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New Gaming Build

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August 7, 2012 7:51:38 PM

Hi all,
I'd like some advice on a new pc that I'll be building for my father.

His budget range is £700-800 excluding a monitor & delivery.
He wants it mostly for gaming, of which he almost exclusively plays simulators, but he also does design/digital art work. Overclocking is a maybe, he'd like to have option further down the line (it would only be a tame clock around the 4.3ghz mark).

I'll probably purchase the components within the next week, and would prefer to limit stores to Overclockers/Scan/Amazon or BTshop, unless something is very good value & delivery won't be troublesome. (Location Midlands, UK)

I'll be buying an OS, Windows 7 64-bit Home premium full version, and will be on the look out for a good 1920x1080 monitor around 22-24".


In terms of suggestions for GPU's/Cases etc, I think quiet and cool should be the main focus, but not to an excessive degree...hehe.


Components - So far, I'm thinking along these lines.

Processor
i5-3570k - I guess this is a standard choice, lots of juice, and overclocking is always a possibility.

Motherboard
Asus P8Z77 - V - is this too advanced for his needs? I'm not expert on mobo's admittedly.

CPU Cooler
Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - I understand it is one of the quieter compact cpu coolers, if not the best; is there anything quieter with superior cooling in a similar price range?

Graphics Card
MSI 560 TI 1GB Twin Frozr II OC My dad is set on a 560ti, as he says that Nvidia cards work better with the games he likes (Railworks 3 currently, and Cliffs of dover) I think that may be a bit short sighted, theres always the option of a 448 core, or a 570 I suppose for more grunt, but what are your opinions on the newer 7850/70 GPU's?

Memory.
Kingston Hyper X Genesis 8GB 1600mhz, in terms of brand I'm not 100%, I don't know that there's much between any of them? I'm thinking low profile or lowish profile just in case. He would not be interested in overclocking his memory.

HDD
Seagate Barrcuda 1TB 6GB/S ; my dad isn't keen on WD because he says my caviar blue is noisy, but obviously I'd highly value a reliable HDD so suggestions are welcome.

Optical Drive.
Samsung SH-222BB There are a lot of cheap samsung/sony drives out there, I know my dad doesn't think much to blueray, but I'd say he uses his dvd/cd burner/player a lot more than most, so I don't mind paying more to get something of good reliabillity.

Case
This is where I always get stumped. So many cases, so many makes. My dad says he doesnt care about it looking good, but, beyond the obvious (ATX, plenty of room for a mid-range GPU), I'd be after a case that at least has a mobo cut-out in the correct place, for easy backplate installation/removal, cut-outs to cable tidy, something with plenty of fan spaces should the need arise. It doesn't necessarily need room for a full height cpu cooler. Basically nothing too fancy, but nothing nasty either.

PSU
OCZ ZS 650W - Appears to have favourable reviews, would a 550W do just fine though? Also any good value modular's to make my life easier? I've no intention of skimping on a good psu, but I do appreciate something that is really good value.

Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version Anywhere you can get this cheaper?

I will not necessarily be buying all the components from difference sites, it'd depend on what the delivery costs were like, but I'm just showing the cheapest prices for the sites I prefer to use.

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope I've been plenty thorough. I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions or feedback on this.
All the best, Dan.

More about : gaming build

a c 276 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 10:22:34 PM

Quote:


CPU Cooler
Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - I understand it is one of the quieter compact cpu coolers, if not the best; is there anything quieter with superior cooling in a similar price range?


Arctic Cooling fans are absolutely horrendous- they're no better than the stock cooler. I had one and it broke into several pieces while I was installing it on an AMD system, and the mounts didn't exactly line up - requiring me to completely uninstall the motherboard, attach the fan, and put the whole thing back together. Get a Hyper 212 Evo instead - comes with better paste and a stronger LED fan than the Arctic Cooling does.

Quote:

Graphics Card
MSI 560 TI 1GB Twin Frozr II OC My dad is set on a 560ti, as he says that Nvidia cards work better with the games he likes (Railworks 3 currently, and Cliffs of dover) I think that may be a bit short sighted, theres always the option of a 448 core, or a 570 I suppose for more grunt, but what are your opinions on the newer 7850/70 GPU's?


Most games usually aren't GPU specific. The Radeon 7850 for its' price range is a far better bang for buck option than the 560TI is, but you can't go wrong either way. Alternately the 660TI is supposedly due any day now so you could wait for that.

Quote:

Memory.
Kingston Hyper X Genesis 8GB 1600mhz, in terms of brand I'm not 100%, I don't know that there's much between any of them? I'm thinking low profile or lowish profile just in case. He would not be interested in overclocking his memory.


Kingston is an excellent and very underrated RAM manufacturer. Corsair (as long as you get low profile), Crucial, G.Skill, and PNY are all top tier RAM makers as well.

Quote:
Case
This is where I always get stumped. So many cases, so many makes. My dad says he doesnt care about it looking good, but, beyond the obvious (ATX, plenty of room for a mid-range GPU), I'd be after a case that at least has a mobo cut-out in the correct place, for easy backplate installation/removal, cut-outs to cable tidy, something with plenty of fan spaces should the need arise. It doesn't necessarily need room for a full height cpu cooler. Basically nothing too fancy, but nothing nasty either.


That depends on how much you want to spend. The HAF 912 (European model is HAF 912 Plus) is usually the fail safe as it's an excellent case with good cable management, well constructed fans, and extra nice features like an SSD mounting bracket included.

Quote:


PSU
OCZ ZS 650W - Appears to have favourable reviews, would a 550W do just fine though? Also any good value modular's to make my life easier? I've no intention of skimping on a good psu, but I do appreciate something that is really good value.


Don't use store reviews to select products - they're baseless about 90% of the time. You want to check professional reviews from a variety of sources. The ZS series is pretty decent, I'd suggest this instead: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMPSU-650TXV2UK-Enthusi...

Quote:

Operating System
Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version Anywhere you can get this cheaper?


OEM version: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-OEM-software-intended...
a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 11:05:51 PM

+1 on the 7850 but then the 660ti is said to be released on the 16th so hold up (although pricing will most likely be 299+ but performs like a 580)
Related resources
August 7, 2012 11:25:21 PM

Thanks for the reply G-unit.

Regarding CPU cooler, I myself have a Xigmatek Gaia, and I'm very impressed with it, so could always get the same for my dad. I was hoping to stick to a 92mm fan though. Are there any coolers you'd recommend that use 92mm fans?


For cases, I was thinking something more budget, around the £35-45 mark if possible, but I know I may be asking a lot, if I'm hoping for it to have some more user friendly features.


That power supply seems very impressive, so I'll look into it that, I had seen a pretty positive review of the ZS series on tech power up I think it was, so that's what had me considering it. And I hear you, a lot of reviews seem to focus on how fast a product arrived rather than the product itself.


Also are there any specific 7850's you know of that are particularly good?
a b 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 11:29:58 PM

asus, xfx double dissipation and sapphire are my choices for a 7850. the msi power edition 7850 is great too but not too sure if its too expensive or avaliable

a nice case is the fractal core 3000. sells for 49.99 normally

id just get a 120mm fan heatsink
August 7, 2012 11:30:00 PM

I'll see what my dad thinks, but as you say, its likely going to cost a bomb, and I think that'd be more than my dad might like to pay, if he was prepared to wait.

Thanks for the replies though!
a c 276 4 Gaming
August 7, 2012 11:44:33 PM

Quote:
Regarding CPU cooler, I myself have a Xigmatek Gaia, and I'm very impressed with it, so could always get the same for my dad. I was hoping to stick to a 92mm fan though. Are there any coolers you'd recommend that use 92mm fans?


I don't know of any - most only use 120mm fans anymore. I'm personally not a fan of Xigmatek coolers - had one and it fried a motherboard I was using and almost cost me the CPU on top of that. The 212 Evo is probably your best bet.

Quote:

For cases, I was thinking something more budget, around the £35-45 mark if possible, but I know I may be asking a lot, if I'm hoping for it to have some more user friendly features.


Maybe try something like this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-one-black-mid-towe...

Quote:
That power supply seems very impressive, so I'll look into it that, I had seen a pretty positive review of the ZS series on tech power up I think it was, so that's what had me considering it. And I hear you, a lot of reviews seem to focus on how fast a product arrived rather than the product itself.


Here's a more in depth review of that PSU: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
August 8, 2012 12:00:43 AM

Ill check those cards out; I was looking at the MSI power edition, it seems it cools very well, but may be a bit noisy; I guess I could always fiddle the fan profile though.

Also, thanks for those cases, they both seem very smart looking and good value at first glance, I've bookmarked a few reviews to look at tomorrow.

Thanks again.
August 8, 2012 11:28:16 AM

@G_unit, or anybody else for that matter.

The TX 650w seems very good, but, since I can get the OCZ ZS 650w for £53, and the cheapest for the TX seems to be £66. I'm leaning towards the TX because the ZS fan is apparently a little loud. But considering those prices would you still recommend the TX?

One another thing though, what are your opinions on the 650W ZT? I'm just thinking about modular, since the case won't likely be the most roomy, and the TX seems to have more cables I likely won't use.
a b 4 Gaming
August 8, 2012 12:40:45 PM

the zt has this fan problem that makes it super loud.

the tx is more high quality compared to all the units that are stated
August 8, 2012 12:45:59 PM

Okidoke, thanks for that, I'll stick with the TX.
August 8, 2012 12:46:31 PM

Also, are there any budget 120mm CPU coolers that are known to be good, I'd prefer to spend <£20 on a cooler, since Overclocking is only a maybe, I wouldn't be extreme.
a b 4 Gaming
August 8, 2012 12:49:47 PM

the hyper 212 evo is your best bet. if you can find one, the hyper tx3 also works well for your usage
August 9, 2012 12:45:30 PM

One last question. Regarding Graphics cards, which of these do people think would be the best?

Gigabyte HD7850 OC Windforce

MSI 7850 Power Edition

XFX 7850 DD

Or a Sapphire 7850

I've been reading reviews (although they seem sparse for some models), and often they don't mention acoustic performance; and it leaves me wondering if that great cooling is because it sounds like a jet engine. Myself I was thinking of choosing the MSI power edition.

But , I was wondering which of these you would recommend, based on temps & noise levels (if you know of them).
a b 4 Gaming
August 9, 2012 12:51:29 PM

i personally like the asus, xfx and the msi. they cant be too far from each other.
August 9, 2012 1:05:06 PM

Rightyo. Do you have any reviews for the Asus 7850 Direct CU Then? I don't seem to be able to find any in-depth ones, although it looks good, and I'm sure it performs great.

I mean, The MSI seems to be the coolest 7850's I've seen with an OC, although apparently noise levels are around the 38-40DB mark. I don't really think there's a bad choice to be made lol, I'm just being picky I guess.


Thanks.
August 9, 2012 2:46:41 PM

Thanks for that. It does seem like a real nice card to be honest, and, I'm not too fussed about the cooler being so long I guess. It's a shame there aren't any thorough reviews though, comparing temp, sound etc.

I would say the review does seem a little unfair, I don't myself see that an extra-cool graphics card (and the low noise levels associated) are a bad thing, that being said, since my dad has no intention to overclock, I think I'll probably save a few pounds and get the pre-clocked MSI.

But thank you for your help!
a b 4 Gaming
August 9, 2012 2:47:52 PM

yeah that makes more sense. its not that hard to overclock video cards anyways. you can build the system, overclock it a bit more, and then give it to him
August 9, 2012 2:59:25 PM

I know it can be quite simple these days, I've just started experimenting with my 6850 power edition, so I'm learning more and more. At the end of the day its his decision, I think from his point of view, it would be 'less hassle' to get the MSI. Though the Asus looks as if it might be able to handle huge overclockers with the lowest temps/fan noise of any 7850.

Dan.
August 9, 2012 10:07:18 PM

One last last question. Anyone know of any very good monitors about 22-24 " at 1920x1080 resolution, around about the £150 mark?


Thank you.
!