Advice on Custom Build PC for £900

GJC

Active Member
Can anyone give me some advice on where to start with building a custom PC. I like the look of the Coolermaster ATCS-210 Azure. Lian's are nice as is the Chieftech Scorpio Tower.

However I have never dealt with any of these products and just like the build/look of them.

Which would be the easiest to build on?

I need recommendations for a Motherboard (p4) that has Ram with It, or an option to add Ram to the order thats compatable with the motherboard.

I will source a seperate Sound/Graphics card. I would like a good graphics card that will fit in my budget (preferably suited to fragging, so good core/clock specs.)
I am not using it for DVD.

Would the Tower come with Fans if not whats good&quite.

Also can I get this lot as a bundle anywhere?

I will also need a monitor 17"/Key/Mouse/Cd+CdR/W
60 or 80 gb H.Drive (7200rpm)

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Many thanks - I plan on starting this in a couple of months.

GJC
 

Garrett

Moderator
Why not an AMD? A 2000 P4 is about £120 AMD 2000XP about £80. If you was going for a AMD I would recommend something like a Soltel SL-75DRV4 or 5, the both take 2100 and 2700 type memory. And the Soltel SL-75DRV5 also allow the use of UDMA60, 100, and 133 hard drives (even though only Maxtor seem to make them at present).
As to the monitor try for a flat screen (less annoying reflection) Iiyama a good make. Also 19inch if you have room is a better size and may only cost about £50 more nearly what you save on an AMD over a P4.
Creative Audigy do a good sound card for about £50/5 and Ge-Force 3 cards are a good price and value at present Ti500, Ti200, and the normal 3 all good cards.

http://www.microdirect.co.uk also http://www.scan.co.uk will give you an idea on prices.
 

GJC

Active Member
I dont mind going down the AMD Route as my primary use for the machine is Gaming/Internet/CdBackups,etc. + and the odd bit of word processing.

Any idea where I can see the Soltel..?
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GJC
 

feet14

Standard Member
First off, check out this link for a bargain on a 17" monitor:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=39536

There are only 2 left so I'd be quick if you want one. Bought one myself recently - It's a Flat Screen CRT (Diamondtron) with 0.25 dp and anti-glare coating and it's in black rather than boring beige, £147 inc VAT+Postage.

I had a Lian-Li PC7 delivered yesterday from www.kustompcs.co.uk, costing £87. It's the cheapest in the range having no removable mboard tray or fan speed adjustment which I don't really need. It looks great and you've got easy tool-free access to everything - you could probably assemble your PC in 10 minutes. It comes with 2 fans at the front, 1 at the back and the appropriate cutouts for fitting a fan at the top (this is the new design; check before you order as there might be some old style ones without the fan cutouts at the top still in circulation). Also, it has front USB ports which on the new model support USB 2.0.

I'm hoping to get the Asus P4S8X motherboard which should be available from www.komplett.co.uk in a few days time. It's a P4 mboard with support for 533Mhz bus processors, Serial ATA, AGP 8X, USB 2.0, Firewire, 6-channel onboard sound, optional spdif in/out bracket (£11). To find suitable memory, go to www.crucial.com/uk and select the Asus P4S533 mboard (it's predecessor).

For a reasonably priced graphics card, take a look at this:

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=39927

It's a Radeon 9000 so you're not at the cutting edge but it's good value and has no fan so if you're into silent computing like me then no need for invalidating the warranty by fitting a Zalman GPU cooler which also adds £27 to the cost. I bought one yesterday but it's not arrived yet.

I'd recommend the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, although if you're not a touch typist you might like to buy the Microsoft Office Keyboard instead. Both are about £37 inc postage from www.jungle.com. I think they both incorporate a 2-port passive USB hub.

For the mouse, the Microsoft Wheelmouse optical for around £20 would be a good choice. If you've got more to spend then you could get the Intellimouse optical. An ergonomic mousepad like the Belkin Ergopad Premiere from jungle could be useful if you use the mouse a lot.

Jungle have also got a 32x CD-RW on offer for £35 and a CD-ROM drive for £22, although it's probably worth paying a few £ more to get a DVD-ROM drive.

For the Hard Disk, the Seagate Barracuda IV range (20,40,60,80 GB) is cheap, silent and fast.

I don't know much about soundcards so I can't advise here except that it might be worth seeing if the onboard sound is good enough before splashing out.

HTH.
 

GJC

Active Member
Thanks very much. I will gather some options together and post them soon for everyone to comment on.

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GJC
 

Garrett

Moderator
PC Pro have put some computers on test for £899, you can also go to there site and log in to read the report. Even if you do not get one of them it might give you some ideas.
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
PC Advisor is doing exactly that as an article over 3 months. Look in this issue as they list all the components for both an AMD and Intel based system. I'm looking at doing the exact same thing and found it really useful. Plus they have all the links and prices in there too.

Hope it helps.
 

GJC

Active Member
Thanks General Skanky - Just brought a copy 'BuyorBuild' PC ADVISOR.

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GJC
 

feet14

Standard Member
I've found PC Magazine to be a good choice, especially the "Dream Machine" article a few months ago which prompted me to build my own. They don't fill the mag up with too many ads and the editorial is better than most.
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
GJC - How are you getting on if you're still going ahead with it?

So far I've bought a Coolermaster ATC 201 SX case from www.kustompcs.co.uk for £132 incl. p&p. (By the way, this lot are the very best company I've ever dealt with so far. Ordered case in the morning, arrived next day in perfect condition. E mails answered within a few hours, and an e mail sent to me the second it was posted via courier.)

My HDD came from www.komplett.co.uk for £83 incl. p&p. It's a Seagate Barracuda IV 80Gb. It was on offer for £77.

Already have a InnoVision 64Mb NVidia GeForce 4 graphics card 440MMX.

Slowly, slowly.
 
H

hobbes

Guest
good choice general, the Barracuda IV is a class hard drive (got myself one a few days ago, takes ages to format tho :( ),
I to am interested in the Soltek rang for AMD cpu's so it would be interesting to hear what you think on it GJC as i need a better mobo so i can upgrade my processor (a now ancient 750 :D )

Shaun
 

General Skanky

Well-known Member
Hobbes.
Thanks.
I'd already thought on the Seagate, but it was Mr. D that helped nudge me for sure.

As my DIY will take time to buy, I'll use the HDD in my current pc for now.
I take it you downloaded the DiscWizard prog from Seagate to sort out your HDD? I've had a peek at it, but until I fit it in, (need an internal bracket to add onto the HDD to make it fit the bay), I can't format it. Plus, my pc right now is 400MHz Celeron, so it'll be a day or two for it to do the format.:rolleyes:

(I've now fitted and formatted the Seagate. Have to say their website is handy with its utility for installing drives. As my bios is old, at first it made the Seagate into a CDRom drive! So tried resatarting with thei DiscWizard loaded onto a floppy, but it wouldn't load via DOS. So I simply followed the idiot's guide online in their support section, and it's all done and ready. So easy. I now have a formatted 2nd HDD on an old pc with a spare 75Gb+/- of space to play with. Time to try some video editing at last.:D)

I'll be going for either an Asus or Gigabyte board when the time comes, unless something else comes onto the market in the meantime. I'm looking to use an AMD XP 2200+.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I too was enjoying the PC Magazine ultimate PC feature. Unfortunately PC Magazine is no more, it has ceased to be etc etc. My subscription was changed to it's sister magazine with minimum notice saying that PC Magazine was not being published any more. A sad loss I think
 

feet14

Standard Member
Originally posted by JohnG
I too was enjoying the PC Magazine ultimate PC feature. Unfortunately PC Magazine is no more, it has ceased to be etc etc. My subscription was changed to it's sister magazine with minimum notice saying that PC Magazine was not being published any more. A sad loss I think

I was wondering why I hadn't this months' issue in the newsagents. I've learnt a lot of useful information and I liked their new "blobs" system, usability labs etc. I just don't understand why they should have dropped such a good magazine especially ater putting in the effort to redesign it a few months ago.
 

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