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Building a gaming PC - Budget of no more than £1000

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June 30, 2013 3:12:29 AM

Hi guys,

I'm looking to buy my first gaming PC. I've done a bit of looking around and have adapted the recommended build for a £1000 PC in PC Gamer magazine. However my laptop is crashing constantly and make it a trial to research all the parts; plus I'm not completely sure what it all means!

I'm fairly happy with the specs of the build I have. My main concerns are: Is it all compatible? Are there any components I can get a cheaper variant of for the same performance? Am I missing any tricks (do I need to get a better GPU for what I want, for example)? And what decision should I make regarding the monitor, GPU and wireless?

I'll complete the template and then list the build I had in mind below.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible

Budget Range: £1000 inc VAT

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (LoL, Crusader kings 2, Total war games, possibly some more modern games) and then general PC usage (videos, films, skype)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes (see the components below)

Parts to Upgrade: The whole lot

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (see components below)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I've found amazon to be the cheaper in almost all cases. Dabs.com comes in cheaper on a couple.

Location: Newcastle, UK

Parts Preferences: Not really bothered, though the intel i5 processor comes recommended from the PC gamer build so I based off that

Overclocking: Maybe (the idea scares me, but we'll see)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (not a priority)

Your Monitor Resolution: Whatever is good for gaming

Additional Comments: See components below for specific thoughts.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop crashes when using Firefox!

This is the build I have in mind, as I said, I used the PC Gamer build as a guide and added in the stuff they didn't cover and changed a few things. My main concerns are: Is it all compatible? Are there any components I can get a cheaper variant of for the same performance? Am I missing any tricks (do I need to get a better GPU for what I want, for example)? And what decision should I make regarding the monitor, GPU and wireless?

Motherboard: GA-Z77-DS3H
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
- Came recommended from PC Gamer
- Cheapest price found - Amazon £70
Is this suitable and compatible with all the components?

Processor: Intel 3rd Generation Core i5-3570K CPU (4 x 3.40GHz, Ivy Bridge, Socket 1155, 6Mb L3 Cache, Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0)
http://ark.intel.com/products/65520
- Seems well recommended everywhere
- Cheapest price found - Amazon - £168

Memory: crucial ballistix sport 1600 mhz DDR3 X4
http://www.dabs.com/products/crucial-8gb--2-x-4gb--ball...
- Cheapest - Dabs.com - £33

Case: BitFenix Shinobi USB3.0 Gaming Case – Black
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...
- Cheapest - Amazon - £50

HDD: Seagate barracuda 1TB
- Dabs..com - £49

CPU cooler: Cooler master Seidon 120m - liquid cooled
- Amazon - £45

Grahpics Card: GeForce GTX 660
http://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-GeForce-GDDR5-Graphics-Car...
Amazon - £168

Is this the same card?
http://www.dabs.com/products/msi-geforce-gtx-660-980-mh...

Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 850W V2 Power Supply
Amazon - £103
Can I get away with a cheaper one? With 750-800W?

Monitor: AOC E2260SWDA 21.5" LED VGA DVI
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0083NOKLG
Amazon - £89
I'm sure a more expensive one is better but I'm running out of money and not really sure what I'm looking for.

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-Bit - OEM (GFC-02050)
Amazon - £58
Do I want 64bit? Do I want windows 8?

Wireless Adaptor: Asus PCE-N15 300Mbps 802.11B/G/N Wireless PCI-E Network Adapter
Do I need one of these? What's good here? I'm on the opposite side of the house (2 rooms) and upstairs from the router. Is it easier to go through the mains? Buy a booster?

SSD: SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 128GB SATA 6GB/s 2.5 Inch Internal SSD
Amazon - £78

Fan: BitFenix Spectre PRO 120mm Fan White LED - Black
Amazon - £12

I'm getting basic keyboard, speakers and headset etc.

Total: £1005
a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2013 4:14:22 AM

You've got quite a lot of questions in there. In order:
1: You seem to have all the required parts, sans peripherals (which I note you mention acquiring separately down at the bottom).
2: Yes, several, though that's not the direction I'd go. Honestly, while this isn't a terrible build, I would consider it heavily suboptimal for that budget, and would start again from the ground up. I would be happy to help in this regard.
3: Your graphics card is significantly weaker than I like to see for gaming at the price range. At 1,000 pounds with OS and monitor, I try to fit a 7950 at minimum.
4: I'm not sure what you mean regarding the monitor, the second GPU is a better idea but there are better options yet, and gaming via wireless is generally viewed as a very bad idea. I personally run a cable across my entire house just to avoid doing it.
5: It's not my favorite motherboard, but it's not incompatible with any of your components.
6: Those are the same graphics card, from different manufacturers. The latter has a superior cooler.
7: You can definitely get the same quality from a much cheaper power supply.
8: You definitely want 64-bit, whether you want Win8 or Win7 is a personal decision.
9: You don't need one; I'm afraid that I don't know much about individual wireless adapters due to my policy of avoiding them entirely; I recommend running a cable across the house, or punching a small hole through the wall if your landlord/roommates/wife will allow it.

That out of the way, you can likely tell from my answers that I believe that a more efficient, powerful build could be acquired at that price. I would be quite pleased to design such a build for you, should you wish me to.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2013 4:23:35 AM

Non-overclock build

If you want to save some cash you can get the msi hd 7870, enough for almost all recent and upcoming games in high-> max. Settings.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-R7870-DDR5-PCI-E-Graphics/d...

800£ Build with hd 7870
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£41.45 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card (£166.40 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£48.46 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor (£138.60 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £803.08
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 12:38 BST+0100)



Gtx 770 is significantly faster but hd 7870 has one of the best p/p




PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£41.45 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£315.32 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£48.46 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor (£138.60 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £952.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 12:23 BST+0100)


Overclock build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£188.40 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£115.60 @ Ebuyer)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£41.45 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£315.32 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£48.46 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor (£138.60 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £1026.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 12:29 BST+0100)

Good cpu-cooler:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Be-Quiet-Dark-Rock-Cooler/dp/B0...
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Related resources
June 30, 2013 4:30:26 AM

Yes. Please do have a go at making a better build. I'll comment on some of your points to give you an idea of what I'm thinking/needing but I clearly am clueless so will defer to your knowledge!

The main thing is a) I'm not looking for anything super powerful or with any fancy tricks - I'd rather pay less for a more standard model that gets the job done b) £1,000 is the absolute limit, if you can achieve more or less the same thing for £8-900 then do that

3) I don't really have a clue when it comes to graphics cards, it's all letters and numbers to me. I'm not looking for SLI or anything fancy. Just something that will solidly get me through 95% of games without massive problems
4) For the monitor, I am not sure what is good or bad. I think a 21-22" will be fine. Anything that is funcitonal really.
5) The motherboard was recommended by PC Gamer and was cheap so I left it in. If there are better options then go for it!
8) Is 64bit a simple case of the OS you get or does it have hardware requirments also (thus price requirements). Windows 8 sounds like hard work to me.
9) My dad mentioned plugging the router into the mains then running it through the house that way? Will the PC have built in wireless? What do I need to run the cable through the house (it's about 20 metres)?

Hope that gives you an idea of what I'm after.
Also, my dad can get a discount on dabs.com, so the more you source from there the better (though the discount is variable).

Thanks
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2013 4:43:49 AM

Daravel said:
Yes. Please do have a go at making a better build. I'll comment on some of your points to give you an idea of what I'm thinking/needing but I clearly am clueless so will defer to your knowledge!

The main thing is a) I'm not looking for anything super powerful or with any fancy tricks - I'd rather pay less for a more standard model that gets the job done b) £1,000 is the absolute limit, if you can achieve more or less the same thing for £8-900 then do that

3) I don't really have a clue when it comes to graphics cards, it's all letters and numbers to me. I'm not looking for SLI or anything fancy. Just something that will solidly get me through 95% of games without massive problems
4) For the monitor, I am not sure what is good or bad. I think a 21-22" will be fine. Anything that is funcitonal really.
5) The motherboard was recommended by PC Gamer and was cheap so I left it in. If there are better options then go for it!
8) Is 64bit a simple case of the OS you get or does it have hardware requirments also (thus price requirements). Windows 8 sounds like hard work to me.
9) My dad mentioned plugging the router into the mains then running it through the house that way? Will the PC have built in wireless? What do I need to run the cable through the house (it's about 20 metres)?

Hope that gives you an idea of what I'm after.
Also, my dad can get a discount on dabs.com, so the more you source from there the better (though the discount is variable).

Thanks


I'll get to work at once, and edit my suggestion into this reply.

Honestly, we don't tend to recommend any fancy tricks. No offense meant, but most of the folks who come here for a build (as opposed to regulars who ask for a second opinion) tend to be a little inexperienced in these sorts of things, so the most complex thing that's generally recommended is overclocking, and even that's quite negotiable.
How absolute is the 1,000? Is there literally no wiggle room, or would 10-20 over be acceptable, if it brought a noteworthy improvement?

3: Yeah, everyone has that problem at first. The key is to realize that they're not long numbers: they're sets of numbers. For example, the GTX 660 is actually a -60 model of nVidia's 600-series of GPUs, in much the same way that a 760 is a -60 model of the 700-series. That said, still a lot of rote memorization involved.
4: I don't like to comment on peripherals and monitors (everyone has their own preferences), but I'll throw in a nicer monitor if I'm able (well, nicer to my standards. You're always welcome to ask for an alteration or go in your own direction with things, particularly with components like monitors which are 99% personal opinion).
5: Will do. I can't say for sure what it will be (as I am unsure as to which specific processor I will recommend), but there are quite likely to be better options.
8: 64-bit is just about which OS you get. Win8 has a lot of flaws, though it can be made to run like Win7. I didn't consider it worthwhile myself, however, I must admit.
9: I wouldn't recommend that, honestly. Simply running a cable is usually the easiest way. Your PC will almost certainly not have built-in wireless, unless you're adamant about it (it would increase the price of the motherboard by quite a bit). You just need a 21+ meter cable, unless there's some other issue I'm not understanding.

For reference, what would you say is the average size of the discount? 2%? 5%? That could make a fairly major difference, as the difference in price is often small between two vendors.

Edit: This would be my suggestion:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£171.59 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.77 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£329.98 @ Dabs)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£81.47 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor (£139.97 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £1016.96
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 12:49 BST+0100)

It's 17 quid over price, though that could be countered by dropping the CPU to a i5-4570, if it's a big issue. It's strong enough to max almost all current games (Crysis 3 being the primary exception), comes with a good monitor, and is a generally strong system. It cannot overclock, but you noted that you were unsure about that in the original post, so I left it out.
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June 30, 2013 4:57:25 AM

Thanks for the replies so far! Lots of suggestions. I'll have a look through each one and price it all up and present it back for approval. There are a couple of places I know I can get some of the components cheaper than partpicker is quoting.

The £1000 includes the leeway, so it's pretty absolute. The idea was to aim for £9-950 and go to £1000 for that noteworthy improvement.
Mouse, keyboard, speakers are going to be cheap and cheerful, they're not something I bother with really. Monitor wise I'll go for the cheapest suggestion and be happy to save some money!

I'll go for a wired connection and begin planning how to run the cable.

As for the discount, I can't be sure. The best thing to do is to make your recommendations based on the price/performance then I'll get my dad to run it through dabs and see if any come out cheaper that way.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2013 5:06:30 AM

Daravel said:
Thanks for the replies so far! Lots of suggestions. I'll have a look through each one and price it all up and present it back for approval. There are a couple of places I know I can get some of the components cheaper than partpicker is quoting.

The £1000 includes the leeway, so it's pretty absolute. The idea was to aim for £9-950 and go to £1000 for that noteworthy improvement.
Mouse, keyboard, speakers are going to be cheap and cheerful, they're not something I bother with really. Monitor wise I'll go for the cheapest suggestion and be happy to save some money!

I'll go for a wired connection and begin planning how to run the cable.

As for the discount, I can't be sure. The best thing to do is to make your recommendations based on the price/performance then I'll get my dad to run it through dabs and see if any come out cheaper that way.


If the target is 950, I'd revise my suggestion to this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.77 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£329.98 @ Dabs)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VE247H 23.6" Monitor (£139.97 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £967.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 13:01 BST+0100)

The Phantom 410 is better than the 200R by quite a bit, but without overclocking I doubt it will be a noticeable difference, and the 4670 is only marginally better than the 4570.

I wouldn't really suggest scrimping too much on the monitor. Hard to enjoy all those max settings on a lousy screen.
Same on mouse, actually. I used shitty mice for years, then got a really good Razer gaming mouse. I swear to god, I would trade away one of my 7970s rather than downgrade back to what I was using before. I'd suggest looking for a mid-range gaming mouse (Razer being my favorite brand), I doubt you'll regret it. That said, and as I said before, peripherals are always a personal choice made based on preference, so there's no wrong answer, just what you'd rather use.

Some of the things I suggested definitely won't be cheaper on Dabs, but it's certainly worth running the whole affair through. Penny saved is a penny earned and all that.
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June 30, 2013 5:17:50 AM

Im building a PC very similar to this at the moment(different case, Cooler, SSD & Unlocked processor); this should run most games on ultra @ 60+ fps (going by ToT benchmarks)
It runs very cool and fairly quiet.

PCPartPicker part list: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/1bN9V
Price breakdown by merchant: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/1bN9V/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/1bN9V/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£24.49 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-K ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£98.97 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: GeIL Enhance CORSA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£40.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£50.20 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£315.32 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£65.59 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: OCZ ZT 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£61.98 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£68.35 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Hannspree HE225DPB 21.5" Monitor (£89.83 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £984.86
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-30 13:17 BST+0100)
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June 30, 2013 5:27:50 AM

Ok, thanks again for all the advice. You both recommended RAM other than the crucial ballstix sport, is there a reason for this? It's on £33 on Dabs. Also, Amazon is selling windows 7 for £50. I've mixed and matched a bit between the builds, and used the cheaper £160 graphics card because I can't justify £300. I've also added in the periphials (I already have a gaming mouse) and the SSD card (which is why I needed the cheaper graphics card because that would push the other builds into £1,100 plus).

I found a £25 cooler that seemed well regarded, the £68 sounds a bit expensive. Is there much difference between them all, or is there a decent one to be found in the £40 range?

Here's what I have:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£41.45 @ Amazon UK) OR
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz (£33 @ Dabs)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card (£166.40 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£50 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor (£138.60 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £784 or £775

Fan: BitFenix Spectre PRO 120mm Fan White LED – Black (£12 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Emprex 5105GU Gaming Keyboard (£10 @ Amazon)
Speakers: Logitech S-120 2.0 Speaker System - OEM (980-000011) (£12 @ Amazon)
Headset: Plantronics GameCom 380 Stereo Gaming Headset (£20 @ Amazon)
SSD card: SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 128GB SATA 6GB/s 2.5 Inch Internal SSD (£78 @ Amazon)

Total: £916 or £907

CPU cooler
Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 2 CPU Cooler (£68 @ Amazon) OR
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25 @ Amazon)

Final total: £984 or £975
£941 or £932

Does that sound about right? And include all the components I need? The only thing else is the ethernet cable.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2013 5:41:07 AM

Daravel said:
Ok, thanks again for all the advice. You both recommended RAM other than the crucial ballstix sport, is there a reason for this? It's on £33 on Dabs. Also, Amazon is selling windows 7 for £50. I've mixed and matched a bit between the builds, and used the cheaper £160 graphics card because I can't justify £300. I've also added in the periphials (I already have a gaming mouse) and the SSD card (which is why I needed the cheaper graphics card because that would push the other builds into £1,100 plus).

I found a £25 cooler that seemed well regarded, the £68 sounds a bit expensive. Is there much difference between them all, or is there a decent one to be found in the £40 range?

Here's what I have:

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£155.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£73.11 @ Dabs)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£41.45 @ Amazon UK) OR
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz (£33 @ Dabs)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card (£166.40 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case (£47.98 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£51.98 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.15 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£50 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" Monitor (£138.60 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £784 or £775

Fan: BitFenix Spectre PRO 120mm Fan White LED – Black (£12 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Emprex 5105GU Gaming Keyboard (£10 @ Amazon)
Speakers: Logitech S-120 2.0 Speaker System - OEM (980-000011) (£12 @ Amazon)
Headset: Plantronics GameCom 380 Stereo Gaming Headset (£20 @ Amazon)
SSD card: SanDisk SDSSDP-128G-G25 128GB SATA 6GB/s 2.5 Inch Internal SSD (£78 @ Amazon)

Total: £916 or £907

CPU cooler
Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 2 CPU Cooler (£68 @ Amazon) OR
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25 @ Amazon)

Final total: £984 or £975
£941 or £932

Does that sound about right? And include all the components I need? The only thing else is the ethernet cable.


I'd need a link to the Ballistix to be sure, but Crucial is a good brand for RAM, so if it saves you money I say go for it.

I feel you're making a mistake by going with that graphics card, however. You'll be falling below 60 FPS on high settings with that, while you could easily max games out while remaining within budget. Even if you want a more price efficient option, I wouldn't drop all the way down to a 7870 for a build with this kind of budget. Heck, I wouldn't recommend it for a £500 build.
You might consider a smaller SSD, such as this 60GB Mushkin: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005INAEJG/?tag=pcp0f-21 It will store your applications and OS (and so eliminate loading times), while saving you a bit of money. It's also from a brand I drastically prefer over Sandisk, though that's a more personal reason.

You have no need of a CPU cooler if you don't intend to overclock.

Additionally, the stock fans on the 200R should be fine, so you could omit the BitFenix fan.

All these savings could be used to add to the power of your GPU, whose importance cannot be overstated for a gaming machine.
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June 30, 2013 5:41:37 AM

Marcopolo123 said:
You dont need an extra cpu-cooler. Stock cooler is fine

He did say gaming pc; haswells run fairly hotter than ivy, i think £20 isnt much to spare for a significant reduction on heat output. I would agree with you; he does need to pick a better graphics card, the 7870 is what i recommend to people with budgets between 500 & 650, with a larger budget it seems stupid to buy a cheaper card, after all the gpu is one of the most important things in a gaming pc.
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June 30, 2013 5:42:21 AM

Editing...
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June 30, 2013 5:48:35 AM

Zynch said:
Marcopolo123 said:
You dont need an extra cpu-cooler. Stock cooler is fine

He did say gaming pc; haswells run fairly hotter than ivy, i think £20 isnt much to spare for a significant reduction on heat output.


Fair point, but he's also talking about cutting GPU for price. I'd consider the money worthwhile if he had any to spare, but when you start talking about cutting into GPU for a gaming PC you need to start making sacrifices, and a CPU cooler on a non-overclocking system is the lowest-hanging fruit.
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June 30, 2013 5:57:35 AM

Link to the crucial RAM: http://www.dabs.com/products/crucial-8gb--2-x-4gb--ball...
There's only one left though!

Ok. So, adding the headset, using the crucial RAM, taking off the CPU cooler but keeping the fan (will the fan have a greater net effect than the CPU cooler? If not, I'll swap them out) that puts me on £719 - call it £730 if I have to go for the more expensive RAM. So that's Approx £220-£250 that can go on a graphics card. I'm not sure I should just go for the £300+ cards because I'm sure there must be something decent between the £160 card and those.

Do I use some of that on a better processor?
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June 30, 2013 6:02:16 AM

Daravel said:
Link to the crucial RAM: http://www.dabs.com/products/crucial-8gb--2-x-4gb--ball...
There's only one left though!

Ok. So, adding the headset, using the crucial RAM, taking off the CPU cooler but keeping the fan (will the fan have a greater net effect than the CPU cooler? If not, I'll swap them out) that puts me on £719 - call it £730 if I have to go for the more expensive RAM. So that's Approx £220-£250 that can go on a graphics card. I'm not sure I should just go for the £300+ cards because I'm sure there must be something decent between the £160 card and those.


RAM looks good, I say go for it.

I don't think that you need either the fan or the CPU cooler, honestly. The 200R has decent airflow and none of your components are especially hot-running.

The GTX 760 (http://www.dabs.com/products/gigabyte-geforce-gtx-760-2...) is what I would consider the middle-ground in this case, though I still think that a stronger card is merited. That said, you can max many currents games on a the 760 and play the rest on high, so it's certainly a fine choice.

Edit: A better processor wouldn't be as useful as a better GPU. A 770 and a 4570 beat a 760 and a 4670 every day of the week.
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June 30, 2013 6:06:05 AM

Thanks.

I agree with you however I really can't justify spending over the £1000. Playing games on high is not a problem for me really.

I'll put all of these into my basket(s) and make sure the price is right and that should be me done! Thanks for the help guys.
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June 30, 2013 6:11:35 AM

Daravel said:
Thanks.

I agree with you however I really can't justify spending over the £1000. Playing games on high is not a problem for me really.

I'll put all of these into my basket(s) and make sure the price is right and that should be me done! Thanks for the help guys.


I can understand that. The 760 is an absolutely fine card, and if you're okay with sometimes dropping below max for better FPS, it's a great choice.

I'm glad we could help! Feel from to PM me if you have any questions or issues. Good luck and happy gaming!
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June 30, 2013 8:22:59 AM

Jack Revenant said:
Zynch said:
Marcopolo123 said:
You dont need an extra cpu-cooler. Stock cooler is fine

He did say gaming pc; haswells run fairly hotter than ivy, i think £20 isnt much to spare for a significant reduction on heat output.


Fair point, but he's also talking about cutting GPU for price. I'd consider the money worthwhile if he had any to spare, but when you start talking about cutting into GPU for a gaming PC you need to start making sacrifices, and a CPU cooler on a non-overclocking system is the lowest-hanging fruit.


Daravel said:
Just one more question. I'm looking into internet power adaptors which will mean I can avoid having to run cables through the house and should function as well as a normal wired connection.

I've found these two which seem to be recommended:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trendnet-TPL-406E2K-PowerPlug-E...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zyxel-PLA4205-500Mbps-Powerline...

Any thoughts on using these?

I use one of these:
http://www.crucialwifi.co.uk/index.aspx?pageid=740998&p...
it works perfectly, brand wont differ too much - the all do the same thing in the end, just remember to get 2 of the adapters - a mistake i made first time round; "Hey... wheres the other one... F*ck!"
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