PC Advise needed

Damo121

Active Member
I am looking to upgrade from a laptop to a desktop. I will need it for general day-to-day use, ie e-mails and internet but would also like for it to be able to handle light gaming use. Am looking to spend up to £600

Here's one I made earlier on a PC build website:

AMD ATHLON 64 X2 5200+ (2.6GHz) 2 x 1MB L2 CACHE (Socket AM2)

2 COSAIR XMS2 800MHz

ASUS M4N78: DUAL DDR2, S-ATA II, PCIe x16, 2 PCIe 3 x PCI

Windows Vista (Ideally like Windows 7)

500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s Hard Drive with 8MB CACHE (7200rpm)

22x Dual LAYER DVD Writer

6x BLU-RAY ROM Drive

512MB NVIDIA GEFORCE 8400GS PCI EXPRESS

WIRELESS N 300Mbps PCI Card (Essential)

450W Quiet Dual Rail PSU + 120 Case fan (The quieter the better)

Super Quiet 22dBa Triple Copper Heatpipe CPU Cooler

£500

Please LMK your thoughts and advise.

Many thanks

Damo:)
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
I get £467 for that system (on PCspecialist) so I guess you've added some extra components which you haven't listed - if you want assessments on value for money then you need to list everything to get accurate opinions.

As for the system, I think you've chosen about the worst value for money you could get :).

Get rid of the blu-ray drive, they're far too expensive right now and useless for your stated requirements so I'd wait until they come down to £20 or you need one and then buy and fir it then.

Replace the 5200+, 2GB of ram and 8400GS with better alternatives, you will spend 10-20% more but you'll get a several hundred percent increase in performance when it comes to gaming.

With no blu-ray, a Phenom II X3 720, 4GB of memory and a 4850 (a 4770 would be nicer, but pcspecialist aren't offering it yet) the price changes from £467 to £529, and adding on your mystery £33 that brings it to £552 and the £50 is well worth it. The only possible issue is the noise the 4850 might make so you might like to e-mail PCspecialist about that (when I e-mailed last year they said they used quiet case fans but I didn't ask specifically about the graphics card).
 

Damo121

Active Member
I get £467 for that system (on PCspecialist) so I guess you've added some extra components which you haven't listed - if you want assessments on value for money then you need to list everything to get accurate opinions.

As for the system, I think you've chosen about the worst value for money you could get :).

Get rid of the blu-ray drive, they're far too expensive right now and useless for your stated requirements so I'd wait until they come down to £20 or you need one and then buy and fir it then.

Replace the 5200+, 2GB of ram and 8400GS with better alternatives, you will spend 10-20% more but you'll get a several hundred percent increase in performance when it comes to gaming.

With no blu-ray, a Phenom II X3 720, 4GB of memory and a 4850 (a 4770 would be nicer, but pcspecialist aren't offering it yet) the price changes from £467 to £529, and adding on your mystery £33 that brings it to £552 and the £50 is well worth it. The only possible issue is the noise the 4850 might make so you might like to e-mail PCspecialist about that (when I e-mailed last year they said they used quiet case fans but I didn't ask specifically about the graphics card).

Thanks for your advise:smashin:.

The additional items were a Firewire PCI card, Dual Digital TV Card and Anti-Virus software.
 

Damo121

Active Member
Howz about this one? I have added a few extras. Cheers. Damo:)

Processor (CPU)
AMD PHENOM™ II X3 720 (2.8GHz) BLACK EDITION (Socket AM3)

Memory (RAM)
4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x2GB)

Motherboard
ASUS® M4N78: DUAL DDR2, S-ATA II, PCIe x16, 2 x PCIe x1, 3 x PCI

Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium 64 bit Edition + SP1, CD & Licence (£75)

USB Options
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

2nd Hard Disk
NONE

RAID (HDD 1 & 2)
NONE

1st CD/DVD Drive
22x DUAL LAYER LIGHTSCRIBE DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

2nd CD/DVD Drive
NONE

Graphics Card
1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE 9500GT PCI EXPRESS

2nd Graphics Card
NONE

Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

Modem
NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

Network Facilities
WIRELESS N 300Mbps PCI CARD (£16)

Floppy Disk Drive
NONE

Memory Card Reader
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

Case
STYLISH PIANO BLACK FUSION CASE inc. 2 FRONT USB

Power Supply & Case Cooling
450W Quiet Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£24)

Processor Cooling
SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£15)

Firewire & Video Editing
3 Port IEEE 1394a Firewire PCI Card (£9)

TV Card
DUAL DIGITAL TV CARD (Watch/Record Freeview on PC)

Monitor
LG W2252TQ 22" WIDESCREEN, HDCP/DVI/2MS/1680 x1050 (£169)

2nd Monitor
NONE

GeForce 3D Vision
NONE

DVI Cable
1 x 2 Metre DVI Cable (£5)

Keyboard & Mouse
NONE

Mouse
NONE

Speakers
NONE

Webcam
NONE

Headsets (VOIP)
NONE

Surge Protection
NONE

Printer
NONE

Anti-Virus
KASPERSKY ANTI-VIRUS 2009 V8.0 - 1 Year Licence for 1 PC (£7)

Office Software
NONE

External Hard Drive
NONE

Home Installation
NONE

Warranty
1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1 Year Free Collect & Return: £5

Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 8 to 10 working days

Quantity
1

£690.00 Delivered.
 

Shokz

Member
Priced up that same system but with a 512MB HD4850 and it comes to £718, well worth the extra £28 for the boost in gaming performance.

I do call into question the DVI cable at £5 - the monitor should already come with a cable, so maybe you should try to contact PCSpecialist about that. Also, a generic 450W PSU might not be up to powering the HD4850 graphics card, so see if you can find out what brand they use and post it here - any of the good brands should power it effortlessly.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I doubt you need to specify the DVI cable seperately. They probably won't tell you which PSU they're going to use since like every other PC builder they use whichever units they can get a good deal on but their configurator will warn you or they'll contact you if they feel the PSU couldn't power the system. If you try specifying a higher PSU I think it'll warn you and give you an estimate of what the configurator calculates the system will use.

The 9500GT is another really slow card, if you want to do any gaming it's just not worth going for anything below a mid range 4850/4770/9800GTX+. If you're worried about noise then do send them an e-mail, they may be able to reassure you about the card being quiet when idle or fit a card with a better cooler for a little more, you need to ask about the DVI cable after all :).
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The GT120 is the 9500GT, see my comments above :)

The Phenoms are also slower than the Phenom IIs and the system costs a fair bit more.
 
Last edited:

Damo121

Active Member
Here is one that PC Specialist built for me on my request. Please LMK your thoughts. Cheers:)

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™2 Duo E7400 (2.80GHz) 1066Hz FSB/3MB L2 Cache

Memory (RAM)
2GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY!

Motherboard
ASUS® P5N73-AM: DDR2, S-ATA II, 1 x PCI-E x16, 2 PCI, etc

Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium 64 bit Edition + SP1, CD & Licence (£75)

USB Options
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

Memory - 1st Hard Disk
250GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

2nd Hard Disk
NONE

RAID (HDD 1 & 2)
NONE

1st CD/DVD Drive
22x DUAL LAYER LIGHTSCRIBE DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

2nd CD/DVD Drive
NONE

Graphics Card
512MB NVIDIA GEFORCE 8400GS PCI EXPRESS

2nd Graphics Card
NONE

Sound Card
ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

Modem
NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

Network Facilities
WIRELESS N 300Mbps PCI CARD (£16)

Floppy Disk Drive
NONE

Memory Card Reader
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

Case
STYLISH SILVER/BLACK TRIDENT MICRO-ATX CASE + 2 FRONT USB

Power Supply & Case Cooling
450W Quiet Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£24)

Processor Cooling
SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£15)

Firewire & Video Editing
NONE

TV Card
NONE

Monitor
LG W2252TQ 22" WIDESCREEN, HDCP/DVI/2MS/1680 x1050 (£159)

2nd Monitor
NONE

DVI Cable
NONE

Keyboard & Mouse
NONE

Mouse
NONE

Speakers
NONE

Webcam
NONE

Headsets (VOIP)
NONE

Surge Protection
NONE

Printer
NONE

Anti-Virus
NONE

Office Software
NONE

External Hard Drive
NONE

Home Installation
NONE

Warranty
1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return

Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 8 to 10 working days

Price (excluding VAT)
£484.35

Price
£557.00

Order Quantity
1

Bulk discount
£0.00

Total order price (Ex VAT)
£484.35

Total order Price

£557.00
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Here is one that PC Specialist built for me on my request. Please LMK your thoughts. Cheers:)
Sorry to keep banging on about it but you do not want a card that slow even for light gaming - especially on a relatively high resolution 22" monitor. The only reason to go for cards like that over integrated graphics is if you want extra video outputs and HD decoding support.

Apart from that it seems a reasonable price. The motherboard is a bit old but it'll work and I'd probably upgrade the ram to 4GB and go for the year's collect and return.
 

Shokz

Member
Haha, yeah, after all that and then they go and suggest an even worse card... *sighs* :rolleyes:

Just go with the 4850 :p
 

Damo121

Active Member
Sorry to keep banging on about it but you do not want a card that slow even for light gaming - especially on a relatively high resolution 22" monitor. The only reason to go for cards like that over integrated graphics is if you want extra video outputs and HD decoding support.

Apart from that it seems a reasonable price. The motherboard is a bit old but it'll work and I'd probably upgrade the ram to 4GB and go for the year's collect and return.
Don't be sorry. I really appreciate all this advise:smashin:

I am completely baffled by this technology and am thinking maybe I'll do away with the gaming idea and get a console at a later date.

So to change the story, any ideas for a PC that will handle day-to-day task such as e-mails, internet and word processing etc. It must be wireless enabled and prefably a slime-line case, as I am limited on floor space, and as before, the quieter the better. AMD or Intel? Cheers!:)
 

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