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This cheap PC build any good?

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April 4, 2013 5:40:11 PM

Hey guys,

I need to PC a really cheap PC that is decent for my friend, he doesn't want to spend more than £500.00.

I've already looked into the following components;

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card - £163.49 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-Graphics-Car...)
i3-3220 3.3 ghz- £92 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-3-30GHz-Graphics-Advanced...)
8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM - £45 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B004CRSM4I/ref...)
Corsair CX750W - £68 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CX750-Builder-Series-Br...)
500gb Western Caviar HDD - £40 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digital-Caviar-SATAIII-...
Asrock z68 extreme3 gen3- £100.00 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Z68-Extreme3-Motherboard-PCI-Ex...)
HAF 912 CASE - £64 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooler-Master-HAF-Plus-Case/dp/...)

Keyboard and Mouse (£20) - He will buy this from his local store.
Operating System - I have a spare copy of Windows 7 64bit at home.

All together, this comes to £592.00. Could you please answer me a few questions?

1) I think I can save on the PSU and Case. The GTX 660 has a power requirement of 450w so the 750w PSU might be overkill or I can buy a cheaper power supply? I have seen power supplies for £20 are these safe?

2) When it comes to cases I have no idea what to look for at all, can you please recommend the cheapest case possible? Looks do not matter.

3) Is there a cheaper GPU I can get for my friend that is still good? He wants a PC that is on par with next gen consoles or a bit better. He is a console gamer and wants to convert to PC but would like a decent graphics to make his purchase worthwhile.

This is difficult to make a decent gaming PC for such a small budget, my own PC cost a little over £1000 and it's beast but to make one for under £500.00 is a real effort.

Thanks for your help!

More about : cheap build good

April 4, 2013 6:05:33 PM

1) Power Supply Units (PSU) can be pretty tricky to understand, but for a single GPU solution, 600 Watts is sort of the absolute highest ceiling, with almost no chance of actually needing it, but just in case its there. 450-500 Watts is also probably fine. Do a search for PSU Wattage calculators, though be aware some throw out conservative numbers after accepting some minimal amount of information on the case.

The catch is some PSU's are built with some terrible components and outright lies on the labeling. The really cheap stuff doesn't come with the proper electric safeguards so a power surge could take out your PC. Generally, you can count on Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, and Silverstone to release dependable for the money PSU. Other good units/brandsare out there, though some brands release quality units alongside terrible units (like Thermaltake).

2) There are a lot of cases out there, and yeah, he can probably get himself a cheaper case. Usually a more expensive case will have better fans, better acoustics, a painted interior, more metal parts instead of plastic, easier access to inside the case, "tool-less" features, and other perks. Find a case that looks good and do a search of its name with "unboxing" or "review" to hopefully find a video review of the case.

3) Yes. I'm gaming with a 6870 which I paid $180 (~120 Pounds) for over a year ago and can play games at "high" settings at 1920x1080. The resolution alone beats modern consoles in the visuals department. With that stated, I played Bioshock Infinite at Medium settings to keep my frame rate in the 60's range instead of dropping into 30's for combat intensive scenes. Long story short, you don't need to spend more than $200 on a video card if you are happy with high settings at 1920x1080.
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April 4, 2013 6:09:18 PM

You can get a lot more price/perf if he i willing to shop around or try and get pricematching from his local store

Larger faster HDD
FX6300 OC beats the i3 and close to the i5 (mb is good for OC)
7870XT trashes an 660
cheaper case but has usb3 front panel
slightly higeher quality PSU and cheaper

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor (£99.98 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X OPTIMA CPU Cooler (£17.66 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£38.54 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.41 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: Club 3D Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card (£171.62 @ Amazon UK)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£39.95 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.99 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £499.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-05 02:07 BST+0100)
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April 4, 2013 6:18:20 PM

For a 660 gtx you just need a 450W psu, the XFX 550W is at a good price, and in terms of internal parts, the xfx is much better than the Corsair CX which is the entry series of corsair psus, since it has japanese capacitors and it's a seasonic oem psu, the CX has inferior chinese capacitors and it was made by cwt.
The nzxt elite 210 is as good as the haf 912 for much less money, and it offers usb 3.0 ports in the front.
Now i would CHANGE the z68 motherboard, it's a older chipset and that board needs to have the bios updated in order to use ivybridge cpus, beside of the high price it makes it a terrible value and a poor choice.
This is what i suggest :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£153.20 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£63.45 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.39 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.99 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card (£159.99 @ Ebuyer)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.65 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.99 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £546.66
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

With the i5-3470, and a proper mobo that's more adequate to your needs.
You can change the cpu for the i3-3220 and it will stay well bellow 500£ with all of those parts with free shipping, but i recommend going with the i5, since it will have more future.
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April 4, 2013 6:19:51 PM

1.- yes u can save money on the psu a 600w will be enought and u can save some money.
2.- if ur friend wants to make OC u must look for a big case but if he dont u can find a medium size without psu for a better prize.
3.- i think the gpu is just fine but depending on the games he wants to play there are more options the like the cheaper nvidia gtx 650 ti boost or the amd options i think the 7850 1gb or 2gb are in the same price range.
4.-i think u can save more money on the motherboard depending what u want i think an asrock h77m will work better and is lower in price that if ur friend dont want to make OC and it has crossfireX so he can buy an hd 7850 and later buy another one to get better graphic performance.
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April 5, 2013 4:01:49 PM

Hello,

Thank you for all your replies. Based on what you have said so far I am edging towards the following;

EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card - £163.49 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-Graphics-Car...)
CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor (£99.98 @ Aria PC)
8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM - £45 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B004CRSM4I/ref...)
NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.65 @ Ebuyer)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.41 @ Ebuyer)
Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£38.54 @ CCL Computers)
XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.99 @ Amazon UK)

In total this comes to £483. If I go with the i5 with the Asrock motherboard as djangoringo suggested this it will be almost £523

As stickmansam said, the 6300 beats the i3-3220 and done a little research on my own and confirmed it (I shouldn't have doubted you lol), however neither of them are as good as the i5-3470.

I am going to speak to my friend and try and get him to buy the £623 setup but he probably will go for the £523 setup. I've looked on youtube at the 660 SC and it plays BF3 on High at 60fps which is impressive, a massive leap over his Xbox 360 gaming haha and this is with the AMD FX 6300... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb1AVHXTFQw)

@stickmansam - Do you think the CPU cooler is worth it? I know he won't overclock, he is not tech savvy. All he wants to do is game at better quality than Xbox, that's all he's concerned with.
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April 5, 2013 10:20:55 PM

I recommend getting the MSI 660 gtx twinfrozr in ebuyer, it's cheaper with a better cooling system and with higher oc from factory, it's this one : http://www.ebuyer.com/479929-msi-gtx-660-2gb-gddr5-6008...
Now if you want the FX-6300 or i5-3470 is entirely up to you(and if you can afford it).
I would just say this, if you want the FX-6300 get it in amazon uk or ebuyer, you'll pay shipping with aria and the price with it is more than in those two website with free shipping included.
The same for the mobo, get it in ebuyer with free shipping, in ccl with shipping it is more expensive.
You can get cheaper ram, get the kingston ram, it's one of the few that are in stock for the lowest price with free shipping : http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005P6TWQ2/
It will work either with amd or intel.
Another thing is the hdd, it was discontinued for a long time, and it won't be in stock again, get other hdd, a 500GB seagate for 40£ in ebuyer or 1TB for 50£.
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