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First build, Gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
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February 22, 2012 6:58:29 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Late March, early April

Budget Range: £600-£700. Would prefer closer to be closer to £600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, (big gap complete with tumbleweed) video editing, surfing the net, watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Novatech.co.uk but if something's noticeably cheaper elsewhere, good.

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel CPU, leaning toward AMD GPU but open to suggestions

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: This is my absolute first build. The most I've done before this is install a bit of RAM a few times so I'm facing a pretty big learning curve and am feeling a bit intimidated by everything. I was tempted to buy prebuilt but want/need to save some money. I've put together a build I think would be okay but there's a lot I'm not sure about and it's undergone quite a few changes as I've researched things and realised it's no good (as in how desperately wrong I got my original PSU choice) and feel like I might need to be corrected on quite a few aspects. My hope is to have something that can play Skyrim close to maxed (as that's what's finally pushed me into making the build) and will serve me for a few years with new games as long as I gradually reduce settings.

If I have anything unnecessary I can cut to save money or something I'm skimping on I need to spend more, then I really need to know.

Proposed build:

Motherboard, CPU and RAM bundle: Intel Core i5 2400 - 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz - Intel H67 Motherboard
Novatech Motherboard bundle @ £255
Comes with stock cooler installed. Opted for this because I was bit worried about installing a fan myself and figured without overclock, stock fan would be fine.

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB Not necessarily this model but this seemed cheap @£196. Any other recommendations welcomed.

Case: Zalman Z9 Plus Black Tower @£44

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB @£63

Optical drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x DVD+/-RW SATA Black - OEM @£14.48

PSU: Corsair TX550M Enthusiast Series 550w @£68

OS: Windows 7 home premium 64 bit, wherever I can get it cheapest. OEM version around £80

Comes in at £720


Also considered getting a GTX 560 Ti for GPU instead to save some money but I'm not too sure. I was going to opt for a bundle preinstalled in a case with PSU at novatech but realised the PSU would be underpowered.

More about : build gaming

February 23, 2012 1:17:51 AM

If you plan on doing video editing then take advantage of HD 3000 Graphics by going with a 2500K + Z68 board.

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/motherboa... £89.99 inc vat
ASRock Z68 Pro3 Gen3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) Motherboard

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Pro3%... <----- a better look at that board and a quick explanation of Graphical UEFI Bios Interface.

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/processor... £165.97 inc vat
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 2500K 3.30GHz Socket LGA1155 - Retail

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/memory-pc... £34.99 inc vat
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
February 23, 2012 4:38:54 PM

I'm not really looking to do much video editing or anything other than gaming on this machine as I have other machines I prefer to use for surfing/movies etc etc. Would jumping up to a i5 2500 produce massively improved performance over a 2400? I don't intend to overclock at all and I want to try and get my build down below £700 if I can.

That said I am beginning to get a bit less wussy about installing the CPU and Cooler myself. Would a z68 board give me a lot more benefits over a h67 other than the ability to overclock?

Also I was wondering if I'm spending too much on the GPU. As much as I want a Radeon 6950, I'm wondering if I should get something a little cheaper.

Any help welcomed.
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February 23, 2012 5:02:45 PM

The GPU is the most important part of a gaming system. Do not skimp on it.. if you want to cut costs I'd recommend doing it somewhere other than the GPU. I would recommend a Z68 board, they are genereally better and more future proof if you ever want to upgrade. Check out the i3-2120. It's a decent CPU for gaming.. I don't know much in the realm of editing so I can't speak to that. If you don't plan on overclocking the stock fan will, in most cases, be adequate.
February 23, 2012 5:27:24 PM

tiddy said:
I'm not really looking to do much video editing or anything other than gaming on this machine as I have other machines I prefer to use for surfing/movies etc etc. Would jumping up to a i5 2500 produce massively improved performance over a 2400? I don't intend to overclock at all and I want to try and get my build down below £700 if I can.

That said I am beginning to get a bit less wussy about installing the CPU and Cooler myself. Would a z68 board give me a lot more benefits over a h67 other than the ability to overclock?

Also I was wondering if I'm spending too much on the GPU. As much as I want a Radeon 6950, I'm wondering if I should get something a little cheaper.

Any help welcomed.

An H67 board with a 2400 would work fine, just make sure you get a board with 4 RAM slots so you have the option to add more memory later on. As far as your vid card goes, you want something that can play recent games and give you decent frame rates at your resolution. I would google reviews on the 6950 along with a few other cards to see what kind of FPS you can get. You don't want a card that's going to struggle...not with a new build.
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