Does this look an OK budget build? - Looking at about £125 (Ive already got a SATA HDD, CDROM, and A/V cards from another PC).

It will be an upgrde from my old box, a dell 3ghz Pentium IV with 3gb of DDR2, which has died.

Case/PSU: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/cases/nov-aura.html http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/powersupplies/nov-psu450.html

Should I go for a bigger, ATX case? There is one with a 500W PSU for only a fraction more.

Motherboard: http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/motherboards/intel1155h61chipsetmotherboards/h61m-p31-g3.html

Are MSI boards crappy?

CPU/RAM http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/processors/intelceleronandpentiumdualcore/bx80623g550.html http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc/ddr3-pc3-10666/1333mhz/ram-313332.html


A few questions 1) How does DDR3 work, does it have to be in pairs? 2) Will the PSU be powerful enough? 3) Will that mobo fir the case? 5) Anyone got experience with any of these parts?

Cheers guys!

5 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by JorgeM

Hello jbennet...

1) so DDR3 doesnt necessarily need to be installed in a pair for it to work. Installing it in pairs triggers dual channel mode which doubles your memory bandwidth, in theory. You can mix memory modules, but that isnt the best option. In your case, if you plan on installing a x64 OS, I would suggest that you install more than 4 GB of RAM, but it sounds like you are trying to stay within budget.

2) 500W should be OK based on the components you are describing. The only component listed is the A/V card(s) you mentioned. Check on their power requirements.

3) According to the Motherboard specs, it's form factor is Micro-ATX, same as the case so, you should be OK. I always like the larger cases, but I know that many like the smaller cases for limited space areas. I like the larger cases to install additional fans to control some of the heating issues, expecially with the really small cases...although the case you are looking at seems good, but again.. it depends on how much extra space you want inside of the case.

Another note, i think you are making a wise choice on the CPU. I tend to see many focusing on trying to get the latest, fastest CPU on the market and people do not understand that your computer is as fast as the slowest component. IF your hard drives are slow, then you arent going to benefit much from spending an extra 50% on the latest CPU.

I havent used that motherboard myself, but have heard good things. I am old-school and set in my ways. I generally go with ASUS or Intel boards. no other particular reason other than set in my ways. I have found them to be reliable.

Celerons? Well, not my first choice, but there isnt any thing wrong with them, especially if this is a standard desktop, office work, type of computer.

AGain, I usually focus on the secondary storage whenever I need to deal with performance on a system. I'm not much into gaming so I couldnt elaborate on the best setup for that type of system.

Curious as to how you came about with this selection of components?

Edited by JorgeM


1) I will probably get 2 of those cheap sticks, then, in order to get dual channel speed,and a little more capacity I will be running 32-bit linux (Bigmem/PAE).

2)A SoundBlaster and a TV tuner card. They ran on my old pc, which had a 300w, so i'm guessing it would be fine?

3) Yes, I was going to go for this one:

But I have a very small rooom.

I did see an ASUS board, a bit more, but if they are more reliable, may be an option.

And yes, mostly a PC for work stuff, so long as the performance is not worse than the old Pentium IV, thats fine for my needs. Looks like I can upgrade to an i3 or something later down the line if i need to.

Thanks :)

Edited by jbennet


Regarding memory, just take a few minutes to research the brand. You definately want quality here. I can tell you on the Windows side, my experience has been that many of hte unexpected BSODs are memory related. Not to raise a huge concern for you, but just to be aware.

With regard to the video card, I think you'll be OK.

Oh, with regard to the motherboard, you are probably OK as well. I have read good reviews about the motherboard you have choosen. Its reputable. As long as you dont go with a fly-by-night, unknown brand, you will be good. I would recommend that you only spend additional costs on the motherboard if you wanted some additional expansion options. I'd spend the extra costs on faster, more reliable (primary and secondary storage).

Since you will be running on an x86 OS, stick with a max of 4GB. Good plan.

I think you'll see a definate improvement on this new system. Your plan is well thought out and it seems like you have considering all options.

Would love to hear how the system turns out after you put it together.

take care...


Built it :). All seems good :)

The Celeron is much nippier than the old P4, really impressed with it. Ive got an i3 on my work laptop. While not as fast as that, it is still very good and obviously much cheaper.

That case was very nice, used another PSU in the end as it was a tad noisy (did work, and not unbearable though). It is very very roomy. Almost makes me wish I got a full size ATX motherboard now, to make use of the space :) - Room to expand, at least, and probably needed (the sound card in particulaar is physically quite "long")

The cheap ram seemed not too bad, passed memtest86.

The motherboard was not so great. While it does work, the documentation was poor. But at that price who can complain...

Edited by jbennet


Glad to hear the update. Yeah, I hear you regarding the motherboard. I didnt want to steer you away from your pick and spend extra dollars when its not really a requirement. I use to build a lot of custom office worker type of systems back in the day and use to run into those issues. That's kind of why I started to stick with Asus and Intel. More expensive but can be out of budget.

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