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"to build or not to build"...THAT IS THE QUESTION

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September 13, 2012 9:57:13 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: before xmas

Budget Range: £800-£1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, streaming, music.

Are you buying a monitor: no



Parts to Upgrade: none...existing pc is...well......pure ***

Do you need to buy OS: No
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

im not really sure wot u mean about question above, could this be clarified.

Preferred Website(s) i need ur advice on this question, do i stay away from the likes of ebay??

Location: City, State/Region, Country - belfast,northern ireland.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type ...to be honest, i usually buy branded goods because u usually get wot u pay for. i have no idea if lesser branded parts are just as good in some cases when u are talking about pc parts.

Overclocking: Maybe ...not really sure wot this entails really

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe...again, need advice

Your Monitor Resolution: have 1(full hd)

Additional Comments: i would like a neat lookn tower that my son would like the look off maybe a bit blingy but not ott. as for software and and games, i would like to start afresh. i would like hdmi(1.4) ports and 5 or 7.1 surround. i want to be able to stream movies to a projector. but first and formost a pretty good gaming pc.

Why Are You Upgrading: in dire need of a pc not a abacus...lol.

i have seen so many parts its turning my head, and i dont know if 1 will go with another...intel i5 is the only thing that i have made a decision on(but should i go for the i7). this is what im up against, i just havnt got the knowledge. as for graphics cards, its like a kid in candy store????

i hope i have given all the relevant details required...thanks for even looking.



More about : build build question

September 13, 2012 10:29:35 PM

To answer a few of your points, to see which is best way to go. Your budget is enough to do something decent.
Generally, avoid Ebay, there are some good sellers there, but ....
Amazon are generally OK. Scan may be best, cos they do "build insurance", in case of mishaps.
Intel i5 Ivybridge would be best for your needs, unless you are heavilly into photo/video editing.
You can have overclocking capabilities, it's a way to get a bit extra performance, if you have the confidence to want to have a play with computer settings, or to learn. It's pretty easy, these days, but components to do it do cost a bit more.
Sli/crossfire is something you don't need to worry about, unless you want to add monitors for "surround vision", in future.
September 13, 2012 10:32:58 PM

Re your question on Operating System. You can OEM version of Windows, which is ideal for one PC. You CAN get retail version, that you can use on up to 3 PC's, but it's basically twice the price.
Related resources
September 13, 2012 11:44:23 PM

Ok, so I'm not overly familiar with the Scan.co.uk website so if there are better deals, you may want to look into them. As a base, this is what I came up with:

CPU - Intel CPU Core i5 3570K - GBP 176.58
Motherboard - ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 - GBP 110.12
RAM - Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 - GBP 27.36
SSD - Corsair Force Series GT 120GB - GBP - 92.54
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA 6Gb/s - GBP 60.25
PSU - Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 650 watt PSU- GBP 70.38
Graphics - EVGA GTX 660TI SC - GBP 247.99
ODD - Lite-On Blu-Ray Reader - GBP 43.42
OS - Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit SP1 - GBP 74.04

Total Cost (including VAT) GBP 912.87

This leaves you with about 80 pounds to find an ATX case (without a power supply) that appeals to your son. There are three main concerns you need to take into account when selecting a computer chassis (case):

1) Compatibility - Will it accept all the components that I want to put into it? The major concern here is will it accept a full ATX motherboard (7 expansion slots).
2) Build Quality - The case I used for the system I'm typing this on cost less than the two cooling fans I bought to go with it. My secondary (development/test system) uses a more solid case and ran around $60. My HTPC case (purchased as a gift) ran about $100. I'd probably look into a case in the $50-$75 range (or what that exchanges to).
3) Aesthetics - This is going to be entirely up to your son. He's the one that has to look at it all the time... or does he? My primary computer (the one I'm using now) is down around my knees. I can't even see it while I'm using it, so why does it need to be "full of bling"?

Just some things to take into consideration.

-Wolf sends
September 14, 2012 12:18:25 AM

That's a good system that wolfshadw has put together to give you the ability to overclock. All you would need to add is case, and when you did want to OC, an aftermarket CPU cooler (or it might be better to do it from the start). If you don't want to OC, some money can be saved, on components, without reducing quality.
Re case. You need "Mid Tower ATX". If you look on Amazon, there are dozens to choose from, with pictures. Avoid ones less than about £35, but the easiest way is for you, or your son, to pick a couple he will "like the look of", and we can advise if one is "better", than the other.
September 14, 2012 8:47:14 AM

great stuff guys....just a few notes to mention, i hav to pick the case myself, its hopfully gona be a surprise for xmas. as for the over clocking...i dont really think that that would be an issue ie, what he doesnt know wont hurt him and will keep him away from messing with bios settings(if thats what has to be done for overclocking)...... just back to the case, it was quoted above in wolfshadows list....
no power supply when buying a case, what do i need to look for or is this just a bog standard item?
September 14, 2012 10:54:25 AM

You don't have to stay away from ebay - i bought my graphics card from there and it turned out just fine. Scan and ebuyer are very good websites to get your components from. I wouldn't really bother with sli - better to budget for just 1 graphics card and get a really good one ;) 

i5 2600k overclocked = easy xp. Its a good processor aswell.

Nzxt make weird looking cases, but the switch 810 is very nice looking - bit expensive though. I would stay away from all the grills and flashing lights, they give you a headache after a while.

The CM 690 II advanced is a beauty, as is the Gelid Darkforce and Corsair 400R/500R

Hope this helps.
September 14, 2012 11:37:32 AM

eimheargirl said:
great stuff guys....just a few notes to mention, i hav to pick the case myself, its hopfully gona be a surprise for xmas. as for the over clocking...i dont really think that that would be an issue ie, what he doesnt know wont hurt him and will keep him away from messing with bios settings(if thats what has to be done for overclocking)...... just back to the case, it was quoted above in wolfshadows list....
no power supply when buying a case, what do i need to look for or is this just a bog standard item?

To have overclocking facilities is really down to you, and how responsible you feel your lad is. It's easy enough to do, safely, these days, but it is POSSIBLE to mess things up, if you behave irresponsibly. It's a nice thing to have, IF it's done sensibly. Not having it frees up a bit of cash, to spend on a better case, perhaps. Only you can judge which would be "best", knowing what your lad is like.
September 14, 2012 11:09:39 PM

just reading back on replys, malbluff said that if i wasnt bothered about overclocking then some money could be saved on components without reducing quality. could somebody elaberate. also, is there alternative components to the ones listed above by wolfshadw. i dont want to complete, its availability, if it turns into an issue. one final thing, could i hav a few more names of suppliers and is there any in norhtern lreland?? im delighted with all the responses so far. i do appreciate the time it takes just to reply to my requests. thanks all again.
September 15, 2012 12:04:25 AM

If you don't want ability to overclock, just change the CPU from i5-3570K to i5-3450, priced at £142.98. Change motherboard to Asus P8H77-V, priced at £86.12. Nothing else, at this stage needs to change. It may be possible to reduce power supply, now there's no overclocking. The best way is if you pick out a couple of cases, you think he might like, then we can work out a total cost, in case you can either improve graphics card, or perhaps have to reduce graphics card. Then we can finalise power supply, and you will be ready to go.
I am pretty sure there aren't any major outlets based in NI. Scan certainly supply to NI, and I do think they are your best bet, because of their insurance cover, which is well worth the small extra cost, if it's a first build.
You now need to sort out a couple of cases, so we can finalise on a best one. As I suggested, use the pictures on Amazon, for that. Manufacturers like Corsair, Antec, and Fractal, do some really nice cases, but not cheap. Coolermaster do some mid price range cases, that aren't bad, although some of their cheap ones are a bit plasticy.
September 16, 2012 7:53:28 PM

can i ask another question which came to mind..what is the deal with 3d, is that available on said graphics card, and are there 3d games out there. sorry if i sound stupid but my experience with pc,s go as far as surfing online. without having to ask my son what he would want to be able to do on the pc, could i ask u guys, have i taken everything into account ie, all possible capabilities just like 3d which i never thought about.
September 16, 2012 8:18:11 PM

eimheargirl said:
can i ask another question which came to mind..what is the deal with 3d, is that available on said graphics card, and are there 3d games out there. sorry if i sound stupid but my experience with pc,s go as far as surfing online. without having to ask my son what he would want to be able to do on the pc, could i ask u guys, have i taken everything into account ie, all possible capabilities just like 3d which i never thought about.

Personally I think 3D is overated, at least for gaming. Firstly, you've either got to buy a good, expensive 3D monitor, otherwise you get a 3D monitor, that isn't a very good monitor, if that makes sense. 3D works OK on a big screen, but you need to be sat a distance from it. Add to that, that 3D gives some people migraine, I think it's best avoided, unless you've already got a 3D TV, and know you like it, and get on with it. If you want 3D, it's not a big problem to do, you just need monitor and glasses. nVidia GPUs support it quite well, and quite a few games support it. Personally, I reckon if you've got the money for a half-way decent 3D, you're better to spend it on a REALLY good ordinary monitor, like a Dell U2410, which is exceptional, for around £250.
September 16, 2012 8:36:07 PM

thanks for that..he(son) has a standard def monitor and projector so, hes *** outa luck then. i have been looking at the cases suggested but i havnt found any that has got that look that i know he would like. is there anthing out there that has a robotic face style front?
September 16, 2012 9:23:05 PM

eimheargirl said:
thanks for that..he(son) has a standard def monitor and projector so, hes *** outa luck then. i have been looking at the cases suggested but i havnt found any that has got that look that i know he would like. is there anthing out there that has a robotic face style front?

There are lots of wierd and wonderful designs (I don't know about robotic face). Slight problem tends to be that flash design and flashing lights, cost money. If you get a cheap case, with those features, you can be sure they haven't spent much on things like build quality.
If you look on Scan. Go to "Cases-PC". Select "Performance Towers-Mid" There are then dozens of cases, from very conservative, to really wierd. The cheapest half-way decent case is the CoolerMaster Elite 430. Whilst there are still some rubbish cases, above that price point, if you pick out two or three, you think he'll like, chances are at least one will be a good one. Remember, though, a flashy good case will tend to cost more than a plain good case.
September 21, 2012 6:48:10 PM

two more questions for u'll. what is the difference in a mid tower and full. and also, i hav found a soundblaster sound card that was lying around. is this of any use in my build? thanks.
September 21, 2012 7:01:23 PM

Wolfshadw's build is pretty nice!

I would switch the SSD though, with a Samsung 830 128GB. Also, instead of that PSU, I would go for a Corsair HX750W modular PSU...(easier setup)...

As for the graphics card, I'd go with the GTX 670. It will be able to run a single 1080p monitor at ultra for just about all games, and you can SLI later down the road with the higher wattage PSU.

If you do end up OC'ing the i5 3570k then you would want a CPU Cooler. The Hyper 212 is a really good pick, but again, if you do decide you'd want to OC later down the road you would want to get low-profile memory so you won't have any install trouble (heatspreaders and the fan will cause you problems together if you go for a higher-profile memory).

For a case I would go for the Corsair 500R. Really nice mid tower.
September 21, 2012 7:05:48 PM

eimheargirl said:
two more questions for u'll. what is the difference in a mid tower and full. and also, i hav found a soundblaster sound card that was lying around. is this of any use in my build? thanks.


Mid and Full towers just have a difference in size. Most mid towers are pretty large (I have a mid tower).

Also, the cooling performance of a full size case should be within a degree or two of a mid tower case given the same intake/exhaust volume. And some premium mid tower cases will have better cooling performance than some full size cases.

Sound card: don't need one with that MOBO (ASRock Z77 Extreme 4).
September 21, 2012 7:40:27 PM

I thought we had sort of sorted things, a while back. If your son is of an age, and responsibility, and an intersest to use overclocking sensibly, then by all means, go for i5-3570K processor, and Z77 motherboard. That will either lead to a more expensive build, or limit the amount that can be spent, on the heart of a gaming system, the graphics card.
If you think it more sensible not to give him the ability to "fiddle" too much, go with the locked i5-3450, and H77 motherboard. That frees up a bit of money, to either reduce the cost of the build, or to get a better graphics card.
Either way, you only really NEED a 500w power supply. There's something to be said, for a 550w supply, to give a bit of "scope". Provided you can get a "decent" graphics card, in the first place, there is no point in getting higher power supply. That would only be needed if you wanted scope to add a 2nd graphics card, which you'd only need, if you wanted 3 monitors, in "surround vision".
What is needed is a decision on a suitable MID-Tower ATX case (full tower far bigger than needed), plus a final yes/no on overclocking,and then the rest can be "slotted" into place. The only decision then would be with what money is left, to get the best possible graphics card, to give the best possible gaming experience.
September 21, 2012 9:25:49 PM

malbluff, just to reply to your post. i hadnt brought up any more issues regarding pc spec. i had asked about differences in mid and full cases, also i had come across a decent sound card i had and wanted to know if it was of any use. i think there was some new guys that had just read my original post, and they were commenting on that. its always good to get different opinions and advice though, and i am very appreciative of it. thanks to you all.
September 21, 2012 9:35:12 PM

eimheargirl said:
malbluff, just to reply to your post. i hadnt brought up any more issues regarding pc spec. i had asked about differences in mid and full cases, also i had come across a decent sound card i had and wanted to know if it was of any use. i think there was some new guys that had just read my original post, and they were commenting on that. its always good to get different opinions and advice though, and i am very appreciative of it. thanks to you all.

Sorry, wasn't moaning, just thinking "we've been here before". But, seriously, though, you definitely don't need Full Tower. They're really for much more powerful systems, and lots of hard drives, and such. (plus they tend to weigh "half a ton"). Mid Tower ATX is plenty, in terms of size. If you pick a couple of cases that "look" suitable, and set a total spend, we can do the rest, either with, or without overclocking (Which you want is up to you).
September 21, 2012 9:57:03 PM

thanks for that....your gona laugh now.. i hav picked a few cases but heres the thing. i dont know how to create a link. ill giv it a go. keep an eye out. :ouch: 
September 21, 2012 10:01:00 PM

eimheargirl said:
thanks for that....your gona laugh now.. i hav picked a few cases but heres the thing. i dont know how to create a link. ill giv it a go. keep an eye out. :ouch: 

If having problems, just give make and model number. You just then need to say yes or no to overclocking, and set a max spend. That, basically, will determine how good a graphics card, can be included. We can do the rest.
September 21, 2012 10:17:50 PM

:sweat:  "i like it"
September 22, 2012 3:28:26 AM

How to create a link in the forums:

  1. [urlExt=http://www.newegg.com]Descriptive Text Goes Here[/urlExt]


Ends up looking like this:

Descriptive Text Goes Here

-Wolf sends
!