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Nightpaws
03-07-2013, 10:37 AM
Hey guys and gals,

I've got a problem... Essentially, my computer is going to bite the dust any day now and I really need a replacement as soon as possible.

Money no object I'd buy anything, however I have around 600 to 800 at an extreme push to spend on a laptop, or desktop (and repairs to my aging Packard Bell TM80).

If anyone can suggest any good laptops, desktops and places to purchase replacements of the following I'd be incredibly grateful!


Replacement battery AS10D31 (Acer).
The rubber bits around the laptop screen
A replacement AC Adaptor (Preferrably HIPRO HP-A0652R3B


The new machine would need to be suitable for C#, and Java Development, and able to run games well so I don't die of boredom :D

Thanks loads to anyone who can help!

Onnes
03-07-2013, 11:25 AM
You might want to expand on what your needs are for development and gaming. Just about every laptop nowadays has a processor with an IGPU capable of running quite a lot of games, just not at max settings.
Haswell is coming sometime later this year which should be a big boost for Intel systems in terms of power efficiency and GPU performance.

Nightpaws
03-07-2013, 02:04 PM
I'd ideally like 8, or 16GB of RAM, and a quad core processor with a decent amount of oomph behind it. i5 would be the minimum I'd consider from the Intel range.

The thing is, since I've been living in 2008 with my current specs and a laptop which isn't easily upgradable, I've lost track of what's at the top, mid and low ends of the spectrum.

It doesn't necessarily need to be a laptop as a desktop with high specs will do too if they make up for the lack of portability.

Anything that improves upon the TM80 would be beneficial. It has:
4GB DDR3 RAM
ATI mobility Radeon HD4250 graphics
AMD athlon II X2 P340 Processor
320gb HDD

benanderson
03-07-2013, 04:19 PM
I built an AMD gaming rig for around 600 that can play the Likes of Skyrim and Arkham City on Ultra and Very High (respectively with AA disabled and FXAA on) at 60fps.

Here's the PC and its specs.
http://benanderson89.tumblr.com/post/41544024221/holy-shit-a-mac-users-custom-build-i-wanted-to

Please note that since I made that post, I've replaced the hard disk with 2x 500GB HDDs in RAID 0 and I've added a PCIe dual band Wireless Card.

The system was also easilly overclocked to 4.1GHz for the CPU, 1600MHz for the RAM (with 8 8 8 22 30 timings), 1.05GHz GPU clock with 2.4GHz GPU Memory speed. Fantastic system by all means and the AMD Phenom range are solid, reliable processors that will net you increadible performance for the money.

Get a PSU that puts out more amperage and replace the GPU with something like an AMD Radeon 7900 series graphics card and you're golden for a fair few years.

Onnes
03-07-2013, 04:57 PM
I'd ideally like 8, or 16GB of RAM, and a quad core processor with a decent amount of oomph behind it. i5 would be the minimum I'd consider from the Intel range.

The thing is, since I've been living in 2008 with my current specs and a laptop which isn't easily upgradable, I've lost track of what's at the top, mid and low ends of the spectrum.

It doesn't necessarily need to be a laptop as a desktop with high specs will do too if they make up for the lack of portability.

Anything that improves upon the TM80 would be beneficial.It has:
4GB DDR3 RAM
ATI mobility Radeon HD4250 graphics
AMD athlon II X2 P340 Processor
320gb HDD
This doesn't help all that much. What do you actually want to do with it, specifically?What games, what applications, and in what usage scenarios (e.g. portable on battery versus at home as a desktop).

benanderson
03-07-2013, 05:05 PM
This doesn't help all that much. What do you actually want to do with it, specifically?What games, what applications, and in what usage scenarios (e.g. portable on battery versus at home as a desktop).

He clearly states Java and C# development as well as video games and that he'd go no lower than an i5 - that is plenty of help.
If he is wanting to play video games well, then a laptop capable of such with a decent graphics chip will be outside his budget (no integrated graphics solution is good - no matter how much Intel sing Haswell's praises).

Desktop with a Core i5 Sandy or Ivy, or an AMD Phenom X4 or X6 or an AMD Bulldozer 6000 series (or better) will be fine. For graphics at that budget, an AMD Radeon 7800 series.

Nightpaws
03-07-2013, 06:00 PM
Thanks benanderson :)

Any ideas about parts for the old laptop? If I opt for a desktop I'd like to try and prolong the life of the old one for taking to university.

If you need an idea of the programs;


Basics like iTunes, Office 2010, Windows Media Player (The usual light usage)
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate x64 (Possibly 2012)
Microsoft Expression Blend 4
Visual Paradigm 9
Eclipse (Java Development Toolkit)
PlayStation Mobile Development Suite
Burnout Paradise
Portal 2
Guild Wars 2
Team Fortress 2
VirtualBox/Virtual PC


Thtat's what I can think of off the top of my head, and most of them turn my current PC into a blast furnace.

benanderson
03-07-2013, 07:11 PM
Packard bell is a throw away brand (part of Asus or Acer I think), the best place for parts would be eBay. Maybe Maplin for little things like the rubber pads.

If your current PC is turning into a mobile grilling plate then maybe you should open it up and clean all the dust off with an air duster (which, again, you can get from Maplin for a tenna).

Even the GTX550Ti in my AMD rig would be enough to run all those games fine, since all of them aren't every graphically demanding and the card is dirt cheap (89.99 for the Asus version I have).

I would honestly recommend a desktop over a laptop. Far more versatile for both gaming and development - even little things like being able to add more hard disks make a desktop a far more justifiable proposition. Plus, in future, you can just rip out the GPU and slap in a new one for a fraction of the price of a new laptop with the same graphical capabilities.

Onnes
03-07-2013, 07:21 PM
He clearly states Java and C# development as well as video games and that he'd go no lower than an i5 - that is plenty of help.
If he is wanting to play video games well, then a laptop capable of such with a decent graphics chip will be outside his budget (no integrated graphics solution is good - no matter how much Intel sing Haswell's praises).

Desktop with a Core i5 Sandy or Ivy, or an AMD Phenom X4 or X6 or an AMD Bulldozer 6000 series (or better) will be fine. For graphics at that budget, an AMD Radeon 7800 series.

Were portability of no value and a discrete graphics card necessary for gaming then the computer market would look a hell of a lot different than it does. None of the games he lists require a high-power card to run; all that gets you is higher graphics settings, if those even exist.

In terms of actual gaming laptops, the lower cost options tend to be Sager/Clevo systems. For example:
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344.html?wconfigure=yes. You might need to look around for a Euro retailer. Just make sure whatever you are looking at has a decent screen.
If you eschew the discrete graphics then you can find much cheaper options, although for integrated graphics it would probably pay to wait for Haswell and possibly whatever AMD is going to answer with.

AquaVixen
03-07-2013, 09:45 PM
Nitepaws, I just wanted to add a little FYI info for you, just so you know. If you're looking at laptops, all i5 laptops are dual core processors. On desktops, all I5's are quad cores. To get an actual quad core on the laptop (compared to like a dual core with hyper threading) you would need to get an actual i7 laptop.

To see for yourself, here's some links for you. Ivy bridge is intel's "latest and greatest", and offers the best in processing power and low power usage, however being the latest and best, it will also be the most expensive. Sandy bridge is the previous generation and still has significant processing power for any task you'd want, and may be a little cheaper. But I'll link to both so you can inform yourself about intel stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_bridge#Mobile_platform <=- Sandy Bridge mobile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_bridge#Desktop_platform <=- Sandy Bridge Desktop

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Mobile_processors <=- Ivy Bridge Mobile
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Desktop_processors <=- Ivy Bridge Desktop

Also, for mobile.. the intregrated intel graphics at the moment are rather weak and couldn't play the majority of games even on medium. Like someone in this thread posted, Haswell with it's new GT3 graphics will probably change that though.

AMD is generally better at intergrated graphics with their APU's though, but you have to get the higher end AMD APU's to be able to even do half-way decent at games at all.

benanderson
03-08-2013, 07:03 AM
Were portability of no value and a discrete graphics card necessary for gaming then the computer market would look a hell of a lot different than it does.
No it wouldn't. Companies would still sell them regardless.



None of the games he lists require a high-power card to run;
Portal 2 barely runs on an Intel HD4000. We're talking 25 to 30fps here. The Intel HD4600 (Haswell) is barely any different to the HD4000. What if he wants to buy a game next year or even by the end of this year? Congratulations, it wont run or it'll look like arse.


all that gets you is higher graphics settings, if those even exist.
I... what? As in, you don't think higher graphical settings exist??? What?????


In terms of actual gaming laptops, the lower cost options tend to be Sager/Clevo systems. For example:
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344.html?wconfigure=yes. You might need to look around for a Euro retailer. Just make sure whatever you are looking at has a decent screen.
If you eschew the discrete graphics then you can find much cheaper options, although for integrated graphics it would probably pay to wait for Haswell and possibly whatever AMD is going to answer with.
You seem to be forgetting his budget, which is 600 to 800. Those laptops are a good 950. And again, the haswell GPU is barely any better and the AMD APUs are quite expensive. (A HP, for example, is around 800 with a good AMD A8 APU, but the rest of the computer is crap).

For his budget, he could build a high powered desktop with a quad or hex core CPU with a good, dedicated graphics card and a 1080p LED backlit monitor from the likes of AOC AND be able to repair his packard bell AND have money left over for, I dunno, a McDonalds and a case of Bulmers?

The hard disk alone in almost all laptops is the killer when it comes to virtual machines and development work. They're either too slow (5400RPM) or have less storage at higher spin rates. Yet in a desktop he could throw in two hard disks, put them in RAID 0 and end up with SSD-like read rates (250~300mbps) for the same money.

Nightpaws
03-09-2013, 08:04 PM
Any idea where I can go about getting parts for repairing the old laptop? I've just taken a bump in terms of finances and need to prolong the life of this one another few months before it drops dead.

Onnes
03-10-2013, 01:38 AM
Any idea where I can go about getting parts for repairing the old laptop? I've just taken a bump in terms of finances and need to prolong the life of this one another few months before it drops dead.

I won't derail this further with the other silly discussion, but you can certainly find the power adapter and battery on amazon. Pieces of the body itself, though, probably aren't going to be available short of taking off another laptop.

benanderson
03-11-2013, 09:12 AM
I won't derail this further with the other silly discussion, but you can certainly find the power adapter and battery on amazon. Pieces of the body itself, though, probably aren't going to be available short of taking off another laptop.
How Rude.


Any idea where I can go about getting parts for repairing the old laptop? I've just taken a bump in terms of finances and need to prolong the life of this one another few months before it drops dead.
If its just the little rubber pads around the screen then any stick back rubber pad will do. It'll look a little ghetto but it'll work. You can get generic AC adapters for peanuts at the likes of Argos and PCWorld or Amazon. Batteries can be found easily on Amazon, eBay and sometimes in PCWorld's sister shop, Parts Master.

However after a quick look around, the TM80 is quite old and a replacement battery is difficult to come by for reasonable prices. I can only seem to find off brand Chinese batteries and... yeah not recommended.

If you have come across some more finances, maybe build a desktop and get a cheap laptop as a travel companion. I highly recommend the Lenovo Ideapad S300. Its lightweight, less than an inch thick, gets about 3 to 4 hours on the battery and is only 349 with Windows 8, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Disk - Speakers, trackpad, keyboard and screen are all surprisingly excellent. In fact, they've just released a slightly more budget model (1.5GHz instead of 1.6GHz and 320GB vs 500GB HDD) for a minuscule 269.99
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5087956.htm

That seems like the best option instead of trying to prolong the life of that Packard Bell. You'd probably spend about 100 on just the battery alone anyway.

But hey, my 2 cents.

Nightpaws
03-11-2013, 09:43 AM
I can only seem to find off brand Chinese batteries and... yeah not recommended.
I'd rather not explode suddenly :P

I've never owned a Lenovo product (asides from a wonky freeview box) so I'm not sure what their reputation and reliability is like. I'll give it a look in.

With regards to building my own PC, would you recommend any base components (motherboards/chassis). That's the main off-put of me starting. I don't wanna end up with a motherboard that's crap, or I can't find anything compatible with.

benanderson
03-11-2013, 10:04 AM
I'd rather not explode suddenly :P

I've never owned a Lenovo product (asides from a wonky freeview box) so I'm not sure what their reputation and reliability is like. I'll give it a look in.

With regards to building my own PC, would you recommend any base components (motherboards/chassis). That's the main off-put of me starting. I don't wanna end up with a motherboard that's crap, or I can't find anything compatible with.

Lenovo is basically IBM's PC division (when you phone the IBM service desk it says press 1 for IBM Products, press 2 for Lenovo Products). The build quality on Lenovo is spectacular. I'd put them up there with ASUS and Apple. ASUS are better at the cheap end but Lenovo is definitely up there with their premium lines.

For desktop components, look at ASUS - its what I tend to go with because even their cheap end can be surprising. Gigabyte also do some good stuff as well. AMD is also a good way to go for power on the cheap - plus they are usually highly over-clockable and AMD is more kind with sockets so an old motherboard will take newer CPUs (unlike Intel who seem to put out a new motherboard socket with every new processor).

For cases, look at the likes of Coolermaster and Zalman. For motherboards, look at ASUS. For processors, the AMD Phenom X4 and X6 line as well as the new Bulldozer 4000, 6000 and 8000 series (4, 6 and 8 cores respectively).

Remember, when buying Power Supplies you need to consider the wattage AS WELL AS the AMPERAGE. It might look like a good idea to buy a 600W PSU for 19.99 until it explodes because it doesn't put out the amps. For PSUs, the likes of Coolermaster and Corsair are fine choices.

You'll be looking at around 90 for a Phenom X4 Black Edition, 60 for a good PSU, 60 for a decent motherboard and about 40 for a run of the mill case. If your games aren't to demanding, a Graphics card for around 90 should do you fine. Add hard disks (about 50 for 1TB), a DVD RW (20) and RAM (around 30 for an 8GB budget DIMM) and Windows 7 (80) and viola! Thats bang on 520 and you'll be sitting pretty with a pretty sweet desktop machine. If you're wanting to over clock then you'll need to buy a better cooler for the CPU, but lets just assume you'll keep everything stock for now.

Nightpaws
03-11-2013, 09:16 PM
Right, I'm drastically over budget on this one, but I've tried to put compatible parts together to make a good machine. Am I on the right track with this? (Obviously I'll have to tone down a lot of it to make it affordable), but will all those parts actually work together?

Wishlist (http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/1ZGZ9DBW9KRKO)

And are there any parts missing that I'd need to get the thing running? And are there any cheaper components that you'd recommend? If not I'm thinking of saving for this and grabbing parts as and when I can afford them.

AquaVixen
03-11-2013, 10:12 PM
The only thing I'd suggest is bumping it up to a minimum 700 watt power supply for that configuration. That video card's probably the top of the high performance section and nvidia video cards pull -a lot- of power. The GTX-680 alone is rated for 200 watts, and the I7-3770K needs a decent bit on it's own too. The only card faster is the 690, but that's in the "Extreme" category as for "Extremely Expensive" and also "Extremely Wasteful." the price-vs-performance is horrible for the 690 right now.

I would suggest this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CX750-Builder-Series-Bronze/dp/B008RJZR40/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1363054179&sr=1-2

It's only +4.05 more too.

benanderson
03-11-2013, 10:23 PM
Right, I'm drastically over budget on this one, but I've tried to put compatible parts together to make a good machine. Am I on the right track with this? (Obviously I'll have to tone down a lot of it to make it affordable), but will all those parts actually work together?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/1ZGZ9DBW9KRKO

And are there any parts missing that I'd need to get the thing running? And are there any cheaper components that you'd recommend? If not I'm thinking of saving for this and grabbing parts as and when I can afford them.

Good kit but freakishly overpriced (when in the context of your budget).

You could save money on the Core i7 by stepping down to the standard version rather than the K model (K=overclockable). Give a quad core i5 model a good look, they're plenty powerful. Scale back on the graphics card as well because that thing is freaking expensive as shit and needs 550W just to run! The 600W PSU wouldn't be able to handle it.

You don't need the 3.5 mounting bracket, off the shelf cases have plenty of 3.5 bays.

The GPU you have also wont fit on the motherboard correctly. You'll notice that the card is three PCI Lanes wide - in the top slot it would cover the PCI-E X2 slot. Plus, the giant black cooling plates all over the place on that board aren't worth the money (high end servers don't have cooling that drastic, and those can run for 5 years 24/7!) - you could go opt for a cheaper system that does the same job. My Mobo was only 50 - yet after fully overclocking the CPU to 4.1GHz and pushing the RAM from 1333 to 1600 (both with significant voltage increases) the Mobo barely goes over 23C and that is well within normal working temperatures for a motherboard.

This is another reason why I try to push AMD to people on a budget because they are very powerful CPUs and they are cheaper than the Intel equivalent.

However, if its Intel you're shooting for, here would be my recommendations for an 800 budget:

CASE - stick with what you have. My cousin has the older model but in blue. Great case. 124.99

PSU - To be safe, the Corsair System Builder series is excellent (its what I use - the 500w version at least). The 750watt version is only slightly more. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CX750-Builder-Series-Bronze/dp/B008RJZR40/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363054456&sr=8-1-spell 63.85

MOTHERBOARD - ASUS P8Z77-V LK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-Motherboard-CrossFireX-Intelligent-Processors/dp/B007KZQE7Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1363053373&sr=8-3 - 79.99 - has all the features you want whilst remaining overclockable, reliable and above all, CHEAP.

HARD DISK - Western Digital are good, the "Green" disks are not the performance powerhouse model but for the price you can't go wrong. 54.29

CPU - Core i7's are nice and all, but I can you from previously owning an i7 system that an i7 will most likely be overkill (this is coming from someone who is currently sporting a hex core Xeon PFFFFT HA). But yeah, I doubt you'd need the power of the i7 unless pushing some serious numbers - linear video and audio editing kinda stuff. As a nice alternative, a Core i5 3570K http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Generation-i5-3570K-3-40GHz-Technology/dp/B007RUZKK6/ref=sr_1_22?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1363053492&sr=1-22 - 171.97

RAM - Good, great in fact! Stick with it. 44.98

GRAPHICS CARD - Yeah no, that nVidia requires too much power and is just asking for stupid money. Considering the budget, the AMD 7870 is more than enough. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-7870-Radeon-DirectCU-Graphics/dp/B008A1C252/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363054176&sr=8-1 187.80

TOTAL COST: 727.87

You could actually cut some corners by going for a 500 or 750GB HDD instead of the 1TB - or stepping down the insane case. But yeah, for the money you'll be getting a great system. Since its just shy of 800, maybe spend the extra cash on an AMD 7900 series card. Although the 7870 from Asus is actually a pre overclocked version, so you'd be getting excellent performance out of it anyway. Given its recent price drop its good value for money as well. I'd hunt out the specific power needs though (more specifically the amperage) before pairing it up with that PSU. Since its pre-overclocked it may differ to the stock 7870.

PLEASE NOTE, YOU CANNOT OVERCLOCK THAT CPU WITH THE STOCK COOLER. YOU'D NEED TO BUY A NEW COOLER BEFORE YOU EVEN CONSIDER IT.

That price also assumes you already an OS to install. As well as the prerequisite mouse, keyboard, speakers and monitor.

But yeah, for the money this is the system I'd build. Well, maybe not with that case (I hate gaming cases because of how bloody UGLY 99.9% seem to be!)





EDIT: Oh lol, AquaVixen got to me first about the PSU :'D
Great minds think alike! lol

AquaVixen
03-11-2013, 11:06 PM
EDIT: Oh lol, AquaVixen got to me first about the PSU :'D
Great minds think alike! lol

:) The rest of it is kinda okay, but a 600 watt power supply for that config is kinda asking for trouble.

benanderson
03-11-2013, 11:19 PM
:) The rest of it is kinda okay, but a 600 watt power supply for that config is kinda asking for trouble.

Its also his budget - the GPU alone was more than half of it.

AquaVixen
03-12-2013, 12:10 AM
Its also his budget - the GPU alone was more than half of it.

well he personally admitted it was over his budget so.. I didn't really touch the rest of it. *Shrug*

Nightpaws
03-12-2013, 05:24 AM
Hey,

I've taken the points you've both made and updated my list. For the most part I think I'm all set, but I want to ask about the little things,

Are those fans any use? I thought I'd need one for the processor, and one or two others but I'm not sure if those would fit, or if they're any good. Also, with regards to screws, do I need anything more than I already have?

I don't want to buy it and find I can't put any of it together.

----------updated------------
I went ahead and ordered a machine mostly based on this. It's gonna take a few weeks for all the parts, but hopefully it'll be worth it.

Nightpaws
03-15-2013, 06:31 AM
My chassis arrived. I need a bigger house! XD

Dark
03-16-2013, 01:06 PM
GTX550Ti in my AMD rig

Not a real AMD rig.