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Need guidance/opinion on parts list for pc build


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#1 LordDude79

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:10 PM

Hey everyone, 

 

This my first time on this forum and I am afraid I am here to ask for a little guidance.

 

I am putting together a computer system and would like some opinions on the parts I am looking to use. I plan on using it for a little gaming, some video editing, streaming and general day-to-day usage. I do want it to feel fast at most tasks and be able to play streamed video to a 32 inch 1080p tv via HDMI, 

 

I am looking to build the best machine possible for my budget (£350-400) with the hope it will last me many years to come and have the capacity for future upgrading. This system falls within my budget at around £390. 

 

One concern I have, which I would be very thankful for some advice, is the motherboard. I am worried it might cause a bottleneck in the system as I believe the CPU is strong and obviously the SSD will be pretty swift but if the motherboard is going to slow everything down it would be a waste.

 

Oh and lastly, I understand the SSD is relitively small but I will be buying a 1TB HDD as a secondry drive in the future. The SSD will be mainly used for the OS and some games.

 

OK... Here we go!

 

CPU:                  AMD FX-8350 octo core 4ghz 16mb cache (£125)

Graphics Card:  ATI Radion HD 5450 1GB DDR3 (£30)(open for suggestions, up to £50 budget) 

Motherboard:    Gigabyte 78LMT (£37)

RAM:                 8BG 1600ghz DDR 3 (£60)

Stoarage:          SSD 120GB (£50)

PSU:                 Corsar CX 500 (£40)

Case:               HP compaq dc5100 microtower (case from an old pc) or Galaxy 3 gaming computer ATX (as found on popular auction webistes!) (free or £30)

Media:              Old DVD RW (free)

OS:                  Ubuntu (possibly Win 7 later) (free or £40)

Total cost:       £342 or £412

 

I hope I am not forgetting anything. If you have any ideas for improving the proposed system please let me know, however, I do ask that you remember my budget is very tight. If fact, if you know of less expensive parts, where substitution would not effect performance, I would be very happy to hear. 

 

Lastly, one major concirn is with using the old HP case. It would save a few pound but would the parts fit it? Aparently its an ATX case if that is any help. 

 

Any questions just ask.

 

Thanks again

 

LordDude79


Edited by LordDude79, 22 August 2014 - 03:12 PM.


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

You're probably going to have to go with the Galaxy 3 case as manufactured systems don't normally work well with standard motherboards.  The Galaxy 3 should come with a slot where you can pop in the custom back plate for your motherboard.



#3 LordDude79

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:28 PM

Thanks Kilroy, 

 

That is exactly why I thought of asking you guys. I was not aware the motherboards even come with backplates! I think you are correct about getting the new case and at least it will look a prettier. 

 

Do you have any opinions on the general specs of the system? 

 

Thanks again bud!



#4 Kilroy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:13 PM

Take a look at this page.  Click the ... under the picture to see more images.  There is one where you can see the back of the case.  Near the top there is a 1.5 inch by about 6 inch space.  On the motherboard page do the same and then look at the picture with all of the parts.  There is a rear I/O panel shield, that is what you put in that slot.  Manufactured PCs don't have that feature, the cases are made for the specific board configuration.  Putting in a different board can have issues shorting out ports.

 

I'm not an AMD builder, so I don't have many comments on that side.  The 8GB of RAM is good, and what I recommend as a minimum for decent performance.  I'd suggest a larger SSD drive.  I'm currently running at 148GB on mine, mostly due to programs storing data in the user folder, most of my software is stored on a different drive.  I'd recommend pulling over the hard drive from the HP, if possible, for additional storage.


Edited by Kilroy, 22 August 2014 - 09:14 PM.


#5 jonuk76

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:48 PM

This is probably more like the sort of thing I'd go for and I'll explain why for each.  Just one of many options, but I think it would end up being a more "balanced" PC.

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor  (£96.40 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P ATX AM3+ Motherboard  (£60.20 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  (£59.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  (£47.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R7 250X 1GB Video Card  (£64.98 @ Ebuyer)
Case: BitFenix Comrade ATX Mid Tower Case  (£28.79 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  (£35.09 @ Aria PC)
Total: £393.43
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
 

CPU - Both the FX-8320 and 8350 are unlocked (Black Edition) CPU's.  You can save a few £ by getting the FX-8320 and if you find you want to run at FX-8350 speeds, it should be quite straightforward to do this by tweaking BIOS settings (it's a modest overclock).  No guarantees, but I believe most of them can do that and more.

 

Motherboard - I think going too cheap here is something you don't want to do.  The 970A-UD3P supports SATA III (6 Gb/s) so it won't bottleneck fast SSD drive's and has better voltage regulation (8+2 phases, rather than 4 + 1 on the cheaper board).  This means it's better suited for high wattage CPU's like the 8 core FX chips, will run cooler, and should have better reliability.  Here is more on voltage regulators.

 

Memory - Corsair is good quality memory. 2 x 4gb will run in dual channel for mode for best performance, and this motherboard will have two slots free for future expansion.

 

SSD - Sandisk Ultra Plus is generally well reviewed and reasonable performing, at a good price.  You should get a second storage drive sooner rather than later though as you would be surprised how quickly this will fill up with Windows (Ubuntu or other Linux' does not eat up space so much usually).

 

Video card - You mentioned some gaming, and to be honest the HD 5450 is pretty hopeless here.  Fine for desktop, fine for HD video, but not so good for games.  The R7-250X (which is basically a tweaked HD 7770) is by comparison a significantly more powerful card.  It's perfectly capable of running most modern titles at reasonable speeds (depending on resolution and quality settings).

 

Case - Personal preference comes into play, but the Bitfenix looks a good item for not much money.  Also available in Black... Don't know your Galaxy 3 case, but note this motherboard is a full ATX board, not MATX.

 

PSU - It's got enough watts, and is a high quality item made by Seasonic, at an attractive price.  The Corsair CX500 is also pretty good for the money (we don't get the very cheap deals on these they get in the US though unfortunately).

 

I would also recommend an aftermarket cooler, as AMD's own can get noisy under load.  The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is a popular choice, and good value, and will keep the CPU a lot cooler.

 

EDIT on further looking I found an MSI R7-260 video card which offers about 15% extra performance for about £3 more than the R7-250X, might be worth considering.


Edited by jonuk76, 23 August 2014 - 07:29 AM.

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#6 LordDude79

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:40 AM

Wow! That is incredibly helpful, thanks Jonuk76! 

 

I had considered the AMD FX-8320 but it appeared that the FX-8350 beat it in almost all benchmark scores when not overclocked. This said, I have been informed by a friend over this weekend that benchmarks, although helpful, do not necessarily allude to the 'feel' of a processor. Would you say either the 8320 or 8350 would make the system feel like a speedy machine? 

 

After looking at the motherboard you suggested, I am sold. I was worried about my chosen MB bottlenecking the system so your advice is greatly appreciated. 

 

I think I will be going for the MSI R7-260 video card as you suggested. I think it will more than fulfil its purpose. 

 

I will update this thread as I build the system... I am sure I will have a few more questions!

 

Thanks again 



#7 LordDude79

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:42 AM

Hey Kilroy, 

 

Thanks for the info and great suggestion. I probably will be using the old HDD until I get a big posh new one. 

 

Cheers



#8 jonuk76

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 04:30 PM

 

 

Wow! That is incredibly helpful, thanks Jonuk76! 

 

I had considered the AMD FX-8320 but it appeared that the FX-8350 beat it in almost all benchmark scores when not overclocked. This said, I have been informed by a friend over this weekend that benchmarks, although helpful, do not necessarily allude to the 'feel' of a processor. Would you say either the 8320 or 8350 would make the system feel like a speedy machine? 

 

After looking at the motherboard you suggested, I am sold. I was worried about my chosen MB bottlenecking the system so your advice is greatly appreciated. 

 

I think I will be going for the MSI R7-260 video card as you suggested. I think it will more than fulfil its purpose. 

 

I will update this thread as I build the system... I am sure I will have a few more questions!

 

Thanks again

 

No problem :)

 

Benchmarks serve a purpose, but can lead you to false conclusions, so it's important to understand what they are testing.  Some suggest that real world benchmarks (actual tests using applications and games that you might use) are more important than synthetic benchmarks (dedicated benchmarking programs, e.g. Passmark, 3D Mark) although I'd say both have their uses.

 

For example, in some tests a FX6350 will be beaten by an FX8350 by 25% or more.  The main reason for that is that it has more cores, and a test that showed that result would have been written to use all available cores.  Most common software though is not as "multi-threaded" and will run on one or two cores.  In this case, the 8 core processor won't perform noticeably better than the 6 core. There are exceptions to this, including things like video editing and encoding software which are likely to be optimised to run on multiple cores.  Also more cores is better with heavy multi-tasking (running lots of programs at once).

 

In a budget limited build, decisions have to be made and personally I think if every pound counts going for the 8320 over the 8350 is sensible (saves about £20-30 I think).  Especially as once you have it up and running you have the option of pushing it up to a higher speed anyway with a few tweaks.

 

Anyway, I'm confident that either a FX8320 or FX8350, with 8Gb and SSD will result in a system that should handle most things you can throw at it, and will feel fast.  It will certainly feel fast if you have come from one of these!


Edited by jonuk76, 24 August 2014 - 04:35 PM.

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