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Advice for a £650 Gaming Rig - My first ever build

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s00t

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Jan 9, 2010
Advice for a £650 Gaming Rig - My first ever build - Got a PSU Question

Hello Overclockers, I've been a long time reader of this forum and would like to ask for some advice. I'm looking to build a gaming rig, however my budget is strictly limited to £650. I would HUGELY appreciate your advice on the highest performance build I can get for this price, this will be my first time building my own PC so your advice means a great deal to me.

I haven't any strict preferences on whether to go with an AMD or Intel processor, however if AMD the Phenom II 965 (3.4Ghz one) seems the best value for money and, if Intel, the i7-920 appears to be the best option for my price range. The problem is I can't decide which of these would be perform the best - preferably not overclocked.

As this is my first time building my own PC I've been overwhelmed by the number of different motherboards available and am having difficulty choosing one which would be compatible with the processor I will ultimately decide upon and preferably DDR3 RAM. The same goes for the GPU.

I need to make sure the whole build comes to £650 or less - base unit only. Once again, thanks hugely in advance to anyone who posts here with advice for me, I'll be checking this thread regularly and am willing to answer any further questions you have.

PS. Apologies if this is posted in the incorrect section.
 
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KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Well for gaming, the monitor is pretty important. If it only runs 1680x1050 or something like that, then you really don't need that much power to max out most games. On the other hand, if you have on of those giant 30" 2000xwhatever it is monitors, then you'll probably be spending 650 GBP on just the graphics.

So, whatcha got?
 

J-O_S-H

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
England, United Kingdom
Intel Core i5 750 2.66Ghz (Lynnfield) (Socket LGA1156)

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R Motherboard Core i7 Socket 1156

G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit

Asus ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

Corsair VX Series 550W ATX2.2 Power Supply

Pioneer 22x Internal SATA DVDRW Drive with Black Bezel

640Gb Western Digital WD6400AAKS SATA

Cooler Master Elite 340 Black Matx Case *NO PSU*

From Aria.co.uk this comes to £649.31 including delivery.

So an i5 PC which is really good for single GPU gaming is definately feasable.

You can obviously change any parts to you own liking... but most of theses parts are very good.

The 5770 isn't the best card out there but it's like an extra £120 for a 5850... and then you have to find one in stock.
 
OP
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s00t

Registered
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Jan 9, 2010
My £650 Build - Have a PSU Question

Well for gaming, the monitor is pretty important. If it only runs 1680x1050 or something like that, then you really don't need that much power to max out most games. On the other hand, if you have on of those giant 30" 2000xwhatever it is monitors, then you'll probably be spending 650 GBP on just the graphics.

So, whatcha got?

Yep monitor is only around the 1680x1050 range, nothing particularly extraordinary.

Intel Core i5 750 2.66Ghz (Lynnfield) (Socket LGA1156)

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R Motherboard Core i7 Socket 1156

G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit

Asus ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

Corsair VX Series 550W ATX2.2 Power Supply

Pioneer 22x Internal SATA DVDRW Drive with Black Bezel

640Gb Western Digital WD6400AAKS SATA

Cooler Master Elite 340 Black Matx Case *NO PSU*

From Aria.co.uk this comes to £649.31 including delivery.

So an i5 PC which is really good for single GPU gaming is definately feasable.

You can obviously change any parts to you own liking... but most of theses parts are very good.

The 5770 isn't the best card out there but it's like an extra £120 for a 5850... and then you have to find one in stock.

Would any more than 4GB RAM (6/8) greatly improve the performance?


I've seen this on cube247, it seemed good for the price. What do you think?

Code:
    * Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    * Intel Core i5 750 Processor
    * 8192MB Corsair DDR III Memory
    * 1500GB SATA II Seagate Ultra Fast Hard Disk Space
    * ATI Radeon 4650 Performance Graphics
    * 7.1 High Definition Surround Sound
    * Intel Deluxe Motherboard
    * Multi Format Memory Card Reader
    * NEC 7200 Multi Format DVD/CD ReWriter
    * 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
    * 12 x USB2 Ports
    * Firewire
    * 12 Month Classic Warranty
    * Microsoft Office 60 Day Trial
    * Microsoft Windows Live Essentials
 
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J-O_S-H

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
England, United Kingdom
Would any more than 4GB RAM (6/8) greatly improve the performance?

4gb is more than enough for most people unless you really need it.

I've seen this on cube247, it seemed good for the price. What do you think?

That seems pretty good except...

it doesnt stae the PSU... will probably use a sub-par one... bang goes your PC

Also the HD4650 is not very good really... the 5770 is much better and supports DX11

may not be everyone but i don't like seagate HDD's... western digital is all you will ever need. Also Intel motherboards aren't great in the ways of extras.

I would definately do a custom build.
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Intel Core i5 750 2.66Ghz (Lynnfield) (Socket LGA1156)

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R Motherboard Core i7 Socket 1156

G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit

Asus ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

Corsair VX Series 550W ATX2.2 Power Supply

Pioneer 22x Internal SATA DVDRW Drive with Black Bezel

640Gb Western Digital WD6400AAKS SATA

Cooler Master Elite 340 Black Matx Case *NO PSU*

From Aria.co.uk this comes to £649.31 including delivery.

So an i5 PC which is really good for single GPU gaming is definately feasable.

You can obviously change any parts to you own liking... but most of theses parts are very good.

The 5770 isn't the best card out there but it's like an extra £120 for a 5850... and then you have to find one in stock.

This seems pretty good. If you need more space you might wanna sub the i5 for a cheaper i3, since you won't see much difference in gaming between the two. Just don't get a seagate or a hitachi.

Yep monitor is only around the 1680x1050 range, nothing particularly extraordinary.



Would any more than 4GB RAM (6/8) greatly improve the performance?


I've seen this on cube247, it seemed good for the price. What do you think?

Code:
    * Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    * Intel Core i5 750 Processor
    * 8192MB Corsair DDR III Memory
    * 1500GB SATA II Seagate Ultra Fast Hard Disk Space
    * ATI Radeon 4650 Performance Graphics
    * 7.1 High Definition Surround Sound
    * Intel Deluxe Motherboard
    * Multi Format Memory Card Reader
    * NEC 7200 Multi Format DVD/CD ReWriter
    * 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
    * 12 x USB2 Ports
    * Firewire
    * 12 Month Classic Warranty
    * Microsoft Office 60 Day Trial
    * Microsoft Windows Live Essentials

Gah, build your own. That has a bad graphics card, a hard drive that is likely to die, and too much ram. About that ram, I have 4gb in my rig (more like 3.2 because of XP 32 bit) and I've never come close to using all of it. 4gb is plenty.
 
OP
S

s00t

Registered
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Thanks hugely for your advice so far.

Okay, 2 further questions.

Firstly are the Intel Core i5 750 and i7 920 CPUs the same socket, and is it worth getting the i7 920 over the i5 because of hyperthreading?

Secondly has anyone got any alternatives to the case Josh suggested? Because I'm unclear if that has fans packed with it and I'd quite a like a case with a lit window - just because I'm like that :p.

PS. I also do a fair bit of high res. image editing and 3D modelling so ideally I'd like the system to run these task as smoothly as possible.
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Thanks hugely for your advice so far.

Okay, 2 further questions.

Firstly are the Intel Core i5 750 and i7 920 CPUs the same socket, and is it worth getting the i7 920 over the i5 because of hyperthreading?

Secondly has anyone got any alternatives to the case Josh suggested? Because I'm unclear if that has fans packed with it and I'd quite a like a case with a lit window - just because I'm like that :p.

No they are not in the same socket, and no because hyperthreading dosen't help with games. Frankly it was pretty useless back in the P4 days and I don't see why it's around now. :shrug:

You can try finding a case from a reputable manufacture. Cooler master and lan-li are two of the good ones I can think of.

EDIT: I just noticed that josh listed a micro ATX case with a regular ATX motherboard. Nice one.

EDIT 2: Newegg link because I'm from hamburger land~

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119077
 
OP
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s00t

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Jan 9, 2010
EDIT: I just noticed that josh listed a micro ATX case with a regular ATX motherboard. Nice one.

EDIT 2: Newegg link because I'm from hamburger land~

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119077

Sorry I presume that case listed by Josh is incompatible with the motherboard then? (sorry if this is a really stupid question I'm just clarifying)

Having issues finding that particular case in the UK.

EDIT: Is this suitable for the build Josh listed? http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=33538&tid=frooct
 
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KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
OP
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s00t

Registered
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Jan 9, 2010
Nail right on the head, the case is too small for the motherboard.

That case is compatible, but dosen't have a side window.

Thanks :thup:. I can't find any good name cases with side windows for under £40, so that case seemed the best value.

( You guys have been extremely helpful, I really appreciate it. You've probably hugely improved the quality of my end build. )
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Thanks :thup:. I can't find any good name cases with side windows for under £40, so that case seemed the best value.

( You guys have been extremely helpful, I really appreciate it. You've probably hugely improved the quality of my end build. )

No problem, that's what we are here for when we aren't schooling the other forums in forum wars. :)
 
OP
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s00t

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Jan 9, 2010
Can I ask you one more slightly unrelated question KonaKona?

Would I have to fiddle any of this hardware around if I decided to use my 32" 1080p LCD TV as a monitor?
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Assuming your TV has the right connections (VGA or DVI) then no, but if you try to game on it at the TVs max resolution, you might have to turn the settings down a bit compared to what you use on your regular computer monitor.

I need to go look up how the 5770 did compared to the 4xxx cards. I was gonna say something about getting a 4890 instead because I thought it was cheaper, but the 5770 is about 150 USD, compared to 200 for the 4890. :-\
 
OP
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s00t

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Jan 9, 2010
Assuming your TV has the right connections (VGA or DVI) then no, but if you try to game on it at the TVs max resolution, you might have to turn the settings down a bit compared to what you use on your regular computer monitor.

I need to go look up how the 5770 did compared to the 4xxx cards. I was gonna say something about getting a 4890 instead because I thought it was cheaper, but the 5770 is about 150 USD, compared to 200 for the 4890. :-\

Ah excellent. I looked into the 5770 and it seems to be capable of running all the latest games on High settings if not Max.
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Turns out the 4890 is a smidgen faster. :shrug:

Good luck with your new build. First rig I made was pretty bad, since I wasn't around here when I built it. Had an intel CPU (this was back when they made the bad ones), a geforce 5700le (Overclocked wonderfully, but it was still horribly slow), a hitachi that died after four months and a case that slowly fell apart. Nice to make sure other people don't make the same mistakes I did.
 
OP
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s00t

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Turns out the 4890 is a smidgen faster. :shrug:

Good luck with your new build. First rig I made was pretty bad, since I wasn't around here when I built it. Had an intel CPU (this was back when they made the bad ones), a geforce 5700le (Overclocked wonderfully, but it was still horribly slow), a hitachi that died after four months and a case that slowly fell apart. Nice to make sure other people don't make the same mistakes I did.

Cheers. All I have left to decide on is an OS and I'm good to go. Most likely gonna be 7.
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Yep, 7 unless you just love XP like I do. Make sure you get the 64 bit version.