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March 10, 2009 9:20:49 PM

A Mid-Range gaming rig?

I'm aiming for around the £600 mark (With everthing brand new except Monitor and OS)

What should i look out for?

More about : spend

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 2:00:20 AM

Does that £600 need to include monitor, OS, mouse, keyboard, speakers, DVD drive?
March 11, 2009 8:26:36 AM

It will need to include DVD drive but none of the others,
I'm upgrading my monitor at a later date.
Related resources
March 11, 2009 12:14:38 PM

AMD or Intel? Gaming i would stick to the usual and take the High-end dual core unless you want a Q9650.
March 11, 2009 12:28:47 PM

HardwareMatt said:
A Mid-Range gaming rig?

I'm aiming for around the £600 mark (With everthing brand new except Monitor and OS)

What should i look out for?



Rough specs should be 3.2 OC CPU with 4 gig ram and a 4850. all prices from overclockers.co.uk

HIS ATI Radeon HD 4850 IceQ 4 Turbo 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail (H485QT512P) £142.59

Seasonic M12 Modular 600W Silent ATX2.0 Power Supply£103.99

Asus P5Q Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £103.49

Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B 1TB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (0A38016)£73.99

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2200 "LGA775 Core 2" 2.20GHz (800FSB)£59.79

Coolermaster Centurion 534 Case - Black (No PSU) £52.89

2 x OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) PC2-6400C4 Dual Channel Platinum Revision 2 XTC Series DDR2 (OCZ2P800R22GK) OCZ 2GB (2x1GB) £21.84

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler (Socket LGA775) £20.69

Samsung SH-S223F/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black)£16.09

total inc shipping in the UK next day - £631.28

overclock the CPU to 3.0ghz and you have a tidy little machine there...
March 11, 2009 12:32:42 PM

He wont need a seasonic 600w for this build on a 4850.

low in e2200 cpu?
and 4x1gb ram is iffy..

theres more than just overclockers.co.uk.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 12:59:55 PM

I like dougie-boy's list, but I'd make a few changes to it:

- Corsair 650W £84
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-008-CS

- no cooler, just use the stock cooler for now

Kingston 2x2GB DDR2-800 4-4-4-12@1.95V £39
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-038-KS

- P5Q Pro (Crossfire) £115

That saves £20 from the PSU, £21 from the cooler, £3 from RAM, costs $11 more for the MB. It gives you Crossfire ability for later too.

Maybe a WD6401AALS disk (only 640GB, but saves £10).

If possible, get a better CPU than the E2200, of course. Ideally an E8400, but it's £90 more.
March 11, 2009 1:11:07 PM

yes, some of the things on his build were just fine but, changes could be made

he could use a hdd wd 320gb, get a better cpu like the e8400 and later on add another 320gb hdd.
Still would be looking for a little bit more money usage though.
March 11, 2009 2:08:18 PM

Thanks for all the help so far guys!

I didn't have much of an idea where to start aha.

So far i am thinking about this build.

- Corsair 650W £84
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/show [...] =CA-008-CS

- Kingston 2x2GB DDR2-800 4-4-4-12@1.95V £39
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/show [...] =MY-038-KS

- Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £114.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...

-Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3320613AS) £41.39
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

- Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300 "LGA775 Core 2" 2.60GHz (800FSB) £74.74
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...

-Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) £163.29
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

- NZXT Tempest Black Gaming Case 120mm Blue LED NO PSU £74.64
http://www.advancetec.co.uk/acatalog/NZXT_Tempest_Black...

- Asus DRW-20B1ST 20x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer Rewriter (Black) £20.69
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...

Total - £613.28

How does that sound?



a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 2:22:21 PM

I love that NZXT Tempest case :) 

Good choice of HDD. I did some research and it looks like it has a 102MB/s average rate. That's better than the WD3200AAKS (90 MB/s) which has the same size and price.

Just so you know, to do Crossfire with that setup you will need to buy two adapters (from two molex to one PCI-E 6-pin). It's no big deal, they're $3 each in the USA.

It looks great. When you have saved a bit more money add an OCZ Vendetta 2 or a Scythe Ninja cooler and overclock that E5300. When you have saved even more buy those adapters and a second video card. It should be cheaper too by July or whenever the new high-end cards are released.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 2:29:16 PM

Yuck, those adapters cost 4.31 pounds in the UK. You guys are getting ripped off :( 
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/HiperPower-HiperLink-2pcs-x-Molex-to-PCI-E-convertor-Retail-(FREE-TRAVEL-CASE)

You might as well change the PSU to one that already has 4 PCI-E connectors, and not need any adapters. Funny thing is, there's a good one here that costs less than the Corsair 650W:

750W SilverStone SST-ST75ZF £80.32
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/750W-SilverStone-SST-ST75ZF-Black-SLi-Xfire-Quiet-Quad-12v-Rail-ATX12v-22-EPS12v-86-Eff

March 11, 2009 2:36:32 PM

Tell me about it, like the only high street store that sells PC Components is Maplin..
And they're do their best to bleed you dry.

That PSU looks like a good choice, also means I'm okay when it comes to newer Graphics Cards.

I have never really looked into overclocking a CPU, how simple and safe is it?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 2:45:56 PM

Simple - it depends. You read a guide or two, install a good aftermarket cooler, start playing with BIOS options, run stability tests (prime95 or similar programs), repeat until you're happy with the new clocks or until it becomes unstable. If it becomes unstable go back to the last known stable settings, do the tests again, stop. It's not that hard, just time-consuming. Anyway, read the guide and you'll get a much better idea.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overclock-quads-duals-guide

How safe it is: if done in small steps like I mentioned, it's pretty safe for the hardware. You'll just get crashes during the final stability tests, but nothing will be damaged. If you don't do the stability tests seriously, your data may not be safe. That is, you might get Windows to boot, but later some motherboards end up corrupting files (especially if using RAID too), or you get crashes before you save whatever you were doing, etc.

March 11, 2009 2:46:40 PM

whats your monitor right now?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 2:57:54 PM

That's a 2.5" disk for notebook computers. Did you mean to link the WD3200AAKS instead?

I also thought the WD320GB would be faster, but it's not. Check the numbers. The Seagate wins the most important benchmark with 102MB/s vs 90 MB/s (or 94MB/s, in some reviews). The WD wins some benchmarks too, but the average read rate is IMO the one that matters most.
March 11, 2009 3:03:53 PM

its not bad either way. just which ever is cheaper as of now.

He's wanting a 4870. so i was wondering what monitor he has.

March 11, 2009 3:26:42 PM

Have you looked at an amd 720 based system? You'll want that extra core for future games.

720 BE @ £123
Biostar TA790GX @ £78.99

about £10 more than the build you've created now but it has 3x the cache and 50% more cores but otherwise it's the same.

Also eclipse computers has the same gfx card for £125 ex vat which is about a £15 saving from overclockers.
March 11, 2009 3:34:22 PM

depending on the game, a triple core is still comparable to a e8400.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 3:42:19 PM

fullmetall said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this is the hdd your looking at right?

you would think the wd black 320gb single platter would be faster than a seagate 320gb on 2 platters (im thinking it is a 2 platter hdd).



Ouch, did you see those reviews, 42% 5 eggs and 39% one egg? All right, I wouldn't touch this hard drive regardless of benchmarks and number of platters. I'm voting for the WD 320GB too now.

March 11, 2009 3:50:54 PM

Yea i know, i did look at the reviews, i have a 500gb seagate right now and im tempted to trade it out for a 320gb. wd black.

Seagate may show some strength but, in the end, for quality base and reliability, still wd black.
March 11, 2009 7:52:39 PM

"whats your monitor right now? "

Only 17" on my current PC, but i am getting an Acer 22" Widescreen in the next couple of weeks.

And as regards the HDD, i may go for one smaller than 320gb.
Seeing as i store all of my Music/Films/Pictures on an external drive.

So even a 160gb would do for a while as i have an 80gb lying around somewhere.

Any good suggestions for a decent 160?

"Have you looked at an amd 720 based system? You'll want that extra core for future games. "

I had looked at AMD, but i have always followed Intel and i generally find them to be more reliable.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 7:55:40 PM

Keep in mind that the 320GB disks are faster than the smaller ones. They use a newer method called perpendicular magnetic recording that allows higher densities and therefore faster average read/write rates. I'm talking about 90 MB/s (WD 320GB) vs 50 MB/s to 70 MB/s, i.e. it's easily visible. Also, the price per GB is a lot higher for a 160GB than a 320GB.
March 11, 2009 8:03:18 PM

Ah i see, well i guess it's smart to go for a 320 then.

I had considered Solid State for a short while, but realised it's not really in my budget.

Should i go with the WD HDD over the Seagate Barracuda?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 11, 2009 8:40:29 PM

Yes, because it's more reliable.
March 11, 2009 8:53:46 PM

One other thing, i had looked at this prebuilt PC from www.powerc.com

Would it be a good option or not?

iBUILD™ AMD Gaming PC All Rounder,
Premium ATX Midi Tower Case,
Corsair 750Watt PSU,
Gigabyte GA-MA770-DS3,
AMD Athlon 6000+ X2 Dual Core 3.1GHz 1MB Cache,
Standard CPU Cooling Fan,
Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz,
500GB 7200RPM SATA II,
Samsung SH-S223 22x DVD RW Black SATA,
ATI Radeon 4870 512MB,

£589.95

It doesn't do a good job of specifying all the parts, put it gives an idea..
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
March 12, 2009 1:21:42 AM

Yes, it's good. The CPU is a little faster than the E5300 (at least at stock). The MB and PSU and DVD are good. Same video card.

No idea about the case; most likely it will not be as nice as the NZXT Tempest, but on the other hand who cares. As long as it has reasonable cooling it should be OK. The HD 4870 isn't that hot and has a vent to kick the hot air out, and it's not that big either (9" and a bit).
March 12, 2009 7:30:57 AM

the phenom II 720 would be a better upgrade
March 12, 2009 11:03:10 AM

Up to the OP if he would like AMD or Intel for the £600 on a phenom... idk how that will roll.
March 12, 2009 2:24:00 PM

I think i am pretty decided on an Intel Core 2, i have always used them and they have never failed on me :) 

Gonna start the buying process soon, due to my phone breaking earlier today i will have to fork out for that before PC Parts.

I will post pics once its done :) 

Thanks for all your help guys
!