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Potential Build

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September 28, 2011 4:54:19 PM

Motherboard: Asrock P67 PRO3 SE Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio ATX
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor
RAM: G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V
Graphics Card: PowerColor HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Dual Mini DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card
Hard Drive 1: 120GB OCZ Agility 3 2.5" Solid State Drive AGT3-25SAT3-120G
Hard Drive 2: Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache
Optical Drive: LG CH10LS20 10x BD-ROM with DVD±RW & LightScribe SATA Blu-Ray Drive
Case: Coolermaster Elite 430
PSU: Antec TruePower New 650W Modular PSU
Case fan: 3X Akasa 12cm Silent Fan AK-191SM
Keyboard: HP Standard Keyboard - PS/2 - Silver / Black
Mouse: Logitech OEM RX250 Optical Mouse Black
Monitor: LG E2260V-PN Full HD WLED LCD 21.5" HDMI Monitor
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Complete package - 1 PC - DVD - English - United Kingdom
Speakers: Creative Inspire T6160 5.1 Speakers
CPU Cooling: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rev 2

This is the potential build I am looking at buying in the near future. Just wanted to know if it will work and whether any parts need improving or hopefully where I could save money but retain quality.

More about : potential build

September 28, 2011 5:26:19 PM

whats the usage and the budget? also, if you're going to use it for a lot of gaming, you could drop the ssd for a better graphics card
September 28, 2011 5:30:35 PM

I can't really tell what your budget is and the usage makes a difference. If you're thinking primarily gaming, you can get rid of the SSD and upgrade your video card to a 6950 or something. You also might want to splurge for the extra $15 to get a Z68 board.

You can get an OEM copy of Windows for $100 in the US. Not sure what the UK situation is.

Also be aware that playing blue ray disks on a computer is not a straightforward process yet, especially with bare drives. It's very hit and miss as to whether certain blue ray disks will play or not.
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September 28, 2011 5:39:52 PM

Usage will be half gaming/half general usage, so that's why I chose the SSD and a decent graphics card. Budget will be roughly £1000-1100 (nearer £1000 if possible) and that build currently comes to £1061.66.

I could get an OEM copy of Windows for £40 less than the retail copy but I wasn't sure whether you could re-install Windows with an OEM copy.

With regards to Blu-Ray then, do you recommend getting a decent DVD writer only instead and then wait to upgrade to a Blu Ray drive?
September 28, 2011 5:44:36 PM

Forgot about the Z68 board, what are the advantages over a P67?
September 28, 2011 5:44:40 PM

DVD writers are a lot cheaper, but it just depends on what you want
What games do you play, and what resolution?
September 28, 2011 5:57:00 PM

I've gone off gaming for a while since I can't install a graphics card in my current system (not for lack of trying). I'm looking to get back in now, hopefully I will be playing Crysis 2/Bad Company 3 at 1920x1080 if the current build can handle it.

If I get the OEM version of Windows 7, then I could potentially invest in a better graphics card that could play those games on the highest settings at 1920x1080.
September 28, 2011 6:01:19 PM

Sorry meant Battlefield 3
September 28, 2011 6:07:19 PM

Actually that's a pretty good list of components. A word of warning before buying SSDs, especially anything that OCZ makes - is that you should VERY VERY carefully check the user reviews on sites like Newegg before you buy rather than the magazine / website reviews. Honestly if it's your first time build an SSD-based system, I wouldn't use OCZ, just because of some of the issues with the drives that I've been reading about. If you want brand suggestions, go with Intel, Kingston Hyper X, Crucial, Corsair Force Series, or Samsung. But yeah read the reviews first!
September 28, 2011 6:16:52 PM

Ok I'll have a quick look around at SSDs from the above list and see what I can find for the money. Any recommendations would be great too.
September 28, 2011 6:36:30 PM

How about the Corsair 120GB Force 3 SSD CSSD-F120GB3-BK? Good reviews on ebuyer, same price with faster read and write speeds. Only problem is that it is probably a special offer with those speeds and I'm not certain as to the date I'm purchasing yet.
September 28, 2011 6:38:16 PM

I still kind of think you should get a 6950 instead, you'll get better performance in crysis 2 and battlefield 3
September 28, 2011 6:41:13 PM

According to some Amazon reviews, BSODs are frequent in some cases so perhaps that's why the price is low.
September 28, 2011 6:44:03 PM

No way I could afford a graphics card over £200 without losing something else unfortunately.
September 28, 2011 7:14:25 PM

Z68 is newer and better supported, it offers SSD caching (which you probably won't use), onboard video (which is a nice backup), and Virtu which lets you use the igpu in place of the discrete gpu to save power and wear on your card when appropriate. It's admittedly not *that* big of an upgrade, but it's also not very much money.

If I were you, I'd go with a standard cd/dvd writer (about $20US) and upgrade to a BD-rom later if you really need it. Since playing blue ray movies is so difficult, blue ray drives are not going to be very useful until companies start putting large programs on them.

You can reinstall OEM copies of windows as many times as you want as long as you're using the same motherboard. If you switch mobos your copy won't validate any more.

If you're serious about gaming, you're going to want to get rid of the SSD and get a 6950. To be clear - you will see no difference in fps with an SSD. You will get better boot times and better loading times, but your fps will not change. The 6950 on the other hand will make a huge difference. And SSD on your budget (especially at 120GB) is pretty uncommon. You may not be concerned with the newest/latest games or you may not care about max settings, though. It's your money - spend it how you want.
September 28, 2011 7:32:48 PM

Thanks for the info. The cheapest Z68 version of the board I chose is actually quite a lot more, not sure it's the same as what you're talking about, if you think it is obtainable for a small price rise.

DVD writer seems sensible now as does the OEM Windows 7 if you can reinstall it as many times as possible.

Is the current hard drive I've chosen sufficient with regards to speed or do I need something better considering I would be using the Hard Disk as the boot drive now?

I would like to play the latest games in 1920x1080 with max settings so if the 6950 will achieve this significantly better than the 6870, then I will probably go with that and get rid of the SSD with the option to get one down the line.

Also need some opinions on the case and PSU and whether they will be able to support everything I've chosen.
September 28, 2011 10:46:54 PM

I don't know what's available for you, but the difference on newegg between these two motherboards is $15USD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There are plenty of Z68 motherboards in the low $100 range. If you've got to pay twice as much for a Z68 board then it's not as good of a deal. P67 won't slow anything down or anything - Z68 just has a few extra features that are nice if the price difference is small.

The Spinpoint is a good choice as a boot drive. There are 10000RPM drives but they're pretty expensive. Again, 6950/no SSD will perform better for gaming and 6850/SSD will perform better for other things. It's up to you how you want to allot your budget.

I don't know much about the case but it looks nice for your budget. The Rosewill Challenger is also a nice case in that price range. It's just personal preference though. The Antec 650W probably enough power but it's near the edge. I'm not an expert on power requirements, so hopefully someone else can weigh in on that.
September 29, 2011 2:26:12 AM

you should maybe considering dropping to a 1 gb 6950, as 2 gb is only needed for resolutions above 1080p
September 29, 2011 10:03:44 PM

SeaSonic and Corsair are the best PSU brands. I have the X750 Gold.
September 29, 2011 10:15:03 PM

Nim Chimpsky said:
SeaSonic and Corsair are the best PSU brands. I have the X750 Gold.


Throw in Antec
September 29, 2011 10:59:03 PM

Nim Chimpsky said:
+1, forgot about them. This is the only modular Antec PSU in that range. Then you have these three Corsair PSUs and the SeaSonic one I mentioned.


I personally have the 650W in the Corsair professional series and it's extremely quiet and works exactly as advertised. All good choices, though.
September 30, 2011 3:36:41 PM

Ok great, I'll pick one of those PSUs and then I think I have everything I need, thanks for the advice everyone!
!