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Critique my budget, non gaming build please

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So my first build is about a month away and I thought now would be a good time to post my first draft for your collective critique:

CPU: Celeron D 331
Price: £29.25
Cheap!

Mobo: I'm currently deciding between 4:
Asus P5V-VM SE DH VIA P4M900
Gigabyte GA 965P-DS3
Asus P5B-MX WiFi
Asus P5L-VM
They are all around the £50 mark, and have similar specs, but it would be nice to know if anyone has experience OCing with any of the boards or wants to recommend another. The requirements are:
-Onboard VGA.
-C2D support.
-DDR2.
-SATAII
-PCI-E(x16)
-Available from Scan.
-Decent (does not need to be incredible) overclocker.

RAM: 512MB Corsair XMS2, DDR2 PC5400 (667)
Price: £20.61
Better than any “Value Select†crap and should allow me to OC a bit. 512MB should be more than enough for their needs.

Case: Scan 8033/C43 400W PSU
Price: £29.25
The PSU won't deliver anywhere near 400W, and it shouldn't need to, the PSU calculator estimates 173W at peak load even if I upgraded to 1GB RAM in the future and OC'd it to 3Ghz.

Optical Drive: HP RM 435i
Price: £11.27
Doesn't need to burn disks, just play them, plus it matches the case and is dirt cheap.

Card Reader: AKASA AK-ICR-01E
Price: £9.98
Just needs to read SD cards and match the case.

HDD: 80Gb WD800AAJS Caviar SE
Price: £26.54
80GB should be more than enough, and although it might not be the fastest on the market a 7,200rpm SATA drive will be the fastest thing they've ever used.

OS: XP SP2
Price: £53.33
Ubuntu was an option, but they can barely use XP...

Total: £225ish

Already have keyboard, mouse, speakers and screen.

I've been commissioned by my parents to build a new PC and it simply has to be better value than what Opal Computers is offering, which is £240 for a comparable system without the card reader.

As you can see, this is not a performance system, it doesn't need to be, my parents are currently running a 400mhz, 256MB, 10GB HDD system that is trying (and spectacularly failing) to run XP, so 2 breeze blocks and a bit of wood glued together would offer a significant increase in performance for them. They will only be using it for light Internet and office work, so as far as I can see, that spec should have them covered. I'm used to reading reviews of higher end hardware, and as such searching for budget components has been somewhat problematic, so if anyone has any good recommendations for budget hardware, your input would be greatly appreciated (ideally available from Scan). Also seeing as this is my first build, I also want to make sure that everything will work together.

However, I have a few nefarious* ulterior motives when building this system:
-I plan on practicing overclocking (never done it before) using this system (better to blow up a £30 CPU than a £130 one...), hence the slightly out of place mid range mobo and RAM.
-When I get around to my E6600 build this December, I'd like to be able to test components in this system if they start playing up, hence C2D, DDR2, PCI-E (x16) and SATA support on the mobo, and choosing a low end Intel system despite possibly being able to get a cheaper AMD based one.

I'll probably try pushing the system to around 3.0Ghz but actually leave it running at 2.66-2.8Ghz as my parents wouldn't notice a difference and as it'll only be using stock cooling instability could be a problem.

TL; DR? Cliffs: Building system. Will it work?

Anyways, if you got this far, thanks for reading, input will be hugely appreciated.

*bwahahahahahaha
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1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
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It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
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Razer Exactmat 
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post #2 of 6
The DS3 will easily whoop all the other boards. Keep in mind that unless you buy the GA-965G-DS3, you will need a GPU. Otherwise, it looks good. However, I'd really look into a Sempron. They will mop the floor with Celerons and are actually a bit cheaper to begin with.

EDIT:
CPU: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=401091
Motherboard: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=476333

The CPU is cheap, and is actually one of the better Semprons available. The motherboard has Geforce 6100 integrated, which would eliminate the need for a GPU, if the PC will really only be used for office and Internet.
Lynnfield Build
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Lynnfield Build
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post #3 of 6
If u look hard enough u should be able to get a gig of decent ram for the same price as the 512. I know i got a gig of the exact same stuff for 40 USD

And as far as budget systems go, cheap amd > cheap intel
It's a computer
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It's a computer
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post #4 of 6
I'd deffinatly go with the DS3 and 1Gb of RAM.

My RAM suggestion http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(14772)...l-Channel.aspx
Core Power!
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Core Power!
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post #5 of 6
Going a different direction, just for the sake of discussion:

Net Total £203.86
Carriage £10.32
V.A.T. £38.01
TOTAL £255.19

- Intel Core 2 Duo. yep, the bottom line model, but it'll spank the Celeron.
- 1GB RAM is basically a must for an XP rig. Budget RAM will be just fine. Note that the CPU has an FSB of 200MHz. Thus, you can overclock your FSB to 266MHz before RAM hits stock at 1:1. That's 2.128GHz for the CPU, or an 33% overclock.
- MoBo does run the E2140, as of Bios version F2. I checked on the Gigabyte website.

Yes, in total a litle more than the pre-built.... but heck, the advantages are more than obvious.
    
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E8400 @ 3.8 GHz DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R eVGA 8400GS 2GB Mushkin DDR2 800 (single stick) 
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E8400 @ 3.8 GHz DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R eVGA 8400GS 2GB Mushkin DDR2 800 (single stick) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250GB WD SATA None Windows XP Pro 32-bit HP Pavilion f1703 
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good call on the mobo Chozart!

I'll go with the C2D design that you suggested seeing as it'll get me some hands on experience overclocking a Core2Duo and a performance increase that even my parents could appreciate, seeing as I should be able to OC it to 2.1Ghz on stock cooling. I was considering a DS3 and cheap PCI-E graphics card but your suggestion is a much better use of the money.

I'll call Scan tomorrow for the price of the DS3, but it looks like I'll be going with the Gigabyte-S2 unless the DS3 is very competitively priced.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I never thought I'd be able to get a Core2Duo PC for this sort of money!

EDIT:
The DS3 costs £60 so it looks like I'll be sticking with the S2 and the Core 2 rather than settling for a Celeron in a better mobo.
It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
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Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
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Razer Exactmat 
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It lives
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactmat 
  hide details  
Reply
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