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New Gaming PC build

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January 6, 2012 1:37:25 AM

Sorry this is a long post, a summary is at the end. :) 

Basically I've been trying to get together a suitable list of components for a new PC build, originally I had a roughly 3 or 4 year old compaq but I happened to get hold of an HD 5750 card so I decided it was time for an upgrade - however over time I just decided to go for a whole new PC build keeping this card and the DVD drive I guess.

I've been referencing back to this site quite a few times and found great advice almost every time so I thought it might be a good idea to see what others think of my potential build.

Ok so this isn't going to be a very high range gaming PC but i was looking for a mid-range able to at least run the latest games with max textures, I'm not too concerned with shading or anti-ailiasing. With that in mind I thought it would be best to just save on money and keep my current card however I have may upgrade to a better card ( I was thinking HD 6870) if I'm convinced.

I'm trying to save on money so I've opted for a micro ATX motherboard, from reviews I've read it seems the ASUS motherboards really seem to be far better value for money than the gigabyte boards (even though they're cheaper you seem to get less features) and I'm not looking to upgrade insanely in the future I just want what would be necessary for the components I'm getting now (hence why I didn't go for a standard mobo)

http://www.ebuyer.com/266605-asus-p8h61-m-le-usb3-intel...

Is mobo I went for, its an H61 so it doesn't have the drawbacks of the H67 and also its a B3 revised edition so there are no other limitations chipset wise. It also fully supports my chosen processor and has a few handy features that complement it such as supporting XMP etc.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2500K-Quad...

Is the processor, from reviews it seemed this was far more efficient than many of the AMD processors out and even price wise it's great, I think the two threads per core would help out a lot, also I'm NOT someone who overclocks but I decided to go for the 2500k simply because I may decide to overclock some time in the future if needed purely out of necessity if games really require greater clock speed to run (plus it was only 8 pounds more).

Now with the RAM I was quite unsure what to go with so I really need tips on this, I know my mobo only supports up to 1333Mhz but this was the only RAM that supported XMP that was affordable, and it seems to have heatsinks (though I know it's not something necessary but it seems handy to have, although I've heard its just there to really 'sell' the product).

http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-8gb--2x4gb--vengea...

My other choices were the XMS3 RAM or 'VALUE RAM' from Kingston but I really wasn't keen on them simply because of the lack of XMP support - my main question is will there be any negative effect from it being 1600 Mhz RAM (like will XMP not work?) even though my mobo only supports up to 1333 Mhz or will it just be capped at 1333Mhz and still function?

Now for the PSU I decided to go with

http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-500W-ModXStream-Power-Suppl...

It seems to have great reviews and I read an indepth 10 page breakdown of it on hardware secrets that was very positive so I'm quite glad I found this one. I was considering an XFX pro but this seemed far better especially for the price it didn't seem to be one of this very cheap PSU that would probably surge and take out half my PC.

Now I have a HDD in my old PC but I think it's kind of a standard older HDD, I'm not sure but is it worth getting a new HDD with SATA III connections?

http://www.ebuyer.com/272944-seagate-500gb-3-5-sata-iii...

this seems really popular, is it compatible with the mobo I selected?


Also about heatsinks, I've decided to go with stock coolers since I've heard its a heatsink with a fan on top for the i5 or something along those lines.


Now about cases, I was considering a micro ATX case since I have a micro ATX motherboard, is that a good idea? They seem pretty nice and are greatly priced but I'm worried in case the PSU doesn't fit or something like that, I'm pretty sure my current HD 5750 would fit but would an HD 6870 fit a micro ATX case?

http://www.ebuyer.com/160917-casecom-ma-1199-shiny-silv...

Is something I was considering, but what does it mean by "fits a 120mm fan at front, 90mm at rear" which fans does it mean? Do I have to buy fans or does it come with the case? Or does it mean the stock cooler fans?

This is my first time building a PC and I've never had much to do with hardware before this I really hope I haven't made any ridiculus blundrs, hoping anyone here can help me out if I have or if they could suggest any improvements.

Also just to note

http://www.ebuyer.com/271292-sapphire-hd-6870-1gb-gddr5...

this is the card I'm CONSIDERING, do I really need to change my current HD 5750? I want to play BF3 and Shogun 2 and I'm wondering if it really needs the extra 130 pounds, I thought maybe with the new processor, motherboard and RAM I would be able to run new games pretty well, ofc I mean without heavy AA or top end shading.

Thanks very much for your time and advice! :) 








Sorry for the long post but just to sum for those who don't want to read the whole thing;

PSU: http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-500W-ModXStream-Power-Suppl...

Mobo: http://www.ebuyer.com/266605-asus-p8h61-m-le-usb3-intel...

Processor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2500K-Quad...

RAM: http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-8gb--2x4gb--vengea...

HDD: http://www.ebuyer.com/272944-seagate-500gb-3-5-sata-iii...

Graphics card: HD 5750 / do I need to upgrade to HD 6870 to run BF3 and Shogun 2? I did hear they have very similar chips but differ in their no of processors 800 and 1200 correspondingly, is that a big difference?

and I should have a reasonable DVD writer.

Is this a good build for gaming? Am I missing anything? (this isn't meant to be absolute high range but I'm hoping it will run BF3 and Shogun 2 with high graphics, not to bothered with AAing or extreme shading though it would be nice).

Thanks again!! :) 

More about : gaming build

January 6, 2012 1:56:28 AM

Quote:
I'm trying to save on money so I've opted for a micro ATX motherboard, from reviews I've read it seems the ASUS motherboards really seem to be far better value for money than the gigabyte boards (even though they're cheaper you seem to get less features) and I'm not looking to upgrade insanely in the future I just want what would be necessary for the components I'm getting now (hence why I didn't go for a standard mobo)


You're really not going to save money by going with a Micro ATX board. This will actually hurt you in the long run since it will limit your options for expanding your computer in the future. A micro ATX board usually has two or three PCI-e slots and two - four memory slots (usually two, four on the higher end boards like the Maximus IV), but it won't have more than that.

Quote:
Graphics card: HD 5750 / do I need to upgrade to HD 6870 to run BF3 and Shogun 2? I did hear they have very similar chips but differ in their no of processors 800 and 1200 correspondingly, is that a big difference?


The 5750 will not play games - it's meant for low profile computers and HTPCs where you don't need that kind of power anyways.

Quote:
Also about heatsinks, I've decided to go with stock coolers since I've heard its a heatsink with a fan on top for the i5 or something along those lines.


That's pretty much what all coolers are. :lol: 

The aftermarket fans will generally be a much higher quality than what Intel and AMD include with their CPUs.

Quote:
My other choices were the XMS3 RAM or 'VALUE RAM' from Kingston but I really wasn't keen on them simply because of the lack of XMP support - my main question is will there be any negative effect from it being 1600 Mhz RAM (like will XMP not work?) even though my mobo only supports up to 1333 Mhz or will it just be capped at 1333Mhz and still function?


Anything that has a blatant labeling like "VALUE" or "LOW VOLTAGE" or "VALUE LINE" is a definite red flag for me - those can mean some bad things down the road. The RAM you've chosen is definitely the right RAM as the tall heat sinks on the RAM can be really difficult to work with.

As far as the speed goes - they're kind of just there. Your motherboard will always default to the lowest speeds it can handle. But you never want to go over the stock speeds on what the memory indicates - that could mean bad things down the road.

Quote:
this is the card I'm CONSIDERING, do I really need to change my current HD 5750? I want to play BF3 and Shogun 2 and I'm wondering if it really needs the extra 130 pounds, I thought maybe with the new processor, motherboard and RAM I would be able to run new games pretty well, ofc I mean without heavy AA or top end shading.


That's quite an excellent card - I have a 5830 and it's still held up extremely well. The 5750 is not meant for high end gaming.

Quote:
Now I have a HDD in my old PC but I think it's kind of a standard older HDD, I'm not sure but is it worth getting a new HDD with SATA III connections?


If it's an IDE drive maybe not but you could reuse it with an adapter. If it's a SATA drive absolutely reuse it. But connections don't really matter. Where you'll see the most difference is if you get an SSD or a mechanical HD.

Quote:
It seems to have great reviews and I read an indepth 10 page breakdown of it on hardware secrets that was very positive so I'm quite glad I found this one. I was considering an XFX pro but this seemed far better especially for the price it didn't seem to be one of this very cheap PSU that would probably surge and take out half my PC.


Yeah the PSU is one area where you really don't want to skimp. :lol: 

But the 500 could be very underpowered if you decide to go with the 6850 - you'll probably need a 600 at minimum.

Quote:
Ok so this isn't going to be a very high range gaming PC but i was looking for a mid-range able to at least run the latest games with max textures, I'm not too concerned with shading or anti-ailiasing. With that in mind I thought it would be best to just save on money and keep my current card however I have may upgrade to a better card ( I was thinking HD 6870) if I'm convinced.


You've chosen the H61 - it will play some games but not all. Micro ATX isn't the way to go for a gaming system, you want to go full ATX if at all possible. Of course there's always this. :lol: 
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/microatx-gaming-ove...

Quote:
This is my first time building a PC and I've never had much to do with hardware before this I really hope I haven't made any ridiculus blundrs, hoping anyone here can help me out if I have or if they could suggest any improvements.


What you've chosen is pretty good so far. My main suggestions would be to go full ATX, get a Z68 motherboard and up your PSU to at least a 600W. But that's about it.
January 6, 2012 2:13:01 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
I'm trying to save on money...
Quote:


Wow, that's really good advice, it's only a couple of hundred pounds more if I upgrade to full size, z68 & get the HD 6870 but I think it's worth it in the end since the extra space would probably give better airflow, I might even put in an after market heatsink too. Thanks!
January 6, 2012 2:17:24 AM

sakimonk said:
Wow, that's really good advice, it's only a couple of hundred pounds more if I upgrade to full size, z68 & get the HD 6870 but I think it's worth it in the end since the extra space would probably give better airflow, I might even put in an after market heatsink too. Thanks!


I don't think it will be that dramatic of a cost increase. The H61 is pretty limited to what it can do - it's limited to office computers and HTPCs.

There's plenty of Z68 motherboards that are pretty low cost, and there's plenty of cases and everything else that can be had. What's your max budget? I can probably configure something around it that will allow for everything you want it to do.

Try this for motherboard: http://www.ebuyer.com/284388-gigabyte-ga-z68p-ds3-z68-s...
This for PSU: http://www.ebuyer.com/269259-corsair-600w-cx-series-v2-...

The RAM is fine - I'd leave it, and if you can reuse your old HDD, definitely do so - that will save you a lot of money there, especially with HD prices the way they are right now. But those shouldn't put that much of a dent in your budget.

You can run the 5750 but if the onboard video of the i5-2500K will probably be better until you can get a dedicated GPU.
January 6, 2012 2:22:19 AM

alright, lots of questions and things to go over. Bare with me.

Quote:
keeping this card and the DVD drive I guess

We'll talk about the gpu later, but for now you want to make sure that your DVD drive is based on SATA and not the older IDE. If however your DVD drive is the older standard make sure you get a mother board that has IDE headers. Personally I'd just drop the $20 bucks to make the upgrade. If you're unsure of the differences just do a google image search for both, can't miss the difference.

Quote:
...Is mobo I went for, its an H61

I don't have a problem with you deciding H61 is the way to go because quite frankly it's much less expensive than P67 or Z68. The drawback with the H61 is that all of its overclocking capabilities have been disabled. That means paring it with the 2500K is of no use. At this point you need to decide if you will overclock or not. If you feel it's something worth pursuing then take a look at the P67/Z68 platform. If not then you can save some more money by opting for the i5-2400. It's a solid performer and you can take a look at a few benches and overall opinion at the SBM $600 Dec '11 article. Also your motherboard lacks any SATA 6Gb/s support, which while not a huge deal if you don't plan on upgrading to an SSD at some point, if you are I'd suggest looking elsewhere.
Quote:
Now with the RAM I was quite unsure what to go with so I really need tips on this.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H6...
Download the QVL. This will save you compatibility headaches.
Quote:
I'm not sure but is it worth getting a new HDD with SATA III connections?
SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s use the same connector. They are reverse compatible in every way. HDDs do not saturate the bandwidth of SATA 3Gb/s so I wouldn't worry about finding one that is SATA3 compliant. Again, keep in mind that the current motherboard you've selected also does not support it.
Quote:
I was considering a micro ATX case since I have a micro ATX motherboard, is that a good idea?

Cases are one of the rare pieces that you can typically carry over from old builds. They also dictate many of your upgrade paths. I'd look to a minimum of mid-tower cases as most of them will support larger gpus and taller hsf. ATX cases will support both ATX and m-ATX motherboards so don't worry about compatibility from that regard.
Quote:
s something I was considering, but what does it mean by "fits a 120mm fan at front, 90mm at rear" which fans does it mean? Do I have to buy fans or does it come with the case?

Unless a case description explicitly states that a fan is included, typically it's not. These are just spots where you could add your own fans if you chose to. I personally try to stay away from these type setups because by the time you pay for the extra fans and their shipping costs you could have just purchased a higher quality case to begin with. That's not to say just because there is a slot for a fan, you need to fill it either. You're going to find that many great cases like CM 690 II have spots for all kinds of extra fans, but even without them perform admirably. The important thing is to have an intake in the front of the case, and an exhaust in the upper rear. This creates the front/back bottom/top airflow that has shown to provide solid cooling.
Quote:
do I really need to change my current HD 5750

Simply put.. yes. If you were using this rig for older games like WoW or even games that are more cpu dependent like Skyrim you could get away with the 5750. Even mentioning BF3 however means you're going to want to spend as much as your budget as you possibly can on a GPU. I'd go as far as recommending dropping the 2500k in favor of a i3-2100 and trying to get to the point where you can get a 6950 1GB which is really the entry point to playing BF3 (even with lowered settings) at 1920x1080. Battle Field 3 Tested on 30+ cards you can see that the 5750 at the lowest settings was only able to pull off 24fps at 1920x1080. That's not what I'd consider playable, especially for a FPS and on single player mode which is considerably easier on your system then multiplayer.

Best of luck with your build, you're getting close but I'd still recommend doing a touch more research as you are and plugging away at it.

edit: Wow during my wall of text this one was already jumped all over.
January 6, 2012 2:30:22 AM

g-unit1111 said:
I don't think it will be that dramatic of a cost increase. The H61 is pretty limited to what it can do - it's limited to office computers and HTPCs.

There's plenty of Z68 motherboards that are pretty low cost (maybe try Asrock's Extreme 3 Gen 3 if it's available, if not the Asus P8Z68-LE), and there's plenty of cases and everything else that can be had. What's your max budget? I can probably configure something around it that will allow for everything you want it to do.


Well I couldn't find the first card you mentioned but I found the Asus P8Z68-V PRO for £146

http://www.ebuyer.com/267772-asus-p8z68-v-pro-z68-socke...

That's £100 more (since the other mother board is about 40 pounds), and the card would be another £140 roughly so that's already £240 on top of the £300 I would be spending

Then there would be the case and most full size cases are about £30+ if they're cheap and can be well into almost £100 if they're any good, hmm I might have to just stick with the micro PC and just fit a proper heatsink to avoid the whole thing melting.

I wasn't looking to spend more than £450 pounds,

however maybe if you're able to help me list a good setup for about £450 without the graphics card and I can buy the card separately on my next paycheck lol
January 6, 2012 2:32:53 AM

Quote:
I don't have a problem with you deciding H61 is the way to go because quite frankly it's much less expensive than P67 or Z68. The drawback with the H61 is that all of its overclocking capabilities have been disabled. That means paring it with the 2500K is of no use. At this point you need to decide if you will overclock or not. If you feel it's something worth pursuing then take a look at the P67/Z68 platform. If not then you can save some more money by opting for the i5-2400. It's a solid performer and you can take a look at a few benches and overall opinion at the SBM $600 Dec '11 article. Also your motherboard lacks any SATA 6Gb/s support, which while not a huge deal if you don't plan on upgrading to an SSD at some point, if you are I'd suggest looking elsewhere.


Ah, I knew there was something about the H61 that didn't make sense, but it's good to know that it can't be overclocked.

Quote:
Cases are one of the rare pieces that you can typically carry over from old builds. They also dictate many of your upgrade paths. I'd look to a minimum of mid-tower cases as most of them will support larger gpus and taller hsf. ATX cases will support both ATX and m-ATX motherboards so don't worry about compatibility from that regard.


I agree that if there's anything you can reuse, definitely reuse it.

Quote:


Well I couldn't find the first card you mentioned but I found the Asus P8Z68-V PRO for £146

http://www.ebuyer.com/267772-asus- [...] 8z68-v-pro

That's £100 more (since the other mother board is about 40 pounds), and the card would be another £140 roughly so that's already £240 on top of the £300 I would be spending


Yeah - I'm US based so there's probably a lot of stuff you can get here that you can't get in the UK.

Quote:
however maybe if you're able to help me list a good setup for about £450 without the graphics card and I can buy the card separately on my next paycheck lol


Sounds like a challenge. :lol: 

I'll play around with Ebuyer and see what I can come up with.

BOOM:

Case: Cooler Master Elite 335 - £30.23
PSU: Corsair CX500V2 - £45.20
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 Onboard graphics output 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard - £83.21
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - £170.98
RAM: G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V - £37.26
Video card: Sapphire Radeon 6850 - £119.94

Total: £486.82

Reuse the HD from your old build, along with the OS, monitor, keyboard, everything else. There you go.
January 6, 2012 2:43:43 AM

a4mula said:
alright, lots of questions and things to go over. Bare with me...


hmm are you saying the motherboard won't support that hdd at all - or it won't take full advantage of the connection speed?

thanks very much for the advice btw

That's quite disappointing to hear, I was a bit mislead by the list that's mentioned with it;

Internal I/O Ports
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM connector(s)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x parallel port connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
Accessories
User's manual
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
January 6, 2012 3:05:13 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
I don't have a problem with you deciding H61 is the way to go because quite frankly it's much less expensive than P67 or Z68. The drawback with the H61 is that all of its overclocking capabilities have been disabled. That means paring it with the 2500K is of no use. At this point you need to decide if you will overclock or not. If you feel it's something worth pursuing then take a look at the P67/Z68 platform. If not then you can save some more money by opting for the i5-2400. It's a solid performer and you can take a look at a few benches and overall opinion at the SBM $600 Dec '11 article. Also your motherboard lacks any SATA 6Gb/s support, which while not a huge deal if you don't plan on upgrading to an SSD at some point, if you are I'd suggest looking elsewhere.


Ah, I knew there was something about the H61 that didn't make sense, but it's good to know that it can't be overclocked.

Quote:
Cases are one of the rare pieces that you can typically carry over from old builds. They also dictate many of your upgrade paths. I'd look to a minimum of mid-tower cases as most of them will support larger gpus and taller hsf. ATX cases will support both ATX and m-ATX motherboards so don't worry about compatibility from that regard.


I agree that if there's anything you can reuse, definitely reuse it.

Quote:


Well I couldn't find the first card you mentioned but I found the Asus P8Z68-V PRO for £146

http://www.ebuyer.com/267772-asus- [...] 8z68-v-pro

That's £100 more (since the other mother board is about 40 pounds), and the card would be another £140 roughly so that's already £240 on top of the £300 I would be spending


Yeah - I'm US based so there's probably a lot of stuff you can get here that you can't get in the UK.

Quote:
however maybe if you're able to help me list a good setup for about £450 without the graphics card and I can buy the card separately on my next paycheck lol


Sounds like a challenge. :lol: 

I'll play around with Ebuyer and see what I can come up with.

BOOM:

Case: Cooler Master Elite 335 - £30.23
PSU: Corsair CX500V2 - £45.20
Motherboard: Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 Onboard graphics output 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard - £83.21
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K - £170.98
RAM: G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V - £37.26
Video card: Sapphire Radeon 6850 - £119.94

Total: £486.82

Reuse the HD from your old build, along with the OS, monitor, keyboard, everything else. There you go.


Woah! That motherboard is amazing, how did you find it?? With all my searching the only other Asus I found that could go up to 1600Mhz+ was 130 at least

The only thing is the PSU, for a bit more isn't the

http://www.ebuyer.com/152009-ocz-mxsp-series-500w-80-ps...

worth it? A lot of people into PSU seem to dismiss the whole CXxxx series for some reason and the OCZ seems to outperform it, is there a particular reason you went with CX500?

Oh and the graphics card - What's the key difference between HD 6870 and the HD 6850? It's a small price difference, any performance dif?

Lol that RAM looks amazing - is there any actual difference between that ram and the Corsair RAM linked before?

tyvm again, the help is much appreciated!
January 6, 2012 3:22:00 AM

GPU-You can probably recycle the 5750 if you already have it for now, it isn't going to hurt anything to use it. A GPU update will probably be needed for something heavy GPU like BF3, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Mobo-Z68 is good for OCing and comes with a lot of advanced features. Whether you need micro or normal ATX depends on what you'll want to upgrade. For a 2 card GPU setting, you need ATX. With a single GPU, you can get by with a micro, but may not have space for other PCI/PCIe cards. It isn't that a microATX board will perform "worse", but it won't give you as many upgrade options.

Case- It's a matter of personal opinion. MOST cases would be drilled for both microATX/ATX, but double check if it matters. Get a size you're comfortable having around, the more size you have to work with, the better.

Disc Drives - Keep the ones you have if theyre any kind of SATA. Hard drives are expensive right now.
January 6, 2012 3:26:10 AM

Come on... seriously? He's got a 4 year-old Compaq... you have him buy 8GB RAM and tell him to reuse his OS? Unless Compaq has changed since I had one I got about 6-7 years ago, there is no way it has a 64 bit operating system.

Here would be my advice. Stick with the items that g-unit suggested, but add a new OS (Though given the life of HDs you might want to consider getting a new one once they drop in price again.) Hold off on the graphics card till your next pay check and get the 6870... not the 6850. The two games you mentioned are some of the more demanding modern games, so you could really use the extra power.
January 6, 2012 3:31:34 AM

aspleme said:
Come on... seriously? He's got a 4 year-old Compaq... you have him buy 8GB RAM and tell him to reuse his OS? Unless Compaq has changed since I had one I got about 6-7 years ago, there is no way it has a 64 bit operating system.

Here would be my advice. Stick with the items that g-unit suggested, but add a new OS (Though given the life of HDs you might want to consider getting a new one once they drop in price again.) Hold off on the graphics card till your next pay check and get the 6870... not the 6850. The two games you mentioned are some of the more demanding modern games, so you could really use the extra power.


I actually have a copy of windows home premium 64 bit so it's no issue, but yeah the price difference between the cards are 20 pounds but I've heard the 6850 is actually far better for overclocking but I'm not too concerned with that
January 6, 2012 5:03:43 AM

sakimonk said:
Woah! That motherboard is amazing, how did you find it?? With all my searching the only other Asus I found that could go up to 1600Mhz+ was 130 at least

The only thing is the PSU, for a bit more isn't the

http://www.ebuyer.com/152009-ocz-mxsp-series-500w-80-ps...

worth it? A lot of people into PSU seem to dismiss the whole CXxxx series for some reason and the OCZ seems to outperform it, is there a particular reason you went with CX500?

Oh and the graphics card - What's the key difference between HD 6870 and the HD 6850? It's a small price difference, any performance dif?

Lol that RAM looks amazing - is there any actual difference between that ram and the Corsair RAM linked before?

tyvm again, the help is much appreciated!


The CXXXX series is a low performer - I use it in a lot of HTPC builds - it gets the job done but you're not going to do a whole lot else with it. I think the OCZ is actually made by Seasonic which is why it gets a lot higher marks than the Corsair series does. Pretty much all I use in my builds is Corsair PSUs, and I can get them to work every time, so that's generally what I tend to recommend.

As far as the motherboard goes it wasn't really that much of an effort to find it - what's available in the UK and what's available in the US are pretty similar, I crossed the results I got from Newegg with the results I got from Ebuyer. The Asus board that's available in the UK is pretty much the same as what we get.

There's really no difference between the 6850 and the 6870 - the only difference is maybe an extra HD port but that's about it. They're essentially the same card.

Pretty much any RAM you get is going to be the same thing - G.Skill is one of the best around, Corsair is really good, and Kingston, PNY, Crucial - all good brands, they all pretty much come off the same assembly line.
January 6, 2012 5:13:32 AM

sakimonk said:
hmm are you saying the motherboard won't support that hdd at all - or it won't take full advantage of the connection speed?


Assuming the HDD is SATA and not IDE it'll work just fine. SATA3 (SATA 6Gb/s) is really only required for the fastest of SSDs today. A typical harddrive works on SATA2 (SATA 3Gb/s) just fine.


Quote:

4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)

2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)


The naming convention of SATA, like many things in the pc building world, is less than straightforward.

SATA 2 = SATA 3Gb/s = Older Standard
SATA 3 = SATA 6Gb/s = Current Standard

Again, just to clarify however, HDDs do not require SATA 6Gb/s speeds to reach their full potential. If however you do plan on adding SSDs down the road I'd definitely look for a motherboard that offers SATA 6Gb/s.
January 6, 2012 6:21:12 AM

a4mula said:
x


Thanks I think I actually realised that in the end,


Ok so I just realised my old PC does in fact have a SATA HDD not sure what kind of sata, I doubt it's anything fancy but there's no need to replace it right?

It would save me 60 pounds and save a lot of hassle not having to replace it,

Ok I decided to go with

PSU: http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-500W-ModXStream-Power-Suppl...

Processor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2500K-Quad...

RAM: http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-8gb--2x4gb--vengea...

Motherboard: http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-p8z68-v-lx-s1155-inte...

For now which comes to £329.26 (which is about $500 right?)

I'll change the graphics card in time once I can afford it but I think this is quite a good upgrade and will certainly increase my computers performance.

Thanks very much for the help at least now I can take full advantage of the 1600Mhz RAM and can actually possibly upgrade it in future with the proper motherboard, Oh yeah I also decided to just keep my old case since it's actually quite sturdy and seems to possibly provide good airflow hopefully.

Thanks again I'll let you know how it goes :) 
January 6, 2012 3:22:07 PM

Quote:
Ok so I just realised my old PC does in fact have a SATA HDD not sure what kind of sata, I doubt it's anything fancy but there's no need to replace it right?


All SATA ports will work exactly the same - your HD is probably a SATA-II. You can definitely reuse that in your new system.

Quote:
Thanks very much for the help at least now I can take full advantage of the 1600Mhz RAM and can actually possibly upgrade it in future with the proper motherboard, Oh yeah I also decided to just keep my old case since it's actually quite sturdy and seems to possibly provide good airflow hopefully.


Yeah if you can reuse your case you should definitely do so. It helps to reuse as many components from your old system as that will cut down on the price in the long run.

Quote:

Ok I decided to go with

PSU: http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-500W-M [...] omputers_4

Processor: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sand [...] ers_text_b

RAM: http://www.dabs.com/products/corsa [...] ntent=Q200

Motherboard: http://www.dabs.com/products/asus- [...] -7PGM.html


Much better selections. With the money you're saving you should at least look into getting a good aftermarket cooler with the i5-2500K in case you decide to overclock it. I'd suggest this one: http://www.ebuyer.com/297389-coolermaster-hyper-212-evo...

Quote:
Come on... seriously? He's got a 4 year-old Compaq... you have him buy 8GB RAM and tell him to reuse his OS? Unless Compaq has changed since I had one I got about 6-7 years ago, there is no way it has a 64 bit operating system.


A four year old Compaq minus all the junk software is either running Windows XP or Vista. Both of those will work fine until he can afford a Windows 7 license.
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