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Opinions and Advice on my budget gaming build, please.

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January 4, 2011 6:20:00 PM

Hi,

I am going to be (I think) building my first ever PC soon, and I intent to make it a budget gaming machine.

Can you please let me know if this makes sense - I want it below £500 ideally, the more under the better.

Here it is...

£70 - AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 6MB Cache Retail Box Processor
£49 - Gigabyte GA-770T-D3L AMD 770 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
£37 - Kingston HyperX blu 4 GB : 2 x 2 GB Memory - DIMM 240-pin - 1333 MHz ( PC3-10600)
£100 - Sapphire RADEON HD 5770 Graphics adapter - 1 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM
£44 - Samsung SpinPoint F3 Desktop Class 1 TB Internal hard drive - 300 MBps - 7200 rpm
£13 - Optical Drive - Samsung SH-S223C
£51 - Antec PSU Basiq Plus 550W A/PFC Modular 1035-BP550 Plus
£50 - Antec 300 Three Hundred Case
£24 - Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler
£70 - Windows 7 Home Premium
TOTAL - £508


I have come to the conclusion that there is no point future-proofing if this is going to be on a budget.

Thanks for your help and advice.
January 4, 2011 6:26:06 PM

I have just noted that perhaps the PSU is slightly overpowered, so a lower one with a lower price tag may be better...
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January 4, 2011 8:37:53 PM

I know you were not a fan of the original PSU and you suggested some others, which I am very grateful for, but in the interests of money, what do you think of..

Coolermaster Elite 430 All Black With Elite 500W PSU £68.30


I will guess that you didn't like the PSU because it was perhaps a bit cheap and unreliable? I then guess that this Case+PSU bundle means the PSU will be even worse, and so is a bad choice.

Please let me know though, a £30 quid saving is pretty decent but may not be an effective cutback.
a b 4 Gaming
January 4, 2011 8:49:03 PM

Oops my sig wasn't being displayed...

No, the CM Elite PSU is junk. CM cases are good though. The OCZ was the best inexpensive PSU I saw. There's a good Antec EA-380 but I felt that would be a bit on the light side for you.

See the PSU guide in my sig for more details.
January 5, 2011 8:11:52 AM

Thanks mate. I understand the importance of a good PSU now.

If I am going along the lines of a non-futureproof build, should I save on a case as well? I will be overclocking the Phenom and using air cooling by buying an extra fan or two.

Is there a decent case out therefor about £30?
January 5, 2011 9:31:09 AM

£67 - AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 6MB Cache Retail Box Processor
£49 - Gigabyte GA-770T-D3L AMD 770 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
£37 - Kingston HyperX blu 4 GB : 2 x 2 GB Memory - DIMM 240-pin - 1333 MHz ( PC3-10600)
£100 - Sapphire RADEON HD 5770 Graphics adapter - 1 GB - GDDR5 SDRAM
£44 - Samsung SpinPoint F3 Desktop Class 1 TB Internal hard drive - 300 MBps - 7200 rpm
£12 - Optical Drive - Samsung SH-S223
£48 - OCZ Stealth Xstream II 500W PSU - 3x SATA 1x PCI-E
£32 - Antec VSK-2000 Black Mid Tower Computer Case
£18 - Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
£70 - Windows 7 Home Premium
TOTAL - £477

Ok. Thanks. Cut down by £31 without loss in performance... Thanks for your help Proximon.
January 5, 2011 1:55:20 PM

For only 11 more, I would recommend the Athlon II 640. It is a quad core processor but without the L3 cache of the Phenom series. Now L3 does make a difference in gaming but games also take advantage of 3 cores on average. Plus, the quad core will be better for other tasks as well allowing for a little bit of "future proofing".

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-athlon-ii-x4-640-pro...

Also add another dollar and pick up this 1600MHz RAM. It will come in handy when you start overclocking.

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(2x2gb)-corsair-xms3-ddr3-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-165v
January 5, 2011 2:22:10 PM

Thanks Jedi - the RAM change is a great piece of advice.

However, I am aware of the Athlon 640, but when it comes to cores, the Phenom can often be unlocked to a quad core. I believe this is quite common. What it can end up 'being' is a Phenom 1055 or something with a little overclocking.

I have read in loads of places that people have done this; both users and critics.

Let me know your opinion.
January 5, 2011 2:39:01 PM

The Phenom only has 2 cores that can be unlocked making it at most an X4 965. However, there is no guarantee that the cores can be unlocked. Many people have been able to successfully do that and others haven't. I would buy the X2 knowing that you can live with 2 cores and additional ones are a bonus. I would hate to have you purchase it expecting to unlock them only to find that they are unstable. If you get one or both cores unlocked, that would be a great value. Again, no guarantee though.
January 5, 2011 2:42:52 PM

I see your point. Risky business. Thanks.
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