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Help me with my £700 system, free cookies inside!

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October 13, 2012 8:53:00 AM

Hi guys, Rado here.
In the near future I will be getting a new system and I am looking for some help with it. I am somewhat tech savvy, but no IT specialist. I would like to build it myself, hopefully with just using the mobo manual. I will try to be as specific as I can in my description, thank you for spending the time to read through, even if you don't reply :) 
Have an excellent day! :) 



Approximate Purchase Date: Some time before Christmas, I just want to get an estimate and some viable builds for now :) 

Budget Range: £700 For the hardware only, £200 for the monitor. Count OS separately.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: My main usage will be editing images in Photoshop, but I also relax by playing some games. Mainly Battlefield 3 and Diablo 3.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes, I am looking for an IPS panel wide gamut (97%+ sRGB coverage). Size isn't an issue for me, as I am used to working on my 15' laptop. Currently I have my eyes set at
this one. Am open to suggestions :) 


Parts to Upgrade: N/A

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7. No clue on which edition I need, as far as I know there are no speed limitations. I won't need any special features like drive encryption, remote access or anything like that.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have shopped from Amazon and like the website, as I've never had any issues with it. I live in the UK, if you have any other recommendations I'm open to suggestions. I would like to purchase everything from the same website.

Location: North West of England :kaola: 

Parts Preferences: As long as there are no issues (I've heard some ATI cards don't have full functionality with Intel CPUs) I have no preferences.

Overclocking: Maybe. I've done it before, but I would rather my system be enough without being pushed, I don't want to strain the hardware from the get-go.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. I've never tried this, so I have no clue if I want to. Maybe in the future, when the computer starts getting sluggish?

Your Monitor Resolution: This one or a similar wide gamut IPS panel. Open to suggestions.


Additional Comments: I don't like bling on my computer, I don't want bright LEDs inside the system. The case should be somewhat conservative, I don't like this type of 'gaming' branded cases.

I don't know how much faster an SSD makes your computer, and I honestly don't mind waiting for a minute or two until a game loads/the OS starts. I would rather have better components.

I need a couple of USB 3.0 ports, I don't mind if they're in the back of the system.



Note: my main concern is how long the system will be 'viable'. I know how fast new hardware gets spewed out by the manufacturers, and I wouldn't like having an obsolete computer on my hands in an year. That being said I don't know if I will be playing too many games other than the two listed. Upgradeability is somewhat of an issue.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Currently I only have a laptop which struggles with games. (Battlefield 3, Diablo 3 are the most taxing ones I use right now.) Also the monitor on it is pretty crappy, for my photography work I need better colour representation.


Again, thank you for reading through. I tried to be as specific as I could be, if there are any questions please do not hesitate to ask me. This will be my first self built system and I am pretty excited about it!

As promised, cookies!

~Rado
October 13, 2012 8:56:52 AM

Darn it, I forgot to mention. I will be using a WiFi network to connect to the internet, so a card/adapter might be needed. I don't think I need some super gaming card, right now with my run of the mill laptop connection I get a 3MB/s download speed and no latency issues in games. I would rather have a PCI/PICe card over an USB adapter.

Thanks!
~Rado.
October 13, 2012 9:42:15 AM

Hi.
I made a PC that's just perfect for you.It's everything you asked for and more but it's quite a bit over your budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (£215.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD45 (8D) ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£146.15 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£60.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£69.99 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£214.19 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£50.13 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus PA238Q 23.0" Monitor (£199.48 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£71.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £1107.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

It's based on the LGA 2011 platform which is very future proof.If in a year or two you decide your PC is too slow you can just put in a 6 or 8 core CPU in it without having to buy a new motherboard or RAM.
It's power supply is also very good.It features a modular design and plenty of power, enough even for a system with a overclocked octo core CPU with two graphics cards.
The graphics card i included also has great performance at stock and can gain an additional 40% performance boost through overclocking.
I also chose one of the best monitors you can buy at a decent price range.It always gets 5 star reviews because of its amazing image quality.

But it'd overbudget and lacks a SSD (which isn't really a dealbraker) so ill make you a new PC that will offer similar performance at a lower price point.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£234.98 @ Novatech)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£71.98 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£69.99 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£183.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£50.13 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus PA238Q 23.0" Monitor (£199.48 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£71.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £992.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Here's the second build.Compared to the first one it's CPU performance is pretty much the same, its RAM is cut in half which will reduce your PC's Photoshop performance by a bit.It's graphics card is also a bit slower and less overclockable.

Related resources
October 13, 2012 9:54:40 AM

I dont understand the above builds you can run PS fine on an i5 and stay in budget

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Processor
http://www.cclonline.com/product/73989/BX80637I53570K/C...

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H Motherboard
http://www.cclonline.com/product/78337/GA-Z77X-D3H/Moth...

Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz
http://www.cclonline.com/product/53709/KHX1600C9D3X2K2/...

Seagate Barracuda© SATA 6Gb/s 1TB Hard Drive
http://www.cclonline.com/product/53891/ST31000524AS/Har...

CCL Choice 22x DVD+/-RW Drive
http://www.cclonline.com/product/92980/CCL-DVDRW-BLK-52...

Corsair CX500 V2 Builder Series 500 Watt ATX PS/2 Power Supply
http://www.cclonline.com/product/86908/CMPSU-500CXV2UK/...

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO CPU Cooler
http://www.cclonline.com/product/76741/RR-TX3E-22PK-R1/...

Antec One Mid Tower Case
http://www.cclonline.com/product/80281/0-761345-15970-8...

Palit NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660Ti 2GB Graphics Card
http://www.cclonline.com/product/86941/NE5X66T01049-104...

TOTAL - £701.88

The CPU is plenty for your needs its can be overclcoked so thats an option later down the line to extend system life (and why I added a cooler)

Case is a case its not blingy it does the job on a £700 budget thats all you want

No SSD your budget would mean skimping elsewhere for that

Graphics Card will run your games well

PSU is plenty for that build

You can double the RAM depends how large the files you work with in PS are

*EDIT* Forgot your wirless card

http://www.cclonline.com/product/44608/TL-WN781ND/Wirel...

There it is add £10 to total
October 13, 2012 9:58:49 AM

Kamen_BG said:
Hi.
I made a PC that's just perfect for you.It's everything you asked for and more but it's quite a bit over your budget.

......


Thank you Kamen_Bg, but I think it might be a bit of overkill going for the i7 and the graphics cards. The monitor you suggested is brilliant, I am in love with it at first sight! :D 
October 13, 2012 10:00:40 AM

wr6133 said:
I dont understand the above builds you can run PS fine on an i5 and stay in budget


Thanks wr6133, that is an excellent build! I will definitely consider it, combined with the monitor Kamen_Bg recommended. Do you suggest I use CCLonline website to order all of my parts from?
October 13, 2012 10:08:40 AM

I primarily use CCL and have for a long time never had any issues.

Best way is to go to CCL, Scan and ARIA then put that build in your basket, buy off the cheapest, they all price competetivley at each other, offer a good service and are reliable. I personally dislike Amazon and ebuyer... ebuyer especially delivery is cr@p and returns are a nightmare.

I also forgot windows Home Premium OEM 64 bit is the norm (like kamen listed) for builders. The pro and ultimate versions offer things you likely wont ever need.
October 13, 2012 10:26:46 AM

Kamen_BG said:
Hi.
I made a PC that's just perfect for you.It's everything you asked for and more but it's quite a bit over your budget.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (£215.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Motherboard: MSI X79A-GD45 (8D) ATX LGA2011 Motherboard (£146.15 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£60.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£69.99 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£214.19 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£50.13 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus PA238Q 23.0" Monitor (£199.48 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£71.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £1107.70
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

It's based on the LGA 2011 platform which is very future proof.If in a year or two you decide your PC is too slow you can just put in a 6 or 8 core CPU in it without having to buy a new motherboard or RAM.
It's power supply is also very good.It features a modular design and plenty of power, enough even for a system with a overclocked octo core CPU with two graphics cards.
The graphics card i included also has great performance at stock and can gain an additional 40% performance boost through overclocking.
I also chose one of the best monitors you can buy at a decent price range.It always gets 5 star reviews because of its amazing image quality.

But it'd overbudget and lacks a SSD (which isn't really a dealbraker) so ill make you a new PC that will offer similar performance at a lower price point.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£234.98 @ Novatech)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£71.98 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£30.96 @ Scan.co.uk)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£69.99 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£183.34 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case (£50.13 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Monitor: Asus PA238Q 23.0" Monitor (£199.48 @ Scan.co.uk)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£71.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
Total: £992.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Here's the second build.Compared to the first one it's CPU performance is pretty much the same, its RAM is cut in half which will reduce your PC's Photoshop performance by a bit.It's graphics card is also a bit slower and less overclockable.


overkill in the psu department particularly on the 1155 board 600/650 watt will be more than enough, the only reason i have 700watt was due to my old crossfire setup
October 13, 2012 10:27:52 AM

If i use this OS from cclonline will I be able to use it on every device I want to? I find it unfair that I paid so much for windows 7 and now have an OEM disk I don't know if I can use on other systems...
October 13, 2012 10:29:53 AM

BrickBrain said:
If i use this OS from cclonline will I be able to use it on every device I want to? I find it unfair that I paid so much for windows 7 and now have an OEM disk I don't know if I can use on other systems...

oem will be pretty much stuck to one motherboard
October 13, 2012 10:32:28 AM

jasont78 said:
oem will be pretty much stuck to one motherboard


:??:  :??:  Bummer, this is the first time I find out about this. I was happy I could save 70~ quid because I have my old OS, but I now noticed it says OEM system builder pack on it.
October 13, 2012 10:42:20 AM

Unless you really plan to replace the machine in a very short cycle OEM is the best way. Retail will cost alot more and still only allow 1 machine (or more if you buy bigger licence pack for more £) at a time, the difference being with retail you could remove it from machine A and put it on machine B.... this would leave machine A with no OS

If you have any link to an educational establishment though you may be able to get win 7 pro free from dreamspark premium
October 13, 2012 10:54:58 AM

wr6133 said:
Unless you really plan to replace the machine in a very short cycle OEM is the best way. Retail will cost alot more and still only allow 1 machine (or more if you buy bigger licence pack for more £) at a time, the difference being with retail you could remove it from machine A and put it on machine B.... this would leave machine A with no OS

If you have any link to an educational establishment though you may be able to get win 7 pro free from dreamspark premium


:bounce:  Oh if that's the case I am an university student currently, what would I have to do to get a copy from them? Is it a digital process or do I have to go in and speak to some IT guy?
October 13, 2012 11:03:17 AM

Any student can join dreamspark but thats the basic version for the premium (and free windows 7 is premium only) your Uni needs to be a member of the program (alot are) best bet would be to contact your IT department as they set your account up for premium the normal website is for normal only I think.

Its worth pursuing you can get literally ANY microsoft software (excluding office) for free https://www.dreamspark.com/
October 13, 2012 12:27:52 PM

wr6133 said:
Any student can join dreamspark but thats the basic version for the premium (and free windows 7 is premium only) your Uni needs to be a member of the program (alot are) best bet would be to contact your IT department as they set your account up for premium the normal website is for normal only I think.

Its worth pursuing you can get literally ANY microsoft software (excluding office) for free https://www.dreamspark.com/


Ah yes I tried the website and see where the problem is, I need to speak with my uni for the OS. Other than that there really isn't any other windows software that I use :)  OpenOffice imho is way better than windows' own.
October 13, 2012 7:26:35 PM

What do you guys think about something like this, but with an HDD instead of and SSD and maybe a lower rated PSU?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£145.07 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard (£68.73 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£78.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£214.19 @ CCL Computers)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case (£64.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£77.41 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: £648.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 13, 2012 7:47:06 PM

BrickBrain said:
What do you guys think about something like this, but with an HDD instead of and SSD and maybe a lower rated PSU?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£145.07 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard (£68.73 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£78.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card (£214.19 @ CCL Computers)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (White) Mini ITX Tower Case (£64.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£77.41 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer
Total: £648.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


If you want a small form factor it's a nice little build. You lose the ability to overclock with it if thats not an issue then go ahead on it (but smaller PSU 700W is crazy overkill and as you said swap that SSD for a HDD... or keep SSD and add a HDD too)
!