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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Computer advice sought

    Hi,

    Due to my computer dying on me it is now more financially viable to get a new barebones system as opposed to repair it.
    I

  2. #2
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    Well, this is a tough one - note that you say you want a "mid-range gaming/3d applications machine" - that would cost you about
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  3. #3
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I also wasn't happy that the details of the motherboard were not fully given (like model numbers and the such), but I was going to email them with the query.

    Currently my old computer has SATA drives and all of the relevant optical drives needed. It also has a working power unit of good make and suitable ooomph. However my mobo & CPU (possibly memory as well) has blown, therefore it seems to make sense to start from scratch and upgrade essentially the motherboard and CPU.
    I do have the original XP Pro SP2 disc.

    However, upgrading would mean that I have to get a new PCI-E graphics card, but this was something that I was considering anyway as my old mobo is still working on AGP.
    The price I have been quoted to have the mobo and CPU changed at a retail level is higher than the price I can get a barebones for. Plus I am guaranteed to get some working RAM with the barebones which would be a start. Hence the thought process about upgrading.

    I think I shall try to find more information first about what is actually being offered...

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    The thing about a barebones is you get a case and a power supply, which, depending on the brand of your current PC, you may not need. Rather than a barebones system, you might look into motherboard bundles. These typically consist of a motherboard, CPU, and often RAM.

    Here in the US, I frequently recommend MWave to first time builders/upgraders and experienced users alike. They have a great bundle wizard which takes the compatibility guesswork out it for you - plus, for only $9.00 more, they will mount the CPU and RAM and test them for you. For $9, this is a great warm fuzzy as not only do you know the components work, you know these particular pieces work together - not always a sure thing. You might want to look at that, pick out a bundle, then price the parts there in the UK.

    I only know of Misco and PCWorld in the UK - but neither offer bundles. But with Misco, if you select a motherboard, it will recommend several CPUs and RAM options for you.

    You are right about getting a new graphics card. This is where a motherboard with integrated graphics comes in handy, as it can carry you over until budget allows for a new video card. However, typically, integrated graphics are found on low-end motherboards for budget conscience or as efficient office type PCs - as they are quite able in those environment, or in the home too for school, email, and the occasional game (just not the high-end games). There are still some AGP motherboards around, but IMO, that is just a lateral replacement and not an upgrade. There are also a few hybrid PCIe/AGP motherboards too, but I would not recommend that unless you have a very expensive and powerful AGP graphics card.

    Having said that, motherboard and video card makers (nVidia and ATI) have begun to recognize the need for good on-board graphics and there are some better boards that do incorporate some fairly good GPUs.

    Since all PCIe motherboards also have 2 or 3 standard PCI slots, you could buy (maybe used - or even know someone with one laying around) a cheap PCI video card just to get you up and running, and then upgrade to a good PCIe video card when budget permits.

    Of course, a motherboard bundle assumes you are willing and comfortable with swapping out a motherboard - a pretty big ordeal, but not really that difficult if you take your time and follow some common sense precautions.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    There's a few UK sites that offer bundles. Scan often have really good deals on their today only page, but you have to keep looking till the right bundle appears. Novatech have some decent bundles too.

    StuartR

  6. #6
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    Hi,
    Thanks for this. The motherboard bundles seem to be the obvious path to go as the barebones systems supply you with materials that you don

  7. #7
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    Re: Computer advice sought

    Well, again, some tough questions - motherboards to stay away from would be those you never hear of - catch 22. What I do is find a product I like then go out to google and enter:

    make model review

    (of course, exchanging make and model for the product you are looking at. Hopefully you will find many hits - and not just from users on retailer's sites but also on actual review sites.

    Typical name brand motherboards come from Asus, Gigabyte, Abit, MSI, Biostar, DFI, Epox, Foxconn, ECI. There are others. As far as reliability for CPUs, one is just as good as the other. AMD is generally considered better at gaming than Intels, and Intels are generally considered at graphics design/editing - but note we are talking mileseconds here.

    AMD does, however, generally offer more bang for the money.

    <blockquote><hr>Also having looked into it I didn
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

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