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  #1  
11-24-2007, 06:37 AM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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my pc is getting old and slow, i need a new one.
i dont know much about pcs so if anyone can help i would be grateful.
i live in the uk and my budget is 500

thanks.
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  #2  
11-24-2007, 08:05 AM
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- Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, not AMD. maybe Pentium D if on clearance cheap
- 2GB of RAM, consider 4GB if using a pre-made computer and it uses Windows Vista
- 16x DVD burner, Pioneer (1st choice) or Samsung (2nd choice) preferred
- another DVD burner, or a good DVD-ROM, on the opposite IDE channel from the 1st burner, to copy discs
- two hard drives, first one can be any size *80GB, mostly likely), second one should probably be 160GB or more.
- case with fans/good airflow, not a little box with no vents that gets hot
- ATI or nVidia graphics card
- safe to assume you're not using this to capture video?

Well under $1,000 USD, which is equal to 500 quid right now (sad as that is).




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  #3  
11-24-2007, 08:48 AM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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thanks for the info
why 2 hard drives ?
what about the Motherboard and Sound Card ?
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  #4  
11-24-2007, 09:29 AM
weevil6772 weevil6772 is offline
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If you are looking to do gaming I'd say AMD, any type of editing I'd say Intel.Dual core for sure either way.
2 GB of ram,unless Vista and even then Windows will not utilize all 4 GB of ram unless you have the 64-bit edition.
16x burner, I'd say two of them since they are so cheap these days(sub $30 on a lot of good names.)
2 hard drives, no reason not to get 160-250 GB size, again you can get very good HD's for cheap.
Case with good cooling(coolermaster, antec.)
If you are going editing go with an ATI card, gaming I'd go with NVIDIA.
Sound card go with an Soundblaster Audigy card.They are around $30-50 and are excellent cards.
Motherboard I would recommend ASUS mobo's, as they are usually top-notch boards.


Here are some sites that will help you save money and yet purchase quality stuff:

www.newegg.com
www.directron.com
www.xpcgear.com

I've used all three and love www.directron.com the best.
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  #5  
11-24-2007, 10:26 AM
wayshway wayshway is offline
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Yes, the Samsung burners rock.
All my computers and my multi burner have Samsung's.
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  #6  
11-24-2007, 08:15 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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mobos
all much of a muchness these days
asus are probably one of the better named manufacturer
i also like gigabytes mobos
asrock are not bad for budget mobos

sound card
there is really only 1 top pc sound card manufacturer - soundblaster
go for any of the audigy range
and if you can get it second hand all the better
but i'll also say that quite a few mobos with on-board sound might do the trick
on board sound is now a far cry from the rubbish we used to have 10 years ago.

so if you are on a tight budget, buy a mobo with a 5.1 (or even 7.1) on board sound.

have to admit, 500 can buy you a ready made dell or something.
but if you go down the DIY route, maybe 500 is not enough?

these are very rough figures:
75 mobo
100 ram
100 cpu
35 hard drive
100 grap card
20 dvd burner
30 sound card

that's about 460
then there is VAT to add.

if you go for 2 hard drives, or 1 very large hard drive, it'll cost you more.

one other point to note... if you upgrade to the latest or near latest hardware, most probably you will need a new case (desktop, mini or midi tower) which is another 40 or so.

and the most important thing most people forget about is the power supply.
you'll need a 450W or 550W or higher power supply to drive all the new hardware. newer graphics cards need a lot of power nowadays, let alone cpu, ram, 2 hard drives etc.

a good power supply might cost 50 or so.

if you don't play games on the pc, then go for a mobo with on board graphics and on board sound to save you about 150 which you can put towards other parts of the pc.

hope this helps
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  #7  
11-24-2007, 10:05 PM
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Don't skimp on motherboard. Intel or Asus.

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  #8  
11-26-2007, 12:41 PM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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i found a site to build my pc, the prices look good,
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/index....&select=intel1

if you can give me a hand to build it that would be great,
there is a lot of options.
my budget is 500

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  #9  
11-26-2007, 01:25 PM
padre2 padre2 is offline
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One thing to remember is that where we pay $1,000 USD for a good system or decent parts to build one (here in the states), they pay 1000 for that exact same system! I swear, it's like they just change the $ to a !! I was over in Swindon a few months ago, building a system for my uncle - Christ, it was cheaper to buy the parts in the U.S. and ship them over.
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  #10  
11-26-2007, 03:56 PM
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Some rules:
1. No Celerons. Pentium D or Core Duo only.
2. No Vista. Use XP Home, XP MCE or XP Pro.
3. The more USB inputs, the better. Hubs are never as good as direct ports. Many devices hate sharing space on hubs (DVD burners, battery backups, film scanners, etc).
4. No Maxtor hard drives. Western Digital or Seagate only.
5. CD-ROMs and CD burners are useless. Get at least 1 DVD burner and 1 DVD-ROM. Pioneer is best choice for both. In fact, if you can't get a Pioneer DVD-ROM, get two burners (Pioneer preferred).
6. Nothing can be "VIA" branded or have VIA chips. Those are trash. Buy better video, audio and motherboards.
7. No integrated audio. Use a PCI card, even a cheap SoundBlaster. Getting those mega-channel 7.1 cards is silly. They don't do much more than the cheap cards, in terms of what we care about as video collectors
8. Only buy a TV card if it's good (Hauppauge product, these days). You may not need this card
9. Skip cheap surge "protectors". Those do nothing. Buy a cheap battery backup. Those are about $40 in the USA, for the basic APC or CyberPower.

Some suggestions:
10. Intel integrated video is okay. nVidia and ATI graphics AGP or PCI Express cards are better.
11. Do yourself a favor and buy quiet system fans/case.
12. Speakers, keyboard, monitor ... get whatever you like. Personally, I hate wireless mice and keyboard, too much lag time. I like 19" minimum size LCD (not widescreen). If widescreen, I need at least 22-24".

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  #11  
11-26-2007, 05:59 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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put simply... UK is a bit more taxed than say USA but not as heavy as some scandinavian countries (who may have a better health/education system due to higher taxes)

as for pc advise...
more or less what LS has already posted.

pcie is the way to go with graphics.
but agp will still have about 2 or 3 years of life left.
can get a agp radeon x1950 xt which is up there in performance terms, but pricey.

if you're keen, you can get a core 2 duo and a flexible mobo to overclock. i can get my 1.8GHz core 2 duo up to about 2.6 GHz. more bang for your buck.

but for this, you'll need to splash out on a massive heatsink & fan and you may not like the fan noise.

for video capturing, no need for overclocking.
for converting/tidying up video, then the faster the cpu & system, the better.

decide for yourself.
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  #12  
11-26-2007, 07:24 PM
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I went back and edited my last post with a lot of helpful computer info. .

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  #13  
11-27-2007, 03:39 PM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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how easy is it to build your own pc,
are there any good guides for beginners ?
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  #14  
11-27-2007, 03:56 PM
manthing manthing is offline
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its pretty easy.

cpu, hard drive cables etc can only be inserted one way.
so quite hard to make mistakes.

the power, start, stop cables from pc case to mobo should be colour coordinated, so again straightforward.

graphic + sound cards + memory, again, can only be inserted one way.

possibly the hardest bit is to get into the BIOS and maybe setup a few parameters, like cpu speed, ram speed, first boot device. but even this is a doddle.

and if you have to fit a hefty fan over the cpu can pose a small problem.

just make sure you're static free. you can buy a kit for this.

i've been building my own pc for years.
absolutely a doddle.

for me the hardest bit is waiting for ages for windows software to install itself!

guides, couldn't point to one offhand but surely there must be one or two around. try googling for it.
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  #15  
11-27-2007, 04:55 PM
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The BIOS data is almost always in the motherboard box, in the manual. I learned about motherboards by simply reading the books. A few dozen pages at most.

Jumper settings on the drives is another easy thing to miss. But most computers (and most drives) now come set to auto, so it's not as likely to be an issue as it once was.

I started building computers in the mid 90s. It's easy now.

Windows XP is something that you start to install, walk away 10-15 minutes, come back and answer some questions, and then walk away for 30-60 more minutes. Come back, answer another few on-screen questions, walk away 10 minutes, and it's done.




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  #16  
11-27-2007, 05:52 PM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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im going to try it.

thanks for the help.
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  #17  
11-28-2007, 12:04 AM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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i have found most of the stuff i want , just need a motherboard and graphics card, im not sure witch ones to get,
if lord smurf or manthing can pick them out for me from amazon.co.uk that would be great.
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  #18  
11-28-2007, 12:52 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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well you have to tell us which cpu you're getting.
intel?
amd?
core 2 duo?
quad?

and do you want to play latest games or not?
like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and call of duty 4 and crysis etc?

if so, then you need mega powerful grap card
like the nvidia 8800 series
but this is over 300 or something?

also, looking ahead, go with pcie and not agp.

well you have to tell us in order for us to tell you.
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  #19  
11-28-2007, 12:53 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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actually, after getting all the other gear, how much have you got to spend on mobo & grap card?
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  #20  
11-28-2007, 01:08 AM
d.smyth d.smyth is offline
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this is what im going to order, let me know if i got the write stuff,


Intel Core 2 Duo
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-2-66GH...6261798&sr=8-1

case
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CASE-Wizard-Bl...QQcmdZViewItem

4GB of RAM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-KTA...6261880&sr=8-9

Seagate Hard Drive
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-160G...6261996&sr=8-3

SoundBlaster
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pf_rd_i=468294


after that i will have about 200 for motherboard and graphics card



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