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Non-IT Mum needs comments on son's PC build please

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October 11, 2011 10:02:03 AM

Approx Purchase Date: before Christmas
Budget Range: £1000 inc delivery & VAT
System Usage: Son = first person shooter gamer (COD) & Mum = Windows & internet; movies not really required.
Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, speakers; mouse; headphones
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: not self-build so tailored PC from Dell or PC Specialist as we need after-service as we are not IT experts.
Parts Preferences: MS i5 or i7 with quad core; otherwise that’s why we need advice! Cannot decide if to go for SSD or HDD;
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: cannot make mind up!
Monitor Resolution: do not know enough to say
Additional Comments Son seems to be obsessed by frames per second and overheating. Mum obsessed with future-proofing versus cost and having to re-learn Windows 7 instead of XP!

Son put this spec together as a starter to discuss?
Case: Coolermaster HAF 912 plus mid tower case;
CPU: Intel i5 2500 quad core (3.30GHz 6MB Cache);
M/Board: ASUS P8Z68-V USB 3.0 SATA 6GBs NVIDIA SLI ATI Cross fireX;
RAM: 8 GB Samsung DDR3 Dual DDR3 1333 MHz (2 x 4GB);
Graphics: 1GB NVidia GeForce GTX 560 ;
HDD: 1TB WD Caviar Green WD10EARX Sata 6Gb/s 64MB Cache;
DVD: 24xDual Layer DVD Writer;
Power: 600W Quiet plus Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan
Cooling:; Super quiet 22dBA triple Copper heatpipe CPU cooler;
Sound: SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium;
Network: Onboard 10/100/1000 Gbit LAN port;
USB: 6 USB 2.0 ports;
Thanks a lot for any feedback

More about : mum comments son build

October 11, 2011 10:52:58 AM

You need to tailor the graphics performance of a gaming computer to the monitors resolution . Each pixel has to be calculated so if there are more of them the game has to either run slower or with less detail .
Your part selection looks fine , and would run games even on a 1080p monitor/ tv , but not on the highest detail settings . A GTX 560 ti or a Radeon 6950 are a better match to that resolution

SSD'd make a computer quite snappy so its becoming common to use a relatively small 80 - 120 gig SSD to load windows and programs to , and store documents on another conventional hard drive .
A "green" drive will be slow to load and boot , while saving you a very very very small amount of electricity . The Samsung F3 drives are considered by many to be the fastest hard drives .

I would not get the sound card . The motherboard has perfectly good sound built in . Unless you have spend a LOT of money on speakers you wont hear the difference .

Make sure that version of Windows 7 you have to learn is a 64 bit version or the RAM will be wasted .
You can also comfortably cut the RAM to a 2 x2 gig kit without any noticeable impact on gaming or surfing [ unless you have 250 + tabs open at once ]
October 11, 2011 10:55:16 AM

Your son's build is a nice one, although I must comment on some things:

- The power supply he chose is not good. Exchange that for a Corsair/Antec/Seasonic one and you're good.

- You can pay a few more bucks and get the i5 2500k, which is more future-proof.

- I really don't think you should buy an audio card. Pretty useless for you.

Hope you find a good deal :) 
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October 11, 2011 10:55:45 AM

paulinepatel said:
Approx Purchase Date: before Christmas
Budget Range: £1000 inc delivery & VAT
System Usage: Son = first person shooter gamer (COD) & Mum = Windows & internet; movies not really required.
Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, speakers; mouse; headphones
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: not self-build so tailored PC from Dell or PC Specialist as we need after-service as we are not IT experts.
Parts Preferences: MS i5 or i7 with quad core; otherwise that’s why we need advice! Cannot decide if to go for SSD or HDD;
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: cannot make mind up!
Monitor Resolution: do not know enough to say
Additional Comments Son seems to be obsessed by frames per second and overheating. Mum obsessed with future-proofing versus cost and having to re-learn Windows 7 instead of XP!

Son put this spec together as a starter to discuss?
Case: Coolermaster HAF 912 plus mid tower case;
CPU: Intel i5 2500 quad core (3.30GHz 6MB Cache);
M/Board: ASUS P8Z68-V USB 3.0 SATA 6GBs NVIDIA SLI ATI Cross fireX;
RAM: 8 GB Samsung DDR3 Dual DDR3 1333 MHz (2 x 4GB);
Graphics: 1GB NVidia GeForce GTX 560 ;
HDD: 1TB WD Caviar Green WD10EARX Sata 6Gb/s 64MB Cache;
DVD: 24xDual Layer DVD Writer;
Power: 600W Quiet plus Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan
Cooling:; Super quiet 22dBA triple Copper heatpipe CPU cooler;
Sound: SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium;
Network: Onboard 10/100/1000 Gbit LAN port;
USB: 6 USB 2.0 ports;
Thanks a lot for any feedback

Well it seems to me this would be a fine pc for mid level gameing or plenty of power for surfing the web it should do u well.. but socket 2011 should launch this year producing price drops across the board so you may want to wait till end of nov!!
October 11, 2011 10:56:23 AM

How is the 2500k more future proof if you're not overclocking?
October 11, 2011 10:58:09 AM

Maybe he will get into overclocking in the future. So, I think it's more future proof.
October 11, 2011 11:00:56 AM

OMG - you guys are just great. This gives me some info to "fight" my teenager with, who is slowly wearing me down by nagging. Please send more.....I am learning as I go along. Single Mums on a budget have a target on their foreheads if they do not seek advice like this.....Thx Thx
October 11, 2011 11:05:59 AM

What's the brand/model on that CPU cooler?
October 11, 2011 11:06:43 AM

paulinepatel said:
OMG - you guys are just great. This gives me some info to "fight" my teenager with, who is slowly wearing me down by nagging. Please send more.....I am learning as I go along. Single Mums on a budget have a target on their foreheads if they do not seek advice like this.....Thx Thx


It's always good to read the product reviews and user feedback before buying. Tom's Hardware has a Chart section in which you can have a basic comparison between similar items, and thus you can have a better decision :) 
October 11, 2011 11:09:17 AM

I put this together on Dells UK site...
You could get a much better deal building on your own though...

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5-2310 Processor (2.90GHz, 6MB) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) edit
SYSTEM RECOVERY OS Media MUI Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) Resource DVD edit
SERVICES AND SUPPORT 3 Years Next Day In-Home Service with Premium Phone Support edit
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP DataSafe Online Backup 2GB - 1 year licence edit
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook edit
PROTECT YOUR NEW PC McAfee® Security Centre - 15 Month Protection - English edit
OPTICAL DRIVE DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD) with Roxio and DVD Burn software edit
MEMORY 4096MB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz [2x2048] Memory edit
HARD DRIVE 1TB Serial ATA (7,200 rpm) edit
GRAPHICS CARD NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1.25GB GDDR5 Graphics Card edit
WIRELESS SOLUTION Dell Wireless 1501 Mini Card (802.11g/n) - ROW edit
SOUND SOFTWARE Sound : Integrated 7.1 with THX® TruStudio edit
MONITOR Display Not Included edit
MOUSE Dell Optical Scroll USB (2 buttons scroll) DUAL TONE Mouse edit
KEYBOARD Dell™ USB Entry Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)

Total £1,051.51
October 11, 2011 11:10:46 AM

robustus64 said:
Well it seems to me this would be a fine pc for mid level gameing or plenty of power for surfing the web it should do u well.. but socket 2011 should launch this year producing price drops across the board so you may want to wait till end of nov!!


If there are any price drops they will only be 5-10 pounds...
October 11, 2011 11:11:09 AM

pacioli said:
I put this together on Dells UK site...
You could get a much better deal buiding on your own though...

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5-2310 Processor (2.90GHz, 6MB) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM English Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) edit
SYSTEM RECOVERY OS Media MUI Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT) Resource DVD edit
SERVICES AND SUPPORT 3 Years Next Day In-Home Service with Premium Phone Support edit
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP DataSafe Online Backup 2GB - 1 year licence edit
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook edit
PROTECT YOUR NEW PC McAfee® Security Centre - 15 Month Protection - English edit
OPTICAL DRIVE DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD) with Roxio and DVD Burn software edit
MEMORY 4096MB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz [2x2048] Memory edit
HARD DRIVE 1TB Serial ATA (7,200 rpm) edit
GRAPHICS CARD NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1.25GB GDDR5 Graphics Card edit
WIRELESS SOLUTION Dell Wireless 1501 Mini Card (802.11g/n) - ROW edit
SOUND SOFTWARE Sound : Integrated 7.1 with THX® TruStudio edit
MONITOR Display Not Included edit
MOUSE Dell Optical Scroll USB (2 buttons scroll) DUAL TONE Mouse edit
KEYBOARD Dell™ USB Entry Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)

Total £1,051.51


I don't see any motherboard!
October 11, 2011 11:13:41 AM

mrmaia said:
I don't see any motherboard!

If you read the original post she is asking for a pre built machine...
You can't pick a mobo w Dell machines... you just get the mobo they come with...
no power supply choices or HDD choices either..
October 11, 2011 11:16:37 AM

pacioli said:
If you read the original post she is asking for a pre built machine...
You can't pick a mobo w Dell machines... you just get the mobo they come with...
no power supply choices or HDD choices either..


Allright, but can you tell us what is the Dell default?
October 11, 2011 11:18:11 AM

It is a dell custom Mobo made by foxconn(likely) and designed by dell

There is no overclocking or after market cooling when you buy pre-made machines... this is why I don't do that... but I'm trying to answer the OPs question insteads of telling her about which PSU she should get
October 11, 2011 11:22:20 AM

pacioli said:
It is a dell custom Mobo made by foxconn(likely) and designed by dell


Fine. As I'm a prebuilt hater myself I don't even know how systems like Dell's are made :) 
October 11, 2011 11:33:09 AM

If you go to PC specialist it looks like you can get a much much better bargain with a better system all around for £959
This is similiar to your sons build giving extra speed in the hard drive and graphics and taking off the unnecessary sound card.
Case
COOLERMASTER HAF 912 PLUS MID TOWER GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i5-2500 Quad Core (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache) + HD Graphics
Motherboard
ASUS® P8Z68-V LX: USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs, ATI®CrossFireX
Memory (RAM)
8GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 4GB)
Graphics Card
1.25GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 570 - 2 DVI, HDMI, DP - 3D Vision Ready
Memory - 1st Hard Disk
1TB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
2nd Hard Disk
1TB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
RAID
RAID 1 (MIRRORED VOLUME - 2 x same size & model HDD / SSD) (£9)
This will give a slight performance bump and keep mum happy with added data security
1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Memory Card Reader
INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Power Supply
600W Quiet 80 PLUS Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£59)
Processor Cooling
SUPER QUIET 22dBA TRIPLE COPPER HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£19)
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Facilities
ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs
USB Options
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD
Operating System
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)
Office Software
FREE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Limited functionality Word & Excel)
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
October 11, 2011 11:53:39 AM

The original list I sent - son did on the PC specialist site. I've been told they are reputable but expensive. I know all you self-builders hate pre-builds but for I need that safety net as I will not be doing this again for hopefully 2 years - when he goes to Uni. Then he is on his "own" - his Dad will have to get him a laptop. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer - my Son tells me Gamers are the coolest! Well he would....
October 11, 2011 12:11:17 PM

Besides PCSpecialist have your son check out the guys over @ http://www.chillblast.com/
They come highly recommended and can often beat the prices @ PCSpecialist

There is room for builders and non-builders.
And you have only to browser the "Help!" topics to see that not all self-built systems go together smoothly.
It might not seem like it around here - but self built systems are just a small fraction of all systems sold.
October 11, 2011 12:20:18 PM

Here is a funny story - when I was at Uni in the 70s - a mate said - "I will show you something special" ( Yeah right I said) "No really" he said pointing through an IT building window at a small portable TV on a table. "That's the next big thing - see it?" "What's that?" I said " An Apple" And of course this week Steve Jobs died. I am the generation that does not have computers genetically in their DNA or had any training - I've had a long slog to get to be this big an idiot about PCs! Thanks again all this advice is FANTASTIC!
October 11, 2011 1:26:03 PM

Being of about the same 'vintage' it's interesting to look back at 'what was' and 'what might have been'.
!