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Budget Gaming / Media PC for the 'Man Room'

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Last response: in Systems
September 13, 2012 3:45:11 AM


First post, but I thought that this would be the best forum to come for some well informed advice.

I have recently moved in to my first house, and am in the process of kitting out the 'man room'. I am looking for a PC that will happily connect to NAS for home media streaming as well as something powerful enough to play games - Skyrim, X3 etc, as well as being fairly capable of playing later titles at decent settings.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few months.

Budget Range: £400 - £450

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming / Watching Movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes :( 

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Dabs, any reccomendations

Location: Witney, Oxfordshire UK.

Parts Preferences: best value for money. I tend to look for quality and positive recommendations first.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Using a Samsung 32" TV, native resolution, 1366 x 768

I have created an Amazon wishlist for what I would build with no advice, however the last PC I built was about five years ago, and I have been using laptops ever since, so I am completely out of synch with the current hardware market.

The Amazon wish list is:

With current prices, this totals around £530 inc. postage.

Anything that you guys would change / extras that I may have missed out?


Edit - Prices

More about : budget gaming media man room

September 13, 2012 4:48:27 AM

intel cpu are better for gaming. myself i look at the g800 or a i3-3220. the i3-3220 max output is 50-60w. so is run cooler in smaller cases. for the video card try hold off for two-three weeks.. new nvidia cards are going to drop and amd on other tech web pages are going to drop prices on there cards. may be able to get a faster card for the same price as the card you have now. if i was building a gaming rig i drop money for at least a 660 gpu or the 78xx line. the lower end 550-560 cards are fine for movies..but not for games.
look at there test bed it an i5 so that they dont bottle neck the game. i3 and lower end card should be fine.
September 13, 2012 8:01:46 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I think I may save up a little longer for an unlocked i5 3570k and hope that the price of the GTX 660 comes down below £150 when the latest batch of cards are released.

If I could get a decent spec for under £500 that would be great.
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September 13, 2012 8:29:44 PM

Ok, so I have updated my Amazon list with;

CPU: i5 3570k

Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo

MB: MSI B75MA-P45 Intel B75

RAM: Corsair Memory Vengeance Red 8GB DDR3 1866 Mhz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel

GPU: PNY GeForce GTX 660 XLR8 NVIDIA Graphics Card - 2GB

Unfortunately the total now comes to £665.24, about £160 over what I would like to pay.

Can anybody suggest a build with similar performance at around £500?
September 13, 2012 8:35:13 PM

Get lower profile ram, I'd get a Z77 chipset too but it's extra, check my sig link, I have a £500 rig there!
September 13, 2012 8:53:14 PM

Yeah, I guess the cpu and ram are a bit overkill if I'm being budget concious.

Much prefer the coolermaster case, and an i3 CPU should suffice my needs.

At current prices, my new list makes £530. Hopefully in the next couple of months I could £500 and get a pretty powerful machine. :) 
September 13, 2012 8:54:43 PM

You don't need the extra SATA cable - your motherboard should come with at least 3 - 4. And then I'd personally go with H77 over B75 as you get a bit more headroom for future expansion - otherwise pretty much everything looks good.
September 13, 2012 9:06:48 PM

Avatar84 said:
This MB look good?

Biostar H77MU3 H77 Socket 1155

I can't forsee needing a full size board, as I would probably upgrade a single GPU rather than go the SLI/Crossfire route. :p 

If you go with my £525 build, then take the 7850 off, you can then use the £160 for a discrete card, and put it into a tiny HTPC case!

EDIT: My choice of boards are in this order, Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, ASrock, then say Biostar, I certainly would rather get a different manufature..
September 13, 2012 9:17:13 PM

Avatar84 said:
This MB look good?

Biostar H77MU3 H77 Socket 1155

I can't forsee needing a full size board, as I would probably upgrade a single GPU rather than go the SLI/Crossfire route. :p 

If you're getting a full size case, get a full size board. You don't want to limit your expansion opportunities in the future. This is a bit more but is a full size board:
September 13, 2012 9:28:43 PM

Yeah, as pretty as SFF cases are, I think I would prefer staying with a slightly bigger case in terms of future upgrades.

I am planning on using a nettop for a HTPC with XBMC for the living room, but that's for another forum! :p 

Good advice on the larger Asus board :) , gives the PC a little more overhead to upgrade to an unlocked i5 or even i7 in the future.

Think I may have done it!

EDIT - Link