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Gaming PC, not much experience, $900 - $1200

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May 13, 2009 9:14:18 PM

Going to be running Windows XP home (tempted to get vista - opinions?) and i'm going to need a case too. Previous computer was a ShuttleX that I bought about 4-5 years ago, has a rubbish old Saphire x1550 video card in it, with 1gb ddr1 ram, so I basically need some new stuff. The tiny ShuttleX case is obviously going to be useless for a gaming PC. ^,^ Going to be using a resolution of 1680 x 1050 on my current 20" monitor. I've had a look around the web and like the look of the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, quite low cost and still decent. I've basically got lost along the way of what's compatible with what, and I would appreciate any help or suggestions as to what to include in my new gaming PC ;) 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within a month, can purchase whenever.
BUDGET RANGE: Between £600/$900 and £800/$1200. (Or less, :D )
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing the internet.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, speakers/headphones, operating system.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I live in the UK, so links to sites that are based in the UK or ship to the UK without a massive fee would be great.
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences, this will be my first gaming computer and I'm not too experienced with computer parts, etc.
OVERCLOCKING: I really don't mind, but I would prefer to keep things simple, maybe overclock a bit if you guys recommend it.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: CrossFire
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I thought my PC was pretty quiet until I went round my cousins house one day, his computer is silent. I didn't know I'd turned it on until I found out the monitor wasn't switched on. I'm used to some noise from my computer but I don't want anything louder than what I'm used to, xD. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've ever seen a computer as loud as mine. ;_;

Just want to make sure everything is ok.
Okay, so at the moment this is the current line up I've got:

Graphics card x2: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB-Sapphire-HD4770-DD...
Processor: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-955-Bla...
Motherboard: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-M4A78T-E-AMD-790GX-...(x16)-DDR3-1600(OC)-1333-SATA-II-SATA-RAID-ATX-VGA
Memory: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(2x2GB)-CorsairTwinX-DDR3-PC3-10666-(1333)-240-Pin-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24
Power Supply Unit: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W-Silverstone-ST65ZF-...
Case: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec-Three-Hundred-Blac...

??? Hard drive: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/640GB-Western-Digital-WD...

I've currently got a 120gb hard drive, is it worth me splashing an additional £57/$86 on a 640gb hard drive or should I just save the money or buy a better part? I don't think i'm going to need more than 120gb to be honest...


Total price with hard drive: £704.70 / $1,072.40(Including VAT)
Total price without hard drive: £647.62 / $985.49 (Including VAT)

Spending limit: £800 / $1200.

Hrm, anyone have any suggestions for decent gaming headphones with adjustable microphone? By decent I mean pro-cs:s standards. ^,^
Found some good headphones - http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/SteelSeries-SteelSound-5...(E3130)
May 14, 2009 4:34:19 AM

A little too of my own horn, but you can check this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264390-31-home-build-...

Build is basically similar to a $2000 Fragbox, but the total's $1200.

EDIT: Whoops, missed the part about the UK. IIRC, the parts listed there are also available through Misco and CPC. The case I'm not so sure.
a b 4 Gaming
May 14, 2009 4:36:22 AM

Im not in the UK and its a bit hard to go trolling through the internet for UK computer websites without doing a lot of work

BUT

Heres a broad suggestion

amd phenom x3 720
am3 motherboard with a 790 series north bridge chipset + 4 [ 2 x2 ] gig of ddr3 ram
[ careful here that the mb is ddr3 capable ]

for gfx either a Radeon 4870 1 gig , or 4890 , or 2 x 4770's in crossfire [ need a crossfire mb ]

WD black or Samsung hard drive

Antec 300 case

500 watt quality power supply

To use all the ram you need a 64 bit OS , but windows XP will run fine on this system and probably have higher frame rates in all games except the latest generation of DX10 . XP will still be ok for these though they will be at DX 9 quality
In a few months windows 7 will be available . Wait till then b4 buying IMO
Or download the RC of windows 7 64 bit and use it now for free for a few months

I havent a clue how that prices in the UK , but if you price it on your preferred website it will give you a benchmark to work from
Related resources
May 14, 2009 4:37:51 AM

Hey, I don't live in the UK, so I have no idea on the sites, if you could help me out with that, I could help you with your system. Like what do you order things from now?
a b 4 Gaming
May 14, 2009 1:48:03 PM

CPU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-955-Bla...

Mobo
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-M4A78T-E-AMD-790GX-...(x16)-DDR3-1600(OC)-1333-SATA-II-SATA-RAID-ATX-VGA

RAM
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(2x2GB)-CorsairTwinX-DDR3-PC3-10666-(1333)-240-Pin-Non-ECC-Unbuffered-CAS-9-9-9-24

Graphics card
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-XFX-HD-4890-PCI-E-20...(x16)-Mem-3900MHz-GDDR5-GPU-850MHz-Cores-800-2x-DL-DVI-I-HDTV

HDD
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/640GB-Western-Digital-WD...

PSU
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W-Silverstone-ST65ZF-...

CASE
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Antec-Three-Hundred-Blac...

Total £721

But if you are OK with Crossfire, then get 2 4770s in crossfire...they will perform better than the 4890...But sometims crossfire can cause problems...

2X http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB-Sapphire-HD4770-DD...

Total - £683
May 14, 2009 1:53:48 PM

^ what he said but with a Hiper 880w so you can add another 4890 later.
May 14, 2009 2:06:16 PM

^ Well from what I've been told, 750w is cutting it, also the 880w is cheaper so no harm done.
May 14, 2009 3:33:27 PM

is a 650W PSU enough for 2x 4770's? Can anyone explain Crossfire to me, how it works, etc? Thanks for your help everyone, it's greatly appreciated :) 

Oh, and i'm thinking of staying on XP - will all of this stuff be ok on XP - and should I get 2gb + 1gb ram instead of 2x 2gb if im staying on XP? Save some money?
May 14, 2009 4:42:12 PM

1) 650w will be plenty for dual 4770's.

2) CF works by using one GPU for half of the work, and the other for the rest. It also needs you to connect a cable from one gfx card to another, this is basically a PCIe lane so they can communicate.

3) XP 32 can only recognise 3.25GB of ram, this includes graphics ram, so with the two 4770's you will have 2.25GB of ram left, or about half what games want. go for vista64 or se7en64, it will allow you to use all the memory and have dual channel.
May 14, 2009 10:33:26 PM

Without the hard drive (presuming I don't need to worry about compatibility issues, right? All hard drives will work with everything?) I still have £150 - has anyone encountered that "perfect" headset? With me it tends to be that every headset I buy isn't too good quality, or the adjustable microphone isn't very adjustable.
a b 4 Gaming
May 15, 2009 4:53:52 AM

awr120 said:
is a 650W PSU enough for 2x 4770's? Can anyone explain Crossfire to me, how it works, etc? Thanks for your help everyone, it's greatly appreciated :) 

Oh, and i'm thinking of staying on XP - will all of this stuff be ok on XP - and should I get 2gb + 1gb ram instead of 2x 2gb if im staying on XP? Save some money?

Stick with 2x2GB stick...even though you have XP now, win 7 is coming out and you might want to change to that(Actually you can try out the WIN 7 RC1 for free upto 2010 check MS website)...
a b 4 Gaming
May 15, 2009 5:02:54 AM

And Helloworld has cleared out the other issues I guess...
650W more than suffice for 2 4770s...
And to put it simple, How crossfire works -
In a common man's language -
Insert 2 or more graphics cards into 2 or more PCIe slot, connect the crossfire bridge (a connection strip) to the cards, set the crossfire option in the ATI drivers and that is it ...Crossfire is set...
But if you want to know properly about crossfire, then google it and read it yourself as it would be tough to explain crossfire in few lines...(Well Helloworld came close though :p )
May 16, 2009 12:00:19 AM

Anyone?
May 16, 2009 7:03:25 PM

Bump? I'm looking to buy soon - hope someone can answer my question ^,^
May 17, 2009 12:30:23 PM

I heard that some previous crossfire connector's don't work with 4770's and they come in the box with sapphire 4770's anyway.
a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2009 1:53:25 PM

^ Well I really dont have an idea about that...
Just confirm what Helloworld has said before wasting money on a non-compatible component...
May 29, 2009 9:58:47 PM

*** ing order and waste another week finding sites that stock the same components? I'm not gunna be pissed around and sent DOA components that are faulty, then wait a month for them to re-deliver another DOA component... has anyone here had a GOOD experience with scan.co.uk? Because I can't find any...
May 29, 2009 10:00:41 PM

Grrr, why has only half my message appeared, and I suddenly can't edit my messages, let's try again...

Wow.. never mind about non-compatible components, I sorted that out - but now, a day after purchasing online - they say there has been a 'problem' with them recieving the money, even though I used the same credit card to purchase a usb hub from ebuyer a few minutes after my order with scan.co.uk

The email says that they will continue to attempt to recieve the payment over the next week, and that if I want to cancel my order I need to phone them which costs 50p a minute.

I've looked around the internet for reviews on scan.co.uk and they're basically all saying it's ***. Loads of defect components, months of waiting for delivery, lots of DOA's, should I just cancel the order and waste another week finding sites that stock the same components? I'm not gunna be pissed around and sent DOA components that are faulty, then wait a month for them to re-deliver another DOA component... has anyone here had a GOOD experience with scan.co.uk? Because I can't find any...
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