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Looking for advice on first build

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December 26, 2009 9:58:59 PM

Hey everyone. First post from me, but I've been reading and swatting up from these great forums for a while :) 

OK, this will be my first build, so feel free to treat me like an idiot ;) 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: March (2010).
BUDGET RANGE: £600-£800 (not including monitor; looking to spend £150-£200 there, again advice would be nice, looking at a Asus VH226H 22" or something... http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO...).
Before / After Rebates: ...Rebates are rather unusual in the UK. But anything to save money!
SYSTEM USAGE: Gaming, Surfing and Molecular Modelling (I'm a chemistry student).
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: It's a completely new build, so I need new everything except speakers (have been using a laptop as my primary computer for 3 years but I love music so have some) and OS (I'm going to capitalise on the student deal - Win 7 for £30).
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No real preference, but I've been looking at Ebuyer and Overclockers UK whilst researching.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK (Surrey area).
PARTS PREFERENCES: No real preferences. See below for what I've come up with so far... 22"ish LCD though.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. First build, but I'll give it a go unless it voids warranties.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Later maybe. Hence the larger PSU than strictly necessary.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 probably. Not hugely fussed.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Not to my knowledge.

-Motherboard ASUS P7P55D PRO iP55 Socket LGA 1156 £132.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173450
-Processor Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz £145.72
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172755
-CPU Cooler £0.00
Currently thinking of using the stock cooler that will hopefully come with the i5...
-Memory G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz £82.08
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...
-Graphics XFX Radeon HD 5850 £239.99
I've quoted the price from Play.com, but I'm rather hoping the price will decrease by March... wishful thinking much?
-Hard Drives Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB £38.98
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...
-Optical Samsung SH-S223C £18.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CD...
-Case Antec 902 £86.99
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...
-Power Corsair 750W HX Modular PSU £107.17
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164950
Total Current Cost £852.90

Everything is provisional at the moment (especially considering I'm over budget already...).

You may notice the similarities between this build and the December Enthusiast built, seeing as it's hopefully a simplified (read: cheaper) version.

A few things to note:
- I know the PSU is overkill but I'm trying to factor in the possibility of another HD 5850 later. Might still be overkill though, advice please!
- I chose the Antec 902 because it's pretty more than for any other reason, but I'm trying to buy components that will last me for the long run, hence opting for the 902 over the 300. Again, overkill?
- I chose the motherboard with little to no knowledge about motherboards...
- I can just about cope with choosing the peripherals myself, I think :sarcastic: 

Any help, advice or constructive insults would be most appreciated! I'd especially like any ideas on how to decrease the price, as I don't know where to cut down first.

Many thanks,
Zan

More about : advice build

December 26, 2009 10:24:12 PM

lol, well glad you realised you were overbudget already as I was about to point that out to you!

As a newbie, I think £200 on CPU + case does seem somewhat overkill, especially as that was 4 weeks food when I was at uni (lol), am sure you could spend £50-£60 on the PSU and £40 on the case and then go and buy your mum an amazing late Christmas prezzie or something ;) 

Would you go AMD for more savings?
I bought a 3 core athlon II x3 435 for £55, and a decent micro ATX mboard to pair with it for £70. And at least with AMD you know the stock cooler is decent enough for a minor overclock.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180538
is my motherboard (sorry, its micro ATX; the -V model is full ATX and more or less the same price when bought separate) and its £175 including 1 stick of 2GB RAM, so you can see the kind of savings to be had.

Anyway, this is just my experience; am sure many people have a lot more.

And just another idea...

...I know this is a PC forum, but haven't had a decent PC for ages until recently. Why not build a budget, decent "work" PC, and then buy an XBOX for £150? That's half the price of just your graphics card...and you definitely won't *need* to upgrade it for another 3 yrs or so...as it'll perfectly play all games released for it, as is. Lol. Does depend what kind of games you like to play, I suppose. You might even consider a budget retail PC for like £250 and then just forgetting about it. :D 
December 26, 2009 11:09:33 PM

You can definitely go for a much cheaper mobo. This Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 £118, is cheaper and still has two good PCI-E slots for crossfire.
The 5850 should come down if Nvidia get it's new cards out before March. You can usually find some good cases around the £60 if you need to squeeze more savings out. Altho the Antec 902 is a good choice for cooling performance, cable management as well. You might want to consider the 700W OCZ ModXStream PSU as it is cheaper, only slightly less powerful and from a very reliable maker of components.
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December 27, 2009 9:45:15 AM

arakrazy:
Hehe, yeah, I'm aware that this a is very powerful (and expensive!) first build, but I figure that if I don't spend my extra cash on a shiny new computer I'll only end up spending it on tequila instead!

Concerning the MoBo, I tried to find the board they used in the Dec marathon build, but it's not available in the UK at the moment. Any help here would be great, as I have very little knowledge on how to pick between different boards.

I'm pretty set on the i5, like the concept behind the turbo boost facility (OCs a single core if others are inactive). Have an AMD CPU running my parents PC and it's worked perfectly for 5 years though, so I'd definitely consider it. I thought micro ATX boards were a pain to work with? If I did go for a micro ATX board I would definitely go with a smaller case though. Would save me a fair bit.

I thought the PSU was a component where spending more money was always advisable? Three figures is probably excessive though...

And on your last point... Good point. Thanks for your down-to-earth approach I'm gonna have to re-evaluate... Definitely bring the price down to the lower end of my budget at the very least!

Silvune:
Thank you! I think I was cursed yesterday, I tried but failed to find that exact MoBo. Will alter my build accordingly later. :) 

Yeah, that was my train of thought on the 5850... I intend to buy one as soon as it hits £210. Hopefully other parts will come down in price too as I wait!

Will definitely give the PSU a look! Went with Corsair because of their legendary reliability but if the ModXStream is appreciably cheaper then it's a no-brainer.

Many thanks both of you! I'll post an update later as I said...
December 27, 2009 4:42:00 PM

take a look at cooler master 690 . i am using it with corsair 550vx, i5 ,msi gd65 , 5850,gskill 4gb.it comes with 3 fans and room for 4 more ... i dont need them now .. lets see what happens in summer . also a psu like 650 corsair 650tx is enough for 5850 CF /single 5970 easily ....for the future ... more than that = waste . newer cards will only consume lesser power ...i forgot to mention my corsair is 2 years old already .
December 27, 2009 11:03:39 PM

Ok, having looked at my build and attacking it with a sledgehammer I've reduced the price to ~£670. This was achieved by using a Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 MoBo (so no Sli later), a 550vx PSU and the Antec 300 (had a look at the CM690 and didn't like it).

I'm thinking I'm going to have to start from scratch closer to the date however, as parts may become available, cheaper or the opposite. But in meantime thanks for your help guys. I shall be back...

Zan
December 27, 2009 11:08:30 PM

hold off and come back a week before you ready to purchase there gonna be a few shake ups before march
December 28, 2009 6:02:56 AM

even i wanted the antec 300 , but aint available where i live in local shops ... did not wanna buy it online ... but the CM 690 is running ok so far without any hitches ... airflow is good and noise is minimum .
January 29, 2010 5:47:15 PM

Just an update for you lovely people (still not ready to buy, but I've been researching, so...):

-Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD4 £119.20
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173533
Do I need this, or would a UD2 be better? Or would I even be better future-proofing with USB3?

-Processor: Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz £151.71
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172755

-CPU Cooler: None £0.00
Looked at the Hyper212, or the (huge) Mugen 2 that was on a recent Tom's article... advice?

-Memory: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V £80.00
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166995
Was going to get G.Skill, but it's hard to come by over here. Is Crucial a good make?

-Graphics: Radeon HD 5850 £210+ OR Sapphire HD 5770 £133.16
5770: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/189741
This decision is basically based on what everything else adds up to...

-Hard Drive(s): Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB £36.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146252

-Optical: Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW/RAM/DL Serial ATA Black Bare Drive - OEM £14.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

-Case: Antec 300 £42.08
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

-Power: Antec TruePower New 550W Modular PSU £70 (combo w/ Antec 300)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159918

-Extra case fans: 2X Antec TriCool 120mm DBB Case Fan
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/82253
Necessary I'm thinking? For the front of the Antec 300.

Total Current Cost £670ish (w/ HD5770)

Managed to wrestle the price under £700 with OS, but unfortunately the student deal on Win7 ended! Who saw that coming? Oh well...


So, any more advice? I'm probably going to OC this bad-boy I've decided, so now I need to know if this set-up will work.

Many, many thanks!
!