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[£500-£600] Final critique on gaming and daily use build

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April 18, 2014 6:07:38 AM

Hi all,

I am looking to build my first PC to replace my dying Acer 5740 laptop in order to save money and get a better overall system. It will be my first PC build but I have a few friends who are a lot more experienced who are happy to assist me.


My ideal PC would be...

  • Able to run day to day word processing, browsing and spreadsheet creating quickly and easily.
  • Able to run games at a good level of performance. Examples of games are Minecraft (well) and DayZ at higher levels, as well as games in the future.
  • Single monitor only, at a resolution of 1920x1080p.


  • For me, overclocking is not needed yet, however I believe that in order to overclock in the future, only my motherboard would need changing/upgrading - is this correct?

    I currently have...

    • A copy of Windows 7, so OS is not needed
    • Copies of Photoshop, Adobe Elements and Microsoft Office so they are not needed
    • A decent quality USB mouse (keyboard needed)
    • A set of decent speakers
    • Plans to buy a cheap second hand monitor


  • Here is the build that I am looking for critique on - http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/C2400/saved/4oHH

    Note: I am going to be using the SSD as a boot drive, and adding a 1TB HDD within a month of building the PC in order to spread the cost a bit more. My main concern is whether my case (Zalman Z5+) will be able to fit the GPU (Sapphire R9 270X 2GB Toxic) as I know it is a rather long video card.

    Thanks for your help, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions regarding the build.
    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 6:15:40 AM

    C2400 said:
    Hi all,

    I am looking to build my first PC to replace my dying Acer 5740 laptop in order to save money and get a better overall system. It will be my first PC build but I have a few friends who are a lot more experienced who are happy to assist me.


    My ideal PC would be...

    • Able to run day to day word processing, browsing and spreadsheet creating quickly and easily.
    • Able to run games at a good level of performance. Examples of games are Minecraft (well) and DayZ at higher levels, as well as games in the future.
    • Single monitor only, at a resolution of 1920x1080p.


  • For me, overclocking is not needed yet, however I believe that in order to overclock in the future, only my motherboard would need changing/upgrading - is this correct?

    I currently have...

    • A copy of Windows 7, so OS is not needed
    • Copies of Photoshop, Adobe Elements and Microsoft Office so they are not needed
    • A decent quality USB mouse (keyboard needed)
    • A set of decent speakers
    • Plans to buy a cheap second hand monitor


  • Here is the build that I am looking for critique on - http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/C2400/saved/4oHH

    Note: I am going to be using the SSD as a boot drive, and adding a 1TB HDD within a month of building the PC in order to spread the cost a bit more. My main concern is whether my case (Zalman Z5+) will be able to fit the GPU (Sapphire R9 270X 2GB Toxic) as I know it is a rather long video card.

    Thanks for your help, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions regarding the build.


  • Hi,
    Things i like:
    -i5 4670k
    -Crucial SSD
    -Case Z5+
    -R9 270X

    Things i don't like
    -Motherboard ( you can not overclock on that motherboard)
    -PSU (Corsair's CX might struggle with the build's power requirement, also it uses low quality capacitors)
    -Get better RAM

    Suggestions:
    -Get locked i5 (i5 4430, 4440, 4570, 4670) and stay with the same motherboard. Or if you plan to stay with i5 4670k , get Z87 Motherboard
    -PSU: Get XFX 550w, pretty good PSU for the money
    -Get RAM with 1.5V

    About Zalman Z5 Plus:

    The Zalman Z5 Plus has modular HDD cages, so it will fit even bigger GPUs than the Toxic R9 270X
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    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 6:26:25 AM

    Graphiicz said:
    Okay, here's an improved version of your build, with a bit of explanation also:


      Replaced the i5-4670k with the i5-4440 (not overclockable but will work just as well as the i5-4670k if you didn't overclock it)
      Got a more reliable PSU (the Corsair CX series PSUs use cheap capacitors
      Got 1600 MHz memory - 2400 isn't necessary, neither is 1600 really. You would get the same results with 1333 MHz memory
      Removed the CPU cooler as the stock fan is fine if you're not overclocking
      Added a better case (the card will definitely fit, as I personally own both that GPU and that case)


    If you want the ability to overclock in the future, keep the CPU from your build (and the cooler) but get a Z87 motherboard. I was going to add that to your build, but it took you over your budget.

    Anyway, here's the build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£128.22 @ Ebuyer)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£72.86 @ CCL Computers)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£52.30 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£52.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card (£159.98 @ Novatech)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.65 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£46.98 @ Aria PC)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.69 @ CCL Computers)
    Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN727N 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter (£4.68 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Case Fan: Arctic Cooling Arctic F12 74.0 CFM 120mm Fan (£3.72 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £571.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 14:18 BST+0100)

    If you have any questions please ask. :) 


    +1
    This is nice suggestion, just stay with the Zalman Z5Plus, since it supports bigger GPUs and has more space than the NZXT's 210
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    April 18, 2014 6:17:53 AM

    Looks pretty good.. One thing i would consider however is a R9 280 or 280x which would still keep you within your budget. But also give you a 3GB frame buffer in which many games in the not to distant future will start demanding. For instance. Titanfall requires a 3GB frame buffer for insane textures. Whereas BF4 can use up to 2.5GB with everything maxed with 200% resolution scale. This would indicate that as the years go on. Many more games will start using better textures due to the consoles having so much Vram at there disposal. So definitely consider the R9 280 or 280x instead of the 270x. Other then that. Should do everything you want without issue. You may have to beef up your PSU a little though to accommodate it and if you ever plan to OC you may want to get a better motherboard due to this particular one being unable to OC..
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    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 6:30:49 AM

    maurelie said:
    Graphiicz said:
    Okay, here's an improved version of your build, with a bit of explanation also:


      Replaced the i5-4670k with the i5-4440 (not overclockable but will work just as well as the i5-4670k if you didn't overclock it)
      Got a more reliable PSU (the Corsair CX series PSUs use cheap capacitors
      Got 1600 MHz memory - 2400 isn't necessary, neither is 1600 really. You would get the same results with 1333 MHz memory
      Removed the CPU cooler as the stock fan is fine if you're not overclocking
      Added a better case (the card will definitely fit, as I personally own both that GPU and that case)


    If you want the ability to overclock in the future, keep the CPU from your build (and the cooler) but get a Z87 motherboard. I was going to add that to your build, but it took you over your budget.

    Anyway, here's the build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£128.22 @ Ebuyer)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£72.86 @ CCL Computers)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£52.30 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£52.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card (£159.98 @ Novatech)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.65 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£46.98 @ Aria PC)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.69 @ CCL Computers)
    Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN727N 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter (£4.68 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Case Fan: Arctic Cooling Arctic F12 74.0 CFM 120mm Fan (£3.72 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £571.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 14:18 BST+0100)

    If you have any questions please ask. :) 


    +1
    This is nice suggestion, just stay with the Zalman Z5Plus, since it supports bigger GPUs and has more space than the NZXT's 210


    It's weird how I posted that then saw your post - practically every change I made was in your list of suggestions. :p 

    The reason I chose the i5-4440 over the i5-4430 is because it was slightly cheaper for some reason.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 6:22:26 AM

    Okay, here's an improved version of your build, with a bit of explanation also:


      Replaced the i5-4670k with the i5-4440 (not overclockable but will work just as well as the i5-4670k if you didn't overclock it)
      Got a more reliable PSU (the Corsair CX series PSUs use cheap capacitors
      Got 1600 MHz memory - 2400 isn't necessary, neither is 1600 really. You would get the same results with 1333 MHz memory
      Removed the CPU cooler as the stock fan is fine if you're not overclocking
      Added a better case (the card will definitely fit, as I personally own both that GPU and that case)


    If you want the ability to overclock in the future, keep the CPU from your build (and the cooler) but get a Z87 motherboard. I was going to add that to your build, but it took you over your budget.

    Anyway, here's the build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£128.22 @ Ebuyer)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£72.86 @ CCL Computers)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£52.30 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Crucial M500 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£52.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card (£159.98 @ Novatech)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£38.65 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£46.98 @ Aria PC)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.69 @ CCL Computers)
    Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN727N 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter (£4.68 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Case Fan: Arctic Cooling Arctic F12 74.0 CFM 120mm Fan (£3.72 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £571.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-18 14:18 BST+0100)

    If you have any questions please ask. :) 
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    April 18, 2014 6:45:38 AM

    Thanks for your help guys - I think I'm going to stick with the original 4670K and motherboard so that I can overclock in the future by simply replacing the MB, however I'll take Graphiicz's advice and hold out on the CPU cooler until I decide that I want to overclock.

    As for the RAM, I'm going to be taking your advice and going for the Viper 3 RAM instead, but still stick to the Toxic 270X CPU to keep costs down.

    I'll also be changing the power supply, as suggested.

    Thanks for your help, it's been invaluable.
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    Best solution

    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 7:14:48 AM

    C2400 said:
    Thanks for your help guys - I think I'm going to stick with the original 4670K and motherboard so that I can overclock in the future by simply replacing the MB, however I'll take Graphiicz's advice and hold out on the CPU cooler until I decide that I want to overclock.

    As for the RAM, I'm going to be taking your advice and going for the Viper 3 RAM instead, but still stick to the Toxic 270X CPU to keep costs down.

    I'll also be changing the power supply, as suggested.

    Thanks for your help, it's been invaluable.


    No problem, good luck with your build! It's gonna run great when you get it done :D 
    Share
    April 18, 2014 7:32:30 AM

    Graphiicz said:
    C2400 said:
    Thanks for your help guys - I think I'm going to stick with the original 4670K and motherboard so that I can overclock in the future by simply replacing the MB, however I'll take Graphiicz's advice and hold out on the CPU cooler until I decide that I want to overclock.

    As for the RAM, I'm going to be taking your advice and going for the Viper 3 RAM instead, but still stick to the Toxic 270X CPU to keep costs down.

    I'll also be changing the power supply, as suggested.

    Thanks for your help, it's been invaluable.


    No problem, good luck with your build! It's gonna run great when you get it done :D 


    Yeah I just need to sell some stuff to fund it and find a cheap second hand monitor and then I'm all set - ordering parts is like Christmas all over, can't wait!
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    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 8:00:24 AM

    C2400 said:
    Graphiicz said:
    C2400 said:
    Thanks for your help guys - I think I'm going to stick with the original 4670K and motherboard so that I can overclock in the future by simply replacing the MB, however I'll take Graphiicz's advice and hold out on the CPU cooler until I decide that I want to overclock.

    As for the RAM, I'm going to be taking your advice and going for the Viper 3 RAM instead, but still stick to the Toxic 270X CPU to keep costs down.

    I'll also be changing the power supply, as suggested.

    Thanks for your help, it's been invaluable.


    No problem, good luck with your build! It's gonna run great when you get it done :D 


    Yeah I just need to sell some stuff to fund it and find a cheap second hand monitor and then I'm all set - ordering parts is like Christmas all over, can't wait!


    Yeah :D 

    Are you building it yourself or having someone build it for you?
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    April 18, 2014 8:16:12 AM

    Graphiicz said:
    Are you building it yourself or having someone build it for you?


    A bit of both really, I'll be doing it but going to get a friend to come over and give me a hand setting it up and making sure it's running correctly in exchange for a few beers. At the moment I think I could manage it myself, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and it'll be more fun that way anyway.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    April 18, 2014 8:44:50 AM

    C2400 said:
    Graphiicz said:
    Are you building it yourself or having someone build it for you?


    A bit of both really, I'll be doing it but going to get a friend to come over and give me a hand setting it up and making sure it's running correctly in exchange for a few beers. At the moment I think I could manage it myself, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and it'll be more fun that way anyway.


    Haha good luck. It's the best feeling ever when you power it up for the first time :D 
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