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£700-800 PC for someone new to building

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December 10, 2013 5:14:37 AM

Hello,

I've been reading through bits on this site for the past couple of weeks initially for advice on which prebuilt machine to buy, but am now keen to have a go at building my first PC and would appreciate any advice you have.

Some details:
-Based in UK.
-Budget around £700-800.
-General use and some gaming (doesn’t have to be high/extreme settings).
-Want a SSD.
-Would like it to be fairly quiet if possible.
-After something that’s not too tricky to put together for somebody completely new to building (ie Me!).
-Overclocking: Not initially but if all goes well with the build may consider it in future.
-Will also need a monitor but that is not included in the budget - feel free to suggest a decent cheapish 21-22” monitor that would go well with build.

What do you think of this? Really not sure of which power supply/cooler to get…

PCPartPicker part list: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2h9VR
Price breakdown by merchant: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2h9VR/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2h9VR/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£162.94 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£23.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£70.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£59.99 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£69.88 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.86 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Video Card (£119.99 @ Novatech)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (£75.65 @ Ebuyer)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£58.32 @ Scan.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£13.18 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (£67.93 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £765.36
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-10 12:42 GMT+0000)

I think the graphics card is a lower spec than I usually see in build threads but I was keen not to sink too much money in to a first build, with the idea I can upgrade if needed.

Thank you for your help.

More about : 700 800 building

a c 160 B Homebuilt system
December 10, 2013 9:06:07 AM

You are definitely on the right track, but you are right that build is definitely pretty light on the graphics side of things. As a general guide, if you find that your graphics card isn't your most expensive component in a gaming build, something is probably amiss.

Personally, I wouldn't try and do a 4670K (or 3570K) within your budget (especially as you want an SSD) as once you add in the extra costs (decent motherboard, CPU cooler) you run out of funds pretty rapidly. With your current build, you'd probably want to spend more on the motherboard (cheaper Z87 boards don't have much of a purpose in my mind) and that is going to eat into your funds.

My take would be to go for a standard, non overclockable i5 and pair it with a cheaper H87/B85 (or even H81) motherboard. This gives you a good amount of money to shift onto graphics and doesn't really lose you any performance. If you think the graphics card you have is sufficient, then you might be better to just cut the budget down in the same way.

Additionally, the Corsair CX line are usually pretty good value for money, but at £60, it's not terribly cheap. I'd definitely go with the XFX Core 550 within that price range, even though it's not modular. Also, for that setup as it stands, 600W is overkill. It'd run on a CX430 if you wanted (though I wouldn't recommend overclocking on that).
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December 11, 2013 2:56:00 PM

Thanks for the advice,

How about bringing in these changes:
- Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
- Gigabyte GA-H81M-DS2 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
- Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
(or could get XFX 550W 80+ Bronze for same price)

Then if I stuck with 650Ti Boost for ~ £706 would have:
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2inCn

Or upgrade to a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB and for ~ £775 would have:
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2inKe

Thoughts?

The thing I'm most unsure about is the motherboard, didn't really know which to pick, (which brand or H81/H87/B85).
I did search for some reviews and read about some users struggling with ASRock H81 motherboards and a samsung SSD so thought I'd avoid ASRock.

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a c 160 B Homebuilt system
December 11, 2013 4:11:05 PM

The SSD thing might be in relation to Intel Smart Response Technology (SSD caching) which is not a feature of the H81 or B85 chipsets.

H81 boards are great value, but probably a little cheaper than you might want to go. They are short on connectors, DIMM slots and quite a few of Intel's more niche acronyms. A change up to a B85 or H87 board might be worthwhile if you feel any of these limitations could be problematic.
For an excellent budget prospect, I reckon the MSI B85M-G43 is a good buy. 4 SATA 6Gbps connectors and 4 DIMM slots give you some future flexibility.
If you want to get a full sized ATX motherboard of good quality, then I'd look at the ASRock H87 Pro4. It's quite a bit more expensive than the basic H81s, but it's also an awful lot cheaper than most Z87s, and has good specs and a good slot layout too.

If you aren't overclocking, the CPU cooler is pretty redundant. Intel's stock cooler will suffice.

I'd definitely encourage the XFX Core 550 over the Corsair, but if modular cables are important then the Corsair is a pretty decent buy at this price range.

As for graphics, it's really up to you. The GTX760 is certainly a much more competent modern gaming card, and can handle most games on near to the highest settings at 1080P, which means it has a good lifespan ahead of it as a mid-range card. While the GTX650Ti boost is not at all bad for a lower level card, you'd imagine that it's lifespan won't be as strong.
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December 13, 2013 11:37:00 AM

Thanks again,

Bringing in the H87 board and XFX PSU, removing the cooler will leave me with:
http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/2jkLw

Good to go?

Regards partpicker, do they only have certain items/makes displayed?
I see Novatech selling an MSI 760 card for slightly cheaper than any listed on parpicker + 2 free games.
Fine to shop around for any 760 card? Will they all be compatible?
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a c 160 B Homebuilt system
December 13, 2013 12:18:44 PM

Yeah PCpartpicker is a guide at best, it updates a bit erratically and it doesn't have quite a lot of brands. It's still good as a price comparison tool though.

Any registered retailer should have the two free games deal. It's an Nvidia thing, not a retailer thing (should be Splinter Cell + Assassins Creed) so I wouldn't worry too much about who you buy from, they should all mention the bundled games.

If the GTX760 is one of the Twin Frozer versions, and its cheaper, then sure go for it. If it's one of the reference coolers (black box) then it's a bit cheaper and probably not as good value. The Gigabyte one in your PCpartpicker link is definitely good.

Everything looks good though
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