PC Advice Please

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Hi

I need some advice from you experts please.

I am looking to buy a decent good quality desk top computer, but my knowledge is not that good and I would greatly value any advice you can give me.

At the moment it is a toss up between PC World, Dell or Mesh. Alternatively, get my local shop to self build. I currently have a good budget (£700 - £900).

I will be using the PC mainly for home use (I am an amateur genealogist and photographer) with the occasional gaming use. Clock Speed, Memory, Graphics and a good, high quality, monitor are important for the work I do.

My specifications are as follows -
  • ATHLON (2GHz or faster); CPU with DSI
  • 2Gb RAM (or higher).
  • 300Gb+ HD
  • High Resolution flat screen monitor.
  • Video Card; 256MB or higher. Directx9.0 (or higher) Compatible. TV/DVD/CD Compatible etc.
  • Graphics Card; 256MB or higher 3D Acceleration. T&L Capability (Hardware Transform & Lighting). VS/PS Capability (Shader).
  • High speed data/fax/voice modem. 54Kps or higher
  • 6 or more USB Ports
  • Interior flash card reader (for my cameras)
  • 18x CD/DVD Writer +R/-R/RW/RAM
  • 2nd CD/DVD Drive +R/-R
  • Network Card for future connection to broadband
  • Good Quality Sound Card (being partially deaf, I do not need anything fancy)
  • 2x Stereo Speakers
I would welcome any advice, or recommendations, on complete systems or individual components please.
 
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I suggest you do not buy from the third company you mention.
They offer bad service & support and much is written about them on this forum & others!
 
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Mesh

Yes I have heard very conflicting reports about this company. I have to say that my dealings with them so far have not been very good.
 

V_R

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A few members here have got pcs from Cyberppower system, you could also check out 3B systems.

Going by your required spec i would suggest you look at the Intel E6600 CPU as they are currently top dog. 2GB of ram will be fine. Do you need the 56k modem, are you on broadband? The motherboard will have a Ethernet port of network connectivity. you could get a DVD writer instead of a CD writer. You can get flash card readers with floppy drives all in one if you wish. :)
 
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V_R said:
A few members here have got pcs from Cyberppower system, you could also check out 3B systems.

Going by your required spec i would suggest you look at the Intel E6600 CPU as they are currently top dog. 2GB of ram will be fine. Do you need the 56k modem, are you on broadband? The motherboard will have a Ethernet port of network connectivity. you could get a DVD writer instead of a CD writer. You can get flash card readers with floppy drives all in one if you wish. :)
Cool! I will do that thanks.

Any recommendations for Video/Graphics cards etc. please?

I hope to go on to broadband in due course.
 

muckshifter

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I'm going to jump in here, as I usually do, and mention one item I regard as the most important component of any PC ... the Motherboard. :D

Alternatively, get my local shop to self build ...
I'm all in favour of supporting "local system builders" providing they can show good customer re pore and will take time to explain any aspect of your PC ... my trust is not easy to gain. ;) Do they have any Net presence ?

V_R has some excellent suggestions which I would endorse fully ... I am not up with the times of the current Graphics cards, but I would buy the best I could get and will probably be more expensive that any other one single item. Even if you have no intention of being an avid gamer, it is the sort of card to take a look at.

LCD/TFT monitors should be seen, by yourself, working ... PCWorld is pretty good to pop into and having a "look" at what is on offer ... you're more than welcome to throw any prospectives our way to scrutinize. :thumb:

If you take a looke at some of the members "sigs" here, you'll get a good idea what to look for. :thumb:
 

Abarbarian

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This is a pretty good value graphics card and low power consumption aswell ,

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-138-SP&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=404

I've not seen this but it gets very good reviews and has very good specs for the money.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO-050-SA

The actual building of a pc ain't that hard . Matching the components is more tricky . Like muckshifter said your mobo and cpu are realy the most important and good memory.
HDD DVD's etc can all be bought at very reasonable prices if you spend some time hunting .

:)
 

V_R

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cguil_uk said:
Any recommendations for Video/Graphics cards etc. please?
Well you could spend £400 on a card if you want but as your not going to game then that would be silly!

If i were you then i would go for something like this as you then have the power if you need it. But thats only a suggestion, budget is the main factor you need to consider. But if your willing to spend £700-£900 as you stated earlier then it should be ok. :)
 

Adywebb

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I will concur with Mucks and say get a good quality motherboard and build from there - something from Asus will generally be fine, and like V_R I would suggest going for an Intel Core2Duo CPU as it will be excellent for multitasking, and if you need to save a few £££ to keep within budget then go for the E6400 rather than the E6600.

If you go down the Intel Core2Duo route, I would suggest the Asus P5B Deluxe (Socket 775).

Both those graphics cards by V_R and Abarbarian would do you fine, but if the money is available within your budget, then as Mucks said maybe splash out a bit more.

Another vital consideration is a good quality power supply (PSU) - a 500W+ jobby from a maker like Tagan/OCZ/Hiper/Seasonic/Enermax should provide you with a stable and reliable supply.

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V_R said:
A few members here have got pcs from Cyberppower system

Me being one of them :D

Efficient and reliable, excellent value for money. Advantage is that your pretty much custom build everything in your system, so you can spend on what you need and save on what you dont need.:thumb:

For £700 ish you can get a more than adequate system for your needs.
 
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Thanks for your help guys, much appreciated. :)


Any thoughts on memory by the way - Any particular make etc or is there anything I need to look out for?
 
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"The controller card, or simply "controller," is a piece of hardware that acts as the interface between the motherboard and the other components of the computer. For example, hard drives, optical drives, printers, keyboards, and mice all require controllers to work. Most computers have all the necessary controllers built in the motherboard as chips, not full-sized cards. However, if you add additional components such as a SCSI hard drive, you may need to add a controller card as well. Controller cards are typically installed in one of the computer's PCI slots."

So unless you're going to buy a SCSI hard drive, then i dont think you will need to buy a seperate controller card. The components for that should be build in to your motherboard and system anyway.
 
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michael 118 said:
"The controller card, or simply "controller," is a piece of hardware that acts as the interface between the motherboard and the other components of the computer. For example, hard drives, optical drives, printers, keyboards, and mice all require controllers to work. Most computers have all the necessary controllers built in the motherboard as chips, not full-sized cards. However, if you add additional components such as a SCSI hard drive, you may need to add a controller card as well. Controller cards are typically installed in one of the computer's PCI slots."

So unless you're going to buy a SCSI hard drive, then i dont think you will need to buy a seperate controller card. The components for that should be build in to your motherboard and system anyway.
Thanks much appreciated
 
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My proposed system - Comments welcome

Thanks for your help everyone. The following spec. is based on comments and advice from other users. If anyone knows of any cheaper but reliable components, than those listed, I would be very interested to hear. I need to get the total price below £900.

www.overclockers.co.uk – prices inc. VAT.



  • CPU (2GHz or faster); CPU with DSI – With Ethernet port of network connectivity
    • Intel E6400 or E6600
      • Intel Core 2 DUO E6400 "LGA775 Allendale" 2.13GHz (1066FSB) (£146.86)
      • Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) (£199.74)
    • Asus P5B Deluxe (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - Core2Duo (£122.19)
  • 2Gb RAM (or higher).
    • Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 TwinX (2x1GB) (£138.64)
    • GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC) (£117.49)
  • 300Gb+ HD (I need plenty of storage space for my photos & Genealogical records)
    • Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3200KS SATA-II 16MB Cache – OEM (£61.09)
    • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS SATA-II 16MB Cache – OEM (£66.96)
  • High Resolution flat screen monitor. (for my photographic work)
    • Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor - Silver/Black (£264.36)
  • Video Card; 256MB or higher. Directx9.0 (or higher) Compatible. TV/DVD/CD Compatible etc.
  • Graphics Card; 256MB or higher - 3D Acceleration. T&L Capability (Hardware Transform & Lighting). VS/PS Capability (Shader).
    • BFG GeForce 7900 GS OC 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) (£119.84)
    • Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 Pro ULTIMATE SILENT 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) (£129.24)
    • 256MB nVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT - Dual DVI,HDTV & TV-Out + DVI - PCI-Express (£146.86)
  • High speed data/fax/voice modem. 54Kps or higher
    • US Robotics USR015633 56K V.92 USB Faxmodem (£27.01)
  • 6 or more USB internal Ports
  • Internal flash card reader (for my cameras)Floppy disk drive combination?
  • 18x CD/DVD Writer +R/-R/RW/RAM
    • Samsung SH-183LBEBN 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer Serial ATA Lightscribe ReWriter (Black) – OEM (£23.49)
  • 2nd CD/DVD Drive +R/-R
    • Sony DDU-1615 DVD-ROM (Black) – OEM (£11.74)
  • Sound Card
    • Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional 7.1 Soundcard (£89.29)
  • 2x Stereo Speakers
  • (PSU) - a 500W+ - Tagan/OCZ/Hiper/Seasonic/Enermax
    • Seasonic M12 Modular 500W Silent ATX2.0 Power Supply (£84.59)
  • Case, Keyboard & Mouse.
  • Good quality and quiet cooling fans.
    • PC Cooling Fan (£20 - £40) (do I need this?)
    • Corsair Memory Cooler (Dominator Fan) (£17.61) (do I need this?)


www.overclockers.co.uk – prices inc. VAT.

Thanks again
 

V_R

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Well looking at what you've selected, it looks good. :thumb:

Out of the stuff you listed, i picked the bits below. With some comments in bold. :)
cguil_uk said:
Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) (£199.74) :thumb:
Asus P5B Deluxe (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - Core2Duo (£122.19) :thumb:
GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC) (£117.49):thumb:
Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3200KS SATA-II 16MB Cache – OEM (£61.09):thumb:
Samsung SM-226BW 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor - Silver/Black (£264.36):thumb:

BFG GeForce 7900 GS OC 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) (£119.84)
256MB nVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT - Dual DVI,HDTV & TV-Out + DVI - PCI-Express (£146.86)
Your choice here really, the 7950 GT is the better card but reflected by price. As a gamer i'd pick that, but the other card is still very good. If your going to play games then go for the better card.


US Robotics USR015633 56K V.92 USB Faxmodem (£27.01) As you need it, fine.
Internal flash card reader (for my cameras)Floppy disk drive combination? Something like this?
Samsung SH-183LBEBN 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer Serial ATA Lightscribe ReWriter (Black) – OEM (£23.49) You dont need tow drives really.
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional 7.1 Soundcard (£89.29) - I have the X-FI Extreme Music, its is a fine card! Sounds awsome!
2x Stereo Speakers - Any ideas?
Seasonic M12 Modular 500W Silent ATX2.0 Power Supply (£84.59) :thumb:

Case, Keyboard & Mouse.
Good quality and quiet cooling fans.
PC Cooling Fan (£20 - £40) (do I need this?) - Probably not, what case will you get?
Corsair Memory Cooler (Dominator Fan) (£17.61) (do I need this?) No

www.overclockers.co.uk – prices inc. VAT.
Thanks again
 
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Thanks again :wave:

I know nothing about cases so if you have any ideas that would be great.

2x Stereo Speakers - Any ideas - Being partially deaf, I need nothing elaborate - however good clear sound quality is important from a hearing point of view.
 

V_R

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Well its personally preference to an extent, What you think looks good. :)
If your spending money on a spec like that then it makes sense to put it in a good quality case with good cooling too.

Something like....

Arctic Cooling T1 Pro Case - £50.51
Thermaltake Soprano - £51.69, Or with side window and side fan - £51.69
Antec Nine Hundred - £65.79
Thermaltake Tsunami Dream - £71.66, Or with Window and Fan - £75.19
Antec P180 - £81.06

I could go on but you get the idea, have a look here, and post a link to one you like. :thumb:

FWIW, i Got the Tsunami Dream, with window, and i an seriously considering upgrading to the Antec 900. :D

Speakers....

You want a 2.1 system with a sub or just the two stereo speakers?
Have a look around here (2.0) and here (2.1)

Again post back and we'll have a look. :)
 

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