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£550 Budget Gaming PC

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December 21, 2012 11:33:27 AM

Hey Guys, need some help putting together a system for £550, which needs to be able to game at quite high settings, at a good FPS at 1920 x 1080. I don't know what would make a good gaming system. I would like the case to have very good cable management, and drive trays. I will be playing games such as Arma 2,AC3,BF3 and Metro 2033, all quite demanding games. I really have no other preferences. I would be thankful for any help.

EDIT: I dont need anything at all included(OS,Monitor etc)

More about : 550 budget gaming

December 21, 2012 11:47:07 AM

This would work out nice for you, but you will have to add 60 pounds if you need windows...or get cheaper parts..

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuQb
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuQb/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuQb/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£145.20 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£61.61 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.44 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£43.96 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£149.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£54.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £540.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 13:46 GMT+0000)
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 11:48:53 AM

Or you could drop that to an i3 and then get an SSD in there. Either way, not bad for £550!
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December 21, 2012 11:53:35 AM

sam_p_lay said:
Or you could drop that to an i3 and then get an SSD in there. Either way, not bad for £550!


If it was me, I would do this. But I have been using an SSD for awhile now and could not go back to not using one. But since he didn't list it as a necessity, I figured he has never used one and could add one later. It's one of those "You don't know what your missing until you use one" things.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 11:59:28 AM

larrym said:
If it was me, I would do this. But I have been using an SSD for awhile now and could not go back to not using one. But since he didn't list it as a necessity, I figured he has never used one and could add one later. It's one of those "You don't know what your missing until you use one" things.


Agreed. Thing is, adding one at a later date is a bit more hassle than adding a bit of RAM or a new graphics card. You've got to reinstall Windows and your software/games, get everything back how you like it... course there are benefits to a fresh start anyway, but I'd take the SSD now.
December 21, 2012 12:05:55 PM

It a bit over, but added the ssd for more choices..

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuVh
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuVh/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/tuVh/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£81.65 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£61.61 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.44 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£43.96 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£79.97 @ Dabs)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£149.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£54.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £556.59
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 14:05 GMT+0000)
December 21, 2012 12:06:44 PM

So an SSD would be better now? I was thinking about buying one in about 4 months, and I was going to use it for just games so that they would load faster.
December 21, 2012 12:11:44 PM

Well, like sam said, it would save you from having to re install everything. It won't really improve gaming performance..but it will boot your pc in 10 seconds, load maps super fast and give you an all around awesome pc experience. But, if you want a better processor now, you can add it later. Just make sure all your other HDD's are not connected to the MOBO when you install windows to the ssd.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:24:34 PM

Yeah you could easily go without one and just use a HDD, but SSD will give more noticeable benefits than an i5 over an i3. I'd switch that to a Samsung 830 if you can though - MLC NAND lives longer than TLC and the 840 delivers no real improvement across the board compared to the 830 (it's the 840 Pro that really takes it up a notch, but that's expensive).
December 21, 2012 12:29:22 PM

So, could I instead of getting an SSD with an i3 just get better components(Case etc) with an i3?
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:36:04 PM

You could indeed. Though I don't think Larry or I would do that :-) Seems like the worst of both worlds then performance-wise. But obviously it's whatever is important to you. i3 certainly won't disappoint - here's how it does in the most demanding game I know of:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/far-cry-3-performance-ben...
December 21, 2012 12:40:13 PM

Its just I want a quite a lot of upgradeability, and I would rather have other stuff than a SSD, btu if you say it makes a big difference...I may just go for it.
December 21, 2012 12:47:14 PM

sam_p_lay said:
Yeah you could easily go without one and just use a HDD, but SSD will give more noticeable benefits than an i5 over an i3. I'd switch that to a Samsung 830 if you can though - MLC NAND lives longer than TLC and the 840 delivers no real improvement across the board compared to the 830 (it's the 840 Pro that really takes it up a notch, but that's expensive).


i agree.. I was looking for the 830 on partspicker but couldnt find it, and the 840 pro is just to expensive for now.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:47:39 PM

Well that's what I'd do but like I say, if you're really not happy with the case then change it - it's your system :-) For me though, I have an i7 but I'd be happy to run an i3 because I've seen how capable they are. However I wouldn't be happy to use a hard disk for Windows/software. Even at work I made sure I had an SSD-based setup, and I don't even game at work (probably would if I could get away with it... :-D).
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:49:55 PM

larrym said:
i agree.. I was looking for the 830 on partspicker but couldnt find it, and the 840 pro is just to expensive for now.


Yeah PC Parts Picker is a cool resource, but it's flawed in the same way all price comparison engines are. I've seen it giving some pretty poor prices to people. It catches some great deals too, but it's important to be able to find this stuff yourself. Here's one:

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/harddrive...
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:57:08 PM

Forego the SSD for now. You list Metro 2033, a very graphically demanding game. What I would do is start with larrym's original list, drop the CPU back to an i3, and get a HD7870 or GTX660Ti.
When you partition the hard drive, create a 111GB C: partition. That way, when you buy a 128GB SSD later, you'll be able to clone that C: partition onto it without trouble (I've used Acronis TrueImage Home for this task many times). The rest of the drive will be for your data.
The Antec Three Hundred Two is a nice case. I built my wife's new rig in it, and the cable management is decent.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 12:58:01 PM

Hi i made you a build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£81.65 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£45.30 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.60 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.96 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£89.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£174.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£34.68 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £564.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 14:49 GMT+0000)

It's great.

Here are it's pros and cons compared to the build larrym made.
Its motherboard has only 1 SATA 6GB connection so using 2 SSD's at a time would be pointless.
It uses a ram kit that is known to overclock well and is much more compatable with aftermarket air coolers which will be a huge plus if you ever decided to buy one.
The hard drive it uses is faster and has twice the capacity.
The SSD it uses is a bit faster.
Its graphics card is a lot faster.
The case it uses is reasonably good but it's not as popular as the Antec Three Hundred Two.

Overall i think it's a better build.
December 21, 2012 1:06:46 PM

Kamen_BG said:
Hi i made you a build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£81.65 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£45.30 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.60 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.96 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£89.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£174.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£34.68 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £564.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 14:49 GMT+0000)

It's great.

Here are it's pros and cons compared to the build larrym made.
Its motherboard has only 1 SATA 6GB connection so using 2 SSD's at a time would be pointless.
It uses a ram kit that is known to overclock well and is much more compatable with aftermarket air coolers which will be a huge plus if you ever decided to buy one.
The hard drive it uses is faster and has twice the capacity.
The SSD it uses is a bit faster.
Its graphics card is a lot faster.
The case it uses is reasonably good but it's not as popular as the Antec Three Hundred Two.

Overall i think it's a better build.


This is very nice too..love the GPU upgrade, not so thrilled with the MSI MOBO..but that's just me. If you can swing the extra 15 pounds, this is awesome too.
December 21, 2012 1:14:56 PM

Got my build ready I think, used this build from Larry:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£145.20 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£61.61 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.44 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£43.96 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£149.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£54.99 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £540.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 13:46 GMT+0000)

But put an i3 3220 and a HD 7870, also upgraded the case to a 300r and changed the mobo to a MSI H77MA-G43
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 1:16:41 PM

I'd prefer Larrym's mobo and case choices. I'm personally not prepared to trust MSI motherboards, ESPECIALLY their cheap ones.
Edit: That was in reference to Kamen's choices. A Corsair case ought to be decent too.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 2:07:11 PM

I've seen the occasional negative review about an MSI board, but a lot more positive ones. I bought an MSI motherboard and GeForce4 MX460 about a decade ago, and they're still running! I'm pretty impressed by that.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 2:11:14 PM

Their better ones are supposedly ok now, but the cheap ones in particular use weak VRMs that pop easily. Still, with Asus, ASRock, and Gigabyte available, I've had no need to risk MSI.
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 2:23:04 PM

Until I got involved in the forums, I always thought Asus were the absolute best quality in the industry - rock solid and pretty much indestructible. I've seen a lot of people on here though having problems with Asus hardware failing (their graphics cards especially). I guess there's never any guarantees - there will always be somebody who has had a problem with a certain brand. But I spose that's what warranties are for :-)
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2012 2:27:35 PM

I agree about Asus graphics cards. While their mobos have been rock solid for me, I had 2/4 Asus graphics cards crap out in days (running @stock, on quality PSUs). For graphics cards, I believe that MSI is indeed a good brand.
December 22, 2012 10:09:52 AM

Kamen_BG said:
Hi i made you a build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£81.65 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£45.30 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.60 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£57.96 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Corsair Neutron Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£89.59 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£174.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£34.68 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £564.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-21 14:49 GMT+0000)

It's great.

Here are it's pros and cons compared to the build larrym made.
Its motherboard has only 1 SATA 6GB connection so using 2 SSD's at a time would be pointless.
It uses a ram kit that is known to overclock well and is much more compatable with aftermarket air coolers which will be a huge plus if you ever decided to buy one.
The hard drive it uses is faster and has twice the capacity.
The SSD it uses is a bit faster.
Its graphics card is a lot faster.
The case it uses is reasonably good but it's not as popular as the Antec Three Hundred Two.

Overall i think it's a better build.


This seems like a great build to me, but I have just found out that my keyboard and mouse were in the loft and they were broken so now I have about £540 without keyboard and mouse, £550 with. So I made these changes.

GPU to XFX DD HD 6870
SSD to 128GB Samsung 830 SSD
Case to Zalman Z9-U3
HDD to Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB

Comes in at budget which is what I wanted. Glad I put an SSD in there and the HD 6870 will do me as I want to play games on quite high settings but I will lower them down.
December 22, 2012 10:33:43 AM

Also, could someone tell me how to put Windows 7 Install on to a USB, and do I need a big size USB?
!