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MobileTechie
07-28-2011, 05:14 PM
I'm quoting on a few PC builds and would welcome some recommendations for mobo / cpu / ram / case etc. They want cheap PCs for business use to run Windows 7.

I'm thinking of basing them around an E5400 with something like a Asrock G41M-VS3 R2.0 Micro-ATX mobo - something which takes the cheaper DDR3 RAM in 4GB modules which work out pretty good value for a single stick.

But maybe you guys who build a lot more systems than I do have a better budget business build I should be considering? They're just going to be doing basic business stuff so built in graphics are fine. I just need them not to be slow off the bat. In my experience Win 7 runs fine on that sort of chip with 4GB of RAM but open to suggestions.

Thanks.

Crgky127
07-28-2011, 06:06 PM
By cheap do they mean like this (http://www.hardware-revolution.com/500-workstation/), or more like that (http://www.hardware-revolution.com/budget-gaming-pc-july-2011/)?

KompuKare
07-28-2011, 06:51 PM
Unless the price is a lot lower, I'd stay away from Asrock. For S775 G31/G41, Gigabyte or Asus are not going to cost more than a few extra. I guess it does depend on your supplier but if you are just buying retail at Ebuyer (which is what I generally do) the saving is not worth it.

If you're willing to buy MSI, Ebuyer have a G41 with VGA & DVI for 35 - my though being that with most monitors being 1080P these days an analogue output is no longer a good idea.

The E5400 sounds fine for the task. I've an E5300 (overclocked to 3.5GHz - totally stable but that's another story...) in my main desktop which is fast enough and pretty frugal. Though E5700 is the min available these days...

4GB of RAM sounds good (Crucial is my favourite because RMA to Scotland is a lot better than for example the Netherlands) and either WD or Samsung for the HDD.

The one thing I would not compromise on is a decent brand for the PSU: at a budget that means Corsair or Antec for higher end stuff SeaSonic are really good (and almost silent!).

Cases I'm not too sure about. Cosmetically a poor quality case will reflect badly on you (it's the first thing a customer sees) but aside from a tendency to cut your fingers, I'd rather build with a poor case and a quality PSU than vice versa.

It's a bit hard to get 'boring' office computer cases these days. Quality wise for under 30, I was fond of the Sunbeam cases which Ebuyer used to stock (although with a side window they're not office cases) but they don't do them anymore :-(

Knightsman
07-28-2011, 07:55 PM
What has worked great for me, is a ULTRA power supply, Ultra case, MSI board, AMD processors, and ultra/corsiar/PNY (whichever is cheaper at the time).

I can typically keep these builds withing the customers budget.

This is a good solid case:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2337810&CatId=1842

Good solid Power supply
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3255391&CatId=1078

mobo/proc
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7152553&CatId=4297

CPU Fan:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7151732&CatId=4922

Memory
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3424793&sku=C19-4382

Hard drives are all close in price, same with dvd burners.
all you have left is windows.


Also don't rule out refurbished machines.

Here are some good lenovos:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/guidedSearch.asp?CatId=6&sel=Mfr%3BMfr_2196,Detail%3B163_100_53962_53962

joydivision
07-28-2011, 08:47 PM
If you wanted to up for something a little future proof then the Sandybridge Pentiums are less than 60 and are much faster than E5X series and have the 1155 socket so it will be the current budget platform the next few years.

If budget is really the main issue then you can't go wrong with the budget ASROCK boards, the only problem I had with my last 775 build with an ASROCK board was that even on the lowest setting the fan span to fast.

DanF
07-28-2011, 11:30 PM
I've never had any problems with Asrock motherboards. My supplier imports Asrock to my country, and never had to RMA or replace one of them.

However I prefer to use Asus for high end systems, but I've also used Asrock too.

joydivision
07-28-2011, 11:41 PM
Just another hint towards 1155, just ran passmark on my PC, which is still quite a budget machine.

My i3 CPU trounces pretty much any of the 775 chips, including the expensive quads.

This is what I got:-

CPU Mark
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 1412.5
This Computer 4028.9

CPU - Integer Math
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 96.4
This Computer 1152.6

CPU - Floating Point Math
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 975.6
This Computer 1372.6

CPU - Find Prime Numbers
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 237.9
This Computer 727.5

CPU - SSE
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 6.6
This Computer 18.1

CPU - Compression
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 2019.7
This Computer 4769.6

CPU - Encryption
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 8.4
This Computer 12.9

CPU - Physics
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 86.5
This Computer 230.4

CPU - String Sorting
Asus M2A-VM AM2 x2 6 AMD Athl 1199.0
This Computer 2285.4

The Pentium 1155s won't be that far off those figures, I am actually quite staggered by these figures, and I won't be recommending any AMD or 775 systems any more unless budget really really is the key.

The CPU I was comparing it to was an Athlon X2 5200.

Just compared to the E6400 and its pretty similar to X5200 but slightly better.

Of course though a without an SSD like myself those figures are pointless!

MobileTechie
07-29-2011, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

Basically they want them for c. 300 (uk). By using the specs I mentioned in a cheapish case including 450W PSU it looks like I can do the E5400 based system for 320 including Win 7 Home Premium.

Can I build a sandybridge system for that?

joydivision
07-29-2011, 10:56 AM
He might have to up the budget by 30 but he would get a much faster and a much more future proof system. When you look at the Benchmarks the Conroes are very out dated now, but they have been around for five years so its not really a surprise.

You can get an H61 A Gigabyte H61 motherboard for 45 and a G620 processor for 57, or the fast 840 for 60.00

So it would cost a bit more, but it will be a much faster machine. It all comes down to how big a deal budget is

MobileTechie
07-29-2011, 12:19 PM
Where are you finding those prices Joy? When I factor in P&P, the places I'm looking at come up a lot higher.

joydivision
07-29-2011, 02:05 PM
Microdirect, but I live close enough to it so I just pick things up.

Also have a look at CCL Onlinne, but I think the motherboaerds are more expensive there.

You may well find that the Sandybridge is out of your budget, but its well worth trying to price one up, because it would be a much faster machine. Although for general purpose use without an SSD it might that make that much difference.

PRobbo
07-30-2011, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

Basically they want them for c. 300 (uk). By using the specs I mentioned in a cheapish case including 450W PSU it looks like I can do the E5400 based system for 320 including Win 7 Home Premium.

Can I build a sandybridge system for that?

Please tell me 300 is not your selling price! I specced up an E5700 based machine on e-buyer, and even with free delivery it came out at 271 (dirt cheap case, reasonable Corsair PSU, cheap-ish ASUS board, 500GB Seagate Barracuda, 1x4GB Kingston, Liteon Optical, Win7 HP - note, no KB/mouse/monitor)

MobileTechie
07-30-2011, 11:54 AM
Please tell me 300 is not your selling price! I specced up an E5700 based machine on e-buyer, and even with free delivery it came out at 271 (dirt cheap case, reasonable Corsair PSU, cheap-ish ASUS board, 500GB Seagate Barracuda, 1x4GB Kingston, Liteon Optical, Win7 HP - note, no KB/mouse/monitor)

Not sure what you're saying. Why please tell you thats not the selling price?

PRobbo
07-30-2011, 01:15 PM
I just meant that at 271 for parts, 300 is an awfully low price to build, configure, install, etc. Of course, you may well be charging for other things I'm not aware of. Maybe you've got a source of incredibly cheap parts (cheaper than e-buyer), in which case, who?:D

MobileTechie
07-30-2011, 01:45 PM
I see what you mean. I was thinking 50/build.

joydivision
07-30-2011, 02:23 PM
I found that for my system CCLOnline was the cheapest place for the CPU, RAM and Coolermaster case (5.99 next day delivery)

Amazon was cheapest for Windows (free delivery)

The motherboard was cheapest at Microdirect, but I can drive there and thus avoid delivery charges.

On this particular build (my Sandybridge) Ebuyer was cheapest for nothing.

PRobbo
07-30-2011, 03:59 PM
I found that for my system CCLOnline was the cheapest place for the CPU, RAM and Coolermaster case (5.99 next day delivery)

Amazon was cheapest for Windows (free delivery)

The motherboard was cheapest at Microdirect, but I can drive there and thus avoid delivery charges.

On this particular build (my Sandybridge) Ebuyer was cheapest for nothing.

Doing it that way, CCLOnline was about the same for CPU, more expensive for the case (although Coolermaster as opposed to my CaseCom "fingerslicer"!) and slightly cheaper for RAM. Amazon slightly cheaper for Win7 HP.

This is the problem with inexpensive builds - whichever way you do it, slicing pennies off here and there, your margin is still severely squeezed. Generally, what you save by shopping around, you lose because of the carriage. For 300 - 350 you could probably buy one in Tesco's - so for the same price you've got to source the parts, build it, configure and install it, not to mention the guarantee you've got to offer!

At least there's more margin on a higher spec custom build machine - but obviously, you need the right customer for that. This is why I don't do many builds - too many people asking me for the latest all singing, all dancing PC for under 250:(

joydivision
07-30-2011, 05:56 PM
I rarely do builds too, the only builds I tend to do is if a customers PC is beyond repair (e.g new motherboard which is expensive to source) but have a working Conroe series processor or better, I will use the existing processor in a new build but replace everything else.

I also do builds if a client has very specific needs, but again it is rare.

As for cases, I only use Coolermaster for budget builds now, just too many bad experiences with the cheap ones and the PC you end up giving to the client feels cheap, with a 25 case it makes all the difference to the feel of the end product.