new Build Spec Advice Please!

Soldato
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Hey, I'm looking to spend about £550 on a new system, no more really! I've come up with a spec that I'm pretty happy with, but I was wondering what you guys thought? It doesn't really need to be a rocket ship, but as always the faster the better!

This is a complete new build, so if I've missed anything off, please let me know!

COMPONENT NAME PRICE
MOTHERBOARD: Asus P5QL Pro £63.71
GPU: Sapphire ATI Radeon 4670 1gb DDR3 £55.12
CPU: Q8400 £124.75
HDD1: Maxtor STM3250318AS 250GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 8MB Cache £28.98
HDD2: Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache £55.95
RAM: Corsair XMS2 DHX 4gb (2x2gb) £42.99
PSU: OCZ ModXStream 400w Silent PSU £42.30
CASE: Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Case £45.59
OPTICAL: Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW/RAM/DL Serial ATA Black Bare Drive £16.21
SOUND CARD: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 OEM PCI Soundcard £21.52
CPU FAN: Scythe Mini Ninja Socket 478/775/754/939/940/AM2 Heatpipe Cooler £26.82

£523.94


I had thought about going for an I5 or I7 setup, but it look like it would push me way over budget for similar level stuff in the new standards.

Few things I'm wondering about right now are:

Would the PSU listed be powerful enough?

Is the graphics card a good match for the rest of the setup?

Is this CPU fan any good? Ideally I want to overclock it in the future, but at the start I'll probably just leave it be.

Could so with some advice about case fans aswell? I don't know how many to get, what size and 3pin/4pin.

Cheers in advance guys! (Y)
 
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Soldato
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Glasgow
;)


No point in buying old tech LGA775 and DDR2 for a new build.




Product Name Qty Price Line Total
CP-253-AM_60.jpg
AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 965 Black Edition 3.40GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail £159.99
(£139.12) £159.99
(£139.12)
MB-355-AS_60.jpg
Asus M4A785TD-V Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £70.99
(£61.73) £70.99
(£61.73)
MY-041-GS_60.jpg
G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL) £66.99
(£58.25) £66.99
(£58.25)
CA-026-BQ_60.jpg
Be Quiet! Straight Power 650W ATX2.2 SLi Compliant Power Supply £66.99
(£58.25) £66.99
(£58.25)
HD-082-SA_60.jpg
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (HD103SJ) £58.98
(£51.29) £58.98
(£51.29)
GX-209-SP_60.jpg
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4670 1024MB DDR3 PCI-Express Graphics Card £57.99
(£50.43) £57.99
(£50.43)
CA-101-AN_60.jpg
Antec 300 Three Hundred Ultimate Gaming Case - Black (No PSU) £45.99
(£39.99) £45.99
(£39.99)
CD-041-OT_60.jpg
Sony Optiarc AD-5240S 24x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM £16.99
(£14.77) £16.99
(£14.77) Sub Total : £473.83 Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : FREE VAT is being charged at 15% VAT : £72.84 Total : £546.42
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the input!

I hadn't thought about going AMD really, I've always wanted Intel really, just purely a personal preference more than anything!

I'll look more into going i5 or i7 later, but just from looking this morning it was looking like I was going to have to overspend by at least £100.
 
Soldato
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Why go I7/I5 later on when you will have to get a new motherboard and ram when you do decide to rather than go AM3 and DDR3 just now.? And im sure that system is powerfull enough to last the next few years no bother mate.

and at 3.4Ghz, i wouldnt see any point in overclocking that chip either. :)
 
Soldato
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Aye, thats a very valid point!

I think I'm now going to take your advice, for a Q8400 powered machine with all the old standards, it will cost about the same as the AMD spec you provided, which looks about right, although i think I might change a couple of things. :p

Cheers for the advice! I shall doctor your spec slightly and report back. :p
 
Soldato
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Whats the system for?

If its primarily for gaming then choosing a slower or tri-core CPU and a faster graphics card would be a good idea.

However, if it is mainly for CPU intensive tasks then Kenny's spec is spot on, there is nothing intel-wise that can touch it in that price bracket.
 
Associate
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dont know what your cicumstances are, but if you drop the 1tb HDD you can spend the cash elsewhere and simply buy the HDD at a later date, also 320gb are pretty close to 250gb in price so you may wanna look at that too.

personally i say splash for 550-600 and get yourself a nice little i5 system with lots of upgrade potential :)
 
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Associate
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You would be mad to start a new build when AM3 and ddr3 parts are so cheap atm, You got to have some cash to stick with Intel IMHO. either save a little more for i5 or just get the new 965 AMD its not that far off the intels performance/price wise
 
Soldato
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Whats the system for?

If its primarily for gaming then choosing a slower or tri-core CPU and a faster graphics card would be a good idea.

However, if it is mainly for CPU intensive tasks then Kenny's spec is spot on, there is nothing intel-wise that can touch it in that price bracket.

Not so much in the way of gaming really, I **** about on San Andreas on the odd occasion, but mostly I just watch videos, programming, web design and that. It's looking like in the future I'll be doing some decent video editing though so it will need to handle that.

The main thing for me is future proofing though, If I'm spending £70 on a CPU now, I'd rather spend £150 and make it last longer!

----

Right, question time:

What would be the best thermal paste to use?

Should i stick with the motherboard in Kennysevenfold's spec? (This one). Just there's an offer on this week on This one which has the 790X chipset over the 785G.

If I get the Ram kenny suggested, would it be possible to up it to 8GB if I needed to? Doubt I will, just I will be running a 64 bit OS on it so I might feel at some point in the future that it needs to be done!

Which OS would you recommend? I can get either Windows 7 or XP 64 through Uni for free. Can get Vista aswell, but I hate it. :p

The cost is now over £625, would really rather it didn't get much more, thats half my student loan until just after christmas! :p
 
Soldato
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You would be mad to start a new build when AM3 and ddr3 parts are so cheap atm, You got to have some cash to stick with Intel IMHO. either save a little more for i5 or just get the new 965 AMD its not that far off the intels performance/price wise

Cheers for the advice dude! I think I will go for the AMD now, seems you get more bang for your buck where they're concerned! I don't mind if it's not as powerful as an i7 920, I just want it to be as fast as it can be for my rough budget. That Q8400 machine I specced up cost about £450, seems daft not to go with all the new standards now I look at it!
 
Soldato
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That board you picked looks pretty solid, here is a review. However, kenny's is cheaper and has all the features you will need.

Adding an extra 2 sticks of that RAM is definately possible in future. You may need to loosen the timings or increase the volts to get its stable, but it will work.

Definitely get Windows 7 if it's available to you. Its miles better than XP and as you want new tech, you may as well go with the new OS too.

For thermal paste, this stuff is great. However, stuff included on the stock heatsink is perfectly adequate if you don't plan on overclocking.
 
Soldato
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Is it worth going for the newer chipset though? In case I decide it needs upgrading at some point during the future?

I probably will overclock it in the future, but not until it's "run in". :p

I was leaning towards Windows 7, seeing as I'm be moving up from the old P4 into the new age, it's probably a good idea to upgrade the OS too.
 
Soldato
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Not really, anyway I was under the impression that the 785G was the newer chipset (785g is 55nm while 790x is 65nm). You will likely not see any difference between the chipsets other than the price (and the integrated graphics on the 785G).

If you plan on overclocking, a decent cooler is a good idea. This cheap but very cheerful cooler is worth a look.
 
Soldato
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Also it says they're both 45nm?

They both support 45nm CPUs such as the Phenom 2s, however the chipsets themselves are made with different manufacturing processes, have a look here. Either way, they are both good boards.

If you are thinking of spending that kind of money on a cooler, I suggest giving this one a look.
 
Soldato
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Looks like the 785G board actually has more features aswell, I'll be getting that one then!

Have updated the spec with that cooler aswell, thanks very much for your advice!

----

I think this is the last thing to address, what shall I do about case fans? I don't know anything about them really, on my current machine I've got one 4 pin one, and the CPU fan. I've heard the Antec 300 is a good choice where air flow is concerned, but I don't actually know anything about air flow? :p
 
Soldato
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The antec 300 is a nice case, however it doesn't come with any front intake fans (though it does include a pair of exhaust fans). My suggestion would be to add one of these fans to provide intake airflow.

Without a power hungry GPU or much overclocking, that should be perfectly sufficient. However, if you want a very quiet system,you will want to look at replacing all case fans with quiet fans and a fan controller, this and this are very good - but certainly not required for your build.
 
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