Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

First build, gaming PC advice

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
December 13, 2011 2:50:37 AM

Hello there, I'm just looking for advice on a (pretty much) complete upgrade that I'm doing.

My previous PC was a custom build but this one will be my first proper solo build. I've researched till I can't read words anymore and faffed till I unmade all the decisions I finalised hours ago :)  Now I'm just looking to see if someone can give me the final push.
I want to be sure I'm upgrading and not trading one for the same of another or worse, downgrading. I also want to know if it's going to be a good setup.

I have a laptop and mac, but I need a stripped-to-bare-essentials PC for pure gaming. The laptop's for my linux stuff and the mac is for my movies, music, creative pursuits and good old web browsing. This set up will be a glorified games console.

So the setup is...

Motherboard
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Intel Z68 DDR3 Motherboard

CPU
Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Processor

Graphics Card
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580
or
Asus GeForce GTX 580

Case
Fractal Design Define R3

And the cost is £757.94


The old stuff I'm coming from is...
Motherboard: Abit IP35 Pro XE
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Core Q6700 2.66GHz (o/c'd to 3.33GHz)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4870
Case: HAF 932
and the rest below.

For the moment I'd like to recycle my ram (OCZ Gold dual channel DDR3 2x2GB), heatsink (Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro) and PSU (OCZ 600W ModXStream Pro) from the old to the new. I've got


I'm looking to buy this week, some today and tomorrow as my girlfriends graphics card has packed in and she'll be getting my hand-me-downs.

My budget's up to £800 (but not without flinching). The last one cost me almost £1200 and it's served me well, but isn't what I want.

Preferred Website: oveclockers.co.uk

Country: UK

My only vague requirements are that it isn't too loud (my current one sounds like a bus driving down a wet road), it isn't a mega power eater (I've got bills too you now?) and ventilation. I hate stuff getting overheated (bad experiences). I usually got with ATI, but I want to see what Nvidia's version of catalyst software is. It's got to be better.

Any help, warnings or gratification would be much appreciated. I'm trying, but I'm going on reviews and hearsay and I'll bet you guys know better.
Thank you.

More about : build gaming advice

December 13, 2011 3:33:30 AM

It looks good, and you will get a BIG boost from the cpu and GTX580. Like the case in white too.

here are a few of my thoughts:

1) I do not much like the coolers on the two cards you listed. They do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu, but then they dump it back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That heats up both the gpu AND the cpu. Not good.
I prefer the direct exhaust reference coolers that direct the hot air directly out the back of the case. Something like this EVGA unit:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

2) The 2500K needs 1.5v ram. Older P35 motherboards used higher voltage ram. Anything over 1.65v will fry your cpu chip. If that is what you plan on recycling, then buy a new kit. A 8gb(2 x 4gb) kit of ddr3-1600 will not be expensive.

3) Your OCZ 600w psu is the minimum recommended for a GTX570. I like to have a bit more headroom which makes the psu run in the more efficient middle third of it's range. Your psu fan will not ramp up either.
December 13, 2011 3:48:58 AM

Hey, thanks!
I did read advice online about getting back exhausts on the graphics card because of the enclosed case. I just couldn't work out which was which ^^ the specs are a little better on that too.

I'm looking at some G.Skill RipJawsX 4GB ram now then. Thanks for saving me making a fry up of my rig. The 8GB ones aren't much more, i haven't been keeping up on windows though so I don't know if I'll see a benefit for the extra.

I thought 600W might be a bit small, I had an 800W somewhere. Back to Tom's buyers guide :) 

I'm pretty much picking all these up from solely reviews and articles on this site and then double checking on bit-tech.

I just want to play Skyrim and The Witcher 2 on max settings :D 
Related resources
December 13, 2011 1:46:30 PM

There is some advantage to 8gb of ram. It allows windows to keep much code cached in ram for faster reuse. You will need the 64 bit version to access more than about 3.5gb.

Also, I think you can add a second 120mm fan to the front intake of your case to good effect.
December 13, 2011 2:42:41 PM

Thank you.
It seems to me from that article that the advantages at the moment aren't enough to justify the price. With more people focusing on moving to 64bit it might be a good upgrade path but as a minimal first build I think it might be overkill. I've got my mac for multitasking all other stuff (at which it is amazing), but this windows pc will only be for gaming. If I could work out how to use 7lite I'd even strip down windows.
January 4, 2012 11:19:45 PM


1) I do not much like the coolers on the two cards you listed. They do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu, but then they dump it back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That heats up both the gpu AND the cpu. Not good.
I prefer the direct exhaust reference coolers that direct the hot air directly out the back of the case. Something like this EVGA unit:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
said:

1) I do not much like the coolers on the two cards you listed. They do a good job of getting heat off of the gpu, but then they dump it back into the case where case cooling has to deal with it. That heats up both the gpu AND the cpu. Not good.
I prefer the direct exhaust reference coolers that direct the hot air directly out the back of the case. Something like this EVGA unit:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...


Thanks for this! Its a mean piece of kit, breathed some life into my old PC :)  made me doublethink this upgrade XD


3) Your OCZ 600w psu is the minimum recommended for a GTX570. I like to have a bit more headroom which makes the psu run in the more efficient middle third of it's range. Your psu fan will not ramp up either.
said:

3) Your OCZ 600w psu is the minimum recommended for a GTX570. I like to have a bit more headroom which makes the psu run in the more efficient middle third of it's range. Your psu fan will not ramp up either.


On this note I'm coming up short. I'm going for corsair as I trust them, but the prices are adding on at the least a hundred pound. Any recommendations?

So far I'm ready to go ahead with this:

Motherboard
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3

CPU
Core i5-2500K

RAM
Corsair Vengeance Blue 4GB (2x2GB)

Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 580

PSU
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750M

Case
Fractal Design Define R3

Hows that? compatible? Any red flags?
Thanks guys, its really worrying doing all this alone.