Thinking About New PC

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by Mr_Creosote, Oct 30, 2007.

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  1. Right folks

    I am thinking about moving on from my old Athlon 2500+, overclocked to 3200+, which I built myself, to something considerably more up to date.

    Now, being the tight Jock that I am, I am only wanting to spend about £400. :D But for that £400 I am wanting something that can comfortably play the likes of World In Conflict, Bioshock, Pro Evo Soccer 7/8 and Call of Duty 4.

    I probably won't want Vista/Pishter on it, unless Microshaft release SP1 shortly, as I have my own copies of XP Home and XP Pro. Already got a decent monitor, keyboard, etc. So all I am wanting is just the "box" itself.

    Any recommendations?
  2. I think your asking a lot there. Not that you cant get a PC for £400, thats easy, but the graphics criteria you have set would make it hard to come in at that price I think.
    A decent mid range card will set you back £200
  3. OK, I almost take it back. I went to my current vendor of choice
    and configured their cheapest system and beefed up the graphics and ram and came up with this

    Yoyotech Intel Freedom Bravo
    Was £415.09 ex. vat
    Now £ 406.79 ex. vat
    £477.98 inc. vat

    Cases: Cooler Master Wave Master TAC-T01-E1C Black ATX Mid Tower Case

    Powersupply: Ezcool 550W P4 Super Silent Power supply Supports 24 pin eATX for Socket 775 mainboards

    Intel Motherboard: Asus P5B Socket 775 Core2, Dual DDR2, PCI-E, SATA2 Motherboard

    Intel Motherboard: Asus P5B Socket 775 Core2, Dual DDR2, PCI-E, SATA2 Motherboard

    PC Memory: Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 2GB Kit DDR2-800 XMS2-6400 Xtreme Performance Memory

    Desktop Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE 160GB 8MB SATA 2 Hard Disk Drive

    CD/DVD RW: Samsung SH-S182D 18X DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM drive Black

    Graphics Card: Asus 8800GTS 320MB PCI-E (x16), Mem 1600 MHz, GPU 500 MHz, 96 Streams, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I/HDTV Graphics Card

    The only bad thing is they are out of stock on the Motherboard and Cpu at the moment
  4. ^ I wouldn't go with a Ezcool PSU. get something more reliable, there are plenty of good makes, tagan, ocz, corsair vx, enermax, seasonic PSU is the most important part of any pc. A high quality 400-450w model will power a system like that with ease.

    When the cheap ones go bang they are more likely to take everything else with them.

    I'd also drop the 8800gts and buy the faster and cheaper 8800GT (£150-£180)

    Seeing as you have overclocked before then you know what you're doing - best internet guide for overclocking C2D cpus here

    Something like this would be a good start.

    mobo £62.62
    cpu cooler £23.49
    cpu £47.93
    Ram 2Gb £41.11
    gfx card 8800gt £163.19
    PSU 450w corsair VX £45.83

    £384.18 (P&P not included)

    Then it's upto you whether you reuse your existing case, harddrive(s), cd-rom/dvd-rom/writers or buy a case and whatever size hard drives you need. In the future you can then drop in a more powerful cpu like a quad core Q6600 when they are cheap.

    dvd-RW =< £20
    500Gb hd @£60

    Some forums like have a free carriage offer with places like scan once you post 25 times in the forum so well worth it.
  5. I have nothing against building them myself, and have done quiet a few times, but in some respects, your post proves my point about being able to buy pre made from a vendor with full warranty for almost the same price. Your components cost £384.18 and dont include the case, a hard drive or the DVD writer. Add those to your price and your about the same as the quoted system, less the Guarantee and plus the hassle (or enjoyment maybe) of putting it together yourself

    Edited to add: Just follwed a few of your links, I also notice you went for the E2160, my system price is the E4400 (though I missed that off the cut and paste admitedly)
  6. Yes, I put up the links as a guide to show what kind of quality you can get for reasonable money. You can go cheaper and/or pre-built. We looked at the DIY v Dell issue here for really, really cheap PCs and it's doable but not worth it.

    System builders are extremely competitive at the lower end of the market but they do have to scrimp and therefore use cheap motherboards and cheap no name PSUs that will just power the system, but won't if a (more powerful) graphics card is added in the future (a classic issue with Dell).

    It all depends on the buyer. If you want a cheapy box, use it, then chuck it away in 2 years time, rinse and repeat, then a system builder is the way to go. (although if I was recommending one to a friend I'd still want to know exactly was going into the machine).

    I find that if you are prepared to DIY then hand picked quality components will last far far longer and the upgrade path is cheaper, especially if you reuse some of your existing components and case/hd/dvd-rom are all perfectly reusable.

    The reason for the E2160 is it will overclock to 3ghz easily and take less than an hour to do (hence the additional aftermarket cooler and link to a guide I know well) It's an option seeing as he has already overclocked a barton 2500 so he knows what he's doing. (I did the same with a 2500 once. I'm still using an opeteron 146 @3ghz up from 2ghz - not bad for £100 chip bought 2 years ago - and will plan on a new overclocked intel build next year sometime)

    If you hand pick you can get very good warranties. eg - the psu I quoted has a 5 year warranty, ram a lifetime warranty, mobo 2year warranty. It's only if a component fails will you have the issue of finding out what it is and RMA it. Send the whole box back to a system builder is just the same except they have to find the fault. ;)

    So Mr_Creosote, do you want to self build again or buy a box off the shelf?
  7. Did you check out my PC on the previous thread, System built but each component chosen by me, Asus, Zalman, Corsair, etc every component wast matched exactly to the ones from Scan, and my system built one was cheaper. With regard to Overclocking, Ghz arent everything, most seriosu problem is the the E2160 is a first generation Dual core, NOT core2 Duo, secondly the E4400 will also easily OC to over 3ghz, for the £25 difference between the 2 (Scans prices) you would be crazy to go for the E2160

    As I said, I am not against self builds, but what I am against is people saying "self builds are loads cheaper" and trying to convince someone thats the way to go. At the end of the day, advice should be impartial and unbiased, layout as many facts and pros and cons as you can and then let the person decide. Self builds may be cheaper, but not always as some of my links have shown
  8. Will try to dig out the link, but PC Zone built a PC, all in case, hard drive, etc for £500. Overclocked it, but not to it's full limit.

    Then they compared it with a pre-built £500 & £1000 machine. The homebuilt was superior in every single test.
  9. The best sites in my opinion are those that offer prebuild but with the options to customise and chaneg components, so you get the best of both worlds
  10. see this


    and play about with the "build your own desktop" thingy top-left.
    this way you only pay for the stuff you need and no package extras etc.

    i got 1 a couple of years back from these guys and it arrived 3 days later!! :D
    probably a fluke but hey.
    happy gaming :)
  11. Yep and I pointed out the poor PSU selection (Ezcool are notorious) and the outdated and overpriced 8800gts. I then selected some components very quickly for a comparison.

    Your build is £100 more expensive so add your £25 for a e4400 (I've seen e4300 for £47 £15 for dvd-rom, £30 for 160gb hd, case £30 and you end up with a more powerful gaming system with reliable psu for the same money. I'll reiterate again it's his choice.

    No such thing was said. Read my second post again.

    Certainly wasn't. Again reread my post. Sounds like I've trod on the ARRSE resident computer expert's toes.

    Never said self builds are cheaper but they are of higher quality for money very close to a prebuilt one. Give good advice not just pick a PSU because it's the cheapest and gets the system in budget. And again I have pointed out the pros and cons.

    TBH the best place Mr Creosote can go to get advice is a proper PC forum that will have a much wider range of people posting, alot of whom will be in the same situation.

    edited to fix quotes
  12. Garhwal, You mistake which thread I meant. I am refering to the thread where I brought my own PC a few weeks ago, where some one also said how hundreds of pounds could be saved on self build. I compared exact item for item using, and came to hardly asny difference apart from having it already built and the Builders warranty on the whole build, in addition to that, the site I am quoting offers extensive Customisation, which I why my particlar PC was based on a £700 base unit, but I customised it to £1600.

    One of the biggest problems with saying self builds are better quality is which "self" are we talking about? Because if the person doing it doesnt know all about all aspects of the components, how is he any better off?
  13. Perhaps you could explain that one to me as you have downgraded is graphics card, and please dont go on about the overclock because the 320 easily overclocks to.
  14. If I were you I'd do one of two things:

    Stick with what you have, and buy the best GFX card you can find that will work in your MB, and as much RAM as it will take. Stuff a 300 GB IDE hard disk in as well (£40).

    My "fun" system is an Athlon 2600, 1.5GB RAM, 7600GS 256MB AGP. It shouldn't even be able to run Vista Ultimate (GeForce 2 MB chipset) but does so, and well. I can play Test Drive Unlimited at a high framerate and high detail and that's one resource-hungry game. Price to upgrade=a good night on the lash.


    Save up some more money and buy one of those Alien systems. WMD specification.
  15. Firstly let me appologise to Garhwal, I had a bit of a rough weekend and looking back I can see a lot of my "grumpy old b@stardness" crept into my posting there.

    Getting back to basics of our argument, one side of the argument is:-
    1. "Buying and building yourelf is always cheaper", My answer is "Usually, but not always"
    2. "Building yourself systems are always better quality", my answer is "definitely not always! It is totally dependant on the skill of the builder"

    I dont believe that Self building should be undertaken on the basis of cost or quality anymore. the first thing you need to ask yourself is "Do I fancy the challenge of Building my own machine" (An bare in mind the challenge is not just the actual assembly, its the surfing around finding your components). Dont get me wrong, there is a lot of satisfaction in this approach when all goes well, and the stuff you learn is invaluable. But the point I have been trying to make (and perhaps where the confusion and arguments have come from) is that there are an increasing number of vendors who have got what must be incredibly low profit margins, who also allow you to customise and choose your own components, who will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your chose your own components, you have the builders warranty on the whole things, and all you have to do is sit back and wait for delivery.

    Some of the companies who offer this level of "choose your own parts" are

    These are 3 companies who have all had award winning machines in the last 3 months in PC Pro or PC Format.

    Going on with my price war argument. Below is the system I ordered from Yoyotech. I would hope you would agree that the componenets are not noname rubish. (I also got a free motherboard upgrade on the one shown because they were out of stock). I pricematched exact Brand for Brand Model for model against (with a few exceptions noted below). As you can see, the end price difference is £18. Is that worth the self build? Only if your an enthusiast I think.

    Antec Nine Hundred/Ultimate Gamer Case- no PSU
    Zalman 600W Noiseless Switching Powersupply
    Intel Motherboard
    MSI P35 Platinum Socket 775, DDR2, SAT2, ATX Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache CPU - Retail - G0 Stepping
    CPU Cooler
    Zalman CNPS9700 NT CPU Cooler
    PC Memory
    OCZ 4GB KIT 2x2048MB DDR2 800MHZ PC2-6400 Platinum Edition Memory
    £122.55 (Closest match, gold version from Micro direct)
    Desktop Hard Drive
    Seagate 500GB ST3500630AS Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache Hard Disk Drive
    Desktop Hard Drive2
    Seagate 500GB ST3500630AS Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache Hard Disk Drive
    LG GSAH54LBL 18x DVD±R, 10x DVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, DVD-RAM x12, IDE, Black, OEM, Lightscribe
    Graphics Card
    MSI 8800ultra overclocked 768MB DDR3, Dual DVI, PCI-E Graphics Card
    £432.4 (Novatech)
    Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional
    Operating System
    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-Bit Edition DVD – oem
    TFT Monitors
    Asus MW221U 22 Inch WideScreen 2ms TFT Monitor
    Yoyotech system - £1582.33
    Separate Component price £1564.13