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New build advice

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July 17, 2012 2:43:06 PM
July 17, 2012 3:03:54 PM

boylsie said:
hey,
im from the uk and looking to fully upgrade my pc, im a gamer and going off to univeristy next year. Ive put this together for £400 and put some possible upgrades for it underneath which cost an extra £100:
Intel Core i3 2120 3.3GHz Socket 1155 3MB L3 Cache.. | Ebuyer.com
Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3 Intel H61 Socket 1155 8 Channel.. | Ebuyer.com
PowerColor HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DP Out.. | Ebuyer.com
G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit.. | Ebuyer.com
Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII.. | Ebuyer.com
http://www.ebuyer.com/363095-ocz-500w-corexstream-psu-ocz-cxs500w-uk
http://www.ebuyer.com/130304-casecom-black-silver-trim-mid-tower-case-no-psu-kb-8890

possible upgrades:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-173-OK
http://www.ebuyer.com/349022-intel-core-i5-3450-3-1ghz-socket-1155-6mb-cache-retail-boxed-processor-bx80637i53450

i know it will be able to run all games at mid setting smoothly, but i have a few questions, should i make those upgrades?? and i should, should i go for the i5 2500 or the 3450??

should i stick to intel? as i can get an AMD Bulldozer FX-8 8150 or an AMD 960T Black Edition for the same price or cheaper than the i5.

thanks


if you can spend a bit of extra cash, do get the 560 ti. that should at least allow you to play most games beyond medium. if you're sticking with the i3, depending on the game, you may need to tone the graphic settings, but considering you're pretty ok with medium settings, this won't be too big a problem for you, i guess.

if all you want to do is play video games, ignore the FX-8150. an FX-4100, or Phenom II X4 9** series will perform a lot better in most cases. go for the 960T. you MAY be able to unlock it to a hexa core..

if you want to stick with intel, you can always upgrade to an i5 later, though make sure your motherboard has a UEFI/BIOS upgrade that will support your intended CPU replacement (i5-2500 or the 3450). upgrade your motherboard BIOS/UEFI BEFORE upgrading the CPU. and if you're going to choose go for the 3450.
July 17, 2012 3:20:31 PM

Hazle said:
if you can spend a bit of extra cash, do get the 560 ti. that should at least allow you to play most games beyond medium. if you're sticking with the i3, depending on the game, you may need to tone the graphic settings, but considering you're pretty ok with medium settings, this won't be too big a problem for you, i guess.

if all you want to do is play video games, ignore the FX-8150. an FX-4100, or Phenom II X4 9** series will perform a lot better in most cases. go for the 960T. you MAY be able to unlock it to a hexa core..

if you want to stick with intel, you can always upgrade to an i5 later, though make sure your motherboard has a UEFI/BIOS upgrade that will support your intended CPU replacement (i5-2500 or the 3450). upgrade your motherboard BIOS/UEFI BEFORE upgrading the CPU. and if you're going to choose go for the 3450.


thanks for the reply, will the 960t outperform an i3 or i5 gaming wise and/or for regular use?
is the motherboard decent? or is there a better, cheaper one available?
also does the efficiency rating on a power supply really mater that much??

thanks
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July 17, 2012 4:10:39 PM

boylsie said:
thanks for the reply, will the 960t outperform an i3 or i5 gaming wise and/or for regular use?
is the motherboard decent? or is there a better, cheaper one available?
also does the efficiency rating on a power supply really mater that much??

thanks


I personally would not recommend H61 because you lose a ton of expansion options. A full size H77 board will give you far more long-term flexibility.

Yes - the rating of the power supply absolutely matters, you don't want to get one that's not certified and rated at minimum 80+ Bronze or risk having it blow up on you, and believe me I've had that happen before.
July 17, 2012 4:20:29 PM

boylsie said:
thanks for the reply, will the 960t outperform an i3 or i5 gaming wise and/or for regular use?
is the motherboard decent? or is there a better, cheaper one available?
also does the efficiency rating on a power supply really mater that much??

thanks


the 960T will perform somewhere close to a Sandy Bridge i3 at least, if not slightly less than. i reckon with 2 more cores than the i3 though, any games that utilizes the number of cores (i.e: BF3 online 64 player maps) will benefit from it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=289

i'd personally go with intel unless you plan to make another PC in 2-3 years time, as the 960T is growing quite old. a fine CPU, but it is aging. your only hope if you choose the 960T right now is that AMD's new piledriver based CPU later this year will at least perform better than the 960T and is backwards compatible with your motherboard.

speaking of which, your motherboard's fine, considering you have no interest to overclock. if you do plan to get a 3450 right away, ask your retailer if they can update the motherboard BIOS/UEFI to the latest version. that motherboard does support the i3-2120 out of the box in case you get one without the latest BIOS.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8H6...

PSU: efficiency rating matters a LOT, as does the amperage on the +12V rail. you can try your luck with a lesser PSU, but you'll rest easier with one rated at 80+. worst case scenario, you fry your whole PC. you don't have to get one rated at 80+ silver/gold/platinnum, any brand name (Seasonic, Corsair, Antec, Silverstone, XFX, OCZ) PSU ambiguously rated at 80+ or an 80+ bronze will suffice. though i'd reconsider getting a 550W just to be safe.

as for amperage on the 12V railing; visit the manufacturer's site and see what the current on the +12 volt rail is and simply multiply it by 12. the closer it is to it's rated power the better. and before you ask; a single +12V rail is fine for your build.
July 17, 2012 5:49:27 PM

boylsie said:
ive changed it a bit, deciding to go for a new chipset on the motherboard:
http://www.ebuyer.com/386271-gigabyte-ga-z77-ds3h-socke...
or http://www.ebuyer.com/276562-gigabyte-ga-z68ap-d3-z68-s...
with a new HDD with sata 3
http://www.ebuyer.com/270739-wd-1tb-caviar-green-3-5-sa...
a change of ram:
http://www.ebuyer.com/248846-corsair-8gb-ddr3-1600mhz-v...

is there much of an increase in perfor,ance between the 560 and the 560 TI??


http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/543?vs=547

it differs anywhere between 5-15fps. if you're playing at 1080p or so, and like the prospect of higher graphics settings, naturally i'd suggest the 560Ti. though considering your satisfaction with medium graphic settings, the 560 will perform better than the 6850, so there's that.
July 17, 2012 5:55:23 PM

Hazle said:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/543?vs=547

it differs anywhere between 5-15fps. if you're playing at 1080p or so, and like the prospect of higher graphics settings, naturally i'd suggest the 560Ti. though considering your satisfaction with medium graphic settings, the 560 will perform better than the 6850, so there's that.


cool thanks, what do you think about the motherboards? should i go with the newer chipset???

thanks alot for your help :) 
July 17, 2012 6:12:06 PM

they're good, better than the H61. but again double check with the manufacturer's site and your retailer if the CPU you're buying is compatible with the motherboard straight out of the box . better safe than sorry as some oddly enough don't follow according to expectations sometimes. .
July 17, 2012 7:56:17 PM

Hazle said:
they're good, better than the H61. but again double check with the manufacturer's site and your retailer if the CPU you're buying is compatible with the motherboard straight out of the box . better safe than sorry as some oddly enough don't follow according to expectations sometimes. .


http://uk.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-po...
it says for, a certain update, but how do i know what version bios is on the motherboard at the time of purchase?
also someone told me the i5 i chose was locked and was unable to overclocked, is this correct?

thanks
July 18, 2012 5:15:33 AM

boylsie said:
http://uk.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-po...
it says for, a certain update, but how do i know what version bios is on the motherboard at the time of purchase?
also someone told me the i5 i chose was locked and was unable to overclocked, is this correct?

thanks



BIOS; since you're going for a Z77 motherboard, it should support most of the Ivy Bridge based CPUs released during it's initial launch (3450, 3550, 3570K) including Sandy Bridge CPU released then. the ones sold usually have an up to date BIOS, though sometimes, you do get unlucky by getting an older stock with an older BIOS. and considering Ivy Bridge is rather new with a few choices, you'll less likely see this a problem going with cpus like the 3450, 3550, 3570K, 2300, 2400, 2500K, etc. if you're worried, you can always ask your retailer via e-mail, or phone call. some sites i see a form you can fill in to give them specific instructions on what to do with your stuff, though i'm not sure if this applies here.

as for your CPU; if you're looking to OC, you're looking for a processor with a K suffix (i.e; 3570K). you can still kinda OC with a non-K cpu, but you're severely limited to a few hundreds hertz and may suffer some system instability.

!