what to use for a new computer

  Jayne doe 08:13 18 Apr 04

Hi. I want to build my lad a computer. I just type send email and use excel on mine. He wants to play games and play music etc. My computer isn't fast enough for this and it struggles. I want to build him his own so he can help put it together to learn rather than buy one second hand. There is a computer fair on next week so my question is what do I need to buy that will go together ok? The case and monitor is obvious but what processor and what motherboard, graphic card etc to buy. I have a budget of £300. Thanks lads. Jayne

your budget is not going to go far enough quite frankly. check out the second hand machines in your local paper

  Diodorus Siculus 08:19 18 Apr 04

I am not certain that a computer fair will be the best place for you to source what you need; try novatech.co.uk for one of their mobo bundles and get a decent graphics card.

For £300 you will be struggling however; some people pay that just for the graphics card and while I am not suggesting that you need anything like that, a gaming machine will struggle on your budget.

Can you source a second hand monitor somewhere? Bigpockets.co.uk have 17inch monitors for about £40. Cases are about £15 from various online outlets; you will also need a power supply.

I am not suggesting that your budget cannot be met; only that it may be necessary to look around for a while to get what you need.
Anyway, good luck with it and please, if you have time, document the progress here - I will be interested in what happens.

  MichelleC 08:41 18 Apr 04

Maybe better upgrading yours. If he wants to play recent games he'll need a 3-d card, maybe 256 ram and faster cpu/mobo. BTW they say 98 is good gaming os.

  Jayne doe 08:56 18 Apr 04

thanks all who have replied so far. I have a case for £19 with power supply 400watt from comp fair last week, also a 80 gig Seagate hard drive for £44 and a 17 second user monitor for £35. The guy gave me a keyboard and mouse etc. I have also a 2 in 1 speaker system that is attached to mine that is never used so I will use that. The problem is the motherboard and the other gudgings inside. There was so much and I knew so little. The prices varied enourmously and so did the features. They tried to sell me raid. The only RAID I know kills flies. Following Diadorus advice Im looking at Novatech site but there is so much. Cant some one just say this mobo and this memory and this card will go together and work ok for a games machine? or at least what I need to look for for a games machine. Thanks.

  howard60 09:04 18 Apr 04

decide if you want intel or amd - then go for the highest spec cpu/mobo/memory bundle you can afford - for graphics you can probably get away with a 128MB agp card for about £45. It is often better to have more ram than the fastest cpu. 512MB would be my minimum. an amd xp 2800 is now at a reasonable price and a mobo to suit it from about £60. hope this helps.

  Diodorus Siculus 09:07 18 Apr 04

OK - that has changed the stakes somewhat :-}

Don't bother with RAID - no great use for you.

As you say, there is a lot to choose from at Novatech - ebuyer also has similar but their after sales service often lets people down.

click here for a basic bundle for about £100. click here for a better option for £30 more. Get a graphics card and you will have a good basis to work with.

I don't knowmuch about gaming so you may need to wait for a suggestion re. grpahics cards: click here for one that seems good.

  Jayne doe 09:22 18 Apr 04

OK Guys I have ordered the board that Diodurus suggested for £130 but it has that IDERAID thingy?? Also the card that he suggested GIGABYTE A9600 128MB DDR 8X AGP GRAPHICS CARD - DVI & TV OUT (whats that??)at £70 and as howard says I have asked for mem upgrade to 512. When it comes Ill put it all together and see what happens. Thanks guys.

  Diodorus Siculus 09:30 18 Apr 04

Jayne doe - you certainly don't hesitate - and I have to reiterate that what I suggested was only that: a suggestion...

Nonetheless, I hope that it all works ok for you - novatech are very helpful if you come across any problems.

IDERAID - don't worry about that: an option that you can use if you want - RAIS is a means of having either two hdds acting as one (faster) or two hdds, the second of which is contantly mirroring the data on the first, and hence a good backup option.

DVI - if you get a TFT monitor, many have a digital input and this graphics card will help

TV OUT - a connection on the grapchics card to allow you to output to the television.

Good luck with it all.

  Boris {B<) 10:10 18 Apr 04

That is a good bundle from Novatech - I used it 2 weeks ago for this very PC.

Only slight problem is that the front case connections are right at the bottom of the board - so a tiny bit fiddly to connect and the connection pin printing on the board is really minute. The diagrams in the manual however are good and should make it quite clear what goes where.

As a plus point, it was supposed to come with 256MB DDR333 RAM as standard, but the stick fitted on mine was actually DDR400.

The RAID you referred to is only an option if you want to use SATA H/Ds - so this shouldn't cause any problems. It comes with one SATA lead - but no SATA power lead.

Good luck !

  Jayne doe 10:54 18 Apr 04

thanks all Ill see how it goes. Jayne.

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