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First Time Custom Builder Budget of £600

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October 3, 2012 8:54:33 PM

Hi there,
i am custom building for the first time with a budget of 600 pounds. i want to know your opinion on the components
Accessories like Monitors Keyboards etc have been taken care of. Heres my list:

Graphics Card: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX... £173.50

Bundle (Processor, Ram, Motherboard, Cooler http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=BU... £199.98 i am upgrading the 8GB ram


PSU (Power Supply): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMPSU-750TXV2UK-Enthusi... £80.91

SSD (120GB): http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004Z0S6SO/ref=noref... £64.19

Optical Disc Drive (still deciding): http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-GH24NS90-AUAA50B-SATA-Intern... £13.97

Total: 532.55

I will buy a HDD so i have not included.
What case would you recommend that has good airflow and is under 75 pounds?
October 3, 2012 10:02:09 PM

Personally, I wouldn't go with that bundle, and if I'm reading their notes correctly, upgrading the RAM voids their support/warranty. Unless you intend to add a second graphics card, which also wouldn't work well with that bundle, you don't need anything like that PSU. Also the SSD is far from the best.
Provided you don't plan to add a second GPU, it would be possible to put together a much better build, using Intel i3 Ivybridge, which would perform better, for, at least, similar cost.
Related resources
October 4, 2012 6:47:04 AM

I am upgrading to 8gb ram with them over the phone, i am pretty sure it does not void the warranty
October 4, 2012 7:30:26 AM

Look at other stores for better prices:

dabs.com
aria.co.uk
ebuyer.com
October 4, 2012 8:31:22 AM

You didn't indicate what you plan to use the system for, but since you included a 7850 I'm assuming gaming is one intended use. This is a better way to spend your money:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£138.74 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£62.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£80.00 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£187.89 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£49.98 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Novatech)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£13.98 @ Novatech)
Total: £614.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

It's a little outside your budget but will give you a much better system. I would advise you to drop the SSD and go with an HD to free up some money to improve other components.
October 4, 2012 2:40:28 PM

Okay thanks for the input

im a beginner at this stuff but isnt a 4.2ghz quad core processor better than a 3.1ghz quad core?
October 4, 2012 5:25:56 PM

If it were the same processor, but they are very different and intels CPU's have much more efficient micro architecture and are faster overall.
October 4, 2012 5:46:49 PM

im pretty sure ill stick with the 4.2 thanks
October 4, 2012 7:12:07 PM

Clock speed is a poor indicator of how fast a processor really is. Efficiency, sometimes referred to as Instructions Per Cycle (IPC), plays a big role in how fast the CPU completes tasks. Intel CPUs are much more efficient that the AMD FX series.

Check out this article that compared CPU performance in games. The i5-3470 I've recommended is slightly faster (about 5-7%) than the i5-2400 used in the comparison. See how it compares to the FX 4100 (which is about 15% slower than the 4170 you're considering).

Also I would point out that the FX bundle you're considering includes an old motherboard (the 760G chipset is 2 generations behind what's currently available) and cheap value RAM.

But it's your money, do what you want.
October 4, 2012 8:01:37 PM

That article compares the 3470 to the 3570k and concludes that the 3570k is worth the extra £15. However what they're not saying is that to overclock the 3570k you need to upgrade the motherboard to a Z77 and you would want an aftermarket CPU cooler. So the real cost difference is really around £60. The only way to fit that in your budget would be to downgrade the video card which would hurt your gaming performance.

IMO the i5-3450 is the best buy for you at the moment. That's what I included in the build I recommended. In my previous post I mistakenly mentioned the 3470.
October 4, 2012 8:27:10 PM

I have looked into the i5-3450 and its looking really good.

Just give me an example
with the 7850, on battlefield 3

What frames per second would i get on the FX-4170

and What frames per second would i get on the i5-3450

Just an estimate
October 4, 2012 9:26:33 PM

I don't know what your screen resolution is, but if its 1920 x 1080 you're going to GPU limited at that point so both CPUs will perform the same. The 7850 should get about 30 fps at the highest video quality settings.
October 4, 2012 9:30:22 PM

Ok

would you recommend the i5 for gaming and everything in general because i have seen many reviews saying the AMD 4170 is really good for gaming etc
October 4, 2012 9:37:19 PM

I'm not sure what reviews you're talking about. Everything I've seen indicates the FX series are not good gaming CPUs.
October 4, 2012 9:49:09 PM

Well there is this youtuber who has an AMD 4170 with an 7850 and he runs skyrim at 60 fps and Dirt Showdown etc.
But is the i5-3450 very good for gaming? for example
if i have the required GPU at the time,
will i able to play games coming out in the future such as GTA V etc
October 5, 2012 3:06:45 PM

Okay but is the motherboard i originally linked out of date like lighter17 said?

because if it is ill get the intel with a decent mobo
October 5, 2012 7:37:34 PM

It's certainly a bit old, it has some of the mod cons e.g. USB3 but no SATA3.

Go for an intel build, you won't regret it.
October 5, 2012 10:11:49 PM

Yeah ill go with the intel.

What do you think of the i5-3570K?
i dont mind going a bit above my budget
October 6, 2012 3:41:55 AM

A very capable CPU, if you're happy to pay the extra for it. The unlocked multiplier is was makes it worth while as you'll be able to eke out more performance later on the line when you need it. Instead of buying a new cpu.
October 6, 2012 10:57:20 AM

Can you find me a good motherboard for under 100 pounds? Around the 70-80-90 pound mark
October 6, 2012 8:35:25 PM

RAM looks decent enough, the voltage is 1.5V which is what you want. You have higher latency but ivy bridge doesn't care too much about that too much as speeds affect the performance more.
October 6, 2012 9:09:18 PM

In fact i'd rather not spend 50 pounds on RAM. Is 8GB of RAM enough if for gaming with an i5 3570k and 7850?
October 6, 2012 9:16:30 PM

8 GB is enough for games. If in the future it becomes insufficient you can add more.
October 6, 2012 9:20:31 PM

So for example if i have 8GB and i can just add another 8GB whenever?
October 6, 2012 9:52:04 PM

Okay

i need to add up all my components.
i reckon it will be about 700 or more. Any ways to reduce this number without hurting gaming performance?
October 6, 2012 10:25:20 PM

Can you tell me the Pros of the 100 pounds Motherboard rather than the 75 pounds Motherboard please? thanks
October 7, 2012 1:59:05 PM

Please i need an answer to both of these questionsss
October 7, 2012 2:35:10 PM

All Z77 boards, from decent manufacturers. If you are only having one graphics card, a basic one is fine. Whilst more expensive boards tend to give support for more fast HHD, or USB's, and perhaps better sound, or software, the most significant gains are in terms of support for multiple graphics cards. If only having one, not an issue.
Your only way to reduce costs, with small effect on gaming performance, is by using locked i5, or even dropping to i3. Not as much effect, as you might think, and still better than most AMD's.
October 7, 2012 4:01:24 PM

i have added everything up and it is just shy of 700 pounds.

With the i5-3570k and 7850

Would i be able to play the modern games for the next couple of years? thanks

(still wondering if i should get another card, can you link any good choices that will keep me gaming for a couple of years playing the modern games thanks)
October 7, 2012 4:56:13 PM

GTX660 is a good card, in that range. Particularly good with games like BF3, Borderlands 2, Portal, Shogun. The radeon cards may be better value across a broad range of games. IF you get an nVidia card, AND want to get a 2nd, in SLi, you need to ensure mobo supports that.
October 7, 2012 5:12:41 PM

if i get the 660 then it will add ANOTHER hundred pounds to my total

will the 7870 will i be able to play games like those for the next 2-3 years?
October 7, 2012 7:01:03 PM

The 660 and 7870 are roughly comparable. The 660 better in some games, like BF3 etc, the 7870 better in others.
No one can predict a couple of years, into future, except to say it's unlikey, there will be any but a very few, new, games, which which either might struggle @ 1920x1080.
Anyway, the 660 doesn't add £100. It's within a few pounds of the 7850, and cheaper than 7870. Are you thinking of 660Ti, cos that's a different animal.
October 8, 2012 12:07:43 PM

Bit of confusion, I suspect.
Firstly, the i5-3570K is a bottleneck, for nothing. It may become so, if and when new graphics cards arrive, which are much more powerful, than anything now available. Nobody knows when that may happen, so I shouldn't worry about it. The i5-3570K is effectively the most powerful, today, and for some time to come. The Haswell series, due out next year, may have a more powerul one, but no-one knows for sure, what and how much.
The GTX660 and GTX660Ti are two differently powered cards, the Ti being about 20% better, but around £60 more. Possibly one of the best of either, is the twin-fanned versions, by MSI or Asus. The 660, in terms of overall performance lies between the Radeon HD7850 and HD7870, but beats the HD7870, in some games, like BF3. The 660Ti lies between the HD7870, and the HD7950, and beats the HD7950, in simliar games.
Any of those, will be "adequate", you just get more, if you pay more, and whether Radeon, or nVidia, are better, depends on what games, you particularly want to be good at.
October 8, 2012 4:30:51 PM

Do you think the 20% performance increase is worth the extra £60?
October 8, 2012 5:21:36 PM

As it will always give better gameplay, or, at least, more "bells an' whistles", further into the future, the general view is get the best graphics card, you can afford. So, provided you can afford it, without having to cut back, elsewhere, then yes, get the 660Ti, it's a good GPU, and you get Borderlands 2, most places. The one thing I would suggest, since I gave my earlier recommendations, I've been reading about some "issues" with the MSI GTX660Ti. These are being resolved, but, if buying soon, the Asus might be a better choice. As far as I'm aware, there is no such issue with the MSI GTX660, so that still may be the best choice, if you decide to go with the plain 660.
!