New PC help

Buckster666

Well-known Member
Am going to build a PC and just wanted some advice on which parts to use. Am not gonna build a ultimate PC as funds are limited.

Could you help answer the following please?

PSU = Is a 1000w PSU needed? Will I be future proof myself if got one or would a small watt do 750 or 850.

Case = There are lots of fancy cases with fans and such, any recommendations a mid range price case (about £90 at max)

Intel/AMD = Which is better to overclock and what motherboard for either is good for upgrades at a later date?

RAM = IS DDR2 thes best to go for, hav essen that 800MHz is the most common, is it worth spened the extra for 1066 or DDR3 and what make is best for consistent preformance?

Thanks
 

Sukh88

Novice Member
PSU - 1000w is not needed...even a 700+ is an overkill for most systems. Question is will you be running dual graphics cards?

case - personall preferences but here are a few

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=604059
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=644041
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=763575
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=501972

CPU - Intel are probably the best atm but AMD are still hanging in there. All depends on what it be used for...to fully future proof yourself a quad core maybe the best option. Atm the Intel Q6600 is the best around tho the newer version Q9450 has been released. Both should easily overclock above 3ghz though this is all dependant on the cooler used.

Motherboard - again tons around though this can not be future proof in terms for intel as the socket 775 will be replaced in about a years time.

RAM - 800mhz is good enough to overclock and should be more than enough for a Q6600. If you choose the Q9450 then 1066 would be a better option. DDR3 is new tech atm, all depends whether your budget will allow you to tho.

HTH
 

booyaka

Moderator
agree with above.

1000W is way way overboard. a good corsair hx620w is more than enough.

Case-wise it's down to personal preference. Most Li-lian, antec, coolmaster etc are good roomy cases and it's down to what you like.

Motherboard wise on a budget - P35 chipset from gigabyte or asus are a good route to go down. £70 or so.

Stick with DDR2 800mhz stuff for the time being - get 4gb for around £70/£80.

At the moment - Intel are the way to go, Either Q6600 or Q9450 if the budget allows
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
Basic but still good PC now wont need more than 600w. I have a 550w PSU and am only using 110w, and that is high compared to most off the shelf PCs which can use as little as 60w.


I would suggest a Thermaltake case. They are well built, stay cool, and you can get one for as low as £45.

I am not going to talk about Intel or AMD, but I would suggest an Asus mobo, especially if you go AMD.

If you are going to run Vista I would have an nVidia Graphics card as ATI seem to have some issues (presumably the new models have ironed that out).


DDR2-6400 or 800mhz should be fine, I would suggest 4Gb, and you can get OCZ platinum (what I use) for around £60 for 4gb, you could get it cheaper a few weeks back but the prices have shot-up.
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
Basic but still good PC now wont need more than 600w. I have a 550w PSU and am only using 110w, and that is high compared to most off the shelf PCs which can use as little as 60w.
i dont beleive that at all. 4gb of ram (4 sticks) your looking about 10 watts average per stick. the "energy efficiant" q6600's are listed as 95 watts. standard low end graphics cards without extra power are about 10-30 watts.
what kind of system are you running that only uses 110watts? maybe at idle but thats a useless statistic as when you are using your pc it wont be at idle. hard drives are about 5-10 watts it all adds up. i do agree that for your average pc a 1000watt psu is overkill. if you want to future proof your pc then a good quality 600-800 watt psu will be ample. the average modern pc uses about 300-400 watts. so the hx620 mentioned above would still be good. intel are ahead on the cpu race at the moment and have been for some time. there chips overclock like crazy even with modest cooling.
ddr-2 800Mhz ram would be fine only in higher end systems would you really need 1066 or above. and the p35 chipsets are good value for money too
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
i dont beleive that at all. 4gb of ram (4 sticks) your looking about 10 watts average per stick. the "energy efficiant" q6600's are listed as 95 watts. standard low end graphics cards without extra power are about 10-30 watts.
what kind of system are you running that only uses 110watts? maybe at idle but thats a useless statistic as when you are using your pc it wont be at idle. hard drives are about 5-10 watts it all adds up. i do agree that for your average pc a 1000watt psu is overkill. if you want to future proof your pc then a good quality 600-800 watt psu will be ample. the average modern pc uses about 300-400 watts. so the hx620 mentioned above would still be good. intel are ahead on the cpu race at the moment and have been for some time. there chips overclock like crazy even with modest cooling.
ddr-2 800Mhz ram would be fine only in higher end systems would you really need 1066 or above. and the p35 chipsets are good value for money too
My PSU has a power monitor attached to it, which I admit wont be completely accurate, but that is what it shows.

I have an AMD 64 x2 5600+ Toms Hardware say that idle it is 58w upto 147w under heavy load, which is much lower than the equivilent Intel tested
4 1gb OCZ platinum PC400 RAM modules
1 Samsung 80gb HDD
1 Seagate 320gb HDD
MSI geforce 8600gt OC
2 x thermaltake case fans

All running on an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe with a Coolermaster RealPower 550w which reads 110w via the external power monitor.
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
so thats 110wats idle? yeah that is beleivable but idle specs are useless when looking for a psu as you want a psu that can handle full load current draw.
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
so thats 110wats idle? yeah that is beleivable but idle specs are useless when looking for a psu as you want a psu that can handle full load current draw.

That is 110w when I am not gunning it. When I do something like a virus scan it goes up, but still never above about 160w.

I don't game so I don't know what that would be, but I guess around 200w.

The value of watts on a PSU is useless when buying a PSU, as they rarely achieve the levels they state, and the voltage is far more important. I would take a 400w PSU which has good voltages over a 1000w PSU that has in-consistent voltages.
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
yes cheep psu's dont achive there stated power output because the power output was tested at low temeratures. so in real work use it wont produce anything near the stated output but a decent psu will produce its stated output sometimes even more. and decent psu's also have stable voltages. some cheep psu's dont even produce half the stated output, others do a good job. a decent psu will be able to output its rated power no problem. take the pc power and cooling ones im getting (2 of them for dual set up) they are rated at 750watts each at 40deg C but in real world testing they can produce up to 830 watts if i remember correctly. decent psu's have a power rating and a temperature that the said power rating was tested at. like enermax galaxy 1000 is rated at 1000 watts at 50dec C meaning it will produce its full rated power all the way up to 50 dec C if it gets hotter it will start to produce less power. decent psu's also test there voltages under max load to ensure they stay within the ATX spec and they test multiple rails at a time. cheep psu's are tested at something like 25-30 dec C and only one rail is loaded at a time deliberatly to inflate figures. they ususly dont have a temperature listed either. but a decent psu will set you back 50-150 notes depending on power output. pc power and cooling and enermax are among the very best. pc power and cooling has now been taken over by OCZ and revently ocz psu's have been getting better and better.

and you want a psu that can handle your system on full load. even if you never take it to full load. you still want something that will do the job.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
Are you building a PC for gaming or general / media centre use? Also are you planning on Dual Graphics and tonnes of harddrives and add in cards or a more normal setup of 1 graphics card, maybe a couple of hard drives and maybe a couple of add in cards. Personally I think that a decent PSU 400W or more will happily run pretty much any normal system. If you have a highly overclocked system with two graphics cards, 6 hard drives, 4 x 2GB sticks of ram, etc then you may need 600W, but most people simply don't. Bear in mind that the trend at the moment is reduction in power usage, not increase. The vast majority of current CPU's and graphics cards use similar or less power than the top spec systems 4 years ago did, yet no one had a PSU over 500W back then.

For gaming I would suggest the following:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135101 - Case and good PSU for £45

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144451 - £55 Abit motherboard, well recognised as the best budget overclocker. If you really want to overclock a Quad though I would upgrade to the Pro version of this motherboard.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139967 - This £111 dual core processor should happily overclock to just shy of 4Ghz. It is also the latest intel generation which further helps performance. Very few apps or games use a Quad cores properly. As such this will beat it in most tests at the default speeds, when overclocked to 4Ghz it will normally beat a 3.4Ghz Quad too. This comes with the benefits of reduced power usage and cheaper cost.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130429 - 4GB of memory in 2 sticks for £65, can't knock it. I have never had issues with Corsair, unlike OCZ, Geil and most OEM rubbish.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/142228 - 512MB 8800GT graphics with a decent cooler factory fitted, will happily do for gaming till the new cards due in the next few months are affordable.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139739 - 750GB of very fast hard drive from Samsung. Cheap to boot.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/129527 - Very good Samsung DVD burner for £16, SATA too.

Hope this helps you with an idea of what works together and why. Personally I think that system represents the current pinacle of high value return for your money. You will not get much better performance by spending twice the price, far better to save the cash for replacing the graphics card in a years time ;)
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
I paid more than £45 for my PSU alone. How can you get a good case and PSU for £45. Although Coolermaster is a good brand(they make my PSU), that must be some very old stock to be that cheap.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
The case is a solid steel chassis rather than a proper fancy alloy one, but it is well engineered and has a high quality finish so does the job nicely. Steel cases are available from under £10, but it does usually cost at least £30 to get one this good.

The PSU is clearly one of the more basic ones in their range, but it is still great value in this combo. To my mind it is a good £30 case and a good £30 PSU together for £45, excellent deal but definately managable when savings on shipping and guarenteed sale of two items rather than one is factored in.

To be fair there is no reason for a decent PSU to cost more than £30 for normal loading requirements (have a look inside one and price up the parts). Yes you can buy better, but it is seriously unnecessary and subject to diminishing returns like any other purchase. Do you think that IBM, HP and Dell servers running 24/7 have £100 PSU's in them ;) Some of the old fileservers we have here have been running 24/7 on old OEM PSU's for 8-10 years so clearly it is not necessary to buy a pricey PSU. The main reason I stick with branded supplies these days is because of the cheap cack that now passes for OEM. Fact is that although it doesn't take £100 to make a good PSU, it deffo costs more than £5-£10 end user price.

Oh and as an aside avoid Antec PSU's. Out of 7 purchased in the past 3 years, 4 have mysteriously given up the ghost. Haven't even had that sort of hit rate with shoddy OEMs :rolleyes:
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
I decided to splash out a bit on my PSU as I had a problem with an OEM one undervolting severely on my previous computer, and as I had spent close to £700 on components, I thought an extra £30 for a PSU was worth it as the reviews had been very positive.

If you are building on a budget then that is a good deal. And it does look a snazzy case. I was slightly upset at the rubbish plastic finish on the door of mine, I thought it was ALU, but upon arrival I found out it was the slightly more expensive one that was fully ALU, and mine saved money by making the door plastic :rolleyes:. Still I don't regret the case.
 

sibeer

Well-known Member
I did the very same when I first had a few OEM supplies causing stability issues (and two going pop). Went and bought £70 ish supplies from the likes of Enermax, Tagan and Antec (before the days of Seasonic, Coolermaster, etc). Fact is though that there is a happy medium, suitable for all but extreme cases. Nearly every recent system I have built has used either a low end Coolermaster, FSP or Seasonic PSU, all are running fine.

Most OEM ones these days are definately far too risky. The likes of ebuyer have ruined the market for it by importing any old rubbish, so long as it looks like a bargain (the big number low price sales tactic). In these days of the e-tailer quality control has gone out the window.

My local supplier (Computerplus in Liverpool) only ever sold us half decent OEM PSU's and RAM. They know that otherwise you will be in their shop the next day complaining. Now if only they could offer better range and pricing so I didn't end up back at ebuyer and scan's doors all the time. My advice is to never buy OEM RAM or PSU's online if you want to have a stable computer.
 

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