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First Homebuild

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May 18, 2012 1:59:22 AM

Hello, I've used Toms Hardware for a while reading articles and the forums for information but have only recently joined. I am hoping to embark on my first home build of a mid-range gaming PC. I have been at university for the past 3 years so have been getting by on my humble laptop but now I am coming to an end I wish to use the money I have saved up to build a gaming PC.

I have already done some research and I think I have designed by build however, as this will be my first build I was hoping to get some feedback on whether a) the components I have selected will work together and b) are there better options for each of the components that I have chosen. This will be used primarily for gaming e.g. Skyrim (with mods such as Skyrim HD etc.), BF3, Civ V and possibly Diablo 3 (depending on reviews), some light photo editing and I may also do some light overclocking.

Firstly my overall budget is £1000 GDP; however, like I mentioned I only have a laptop atm so therefore that money must include accessories and OS. I have already found the mouse, keyboard, speakers and headphones that I will get and are approximately £60 (I plan on upgrading them later on if I need to, but the ones I have picked out are solid enough for starters. I can also get Windows 7 OEM for £65 which seems like a fair price. (Although I am curious whether people think I may be better holding out for Windows 8). I have also set aside £90 for a monitor, there are a few options all 21.5-22 inch LED, 1920 x 1080, Full HD.

Also Im willing to buy the components over several months in order to make sure I can take advantage of various websites 'daily/weekly deals' (June till August); however, for estimating prices I have tried to use suppliers 'normal' prices. This leaves about £780 for the rest of the hardware, which are:

CPU: Intel i5 3570K http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...

GPU: Nvidia GTX 560 Ti http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280mb-gainward-gtx-560-...

RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue (2x4gb) http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004QBUL1C/ref=ox_sc...

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68ap-d3-int...(x16)-vga-on-board-atx

Although I am willing to spend a little more if people think the GA-Z77-D3H is worth the extra cost or more 'future proof' http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z77-d3h-inte...

Case: Antec 902, V3, Midi Case http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004ALI5KC/ref=ox_sc...

Primary Hard Drive (for OS and 2/3 games and applications) SSD OCZ Agility 3, 60gb http://www.scan.co.uk/products/60gb-ocz-agility-3-ssd-2...

Secondary Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006GDVREI/ref=ox_sc...

Basic optical drive most places sell a solid one that will do for about £10

PSU: Powercool PC750UM, 750W, 80 plus (Modular) http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-psu-powercool-pc750...

CPU Cooler: CPU Coolmaster Hyper 212 EVO http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e... (plus £5 for a side fan on my case for the GPU)

Wireless Adapter: Edimax EW-7722In, 300MbpsWireless 11in PCI adapt http://www.scan.co.uk/products/edimax-ew-7722in-300mbps...

These are the cheapest I have found these products after looking them up on: ebuyer; Aria; Overclockers UK; Scan and Amazon but if anyone else knows somewhere better it could be a great help. If anyone could help me it would be greatly appreciated.

More about : homebuild

May 18, 2012 2:27:57 AM

for ram, i would personally get some mushkin enhanced blackline ram because they have low profile heat spreaders
2: i would get either antec, ocz seasonic or pc and power cooling power supplies because they all build great units. corsair is great too.
3: for the same amount of money, i would go with a 7850 because it uses less power and has more perfomance
4 aglity 3 60gb is horrid. get a crucial 64 or 128gb
5: do not get a green drive. you only save 20 cents of power a year and they are slow
6: get a z77 board to take advantages of the cpu such as the gigabyte z77x-ud3h
7: why not get a antec 302 or antec one case. they are cheaper and have the same great build quality
May 18, 2012 6:56:50 AM

Either get a Z77 board or an i5-2500k. IB CPU and MOBO are needed for PCIe 3.0.
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May 18, 2012 11:12:01 AM

TheBigTroll said:
for ram, i would personally get some mushkin enhanced blackline ram because they have low profile heat spreaders
2: i would get either antec, ocz seasonic or pc and power cooling power supplies because they all build great units. corsair is great too.
3: for the same amount of money, i would go with a 7850 because it uses less power and has more perfomance
4 aglity 3 60gb is horrid. get a crucial 64 or 128gb
5: do not get a green drive. you only save 20 cents of power a year and they are slow
6: get a z77 board to take advantages of the cpu such as the gigabyte z77x-ud3h
7: why not get a antec 302 or antec one case. they are cheaper and have the same great build quality


Thanks for the quick reply. I will look into the different things you've mentioned, I am just a bit wary of spending a little more on each component and it adding up to a large increase. I am probably wrong but the benchmarks I war looking at put the 7850 ahead of the standard GTX 560 Ti (384 core) but quite a bit behind the newer GTX 560 Ti (448), which was designed to be a bridge to the 5700. Also, although I wouldn't call myself a 'fanboy' I've always used nvidia and have never had a problem so unless the difference is noticeable I would rather stick with them.

I chose the Antec 902 simply because it is a little big so I thought it may be better to have the extra space for my first build also it comes with more stock fans and is only £25 difference on Amazon, but if people think the 302 would be more than enough i'm happy to go with that.
May 19, 2012 2:40:13 AM

yes the 560ti 448 will beat the 7850 by a little, but it uses much more power.

just to tell you, i would get a antec p280 because it has even more space and has great cooling and slience. its also cheaper than 902
May 19, 2012 2:40:47 AM

you can thank me by making this comment the best answer :D 
May 19, 2012 10:38:21 AM

Sorry, Im not sure how to do it, if you message me how to i will gladly do it.

Just one final question will all the components that I originally listed and the ones you suggested as alternatives be compatible together. I was particularly worried about it a) all fitting in the case (which ever one I end up going for) and b) the wireless network adapter. Thanks
May 20, 2012 12:34:17 AM

yes they are interchangeable and compatable with each other. if the wireless network adaptor uses a PCI slot or a PCi-E x1 slot they will work

the p280 is a xl-atx case and it will fit the board and everything no problem

to select as best answer, go to the bottom left of the comment and the button is next the reply button :D 
May 20, 2012 12:34:33 AM

yes they are interchangeable and compatable with each other. if the wireless network adaptor uses a PCI slot or a PCi-E x1 slot they will work

the p280 is a xl-atx case and it will fit the board and everything no problem

to select as best answer, go to the bottom left of the comment and the button is next the reply button :D 
May 24, 2012 2:17:35 PM

TheBigTroll said:
you can thank me by making this comment the best answer :D 


Sorry it appears that I created a 'Discussion' not a 'Question' so therefore I can not select a best answer. Sorry mate
!