Need PC Build Help

  blackjack2k3 16:31 13 May 2011

Hi there,

I'm looking to build my own PC that's cost effective. I'm looking to spend around £600 to get me up and running. I think it might be best to tell you what I am going to be using my PC for. I'm a self employed graphic designer that needs speed over space. The end files are generally small as I work in vector, generally 1mb - 40mb so space is not an issue. I use photoshop/illustrator/indesign that are generally open all at once working on multipage brochures that can take up alot of processing power.

I have been looking around at all the parts needed and now need your guidance, I have a friend that builds/repairs computers for Nowrich Union and he said he will help in building it once I have the parts. He's coming round next week to discuss it but thought I would get the ball rolling before hand.

Below is what I have so far, The Black Micro case has the PSU/Cooling fan and Firewire which is perfect for me but the PSU is only 450w and don't know if this will be enough. I also need a nice graphics card nothing too pricey as I do some gaming but not on the Crysis 2 spec lvl, Any ideas?.

Is there anything anyone would change? Maybe there's better more reasonable priced parts or I've gone for a higher spec than I need. I've gone close to the max I can really afford which is yet to include the graphics card so any help is greatly appreciated. Also thought it might be good to mention I'm going for dual screens if that changes anything. The mobo supports VGA for my 19" Dell and DVI for the 23" LG.


All the prices below include VAT and delivery.


OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit £70.48 --- Link

Motherboard MSI H61M-E33-B3 H61 1155 Socket 8 Channel HD Audio mATX £56.44 --- Link

Processor Intel Core i5 2300 2.8GHz Socket 1155 6MB £135.76 --- Link

Memory Corsair XMS3 8GB : 2x4GB DIMM 240-pin DDR3 £74.99 --- Link

HDD Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache £42.08 --- Link

CD Drive Samsung SH-S223 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive £12.99 --- Link

Tower Black Micro Case 450W PSU MATX Card Reader and Firewire £39.25 --- Link

Monitor LG 23" widescreen TFT LED monitor £126.70 --- Link

Total = £558.69


Thanks for your help and time, Josh

  blackjack2k3 01:21 14 May 2011

Sure no one can help me?

  rdave13 01:54 14 May 2011

Everything sounds good to me, however, have you thought about an SSD drive, say, 128 GB as an OS drive, then use usb caddies to interchange OEM drives as backups/storage? Just a thought as an internal 1TB drive failure will take an awful lot of your work to the bin if it fails.

  blackjack2k3 02:12 14 May 2011

Thanks for replying rdave, Won't the SSD drive add about £100+ to the total cost. The tower includes a firewire port for my external hard drive where download my work on the first of every month to cover myself.

I've found a graphics gard that's in my budget, not the best but will probably do me

Also a little worried the 450w PSU won't see my dual monitors efficiently. What do you think?

Thanks again.

  rdave13 02:29 14 May 2011

Firewire port? A bit old hat suerly? Caddies for external usb hdds; note for example only; amazon

For speed have an SSD drive only in your PC and backup your photos etc to an external ordinary hdd. Quite cheap to buy and will interchange via the caddy. Just an idea to think about.

  rdave13 02:35 14 May 2011

As for the GPU I usually go for Nvidea so please wait for someone with more experience with ATI cards. Your choice sounds good enough though.

  rdave13 02:38 14 May 2011

nvidia even.

  Ian in Northampton 09:03 14 May 2011

Not really on topic, but I'd be concerned about your backup strategy. Sod's Law says that your hard drive will fail 29 days after the previous backup. I'd seriously think about increasing the frequency.

You ask about the 450w power supply. The graphics card you've chosen indicates that 400w will be good enough - and it's generally the graphics card that's the primary driver of power supply requirements. Dual monitors isn't really relevant - I have several systems at home with 400 - 450w power supplies driving two monitors with no problems.

FWIW I too am a fan of NVIDIA over ATI.

You might want to consider configuring two smaller hard drives. Put your OS and apps on one, your data on the other. That can deliver a worthwhile performance increase (it works well for me with Photoshop).

If your budget would stretch to it, I'd certainly think about SSDD. No, they're not cheap - but a real boost to performance. I'm planning to get one for my next upgrade.

  blackjack2k3 19:19 17 May 2011

Thanks for your input,

I looked at the tower and it says 170mm wide while the motherboard is 215mm wide, It appears the case it too small =( As the case and mobo are both MATX I thought they would be a good match.

Anyone shine any light on this?


  blackjack2k3 19:27 17 May 2011

Ignore previous post. Haha good job I aint building the damn thing.

  robin_x 20:13 17 May 2011

My thoughts/suggestions echoing above:

Original work and a backup to one external drive is not enough.

Perhaps, backup daily or every other day your work files. You might be OK with a second backup less frequently (weekly?) even to DVD-RW since files are small.

Otherwise another hard drive.

Self-employed, you don't get paid for re-doing work/rebuilding your data.

Budget for decent Backup Software if you don't have it already.

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