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Thread: Advice needed for components!

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    Question Advice needed for components!

    Hi there, decided to join up after a little while watching the threads as I need a bit of advice on a couple components. The first paragraph is for my own requirements, but I do need a bit of help for my brother and my mother.

    Basically I am looking to upgrade the case and PSU of my current computer, while staying within £100-£120 budget. PSUs tend to be more expensive over in the UK (so I hear) so I'm hoping this doesn't ruin my chances.

    Case: I am not fussed on how pretty the case is or if it has lights, I'm more interested in how easy it is to fit the components and keeping all those cables out the way!

    PSU: I would love to be able to afford modular but efficiency is higher on my concerns. I currently have a single graphics card (ATI HD 5750) and a phenom II X4 955 and I doubt I'm going to need more than 550W. Well I think. I'm sure you guys could advise me on this! I may upgrade in the future but it is highly unlikely I'll need two graphics cards.

    Shops: UK based so would prefer to buy from UK, I can stretch to European sites if they ship to the UK for a non-extortionate price. I prefer Amazon, Scan, Ebuyer or Kikatek. Would be happy to use any site that gets it cheaper if you tend to use them regularly instead! I also don't mind decent bundle deals!

    ------------------

    Also, my brother had an unfortunate incident with his motherboard and needs a new one, along with a better PSU. Ideally the budget is about £80 for both, if this is not feasible then motherboard is priority.

    Motherboard - He has a AMD Athlon II X2 250 processor and DDR3 RAM. I am completely clueless about motherboards (bought my own 2 years ago) so I was hoping you guys could advise on a suitable motherboard with a little future-proofing.

    PSU - cheap and reliable. He will have 1 graphics card (unless the budget for motherboard stretches to crossfire!). He doesn't need another blow-out so hopefully you can find something to suit.

    Again, UK sites please!

    -----

    Hope this covers everything. Feel free to ask if I left anything unclear (I have a horrible habit of rambling!)

    Thanks!

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    What specific graphics card does your brother have and what would his upgrade plans be in this regard?

    For you I'd suggest the Huntkey Jumper 300G @ 33£, very well priced and more than enough considering you have a <200W system.
    As far as the case goes, you have mane solid options at the retailers you've listed, this two among them offering very good value for money:
    Fractal Design Define R3 @ 70£
    BitFenix Raider @ 70£
    "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - Unknown (but sometimes attributed to Sigmund Freud)

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    Adding to Original Sin's good advice, I suggest an Asus M5A97 Pro as (IMHO) a best-buy AM3(+) board. Another case worth considering (besides the ones already suggested by OrSi*) is the Xigmatek Midgard II. As for the PSU, I'd probably take an SF Golden Green (free UK delivery). It's a bit stronger than you really need, though.



    * = I hope Original Sin doesn't mind the contracted nickname
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    @Original Sin: My brother currently does not have a graphics card (onboard before it blew) but he was planning on getting a mid-range card when he can, probably a ATI 6770 or equivalent. Nothing too pricey! I know he'll moan about the 300W, but it's probably right.

    I will also take a look at those cases, hoping they include a fan or two!

    @McSteel: I'm guessing its better to invest in a solid motherboard than try and cheap out. I'll be sure to look that over though!

    Also going to look over that case.

    Quick question - I guessed that I would have a low power usage, would it matter if I upgraded my graphics card in the future? I think 400W would probably be fine even if I did this, but just going to ask to make sure!

    I also don't mind a few more PSU suggestions, as although I love the idea of gold rating I wouldn't mind knowing if there's a good modular option (I know, I'm contradicting myself!) for bronze or silver. Trying to get the best of both worlds to see what's available.

    I take it super flower and huntkey are good makes? Haven't really heard much about them.

    Thanks for all the advice so far!

    Edit- Forgot to mention it before, but the £80 budget for brother was mainly for both, he told me that he'd be happier paying £60 for a motherboard alone (sorry, memory like a sieve!). Is there anything in that budget that is still good? Thanks!
    Last edited by vettieboo; 05-09-2012 at 04:40 PM.

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    All the suggested cases include case fans, and R3 and Midgard II also feature fan controllers.

    Sorry, I thought the budget was 80 GBP for each... Well, I suppose the M5A78L-M/USB3 will do the job, both for the existing CPU and provide a viable upgrade path for a future one (FX series AM3+), should it come to it. Besides, it has onboard graphics, which can serve until a discrete solution pops up, or stay in service if there aren't any gaming ambitions.

    Many of the forum favorites are sadly missing in the UK. Huntkey is mostly so-so, but this particular little guy is a real gem. SuperFlower has proven it's worth in recent years, they went from a mid-class solid choice to a top-tier OEM, which supplies many retail brands. They can and should be trusted to last long and perform admirably.

    if you're looking for budget solutions, you could turn to low-cost Corsair models. While not speechlessly amazing, they do their job well enough to be recommended without too much thinking. Feel free to look around yourself, seeing if you can squeeze one into the budget.

    Lastly, power requirements of modern PCs are greatly inflated, for a number of reasons that would necessitate another wall of text much like this one, so I won't delve into it. Let's just say that, as a rule of thumb, if you feel you need x watts, look for a good quality x/2 watt PSU, and you're pretty much set. There are several places where you can get info about real-world power consumption of various components, google is your friend (as long as you read it's ads).
    Careful what you wish for... You just might get it.

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    That would be my mistake, I apologise for omitting that bit of information on the budget for mobo. I tend to ramble then forget bits of information!

    That motherboard looks pretty much perfect, onboard graphics are a plus considering my brother is terrible at saving

    I have heard about corsair, but they keep getting mixed reviews where I've been looking so I wouldn't know who to believe on it. Could be because of how many people buy them though! I have vaguely heard of super flower, but that was a few years back so their reputation could have changed since then.

    I was aware of inflation of wattage requirements, I was positive that 600W would be overkill for anything I planned to do. Just wanted to confirm more than anything else.

    Thank you though, very helpful information!

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    Quote Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
    * = I hope Original Sin doesn't mind the contracted nickname
    It's quite funny really.
    Quote Originally Posted by vettieboo View Post
    @Original Sin: My brother currently does not have a graphics card (onboard before it blew) but he was planning on getting a mid-range card when he can, probably a ATI 6770 or equivalent. Nothing too pricey! I know he'll moan about the 300W, but it's probably right.
    He shouldn't moan about it.... considering that PSU will support graphics cards that would be severely bottlenecked by his CPU, so there really isn't any upgrade restriction... you could put a 7850 in there and still have room to spare.

    I'd tell your brother to wait until he has 30-40 more pounds before purchasing the hardware... 80 pounds will simply no get him a solid PSU and a good motherboard...
    McSteel made a good suggestion, here's another one, and one more.
    Quote Originally Posted by vettieboo View Post
    Quick question - I guessed that I would have a low power usage, would it matter if I upgraded my graphics card in the future? I think 400W would probably be fine even if I did this, but just going to ask to make sure!
    As stated above... you'll be able to put some pretty high end gear on the Jumper 300G without worrying about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by vettieboo View Post
    I also don't mind a few more PSU suggestions, as although I love the idea of gold rating I wouldn't mind knowing if there's a good modular option (I know, I'm contradicting myself!) for bronze or silver. Trying to get the best of both worlds to see what's available.
    Here's a solid modular unit that will not sodomize your case budget, it's pretty quiet, it comes with two PCIe connectors which is nice and it's priced well.... that being said I'd still take the Jumper 300G.
    Quote Originally Posted by vettieboo View Post
    I take it super flower and huntkey are good makes? Haven't really heard much about them.
    They make quality stuff as well as trash, just like everybody else... if you know how to differentiate you can get excellent units from most of the brands on the market.
    "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - Unknown (but sometimes attributed to Sigmund Freud)

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    Haha thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately my brother is one of those types who believes more wattage = better, when it obviously wasn't the case when his 500W cheapo broke his original motherboard! Still, I'm pretty sure I could get him to take the jumper and not moan...I showed him reviews that mentioned high graphics cards and the PSU and I think he shut up.

    I think he was quite happy with the Asus motherboard McSteel suggested for about £50, pretty sure that will do what he wants (well, for his meagre budget). Plus both the PSU and motherboard squeeze at just above £80, so maybe it can be done!

    I am quite tempted by the Golden Green myself, having looked at the reviews on here they've become solid units it seems. I think I may have to sacrifice tidy cables for a solid unit this time, can't afford both! I will have a look at that be quiet unit though, can't help but look at modular options!

    As for the case, I do like the look of the Fractal Design case, not too unsightly. I also spotted the Xigmatek Midgard II for £58 on systo.co.uk with delivery (no idea how good the company is but it's cheap!). Any opinion on which case you guys would go for, considering my main priority is function and ease of putting things in the cases! Also feel free to use personal opinion.

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    It's a question of taste before anything else... but I'd pick this, it's an awesome case and the price is simply too good to pass... they're worth at least twice that.
    "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" - Unknown (but sometimes attributed to Sigmund Freud)

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    Oh I see, I honestly thought (decent) aluminium towers were completely out of my budget. Have to really think about that though, that seems really cheap! Would completely blow the budget for a PSU though.

    ------

    Edit - So I believe my brother is now sorted, he's going for the Huntkey Jumper and the M5A78L-M/USB3, fitting nicely in his budget. Thanks for that.

    As for me, I'm terrible with decisions. I do really like the cases you've suggested to me, I think I would prefer the Midgard II (price lowered today on amazon!) or the Silverstone FT01 (Very cheap for the model), but honestly my problem seems to be that I am not really sure what makes a case 'better' than the other! I think my priority is going to be cable routing and cooling (point of a case). If either of these are better for that then feel free to tell me so, I also don't mind another suggestion if there is a better case for cooling/cables. I guess I'm a sucker for a bargain.

    If I did end up with the Silverstone I'm pretty sure my PSU budget would have to squeeze. I think I'll have to go for something like the Huntkey, my only concern would be upgrades in the future but that is more paranoia. The Super Flower (my first choice) would end up being out of budget I fear. Which is a shame, I was tempted to get one!

    I think once I've managed to sort the case problem the PSU would follow. Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by vettieboo; 05-10-2012 at 08:36 AM.

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