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a few questions from a beginner

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December 29, 2007 5:47:37 PM

hello everyone! so i think i'm finally ready to build my own gaming rig. I know how to put the components together (thanks to PC Modding for Dummies), but i have the problems of choosing which ones to use. I would like my pc to be pretty powerful, so i'll be able to play unreal tournament 3, the witcher and bioshock, maybe even crysis!

if anyone can provide any part recommendations that would be great! also, i would appreciate some trusted websites from which to order the parts (must deliver to the UK :p )

i have some idea as to the spec:

core 2 duo processor of some kind, preferably viiv
around 500gb hard drive
4gb memory
um, not sure about graphics, but should be really good and have 256 or 512 vram
a decent sound card, though i don't want to spend too much on this
of course, a few usb ports, rewritable dvd+r dl drives, and maybe an sd slot

my budget is around £500, £600, so about $1000 - $1200, and i'm all set for peripherals, i just want the actual pc

i have seen one on dell which is pretty decent:

PROCESSOR Intel® Viiv u2122 technology - Intel® Core u2122 2 Duo E6550 processor (2.33GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium - English
HARDWARE SUPPORT 1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return
MEMORY 4096MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [4x1024]
HARD DRIVE 500GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 16MB DataBurst%u2122 cache
GRAPHICS CARD 256MB ATI® Radeon%u2122 HD 2600 XT graphics card
OPTICAL DRIVE 16x DVD+/-RW & 16x DVD Drives

it's £646.02, so a bit too much for me

once again, any help would be appreciated a LOT :ange:  :wahoo: 

More about : questions beginner

December 29, 2007 7:20:28 PM

Hi RN321,

Firstly, I must warn you that the chances of you managing to get a PC that matches that Dell are quite slim. Big brands like Dell get parts in major bulk and very cheap at that meaning they can give very good deals.
I still think you can do something good with this though. I must agree though that buying the parts and making sure that they are all compatible with each other takes a lot of time and is in places more tricky than putting it all together.

Maybe an E6400 cpu, 500gb seagate barracuda and maybe start off with 2gb memory and upgrade later. You haven't mentioned the motherboard though so this is quite a major part.

By the looks of your needs (basically gaming) I think your better of going with 2gb ram at the moment and then upgrading to 4gb later, as with this spare cash you could get a better graphics card, which you will definitely need if you want to stand any chance of running Crysis! maybe look at 8800 gt which I know is pushing your budget but this is primarily a gaming PC.

As for retailers, I also live in the UK and use a few different people, although I would recommend Specialtech, Scan and even Amazon for the odd bit. Other good retailers are Misco and maybe try overclockers.co.uk

hope this gives you somewhere to work from. any more questions just ask. Good Luck
December 29, 2007 8:20:22 PM

first - put all your money in the gpu

buy a 3870 or 8800gts

second get a good psu wit lots of 12v power

get only 2gb of ram good ram 4-4-3-8 ddr800

now pick your remaining parts with your money you have left
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December 30, 2007 10:16:07 AM

wow, thanks a lot to both of you, that will certainly help me a lot.
any brand/model recommendations would be great, such as psu, mobo and case as i have little experience of these things (i am looking at the antec full nine hundred case)

also, if i get the E6400, 500gb seagate barracuda and 8800gts, would that all be compatible? or does that also depend on the motherboard as well?
one more thing: should i choose a motherboard to match the cpu, or a cpu to match the mobo?
finally, wt is the relevance of the l1 and l2 caches? the E6400 has an l2 cache of 2mb, but i have seen others with 4 and even 8mb

thanks,
RN321
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 30, 2007 10:54:17 AM

More cache is better - up to a point. Earlier this year, THG tested three Intel CPU's, same chip family, same clock speed, different sized caches - 1, 2, and 4 MB, in the same system. Simplified summary: results indicated a substantial increase in performance going from 1 to 2 MB and a smaller increase going from 2 to 4 MB in some applications.

Read the article.
December 30, 2007 10:57:28 AM

no problem.

You should take a look at PSUs from OCZ (gamexstream range) I have one and am very happy with it. I would aim for 600 to 650w minimum with a setup like yours. have a look at this to make sure you get a good reliable one. You shouldn't get anything too cheap though.

Yes you should have no comaptibility issues with the listed parts but the motherboard will depend on this. As for the motherboard I would have a look at something from Asus, maybe the P5N-E. Basically as long as you choose any recent motherboard that supports socket LGA 775, any of the current core 2 duo or quad cores should work with it. Most of them will be fine just make sure you have a good skim through the specs and check. You shouldn't worry about the cache, the e6400 is a very capable CPU and will handle your needs fine.

good luck


December 30, 2007 5:36:03 PM

With 1200$ you can get a core 2 duo e 6550, 2gb 800mhz cl4 ram, a 8800gt(not 8800gts be shure it's a GT), a fortron or sirtec psu should do the job, I really like coolermaster cases. I hope you find these helpful.
!