View Full Version : ANOTHER build thread

20-01-2010, 12:35 AM
Alright, I've made this topic before... about 11 months ago... and I finally have about the right amount of cash to buy a PC.
I've been hunting all around for a decent deal on a gaming/video editing/general use PC. One such option lies with ETC computers, in New Lynn, where they are offering the following build for

$1,099.00 + GST

* AMD Athlonx2 Dual Core 240 2.8Ghz
* WD 640GB SATA2 7200rpm HDD
* 4GB DDR2 800Mhz Dual Channel Memory
* 512MB Geforce 9800GT PCI-e Video
* 22x Dual Layer DVD Writer
* Integrated 6 Channel sound
* Integrated NETWORK CARD
* Thermaltake WingRS 201 ATX Tower
* Thermaltake Dual Rail 430W PSU
Keyboard + Optical Mouse
ASUS VW223T 22" wide LCD
Windows XP home with SP3
One year Parts & Labour Warranty RTB

Now, if I do go for this build, I'll probably ask them to bang in a quad core CPU, because of the fact that I want to do some basic video editing, and maybe try and swap out the 9800gt for a 4850 or similar.

I was also looking on trademe for a couple of good deals, but all their shops are either on the north shore/south auckland and I can't get to them, or they don't come with monitors/os's installed, both of which I am after.
I also checked out computer lounge who are supposed to be really good, but to be perfectly honest, their prices seem incredibly high.

If you guys would be able to comment on the above system, or suggest/link me to a system that would suit my needs for a budget of around 1000-1300 NZD (of course), that'd be awesome.

Also, I don't care if it's AMD or intel, but I want something that is going to be easy to upgrade if needed, futureproof for at least a couple of years (IE I don't fancy LGA 775 or an Am2 CPU) and can handle basic video editing and capture (IE VHS to dvd conversion and small editing tasks), aswell as games such as left for dead 1 and 2 at a relatively high detail level and up coming games at perhaps a slightly lower level.
(I'm not talking stellar, last week I was playing cs 1.6 on 960x600 with 16 bit colour and am amazed with my new FX5500's ability to play at 1440x900x32 with only 20 frame drops in a smoke grenade)

Building a PC for relatively high detail gaming and basic video capture and editing, on a budget of about 1000-1300 NZD. Want a complete system, inc. OS and decent monitor. AMD or intel, but no LGA 775 unless it's a steal.
Quad core preferred, fast dual core is a second option

20-01-2010, 08:10 AM
gaming/video editing/general use PC.

* 512MB Geforce 9800GT PCI-e Video

* Thermaltake Dual Rail 430W PSU

One year Parts & Labour Warranty RTB
maybe try and swap out the 9800gt for a 4850 or similar.

I was also looking on trademe

I also checked out computer lounge who are supposed to be really good, but to be perfectly honest, their prices seem incredibly high.

I want something that is futureproof for at least a couple of years

The crad is rubbsih.
The power supply is rubbish. Get a Corsair PSU instead.

The warranty is rubbish.

For one thing the monitor has a 3 year warranty. So does the CPU. So he's ripping you off there without even mentioning HDD etc.

Budget and decent gaming do NOT go together in the same sentence.

There is also no such thing as future-proofing.
If you want it to remain capable of playing the latest games at high settings for as long as possible then you have to forget budgets.

The 4850 is an improvement anyway.

Computer Lounger are not expensive. You have to compare apples with apples, not apples with oranges.

They use quite fancy cases for instance which cost more than what you looked at.
Likewise brands vary in price too.

You could look at Playtech instead.

I would avoid Trademe altogether.

pablo d
20-01-2010, 10:26 AM
^What she said :p

Also, you want future-proofed but have chosen Windows XP? Odd...

Here is what $890 (or less if you ask nicely) will get you from Computer Lounge:

ASRock M3A785-GMH DDR3 AM3 mobo
AMD Athlon II X2 245 Processor 2.9GHz
Patriot G Series Sector 5 2x2GB DDR3-1333
Raidmax Hurricane Case, 500W PSU
Western Digital Caviar Blue 640GB
LG GH22NS50 22x OEM Black SATA DVD Writer

Then add your monitor/peripherals and O/S on top of that (plus build fee if you can't do it yourself).

Or this system is quite good too:


They do free shipping and have the good RMA policies too.

P.S. this forum should have a Build Thread subforum :p

20-01-2010, 11:24 AM
Personally, I wouldnt get a AMD CPU unless it was quad core...

20-01-2010, 11:27 AM
+1 for what pctek said, that is a rip, mainly cause of the warranty.

Pablo's build is good value for money, and computerlounge is a lot better than etc. I personally don't trust AsRock at all, but there are a few well respected members on here who like them so they can't be all bad! :p I'd get an Asus or Gigabyte board with that build, and maybe look at a graphics card from either Asus or Gigabyte, but MSI are OK. The X2 245 is a nice processor for the dosh, did a build this morning with Win7, entry level Asus board, the X2 245 and 4GB RAM and it hummed along nicely.

I would also go for Win7 over XP for sure...

pablo d
20-01-2010, 11:38 AM
Yeah I used to despise Asrock as well, but apparently they're a lot better now. Manufactured at the same facilities as Asus or something like that (they're a subsidiary of Asus anyway). They've been getting some rave reviews recently as well.

And yeah, Intel processors are generally better, but their new mobos and CPUs are way more expensive, so hard to fit into a budget build.

20-01-2010, 02:20 PM
I would avoid Trademe altogether.

When I was building my PC I looked on trademe, most of the builds are just stacked with RAM to make it look faster, so they can put the price up.

I too don't recommend trademe

20-01-2010, 03:23 PM
ASRock M3A785-GMH DDR3 AM3 mobo

Raidmax Hurricane Case, 500W PSU


They do free shipping and have the good RMA policies too.

Nooooo...........NEVER use a Raidmax PSU. Change it to Corsair.
Change the card to ASUS or Gigabyte.Same with the motherboard.

20-01-2010, 04:07 PM
Its pretty obvious you've gone for the cheapest brand on every part.

But do yourself a favour and pay the extra $ for the psu and mobo

20-01-2010, 05:51 PM
The WD Green is an improved reliability HDD and does not cost much more.

20-01-2010, 06:20 PM
AsRock is good.....at least their latest offerings are. I've heard only good things about their X58 mobos.

20-01-2010, 07:24 PM
ummm yea cant agree there qazwsxokmijn, AsRock is one of the highest failing brands from personnel experience.

21-01-2010, 05:47 PM
The asrock boards have some good features but I haven't heard too much about their reliability but maybe now it has changed

Speedy Gonzales
21-01-2010, 05:55 PM
Asrock mobos have less than their ASUS mobos. I've got a P4 Asrock here for the other PC (because thats all I could find), when the old ASUS P4 mobo died. That was @ the end of 2004. So far, so good. Only thing is its only got 2 slots, and can only go to 2 GB. But it's currently running Vista, and there are no drivers for Vista on the site. I'm just using Vista's drivers, and its running fine

21-01-2010, 09:10 PM
So you guys are pretty much recommending that I build my own PC then yeh?
Rather than getting one pre built, I mean.

In that case, do any of you have any preference of brands and types?
I wanted to go (as stated in the first post) for a quad core or a fast dual core that can handle both gaming and video conversion/editing and such.
I don't think I can quite stretch to an i5 build, and I'm not too sure of how a dual core with Hyper Threading will compare to a full quad core. If I can find components cheap enough though I could give it a whack.

As it is, I was considering either doing a full blown AMD Am3 build, or trying for an AM3 build using an AM2+ motherboard to use DDR2. As I mentioned I don't really want to go for an lga 775 cpu, since they're pretty much last generation's tech now, which is another reason to give big ups to AMD (backwards compatibility), aswell as their usual sell of lower prices.

The phenom x2 550 BE or 545 STD, or the athlon x4 630 look to be ok, and I've heard great things about the 550. - Does anyone know how different the phenoms and their black editions differ from the usual amd athlons?

As for motherboards, I don't really mind what one I get as long as it's reliable and well priced, and fits in my case. I'll undoubtedly go for an ASUS or Gigabyte though.
Something like the Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H would work, I guess.

Ram, depends on whatever's cheapest. Admittedly I'm not going for bargain bin sorta stuff, but DDR2 seems to win out over DDR3 by miles in price, for seemingly minimal gains in speed.
Then again, if you guys seriously would recommend DDR 3, specify an amount and brand, and I'll try hunt some down for a decent price if I can.

GPU, another big consideration. I'm not really after much, since I was amazed after shifting from an integrated chip to a geforce 440mx, and just a couple weeks back again to an fx 5500.
As stated, I'd like to be able to play games like Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, HL2, etc, at pretty high detail levels, and upcoming games at at least some level of detail. Like, having them even able to run is fine with me. I was thinking 4850/70 or an nvidia equivalent, or higher if the price is right.

As for the case and PSU, if it'll run what I want, and fits what I want in it and cools it well, I'll go for it. My current PSU is a 250W Bestec or something, and it runs my setup fine. (my g card is 250w min... seems awright) Recommendations are welcome, of course.

As for the monitor, HD no questions about it, Keyboard and mouse as cheap as possible, HDD will be at least 500gb and of a decent standard (IE WD Green).

Cheers for all the help so far

21-01-2010, 09:46 PM
The BE version AMD chips have unlocked multipliers like the extreme version of Intel chips..This means you dont have to clock the memory when you raise the FSB on normal overclocking...so its much easier....sort of!

21-01-2010, 10:39 PM
But other than that, there's not really much difference? I kinda figured that but wanted to be sure... How about between the phenom and regular athlons? I mean I'm sure the differences are going to be fairly minimal, but if I can get the best of them for just a bit extra coin, I'd be interested to know.
As for overclocking.... I'm not really into the idea, unless it's needed or offers very attractive gains. As it is, if I can get a pc that I can plug in and have it work and do what I need it to for even half as long as my current one has (6 years or so), then I'll be supremely happy.