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15 yr old 1st time builder needing advice

Last response: in Systems
January 12, 2006 7:04:34 PM

I was braught to this site from Torrentspy because of the same article xD. I am also on a budget of around £550-£650 (it will probly go higher) but i am building myself and only keeping the 2 HDDs i have currently that are 140gbs and 70gbs (not sure on any of the other specs ><)

I am in need of a very good gaming pc for WoW because my crappy little "2.2ghz, 256mb ram with possibly the worst gfx card ever" comp i currently own cant handle it. I usualy use my mums laptop to play wow cuz it has better specs. I am 15 and will be building it myself with help from a friend of my mums.

I am looking at the geforce 6800 (maybe an ultra if the budget fits) but im still unsure on amd or intel. I am currently using Intel P4 and leaning towards another but would amd suit my gfx card better? The motherboard will have to wait until i have decided on the proccessor but its taking time. I have looked at both the Intel P4 775 slot with HT and the AMD Athlon 64 but i am not sure what to chose >_<

Once i have my GFX card and my CPU sorted I can get a decent motherboard pretty easily. So far i have looked at mainly Intel mobos and i like them alot. I will hopefully equip it with 2 512mb DDR2 and then upgrade further in the future.

My case shouldnt be a problem.

Im going for and Sound Blaster but will look further into that once i have the other specs.

I will get DVD drives... RW and ROM.

Im not sure what watt power pack i should get, any suggestions? I want to buy the case seperatly so no problems there.

What else should I be looking at?

If £650 is unreasonable for what i am looking at, could you point me in the right direction?

Thanks for any suggestions you may have =>

EDIT: Oh and not particularly planning to overclock but probly will knowing me
January 12, 2006 7:32:34 PM

OK, roughly converting to $, you have $1000 - $1150.

I think you will get virtually unanimous agreement from Forum members here that an AMD system will give gamers much more Bang for the Buck; (Pop for the Pound?)...sorry... :) 

Gaming rigs need video horsepower first and foremost. Look for a 7800GT board or faster. Gigabyte makes a quiet one for $325.

AMD Athlon 3500+ socket 939 Venice 90nm processor, about $200.

Motherboard: pick one for roughly $110 (don't Need SLI).

2 gigs (2x1GB) memory. Corsair TwinX works well, about $200.

This will get you started. Add it up to get $835 or about 470 BPSterling.

You can cut the RAM to 1GB and save $100 if you HAVE to.

Its been awhile since I visited UK computer sites, but spend some time digging them up and see how these prices stack-up. I know that VAT does not help.

You should be able to get audio integrated with the mobo. You can always upgrade later. Other items will add up but really are incidental to the main component decisions. Good luck.
January 12, 2006 7:38:20 PM

Oh, I missed the Powerpack question...

For Max Value (No bling!!) go with an FSP (Fortron) unit rated for ATX 2.0 and 400 watts or better. These go for $50 here in the states, a little more by you. These FSPs are very solid units. Stay away from modular units or Blue fan units or UV lighted or etc... a waste of money.
Related resources
January 12, 2006 7:41:15 PM

lol "pop for the pound" xD

Thanks =D I didnt realise it would end up being that much cheaper.

I guess i will need about another £130 or so for the case + PSU, the fans and the disk drives =>

Thanks =D

If i do go with that setup what PSU will i need?

EDIT: Oh thanks =D I wasnt wanted to go for all the circus crap inside anyway because im trying to keep away from the clear side panel (however tempting it may be to a 15 yr old gamer like myself >_<)

You have been a huge help => I will search around for UK prices then post on here for furture reference. They should be similar anyway because USA tends to be cheaper than over here.

Thanks again =D!!!!
January 12, 2006 7:50:38 PM

See my previous post (I guess we crossed paths).

Spend a few hours (yes hours) reading through the Forum posts here. Visit all the Hardware Forums. You will get a lot of good ideas from a wide variety of folks. Most all of them have more knowledge and experience than I do. You will also learn why AMD systems make more sense for you than Intel.

Choosing a case is more a matter of taste and budget than anything else.

Happy hunting!
January 12, 2006 7:54:35 PM


MSI K8N Neo4-F S939 - £61.46


AMD 3200 64bit - £115.53
AMD 3500 64 bit - £147.29


1GB Corsair XMS TwinX - £76.32


7800GT - £238.56

Aluminium case - £54.51


Enermax noisetaker 600w - £91.64

total with the 3500 = £671.52

with the 3200 = £639.76

a little over but hey shop around and get the best deals... i used to get these prices(scan is where i bought my PC from.)


this was just a quick list i put together i would recommend you look at reviews and spend a couple of hours looking at them and deciding which will give you the best price/performance. and the above doesnt include the VAT, nor the £10 handling charge scan has.
January 12, 2006 8:08:25 PM

The lowest prices so far are:

AMD Athlon 3500+ socket 939 Venice 90nm processor - £149.99 - $265

Gigabyte GF 7800GT SLI 256MB DDR3 - £211 - $371

Asus A8N5X Socket 939 - £80 - $140

I cant seem to find 2gb Corsair Twinx anywhere for under £300 =<

FSP 460W PSU - £50 - $88

Added with the extras - £150 (bounderies...) - $264


£641 - $1128

Not inc the ram =/

This was from quickly looking around but now i have noticed your post Flakes =D

I will spend more time looking at AMDs especially and what advice other people have given.

Thanks for the quick reply guys. Will get back on this tomorow after school =D

Loving this website so far!
January 12, 2006 8:15:34 PM

I cant seem to find 2gb Corsair Twinx anywhere for under £300 =<

really, are you buying from stores and not the net?

all the stuff HERE is 240 or less... and its all XMS TwinX.

This was from quickly looking around but now i have noticed your post Flakes =D

lol, ive just noticed this sentence...


also try got a couple of friends that use them alot, look at bundles at scan and there, and they have weekly and dailly deals which can turn up some pretty decent stuff for cheap.
January 12, 2006 8:18:08 PM

My only suggestion would be to go with an AMD 3700+ instead of the 3500+. Here in the US the price differential is only like $20 between the two processors. For your extra money you get an excellent performance increase because the 3700+ doubles your L2 cache from 512 kb to 1 MB. Read the processor reviews at Toms for some benchmarks:

Tom's Hardware Guide CPU Charts 2005/2006
January 12, 2006 8:27:30 PM

Thanks for the urls =D I will bookmark them all for tomorow and go through everything to find the cheapest deals. So excited now =D!! My budget is £700 now so thats cool =P I should be able to get everything i need.

Thanks for all the info and the quick replies =P yay!!
January 12, 2006 8:34:56 PM

Thanks =D If i get the cheaper PSU it would allow me to get the 3700 within budget =D

You guys have been a great help. Any more suggestions still welcomed =P

Oh and did I say thanks enough?
January 12, 2006 8:54:37 PM

Looks like good advice, the only thing that I have to add is that if your main game is WOW, then turn off the page file if you have over a gig of ram. This will force everything to stay resident and not be swapped out. I haven't tried quake 4 yet, but I have 1.5 gig and setting the page file to none significantly improved performance for me.
January 12, 2006 9:41:38 PM

I love it when other people are spending your money :) 
If you don’t want to go for broke, try a NV 6800GS for $200 (evga), OC's to GT specs. It will play WOW no problem. Or for an extra $100 (sorry, you’ll have to do the conversion :)  ) Evga has a 7800GT, best price around.
I recommend both from very competitive pricing (in the US).
And as others have mentioned, don’t skimp on the PWSP. Remember; its not the Watts, it’s the +12V rail Amps that matter, +30A min. and dual rail is good if both add up to +30.
Also, skip the SLI, and save the pounds to buy a +19 LCD monitor, you wont regret it.
January 12, 2006 10:17:31 PM

Maybe your 2.2Ghz machine can hack it if you got more RAM with a better gfx card....

I just bought a whole new system from their relatively cheap if you dont want to build one yourself (I didnt want to mess up all that money with an expensive system). My brother bought one from there - Venice AMD 3000+, 1GB RAM, X550 (its good enough for him), ASUS A8N-E - if you want to minus the monitor and HDD he got it'd come to around 400-350 quid. Its pretty flexible on that site, though dont expect the best - you cant select type of hdd or Ram (I got maxtor HDDs and Samsung RAM btw, by brother got an Acer CRT) but you can choose the size. My rig (below in the sig) was an AMD X2 4400, ASUS A8N-E, 2GB RAM, Radeon X800XT, DVD +/- DL RW, CD/DVD ROM with a perspex side panel case, added neons, 550W + added cooling (no OS, monitor or keyboard) cost under 1200 quid ($2000), and got PCMark03 10750 with no OC, 11200 with 5% OC'ed RAM (400/490 -> 420/535). This was better than my previous laptop that got a score of 80!

Prices in UK for RAM are pretty ridiculous compared to the US. You're looking at ~90 quid ($175) for a 1gb stick of pc3200 ddr ram (thats what I've seen).

Though for gaming you def want AMD - even if it dont support DDR2. Most gaming benchmarks AMD > Intel, and easier to OC as it doesn't produce as much heat as an Intel. If its just WoW off and on you dont need SLI - I go to the odd LAN for 8hrs straight gaming and SLI doesn't give others any advantage except in high definition 30 man melees. Give it a few years to become low-mid level and let others worry about the bugs - then get a new mobo.

Most prices you see here will be in $$$, and dont forget that the UK is so much more expensive, because of the strong pound vs the weak dollar. But I got all my info at this forum and set of sites - so hunt around for a couple of weeks until you know the ins and outs of what you want.

Hope it helps.
January 12, 2006 10:27:09 PM

dude get the athlon 3000+ for like 100 bbucks

i oced mine to 2.6 ghz stock cooling! with kingston value ram
im guessing that performs at a 4000+ and DO NOT get 6800ultra
thats complete bs cuz it costs more than a 7800gtx
January 13, 2006 2:08:11 PM

Thanks guys!!

I have read through everything and I have pretty much made my decision. Once i have all the pricing and everything sorted i will post what i have found so i can get some extra advice =>

January 14, 2006 12:47:27 PM

Ok my mind is made up on what i want to get but i just can't decide on the case or DVD-ROM/RW

Any suggestions?

Getting This PSU

This motherboard (i can get it for £90)

AMD 3700+

Already baught the 7800gtx just above that cpu in the link

Corsair 1gb twinx or 2gbs if i have money left over

Not sure on the fans either... I may want to overclock too..

Any more suggestions?
January 14, 2006 11:00:37 PM

Ok my mind is made up on what i want to get but i just can't decide on the case or DVD-ROM/RW

Any suggestions?

Getting This PSU

This motherboard (i can get it for £90)

AMD 3700+

Already baught the 7800gtx just above that cpu in the link

Corsair 1gb twinx or 2gbs if i have money left over

Not sure on the fans either... I may want to overclock too..

Any more suggestions?

fans should come with the case, any DVD rom drive will do, lite-on are cheap and have pretty good quality.
January 14, 2006 11:29:55 PM

Actually You Could Get Better Price/Performance With A Card Like My Evga (See Below)There Around $300.00 If Your Running PCIe Otherwise Id Reccoment The New 6800GS (Witch In Most Cases Are Faster Than The 6800GT And Right On The Heels Of A 6800Ultra)
January 15, 2006 11:02:41 AM

alrdy baught my gfx card so cnt change now. Im happy with it anyway and from looking through the forum I decided to go with XFX

Still dont know what case to get =<