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Help! Gaming PC - Buy or Build?

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October 30, 2009 6:07:17 PM

Hi, despite the fact that sometimes I fix pc's, I have never built a pc. So heres my question: Should I Buy or Build?

Budget:
As cheap as possible, I'm willing to go up to £400 for a PC.

On my PC I would like to play:
Brand New PC Games(Aion,Batman Arkham Asylum,Crysis(not really new :p )) with mid-high graphic settings, and still be able to play new pc games in 3 years with minimum graphic settings if need be. So basically I want gaming pc, I dont think I'll be doing any animation,3D design or any financial analyis - so I dont need anything fancy, just enough to run high end games on.

My Monitor(I may buy a new one if I feel its worth it - more advice please :p ): I have a Advent 22" Model No.780. HD772i monitor which can run on 1280x1024.

Build:

My brother advised me to stay away from custom built machines or building your own unless you know what your doing as doing so would normally lead to problems such as overheating your machine.etc Is this good advice - should i steer clear and leave it to the pro's?

Buy:
buying is what i've always done with the advice and expertise of my brothers, i've currently been thinking about ebaying this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HP-GAMING-PC-COMPUTER-XW6000-2-X-... and just installing a new graphics card and bringing over my old 250GB hard drive. Can I go cheaper? :p  Should I avoid Ebay?(What are some good sites to shop for pcs on?) I'm not sure why that ones so cheap - a rejected or discontinued product maybe?



Thankyou for being patient enough to read my cry for help.
I look forward to meeting you all(I'm new!).

Cheers,


Gabs :) 

More about : gaming buy build

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
October 30, 2009 6:16:46 PM

Don't buy that system... It is a waste of money!! It only supports PCI or AGP video cards that have been replaced by PCI-e. I would recommend building! It is easy to do and there are plenty of sites with step by step guides... example... http://www.driverheaven.net/articles.php?articleid=132&...

I'll work on a build from http://www.overclockers.co.uk/ and see what I can come up with under £400 or look at other pre-built systems.
October 30, 2009 6:23:52 PM

Thanks! :)  I'll go check out that guide. Also how long do you reckon a new pc could continue to run top end games for?
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
October 30, 2009 6:37:46 PM

Here is a PC I put together... This will be good for top end games a med settings for a year or so, but gives you an option to upgrade CPU & GPU to high end, which will go to max setting for another year or two... in other words... It gives you an upgrade path when you hit a way in gaming! :D 

Cost: £349.49 ex VAT (£401.91 with VAT)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 240 2.80GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail
MOBO: Asus M4A785TD-M Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz Dual Channel (PVV34G1333LLK)
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ)
GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 512MB TV-Out/HDTV/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail
PSU: Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK) More than you need now but a great PSU to build on
DVD: Samsung SH-S223B/RSMN 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black/Silver/Biege) - Retail
CASE: Coolermaster Elite 334 Midi Case- Black (No PSU)
HSF: Stock AMD heat sink and thermal compound (cost reasons)
October 30, 2009 6:52:35 PM

Wow, that looks pretty good :)  I could also lower the cost by £40 by bringing over my old 250GB hard disk :)  that looks awesome though haha. A little more research and input by others and I'll go buy that and try my first build! Yeah, with 4GB of memory I can just upgrade my Graphics Card+Processing Power to keep using that PC for a while :) . What about my monitor? Is it worth upgrading to one with a better colour contrast and sharper image?(I think I just dislike my current monitor due to my current PC not being able to display that great). Any advice on sound card+speakers?

Thanks for giving your time to find a nice build for a pc - it looks awesome :) . If I decide to build it, i'll take a picture album of all its stages :p .


Cheers,

Gabs
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
October 30, 2009 7:35:38 PM

If you max resolution is 1280x1024 on your monitor (which I couldn't find online to review... :(  ), it would be well worth upgrading to a good 1920x1080 montior in the 21" to 24" range. You won't need a sound card. The onboard sound is great now-a-days on MOBO, so I won't recommend spending money on a sound card. Speakers is really up to what you want and how much you are willing to spend. I would recommend pretty much any Logitech speaker system.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 30, 2009 7:43:27 PM

Is your old 250GB HDD SATA or IDE? If its not SATA it could cripple the systems performance. You will need to reinstall the operating system anyway and that F3 is a nice new fast drive.



If you get a new monitor the 4670 graphics card would need replaced by a much more expensive one or you will be playing at minimum settings, not medium.


I am going to recommend you save money and buy a cheap headset. Cheap headsets seem to sound alot better than cheap speakers, plus they have the advantage of not disturbing others so you can play with sound late night or whatever.
October 30, 2009 8:08:34 PM

I have a IDE HDD :(  that graphics card+monitor means more money spending :( . could I cheapen anything else(power supply perhaps) without risking my precious pc system's performance?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 30, 2009 8:14:47 PM

Id say go with Techmos build (including the samsung F3 HDD) and your current monitor. Then your next update when you are ready (next year or whenever) is to replace the graphics card and monitor together.
October 30, 2009 8:20:21 PM

Monitor wise I was thinking of dabs value but my tech support partner advised against it and told me to pay the extra for a branded monitor. Any specific monitor which would be good? any tips on buying them - is 300 cd/m brightness ok, how important is brightness and color contrast? Also what would be a good graphics card to buy if I did upgrade my monitor(My current one is a 17" not a 22 "(I got confuzzled - Stupid Mistake).


Cheers guys,

I look forward to building my first pc!
a b B Homebuilt system
October 30, 2009 8:34:07 PM

The graphics power you need is directly related to the monitor resolution. The higher resolution the monitor, the more expensive GPU you will need. To play high right now an ATI HD5770 is a good long term choice for a 20-23 inch monitor. The combination of the 5770 and 22inch monitor will probably cost nearly 300 Ls.
October 30, 2009 9:16:08 PM

I recently built a similar system

Case - Antec Nine Hundred
PSU - Corsair TX650W CMPSU-650TX
Mother Board - Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H
Memory - G.SKILL 2Gx2 F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK
Hard Drive - 320G - WD 7K 8M SATA2 WD3200AAJS
DVD Burner - LITE-ON iHAP322-08
OS - Windows 7 RC1 64-bit

I couldn't make up my mind what CPU to get, so I got a placeholder CPU, something that I could afford to throw away (or at least put in a box) when I was through with it. - CPU - AMD Sempron 140 2.7G $39 at Newegg.

After I unlocked the other core(in the BIOS, set EC to Hybrid and ACC to Auto), CPU-Z is reporting it as AMD Athlon II X2 4400e

Something to think about.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 30, 2009 10:11:58 PM

tecmo34 said:
Here is a PC I put together... This will be good for top end games a med settings for a year or so, but gives you an option to upgrade CPU & GPU to high end, which will go to max setting for another year or two... in other words... It gives you an upgrade path when you hit a way in gaming! :D 

Cost: £349.49 ex VAT (£401.91 with VAT)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 240 2.80GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail
MOBO: Asus M4A785TD-M Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz Dual Channel (PVV34G1333LLK)
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ)
GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 512MB TV-Out/HDTV/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail
PSU: Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK) More than you need now but a great PSU to build on
DVD: Samsung SH-S223B/RSMN 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black/Silver/Biege) - Retail
CASE: Coolermaster Elite 334 Midi Case- Black (No PSU)
HSF: Stock AMD heat sink and thermal compound (cost reasons)

Excellent build. Well done. Damn, you Europeans get taxed like hell. 50 Euro's is quite a lot of tax. Glad I live in the US and Newegg dosen't hit me with a tax since I live in VA :lol:  Anyways, off topic. Sorry.


@OP: As for LCD, save up for a high quality LCD. A good LCD should/will last you for ~5-7 or more years easily. Hell, I still have a few old ViewSonic CRT that's still working (almost 10 years now...).
October 31, 2009 6:40:21 AM

tecmo34 said:
Here is a PC I put together... This will be good for top end games a med settings for a year or so, but gives you an option to upgrade CPU & GPU to high end, which will go to max setting for another year or two... in other words... It gives you an upgrade path when you hit a way in gaming! :D 

Cost: £349.49 ex VAT (£401.91 with VAT)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 240 2.80GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail
MOBO: Asus M4A785TD-M Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
RAM: Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz Dual Channel (PVV34G1333LLK)
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD502HJ)
GPU: XFX ATI Radeon HD 4650 512MB TV-Out/HDTV/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail
PSU: Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK) More than you need now but a great PSU to build on
DVD: Samsung SH-S223B/RSMN 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black/Silver/Biege) - Retail
CASE: Coolermaster Elite 334 Midi Case- Black (No PSU)
HSF: Stock AMD heat sink and thermal compound (cost reasons)

you've might want to check the cost of the same build at scan.co.uk, the prices are a bit lower, in the end, you might save enough money to get the phenom II x2 cpu instead of the athlon II x2
November 1, 2009 12:18:07 AM

Gabriel_Confuzzled said:
Hi, despite the fact that sometimes I fix pc's, I have never built a pc. So heres my question: Should I Buy or Build?
....

Never buy. Build EVER.

Ask here all the help you need.

Any prebuilt computer is wasted money, and frequently rubbish.

The PC you posted to buy, is an obsolete absolute piece of crap.

No. There is no problem with overheating. Your built PC can overheat if you purposely overclock it. It is solved by buying adequate cooling (or not overclocking).

At any budget, the best possible computer is one yourself assemble.
November 1, 2009 12:52:50 AM

Gabriel_Confuzzled said:
Hi, despite the fact that sometimes I fix pc's, I have never built a pc. So heres my question: Should I Buy or Build?

Budget:
As cheap as possible, I'm willing to go up to £400 for a PC.
...

Provided that you have an adequate power source from your old PC, and are able to use it, the case, hard disks, and CD/DVD, you can upgrade to:

CPU: Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition; £140
Mother: Asus M4A785TD-M Evo AMD 785G (Socket AM3) £68
Memory: OCZ Gold 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 Low-Voltage Dual Channel (OCZ3G1333LV4GK) £70
Video:Asus GeForce GTX 260 Glaciator+ 896MB GDDR3 PCI-Express Graphics Card (Includes Batman: Arkham Asylum & 3D Discover Glasses) £128
Or
Video: Radeon HD 5770 1024MB £128

Total: £400(Geforce), or £403(Radeon)

I recommend the geforce because supports PhysX (which is supported on Batman: Arkham Asylum )
but the Radeon supports Direct X 11, which is a better bet if you plan to use it for the next 3 years.

If you cannot decide, ten wait until Nvidia releases his next generation of geforces with DX11 and PhysX. You may need to wait 3-6 months.

Prices here:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
November 1, 2009 5:19:06 PM

Ok, How much do you think this pc should get on ebay:
Pentium 4 CPU - 3.20GHZ
1.00GB Ram - 2x 512mb(2 memory slots).
http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/advent/pc/t9003.htm - motherboard specs.
nvidia geforce 6200.
Windows xp.

Well thats why im upgrading my pc - I cant upgrade to a real gpu due to it only have pci and agp slots but not PCI-Express. I've had a change of plan, instead of my £400 budget, could I get a gaming pc build which would last me a very long time and I could just simply continuously upgrade my CPU and GPU? that current build looks very tempting but would it be worth it for me to go quad core instead? I dont know the rate at which cpu's prices come down perhaps it would be better to just continiously buy £40 ones instead of splashing out on a quad core? I just thought I shouldnt limit the builds with a budget if it'd be more efficent to splash out more.

Thankyou so much for all the help and advice you guys have already given - its great!

Cheers,

Gabs.
November 1, 2009 5:41:02 PM

oh, could someone also explain the advantages of building over buying? I assume its much cheaper? I'm going to go compare a prebuilt one and compare it to a build.

Thanks guys!
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 1, 2009 5:54:05 PM

Gabriel_Confuzzled said:
Ok, How much do you think this pc should get on ebay:
Pentium 4 CPU - 3.20GHZ
1.00GB Ram - 2x 512mb(2 memory slots).
http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/advent/pc/t9003.htm - motherboard specs.
nvidia geforce 6200.
You can browse Ebay and find what other similar systems are selling at. My guess is £50-£75. But don't be surprised if it doesnt sell even at that price.
You're up against under £200 new PCs like this one.

For your £400 you will can find an acceptable gaming PC that will be upgradeable.
Check out this Bit-Tech article. What Hardware Should I Buy? - October 2009
!