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New computer for my son - advice please

elsewhere

Standard Member
I am looking to buy a new desktop for my 10 year old son. He has an autistic disorder and gets huge pleasure from playing on his computer, all day and all night if we let him. The highest spec game he currently plays is Sims 3, which is too much for his old laptop, so I need something that will play that with ease, plus extra to spare. I know very little about computer specs, but have been trying to swot up over the last few weeks, and have come up with the spec below (using the pc builder function at www.pcspecialist.co.uk . My original budget was £600, but I am prepared to stretch to £750 if it really makes a lot of difference. Any advice on the questions posted at the bottom would be very much appreciated.

AMD PHENOM II X4 810 2.6 GHz SOCKET AM3 4MB CACHE
4GB CORSAIR XMS2 DUAL-DDR2 800MHz
ASUS® M4N72-E: DUAL DDR2, S-ATA II, 2 x PCI-Ex, 2 x PCI
500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
22x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
896MB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX260 PCI EXPRESS
STYLISH PIANO BLACK FUSION CASE inc. 2 FRONT USB
600W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan
19 Inch Wide TFT Silver/Black 1440 x 900 5MS, D-Sub, DVI
Windows 7 (will wait a few weeks to buy)
Total: £740.

Questions:
1. Will these components work ok together?

2. An alternate spec at a similar price has the Intel 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz) 1333MHz FSB/4MB Cache and ASUS P5QL: DDR2, SATAII, PCI-e x16, 3 PCI, 2 x PCI-e x1 motherboard. Is this any better / worse?

3. A cheaper spec has AMD ATHLON II X2 245 2.9 GHZ SOCKET AM3 2MB CACHE cpu and 1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTS250 graphics card. This brings the price down to my preferred budget (£598), but am I compromising too much on performance?

4. Any other suggestions or recommendations? Am I completely off-track with the above spec?

Thanks in advance for any answers
 

SeanT

Distinguished Member
896MB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX260 PCI EXPRESS

Windows 7 (will wait a few weeks to buy)

I'd probably go for the Intel CPU (you can overclock it to 2.6GHz anyway, and it'll be quicker), and if you're waiting for Windows 7 RTM, then you may as well hold out for a DX11 graphics card (see the graphics card forum)
 

24 P

Prominent Member
Go with your 1st option, you want a plug and play system, you do not want to know how to over clock as you stated you have very little knowledge of pcs..
Saving money does not necessarily get you a similar specced machine..
Spending a little more now will ensure a better performing, no need to u/g machine for the future.
I know you are the type that wants to get the best for the $ and not have to worry about u/g later..
The AMD system is nice and a fully fledged gaming machine..

This is what I have chosen for you..


AMD PHENOM II X4 810 2.6 GHz SOCKET AM3 4MB CACHE
4GB CORSAIR DOMINATOR DUAL-DDR2 1066MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY!
ASUS® M4N78-AM: DUAL DDR2, S-ATA II, PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI
Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade Voucher (£84)
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD
500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
22x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE 9800GT PCI EXPRESS
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)
STYLISH PIANO BLACK FUSION CASE + 2 FRONT USB
600W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£59)
STANDARD CPU COOLER
22 Inch Wide TFT Silver/Black 1680 x1050 5MS D-Sub, DVI (£115)
1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Standard Build - Approximately 11 to 13 working days
1


Price for this PC System:
£597.39 ex VAT.
£687 inc VAT and Delivery

I have changed the 260 for a 9800 GT, which will be fine for your son IMO.
Also I have taken out the 19 inch monitor and replaced it with a 22 inch, much better value for money.
Your son at 10, I doubt he will apppreciate a powerful GPU as such as a 260 or higher, and @ the resolution of the monitor 1680 by 1050, he still will be able to play some of the lastest games with out too much of an issue..
You can at a later date up grade the Graphics card to a better one, making his pc future proof..
The 250 is basically a 9800 rebadged..

I have saved you a little $ but you have a better screen, easier on the yes for your son, and also something which I think is great value for money..
Oh btw, I changed the ram to 1066, its quicker..
No keyboard or mouse or speakers in this package..
Hope this helps..

:thumbsup:
 

elsewhere

Standard Member
Thank you so much for the replies. It was very kind of you 24 P to go to the website and try some alternatives. It sounds like excellent advice.

I notice that you have also changed the motherboard (I think because you started from a different base spec). Will this make any noticeable difference?

Thanks again
 

24 P

Prominent Member
There were only 2 mother boards to choose from, I picked the cheaper 1, meaning that it had only 1 PCI express for the GPU not 2.
You don't need 2, this would save you money IMO...
Hope this helps, and glad to help..
Like I said, you have a very solid system there, should you choose to go with the 9800 which essentially is a 250, in a year or 18 months you can throw so more money at a Graphics card for next to nothing, the system will still be up to date, will ensure you pc will be able to play the latest games...

:thumbsup:
 

elsewhere

Standard Member
Thanks again for this. One more question on this spec - if I go for the 9800 instead of the GTX260, will I still need the 600w psu, or could I go for the 450w and save another £35?
 
D

Deleted member 293381

Guest
Thanks again for this. One more question on this spec - if I go for the 9800 instead of the GTX260, will I still need the 600w psu, or could I go for the 450w and save another £35?

Stick with the 600W PSU as per 24P's recommendation, that will give a good power overhead.

You might get away with 450W but the PSU will be working at it's upper limit - not recommended.

The PSU is one of the most important components of a PC, everything depends on it.
 

dacads

Established Member
Yeah trying going with a better power supply which is branded and change processor to an AMD X4 620 2.6 GHz if possible:thumbsup:
If you can't on that site then check out cybwerpowerpc who have great builds and prices;)
Ultra Europa SE
 

24 P

Prominent Member
Thx for the heads up, I will be using this site for further quotes for others.
To OP, as you can see I have re quoted you a newer machine with better specs, much better thx to the above poster..


I have re adjusted this quote 3 times now getting you an ultra gaming machine..

I have maxed out your budget, opting for a 275 GPU as the 260 required a 700 watt recommended PSU, so in doing that the 275 was an extra 27 quid over the 260 which IMO is well worth it..
I know this is your money, but I am seriously trying to get you best value for money which this system will not need an u/g at all, it will be running for a long time..
Please tell me if this is not suitable, I can work backwards...
Like I said, this is the max you would spend, and if you compare it to your other quote, for the extra 30 quid, you have this one that blows away your original quote..


* *BASE_PRICE: [+474]
* CAS: Antec Three Hundred Ultimate Gamer 420W Case Black [+23]
* CASUPGRADE: NONE
* CS_FAN: Default Case Fan
* CPU: AMD Phenom™ II X4 945 Quad-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology ***Overclockable S&S only*** [+12]
* CD: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (Black Color)
* CD2: NONE
* CABLE: None
* EXPAN: NONE
* FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
* FLASHMEDIA: None
* FA_HDD: None
* FLOPPY: NONE
* FREEBIE_CU: FREE! Cyberpower Unleash The Power T-Shirt
* HOMEINSTALL: NONE
* HDD: Single Hard Drive (1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16M Cache Hard Drive [+16])
* HDD2: NONE
* IEEE_CARD: NONE
* KEYBOARD: Logitech PS/2 Keyboard (Black) [+8]
* MOUSE: Logitech Optical PS2 Mouse (Black) [+5]
* MODEM: NONE
* MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2+)MSI K9A2VM-F V2 AMD 780V Chipset DDR2/1066 MBoard USB2.0,& 7.1Audio
* MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC8500 DDR2/1066Mhz Dual Channel Memory [+18] (Corsair Dominator ***Overclockable XXX***)
* MONITOR: 22" TFT Active Matrix LCD Display [+104] (22" (21.6" Viewable) WIDE 5MS TFT Active Matrix LCD Display DVI Monitor [+20])
* MONITOR2: NONE
* NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/1000 NETWORK CARD
* OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
* OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
* OS_UPGRADE: Upgrade to Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
* POWERSUPPLY: 700 Watts Power Supplies [+12] (SLI / CrossFire Ready Quad Rail Power Supply *** Not Recommended for Overclocking***)
* PRO_WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU [+11]
* RUSH: NONE
* SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
* SPEAKERS: NONE
* TEMP: NONE (AS SHOWN)
* TVRC: NONE
* UPS: Belkin 4-Socket Surge Protector [+8]
* USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
* USBHD: NONE
* VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX275 896MB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Power by NVIDIA) [+60]
* VIDEO2: NONE
* VIDEO3: NONE
* WEBCAM: NONE
* WNC: NONE
* WAP: NONE
* WARRANTY: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
* _PRICE: (+771)
* _view_: detail

As you can see you now have 4 gig of Ram 1066 ( I think I quote you 2 on the other sorry), a 275 GPU, 700 PSU, an Antec Gaming case, much more powerful CPU, 1 Tb HD instead of 500 GB Keyboard and mouse..
This is a real gaming rig, your little tiger even gets a free T shirt LOL...
If this is too much, which I think its brilliant value for money, let me know and I will re adjust accordingly..
Are you sure you want this for you kid or you?? Closet gamer are you?? You will become one, this is way more powerful than an Xbox 360 or PS3 IMO...
Also I have thrown in a surge protector and pro cabling, just means you have the bees knees now...

Hope this helps...
 
Last edited:

24 P

Prominent Member
  • *BASE_PRICE: [+474]
  • CAS: COOLERMASTER ELITE 310 Mid Tower Case
  • CASUPGRADE: NONE
  • CS_FAN: Default Case Fan
  • CPU: AMD Phenom™ II X4 945 Quad-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology ***Overclockable S&S only*** [+12]
  • CD: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (Black Color)
  • CD2: NONE
  • CABLE: None
  • EXPAN: NONE
  • FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
  • FLASHMEDIA: None
  • FA_HDD: None
  • FLOPPY: NONE
  • FREEBIE_CU: FREE! Cyberpower Unleash The Power T-Shirt
  • HOMEINSTALL: NONE
  • HDD: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
  • HDD2: NONE
  • IEEE_CARD: NONE
  • KEYBOARD: Logitech PS/2 Keyboard (Black) [+8]
  • MOUSE: Logitech Optical PS2 Mouse (Black) [+5]
  • MODEM: NONE
  • MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2+)MSI K9A2VM-F V2 AMD 780V Chipset DDR2/1066 MBoard USB2.0,& 7.1Audio
  • MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC8500 DDR2/1066Mhz Dual Channel Memory [+18] (Corsair Dominator ***Overclockable XXX***)
  • MONITOR: 22" TFT Active Matrix LCD Display [+104] (22" (21.6" Viewable) WIDE 5MS TFT Active Matrix LCD Display DVI Monitor [+20])
  • MONITOR2: NONE
  • NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/1000 NETWORK CARD
  • OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
  • OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
  • OS_UPGRADE: Upgrade to Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
  • POWERSUPPLY: 600 Watts Power Supplies [+4] (CyberPower 600W Power Supply)
  • PRO_WIRING: None
  • RUSH: NONE
  • SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
  • SPEAKERS: NONE
  • TEMP: NONE (AS SHOWN)
  • TVRC: NONE
  • UPS: None
  • USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
  • USBHD: NONE
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express [-12]
  • VIDEO2: NONE
  • VIDEO3: NONE
  • WEBCAM: NONE
  • WNC: NONE
  • WAP: NONE
  • WARRANTY: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
  • _PRICE: (+633)
  • _view_: detail

This is my revision/ cheaper alternative.
Same CPU, different case, which is just as good in some respects, 500 GB HD instead of 1 TB, 600 PSU instead of 700, 9800 GT 1 GB instead of 275, No professional cabling, no surge protector.
Nothing else has changed, and you do get a free u/g to windows 7 btw..
Little tacker still gets his free T-shirt LOL..

Both offer good value for money, you can always u/g the GPU later on if you feel the need.
9800 is bare minimum for latest gaming IMO so pick wisely..
Like I said in previous post, I went for the highest you would require, and this is the lowest..

I would buy this 1 at the drop of a hat, but I bought a similar system to this a year ago... LOL

Hope this helps..

Oh BTW I am still running a 8800 GT 512, works fine...

:thumbsup:
 

24 P

Prominent Member
My last and final revision..


  • *BASE_PRICE: [+474]
  • CAS: COOLERMASTER ELITE 310 Mid Tower Case
  • CASUPGRADE: NONE
  • CS_FAN: Default Case Fan
  • CPU: AMD Phenom™ II X4 945 Quad-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology ***Overclockable S&S only*** [+12]
  • CD: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (Black Color)
  • CD2: NONE
  • CABLE: None
  • EXPAN: NONE
  • FAN: AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
  • FLASHMEDIA: None
  • FA_HDD: None
  • FLOPPY: NONE
  • FREEBIE_CU: FREE! Cyberpower Unleash The Power T-Shirt
  • HOMEINSTALL: NONE
  • HDD: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
  • HDD2: NONE
  • IEEE_CARD: NONE
  • KEYBOARD: Logitech PS/2 Keyboard (Black) [+8]
  • MOUSE: Logitech Optical PS2 Mouse (Black) [+5]
  • MODEM: NONE
  • MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2+)MSI K9A2VM-F V2 AMD 780V Chipset DDR2/1066 MBoard USB2.0,& 7.1Audio
  • MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC8500 DDR2/1066Mhz Dual Channel Memory [+18] (Corsair Dominator ***Overclockable XXX***)
  • MONITOR: 22" TFT Active Matrix LCD Display [+104] (22" (21.6" Viewable) WIDE 5MS TFT Active Matrix LCD Display DVI Monitor [+20])
  • MONITOR2: NONE
  • NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/1000 NETWORK CARD
  • OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
  • OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
  • OS_UPGRADE: Upgrade to Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
  • POWERSUPPLY: 700 Watts Power Supplies [+12] (SLI / CrossFire Ready Quad Rail Power Supply *** Not Recommended for Overclocking***)
  • PRO_WIRING: None
  • RUSH: NONE
  • SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
  • SPEAKERS: NONE
  • TEMP: NONE (AS SHOWN)
  • TVRC: NONE
  • UPS: None
  • USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
  • USBHD: NONE
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX275 896MB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Power by NVIDIA) [+60]
  • VIDEO2: NONE
  • VIDEO3: NONE
  • WEBCAM: NONE
  • WNC: NONE
  • WAP: NONE
  • WARRANTY: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
  • _PRICE: (+713)
  • _view_: detail

This is the same specs as above, but with the 700 PSU and the 275 GPU...
YOU STILL GET THE FREE T SHIRT.. LOL :thumbsup:

Sorry to be a pain in the butt to you, but I can imagine how much your little one means to you, hence my dedication, just email me a beer..

:thumbsup:
 

elsewhere

Standard Member
wow, this is great, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate this (my wife says we should e-mail you a meal and a case of wine, not just a beer!). You are absolutely right that this is an important purchase for us, the computer is such a big part of my son's life, and hopefully his future (he is really into making his own games and decided years ago that this is what he wants to do when he is older), so your help in making the right decision is really appreciated.

I'm leaning towards your last revision - from what I can make out it is similar to the top-end one but with cheaper case, no pro-wiring and no surge protector? Are there any major drawbacks from leaving these things out, or is it £60 well saved?

Thanks again for all your help.
 

24 P

Prominent Member
NPs mp, happy to help, nothing is of an advantage in spending the extra, the cables are bling, the case is more of a gaming case, not to say the one you have is not suitable, and the surge protector you can pick up anywhere...
That last system is a beauty, and if you look at your original quote, this is a much better for value/performer...

You should thank the above poster, dacads, who kindly supplied the link, I have been looking for a cheap UK site so I can advise people...

I think your son will be overwhelmed by the games he will be able to play...
It is a cracking system, much better than mine...

:thumbsup:
 

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