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Author Topic: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought  (Read 2466 times)

Ampa

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Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« on: June 13, 2010, 11:42:13 AM »
I am looking to replace my existing PC with something a bit newer and more powerful.

I have my eye on a Intel Core 2 Quad from CCLOnline.com for £499 (inc VAT)

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400
Memory: 4GB CCL Choice 800MHz DDR2
Motherboard: Asus P5KPL-AM SE 775
Hard Drive: 1TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C
Graphics Card: XFX ATI Radeon HD5670 1GB
Optical Drive: LG GH22NS50 22x DVDRW
Case: Xigmatek Asgard ATX Mid Tower Case
PSU: 460W CoolerMaster eXtreme Power Plus Power Supply

If I select the same components with the intention of building the system myself I would save something like £80... which I could use to upgrade some of the components...

Graphics Card: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB <- 2 steps up the ATI range
Motherboard: ASRock G41M-S Socket 775 <- Max RAM 8GB vs 4GB with original system
Hard disk: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Green <- 64MB cache vs 8MB with original system
TOTAL: £502 (inc VAT)

My question: Any reason why I shouldn't build the upgraded version of the system as indicated above?

Edit: Fixed link - thanks Deozaan
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 12:12:31 PM by Ampa »

Deozaan

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 12:08:25 PM »
If you're willing and able to build it yourself, then I don't see why not. The only reasons I can think of why you shouldn't are just for the convenience of not having to take the time and effort to build it yourself.

BTW, I fixed your link: CCLOnline.com


Innuendo

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 05:27:37 PM »
One thing to be aware of is that WD Green HD is going to be slower than the Hitachi. Regarding the other component changes, I think going with a 5770 over a 5670 is a wise move if you are going to be playing games or working with PhotoShop. Asrock is Asus's budget line so you may be stepping down in quality going from an Asus board to an Asrock one even if you are going to be increasing your ability to add RAM. That's not a big deal, but something you should be aware of when making that choice.

Comments regarding what's left from the original configuration: The processor is a solid choice, but a dead-end socket. If you don't upgrade your PC & only buy one years and years apart this is not a factor. The RAM is a little bit of a concern to me. I prefer brand-name RAM in my builds. The less known the brand RAM the more chance of getting something dodgy.

Optical drives are commodity items for the most part these days. Brand is only important for burning fanatics like me. The LG should be a good performer if you aren't too obsessed with burning discs. Cases are largely a matter of taste and number of convenience features. If you're happy with that Xigmatek then that's all that's important in that regard.

Your choice of PSU worries me. There's more than a couple reviews of this PSU on NewEgg and around the web of people either receiving DOA units or it working for awhile & then dying taking out other peripherals with it (one guy lost a $300 video card). If I were you I might look for something with a little higher quality.

4wd

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 06:15:51 AM »
... Asrock is Asus's budget line so you may be stepping down in quality going from an Asus board to an Asrock one even if you are going to be increasing your ability to add RAM. That's not a big deal, but something you should be aware of when making that choice.

Personally, I've had a better experience with board reliability/compatibility with AsRock than with ASUS.

I've had, (and they are still in use with other family members), two AsRock boards and they haven't given any trouble, (apart from things I've caused myself).
Whereas, both people at my PC group and I avoid ASUS because of troubles with their boards in the past, (generally use Gigabyte only these days).

My  :two:

Innuendo

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 09:05:15 AM »
Whereas, both people at my PC group and I avoid ASUS because of troubles with their boards in the past, (generally use Gigabyte only these days).

That's interesting to hear. I had heard Asus had a bad run there for awhile, but I thought they had gotten their act together. There was a time when I wouldn't buy anything but an Asus board. There was a time when they had superior workmanship & their BIOSes were superior as they didn't stick with the stock images from Award & AMI. They had programmers that heavily customized and optimized the BIOS images for each board.

These days I, too, only use Gigabyte. With all the scares in past years about bulging capacitors the fact that Gigabyte now only uses solid-state Japanese capacitors on their boards.

I may one day return to the Asus fold, but they'll need to get on the solid-state capacitor bandwagon first.

4wd

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 02:04:12 PM »
I may one day return to the Asus fold, but they'll need to get on the solid-state capacitor bandwagon first.

I haven't bought a AsRock board for two years or so, (haven't needed too :) ), so I don't know what capacitors they now use on them, (they were normal electrolytics).

The thing I liked about AsRock at the time was the "extras" they added to their boards, (eg. eSATA before anyone else IIRC),  plus their use of other than the "big" name chipsets, (last board had ULi - since bought by nvidia - and it worked great, very stable compared to the nvidia chipsets I had).

Innuendo

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 04:05:16 PM »
(last board had ULi - since bought by nvidia - and it worked great, very stable compared to the nvidia chipsets I had).

Didn't know Nvidia bought ULi. Wonderful. Now ULi will either entirely disappear or Nvidia will botch them up like they did their own chipsets.

4wd

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Re: Buy / build new system (from CCLOnline) - opinion sought
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 09:54:35 PM »
Didn't know Nvidia bought ULi. Wonderful. Now ULi will either entirely disappear or Nvidia will botch them up like they did their own chipsets.

ULi, (or maybe AsRock, not too sure), worked out how to enable SLI on their chipset thus negating the need for nvidia's offering.  The memory performance of the ULi chipset was also slightly better than nvidia's.

ULi came up for sale not long after the AsRock 939SLI32-eSATA2 was released, (ULi M1695/1697 with patch to enable SLI), nvidia jumped in and bought them, then used ULi driver source/patch to 'fix' the SLI enabling feature/bug in their drivers.

The last ULi driver released is available from nvidia, who effectively killed the company 4.5 years ago.

AnandTech article.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 10:04:47 PM by 4wd »