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Hardware Thread, New PC 500 Budget - What shall I do?! in Technical; Hi Edugeekers! I'm going to be getting myself a new PC in the new year, however I've never really brought ...
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    Talking New PC 500 Budget - What shall I do?!

    Hi Edugeekers!

    I'm going to be getting myself a new PC in the new year, however I've never really brought myself a decent PC before, always had laptops. What would be best to do with my budget, build my own or buy a pre-built PC? I'm not after a stupid fast machine. I'd like an i5, decent amount of RAM and a relatively good graphics card though, oh it'll need a wireless card, for now...

    As I said never brought a PC like this before, any advice on what parts to buy/websites to use, PC's to buy would be great! I wouldn't mind doing some light gaming on it i.e. DayZ (always wanted to play it), other than that it'll be used for Media(Music/films), Word processing and browsing!

    Monitor(s) and peripherals need to be brought within the 500 too.

    Any help/advice will be great!

    L3OUGH

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    There have been a few threads on this recently, searching may give you some more detailed info. The concensus in those was that 500 will not do this - you can certainly build a PC with monitor for that money, but forget having an i5 or any sort of powerful graphics card. You'd be looking at an AMD APU powered machine with no separate GFX, a TFT screen, and a small SSD or large HDD.

    I'd be looking at something like:

    22" 1080P monitor
    AMD A6 6400k
    8GB RAM
    FM2 motherboard
    Samsung 840 Evo SSD
    Coolermaster Elite case with 500W PSU
    Windows 8.1.

    A pre-built may work out (e.g. Zoostorm Haswell Desktop PC - desktops | Ebuyer.com or Zoostorm Desktop PC - Desktops | Ebuyer.com). No SSD though!
    That little lot alone will eat your budget.

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    L3OUGH (18th December 2013)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L3OUGH View Post
    What would be best to do with my budget, build my own or buy a pre-built PC?
    What kind of question is that? and you call yourself a tech! Moderators - suspend this account

    General advise - spec the monitor, peripherals and OS first. That'll give you a budget for the actual PC. Don't cut corners on the PSU - 80+ Bronze rated, minimum. I'd start with a 100-120 GPU and then see what that leaves for other components after that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    What kind of question is that? and you call yourself a tech! Moderators - suspend this account
    :O I only questioned because I know my budget isn't the biggest! And well would it be better to squirrel away some savings for a few months and spend more money? How much would spend? Remember I'm not after a monster gaming rig... I've my got PS4 for that. NO ARGUMENTS PLEASE ;D

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Your budget will build a moderate gaming rig, complete - but moderate is the emphasis! On the plus side, you'll be able to upgrade in most respects whatever you buy, so you can build something that has an easy upgrade path (like using an FM2+ or an LGA1150 motherboard).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    Your budget will build a moderate gaming rig, complete - but moderate is the emphasis! On the plus side, you'll be able to upgrade in most respects whatever you buy, so you can build something that has an easy upgrade path (like using an FM2+ or an LGA1150 motherboard).
    If I'm honest that sounds like an ideal world for me. A moderate gaming rig which is also a decent PC, with the potential to expand if and when I need to! What sites do you guys buy your hardware from? eBuyer, Over Clockers or just where ever is cheapest??

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    A combination of eBuyer and Amazon is my usual bet, price checking between each and doing an order from both. Scan are also okay, not used OC for a long time.

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    I'd not bother buying a graphics card in the first instance - ivy bridge and later i5's (basically anything you'd buy new now) have a perfectly adequate one if you're not into heavy gaming - just check wikipedia to see the one you want has HDXXXX graphics, a few don't. Spend the saving on a SSD - massive speed increase, modest spending. Make it your boot disc and have a magnetic one if you need lots of storage.

    I think you could build a useful pc for 500 - don't you have any screens you could reuse?

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    So you'd go with:

    22" 1080P monitor
    AMD A6 6400k - What about this instead? A8 6600K instead?
    8GB RAM
    FM2 motherboard - Which board, ASUS or doesn't it matter?
    Samsung 840 Evo SSD
    Coolermaster Elite case with 500W PSU
    Windows 8.1.

    Thanks for the help!!

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    Give these guys a call - hefty edu discount available and quality products:
    https://shop.very-pc.co.uk/index.php?route=common/home

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    The better the APU the better, as they have more shader cores as you go up the ranks. If you can afford the 6600K, get that - the 6800K is even better but is much more. If you buy an FM2+ board, you can also take full advantage of the new Kaveri APUs when they come out (which have GCN cores in them).

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    Yeah, 500 isn't going to get you to the mid-range - although it should be said that lower-end is much more competent than it's ever been, integrated graphics are a marvel compared to even two/three years ago, and spec creep has more or less stopped dead thanks to the long life of the 360/PS3 - there's less pressure to upgrade a PC than there has ever been, I reckon.

    As @tmcd35 says, start with the bits you need and work back from there. Personally I'd say go with an AMD APU for now - A8-5600K or something - and live on integrated graphics for a while until you can save up for a decent GPU. So long as you have a decent PSU it'll be a drop-in upgrade, and the onboard graphics are surprisingly competent - play at 720p and you can play almost anything at low/medium settings, I built a similar system earlier in the year for a friend and he could get his Portal on at 60fps+ at 720p, and any of the many indie games.

    Something like...

    Monitor, 90: AOC e2250Swdak LED LCD DVI Monitor | Ebuyer.com - DVI input, decent contrast & response
    Win8 OEM x64, 74: Windows 8.1 DVD OEM- 64- Bit | Ebuyer.com
    Keyboard & mouse, 17: Microsoft Wired Desktop 600 USB Keyboard and Optical.. | Ebuyer.com - Microsoft are always a good bet for peripherals, the keyboard in Logitech's combo at 15 is a bit too cheap feeling (we have them in school)


    That's already 181 and doesn't include speakers/headphones, so you've got 320 left to get something like...
    AMD A8-5600K, 65: AMD A8 5600K Black Edition 3.6GHz Socket FM2 4MB L2.. | Ebuyer.com - the A6 5400K is 23 cheaper but only dual-core, this is quad-core so will stand you in better stead going forward.
    Motherboard: 45, Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DS2 Socket FM2+ VGA DVI 7.1.. | Ebuyer.com - has SATA6 and USB3, Gigabyte are a solid make
    RAM, 60: Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Genesis Grey.. | Ebuyer.com - two sticks > one stick for bandwidth, speed really isn't that important, especially not if you'll be dropping a discrete GPU in in future
    SSD, 77: Samsung 120GB SSD 840 EVO - SSD only | Ebuyer.com - Samsungs are the best bang/buck atm, 120 is enough for an OS and one or two games, you'll need a second hard drive for more though - hopefully you have one lying around. If not you may have to sacrifice the SSD now to a future upgrade and just get a hard drive - 1TB is 47
    PSU, 44: Corsair 500W CX Builder 80 Plus Bronze PSU 3 Year.. | Ebuyer.com - Corsair are a good make, 500W is plenty for a decent GPU later on
    Case, 27: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Case | Ebuyer.com - remarkably decent for the price, and all you need for the mATX board above.

    All that comes to 318 for a grand total of 499 (if you get the SSD), which I'm amazed I managed to do. Not really had to downscale on anything there, apart from "get a proper GPU later, not now". Decent CPU (i.e. true-quad core), plenty of RAM, SSD, decent grade components throughout. No optical drive, they're all of 12 if you do want one (Samsung SH-224DB 24X Internal DVD Writer with SATA - OEM | Ebuyer.com) but if you're Steaming it all the way you don't need one, you can install Windows from USB stick if you can copy the files over at work.

    GPU wise, you want a 7870 (good offer @ 130 here) or an R9 270X (e.g. Powercolor AX R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI.. | Ebuyer.com) - the latter is a rebrand of the former. That card fits with what the PSU can manage and is remarkably good for the money.
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 18th December 2013 at 02:58 PM.

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    3s-gtech (18th December 2013), L3OUGH (18th December 2013)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I had a play on eBuyer and agree AMD APU is the way to go. You can push the A10-5700 with 8Gb and still keep in budget will all other bits, not bad!

    Edit:

    Here's what I came up with...

    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
    Last edited by tmcd35; 18th December 2013 at 03:18 PM.

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    L3OUGH (18th December 2013)

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    There's also the Ars system guide for Nov 2013 as a reference: Ars Technica System Guide: November 2013 | Ars Technica
    Last edited by pete; 18th December 2013 at 03:16 PM.

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    Blimey, those AMD's are cheap against i5s!

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