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New Gaming Build

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September 17, 2012 1:44:47 PM

Hi guys and thanks for any help in advance...

I am looking at putting a build together purely for gaming.

I have around £600-£750 to spend and only need to worry about the rig itself, no peripheral concerns.

I am sick of the crappy E5200 with a GeForce 9400 GT build I am on at present. I struggle to play anything, even on LOW settings that was released with the past few years and even some of my dated games look blocky.

It would be nice to actually play Skyrim for once rather than have my friends talking about "taking an arrow to the knee" and having no idea what they are on about.

The build doesn't have to be able to run everything on Ultra (although it would be nice) but as a minimum it needs to be the last i spend on a new build for the next few years and ideally further into the future...

Here is what I am thinking, please let me know what you think and offer any advise if you can.

CPU : Intel i5 3570K which I plan to overclock, if I can

Heatsink / Fans : Unsure just what would be the best option if I plan to overclock, I live in a cold country (the UK) so overheating from weather is not a massive concern but i don't want to be overly skimping with the cost of cooling if I plan to overclock

RAM : 8GB, unsure of the clock speeds i need for these as just want some cheap and cheerful RAM that will work well

Mobo : No plans to Xfire/SLI and can live with onboard audio. No plans for any cards aside from the GPU so the amount of slots is not vital. The size of the mobo is not a concern for me - big or small I have the room, just as long as it will give me enough room to put a beefy GPU inside as well as any cooling the CPU needs

Case : Again not fussed on color/trim just want something that has a power button, big enough to fit the Mobo i have (and the cooling) and thats it

PSU : Something that isnt terribly noisy and can handle the gear I plan to put in the rig

Sound : Onboard is fine for me

Optical : A simple DVD/CD reader/writer is fine for me, no BD needed

Hard Drive : Something of at least 7.5k RPM, 1TB is a nice size and thats about it. Not going the SSD route as I am patient to wait for my loading times and the cost savings here will help me work on getting a better GPU

GPU : This is the part I am umming and arrring about the most. I have it narrowed down to a budget of about £150-£200 for this part and that budget ties me to GTX 570 or HD 7870. My thinking is that I should go 7870 unless I can find a 570 at not much more, if i can find one for say £10-£20 more then i can go with a 570 otherwise a 7870 seems my best shot



So far I have my numbers at about £565 - £725 depending on what options i take in certain areas such as PSU & Cooling.
If I can get it down to a low number but keep my goal of a nice enough Gaming Build then I can get the money together and put it together soon.

Otherwise its back to the drawing board, saving more so I can afford better.


Any cost savings anyone can suggest would be appreciated but otherwise a simple review of my build goals and any suggestion on either specific parts to recommend or instead what I should be looking for in the key areas would be appreciated.


Thanks in Advance

More about : gaming build

a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 2:02:11 PM

CPU is good

Aftermarket cooling is a must if you want to OC. The Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO is a great budget cooler that should support moderate overclocks, especially given your cold climate.

8GB of 1600Mhz, CL9 1.5v RAM is plenty for a gaming rig. Get a low profile kit like G.Skill Ares or Corsair Vengeance LP.

The AsRock Z77 Extreme4 is the go-to board. Has all the features one would need (including Crossfire/SLI capability) at a good price.

Case is largely a personal decision. Go for the Coolermaster HAF series or any Corsair case and you wont be disappointed. Just pick the one you like the look of and agrees with your budget.

Corsair TX650 is a good basic unit, get the 750W if Crossfire/SLI is a possibility.

Any $20 SATA DVD-RW will do, optical drive performance isnt really a concern nowadays.

I recommend Seagate Barracuda's, even more specifically the ST1000DM003 model.

Go with the HD7870, its better than the GTX570. Great card in its own right, should hit ultra/max settings on most modern games. Very nice overclocker as well. Make sure to get one from a good manufacturer, so ASUS, Sapphire or Gigabyte.

September 17, 2012 2:10:45 PM

Thank you
Almost matches your sig build (aside from the SSD i think)

How much did that build cost you? When did you build it? How do you find it? (specifically what do you find is the best and worst parts of the build and furthermore what are your plans 1,2,5 years time for it?)

Thanks... a lot of what you said makes sense so its now a case of trying to funnel that into a shopping list.
It has been at least 10 years since I built a PC and from what I gather they are a lot simpler than they used to be but i will still have to re-remember all the steps again, should be fun.

Just want to make sure that I am not regretting the decision in a few months time thinking I should have gone down a different road on key parts such as the GPU/CPU

I tried to get a build together this time last year, was going to be an i5-2500K with a 6970. Its good to see that a year down the line and those key components are still kicking ass. I am gratified that I will be building the new Ivybridge which in contrast to Sandybridge seems to have a lot more confidence regarding futureproofing. I like the idea that in 3 or so years time if the i5-3570k is not good enough for gaming that it wont be a motherboard swappout concern I have my eyes on, either a simple CPU/GPU/RAM upgrade which is a lot easier than breaking down and starting from scratch which my current system requires me to do.
Related resources
September 17, 2012 2:20:28 PM

manofchalk is correct sir. -on all points-

one note: PSU: PC Power and Cooling Mk III, 600w. Quiet and cool.

7870 is the correct GPU.

Enjoy!
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 2:24:33 PM

Cost me $1700 here in Australia, where the prices on near everything are a bit higher. Though a lot of that did go into Misc things like fans, LED lighting, fan controller. As well as an overkill case.

My immediate plans are for water-cooling (because I want to :lol: ) and another 8GB of RAM (because I'l be doing a lot of video editing next year). Beyond that, GPU upgrade and maybe a platform upgrade when Broadwell or Skylake releases (or if Steamroller is the renaissance of performance AMD desperately needs).

Be very careful with the term future-proof. Its almost impossible to future-proof over a time-span of 3yrs. By then, the mid-range $200 components will easily smash the $1000 premium components now. It would be a much cheaper and better upgrade to the new platform than to stick with LGA1155, which is going to end mid next year when Haswell is released.

Also, you will have to replace the RAM as well. In 3yrs time DDR4 will be released and have become mainstream. Such is the march of technology.
September 17, 2012 2:48:00 PM

Future proofing for myself is pretty much all about easy to upgrade if I need to but also having less of a "need" to be the best and more that in the next few years if my system can still handle mid-high quality settings on new games, id still be happy.

I reckon that if I can put a good 3 years on having a system I will only need to replace the CPU and GPU, say at a cost of £360 which is easily manageable
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 3:05:54 PM

Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Mid Tower Gaming Performance Case with USB 3.0, w/o PSU
£49.99 £59.99
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/corsair-carbide-series-3...
650W Corsair Enthusiast Series 650TXV2UK, 85% Eff', 80 PLUS Bronze, SLI/CrossFire, EPS 12V, Quiet Fan, ATX v2.31, PSU
£58.65 £70.38
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-corsair-enthusiast-...
Intel Core i5 3570K,1155, Ivy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.4GHz, 5 GT/s DMI, 650MHz GPU, 6MB Smart Cache, 34x Ratio, 77W, Retail
£148.15 £177.78
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/29-4intel-core-i5-3570k-...
MSI Z77A-G43, Intel Z77, S 1155, DDR3, SATA III - 6Gb/s, SATA RAID, PCIe 3.0 (x16), D-Sub/ DVI-D/ HDMI, ATX
£61.77 £74.12
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-z77a-g43-intel-z77-s...(x16)-d-sub-dvi-d-hdmi-atx
8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black Low Profile, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.5V
£26.66 £31.99
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-lp-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v
1TB Seagate ST1000DM003 Barracuda 7200.14 SATA 6Gb/s 7200rpm 64mb Cache 8ms NCQ OEM
£49.74 £59.69
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-seagate-st1000dm003-...
2GB MSI Radeon HD 7870 Twin Frozr OC, 4800MHz GDDR5, 28nm, GPU 1050MHz, HDMI/mDP+ *Free Sleeping Dogs
FREE FREE Sleeping Dogs Game
£174.78 £209.74
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-msi-radeon-hd-7870-t...
120GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD, 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s, SandForce 2281, Read 525Mb/s, Write 500Mb/s, 85K IOPS
£57.12 £68.54
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-ocz-agility-3-ssd-...

Total£762.42
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 3:12:12 PM

Corsair Carbide 300R Black Midi Tower Window Gaming Case #52034 £ 59.25
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Midi+T...
650W OCZ ZT Series 80PLUS Bronze Modular Power Supply #47162 £ 57.60
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Suppli...
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor (77W) - Retail #49755 £ 144.16
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Intel+Core+i5-3570...
MSI Z77A-G43 Intel Z77 Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard #48876 £ 62.72
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...
8GB Exceleram Black Sark LP ERS303B (2x4GB) 1600 (PC3-12800) DDR3 SDRAM CAS 9-9-9-24 1.5V #51651 £ 24.99
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/8GB+Exceleram+Blac...
1TB Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive #48501 £ 49.69
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Hard+Drives+-+I...
OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive #47341 £ 55.79
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/OCZ+Agility+3+120G...
MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card + 1 FREE Game! #51966 £ 168.95
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Car...

Total £759.68
September 17, 2012 3:23:20 PM

Not interested in a SSD, just a standard HDD

Any chance you think i could get this under £750, say more the £600 mark?
September 17, 2012 4:07:21 PM

Hi guys I have the same query any advice would be much appreciated thanks :) !

I'm looking to upgrade my rig as it stands, mainly my CPU.

My rig:

CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) 9950 Quad-Core Processor 2.6

RAM: 4G ( ram that came with the bundle i bought some time ago now nothing special)

Video card: GeForce GTX 560 Ti

Sound card: none (On board)

OS: windows 7 64 bit

Case Antec 900

Ideally I think i need to invest in a new bundle perhaps? But I'm not to sure. I would just like to run most games i.e. "guild wars 2" on high spec. i have a budget around about £300 pounds. Any help/ advice on how to make my gaming more satisfying would be a great help thank you!
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 4:31:10 PM

vadersoul said:
Not interested in a SSD, just a standard HDD

Any chance you think i could get this under £750, say more the £600 mark?


So your budget is it £750 or £600 ?
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 4:33:33 PM

650W OCZ ZT Series 80PLUS Bronze Modular Power Supply #47162 £ 57.60

MSI Z77A-G43 Intel Z77 Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard #48876 £ 62.72

8GB Exceleram Black Sark LP ERS303B (2x4GB) 1600 (PC3-12800) DDR3 SDRAM CAS 9-9-9-24 1.5V £ 24.99

1TB Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive #48501 £ 49.69 £ 49.69

MSI Radeon HD 7870 OC 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card + 1 FREE Game! #51966 £ 168.95

Antec One Black Midi Tower Gaming Case #50303 £ 36.95

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor (77W) - Retail #49755 £ 144.16

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler #47248 £ 22.16 £ 22.16

Total £692.21
September 17, 2012 4:39:22 PM

Uther39 said:
So your budget is it £750 or £600 ?


I think £750 was ambitious
£600 really is the budget
September 17, 2012 4:41:33 PM

Uther

Where is your i5-3570k from?

Best price i saw was £168 for OEM, not £144.16 (unless that is excluding VAT)
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2012 5:44:45 PM

Yep excludes vat
September 18, 2012 7:41:07 AM

Uther39 said:
Yep excludes vat


LOL :)  I do appreciate the help but its a system i am building for myself not building to sell so why wouldn't I be factoring in prices including VAT

Ah well... there was the hope that you had managed to find a good source for these at a cheaper price where typically the best price is what you get from the likes of Overclockers and other E-Tailer Component companies.

I work in the trade and even with my trade discounts on hand, their prices still come out around the same suggesting that either their margins are crazy low or that they buy quite well. Either way, its very competitive but because of that the prices pretty much even out across the board.
!