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Custom build - gaming

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October 20, 2009 9:05:27 PM

Hi
I am looking to custom build a PC, mainly for gaming. I would like to know if the below hardware is a good choice for the price which is £474:
CPU - Intel i5 750 (2.6 GHz, 8Mb)
Memory - 2GB (DDR3 1333)
HDD - 160GB SATA
MoBo - Asrock P55M Pro X-fire DDR3 2133 x4 P55 chipset
Graphics - ATI 4850 1Gb (PCI Express)
Thanks for any suggestions.

More about : custom build gaming

October 20, 2009 9:10:10 PM

Can you follow the sticky post instructions? We can't do alot with this information.
October 20, 2009 9:19:20 PM

Sorry,I just used the form on the front page to post this question and they didn't show any rules/guides there for the question.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: the closer the better, a couple of weeks
BUDGET RANGE: No more than £500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is the main reason for this build

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Open to any suggestions. Mainly looking at http://www.cougar-extreme.co.uk though for the moment.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK

PARTS PREFERENCES: As its gaming the Graphics card is an important factor. The parts that I am a bit confused on are do I actally need a 4 core processor (i.e. the i5) or would a Core Duo suffice? Also, I know next to nothing about MoBo choices.

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly, but I wouldn't do it myself. If the company offered it I might go for it.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly if the price is right

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Any, not really relevent.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Any suggestions on recommended companies would be welcomed as well. I have looked around as much as possible, but any advise is much appriciated.
Related resources
October 20, 2009 10:29:19 PM

The monitor resolution is absolutely critical or we have no idea how powerful of a GPU you need.
a b 4 Gaming
October 20, 2009 11:08:55 PM

+1 on the resolution being relevant.

Good UK online retailers in my experience are scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, overclockers.co.uk, ebuyer.com, aria.co.uk. At the very least they are good for choice.
October 21, 2009 6:37:03 PM

Oh right, I didn't know it was that important. Well the monitor is a 19" TFT (at the moment) and it would be good to run the games at 1280x1024 but if the cards are too expensive for that, 1024x768 would be fine.

I guess the main question I have is do I need a quad core (i.e. i5) or can I go for a cheaper Core Duo and then spend the extra money on a more expensive graphics card.
October 21, 2009 6:50:32 PM

jmc265 said:
Oh right, I didn't know it was that important. Well the monitor is a 19" TFT (at the moment) and it would be good to run the games at 1280x1024 but if the cards are too expensive for that, 1024x768 would be fine.

I guess the main question I have is do I need a quad core (i.e. i5) or can I go for a cheaper Core Duo and then spend the extra money on a more expensive graphics card.


I think 4850 is enough for 1280x1024, or if you want DirectX11, you can go 5750 or 5770. I would stick with I5, its not that expensive, and will be a good basis for further upgrades, if decide on them at a later time.

About multi GPU, the first echelon of boards are Asus P55 PRO, MSI GD65 and Gigabyte ud4(P) (there are just a few Evga/Asrock boards where I live so I have no xp with them). For single GPU, any board at price point below the above boards, which has all the connectors/slots you might need.

Two more points. I would get 4GB of RAM, and a better HDD (like WD640 black or Samsung F3) since they tend to fill up really quick with today's games.

October 21, 2009 10:09:22 PM

At that budget an i5 might be too much. For a straight gaming machine, a dual core AMD AthonII/AM3 with a stronger graphics card like a 5770 would perform better.

I only know US pricing but here is a parts list with some newegg links so you can see some specs.

Athlon II x2 Regor 240, 245 or 250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4GB (2x2GB) Gskill DDR3-1333 RAM (cas 8 timing, 7 is better, 9 is worse)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ATI Radeon HD 5770 GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think thats all you had listed above. Those components will run a nice HD LCD at 1920x1080 on the latest games at high (maybe not ultra high) graphics settings.

A quality power supply and a case with good airflow are also necessary for the reliability and longevity of your system. Let me know if you want some examples of those.
October 22, 2009 9:07:02 PM

Hey. Thanks for your reply, but I think you have the currency conversion mixed up. All that comes to $437 which is about £260, about half what I was going to spend. (Obviously I have to have some for a case and cooling)
However, somthing interesting you said: you think it's worth spending less money on a CPU and more on a GPU?
a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2009 9:09:42 PM

Low resolutions like yours actually put more stress on the CPU than higher resolutions. I would stick with the i5 build. I would bump it up to 4GB, though.
October 22, 2009 9:27:35 PM

Ok so sticking with the i5 build, how about these:

Intel Core i5-750 Quad Core 2.66GHz 8MB Processor (£150)
http://www.dabs.com/products/intel-core-i5-750-quad-cor...

Corsair Memory Corsair 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 CL9 (£72)
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-corsair-4gb...

Asus AM3 AMD 785G DDR3 mATX A L (£70)
http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-am3-amd-785g-ddr3-mat...

Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" SATA-300 8MB (£30)
http://www.dabs.com/products/western-digital-caviar-blu...

Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon 5770 HD 850Mhz 1GB PCI-Express HDMI (£131)
http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra...


Total:
£453


Which means £50 for the case, PSU and cooling, which should be more than enough.

I don't really know much about MoBos so any guidance there would be great, however I don't really want to spend more than £80 on that.

Also, I am not limited to any distributor, so any further suggestions there are welcome.
October 22, 2009 9:48:49 PM

You need to get a p55 socket 1156 motherboard to go with an i5 CPU.
Something like and ASUS P7P55D.
http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-s1156-intel-p55-atx-d...

Case, cooling and particularly PSU should not be skimped on afterthoughts. Poor power will make for a computer with flakey problems, lockups, etc. A bad power supply can even damage the rest of your PC. Any decent power supply is going to cost you 50. Like this Corsair 450W.
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-450w-modula...

You want to look for a case with lots of fans to keep everything cool. A cooler system will make your components last longer and operate more stable.
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-black-cm-690-...

The coolermaster Hyper 212 is a good, inexpensive cooler that will work on any CPU socket.
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-plu...

The problem is we are now getting above your budget, which is what I figured would happen. Its very hard to make a decent i5 gaming system with less than $800 US. Going back to an AM3 motherboard and a Phenom II x3 720 might be necessary.
http://www.dabs.com/products/amd-phenom-ii-x3-720-black...

I would agree with the motherboard and HDD shortstuff posted. (but he missed that you had an i5 CPU in the same build :ouch:  )


In general, having a fast dual core CPU and a strong GPU gives better gaming performance than a slower quad core and a weak GPU. Most games are more GPU intensive than CPU intensive. With a 5770 you will be able to replace your monitor with a nice 22-28 inch 1380x1050 to 1920x1080 LCD and still be able to play well. Its a good choice if you plan to keep it 3+ years.
October 23, 2009 9:20:19 PM

Ok, fair enough. Having looked at the prices of the things I thought of as negligable, that CPU does seem a better option. (I never knew there which things as triple cores).

So rounding up all the suggestions in to one, how about this configuration:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (2.8 GHz) (£92)
http://www.dabs.com/products/amd-phenom-ii-x3-720-black...

Gigabyte AM3 AMD 770 DDR3 A GL (£70)
http://www.dabs.com/products/gigabyte-am3-amd-770-ddr3-...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB S300 16MB (£33)
http://www.dabs.com/products/western-digital-caviar-se1...

Corsair Memory Corsair 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 CL9 (£72)
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-corsair-4gb...

Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon 5770 HD 850Mhz 1GB PCI-Express HDMI (£131)
http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra...

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus Cooler (£20)
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-plu...

Corsair Memory 450W ATX PS/2 SATA 12V (£50)
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-450w-atx-ps...

CoolerMaster Elite 330 Black Midi Case + Window (No PSU) (£37)
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-elite-330-bla...

Coming to £505, but I will shop around a bit anyway.

The have 2 questions now I suppose:
Is a 450W PSU powerful enough for the graphics card and CPU?
No one has said much about the memory. I know this is a bottle neck for computers and is therefore a very important factor. Is there any suggestions on what to look out for in the specs for memory?

Thanks for all your help.

James
October 23, 2009 9:48:03 PM

RE Memory: CL7 is going to give you a small performance increase over CL9 and better overclocking options. You might see if Gskills Ripjaws CL8s are the same price as Corsairs CL9s.

RE: Power, yes that corsair 450 is will be great paired with a single 5770.
a b 4 Gaming
October 23, 2009 11:13:16 PM

Yes 450W should be enough. And you don't need a CPU Cooler if you aren't going to be overclocking the component yourself.
November 3, 2009 1:49:47 AM

I don't know if it's too late, but If you go with a 600W PSU, you will be able to crossfire.
Next year the same GPU will be much less expensive and will greatly help you,especially if you're going to have a 1920x1080 screen.

Just a thought.... that I didn't have 2 years ago... and now I've got a PSU doing nothing..... ;) 
!