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Building a PC

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June 15, 2012 7:37:04 PM

Hi this is my first time trying to build a PC and I've been doing some research and found some parts that have been reviewed well.

I live in the UK and I'm looking to play the latest games for example Bioshock infinite on the highest graphics settings. I'm looking to spend something in the region of £1000 ($1500), the lower the better, but my current build goes over this price tag; about £1500 ($2250)

So my question is is there anything in this build i have overspent on in comparison to the rest (have i bottle-necked it), is everything i have purchased necessary for my needs and can you recommend anything cheaper than what i have that will do the same job just as well. Furthermore is there anything i am forgetting or any extra costs i have missed. If after all of this i am still over budget is there any suggestions you would make to bring it down.

Lastly is everything here compatible and do i need more fans/heat sinks than currently.

P.S I don't know a lot about computers so would you mind explaining things in a simple manner :p  .

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 Quad Core (3.60GHz, 10MB Cache) £200 ($310)

Monitor: Dell U2311H UltraSharp Widescreen 23" IPS LCD Monitor 1920x1080 £170 ($260)

Case: Cooler Master HAF X-M Midi Tower Case £100 ($155)

Ram: Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B 16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Blu Memory Four Module Kit £80 ($125)

Motherboard: Asus P9X79 PRO Motherboard (Socket 2011, Intel X79, DDR3 Quad Channel, ATX, PCI Express 3.0, Dual Intelligent Processors 3 with New DIGI+ Power Control) £200 ($310)

ODD: LG BH10LS38 BLU-RAY/DVD £55 ($85)

Sound Board: ASUS XONAR ESSENCE STX £130 ($200)

Heatsink: Corsair CWCH100 Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance CPU Cooler £80 ($125)

Hard Drive: 1TB WESTERN DIGITAL BLACK 3.5" SATA, 7200 32mb Cache WD1001FALS Hard Drive HDD £65 ($100)

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER SILENT PRO GOLD 800, 800WATT MODULAR POWER SUPPLY £85 ($130)

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti £150 ($235)

Thank you for reading and i would like to stress i would like to keep costs down.

More about : building

June 15, 2012 7:45:29 PM

First off the sound card isn't needed - you can drop that and you will save £130. Same with the liquid cooler - if you're going liquid cooling a closed block like the H100 will be completely useless. Either go with a full custom loop or not at all. A Noctua D14 will give you the same results as an H100 and it's far safer. Requires no maintenance.

You're paying too much in some areas (case, cooling, sound card) where you don't need to and not enough where it really counts: the GPU. X79 - while it's great - isn't needed when you can get the i5-3570K for way less. And then invest that money in upgrading your GPU to the 670. On a gaming build the GPU is the most important part of the system as it can make or break the performance of a build and you don't want to skimp or compromise on that area if you can help it.

The HAF X is a decent tower but it's huge and you only need it if you're using a monster motherboard like the Rampage IV or Classified SRX. If you don't need that type of board you can drop the case to something much smaller and less expensive.

Case: Antec 1100 - £89.94
PSU: XFX Pro Series 750W - £75.30
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H - £104.12
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - £179.22
Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B - £43.07
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 1.5V - £43.34
SSD: 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 - £106.00
HD: 1TB Western Digital 7200 RPM - £93.37
Optical: LG Blu Ray Burner - £66.23
Video Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 670 - £328.40
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - £71.64
Monitor: 24" Viewsonic VA2448-LED LED (Backlit) Monitor, 1920x1080, 5ms, 300cd/m², 10000000:1, Black, Full HD - £138.29

Total: £1,355.70

Use the difference to get whatever keyboard, mouse, and speakers you want. This build gives you a motherboard and CPU that's more geared toward gaming (X79 is geared towared higher end workstations), an SSD for boot drive, more storage, a *WAY* better GPU, and a case that is more suited for the build. This build is under your maximum budget but you won't compromise on any of the components listed and it will last for several years.
June 15, 2012 8:00:05 PM

You don't need an i7 CPU. Most games only use about 1 or 2 cores. An i5 3570k will be more than enough or an i5 3550 if you don't plan on overclocking. Now, with an i5, you'll need a z77 mobo.

i5 3570k ($230)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AsRock z77 Extreme 4 ($135)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just these two will save you about $250.

You don't need a sound card unless you're an audiophile or work with sound for a living. Save the money.

If you don't plan on overclocking like crazy, go with a cheaper air cooler.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO ($35)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

16 GB is way more RAM than you'll ever need unless you render a lot of images. You'll only need 8 GB.

A 560 Ti does not require a 800W PSU. If you plan on SLI in the future try sticking with a 750W like:
Corsair Enthusiast 750W ($110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If no SLI:
Antec EarthWatts 500 ($70)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also get a Cooler Master HAF 912 case instead to save $80.

Approx Savings: $900
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June 15, 2012 11:23:08 PM

Ok, thanks guys.
I've combined what you have suggested and come up with some thing along these lines.

Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 £390

CPU: Cpu: Intel Core i7 3.4 GHz Processor £170

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper £25

PSU: Corsair enthusiast 750w £70

Hard Drive: 640gb western digital £55

Optical: LG BH10LS38 £55

Monitor: 24" Viewsonic VA2448-LED LED (Backlit) Monitor, 1920x1080, 5ms, 300cd/m², 10000000:1, Black, Full HD £125

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium £70

Case: Antec 1100 £90

Motherboard: AsRock Z77 £110

Ram: 8gb corsair vengeance £40

Total: £1040

Could you explain to me why a solid state drive i needed for a gaming computer?

Also my Graphics Card is much better quality than the rest of the computer, am i going to be able to use all of its potential?

Is there anything you or anybody else can think of that will improve the specs of this computer with increasing the cost dramatically?

Are you sure this will be able to cope with games on the highest settings and will this be able play games of the futre on high settings?
June 16, 2012 12:46:14 AM

Toontamer said:
Ok, thanks guys.
I've combined what you have suggested and come up with some thing along these lines.

Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 £390

CPU: Cpu: Intel Core i7 3.4 GHz Processor £170

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper £25

PSU: Corsair enthusiast 750w £70

Hard Drive: 640gb western digital £55

Optical: LG BH10LS38 £55

Monitor: 24" Viewsonic VA2448-LED LED (Backlit) Monitor, 1920x1080, 5ms, 300cd/m², 10000000:1, Black, Full HD £125

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium £70

Case: Antec 1100 £90

Motherboard: AsRock Z77 £110

Ram: 8gb corsair vengeance £40

Total: £1040

Could you explain to me why a solid state drive i needed for a gaming computer?

Also my Graphics Card is much better quality than the rest of the computer, am i going to be able to use all of its potential?

Is there anything you or anybody else can think of that will improve the specs of this computer with increasing the cost dramatically?

Are you sure this will be able to cope with games on the highest settings and will this be able play games of the futre on high settings?



You still don't need the i7 for a gaming CPU, the extra features will be useless. Go with the i5-3570K and you'll save about £40.

To answer the questions:

1. An SSD will dramatically decrease your load and boot times while providing a faster overall system.

2. Yes - games like BF3 will be able to max it out to full 1080p and beyond for several years.

3. Not really - that all looks pretty good to me.

4. The 670 and 680 will handle anything you can throw at it on the highest resolutions for the next several years.
June 16, 2012 7:06:27 PM

Right ok i'll bear this in mind when i build my PC, thanks to everyone who contributed.
!