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Gaming PC

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July 12, 2010 8:25:15 PM

I am currently looking for a gaming pc to hopefully be able to play Armed assault 2 and Crysis well. I will be starting an Apprenticship in september and get over £200 a week so good money. But i still have to buy a car and lessons so that will take a lot of money out.

Budget: I would think around £400-£600 at most not too sure at the moment though.

Heres the stuff i was thinking of getting/ what i have but as i dont know much about this sort of thing i will need your help. Moniter and keyboard etc i already have.


Case: Currently got a silver xblade case, just unsure if its worth getting different one.

Power supply: Currently got the corsair 550W psu and not chaning.

Processor: Current got Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, was thinking about quad core but they are a lot more than i expected so is this enough?

Motherboard: Dont know this but i will try and find out soon, is it worth getting a new one and what are the advantages of better ones?

Graphics card: I was thinking 9800GTX, as i dont know much i dont know if the other types like the GT 240 would be better. I am thinking of spending at most £200 on a graphics card i would prefer £100-150.

Ram: 4GB total - 2 x Kingston DDR3 2GB 1333MHz

Hard drive: Currently 320GB hard drive, is there any reason to upgrade?

More about : gaming

July 12, 2010 8:39:42 PM

I really suggest going amd, such as an amd 440 triple core? And a decent amd motherboard of your preference..... A 500gb is only around $50 and well worth it :) , especially if in the future you decide to put movies onto your hdd or big games like APB.... for gfx card get a radeon 4850 or plus, Nvidia isn't the way to go at the moment :) 
July 12, 2010 8:47:04 PM

Thanks, but i though AMD are good for small builds like if you just use it for internet and not gaming, also i believe i was going to get the 4850 last year but just never managed to get the money.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 12, 2010 9:11:59 PM

AMD is perfectly fine for gaming builds.

Multiple THG reviews have indicated that the best gaming price/performance is AMD, especially the Athlon II X3 440.
Gaming CPUs under $150
THG Best Gaming CPUs for the Money, June 2010
also see How many Cores do you need? suggesting that in some cases, games see little benefit from a 4th core.

You can certainly go with an i5-750, but the processor & motherboard will cost more than an AMD build, meaning that you'll have less to spend on a graphics card. Once you have 3 or 4 cores, and are gaming at 1680x1050 and up, modern games are GPU-limited, and the CPU (and especially brand) doesn't matter nearly as much. Thus, spending more of your computer budget on a better graphics card is the way to go (for a gaming build).

If you want fully-specced builds, please see the link in my signature, there's some additional information that people need in order to provide real recommendations.
July 12, 2010 10:54:01 PM

Tri cores is plenty for right now, many games only utilize 2 cores, and only a few games (Command and Conquer) can even use all three
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2010 4:53:00 AM

320gb is fine... hopefully it's at least 7200rpm tho. I'd say go for a Phenom II x4, gigabyte motherboard, and ATI 5770 video card. THey are all budget components, but will still cruise through most games. 4gb of DDR3 is perfect for you
July 13, 2010 11:51:08 AM

I will start to have a look for some AMD processors/ motherboards now. I also think i will get a 500GB hard drive as mine is slow i think. Can anyone tell me a program that gives me detailed specs of my PC, i had one before just cant remember the name of it.

Another thing, how long would a PC like this last with the upgrade in graphics on new games?


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: September 2010 - October 2010 BUDGET RANGE: £400-£600 (Will spend more if its worth it but will take more time)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Corsair 550W PSU, silver xblade case (wont change if you dont think it needs it, but the fans are small but i put a 120mm fan at the back)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.ebuyer.com, www.play.com, www.amazon.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: They best for what i need.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Dont know what this is.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dont have moniter yet so dont know.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Good looking case if i need it but one that keeps cool, and to be able to run armed assault 2 and crysis 1/2 well.

Edit: Just read on a review for an AMD Phenom II x4 processor that he was getting 81C, but he then put new thermal paste on and it was maxing at 66C. Is it worth getting some thermal paste anyway?
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 12:53:24 PM

With your budget I would go with AMD - they are great for gaming and the best for price/performance

Phenom II 955 - £128.89
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-955-Bla...

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO - £89.88
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-M4A88TD-V-EVO-USB3-...(x16)-DDR3-2000(OC)-SATA-6Gb-s-SATA-RAID-ATX

G Skill RAM 1600mhz DDR3 RAM CL7- £95.92
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490

Total: About £315

That leaves plenty for the GPU - I recommend nothing less than a 5850 (it is a bit over your £200 for a GPU, but seeing as we are well within budget it is well worth it)
Asus 5850 - £229.10
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-Asus-HD-5850-PCI-E-2...(x16)-4000MHz-GDDR5-GPU-725MHz-1440-Cores-DP-2x-DVI-HDMI

Total: about £545

That leaves spare money for buying the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb Hard Drive if you like - it is very good performance and only about £38.

I would not worry about Thermal Paste personally. However, with the spare money you may want a seperate CPU cooelr rather than the stock one.

If you really wanted to go Intel, you probably could get an I5 750, however you would have to get a cheap motherboard. This is not necessarilly a problem - I went with a board that still uses SATA/USB II and has no Crossfire becasue I never use more than one graphic card and I am not worried about the new SATA/USB III as I wont need it until my next build in 3 or so years time. (I went with the MSI P55 CD53 board in case you are interested. It is limited in its manual overclocking but the OC Genie on it OCs moderately well with no effort so I liked that)

The AMD setup gives a motherboard that allows Crossfire (using two graaphic cards together for more performance) it also uses the latest technology SATA/USB III.
July 13, 2010 1:09:08 PM

Wow thanks. That looks great for me and after looking at the charts here for that graphics card gettin 52fps on Bad company 2 (1680x1050, 4AA, 8AF, High Quality, DX10) which is what i would probably run at anyway.

For the motherboard it only has 4xUSB 2.0 slots, would i just be able to get a PCI usb expansion slot or something similar?

I will get that hard drive you said, i just looked at it on the charts, and im getting 40mb/s that is 110mb/s and for £36 :D !

And with all this in i am going to invent in a CPU cooler and some better fans for my case.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 1:26:38 PM

The AMD board I linked has 6 slots. 4 are USB 2.0 and the other 2 are for USB 3.0 (which is backward compatible, so you CAN use USB 2.0 devices in these slots). Do you need more than 6?

If you do need/want more USB ports then you can change to a different motherboard (personally I have never used more than 4 USB slots so I did not pay attention to it while looking for a mobo). This link is of lots of motherboards for your CPU. You will likely want to stick with USB/SATA III compatible and ideally Crossfire just in case you make use of it one day
http://www.scan.co.uk/Shop/Computer-Hardware/All/Mother...
July 13, 2010 1:29:22 PM

Oh didnt know USB 3.0 was backward compatible lol. So yea i dont need any more i am currently using 5 atm, but also have 2 USB 1.0 on my keyboard.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 1:32:19 PM

Then you should be fine. You crazy people and all your USB usage - I have a mouse, a keyboard and occasionally a memory stick in my USB slots. I guess I could get a printer but even then that would be 3 permenantly used slots and one used occasionally. What more does a gamer want?! You have a fancy camera attached too? :) 
July 13, 2010 1:34:55 PM

Lol i have: Headphones, Printer, Controller, Keyboard, Mouse, and sometimes memory stick.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2010 3:59:13 PM

If you ever find yourself running out of USB ports, you can always get a USB hub and chain other devices off of it. They're usually relatively cheap.

And excellent build, asteldian...I have to admit I shy away from doing full builds for European buyers, as I find most of the sites frustrating. I tend to just sit back and make suggestions. :) 
July 13, 2010 4:02:36 PM

Yea, If i do need more. Would you think its better getting a USB device with multiple ports or one that slots into a PCI slot?

Also what is wrong with European sites? Is it the currency diference? For example amazon.co.uk and .com are almost exactly the same.

a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 13, 2010 4:07:21 PM

Turvs said:
Yea, If i do need more. Would you think its better getting a USB device with multiple ports or one that slots into a PCI slot?

Also what is wrong with European sites? Is it the currency diference? For example amazon.co.uk and .com are almost exactly the same.


Personally, I don't like taking up my PCI slots just for USB, but that's individual preference. Most devices don't saturate USB bandwidth (unless you're doing a backup to disk or something), so it's not like you'd choke the USB hub by plugging in keyboard/mouse/speakers.

Have you used newegg.com? :)  It's mostly just that I have yet to find a site that compares to newegg for ease of use and product availability. There's a reason most US builds are almost solely newegg links.
July 13, 2010 4:11:06 PM

From what i can see on that site is that you have lots of different search options on teh side like price and make etc. Thats why i like ebuyer its very simple and clean, with options on the side to help when searching for a product, helpful reviews and i belive free delivery. You should have a look on there next time, also they are quite cheap.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 13, 2010 7:23:14 PM

coldsleep said:
If you ever find yourself running out of USB ports, you can always get a USB hub and chain other devices off of it. They're usually relatively cheap.

And excellent build, asteldian...I have to admit I shy away from doing full builds for European buyers, as I find most of the sites frustrating. I tend to just sit back and make suggestions. :) 


I live in the UK and for some reason always need to jump on threads where other UK buyers are trying to build.

ebuyer.com and newegg.com can suck it! (well, not really, I quite like their sites). I LOVE www.scan.co.uk, it is all broken down so well, you select what you want to look at and the whole list comes up - motherboards are broken down into Intel and AMD, then by socket so no one can accidently get a wrong type (handy for new builders as Motherboards are a whole bunch of numbers and letters). My only beef with Scan is that their RAM selection is limited to Corsair so I have to buy elsewhere.

I usually use scan to find all the parts, then type them in at ebuyer or overclockers or novatech to check prices.
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