pre-build for parents - £4-600?

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Hi all,

The PSU went on my parents 5 year old amd 3800 rig last weekend and I'm looking at a replacement. So far I have two options as I see it:

1. Buy a prebuild and maybe upgrade some parts (waiting for a price confirmation at the mo

titan odin

NZXT Hush Classic Series Silent Midi-Tower Case

260GT - £112

£450 all in? (waiting for sales to get back to me)


2. build one myself - i5 rig? no idea if this is a good balance:
Picture3.jpg


I have never built a pc before and I do not want to overclock, just get balanced replacement rig. Above is already over what I wanted to pay.
£650+

The uses would be as follows:
Office 2003 60%
CATIA (cad package) 40%
I play left for dead at the weekends (monitor is a 19" sharp LCD)
Windows XP (runs CATIA stable) I'll look into Windows 7 at a later date.

I'm hesitant of building myself unless it is the only realistic way to get a quiet box but at the same time, if I can get a swap out on the prebuild deal from OCUK without too much of a premium that suits me fine. It really will be an office box for most of the time and I've never built a pc before.

What are your thoughts? Oh and hoping to order tomorrow for delivery by the weekend.

Best Regards, Matt.
 
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Well the one youve specced is a much better system, and will probably have a future upgrade path too, you could probably save a bit (£50) and just get a 250 gfx card if gaming isnt that big a priority, and seen as how only 19" screen anyway. Id spend a pound more and get the blue ripjaw RAM which has lower cas, c8 vs c9, also could shave a bit on the mobo, do you need a mid range one? or will a cheaper (save £15) lower end one do? Those two would bring you in on budget
 
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Associate
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I've got no idea what your parents are like - but if they're anything like mine, that machine is total overkill - you state "mostly an office PC" so I've based the following on that:

E5200 + 4gb DDR2, a 300gb HDD and decent quality power supply along with a motherboard with onboard graphics and they'll be sorted for another 5 years.

A core i5 and GTX260, while nice, is more than most non-gamers need for anything they're likely to do. Save them £300 by getting some budget components - maybe even more if you can salvage the case and DVD drive from the old kit.

Even onboard graphics would let your dad indulge in a spot of counter strike, if the mood takes him - and it'll easily manage any office app.

Just because a budget exists, doesn't mean it has to be used.
 
Associate
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Hi both,

Thanks for the feedback! In terms of overkill I think you are largely right although my dad needs a certain amount of overhead to run the CATIA V5 CAD package from home. Work in the design industry is fairly sketchy and this is coming from the company money so there is a certain room to buy a solid performer. He would like the back up of working from home if required.

I'm not buying a dedicated CAD gpu as the GT250/60 range *should* have me covered with open GL 2.1 support.

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/applications/plm/catiav5/sysreq/hwsysreq.html#winhard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CATIA

Hardware requirements for Microsoft Windows XP:
System unit: An Intel Pentium(R) 4 or Xeon based workstation running Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition SP2.
Graphics adapter: A graphics adapter with a 3D OpenGL accelerator is required.
Note: Graphics performance on local transformations (panning, zooming, rotating model) will depend on the selected graphics adapter. The graphics adapter should have the following capabilities:
24-bits, true color, double buffered visual
24-bits, Z-buffer
Stencil buffer
Minimum supported resolution: 1024 x 768; a resolution of 1280 x 1024 is recommended for usability reasons
Network adapter: An Intel Xeon EM64T or AMD Opteron 64-bit based workstation running Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

I am the only gamer in the house apart from solitaire!

Also in my late night slumber I forgot to mention my dad is looking into running dual screen with a 1680 or 1920 screen but I don't think this will make huge impact in terms of GPU requirements.

You can probably tell I've been talking myself into an i5 rig all weekend even though the odin is an ideal solution!

MR Rifles,
250 GT and Ram are sensible suggestions, do you know a run quiet 250 card?
What is the difference between the costs on the mobo's? I really don't know a lot about this.
I've got an IDE hard drive and DVD drive, do they still make mobo's that will take these?

Thanks all again for the support, I expect to go the ODIN route based on your recommendations but am holding out for the shiny new i5!

Also one last question, how are the prebuilds affected by THIS WEEK ONLY? Is there likely to be a price hike on the odin come Thursday?
 
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Firstly the ODIN isnt on TWO so no it wont go up (maybe a few quid if stock prices change or exchange rate for buying things in) You could still do a self build around this set up, but it probably wouldnt save you much money, the befit would be youd be getting exactly what you want, if it were me Id either go for the i5 self build (not strictly needed as Audigex pointed out) or if you want to do cheap Id go for an AMD system, based around a 785g chipset mobo, you could go for 550BE dual core or 720BE tricore CPU.
Re questions on i5 build:
Re IDE, Id definitely get a new HDD, as that will be a noticable bottleneck, you could use the old optical drive, mobos do still have an IDE connector, but tbh for the sake of 17 quid Id personally go for a nice new shiny one
Re mobo, this asus one is £100 (£15 less) and as far as I can tell only differences are it has one less SATA connection, a lower number of power phases (potentially affects OCing) and a few less features eg T-probe microchip and Q-slot (What? exactly)
I dont know from experience re the 250s but I strongly suspect that this gainward is very good, or this BFG, both good makes (BFG very good)
 
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Hi all,
So after a hectic day of calling / e-mailing sales on the sly from my desk I've got the odin on order with the BFG 250 and a freezer CPU cooler. I've kept the case standard as they've assured me it is quiet and should survive the transit. They were concerned the NZXT would not be strong enough with all the parts in... Either way saves me some wedge!

My last question relates to the monitor and running dual screen, the parents want to run a new second monitor --> £200 budget.

The dell 2290WA gets a recommendation in another thread, what are the other options?:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO-032-DE

I think a 23/24" will be a bit too big for the room but I welcome any feedback if there is a much better screen for the money. 1680*1050 looks sensible to me as I'll be pairing it with the 250gt and the parents want quality over size (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-094-BG&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1402)

Is there any issue using a VGA to DVI adapter for my old monitor?

Thanks again one and all, hoping to have this all delivered for Saturday ready for some shooty shooty, *cough* I mean VAT returns :cool:
 
Soldato
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The case won't have all the parts in, won't it?

But yeah, that monitor is really good. You can see the difference with e-IPS. I wouldn't run it with another monitor though, it wouldn't look right. I'm a firm believer that the monitors should be the same in a dual setup.
 
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You say it's a CAD machine? Downgrade the PSU and GFX Card and get another 4GB of RAM? You'll find it's probably a good call in the long run.
 
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hi all,
Just thought I'd pop back on here and say thanks for all your thoughts / advice. I still need to load the cad package on, but so far the machine is doing exactly what the parents need.

The standard coolermaster case is really quiet too, even after an hour of gaming (stress testing ;)) there is no noticeable fan noise increase. I did opt for the upgraded cpu cooler though. The Dell monitor looks stunning too and puts the old 19" we have to shame.

Delivery was 1-2 working days as we asked them to hold the shipping whilst we decided on the monitor. Packaging was excellent.

So... thanks all!
 
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