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Need advise for a new build

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January 6, 2012 11:53:03 AM

Hi i have been saving up and I am now looking at building a new PC, mine is pretty outdated now (4-5 years old) and i need some advise.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next week

Budget Range: £600-£700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, music/music production (potentially), films, general use (surfing the web, college work ect)

Parts Not Required: Hard drive (i already have a new 2TB sata 3, got it just before the floods for £55), peripherals (keyboard mouse, monitor ect)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: none

Country: UK, London

Parts Preferences: AMD and ATI

Overclocking: preferably not

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 (haven't decided on a monitor yet)

Additional Comments: I am not looking to make a top of the range PC, i need something that can run things like skyrim, crysis, starcraft 2, on high to max graphics at a reasonable FPS rate.

More about : advise build

January 6, 2012 12:19:21 PM

Although an AMD build can play all those games (mine plays Skyrim quite nicely), you will overall get better performance with an Intel CPU. Look at the latest $600 SBM build as a starting reference; your budget is higher, so you can improve on it (I'd suggest a Z68 mobo).
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January 6, 2012 12:45:11 PM
January 6, 2012 1:15:03 PM


+1 good build

Also could drop to an Antec Earthwatts 430w and an HD 6870 to stay on budget - wouldn't lose much performance at all.
January 6, 2012 1:22:56 PM

Raiddinn said:
I am in the process of making a guide to address this sort of thing. You may want to try to work through it and see what you end up with.

www.lifetimeprogress.net/files/pcplanningguide.doc


That was an excellent guide, i will read it fully when i have time, busy right now,

However thanks for all the replies, i will read everything carefully and make sure to read everything carefully.

I also have a question, i have always gone with sapphire GPU's, is there a big difference between sapphire, gigabyte and whatnot?
January 6, 2012 1:26:24 PM

No there is not big diferences. The cooling system and the overclock of the video card what is made by each brand. The Gigabyte what i recomended you is OC from factory. I owned Asus , Sapphire,VisionTek and now MSI video cards and i had no problem with any of these brands.
January 6, 2012 1:30:19 PM

jessterman21 said:
+1 good build

Also could drop to an Antec Earthwatts 430w and an HD 6870 to stay on budget - wouldn't lose much performance at all.

The budget range was 700 pouds max. And for a ful HD monitor the video card is amazing.
January 6, 2012 1:38:26 PM

sosofm said:
The budget range was 700 pouds max. And for a ful HD monitor the video card is amazing.

My bad, missed the -£700

Nice guide btw
January 6, 2012 2:11:09 PM

I also just remembered im still running a 32-bit system, how much will it cost to upgrade to 64 bit windows 7?
January 6, 2012 4:39:16 PM

If you have the option to upgrade on the OS cd then nothing. If you dont have that option you must to buy an OS on 64 bit. If you don't want to buy another one , is not a problem , them you don't need 8gb RAM , 4gb is enough for systems on 32 bit becasue the windows can't recognize more than 4 gb. Just 64 bit OS recognize and use more than 4gb.
January 6, 2012 5:11:00 PM

sosofm said:
If you have the option to upgrade on the OS cd then nothing. If you dont have that option you must to buy an OS on 64 bit. If you don't want to buy another one , is not a problem , them you don't need 8gb RAM , 4gb is enough for systems on 32 bit becasue the windows can't recognize more than 4 gb. Just 64 bit OS recognize and use more than 4gb.


i already knew that 32 bit only recognises 4 GB memory and i have wanted to upgrade for a while.
January 6, 2012 7:04:32 PM

If you have access to a student email address, you can get the full version of Windows 7 Professional for ~$60, otherwise it will be 100+.

System Builder OEM CDs are not an option because if you build a computer and use this OS then you must sell it (contractually).
January 6, 2012 7:34:04 PM

I agree that sosofm posted a decent build. Nothing in it howls to be changed, and I'm not inclined to muddy the water with needless nitpicking.
Raiddinn, I just read your guide. A bit opinionated in a few places, and I'd disagree on a few minor points, but IMHO nothing in there is outright wrong or would cause someone to screw up.
January 6, 2012 8:11:40 PM

Well, I never claimed I would give every option an equal shake or even a fair shake in the guide. It is a guide to make a computer that works.

Feel free to message me directly with anything you would like me to consider/change in it that you think would accomplish the goal of making a computer that is maximally likely to work fine from the first time things are plugged in.
January 6, 2012 8:39:16 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound too critical. As a guide to building something that would just work, it seems to accomplish that goal. That some of my choices and/or reasoning behind them might be different isn't the point, as I believe you did make clear you were only offering one set of alternatives, not saying "my way or the highway."
January 9, 2012 8:17:43 AM

Hey guys, i have an update, i decided to lower my budget and keep my old case and CD drive, also I took sosofm's build and transfered it to AMD, heres what i have so far:


Mobo=http://www.ebuyer.com/270702-asus-m5a97-pro-970-socket-... £87.70

RAM=http://www.ebuyer.com/274036-corsair-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160... £37.07

GPU=http://www.ebuyer.com/338548-sapphire-hd-6950-2gb-dual-... £204.99

PSU = http://www.ebuyer.com/159920-antec-truepower-new-650w-m... £69.99

For the CPU i wanted to know how big a difference a Phenom ii x6 2.8ghz would be from a 3.2ghz (Phenom) processor because both are cheaper than the i5 but the 2.8ghz is cheaper still, also am i better of just saving and doing the initial Intel build?
January 9, 2012 11:18:36 AM

If you are into the budget range where a 2400 or 2500k processor is on the table then you should probably get them.

If they are out of your budget range, then you should be perfectly fine with a good Phenom 2 processor.

I don't know how much potential that music production has the potential to fully utilize large numbers of cores, but it would be good to take the x6 over an x4 if it can fully utilize them. If it can't then a faster x4 might be better for your purposes.

I don't know how long it would take you to save for getting a 2500k instead of the AMDs, but I think most people here would suggest you do it without thinking too much about it.
January 9, 2012 11:29:17 AM

im pretty set on a Phenom because i would have to wait until around early Feb to get paid and order and i really want to get everything this week, also for gaming is a faster CPU better than more cores then? (music production isnt to intensive)
January 9, 2012 11:52:24 AM

Once you get "enough" cores (IMHO 4) then the speed is probably what you are going to want to go for, yes.
January 9, 2012 3:04:04 PM

I shall look into it when i get home, however i think ive decided on a Phenom x6 because ive found one for £120ish
January 9, 2012 4:43:07 PM

Take those graphs with a grain of salt, they can be pretty misleading, or at least the conclusions navz88 is drawing from them are misleading one of the two.

Not to mention the games in question all show super high performance relative to cost for dual core systems on games that are in some cases pretty old. Thus the graphs in no way speak toward performance in any future game. In the future when multiple cores can be better utilized these graphs will have to be entirely redrawn.

If all you are going to play are old games then sure get a 2120 (or even better, the athalon 2 255), if you want to play games that come out later this year and next year then it gets more complicated.
January 10, 2012 10:38:51 AM

Mobo=http://www.ebuyer.com/270702-asus-m5a97-pro-970-socket-... < that Asus mobo

RAM= 2x4GB corsair DDR3 1600MHz (vengeance), also what does

GPU= Redeon 6950 2GB model (Sapphire)

PSU = XFX Core Edition PRO650W Power supply - 650 Watt

CPU = Phenom ii x6 3.2GHz

HDD= 2TB SATA3 7200RPM WD 64MB cache


cheers for the help guys, that above is my final build, this will cost just over £500 :) 
January 10, 2012 11:26:32 AM

Yes it is.
January 10, 2012 2:09:01 PM

The XFX Core 650w Pro is one of the best PSUs on the market. I bought it for that reason myself.

Corsair RAM has been reporting high failure rates along with OCZ and G.Skill seems to be trending upwards lately. I would get Crucial myself or, failing that, Kingston. Both those makers have rock bottom failure rates and that is one of the biggest causes of problems with new builds.
January 10, 2012 8:44:49 PM

Massive thanks for the help guys, i went with some kingston Ram in the end and that PSU,

the lot cost me £522, cheers again guys :) 
January 10, 2012 11:35:55 PM

Glad to assist.
January 15, 2012 3:56:36 PM

Raiddinn said:
Take those graphs with a grain of salt, they can be pretty misleading, or at least the conclusions navz88 is drawing from them are misleading one of the two.

Not to mention the games in question all show super high performance relative to cost for dual core systems on games that are in some cases pretty old. Thus the graphs in no way speak toward performance in any future game. In the future when multiple cores can be better utilized these graphs will have to be entirely redrawn.

If all you are going to play are old games then sure get a 2120 (or even better, the athalon 2 255), if you want to play games that come out later this year and next year then it gets more complicated.



if anandtech is wrong on the benchmarks then how about bit-tech?

on 90% tasks i3 2100 beats any AMD 2/4 core until the latter is burned at OCing.

Also i3 2XXX are awarded the fastest ever dual core with lots of power savings.

At its price range(120-135$), amd has no match for it.

However if u think to OC a phenom x4, it will add to cart a LCS which is just foolishness as i5 2XXX can easily kick any OC 2/4 core AMD out in benchs with their TURBO Technology. Even more, if u look at x6 1090T, instead one should invest a bit to get a K series<unlocked SB> cpus which are at the par of AMD world.
January 15, 2012 4:32:49 PM

NavZ, I don't think anyone in his right mind is going to argue that Intel isn't faster than AMD, almost across the board; so much so that you need to look for specialized tasks to find any where AMD is faster (yes, they do exist, but they're rare).
For games, however, with the definite exception of multi-GPU setups, it generally won't matter in terms of playability which one you get. There are also factors that you won't find on any chart, for example I believe a true quad is a little more future resistant than a hyperthreaded dual, but that's just a gut feeling and I can't quantify it.
If getting the AMD CPU allowed the OP to buy a better GPU, I suspect he will not be disappointed in his new PC's performance.

February 14, 2012 4:26:44 PM

Onus said:
NavZ, I don't think anyone in his right mind is going to argue that Intel isn't faster than AMD, almost across the board; so much so that you need to look for specialized tasks to find any where AMD is faster (yes, they do exist, but they're rare).
For games, however, with the definite exception of multi-GPU setups, it generally won't matter in terms of playability which one you get. There are also factors that you won't find on any chart, for example I believe a true quad is a little more future resistant than a hyperthreaded dual, but that's just a gut feeling and I can't quantify it.
If getting the AMD CPU allowed the OP to buy a better GPU, I suspect he will not be disappointed in his new PC's performance.



how can i agree that in a debate between 2 intelligent professor vs 4 stupid kids the latter could win?
it is not the quantity but the QUALITY that matters.

what intel's 2 cored +2 hyper-threaded i3 2100 could achieve @3.1GHz(& TDP:65W), for the same results, amd's phenom x4(say:955 viz at same price) has to be burned at 4.2 GHz(& TDP:95W).
And offcourse, that OC is gonna reduce processor's life.

so if u think of OCing a phenom x4, for almost the same price(the cost of phenom x4 980 + COOLER + MOBO) u can get i5 2400 + h67, which perform much better even at its stock, and offcouse i5 is quad~ so u happy!

Sorry, it is hard for amd and its lovers, but also not less than true.
With all due respect if someone plan to OC get K models of i5 or i7, avoid amd <including FUSION> if ~want a worthy build.

However, if someone who want future-proof multi-cored processor on a TIGHT BUDGET just for encoding apps like vedio editing i will definetly recommend phenom x6 with lots of ram sticks


what sosofm suggested in his 1st post will provide the OP a future-proof build with fast performance in both GAMING and other encoding apps.
February 14, 2012 9:42:11 PM

The last sub-$200 CPU article clearly showed that AMD is outclassed at ALL price points now by Intel; HOWEVER, for most games, the GPU is still what matters most.
If an AMD Athlon II X3 455 has been shown to be able to play certain games, all the charts in the world clearly indicating that Intel is faster won't suddenly make the 455 hang its head in such shame it can no longer play those games. Things might be quite different though, next year, or the one after, when the Intel chip is still merrily playing current games, but the X3 can no longer keep up.
!