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  • Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

    I'm planning on building a new computer in the next few months but I need some help. I've never built a computer from scratch before (although I have swapped components in and out) so I'm not sure if I even have a compatible setup.

    Second thing I need help with is reducing the price. As I said I plan on buying the computer in a couple of months so hopefully the price will have dropped somewhat by then. My target price is between £400 - £500 (788.24 US$ - 985.3 US$) but as close to £400 as possible.

    What I'm looking for is a rig that I can upgrade easily. I'd like to be able to play BF2, Oblivion etc on high settings and any new games (Armed Assault) on mid to high settings.

    My current setup is below. With this I can run Oblivion and BF2 on LOW settings but can't run Company of Heroes or Armed Assault.

    AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 1.82Ghz
    ASUS A7V8X-X
    Radeon 9800Pro
    512MB RAM
    500W Ebuyer PSU

    I went on ebuyer earlier and put this together. Again, I've never done this before so there may even be compatibility issue with this setup.

    Case: Casecom Black/Silver Midi Tower Case With Front Panel LCD £11.90
    PSU: Xpro 500W Quiet PSU - 12cm Fan, 20+4pin Power Connector, PCI-E Connector, PFC £32.74
    Mobo: ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA PT880 Ultra Socket 775 SATA 8 channel audio ATX £32.31
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4ghz) Socket 775 FSB1066 4MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £118.18
    Graphics Card: MSI 8600GTS 256MB DVI HDTV PCI-E £110.63
    Hard Drive: Western Digital WD2500KS 250GB 7200RPM SATAII/300 16MB Cache Hard Drive - OEM £35.73
    CD-Drive:Samsung SH-S183 SATA 18x DVD±RW/RAM Black - Bare Drive OEM £17.43
    Memory: Crucial 2GB kit (1GBx2) DDR2 PC2-4200 CL=4 UNBUFFERED NON-ECC DDR2-533 1.8V £37.16
    Monitor: Samsung SM920NW 19" Widescreen TFT 700:1 1440x900 300cd/m2 5ms £99.99
    Keyboard: Extra Value 2.4Ghz Wireless Media Center Keyboard -USB £17.01
    Mouse: Logitech RX1000 Black/Silver Laser Mouse - 1000DPI - USB £10.96

    Subtotal = £524.04
    Total (Inc VAT) = £630.26

    I'll be grateful for any advice!

  • #2
    Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

    That's tough to cut corners on something that's already pretty bare.

    You could use the E6420 instead. Slower clock speed but same amount of cache.

    You could also get a smaller 80GB drive and reuse whatever you have now. Put the OS on the new drive and whatever else you can on the old drive.

    There will always be ways to cut corners but that comes with strings attached. Do you really need a new mouse and keyboard when you can use your old one? Can you get a cheaper mouse/keyboard setup? It saves you a few bucks but you'll be using cruddy equipment.

    - It's who you game with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

      Looks like you have found hardware you want for about the lowest price possible so only thing you could really do is possibly wait on the monitor and dvd drive since you could use the monitor you have now and a drive from your other pc.

      But if prices do drop as expected next month or so you might be able to get all that on budget.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

        Its solid advice to re-use all you can. Monitor, keyboard, mouse, HD, DVD/CD can all wait.

        I track prices on Pricewatch.com (but only buy from well regarded dealers.)

        My priorities:
        Motherboard
        CPU
        Memory
        Power supply (only 500W) Think bigger!
        Video card

        Just don’t skimp on these and you can upgrade all the little stuff as your budget allows. I also recommend you put aside another $30-$50 for extras like round cables, better fans, and other accessories.

        Sarcoma
        Last edited by Sarcoma; 06-15-2007, 03:40 PM. Reason: PSU update
        Sarcoma.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

          I'm on 500 Watt and I haven't had any problems. It seems to me the internet decided since a few $4000 rigs with the omg super duper quad SLI video cards with hooker headers and platinum contacts need extra juice, suddenly everyone has to install a Kill-o-watt in their rigs and double their electrical bill.

          Not that 550 wouldn't be a wise move... but trying to build strong on under eight-hundred clams is going to be tough. It's do-able of course.


          1) Are you willing to dabble with overclocking? If so, get the E6400 and save about a hundred Colonials. The difference between E6400 and 6600 is the multiplyer limit (x9 vs x8, so the E6400 is 89% the clock of E6600 at a given bus speed) and the extra cache-on-die, which isn't a big big deal for games. If you're grinding out fractals or something the cache rocks, but it's a luxury on most games.

          2) Round cables only matter if you're using IDE/PATA, and if you are, just roll them up yourself and bind them with tape. Fans rock, but you have fans in your old case, so aside from a $10 120mm if you can fit it in your case, you should be fanned up. Better off ensuring they face the right direction and you don't have vent holes leaking your air flow.

          3) Recycle your old periphrials. "But I'll still use the old system" is no excuse. You can stick a $4 keyboard and a $4 mouse on the old rig. If you already have a quality KB&M, you're set. Same for the screen; go to a garage sale and get a $5 CRT and be done with it. Even if you want a new screen you can buy it next time you've saved up some dough. You'll get a better device for the same price. Well, you might have trouble finiding a quality monitor in the future with all these ratty panel craps breeding like cane toads... I need to buy a super screen while I still can...

          4) Your RAM is wholly dictated by your motherboard. Find out which RAM the mobo will accept and buy it. Grabbing whatever ram is cheap and hoping it works is a waste of time and money. That said, the CPU, either E6600 or E6400, wants to be overclocked, so you should get a mobo that eats PC3200 (FSB800 approved). That way, you can overclock your CPU while underclocking your RAM on tighter timings. (What that means is, you deliberately slow your RAM down so it will be stable when told to work more frequently. My RAM timings call for 5, but I run it at 4 (20% faster tempo, so to speak) because it's underclocked to 750 instead of 800, which is 94% of its rated speed. That keeps me from losing, if not gaining, performance while letting me push the CPU like an ox.)

          5) Video Card is all about the eye candy. Especially in Source, where a Radeon 9800 in Medium quality is yawning and tapping its foot waiting on the CPU to hurry up and feed the video card a new frame to render. However, if you like the shiny stuff, or super high-resolution, or play non-Source games, Video kinda requires at least a $275~300 investment. That $220 job is probably good, but you're locking yourself in one step behind where you could be if you can squeeze the better card into the budget.


          Disclaimer:
          I bought my current rig on a $1500 budget (came in two bucks under, shipped, with $70 in rebate cheques in the mail) using E6600, EVGA 8800 GTS 320, EVGA 680i motherboard (nVidia chipset is very troublesome in retrospect) and 2G of RAM. KB&M, Montior, additional HDDs, a spare fan, hole-plugging tape were promoted from my previous machine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

            Give the amount of research I've done, you can OC a 6400/6420 to 2.4 on stock without overheating the CPU or frying your motherboard either. It'll save you some which could go towards shipping costs.

            Well for a budget-grade system, for the most part it looks fine. If it was my budget system, I'd still opt for a Seagate drive instead of anything bearing a WD logo on it.

            As for your PSU, wattage is good, amperage is also good. You can fit up to a single 8800GTX card and still have a good 20-40 watts to spare. Unfortunately, you can't SLI any 8xxx series card or the 7800GTX/7950GX2. You'd have to have at least 550W to SLI any of the above mentioned video cards.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

              I was Maxtor for a while (because it's what the local stores had) and they all did something offensive to me. I got a Seagate and it's been rocking awesomely, but now that Seagate bought Maxtor, they're just more Maxtor and I won't touch that. My latest system, I went WD. There's never a reason to not back-up of course, but knowing that the only reason Seagate would buy Max is to cash Seagate goodwill on Max garbage, I'm staying away.

              So much for my history of being anti-WD.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post
                I'm on 500 Watt and I haven't had any problems. It seems to me the internet decided since a few $4000 rigs with the omg super duper quad SLI video cards with hooker headers and platinum contacts need extra juice, suddenly everyone has to install a Kill-o-watt in their rigs and double their electrical bill.

                Not that 550 wouldn't be a wise move... but trying to build strong on under eight-hundred clams is going to be tough. It's do-able of course.
                Its not that you need the power, its that you need a good PSU that is constant in its output and reliable. The only reason that it seems like everyone goes for a higher wattage is because thats what manufactors are making. Sadly, you do end up buying the name/a higher priced one if you wanna go for a reliable PSU, but on the other hand, its what you PC completely relies on to work. Bad RAM and you might not get a good OC or a low end GPU you won't get the eye candy, but a bad PSU and it might not even work.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                  I'd try to cut cost from the CPU and add cost to the GPU.
                  A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                  "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                    highest rated power supply on Newegg. I recently bought this, and can attest to the quality. Once you take it out of the box, you just want to show it to people, even if they don't care.

                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139001

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                      Rofl. SeaSonic makes those boudreux. And I love SeaSonic, which is why my future build will feature SeaSonic. :D

                      I did not know Seagate bought Maxtor. That would explain why I haven't heard of Maxtor floating around the tech talks the last few years. Although, I'm not sure about your claim (Magna) that Seagate would betray our trust in them by producing lower quality products since they bought Maxtor. Unless you meant to say that Maxtor now has "better" products. In which case, I'm wary of such claims by "Maxtor".
                      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                      Former 9th & 13th

                      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                      TG Primer and Rules

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                        Thanks for the advice guys! I think I need some more help with selecting a motherboard. What should I be looking for? Any recommendations?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                          ASUS is generally good. I chose EVGA/680i because I heard a lot of dorky problems with ASUS regarding RAM compatibility and even hardware compatibility problems, but the 680i is a dork, too. Though I've heard newer hardware revisions fix most of the problems, it has a tendency to issue erroneous keyboard beeps, which causes keys to get stuck. Manually disabling the ability to make a system beep seems to help a bit, but mostly it seems to be a cooling issue; I reworked all my fans, pushed my overclock back down to FSB1500, amd disabled the system beep before it stopped annoying me.

                          So yeah... they all stink these days. :D


                          You seem to have a lot of faith in corporations. I'm not a liberal hippy pinko, but I also know that when a junk product company is bought out, it's because the buyer is interested in making junk.

                          Just from face-value, Seagate buying Maxtor means either they want to sell Maxtor junk as Seagate (cash in the goodwill), they want the facility to strip out and make Seagate-quality drives (which would be very expensive, not much cheaper, if cheaper, than just building new facilities), or they-Maxtor had some sort of patent value.

                          Well, last I heard, Seagate's plan was to sell "Maxtor by Seagate" branded drives. Which screams "junk crap by the name you used to trust lol!" And when people see that and know it's bad, all these ex-Maxtor buyers want real Seagate, and when demand exceeds production, what would Seagate do? Put Maxtors in boxes that just say "Seagate." No one will notice until they either check the drive serial numbers, or until the drives burst into broken after the Maxtor sort-lived warranty runs out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                            Obi i recomend you having a look at http://www.overclockers.co.uk/ if you havent already for some great prices, ive built two rigs with components ordered from them and they have not let me down yet. In fact on my first rig they ran out of the graphics card i order and so upgraded to the next model for free.



                            "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
                            Winston Churchill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Building new rig, need advice and help reducing price

                              I don't have any problems with ASUS. You need to realize that the well known mobo manufacturers like ASUS and Intel both have tested their motherboards with major memory manufacturers (Corsair, Kingston, etc.) and a few others. They state in the mobo manual which RAM modules (sometimes even state chips) will work with their boards. They also include brand name, model name, speed, arrangment, and voltage.

                              As for other hardware compatibility with ASUS, I can name two off hand. 1) Some cheaper priced ASUS boards will only take graphic cards up to a certain amount of ram (mines will only take up to 256MB cards). 2) Some older (1st gen or so) Antec Neo PSUs do not function with ASUS boards. Apparently the issue has been resolved on Antec's part (their fault).


                              Magna:
                              If what you say becomes reality, we'll all be screwed. WD isn't reliable worth a dime. Maxtor isn't worth anything in terms of reliability either. Seagate has been known to give good performance at excellent reliabilty. Then you have Samsung drives (spinpoint are good drives), but it seems their latest generation has reliability issues as well (hardware failure within warranty). Lastly, Hitachi. I still don't trust them after they took over manufacturering IBM's Deskstar line.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

                              Comment

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