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UK - I need a true budget bang4buck computer + an extreme one.

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September 9, 2011 1:44:04 PM

Hi everyone.

I am building 2 machines. One for myself and one for my partner.
My partner will be happy with budget parts, nothing extreme.
I would quite like extreme parts, but my top priority is good value. I would rather have a massive bang4buck rating than an extreme system. Money is not an issue but I looove getting good value for my cash.

With that in mind I have put together 4 systems;
i3 budget gaming
Phenom x4 budget gaming
Fusion gaming
i5 powerhouse

Please critique them, tell me which of the 3 budget builds you like best and why, and also tell me if you think the i5 build is worth all the extra money.. (more than double the budget builds!)
They will both be used for things like WoW, GW2, Diablo 3 etc.
I will probably hook both up to a 22" full HD monitor.


i3 Budget

i3-2100 £91
Asus P8-H61 £63
AMD 6750 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1333Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £460


Phenom Budget

Phenom x4 955BE £89
Asus EVO-AM3 870 £72
AMD 6750 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £467


Fusion Budget
A8-3850 £100
Asus F1-A75 £62
AMD 6670 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £458


i5 Power

i5 Power

i5-2500k £160
Asus P8Z68-Pro £148
560ti £176
H100 £80
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Agility 3 120gb £130
Corsair TX-750W £82
Corsair 400R £80
Windows 7 £72

== £996



Cheers.


PS - These are to replace a laptop with 1.8GHz core 2 duo + ati 2600, and a desktop with Athlon BARTON + ati 9600. :lol: 
September 9, 2011 3:03:38 PM

The i5 would certainly be my "build of choice" and is very similar to my own.

You could save yourself some money though and get very comparable performance: (SSD is better than OCZ, PSU is Modular, HDD is 1TB)

i5-2500k £160
Gigabyte SKT-1155 Z68A-D3H-B3 £107
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC £180
Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler £22
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz CL9 £45
750w XFX Black Edition (Modular PSU, 80PLUS SILVER) £90
Corsair 400R £78
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit £75
120GB SSD Corsair Force Series 3 £126
1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 £43

Total: £926

+£15 DVD-RW LG 24x SATA BLACK

Priced up using www.SCAN.co.uk
September 9, 2011 3:17:42 PM

Ooh good spot. Those XFX core edition PSUs are OEM by Seasonic I think. Wouldn't the 650w core edition suffice though?

RE : Motherboard. I am really clueless when it comes to these, there are FAR too many and I don't have much idea what they do. I understand Z68 will be more futureproof, past that I'm guessing 6gb/s, 2xPCI-8 for sli amd usb3 are the biggies.

What's so good about modular PSUs? I won't often see the cables anyway will I?
September 9, 2011 3:40:47 PM

Ok motherboard and PSU choice were based on the fact you could SLI in the future with that 560Ti...

If you dont ever plan to SLI you could easily get away with a 500w PSU and a much cheaper motherboard. This would really limit future GPU expansion though if you ever wanted to use more than a single card.

Modular PSU:
Basically just makes life a little bit easier. No unused cables left floating about in your case, less cable management required, which in turn leads to better air flow. Its not "necessary" but it certainly helps in my experience.
September 9, 2011 3:57:01 PM

What's the difference between that motherboard and the Asus P8Z68 Pro?
£109 looks like a great price for a board that can sli considering the Asus sli board is ~148. What's the catch?
September 9, 2011 4:01:11 PM

Off the top of my head, a couple less SATA ports on the motherboard, and a few less power phases. Ill look into it properly now.

UPDATE:

Ok so the Gigabyte board only has 1 PCI x16 slot and the ASUS has 2, although when running SLI both boards run both slots at x8 anyway so this makes very little difference in terms of a SLI GPU set up.
The Gigabyte board supports very slightly less OC'd RAM (2133MHz and the ASUS supports 2200MHz). Chances are your getting 1600MHz anyway so again, this is pretty much irrelevant.
The ASUS has more onboard video outputs (although again, this is irrelevant since your using a GPU card anyway).
Other than a couple less SATA ports and fan headers on the motherboard, thats about all the differences i can see.
September 9, 2011 4:07:18 PM

the fusion machine will be great at gaming at 1680x1050, and will handle medium settings at 1920x1080.
September 10, 2011 11:10:14 AM

So you prefer the 955 over the i3 build?

Why lose the ocz ssd? I thought they were the best.
September 10, 2011 1:08:19 PM

Google about, they apparently have the highest failure rates and yes, I'd take four cores over a two plus two virtual chip
Moto
September 11, 2011 9:39:36 AM

Alright, thanks for your help everyone.
September 12, 2011 8:45:12 AM

Any other thoughts on my builds? :) 
November 1, 2011 4:30:46 AM

fadeawayyx said:
Hi everyone.

I am building 2 machines. One for myself and one for my partner.
My partner will be happy with budget parts, nothing extreme.
I would quite like extreme parts, but my top priority is good value. I would rather have a massive bang4buck rating than an extreme system. Money is not an issue but I looove getting good value for my cash.

With that in mind I have put together 4 systems;
i3 budget gaming
Phenom x4 budget gaming
Fusion gaming
i5 powerhouse

Please critique them, tell me which of the 3 budget builds you like best and why, and also tell me if you think the i5 build is worth all the extra money.. (more than double the budget builds!)
They will both be used for things like WoW, GW2, Diablo 3 etc.
I will probably hook both up to a 22" full HD monitor.


i3 Budget

i3-2100 £91
Asus P8-H61 £63
AMD 6750 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1333Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £460


Phenom Budget

Phenom x4 955BE £89
Asus EVO-AM3 870 £72
AMD 6750 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £467


Fusion Budget
A8-3850 £100
Asus F1-A75 £62
AMD 6670 £80
Stock £0
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Stock cooler £0
OCZ StealthXtreme II 500w £40
Antec 300 £46
Windows 7 £72

== £458


i5 Power

i5 Power

i5-2500k £160
Asus P8Z68-Pro £148
560ti £176
H100 £80
8gb Corsair 1600Mhz £35
Samsung 500gb F3 £33
Agility 3 120gb £130
Corsair TX-750W £82
Corsair 400R £80
Windows 7 £72

== £996



Cheers.


PS - These are to replace a laptop with 1.8GHz core 2 duo + ati 2600, and a desktop with Athlon BARTON + ati 9600. :lol: 


On the fusion budget machine, i would recommend a slight higher capacity power supply, probably a 600-650 unit. I am about to build a similar spec box shoehorned into a Lian Li PCQ-08 box.

I would recommend 1866 Mhz RAM for the fusion system too as the motherboard will take it, and gaming benefits from the faster ram even if you don't overclock. Make ture you check the RAM compaitibilty charts for the ASUS motherboard though as a lot of RAM isn't going to work correctly or will need bios manual settings. The only 4 gig 1866 ram modules that are compatible are some corair models. I am glad I checked as I was about to order some g.skill ripjaws units instead. Corsair parts are CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9

I am going to use a corsair h60 to cool the cpu as i am worried about the airflow in a small case and don't think that a large air cooler will have anywhere to vent the hot air from the chip to. You can have the best air-air cooler in the world in a gaming box, but if you aren't expelling the air out of the case quickly enough, its never going to cool your chip.
!