First PC build - advice please!

  darrenrichie 18:14 20 Aug 2008

Hi Everyone

This is going to be my first new build project and I would like some advice on good quality, good value components. I am looking to build a good quality but cheap(ish) PC for the in-laws.

I am after a dual core CPU, MOBO with room for expansion and as many built in USB ports as possible. I will also need a graphics card (rather than on board) but this just needs to be half decent rather than for playing games at top quality. I would prefer on board sound so no need for sound card.

The PC will be used for the usual Internet and Office type use, but also a lot of video calling abroad. I want to be able to expand as I go along if needed and a good smooth running system.

Any help you guys can give me would be much appreciated.


  iqs 23:11 20 Aug 2008

I always buy from Novatech,never had a problem with their components .

  woodchip 23:15 20 Aug 2008

Its not worth building one, As you can buy Desktops and Laptops from about £299 plus vat

Makro Warehouse as one in that the moment with a 19ins flat screen for £299 plus vat includes DL DVD multi burner

  woodchip 23:17 20 Aug 2008

PS Sheffield Makro as a Toshiba Laptop in with Duo2 CPU For £299 + vat

  darrenrichie 09:47 21 Aug 2008

Thanks for the advice. One of the reasons I am building is for the experience as I am doing my A+ and want to have some hands on. Its just that there are so many different types of components I just want a good starting point.

  I am Spartacus 10:32 21 Aug 2008

I've recently built a new PC and bought the components from a variety of places.

Dabs click here were the best for prices but the after sales service is poor. I had to RMA a PSU and rather than do a doorstep exchange it took the over 2 weeks to get a new one delivered. This is apparently normal.

Novatech click here supplied the exact model of the GFX card I wanted and also the RAM, not as cheap as some but after the bad expereince at Dabs and problems with RMAing faulty RAM from elsewhere I decided that less hassle with a potential RMA was best. I had a few questions about the GFX card and it was sorted out in 20 minutes using their 'Live Chat'.

Ebuyer click here were good on prices for a couple of items and a faulty component was collected and refunded quickly.

KustomPCs click here are good for unusual components, not the cheapest but 1st class service and always quick to respond to requests for more information.

QuietPC click here for quiet components. Their service is also 1st class and good technical/sales support is available quickly. I think they are the best company I’ve ever dealt with, just a pity they have a small range of stock.

MicroDirect click here supplied a hard to get hold of item at a good price with quick delivery.

Amazon click here processed a refund on a faulty item within 2 days as they couldn't replace a faulty part I'd bought some months earlier and was out of stock. I found their on-line RMA process confusing although it worked in the end after a quick phone call.

  darrenrichie 11:22 21 Aug 2008

That's great I am Spartacus I appreciate your input. I will look at all those links you gave. Thanks.

  Picklefactory 11:44 21 Aug 2008

All good links from I am Spartacus, but if budget is an issue, then do make sure you take P+P into account. I've only built 2 m/c's but lesson I learned on 1st was not to fragment part supply too much. I ended up adding around £50 to overall cost on P+P alone. Try and target one good supplier for as many parts as possible and reduce delivery charges.
Also check compatabilities. I've also made some basic errors with choosing parts that don't easily go together. (Eg SATA HDD when mobo had no on board SATA facility, had to then add SATA card at further cost).

  I am Spartacus 11:57 21 Aug 2008

Good point from Picklefactory. I forgot to mention that one of the attractions of Dabs and Amazon is that you can get free deliveries if you spend over a certain amount on certain items can make a significant difference.

  darrenrichie 15:28 21 Aug 2008

All brilliant advice. Cheers Pickle and Spartacus (there's a sentence I don't get to say often lol )

  Phenomx1 17:15 29 Aug 2008

Hi the advise I would give you is dependant on your budget but if you have around £300 to spend these bits may be what you are looking for.
Gigabyte GA-p31-DS3L motherboard From click here
Pentium E2160 CPUfrom click here
Corsair Twin 2X2048-640 Ram from click here
Xpert Vision GeForce 9600GT Sonic 512mb Graphics card from click here
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro click here
Seagate Barracuda 7200. 10 160gb HDD click here
I don't know what type of DVD you want but they are cheap these days and you can buy a case for around £35 to put it all in try www.
hope this helps
Don't buy one it's much more fun this way and you get a higher spec.

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