put GPU into PCI-E slot, connect power adapter if necessary*, connect monitor to graphics card output instead of motherboard output, boot. May need to install the driver and reboot, but if you get an AMD GPU it won't even need that, you'll already have the AMD drivers from the APU. (Not that it's a challenge installing the nVidia drivers, pick whichever card is best value at the time.)

    *that PSU has 2 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, make sure any GPU you get doesn't need more than that/an 8 pin connector. You'll be good for almost any card bar the 300+ market, mind you.

  5. #20

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    The only think I'd question is the choice of hard drive. Personally I'd go for capacity over speed. Apart from a little bit quicker boot times, I doubt you'd see major speed differences any where else. Personally I think there are usually other bottlenecks at play, usually human, that make most speed gains more theoretical than practical. I think SSHD's are a perfectly acceptable halfway house giving a slight speed boost from the SSD cache combines with traditional hard drive capacity. And should cost about the same or slightly less than the SSD. Alternatively just get a standard HDD and put the money somewhere else - better APU?

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    Yeah if you've not got a mechanical hard drive to hand already for installing games you will need more than 128GB I fear, unless you only ever want two games installed and are happy to continually uninstall and redownload. An SSD is an easy upgrade in the future though so you could get mechanical now then get an SSD as a boot drive a few months down the line. They're ace for boot times and opening Firefox and other desktop apps quicker, but they don't make much difference to game loading times.

    I tell you what though, I'm still impressed at what can be done for 500. Really didn't think you could get such a decent system (with monitor and OS) for that price. When I were a lad a decent PC cost 1400 and were outdated in 6 months... [/four yorkshiremen]

    Oh, and @tmcd35 - I re-read my reply above and it came off a bit blunt :/ didn't mean it to sound so, well, aggressive. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 19th December 2013 at 08:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Oh, and @tmcd35 - I re-read my reply above and it came off a bit blunt :/ didn't mean it to sound so, well, aggressive. Sorry about that.
    Lol, can't say I particuarly noticed (very used to reading forum posts and understand written text rarely comes out the way you mean it to sound - in your head)

    EDIT: I will say this in response to your reply though As we found out in the 700 build a week or so back, it's bloody tough getting everything in budget. You gotta make sacrifices below about 1000. I was 3 over budget, your changes - potentially could increase the bill. I think that's the fun in these threads - the challenge of spec'ing at a budget and working out which corners are the right ones to cut.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 19th December 2013 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    The only think I'd question is the choice of hard drive. Personally I'd go for capacity over speed. Apart from a little bit quicker boot times, I doubt you'd see major speed differences any where else. Personally I think there are usually other bottlenecks at play, usually human, that make most speed gains more theoretical than practical. I think SSHD's are a perfectly acceptable halfway house giving a slight speed boost from the SSD cache combines with traditional hard drive capacity. And should cost about the same or slightly less than the SSD. Alternatively just get a standard HDD and put the money somewhere else - better APU?
    I got a 1TB HDD sat at home waiting ;D

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    EDIT: I will say this in response to your reply though As we found out in the 700 build a week or so back, it's bloody tough getting everything in budget. You gotta make sacrifices below about 1000. I was 3 over budget, your changes - potentially could increase the bill. I think that's the fun in these threads - the challenge of spec'ing at a budget and working out which corners are the right ones to cut.
    Yeah I did forget the wireless card, didn't account for speakers (hoping that people normally have them lying around) and neglected, as ever, to include a controller which really is essential these days. You're right though, there is a satisfaction in tweaking a build to fit inside a budget - it's the same sort of pleasure I got from making army lists in Warhammer/40k

    Quote Originally Posted by L3OUGH View Post
    I got a 1TB HDD sat at home waiting ;D
    1TB will be plenty so you may as well get the SSD for that benefit and just use the HDD for Steam games & media. Or drop the SSD entirely if you want to save the money or spend it elsewhere, but I don't think there's a reasonable upgrade within that price bracket that I'd swap the SSD for IMHO. Grown up life leaves so little time for gaming that I can't afford to lose the 4 minutes of boot up time from mechanical storage...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Grown up life leaves so little time for gaming that I can't afford to lose the 4 minutes of boot up time from mechanical storage...
    Repeat after me - "Windows 7 was NOT designed to run on a 486 processor!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Repeat after me - "Windows 7 was NOT designed to run on a 486 processor!"
    What? 486 is x86 almost by definition, I don't see the problem...

    (more an issue of startup crud and full HDD, SSD sorted it right out though )

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    What? 486 is x86 almost by definition, I don't see the problem...
    Actually, niether do I. Sort of thing I'd try if I had one lying around. That said, remembering how well Win95 ran (full IE active desktop and compressed hard drive on a 486DX2/50 with 8Mb RAM) - it's probably for the best we don't.

    (more an issue of startup crud and full HDD, SSD sorted it right out though )
    >mode -evangilise /enabled

    That's why I hate PC's. I don't think I've ever had one that's lasted more than 6 months before the HDD needs reformatting and everything loading on from scratch. Never seem to have that problem with Macs.

    At home I find the combination of PS4 and iPad gives me 99.999% of all the computing power I ever need. And they are instant on

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    I'd leave out the monitor for now, spend more on the core spec if you can borrow or steal one from somewhere for now? I'm still using an old dell 19" one at home and it does me fine. Would mean you can upgrade to a new monitor in the future without having to throw out anything you've spent money on, and would make the budget for the pc stretch a little further.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    I'd leave out the monitor for now, spend more on the core spec if you can borrow or steal one from somewhere for now? I'm still using an old dell 19" one at home and it does me fine. Would mean you can upgrade to a new monitor in the future without having to throw out anything you've spent money on, and would make the budget for the pc stretch a little further.

    Steve
    I would do that but don't have one lying around and I can't think of anyone who would have a spare I could borrow for a few months :/

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    That monitor you have picked out is VGA only, btw - DVI is (to my eye) much sharper. I'm particularly fussy about image quality though (where I can't really tell the difference between audio quality, MP3 bitrates etc.) so YMMV.

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