Configuring a PC online - A few questions

  Peter Lanky 10:07 AM 23 Dec 12

I have come to the conclusion that configuring a PC online rather than buying individual components is more cost effective, particularly as it avoids the situation of parts not quite fitting together, or the PC not functioning properly after building, and trying to find where the fault lies. I am unlikely to change my position on this.

Taking this into account, can anyone recommend a good online PC builder that will build from an almost limitless range of components rather than having a few token choices? I have looked at PC Specialist, Power Computing and Cyber Power so far.

Secondly, one area I really not understand much is the mother board. To me MBs are rather like Windows in that both are there to make everything else work but you don't do that much with either.

Two of the choices typically offered are the cheaper ASUS P8H61-MX and the more expensive ASUS P8Z77-V LX, but what am I actually getting by choosing the more expensive one?

I am wanting access to the latest technology in SATA3 and USB3, plus I intend to use a SSD as by boot and programme drive, so my ideal is to have a specification that will be relevant for 5 years +, but will not be doing any serious gaming, using more than one monitor or anything else fancy, so I'd also be interested to know which would be the best value for money graphics card that will not be obsolete in 3-4 years time.

  Chronos the 2nd 11:22 AM 23 Dec 12

Chilblast is another as is Cougar extreme.

As to the motherboards it would seem to me to be pretty pointless to get the ASUS P8Z77-V LX, as that is more suited to a gamer with it's quad PCI-E slots.

It is always useful to mention your budget in these sorts of threads and as for graphics I would suggest getting a reasonable one even though you are not a serious gamer.

  Bris 11:25 AM 23 Dec 12

To help you on your way the more expensive motherboard has the latest Intel Z77 chipset which is compatible with the latest Ivybridge CPUs whereas the H61 chipset is relatively old technology. My advice would be to go with the Z77 board if your budget will stand it.

  Bris 11:31 AM 23 Dec 12

Re chipsets. this may help click here

  Chronos the 2nd 11:41 AM 23 Dec 12

If you chose to go with the Z77 then you certainly do not need that one. Have a look here for cheaper alternatives.

  Peter Lanky 11:56 AM 23 Dec 12

This is an idea of what I've been looking at so far. It's not my final choice, but probably close. I quite like the quiet aspect of the setup.

The P8Z77-V LX adds £60 to this with this supplier, which seems quite a big difference considering the retail prices of the 2 MBs, though to choose the more expensive MB, I have to arrive at the configuration by a different route.

I'm also undecided as to whether to go for the 240GB or 120GB SSD, but that will be a last minute decision based on the difference in price at the time.


£1,044.65 inc VAT

Coolermaster Silencio 550 Case - QUIET PC Top 1x USB 3.0 1x USB 2.0 Audio & SD Card Reader

Corsair 500Watt PSU

ASUS P8H61-MX USB3 2x Rear USB3.0: 4x Rear USB2.0:

Intel® Core™ i5 3570K Quad Core 4x 3.4GHz 6MB Cache (4 Threads) TurboBoost Upto 3.8GHz

Coolermaster Hyper TX3 EVO CPU Cooler & Heatsink QUIET Corsair XMS3 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz

Corsair Force 3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive SATA 3 550MB/s Read 510MB/s Write

2TB 7200RPM SATA 3

22x DVD RW Black SATA Microsoft Windows® 8 64-bit nVidia GeForce GT 630 2GB iiyama E2473HDS 24" LED VGA/DVI/2xHDMI 1920x1080 2m/s

Built-in audio

Internal Card Reader 26 in 1 & 1x Extra Front USB 2.0

Windows 7 or Windows 8 64 bit

2 Year Parts & Labour Return to Base Warranty Includes 2 Year Free Collect & Return (Fully Assembled & Tested)

  Chronos the 2nd 12:09 PM 23 Dec 12

Cannot see much wrong with that. I personally use a 128 SSD for OS and programs with a 1TB for personal folders MY Music,Documents ETC. With another !TB for games.

You have not listed a graphics card which you asked about? Have you decided against one?

  Peter Lanky 13:44 PM 23 Dec 12

Graphics is nVidia GeForce GT 630 2GB.

It's hidden in there, but the formatting on this web page is a bit dodgy.

  Peter Lanky 14:16 PM 23 Dec 12

Chillblast is way overpriced. Around £300 for 16GB Corsair PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (4 x 4GB sticks) - they've got to be joking!

  Bris 14:20 PM 23 Dec 12

By choosing an H61 board you are marrying a second generation board with a third generation CPU. Although this is ok as they are backward compatible you will not be getting the full potential of the 3 series CPU/chipset combination this is why the board is that much cheaper.

See the last paragraph of this click here

I agree with Chronus re the size of the SSD as 128GB will be more than adequate provided you keep it for the OS and an HDD for everything else.

  Peter Lanky 15:29 PM 23 Dec 12

OK, so it seems the P8Z77-V LX is a better option. Is it the BEST option for a non gamer?

Also is the 630GT an adequate option, or is it better to go for the 650GTX for longevity?


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