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New PC Help

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by 2wheelsagain, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. I'm planning on putting some of my tax cheque towards a new PC.
    As its been 6 years since a bought one I'm a little out of touch. What I'm after doesn't have to run the latest games. We have consoles for that but it will be tasked to video editing, web surfing and general home office duties.

    As I don't need a new monitor or other peripherals I have set the budget at $800. It will need to run some flavour of Windows for the sake of the rest of the family. I have a Linux/Knoppix box to play with.

    So suggestions welcome on which and what capacity CPU, Video Card, HDD, Memory, Optical Drive and PSU?
    Is $800 enough? If someone wants to give me 3k I'll buy a Mac :LOL:
  2. Nothing more satisfying than building one yourself with all the parts
    Start off with a decent motherboard and housing then go from there.
  3. You don't need $3k for a Mac. Since you don't need to play games, and you've already got a monitor/mouse/keyboard - a Mac Mini sounds like it might fit the bill, even though it is a couple of hundred bucks over your budget - it comes with software pre-installed that is amazing for a consumer video editing suite. Plus there's no hassles of running anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc... (so you save some money in AV subscriptions) - although you can dual-boot it to Windows if you choose :)

    And don't be frightened off by people saying "there's no software for the Mac"... in my experience, what the platform lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.

    If it has to be a PC... You can build yourself something pretty decent with that budget. Not living in Victoria though, I'm not sure of where to send you.

    If you just want to buy a PC - check out http://www.dell.com.au
  4. Seconded. For video editing I'd say go for more memory than "enough". Dual or triple core from Intel or AMD (for triple) with a decent clock speed and putting the saving towards the extra and better speed/quality RAM.

    Within a budget I'd suggest a board with decent integrated graphics (that needs some online research) if games aren't an issue.

    Late last year I picked a 640GB Western Digital drive that is absurdly quiet, and nicely fast and cool running for not much over $100. It's the newer higher density series with only two platters as a result. Going for two isn't out of the question if you're doing a lot of video stuff.

    Take a look at Tom's Hardware and AnandTech online as well as maybe a couple of the sites for the Australian PC magazines and you'll generally see a consensus on where the sweet spots currently lie for the key components.

    For instance Tom's has articles that look at how much or little extra processor cores help in different applications and usages.

    I haven't kept track since my last home build, but at any given time there's usually a chipset design or two for both AMD and Intel chips that is the clear choice, as well as a few manufacturers that are offering good variants with assorted features. There are plenty of outstanding motherboards these days that offer heaps of features, including quite respectable sound and video performance.

    The right choice of MB, Hard Drive, RAM and CPU and power supply, along with a clean OS install can give you serious bang for your buck now. A bit of reading up on which bits offer what can make worthwhile difference in performance for little or no extra cost.
  5. +1 on the Mac Mini. Great little computers if you already have a monitor etc.
  6. PC Authority magazine has their "A" List every month too.

    August's picks are:

    MOBO: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R for $221 for Intel, and

    MSI DKA790X for $286 for AMD

    CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9850 AMD for $276, and

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 for $230

    Optical Drive: LG GGW-H20L, Blue-Ray for $190

    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1750gb for $110

    there's a start
  7. Is the amd chip better than the intel chip?
  8. You like opening a can of worms on a Sunday morning, don't you :rofl:???

    Well, Mac went with Intel, didn't they?

    AMD used to have a bad reputation for incompatibility, and the purists still prefer Intel, but the hard-core gamers like AMD because they can tweak fearsome speed out of them.....
  9. Reason I'm asking is the amd chips and MB were more expensive
  10. Reading the accompanying spiel, in both cases they stress the performance and 'tunability' of the AMD stuff, while just saying nice things about the Intel stuff. My experience has been that a basic AMD board/chip combo is usually cheaper than a comparable Intel board/chip combo.
  11. *Flame suit on*

    Intel would be best if you are looking for a simple home use machine that you don't want to use for alot of gaming. They are generally stable cpus.

    AMD will give you more bang for your buck and can be over clocked quite well. I have found that they aren't are reliable as intel but I have found gaming better with AMD.

    For what you are looking for I would personally go the intel.
    Though it's not a bad idea to pick a intel and amd then have a look at motherboards with in your price range to see what features they have.

    For a full spec...

    CPU -Intel e6300 - $109
    Motherboard - GA-EP45-UD3L $104
    RAM - 4 gig DDR2 1066 - around 85 - 100 depending on brand. Get in 2 x 2 gig sticks - double if you want.
    Case - I like Antec NSK6580 for $158.
    optical - LG GGW-H20L, Blue-Ray for $190 as before. Though will what you're after, I don't know if you need a blue ray. So dvd burner you're look at about $50 - $60
    Video 1 gig ATI 4650 gigabyte - $93
    HDDSeagate sata 320 gig $61

    $670 for above with dvd burner and 4 gig ram.
    $875 with blueray 4 gig ram.

    If you haven't got it all done when I come to sale in oct I will help out for a day and build for you if needed.

    Oh if you're lazy
  12. AMD Phenom II - don't bother with the first Phenoms since they lack sufficient L3 cache which you will notice. Go for a x3 - that'll be fine for what you want while being a bit cheaper than a x4.

    Otherwise a Intel Dual core >E8190 (6MB L3 Cache). Or Quad if you've got the money.

    Cores and Cache are the things to look for these days, not raw speeds. Although you could save some money by getting a cheaper cpu with less cache but overclock the crap out of it (like me :p) however you end up spending more on a really good mobo.

    Normally I tell people to go to officeworks or myers and buy whatever is on the shelf since it's all much of a muchness if you don't want to fiddle around with the guts of em.
  13. Thanks guys. A lot of things to think about thrown up.
    I'm leaning towards "Intel" E8500 looks to be about my sweet spot but I have had no trouble with my current AMD 2400+ chip and the current intermittent issue seems to be mobo related.

    Hmmm mini mac? Will have a closer look.

    I'll keep looking, reading and asking.
  14. Of course you can go the quadcore or whatever fastest bestest chip is and add hackintosh to it so that you have a mac on a pc.
    google hackintosh.
  15. The other thing with the Mac Mini is that it will have basic video editing software included in the OS, whereas it can be a grand or so (unless you plan on using MS Movie Maker, ack!) on a PC...