Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
radioBirdman

Build for my kid - needs to play Portal 2

Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

 

I need to replace my kid's computer. He's had my old P4, Radeon 9600, 1GB DDR machine for a couple of years now and it's time to upgrade. For one, the P4 makes a crazy stupid repetitive beeping and doesn't boot (perhaps the ram is borked?) and he's gonna need something to play Portal 2 next year as well. That in mind, he is only 7 and money is tight so I'm after bang for buck.

 

So I am well out of the loop with hardware, but a quick poke around on the MSY website (they are in Canberra now) came up with the following:

 

CPU Intel Core i5-760 2.8Ghz LGA 1156

209

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 P55 LGA1156 USB3 DDR3

129

RAM TEAM 6GB Kit (2Gx3) DDR3 1333

82

Storage WD SATA 1TB HDD

62

GPU Gigabyte 1GB 6850 PCI-E VGA Card

203

Monitor Acer 21.5" G225HQBD 5ms DVI

144

Case Antec 300 Three-Hundard Gaming Tower without PSU

55

PSU Corsair VX-550 ATX Power Supply Unit

97

Keyboard Logitech Ultra Flat USB Keyboard

19

Mouse existing MX510

0

OS existing Win7

0

 

Total

1000

 

Please excuse the shitty formatting.

 

Now unfortunately pretty much all of those items are out of stock on MSY's website, but it was just a bit of a guide anyway. While I do like the idea of picking up the hardware locally, I would be ok to use PC casegear or U-mart if I had to. I'd probably even go to the computer market (that's how tight money is) but I like the idea of *some* customer support in case of faulty products. I have found u-mart to be pretty average with service but I imagine they are all better than the computer markets.

 

I also came up with a $600 machine just to see what I could get really cheap, but I want this to still be playing new games in a few years time. I don't expect bitchin frame-rates in 5 years, but I'd like to still be able to buy my kid a game and not be too concerned about it working or not.

 

So how is that build? What would you swap, keeping it under a grand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could save a bit on the graphics card...that 6950 supports 3D yet the monitor doesn't. seems a bit of a waste.

What's your point? It's the best price/performance card for 2D too. Edited by .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could save a bit on the graphics card...that 6950 supports 3D yet the monitor doesn't. seems a bit of a waste.

 

Its under budget and will be rocking for years to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nesquick you rock. I've always appreciated your opinions and knowledge. I'm stoked you spotted my thread and took the time to help me out.

 

Enough pissing in nessy's pocket... moving on...

 

So it'd be a crazy messed up world if everybody just did what they were told and never questioned anything... so...

 

Core i3... I thought they were really entry level cpus... we have one in my wife's super cheap Compaq laptop so I always thought they were a bit pov but now I'm looking at the details on PCCG I see it's a pretty decent little processor. I'm a bit puzzled about the GPU bit though...? Why does it say dual core + GPU and have a GPU clock speed (733MHz)?

 

Ok I just found that H55 chipset has onboard graphics and they use the GPU that is built in to the i3 CPU?

 

The Samsung HDD has a 32MB cache while the WD Green 1TB ($65) has 64MB...?

 

Oh but I think I just answered my own question the Samsung drive spins at 7200rpm. Being "green" and low power... I assume that the WD spins at 5400? I'll confirm that but yeah I reckon that'd be the case.

 

Speaking of cases.. that is a small one. I do like Antec cases... I have a P180 that I have been very happy with. BUT.. is the PSU in that case pretty decent? Will it still cope if I add another HDD further down the line... Oh and an optical drive. I forgot to get one of those. I should add one of them.

 

I might swap the motherboard for the Gigabyte GA-H55M-D2H for $99 since a) I am familiar with Gigabyte (and quite happy with my P35-DS3-P which has happily ran my Q6600 at 3.2Ghz for a little over 3 years). And b) it has HDMI. The kid is getting a TV for his birthday/xmas at the end of January and it will be within reach of a 5m HDMI cable.

 

I have no idea why he'd want to connect his computer to a 22" TV instead of his 24" monitor but he might one day....

 

In fact we might have to rotate monitors and give him my Samsung 22" (which will nicely match his Samsung 22" TV) and I could have the 24" Nesquick has quoted for me.

 

So if I swap the motherboard and add a lite-on DVDRW I get $1052 or $1092 if we decide to get a blu-ray drive. Plus shipping

Standard Shipping (averages 2-5 days) $43

Express Shipping (averages 1-2 days) $105

 

Pretty frikken sweet computer Nesquick. I owe you a big favour.

 

As for the 3D support, that card seems to have a lot more going for it that just 3D. That said, we have a 3D TV in the lounge room. I'm pretty sure the kid wouldn't mind if we dragged his computer out to plug it into the big screen if we found a 3D game/product that we wanted to try :)

Edited by radioBirdman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The h55 chipset doesent have onboard graphics but when you drop in a i3 5xx or i5 6xx which have a inbuilt GPU you can use the DVI and VGA ports on the back to output the cpus onboard GPU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah you are right - the cache factor is a little odd but the WD green series is designed to be more power conscious, in an effort to bring power use down they had to compromise on speed. So in short the extra cache doesn't really account for anything in terms of performance - the samsung f3 is the fastest (excluding raptors and momentus xt) mechanical hard drive, fortunately it also comes at a very attractive price.

 

AMD cards are apparently pretty easy to setup up 3D wise but be aware that you'll need to buy/download a 3rd party 3d driver - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon...rts,2776-3.html this is just a quick one page read that will get you up to speed on the idea.

 

The power supplies in those Antec cases are supposed to be pretty good; not as good as a dedicated corsair or antec but good enough that they shouldn't cause you any trouble and considering that that build wont suck the power excessively it'll be fine.

 

I'm not sure if the case can fit it but if it was me I'd buy a hyper 212 to cool the cpu - I know the i3's dont run too hot its just that I've had bad experiences with stock cooling and summer heat waves so I like to be on the safe side, and its only $30.. Just a thought.

 

You got one luck kid! I'd love a 6950 at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The power supplies in those Antec cases are supposed to be pretty good; not as good as a dedicated corsair or antec but good enough that they shouldn't cause you any trouble and considering that that build wont suck the power excessively it'll be fine.

 

I'm not sure if the case can fit it but if it was me I'd buy a hyper 212 to cool the cpu - I know the i3's dont run too hot its just that I've had bad experiences with stock cooling and summer heat waves so I like to be on the safe side, and its only $30.. Just a thought.

the PSU in that case is a dedicated antec... earthwatts 380 is a very good PSU.

 

the stock cooler for an i3 is enough to get 4ghz on them so I doubt he needs to waste money on another cooler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep sorry just read up on that power sup its 80+, mind you I said its a good power supply.

 

On the cooler, as I said nesquick I like the peace of mind especially when overclocking, I also like quiet and have had bad experiences with heat and overheating - its just a suggestion, it wouldn't be a waste of money if he feels the same way.

Edited by UberPenguin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If wanting to add a second HDD later on I wouldn't get the NKS3480.

Main drive is fitted to the bottom of the case on rubber grommets and the second drive has to be fitted up in the optical drive 5 1/4" area under the ODD (assuming the ODD is in the top slot).

While the drive will fit I feel the airflow up there is a bit restricted and the HDD may run rather hot.

 

Instead I would go for a bigger case like the CoolerMaster Elite 331, Gigabyte GZ-X6, CoolerMaster Elite 335, Antec Three Hundred or even the Chenbro XPIDER II if your son likes bright and in your face.

 

Couple that with an Antec Neo Eco 450C, Corsair CX-400, Gigabyte 550W Superb or Zalman ZM400-ST 400W and it will be about the same price as an NSK3480.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the little NSK3480 as a nice bit of kit for small and quiet, just I have reservations about the second HDD temperatures given the mounting location.

 

Rest of Nessies build is sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guys I really appreciate the advice.

 

One the cooler, I don't think I'll bother with anything aftermarket for now. I won't be overclocking the CPU so the stock one should be fine. If we do overclock it in the future I'll look into a cooler then.

 

I probably won't need an extra drive either to be honest. We use a NAS for all our home media so the drive in this box will be just for OS and software, games etc. Oh and homework of course.

 

He is indeed a lucky little man. He's got a pretty neat little pad. It will be much better with the new computer, LED TV, networked blu-ray player etc. It makes up for him not having a yard to play in :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It makes up for him not having a yard to play in :(

Damn that must suck, for both of you.

I was lucky in that I grew up in a 70 hectare "yard" plus the neighbors "yard" and the forestry commissions hundreds of hectares "yard" over the back of the farm.

:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×