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19-02-2012, 04:24   #1
D4RK ONION
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First Build: Family Computer

Hello there! I've been working up the courage to invest in building a top end gaming PC but I've decided I'd like to start small with a cheap family computer build. It'll get my confidence up and it'll replace the monstrosity my family have to use on a daily basis.

While this is my first build, I've been researching parts/brands/building process for a few weeks now so let me know what you think of this.


1. What is your budget?: 400 - 500 would be ideal, but below that would obviously be great.

2. What will be the main purpose of the computer?: Going on the internet and media usage. Fairly standard stuff (lots of constant use though, big family!)

3. Do you need a copy of Windows?: Yup!

4. Can you use any parts from an old computer?: Not really, though I'll be salvaging the monitor, maybe one of the sticks of ram?

5. Do you need a monitor?: Nope, not for now.

5b. If no, what resolution is your current monitor and do you plan to upgrade in the near future?: Quite low, it's an old 15" dell 4:3 monitor, can't remember the res. off hand. Probably would be willing to invest in a smallish monitor later on.

6. Do you need any of these peripherals?: Nope!

7. Are you willing to try overclocking?: Not for this build.

8. How can you pay?: However

9. When are you purchasing?:Whenever suits

10. If you need help building it, where are you based?: Dublin


On top of that, this is the kind of build I was thinking, but feel free to tell me how awful it is...

Processor: AMD A-Series A4 3400 2.7GHz 1MB FM1 €53 @ Komplett
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-A55M-S2V - Socket FM1- Micro ATX €69 @ Komplett
Memory: Corsair Vengeance - 4 GB -1600 MHz PC3-12800 €29.95 @ Komplett
Case: Cooler Master Elite 310 - Mid tower - no PSU €36 @ Komplett
Hard Drive: WD 500GB 3.5" SATA-600 7200rpm 16MB €87 @ Komplett
PSU: Cooler Master - Elite Power - 400W €39.95 @ Komplett
Optical Drive: Sony 24x Internal DVD Rewriter - Black approx €16 @ Amazon.co.uk
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM okay?) approx €84 @ amazon.co.uk

Total:€415

What do people think? Have I missed anything there? Does that cost too much for what it will be used for. Let me know!
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19-02-2012, 11:40   #2
Eboggles
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I'd go with something like this:


Total build cost: €295.50 (inc delivery Free!)
ASRock S1155 Intel H61 DDR3 mATX €42.74
Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMM 240Pin 1.5V €22.44
Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz LGA1155 2MB €43.36
Crucial 64GB m4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive €91.57
Antec 350W Basiq VP350P ATX PSU €41.78
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mid-Tower Case €36.01
Best Value LiteOn 24x Int. DVDRW Black SATA + S/W Rev B €17.60

This is subject to change: how much storage do you really need? Most family computers are just used for browsing the web, and not keeping massive files or games, when you say media files, is that itunes? Depending on the size you could just get a larger SSD (OCZ Petrol) or if you really need space put this in. You could probably still keep the 64gb crucial in that budget, that's nice .

One last thing, do you need Windows? It costs nearly €100 and it's not that much better than Ubuntu or the such. You can boot it from a USB or CD first to see if you like it, if you were to put it on the SSD it would boot up in, a really short space of time.
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19-02-2012, 12:47   #3
D4RK ONION
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eboggles View Post
I'd go with something like this:


Total build cost: €295.50 (inc delivery Free!)
ASRock S1155 Intel H61 DDR3 mATX €42.74
Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333MHz CL9 DIMM 240Pin 1.5V €22.44
Intel Celeron G530 2.4GHz LGA1155 2MB €43.36
Crucial 64GB m4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Solid State Drive €91.57
Antec 350W Basiq VP350P ATX PSU €41.78
Fractal Design Core 1000 Mid-Tower Case €36.01
Best Value LiteOn 24x Int. DVDRW Black SATA + S/W Rev B €17.60

This is subject to change: how much storage do you really need? Most family computers are just used for browsing the web, and not keeping massive files or games, when you say media files, is that itunes? Depending on the size you could just get a larger SSD (OCZ Petrol) or if you really need space put this in. You could probably still keep the 64gb crucial in that budget, that's nice .
Yeah it would mainly be itunes-ey kind of stuff, I'll check the size HD of the old computer, but I reckon I still might need the 500GB. Think the SSD advantages might be wasted on them but I'll think about it.

As for the PSU, is there a reason to go for that lower voltage one for about the same money?

Quote:
One last thing, do you need Windows? It costs nearly €100 and it's not that much better than Ubuntu or the such. You can boot it from a USB or CD first to see if you like it, if you were to put it on the SSD it would boot up in, a really short space of time.
I totally agree that there almost no point from a logical stand point in getting Windows, but I'm not sure the family would be too delighted with Ubuntu, I had it on an old laptop for them for a while (used to run like a dream on that rubbish thing) and there was constant complaints about it!

Last edited by D4RK ONION; 19-02-2012 at 13:16.
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19-02-2012, 13:18   #4
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Those low-end cooler-master PSUs aren't good at all, and that system won't pull anything near 350 watts at full load, and Antec (and particularly that model) are reliable and should do you fine.
Tough luck about Windows, though. You can get it off software4students then at €45.
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19-02-2012, 13:26   #5
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That's cool, thanks for the advice man. This build would run everything nice and smoothly I assume? Just checked the old HDD, it's 145 GB and they haven't even filled that yet after maybe 6 years so that 120GB SSD might be a good investment.

EDIT: The sofware4students site says it's an upgrade disc. Do I need a previous windows install for that? Wont that not work on a fresh build?

Last edited by D4RK ONION; 19-02-2012 at 13:38.
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19-02-2012, 13:38   #6
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Works out a good bit cheaper from HWVS: (This is with the 128GB SSD)

ItemPrice
Total build cost: €315.21 + €30 shipping 
ASRock H61M-HVS (B3), Sockel 1155, mATX€40.74
4GB Corsair Valueselect DDR3-1333 CL9€17.77
Intel Celeron G530 Box, LGA1155€36.26
OCZ Petrol 128GB SSD SATA 6Gb's€138.59
Antec BasiQ VP350€33.44
FRACTAL DESIGN Gehäuse Core 1000 black€32.49
Samsung SH-222AB bare schwarz SATA€15.92
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19-02-2012, 14:09   #7
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+1 on that Serephucus, it seems HWVS are cheaper at every price point!
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19-02-2012, 14:09   #8
D4RK ONION
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It seems that when you include shipping dabs is cheaper overall though by a few euros.

And will I be able to use that upgrade version of windows to do a fresh install?
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19-02-2012, 14:25   #9
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So they are... They have the 128GB Petrol for €128, so that makes the difference.

Edit: And yes you will, you'll just have to install it twice. There's plenty of guides online for it.
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19-02-2012, 18:26   #10
D4RK ONION
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Think I'll go with the 64GB SSD, and if they need extra space I'll invest in a HDD later on and pop it in. I was also thinking that I could format the HDD that's in the old family computer and use that as well. Could probably salvage some cables and stuff from it also.
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19-02-2012, 22:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D4RK ONION View Post
Think I'll go with the 64GB SSD, and if they need extra space I'll invest in a HDD later on and pop it in. I was also thinking that I could format the HDD that's in the old family computer and use that as well. Could probably salvage some cables and stuff from it also.
Your old pcs HDD is probably ide where as your new motherboard will be sata.
You could always pick up a sata HDD on adverts for cheap
Here for example
http://www.adverts.ie/hardware/desktop-hdd-s/1031450

EDIT:For €15 you could get a g620 instead of a g530. The difference is its 0.2ghz faster and has 1mb of a bigger cache. Graphics are the same afaik
The g530 will still be very good but the option is there
http://www2.hardwareversand.de/articledetail.jsp?aid=47350&agid=1617

Last edited by bezka; 19-02-2012 at 22:36.
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17-03-2012, 13:24   #12
D4RK ONION
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Hey guys, just wanted to say thanks for the advice. The build is complete, bar Windows which is en route. Ubuntu boots in 17 seconds which is stunning but the family aren't happy with it so I caved... Putting it together was a lot of fun and I'll definitely come back for advice on my gaming computer
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