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£1500 Budget including monitor and peripherals

Last response: in Systems
December 17, 2012 8:01:14 PM

Hi guys,

I want to build a pc for gaming whilst also having a nice monitor (27 inch) and some nice headphones because I am studying music at university and appreciate good quality sound and always nice to have a big screen to do your essays on!

So basically I've discovered it would save me a *** ton of money to build my own pc well I'd get more for my money(is this very true then)? The games I play are like Diablo, Starcraft(want to play upcoming expansion at max settings and future games at max settings), league of legends. and I usually will have music playing in the background on spotify and some browser tabs open and maybe a word document or two.

Could you give me some advice on what components to buy as of today, and if its super beneficial to wait a month or two before buying or if me buying now is ok?

My budget is around £1500 for everything(monitor and pc), I mean if theres something abit above that, that will really push it to the next level I can afford to go higher but I'd prefer not to as I know the higher you go theres diminishing returns on the performance you get to cost.
a b C Monitor
December 17, 2012 8:13:29 PM

It's a good budget to get a really nice setup, though a quality 27"er would eat into it quite a bit. I'd only ever recommend IPS-panel displays if you care about image quality and a 27" IPS is gonna cost you. The Dell U2412 is a really excellent 24" IPS panel, and there's a 27" option too. I was a bit dubious initially about Dell offering quality monitors, but they're actually some of the very best now (at least until you get into Eizos and Lacies costing you £800+ for a 24"er).

Anyway, Core i5 is a good starting point, the 3450 if you're not overclocking and the 3570K if you are (ASRock Z77 Extreme4 if a good mobo if you are). GTX670 is an exceptionally capable GPU (it's the point beyond which you're getting next to no improvement for your money). With your budget you'll also easily be able to get an SSD in there - I'd recommend a 120GB Samsung 830, or Samsung 840 Pro if you want the very best (maybe see what you're left with when everything else is accounted for?).
December 17, 2012 8:21:16 PM

I mean what Im upgrading from is a 2009 27 inch imac with a 2560x1440 resolution so I wanting something of similar quality. I could go down to 24 inch if it really was much better value. I think overclocking is the way to go, the 3570k superior to the i7's, and the hyperthreading etc? I want to just get a really fast ssd yeah then I can get a 1tb storage drive at some point. How do I choose parts that work well together e.g. components that synergise I helped my brother build his pc a few years ago but thats about the extent of my experience, aswell as being fairly computer literate and logical.
Related resources
a b C Monitor
December 17, 2012 8:40:56 PM

Don't worry about synergy :-) The main thing is not to pair a crazy powerful graphics card with a weak CPU. You're not doing that, so not a problem. That iMac display you've been using is IPS, so you'll definitely want another IPS. Dell U2412 is a 24" IPS and can be had around £180. The 27"er is quite a bit more, but shop around. have some great deals on these. Also,, and are worth a look for this stuff in general.

Hyperthreading isn't a concern for gaming, will only benefit highly-threaded non-gaming applications. The i7s are the best you can buy, but the gain is only in non-gaming stuff. If you're not buying a hard disk to begin with, you might want a 250GB SSD (to be honest, it might be better for future-proofing anyway as game installs get larger). The Samsung 830 I mentioned is a price/performance champ, and the 840 Pro is just the fastest there is. £80 and £120 respectively for the 120GB models. You're looking at around 30% gain for that money across the board (SSDs are measured on several metrics and vary wildly in specific areas, so that's a very broad average).
December 17, 2012 8:59:47 PM

So whats the best value graphics card on the high end scale as the price varys so much and does the cooling system play and intergral part in the cpus performance or not? One last question is better for me waiting after christmas to buy these parts as in will they go down in price do boxing day sales exist for computer parts?
a b C Monitor
December 17, 2012 9:19:47 PM

GTX670. At the high-end, you can't beat it for value. It's only ~6% behind the GTX680, yet almost £100 cheaper. You can pick one up on for £270. Cooler is only really important if you're overclocking. You mentioned you'll overclock the CPU, so I'd recommend a Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo for that. If you OC the graphics card also, cooler is something to take into consideration. An MSI Twin Frozr model would be a great choice there.

If you're more interested in warranty, EVGA can't be beat. Three years by default, extended to five or ten if you register your details within 30 days of purchase. PNY is second best, at three years, and then Gigabyte (three years again, but from date of manufacture, not date of purchase). The other brands range from one to two years, or three on certain models.

As for sales, they're typically not as good for computer hardware as for other things, but there will be sales and some deals to be had. That'll always be the case though - the longer you can wait, the less you spend (or more for your money). nVidia and AMD both have new ranges coming up within the next 6 months (hopefully less), so you could wait for that. If you want to buy now though, I really can't recommend the GTX670 highly enough.
December 18, 2012 8:27:41 PM

This is what I build on alienware so I guess it would save me about £500 if I build it myself, what are the best resources to dig into before starting this process and can I build it in a day once I have the parts plus have read a couple articles?

Included in your system:
Windows 8 64bit, English
Intel® Core™ i7-3820 (Four Core, 10MB Cache 3.60GHz)
16384MB (4x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 Quad Channel
1TB SATA 6Gb/s (7200RPM) 32MB Cache
DVD+/-RW (Read/Write) 24x W8
Integrated HDA 7.1 Dolby Digital capability
No Security/Anti-Virus Protection
1 yr Next Day In-Home Hardware Support
Alienware Aurora Matte Black 875W Chassis
Avatar not included
Astral Aqua
Dell UltraSharp U2412M 61cm(24") LED monitor VGA,DVI,DP (1920x1200) Silver UK
Alienware Optical Mouse
Alienware Multimedia Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)
Steam® Factory Installed and Steam Extra Content
Also Includes
No Accidental Damage Protection
UK 250V Power Cord
English Documentation
1 year Next Business Day Hardware Support included with your PC
Alienware Aurora Order
Alienware Aurora Resource DVD W8
Dell Backup And Recovery Basi
a b C Monitor
December 18, 2012 8:36:28 PM

Nice! Where's your SSD though? You're much better using a Core i5, 8GB and GTX670 if the alternative is no SSD. For sites:
December 18, 2012 10:54:30 PM this is what I have come up with is this much better than the pc I made on alienware for like £1700 is this the best cost efficiency I can get at this price point? Do I need to put some more money in for a massive increase or take alot out for a minor decrease?
a b C Monitor
December 19, 2012 7:19:22 AM

Just a few points... hard disk and graphics card look a bit overpriced. Not sure PC Part Picker got you the best prices on those. Both excellent choices though so just shop around. You could get a GTX670 for £270 unless you're wanting that specific Asus card. The PSU is £50 more than you need to spend really on a quality 750 watt. You should be able to find a Seasonic/XFX 750 watt for £70-80.

Finally, it may be fine but I've had bad experiences with Lite-On writers. Usually end up with a lot of coasters. I always stick with Samsung now for optical. Funny thing with optical drives, even units from manufacturers I'd consider quality (Sony, Pioneer, Plextor) can let you down. Samsung is the only brand that never has for me.
a b C Monitor
December 19, 2012 11:41:27 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
December 19, 2012 4:30:11 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£163.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 90.3 CFM CPU Cooler (£48.49 @
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£119.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£32.16 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£45.54 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£80.24 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£311.60 @
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Phoebus 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card (£139.99 @
Case: NZXT Phantom (White) ATX Full Tower Case (£98.38 @
Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£85.42 @ Amazon UK)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer (£16.72 @ CCL Computers)
Monitor: Asus VE276Q 27.0" Monitor (£221.12 @
Other: RAZER Megalodon Gold-plated USB Connector Circumaural 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset (£118.70)
Total: £1482.33
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-19 18:33 GMT+0000)
a b C Monitor
December 19, 2012 4:34:59 PM

Not sure why there's a £140 sound card in there? And I wouldn't use Sony for optical (it's the one area I've found Sony to be lacking in quality). Rest looks good though.
December 19, 2012 4:47:54 PM

the asus xonar phoebus is one of the best sound cards out on the market , and why i put it there
samducker said:

because I am studying music at university and appreciate good quality sound
and that's why i put a nice 7.1 Headset , and for the optical drive he can add like £4 and add other brand , and personally i tried samsung and sony in optical drives and i didn't face any problems.
a b C Monitor
December 19, 2012 5:01:39 PM

It's generally accepted that onboard audio delivers everything you could possibly want in sound quality. If you want really top notch audio, you get proper speakers or headphones anyway, for example the Klipsch Image S4s (I own a pair and would hugely recommend them). I haven't had any problems with Samsung either - that's why I recommended them.
December 19, 2012 5:12:19 PM

cheers sam_p_lay , that's my recommended build for his usage , and am Convinced with the parts i had put in there , and also am completely understand your point , so let him see our recommended builds and decide which will fit his budget and fulfill the performance he expects. have a nice day :) 
a b C Monitor
December 19, 2012 5:17:03 PM

Same to you :-) It's a big budget anyway, so sound card may be a nice luxury to have.