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New computer Build.

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Last response: in Systems
January 15, 2010 5:26:35 PM

Hey, I'm going to build a new computer and sell my old one. I've built computers from scratch multiple times but it's been a while since I've been in the computer community and I've lost track of the latest good value components.

I'm looking at spending £600 - £900. All I know is I'm going to use a completely clear case from Amazon and I'm going intel and Nvidia. Should I go Intel core 2 Quad or i5 or i7? What's your graphics card suggestion, I don't know anything about the new series, I only know up to 9800 etc.

Also what do you think about the square pc cases?


Thanks, Sdm

More about : computer build

January 15, 2010 5:35:42 PM

You're severly mistaken by going with nVidia. Since AMD has bought ATI (about 3 years ago) the GPU situation has been reversed. ATI is destroying nVidia right now.

As far as the CPU, the Core 2 is dead. The choice is basically entirely based on budget. Anything under $800 should use AMD (possibly up to $1,000 for gaming), $800-1,300 should use i5, and anything above that should be the i7-920.

Here's what I would build, but I can't be sure on the prices (I'm in the US).

CPU: i5-750
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro. This has USB 3.0/SATA III support, while still allowing Crossfire.
RAM: Cheapest 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 (timings 7-7-7-x) sticks you can find. Increase to 1600 mhz if it's not much of a price difference.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W
GPU: Radeon HD 5850

In the US, that would total about $1,000 (assuming about $80 for the case), which should be far under your budget. If it is, I can make some changes that will be a good increase...
January 15, 2010 7:22:04 PM

MadAdmiral said:

CPU: i5-750
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro. This has USB 3.0/SATA III support, while still allowing Crossfire.
RAM: Cheapest 2x2 GB DDR3 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 (timings 7-7-7-x) sticks you can find. Increase to 1600 mhz if it's not much of a price difference.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W
GPU: Radeon HD 5850

I will roughly price up MadAd's suggested components:
CPU: £150
Mobo: £160
RAM: £80-£100
HDD: £40
DVD: £20
PSU: £75
5850: £260
Which comes to around around £800
Related resources
January 15, 2010 7:26:56 PM

As for vid cards i can comment on my EVGA GTX 275 896MB... I love this card i have no problems running all current games maxxed out. Im thinking of upgrading to a 295 in the near future tho...
January 15, 2010 7:32:04 PM

The 5850 is even better than the GTX 285 and it is cheaper.
January 16, 2010 1:46:57 PM

Not to mention more future proof with DirectX 11 and superior abilities in dual card solutions.

If you don't need an OS, there's some budget left. With the 100 pounds, you could possibly squeeze in an upgrade to the HD 5870. The 5870 is the most powerful single card available (the HD 5970 is technically 2 5870s). It's about $100 more over here in the US.
January 16, 2010 3:32:39 PM

Yea, seeing as you can get 5870s that are around £325, then this would bring the total up to around £870. So if you really are willing to spend £900 then you would get a monster video card.
January 17, 2010 1:35:28 PM

Seems I've really lost track of Pc tech. Really good thing that I asked as I was completely set on one of the recent Nvidia's.
Any more advice, so far it's been mega helpful. I bought everything from Aria last time I done a build, any sites you can suggest? I think I may already have that PSU in my current PC.

Thanks, Sdm
January 17, 2010 1:55:44 PM

I suppose if you were going to overclock and add another 5870 at some point, then you might want a 750W PSU, but only if you were to do both of those things.
And make sure that the voltage on the RAM you buy is at most 1.65V. As Nehalem doesn't support RAM with voltages higher than that.
January 18, 2010 2:20:11 PM

The Intel i5 seems good but after reading up I've gathered that it affects PCI-e slots in SLI or Crossfire mode, halfing the express slots to 8x each, is that correct? Also it seems that the slot it uses is expected to be replaced/outdated sooner than normal? This is just what I gathered from reading a few articles, I might be way off the facts.

I've decided to go with the 5870. I'm maybe going to put my budget up and get a water cooling kit for the CPU or GPU as I've always liked the way they look. Will a water cooling system improve computer performance much? Another reason is that my perspex case will show everything including dust buildup so if I eventually water cool everything then no more dust will get inside.

I've been looking at the AMD Phenom x4 965 black edition and it seems rather good, how do you think it compares to an i5 750?
January 18, 2010 2:42:29 PM

The P55 does restrict the PCIe slots to 8x in Crossfire. However, you don't lose very much compared to 16x. I believe it was put at 4%. The only time it's a noticeable affect is when you Crossfire 5970s, so it's not that much of a problem. Besides, to step up to a i7-920 build would be $200-250 (in the US). So if the extra 4% is worth the huge payout to you, then you might have a point.

Water cooling isn't that much of an improvement, unless you have a massive overclock. Most people here overclock on air, and have great results. Cheap watercooling solutions are typically hotter and louder than air cooling. There's also the possiblity of springing a leak and losing everything. I don't think the cost is justified. If you're worried about dust, you can buy filters for fairly cheap.

The i5 is a much better CPU than the 965. The 965 has a place in lower end systems, or in a system that needs to save a little bit for a better GPU. Since the savings won't be able to provide better performance elsewhere in the build, stick with the i5.
January 18, 2010 2:56:16 PM

Water cooling doesn't affect performance, it just affects temperatures.
I think generally the i5 750 is better than the 965, there might be the occasional game or application where the AMD is better. The AMD build would probably be cheaper but I don't think the AMD motherboards with SATA 6Gbps are worth getting. You could save around £10 for the processor, up to £60 for the motherboard.
If I was you I'd stay pretty close to the setup that MadAd suggested.
January 20, 2010 1:58:03 PM

I came accross some opinions that the case I have bought may not fit a large card like the 5870. The case I've bought is the Sunbeam UFO. What do you think? I really want to use this case and I suppose it is what gave me the idea to make a new computer. I'd prefer not to have to mod the case to make way for components but will if I decide the larger gfx card is worth it.
January 20, 2010 5:04:57 PM

Well if this is a picture of an ATX motherboard in that case, and the bottom edge is the end of the case, and if a 5870 is up to 2" longer than an ATX motherboard, then no it won't fit.
January 21, 2010 1:13:31 AM

URGGGG!! (painful mind sound). Ok I've contacted the company I bought the Case off and they have a good returns policy and I'm sure they will be happy that I'm buying the Sunbeam tower instead from them, since this is a different topic I'll go back to a build ideal.

I'm having thoughts that I should go the Phenom II x4 way because I've read that there will be more AM3 socket CPU updates and the idea that 1156 has a less effective crossfire /sli gets at me. Bascially I'm finding it hard to understand wether I'm buying a super gaming rig with the I5 becaue if I am then I might as well get the i7 920 for an extra £50 but if the phenom II x4 955/65 is an excellent CPU and will have updates for the AM3 socket I might aswell go with it.

To make it easier for me to understand just what I'm buying I would like you to best describe my current setup when the 8800 GTX 768mb came out.

Current setup from DXdiag
MSI MS-7346 Mobo
Intel core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4ghz
8800GTX 768mb DDR3 (I think)
2GB Corsair (MHZ not sure)

This has lasted since the 8800 came out and has been brilliant, at the time I bought it the 8800 gtx was the best card out so if you were to put my sytems quality into ''now'' terms what am I looking at?

Hope that made sense, I'm a bit drunk and thought I could work these things out earlier today but it's taking me alot longer than I thought to choose parts, I've never known more about a CPU, Ram. motherboard and GPU before so it's very overwhelming. Went to ask a few time today but decided theu were stupid questions because there are benchmarks out there to show me these things.

Night, Adam.