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Budget gaming/media build

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have recently been "commissioned" to to build a budget (£550) gaming/media center PC for a friend and I would appreciate everyones views on the design.

He already has all the peripherals, so this is just a tower and OS.

FIRST DRAFT:

Case: Enermax CA3030 £36.98

CPU: E4300 £74.01

CPU HSF: Arctic Cooling 7 Pro £15.97

RAM: 2x 1GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 DDR2 PC5400 (667) £50.94

MoBo: Gigabyte GA 965P-DS3 £46.99

Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S183 £23.48

HDD: 120 GB WD1200JS Caviar SE £30.54

PSU: 430w Seasonic S12II-430 £52.28

Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer £56.39

Graphics Card: 256MB Sapphire Radeon X1950XT £112.49

OS: XP Home SP2 £52.18

Total: £551

I wont actually be using MCE because of the £20 extra it costs, no real need for the extra software and the apparently more complicated installation process.

As far as I am aware, the CPU, RAM and MoBo are all decent and should play well together to allow an OC to around 2.3Ghz. I'm not so sure about the HDD, next time I see him, I'll ask if he wants a 500GB Samsung HD501LJ Spinpoint T for just £35 more, but if isn't interested in the extra space is the WD1200JS decent?

The PC will be used for gaming (no specific games were mentioned, but nothing too taxing) and I assume that the X1950XT will suffice in most cases, but the PC will be used primarily for music (hence the sound card) so I wonder how loud this set-up would be when idle or listening to music. The graphics card fan is the main concern here; the Freezer 7 Pro should be quiet enough if I limit the OC and there are two 120mm fans (case and PSU) that shouldn't cause too much trouble. If anyone could allay my fears or suggest a similar passively cooled card I would be very thankful.

All suggestions for alternatives should be available from Scan, Overclock.co.uk, KustomPCs or basically any UK store that accepts orders placed using a Solo card over the phone. Cheers.
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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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post #2 of 12
looks solid. may want to consider dx10 if hes into that.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcogan10 View Post
looks solid. may want to consider dx10 if hes into that.
Thanks, for now its just XP and DX9, if he ever makes the jump to Vista it'll accompany a graphics card upgrade.
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post #4 of 12
might want to get an xtreme music instead of xtreme gamer.
i love mine.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChielScape View Post
might want to get an xtreme music instead of xtreme gamer.
i love mine.
I was considering the cheaper X-Fi Xtreme Audio but currently I don't know what connectors his sound system sports plus its OEM and I could probably use the extras. Once I find out the specs of the specs of his sound system, I'll make the choice.

Currently though I am most curious as to how noisy the X1950XT would be while listening to music
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post #6 of 12
Like someone said before... get the ExtremeMusic... its a much, much better sound card/
    
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post #7 of 12
thats me.
it only costs about 5-10 quid more.


OT: LOL got 69 rep.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesusofwales View Post
I have recently been "commissioned" to to build a budget (£550) gaming/media center PC for a friend and I would appreciate everyones views on the design.

He already has all the peripherals, so this is just a tower and OS.

FIRST DRAFT:

Case: Enermax CA3030 £36.98

CPU: E4300 £74.01

CPU HSF: Arctic Cooling 7 Pro £15.97

RAM: 2x 1GB Corsair TwinX XMS2 DDR2 PC5400 (667) £50.94

MoBo: Gigabyte GA 965P-DS3 £46.99

Optical Drive: Samsung SH-S183 £23.48

HDD: 120 GB WD1200JS Caviar SE £30.54

PSU: 430w Seasonic S12II-430 £52.28

Sound Card: Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer £56.39

Graphics Card: 256MB Sapphire Radeon X1950XT £112.49

OS: XP Home SP2 £52.18

Total: £551

I wont actually be using MCE because of the £20 extra it costs, no real need for the extra software and the apparently more complicated installation process.

As far as I am aware, the CPU, RAM and MoBo are all decent and should play well together to allow an OC to around 2.3Ghz. I'm not so sure about the HDD, next time I see him, I'll ask if he wants a 500GB Samsung HD501LJ Spinpoint T for just £35 more, but if isn't interested in the extra space is the WD1200JS decent?

The PC will be used for gaming (no specific games were mentioned, but nothing too taxing) and I assume that the X1950XT will suffice in most cases, but the PC will be used primarily for music (hence the sound card) so I wonder how loud this set-up would be when idle or listening to music. The graphics card fan is the main concern here; the Freezer 7 Pro should be quiet enough if I limit the OC and there are two 120mm fans (case and PSU) that shouldn't cause too much trouble. If anyone could allay my fears or suggest a similar passively cooled card I would be very thankful.

All suggestions for alternatives should be available from Scan, Overclock.co.uk, KustomPCs or basically any UK store that accepts orders placed using a Solo card over the phone. Cheers.
By the way that graphics card (X1950XT 256mb) is £105 on ebuyer with free delivery. A very trusted a great website too. Great choice for a card too, just bought one today!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Quad Core (G0 Stepping) Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R ATI Radeon Powercolour 4870 1GB 4 x 1GB (4GB's) 800mhz 6400 Geil Ultra Low Latency 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Windows Vista Home Premium Corsair 620WT SLI Certified Modular ATX Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000BWS (Black) 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech MX Revolution Slicksteel Pro 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Quad Core (G0 Stepping) Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R ATI Radeon Powercolour 4870 1GB 4 x 1GB (4GB's) 800mhz 6400 Geil Ultra Low Latency 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Windows Vista Home Premium Corsair 620WT SLI Certified Modular ATX Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000BWS (Black) 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech MX Revolution Slicksteel Pro 
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK then, would this X-Fi Extreme Music do the job? Its actually a fiver less than the Xtreme gamer, but I've heard good things about the Crystalizer on the Xtreme Gamer.

EDIT: Never mind about the noise levels for the X1950XT, Hexus tells me that the X1950XT is reasonably quiet unless it cranks up to full speed.
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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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(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 
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Razer Exactmat 
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post #10 of 12
i wish those were in U.S. dollars
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