[UK][£500 limit] New PC, need advice

Hi guys!

I'm hoping to get a new PC and need your input on my choice of components.

I live in the uk and have a £500 ($800) limit (although less is better, I'd like to take my girlfriend out for a nice dinner & movie too). I will mainly be using the PC for gaming (I'm ok with running the latest games at medium) and quite a lot of work (running Photoshop, 3D editors and more simultaneously is common for more).

I have an old computer from which I can use the case (mid tower), the monitor (23" at 1920x1080) and other peripherals, and 4 HDDs using SATA. I also have a 500W Seasonic PSU which may or may not work (the computer broke down and I can't find out whether it's the PSU, CPU or mobo, also I don't think it's 80+).

I've looked on most websites and found that aria.co.uk have the best deals. I am submitting below the parts I'm interested in.

CPU
My minimum requirements are for a Quad Core, found the cheapest one to be the Intel Core i5 3450 @ 3.10GHz
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Processors+-+CPUs/Processors+-+Intel/Core+i5+-+Socket+1155+%28Ivy%29/Intel+Core+i5-3450+3.10GHz+%28Ivybridge%29+Socket+LGA1155+Processor+%2877W%29+-+Retail+?productId=49752

CPU cooler
This is optional, but I plan to overclock the CPU - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air/CPU+Coolers/Cooler+Master+Hyper+212+EVO+Quiet+CPU+Cooler+?productId=47248

GPU
I found this to be the best option - XFX Core Edition Radeon HD 7770 1GB GDDR5
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards+-+GPUs/Graphics+Cards+-+AMD/Radeon+HD+7770/XFX+Core+Edition+Radeon+HD+7770+1024MB+GDDR5+PCI-Express+Graphics+Card+%2B+FREE+GAME+DIRT+SHOWDOWN%21+?productId=50786

RAM
I need 8GB for what I'm doing, found a Corsair Value Select 2x4GB @ 1333MHz, latency 9-9-9-24
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/DDR3/Dual+Channel+-+%281333MHz%29/Corsair+Value+Select+8GB+%282x4GB%29+DDR3+PC3-10666C9+1333MHz+Dual+Channel+Kit+%28CMV8GX3M2A1333C9%29+?productId=51173

SSD
Found a great deal for 128GB SSD, will help with my applications a lot - Corsair Performance 3 Series P3
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Corsair+Performance+3+Series+P3+128GB+2.5%22+SATA-III+Solid+State+Hard+Drive+-+Refurb+?productId=51655

PSU
I reckon 550W should be sufficient for what I have, I got the OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplies+-+PSUs/Non-Modular+650W+or+less/550W+OCZ+ZS+Series+80PLUS+Bronze+Power+Supply+?productId=45457

Optical Drive
I have a DVD-RW, but it's connected by IDE so I need to replace it.
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/DVDRW+Dual+Layer+-+SATA/Sony+Optical+24x+DVD+Writer%2C+AD-5280S-0B%2C+SATA%2C+Black%2C+OEM+?productId=46574

Motherboard
I tried to get one that supports the CPU with overclocking and everthing else I need - MSI Z77A G43, Z77 chipset, Socket 1155, 32GB DDR3 RAM, 4 SATA 3.0, 2 SATA 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 6 USB 2.0 (which I will use), ATX form factor.
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards+-+Intel/Socket+1155+-+Intel+Z77/MSI+Z77A-G43+Intel+Z77+Socket+1155+DDR3+PCI-Express+Motherboard+?productId=48876

Other info:
Purchase date: next week
OS: Windows 7, I'm a student so I can get it for free
Location: Birmingham, Uk
Overclocking: Maybe (never done it, but I'm fairly experienced with this stuff and I have friends who know how to)
Upgrading because: old computer finally died after 6 faithful years, and was very slow when working/gaming
15 answers Last reply
More about 500 limit advice
  1. cant overclock as you dont have a k cpu, will be back in 30 mins :)
  2. spat55 said:
    cant overclock as you dont have a k cpu, will be back in 30 mins :)


    You can overclock it, just less. It's not that important to me though, I think I'll live without the OC. I'm just wondering if the stock fan would be enough though.
  3. winterstagnation said:
    You can overclock it, just less. It's not that important to me though, I think I'll live without the OC. I'm just wondering if the stock fan would be enough though.


    It locks the multiplyer.

    BTW, you relise that the GPU you got is 1GB and not the 2GB one?
  4. spat55 said:
    It locks the multiplyer.


    I know that, but it's not that important to me - from what I can see, I can enable Turbo mode to get it running at 3.5, which is more than enough
  5. spat55 said:
    It locks the multiplyer.

    BTW, you relise that the GPU you got is 1GB and not the 2GB one?


    What 2GB one? I never said anything about that.
  6. winterstagnation said:
    What 2GB one? I never said anything about that.


    Here,

    http://www.ebuyer.com/349749-sapphire-hd-7870-ghz-edition-2gb-gddr5-hdmi-dvi-dual-mini-displayport-11199-00-20g

    These are the best, if you dont have the funds a 7850 2GB would be best, also make sure it is GDDR5 Memory!
  7. XFX Core Edition Radeon HD 7770 >>> 1GB GDDR5 <<<

    Other than that looks ok.
  8. spat55 said:
    Here,

    http://www.ebuyer.com/349749-sapphire-hd-7870-ghz-edition-2gb-gddr5-hdmi-dvi-dual-mini-displayport-11199-00-20g

    These are the best, if you dont have the funds a 7850 2GB would be best, also make sure it is GDDR5 Memory!


    Nope, sorry, out of my budget, and now I'm drooling.
  9. proton007 said:
    XFX Core Edition Radeon HD 7770 >>> 1GB GDDR5 <<<

    Other than that looks ok.


    What's wrong with that? Is it because it's only 1GB? Anything else is beyond my budget (I've found a couple of GPUs that have 2GB, but they were horrible otherwise - GDDR3 memory, far fewer cores etc)
  10. winterstagnation said:
    What's wrong with that? Is it because it's only 1GB? Anything else is beyond my budget (I've found a couple of GPUs that have 2GB, but they were horrible otherwise - GDDR3 memory, far fewer cores etc)


    Yh thats it, still alright but you know, tell you what go to my builds! here http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/362493-13-gaming-builds-budgets#t2735086
  11. spat55 said:
    Yh thats it, still alright but you know, tell you what go to my builds! here http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/362493-13-gaming-builds-budgets#t2735086


    Thanks for the link but it's not exactly what I'm looking for - the 500 build is too weak (i3 and 4gb ram), the others too expensive (especially the gpu and cpu). I'm fairly constrained by what I can get and what I want...
  12. winterstagnation said:
    Thanks for the link but it's not exactly what I'm looking for - the 500 build is too weak (i3 and 4gb ram), the others too expensive (especially the gpu and cpu). I'm fairly constrained by what I can get and what I want...


    get a celeron for now and 1 4GB stick, then when you have £200 get a i5 3550 and another 4GB stick?
  13. spat55 said:
    get a celeron for now and 1 4GB stick, then when you have £200 get a i5 3550 and another 4GB stick?


    I'd rather get the full upgrade now, and it's not like there's any point in getting only 1 stick when the 2 are fairly cheap.
  14. winterstagnation said:
    I'd rather get the full upgrade now, and it's not like there's any point in getting only 1 stick when the 2 are fairly cheap.


    Alright, could always just swap out the GPU later...
  15. winterstagnation said:
    What's wrong with that? Is it because it's only 1GB? Anything else is beyond my budget (I've found a couple of GPUs that have 2GB, but they were horrible otherwise - GDDR3 memory, far fewer cores etc)


    Nothing 'wrong' as such.
    GPU ram is used to store textures etc, so that they don't need to be loaded from the storage everytime you need them (it results in frame drops).
    And the higher the texture resolution, the more Vram is used. And the more AA and other processing is done, again, more Vram needed.

    Ultimately it depends on the game and the screen resolution. To make the best decision, take a look on the Vram usage of the games you play at your desired resolution. If they exceed 1GB, you'll experience a frame drop, or may have to lower settings for those games.
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