First build - appreciate any advice

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So I finally decided that my 5 year old Dell P4 needs to be changed for a shiny new model and thanks to the confidence building guides/posts here I've decided to build it myself. I don't really know too much about the components so I'd appreciate a couple of specs to help me out.

Budget is around £350 (including a case), I'm happy to live with onboard graphics for a few months till the savings rack up again and I can get a nice graphics card.

It's mostly going to be used with photoshop cs3 and 3D rendering, I'm well behind on games so would probably be playing year old titles rather than the latest stuff. Also it'd be nice to be able to upgrade further in the future, and although I haven't got a clue yet I'm intrigued by the idea of overclocking.

I'd like to be save a couple of quid and keep my HDD and DVD drive but I think they're IDE and I'm not even sure if motherboards even have that on them now?

Thanks for your help
 
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Thanks, I'll admit that looks a pretty cool set up but I wasn't sure if I might be able to get more power from a self built AMD?
 
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Motherboards have one IDE riser on them, mixing a DVD drive and HDD on one IDE riser usually doesn't work. Here are 2 specs, the first one keeps your DVD drive on the IDE channel:

AMD Phenom II X2 Dual Core 550 3.10GHz Black Edition (Socket AM3) - Retail £77.99
(£67.82)
Asus M4A785TD-M Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £67.99
(£59.12)
OCZ Reaper 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C6 1333MHz Dual Channel (OCZ3RPR13334GKK) £60.00
(£52.17)
Seagate Barracuda LP 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (ST31000520AS) £55.99
(£48.69)
Coolermaster eXtreme Power 650W Power Supply £43.99
(£38.25)
Coolermaster Elite 335 Case - Black (No PSU) £32.99
(£28.69)
Sub Total : £294.74
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £11.25
VAT is being charged at 15% VAT : £45.90
Total : £351.89


Keeping the HDD:
AMD Phenom II X3 Tri Core 720 Black Edition 2.80GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail £97.99
(£85.21)
Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £76.99
(£66.95)
OCZ Reaper 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C6 1333MHz Dual Channel (OCZ3RPR13334GKK) £60.00
(£52.17)
Coolermaster eXtreme Power 650W Power Supply £43.99
(£38.25)
Coolermaster Elite 335 Case - Black (No PSU) £32.99
(£28.69)
LG GH22NS40 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM £18.99
(£16.51)
Sub Total : £287.78
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £11.25
VAT is being charged at 15% VAT : £44.85
Total : £343.88


If you're near the shop you can save £11.25 and collect it. Also you can replace that 1TB HDD with others in its price range easily enough, that's just one of the ones in stock. The PSU is on 'This week only' but others at a similar price are available that will be capable of running the system. Personally I would keep the old HDD for a bit then buy a new HDD or alternatively modify spec number 2 to include (for example):

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 250GB SATA-II 8MB Cache - OEM (ST3250318AS) £31.99

Or you could add £5 and get a 500GB HDD instead of the 250GB (it gets hard to stop. The SATA 2 ports are MUCH faster than IDE and stretching £10 to £15 over budget really would pick up the pace, and you get a 3rd CPU core.

Hope that helps on some level. I would stretch over budget personally or get a small HDD to stay in budget for the speed boost if only to cut down the load times on the apps I use most! Though I am ignoring shipping at that :/
 
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Thank you, that second spec seems pretty sweet, is the psu enough to power a reasonable graphics card when I get around to getting one?
 
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I agree, but my current onboard can handle CS3 (although stuttery) at the moment so I'd hope a new motherboard would be at least equal, but it would only be short term as I'll be looking to pick up a decent graphic card in Dec/Jan. It's more personal than professional work that I do anyway!
 
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12 Mar 2009
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It will do it, but it will be painfully slow for large resolutions and complex processing but it is doable! That PSU should be plenty (part of why I chose it ;))
 
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