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Gaming pc for approx 600 UK GBP

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December 31, 2010 2:33:19 PM

Hello everyone! I am thinking to build my own pc in February-march. Could you please suggest me parts to build a gaming pc for approx 600 Great British pounds WITHOUT MONITOR. I know it may be early to ask since new stuff are coming out in January but I need to have something in mind now about what I can get with my money. Bargain suggestions welcome! So here is the summary:


Approximate Purchase Date: 1.5-2.5 months
 
Budget Range: 600 GBP without screen
 
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, hd movies
 
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS and perhaps HDD
 
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebuyer etc... Generally anywhere where good offers exist
 
Country of Origin: UK
 
Parts Preferences: no preference! Sole criterion: best for my money.
 
Overclocking: Maybe
 
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, if u think my budget allows for
 
Monitor Resolution: I'm not buying a monitor since I've got one that can reach 1900x1200 pixels
 
Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC (I know that it sounds oxymoron: gaming and quiet but any ideas welcome; would sacrifice quietness for performance!)


Thanks a lot and I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2011!

More about : gaming approx 600 gbp

a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
December 31, 2010 3:04:57 PM

Hi.

I am putting together a similar build myself. To me this is starting to look like the best option:

CPU: Intel Core i5-760 (~£140)
Because Intel seem to be kings of the mid-high range market, particularly for gaming. Check out its benchmarks, apparently this can relatively easily be overclocked to 4Ghz and be as good as intels £700 range are at stock. Your AMD alternative would be a Phenom II 1090T with a cheaper mobo.

RAM: OCZ or Corsair 2x2GB 1333Mhz DDR3 (~£45)
Because to me this amount seems enough for games and its always a good idea to go with a decent brand. Also i think they come with heatsinks, good if you decide to overclock.

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2 (~£50)
Because i dont know a lot about mobos so i went for a cheapish one (for Intel) :p 

GPU: Palit GeForce GTX 460 1GB (~£140)
Because after reading reviews it seems like this is the best value card money can buy and Nvidia are putting their own cards to shame with it. Also, it is meant to be great for overclocking which is always a bonus.

PSU: CiT 650W (~£35)
Because 650W should be plenty of power and again, its good to go with a brand. Also this seems quite cheap.

HDD: Kingston 128GB Solid State Drive (~£150)
Because solid state is the way forward, this SSD should just be used for installed programs and things that you just want to store can be stored on a big HDD.

Case: Coolermaster Elite 430 (~£35)
Because i like the look of coolermaster cases and this one seems like a well rounded, decent case for a reasonable price.

and dvd/bluray drive of your preference (~£15/£50 respectively)

With the dvd drive that comes up to around £610. To me it looks like a good build already and has tons of overclocking potential.

Take note though this this is just my idea and i myself am asking for advice too. Hope this helps though.

(All prices from www.aria.co.uk or www.microdirect.co.uk)
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
December 31, 2010 3:08:14 PM

P.S. if you want it to be quiet i would just buy a quiet PSU and some quiet aftermarket coolers/fans for the GPU/CPU/Case. (when you have the cash) Again, this will also help if/when you come to overclock :D 
Related resources
December 31, 2010 3:49:23 PM

The above build is pretty decent but personally id make a few changes. Def avoid cheap PSUs as thats the area your better off making sure you spend a bit more on for a ocz/corsair etc

Also the micro atx mobo like the H55M dont support any sli/crossfire so not great if your planning on future upgrading unless your not bothered about dual card build. Also not too overclockable but you said maybe to both of those so shouldnt matter too much.

December 31, 2010 4:14:34 PM

you could fit SLI build within your budget with the following;

cpu: i5 760 - £136

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Inte...(Lynnfield)+(Socket+LGA1156)+Processor+-+Retail+?productId=40924&source=googleps

psu: cooler master 650w - £57

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/200491

ram: corsair 1600mhz 4gb - £38

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173122

MOBO: gigabyte p55-usb3 - £85

http://www.ebuyer.com/search?q=p55-usb3&x=0&y=0

gpu: Gigabyte gtx 460 1gb OC X 2!! (£140 each)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-gigabyte-gtx-460-oc-...

HDD - 500gb western digital 7,200rpm - £30

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124228


TOTAL APRX = £624


A little bit over budget but it will be a really powerfuly machine for such a low cost. you can easily play all games at max at that rez and you can probs take that hdd price off if you have one.

SSD would be great but are mainly for a high end build. The SSD depends on your preference between performance in games or quicker windows load up and program load times reduced.
December 31, 2010 4:16:15 PM

btw i have those GPUs and did alot of research before buying them. There are similar that run SLIGHTLY better BUT with a sacfrifice in temperature which you really need to think about when running two
December 31, 2010 5:05:03 PM

guys, first of many thanks for your replies!! You have actually made my day! I havent followed the developments in technology and prices in the past 3-4 years and I didnt know I could get two GPU's with my budget. Exciting news indeed!

December 31, 2010 6:58:43 PM

traxevc said:
guys, first of many thanks for your replies!! You have actually made my day! I havent followed the developments in technology and prices in the past 3-4 years and I didnt know I could get two GPU's with my budget. Exciting news indeed!



to be honest im quite surprised you can get such a good set up for your budget but then thats because i paid more when they were the newest technology.

It definately pays to get slightly older tech becuase you save a fortune and can still get a great build.

I have those cards and cpu and can say how impressed i am with them!!!

have fun
January 1, 2011 10:35:13 AM

delsaber said:
you could fit SLI build within your budget with the following;

cpu: i5 760 - £136

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Inte...(Lynnfield)+(Socket+LGA1156)+Processor+-+Retail+?productId=40924&source=googleps

psu: cooler master 650w - £57

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/200491

ram: corsair 1600mhz 4gb - £38

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173122

MOBO: gigabyte p55-usb3 - £85

http://www.ebuyer.com/search?q=p55-usb3&x=0&y=0

gpu: Gigabyte gtx 460 1gb OC X 2!! (£140 each)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-gigabyte-gtx-460-oc-...

HDD - 500gb western digital 7,200rpm - £30

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124228


TOTAL APRX = £624


A little bit over budget but it will be a really powerfuly machine for such a low cost. you can easily play all games at max at that rez and you can probs take that hdd price off if you have one.

SSD would be great but are mainly for a high end build. The SSD depends on your preference between performance in games or quicker windows load up and program load times reduced.



I noticed that in your build you have a coolermaster hyper 212. This is the cpu fan right? Do I need any of those?

Also does the clock difference between these 2 cards make any real performance difference (I dont mind the 10gbp difference u see):

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/232853

and

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/251197
January 1, 2011 1:05:24 PM

yes the hyper 212 is the cpu cooler. you wouldnt need one of these unless you plan on overclocking your cpu. You could always get one in future if you decided to overclock the cpu.

Well if you go for two of the 460 cards £20 extra would be enough for a cpu cooler so id advise the lower spec one as you can easily overclock the cards although with two you really dont need to. They work really well together
January 1, 2011 1:09:34 PM

delsaber said:
yes the hyper 212 is the cpu cooler. you wouldnt need one of these unless you plan on overclocking your cpu. You could always get one in future if you decided to overclock the cpu.

Well if you go for two of the 460 cards £20 extra would be enough for a cpu cooler so id advise the lower spec one as you can easily overclock the cards although with two you really dont need to. They work really well together



thanks a lot and sorry for one more noob question:

so, does the i5 760 processor come with a cooler from factory? I remember in the past we used to buy our own coolers or something

thanks

Elias
January 1, 2011 1:20:52 PM

yes it comes with a factory cooler. the factory cooler is fine if you dont overclock the cpu but id definately buy a cpu cooler if you think about overclocking even a little bit.
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
January 1, 2011 3:47:05 PM

thanks for your opinion on my proposed build Delsaber, are you sure id be better off with a second gtx 460 than a SSD? for gaming i mean, not too bothered about boot times etc. Also, what case would you reccomend for that build? thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
January 1, 2011 4:19:44 PM

I don't agree with the PSU recommendations in this thread so far. CIT because it's cheap and I know nothing about it - you can't recommend things you know nothing about. And the CoolerMaster GX 650, because I know that it can't deal with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, and has out of spec ripple on the 3.3V rail when fully load. Neither does it have enough PCI-E connectors to run two of those cards, and if the specs on the ebuyer page are correct, it doesn't have enough 4-pin peripheral (Molex) connectors to use adapters. Here's a review that will convince you: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/11/22/cooler_master...

This is the power supply you should get if you want to know that you have a high quality, well built, good performing, high efficiency unit, with enough power for most configurations:
XFX Pro 650W Core Edition 80Plus Bronze £64
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/241554
Also it's at a reasonable price. Here's a review for it: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1042/pg1/xfx-pro-...

Altho I think you will have to ditch the second GTX460 for now, as you need to fit in a quiet case to the budget. The Fractal Design Define R3 cases are well known for being quiet, but they probably aren't the best choice for a multi-card rig. This case does have lots of fan bays, which can be opened up to include fans, but this would likely make the case noisier, unless you are careful to specifically choose slow speed, quiet fans. The BitFenix Survivor is also likely to be quiet, but cooling potential, again won;t be as good as some cases.

Some other cheaper cases that will probably work for your needs include the CoolerMaster CM 690 II Lite and Antec 100. The Silverstone Precision PS05B is cheap, would have good airflow with slow fans as well.

The Gigabyte P55-USB3 is hardly a motherboard suitable for a multi-card rig either, due to the second PCI-E slot being x4 electrically, which means that in a lot of cases it will bottleneck any fast graphics card that is installed into it, and be detrimental to your gaming experience and you won't get the best scaling possible.

Stock coolers are not generally seen as a good choice for someone who wants a quiet computer. Personally I would not choose the Hyper 212 Plus either, altho you could easily buy another large, slow quiet fan to fit to it. I think that it might be a good idea to fit a Thermalright TY-140 fan to it, as it is PWM, slow spinning and known for being quiet, while producing reasonable airflow and is quite cheap for such a good fan.
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
January 1, 2011 4:42:27 PM

Thanks for the input Silvune, so what mobo/PSU would you reccomend if he does decide to sacrifice a quiet pc for more performance and go for 2 GTX 460's?
a b 4 Gaming
January 1, 2011 5:23:07 PM

The PSU I linked to in my previous post, the XFX Pro 650W Core Edition is plenty for a system with two GTX460s. As for motherboard, whichever is the cheapest motherboard to have two PCI-E slots at x8 or above.

Unfortunately I don't know which would be the best deal for a motherboard that has two high speed PCI-E slots, but last time I checked it would have been the MSI P55A-G55. Maybe the OP will be able to find good deals on the Asus P7P55D Pro, MSI P55-GD65 or Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4, if he doesn't mind not having SATA6G or USB3.

I don't see how he is going to be able to fit two GTX 460s into the £600 budget if he still needs to buy a case, even if he doesn't make sure that it is quiet. Altho if he gets the right motherboard he would have the option.
January 1, 2011 6:55:25 PM

my bad with the mobo. thought i saw the second slot was a x8 but obviously not. I blame having the flu :p  thanks for that silvune

This board is good but a bit more expensive

http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-p7p55d-pro--intel-p55...


x8/x8 Will be fine at your resolution. minor differences between that and x16/x16


I know it seems the two 460s may be slightly out of budget atm but OP is planning a few months in advance so assuming a bit of a decrease on prices.

cant believe how cheap ram is atm!!

I agree the xfx psu would be better

>JMSellers - The SSD wont improve actual game performance in terms of fps. It will reduce level load times, game load times, OS load and general use etc

Its worth noting though that to get OS+applications+games onto an SSD it will need to be a pretty decent size and therefore expensive though. Ive been very tempted to get one lately but with new intel ssds on the way theres talk of prices dropping on the current ranges of SSDs
January 1, 2011 7:59:01 PM

thanks again for these valuable suggestions. I will squeeze my budget a bit and I think I will go for:

Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 i5 Memory Kit CL9(9-9-9-24) £41.28

Intel i5 760 2.8GHz Socket 1156 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £157.95

Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1GB GDDR5 OC Edition Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card £144.99 x 2

XFX Pro 650W Core Edition PSU - Single Rail 9x SATA 4x PCI-E £63.80


Antec One Hundred 100 Case - All Black Interior 246639 53
£42.29

Asus P7P55D PRO £98.61


All these are 700 GBP. In February when I have the cash the prices may be lower too so I might not have to stretch my budget.

If I were to go for the above, is there anything else u think is a bad choice?

cheers

Elias
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
January 1, 2011 11:46:11 PM

looks ok to me, as i said earlier im building a gaming pc too, with a similar budget and i think im gonna do almost exactly the same tbh. One thing though, id probably add 1 more fan to the side of your case for those GPU's
January 2, 2011 8:30:18 AM

That is a really good set up. Im bias though as its so similar to mine. lol.

You probably dont need a fan on the side if your not planning on overclocking too much. I had an antec 300 case recently which is similar to the antec 100 and all my temps were good even with the processor at 3.8ghz and the gpus overclocked 10-15%. You will not need to overclock the gpus though. I only do it for benchmarking because they rip through every game at factory settings.

Ive got 32k in pcmark vantage and run black ops at 90+ FPS at max settings

just google the 460 sli set up and you can see some great stats on how well they scale.

have fun with a great pc!!
January 25, 2011 8:01:35 PM

hi again! I have a question. Is there a mobo that can take 16 + 16 sli for a reasonable price? Am I right to believe that the Asus P7P55D PRO does only 8 + 8?
January 31, 2011 9:49:57 AM

I found the answer in one of the previous posts. I have another question though. I'm thinkin of going for an intel i7 and 8th ram. I know it will cost more than the stated budget. Can somebody please give some suggestions? Are the mobos for i7's more likely to do x16/x16 for a reasonable price? I need few suggestions asap as I will place my order quite soon.
a b 4 Gaming
January 31, 2011 10:39:22 AM

Yes you are more likely to get dual x16 motherboards from the X58 chipset, I think even the cheapest X58 motherboards run two slots at x16. However the benefits of dual x16 are dubious.
January 31, 2011 12:10:49 PM

Sorry for my annoying questions but can someone suggest me the best value for money i7 processor (I know this is a slightly contradictory statement), a good mobo which is SLI ready to go with me graphics cards (see below) and 8GB of Ram (fast one, like the 4GB I was considering at the beginning of this thread) AND able to work well with the rest of my equipment:



Gigabyte GTX 460 OC 1GB GDDR5 OC Edition Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card £144.99 x 2

XFX Pro 650W Core Edition PSU - Single Rail 9x SATA 4x PCI-E £63.80


Antec One Hundred 100 Case - All Black Interior 246639 53
£42.29


thanks so much
a b 4 Gaming
January 31, 2011 5:59:13 PM

Well that would be the Intel Core i7-930/920, which apparently is discontinued, so you will have a hard time finding one, altho I checked ebay and they seem to have some for as little as £200. Otherwise it will be the i7-950, which Aria seem to have quite cheap:
£213
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Inte...

The choice X58 motherboards are around £150
Asus Sabertooth TUF X58
Asus P6X58D-E
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

You could get the Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3, if you really need to keep the costs down and don't mind sacrifing whatever features it's missing. To find out I suggest going to the Gigabyte website and using whatever comparing feature they have on there.

Geil Value Plus 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz Cas 9 1.4-1.6V £90
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...
February 1, 2011 3:17:38 AM

Thanks for your reply. I am in a serious dilemma; I just saw a great price for a GTX 480:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

this one costs 90 pounds less than 2 x gtx 460's and I am really thinking to get the asus gtx 480 instead. However, I have some questions for you guys:

1: will the XFX 650w PSU I am going to buy enough for a gtx 480?
2: If I decide to purchase a second gtx 480 in the future, what kind of PSU will I need? A nuclear one perhaps :s ?!?
3: is there any known issues with the following setup, or any possible problems you might think of?

Geil Value Plus 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz Cas 9 1.4-1.6V £90
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/show [...] ubcat=1517

XFX Pro 650W Core Edition PSU - Single Rail 9x SATA 4x PCI-E £63.80

Antec One Hundred 100 Case - All Black Interior 246639 53
£42.29

i7-950,

Asus P6X58D-E

Asus GeForce GTX 480 1536MB GDDR5 PCI-Express


4: (last question) I ve read the review comparing 1 gtx 480 with 2 x gtx 460 and it says that 2 x gtx 460 outperform a gtx 480 by 26%. So, my question is, is it worth saving 80-90 pounds (2 x gtx 460 would cost me 2 x approx 143pounds,which is approx 290 pounds, while 1 x gtx 480 will cost me 195 pounds), while gaining upgradability for the future in view of the purchase of a second gtx 480?

a relatively quick answer would be much appreciated as I would like to order as soon as possible.

thanks in advance to everyone!

a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2011 9:01:35 AM

Yes the XFX 650W PSU will be enough for a system with one GTX 480, but not two, you would need a really good 850W PSU as a minimum for a system with two GTX 480s.
I do not know of any issues with that setup.

Personally I wouldn't touch a GTX 480, because of it being a defective design, why else would Nvidia replace it so quickly? It produces a massive amount of heat and noise, which are not things I look for in computer parts. But it is probably the best gaming performance you will get for £195. I would suggest going with the cheaper option, especially if it is just one card, because the graphics card market is quite competitive atm and either config will run any game at high settings at most normal resolutions (what is your resolution btw). But with one card you save money and have more upgrade options, and would only have one card to offlong if you decided to upgrade to something other than GTX 480 SLI.
Another possible factor is whether the games you are particularly interested in playing are more suited to one config or the other.
If quietness is an important factor then I would go for a 6870 with a large fan, altho it seems like you would be able to afford a GTX 560 Ti, which performs much better than a GTX 460 and will still be quite good at being quiet.
February 1, 2011 9:36:15 AM

thank you for your prompt reply silvune! I have a question. Say I go for the GTX 480; what happens in terms of heat/noise when I dont play games, i.e. when I leave the pc overnight uploading/downloading torrents. Does the card and/or mobo/processor go into a state of minimal consuption. And if not, is there software that can control the power consumption according to the use? If yes and if effective, I cannot see why not going for the 195 pounds gtx 480 and use it in its maximum potential (with the noise and the heat) only when I play games. By the way, I am not the most fanatic gamer. I only play occasionally and in periods. However, when I play, I want to play good and hard; I am sure you know what I mean ;)  I want to be impressed, like the time I bought my 2000-euro fujitsu-siemens laptop with the Ati x1800 in the year 2006. The feeling of playing current games in their max settings and the enjoyment out of it is what I am after.

Please please please I need your final thoughts before I place the order (I might do it now actually) and thanks again for taking the time to read!!! God bless you!


P.S. sorry if I am repeating myself and you have already answered my questions, but 700-800 pounds for me is not a small amount and I am becoming a bit paranoid.
a b 4 Gaming
a b C Monitor
February 1, 2011 10:37:34 AM

I think you may be better going back to traxevc's original i5 setup as you are spending alot more for little or no performance gain. I don't know what resolution you are going to be gaming at but if its 1920x1080 or less then a single 460GTX will be fine and for gaming the i5 760 is just about as good as anything. so I recommend unless you are planning to game on 2+ monitors or at very high resolution get an i5 760 a board that has 2 x pcie x16 slots running at 8X and a single 460GTX and get a second 460GTX if you think you need one after using the system.
a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2011 10:44:52 AM

simon took the words out of my mouth, with a resolution like that, a GTX 480 is completely unjustified considering that even when idle it's fan will make a lot of noise, the 4890 in my machine makes a lot of noise when idle. I'm an occasional gamer as well, so that means that the noisy fan of my GPU annoys me more because I am not being distracted by a game.

Yes power consumption, temps and noise levels do go down when the GPU is not being used (except to display the desktop), but that doesn't mean that it doesn't produce a lot of noise or consume more than it should, or than it's competitors do.

With the savings going to an i5-760 setup you'd probably even be able to afford a premium GTX 560 Ti with a quiet fan, that is what I would do in your situation.
February 1, 2011 10:59:24 AM

Thanks guys! I need the processor and more ram for some audio tasks (Cubase/nuendo) for editing mixing.
a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2011 5:04:45 PM

Yes I think so.
February 7, 2011 11:33:49 PM

hi again guys. I am having a problem. I finally got the components.

I just finished building the pc and after having install everything correctly, I get horizontal lines. I managed to installed os fine. The lines appear as soon as the windows start loading. I tried installing nvidia's drivers and the problem is still there. Now the screen goes black after the windows logo finishes and it is about to show the desktop. My components are:

i7 950
8gb ram
msi gtx 470 frozr II
asus sabretooth x58

any ideas?

February 8, 2011 10:20:24 AM

Problem solved. I tried my old card and the pc works great.

Cant believe a new MSI gtx470 frozr Ii can be so problematic right out of the box!?!?

RMA on the way
a b 4 Gaming
February 8, 2011 11:43:48 AM

Glad to hear you figured it out. Sorry I didn't reply before, but I had no idea what it could have been.
!