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Help build me a mid range PC with flexibility £500-700

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September 5, 2012 11:46:01 PM

Will be using this computer mainly to play poker + manage a large database so an SSD is a must. Also will be looking for 2 24" monitors to multi-table

Approximate Purchase Date: within a month

Budget Range: £500-700, as cheap as possible

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Poker, database numbercrunching (statistical software for poker with large database), surfing


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: scan.co.uk

Country: (e.g.: India) UK

Parts Preferences: SSD required

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: N/A

Additional Comments: Two 24" monitors + SSD, comfortable mouse + keyboard
September 6, 2012 8:07:39 AM

Antec 302 Three Hundred Two £51.58
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-three-hundred-two-...

Seasonic Bronze S12II-520 520W Power Supply £64.22
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/520w-seasonic-bronze-s12...

Intel CPU Core i5 3450 Quad Core IvyBridge £145.61
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-3450-1155-...

Asus P8H77-V Intel H77 Socket 1155 £86.12
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8h77-v-intel-h77-s...(x16)-d-sub-displayport-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

Corsair Memory Vengeance Blue 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz £36.96 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-vengeance-blue-ddr3-pc3-12800(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

Samsung 128GB 830 Series SSD £79.98
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-samsung-830-series...

Acer LCD 23.6" Monitor Full HD £116.69 x 2
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/236-acer-g245hqbid-led-f...

MS Comfort Curve Desktop 3000 £21.34
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/microsoft-natural-ergono...

XFX DD Black Edition Radeon HD 7750 £83.98
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-radeon-hd-7750-d...

£803.17

Do you need Windows 7 as well?

Very hard build to do, adding those two monitors really streches the budget. And you will need a graphics card to handle two displays.

To get closer to £700 you could do a AMD CPU build, get a i3, cheaper motherboard, cheaper SDD, cheaper case etc etc, but you will take a performance/reliability hit.
September 6, 2012 8:16:12 AM

If you're in the UK, shop at ARIA.

They are basically the UK equivalent of Newegg and have fantastic deals.
Related resources
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 8:24:06 AM

Don't limit yourself by one shop, try Aria, Scan, Ebuyer, Amazon etc, all will have different deals at different times.
September 6, 2012 8:41:26 AM

Yeah of course, cross compare the prices and find the best price at each shop.

Just beware many of these each charge a delivery fee so take that into account when calculating your savings.

Also, use google shopping, it's great for that.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 9:15:06 AM

I'm guessing these poker games don't require much graphical power? I'f thats the case you should be fine with a cheaper low end graphics card as the main thing you need is computational power.

With that can drop down to a lower power supply such as xfx core edition pro 450 for about £35, should save you a bit of money.

Basing this of jk's build above.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 9:50:14 AM

Trying to pick at parts here to save a few £££

Could try a cheaper case, not sure how concerned with aesthetics you are?

Could you define 'large database'? Might be able to get a smaller SSD to save a bit of money.

Monitor's are probably the area to look at but i have little experience here as i use my TV's for all my build's.
September 6, 2012 10:02:57 AM

Cheers for the reply guys. Will take note on aria, it's been a while since i've properly looked for a computer - i'm one of those who know nothing about computers unless i want to buy one lol.

These games don't need much graphically so i think a basic card will do. The meat of this computer will be how it handles a program called pokertracker or Holdem Manager - basically this computes every hand you play, collates the data and applies these stats to individual players in real time. Whilst not playing, you can filter out all your hands by specific actions and find out any leaks/where your biggest winnings are from etc etc

My current database is around 109,000 hands (after two months) and if i want to pull out my results, it takes about 30-1 minute to load (not a great deal of time but can be frustrating). The build is not for me, but for someone who I'm trying to help. They will be playing 24 tables at a time (as opposed to me playing 4/6 tables at a time) so you can imagine how quickly their database will grow. As a result, I think the main things needed in this build will be on the computing side of things (sorry if my terminology is completely off) so how quickly it'll crunch numbers. I don't think i7 will be necessary but an i5 would be ideal, Perhaps an i3 could do the job? i'm not entirely sure.

I'm trying to think what i could swap out of JK's build but i'm struggling - without going over to AMD/i3, is that probably the cheapest the build can get? whilst the database is quite small file wise, i think the SSD is probably perfect for any future use and if not, a HDD can be added in future for a tiny bit
September 6, 2012 10:20:46 AM

After having another look, i'm thinking the following

swap out the i5 for an i3 and save £60
Keep the SSD
cheaper motherboard? i'm clueless about motherboards but can i expect a £30 saving?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-corsair-builder-ser... - save around 10

so build would be taken to roughly £700

These monitors are eating into this budget haha.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 10:21:30 AM

If the database is quite small file wise could possibly drop the SSD size, then a HDD could be added at a later date if he wanted it for other uses.

Main area i would look at is the monitors, as its not graphically intense, an amazing monitor isnt really necessary.

I will look up those programs and see what kind of processor would suit them best.
September 6, 2012 10:23:18 AM

mikerockett said:
If the database is quite small file wise could possibly drop the SSD size, then a HDD could be added at a later date if he wanted it for other uses.

Main area i would look at is the monitors, as its not graphically intense, an amazing monitor isnt really necessary.

I will look up those programs and see what kind of processor would suit them best.


cheers, they're quite niche programs so not sure how much you'll be able to find. Any queries feel free to ask if there's nothing online.

Regarding the monitors, whilst it might not be graphically intense, I still think the size of them is necessary due to the number of tables being loaded. Do you mean amazing by quality or amazing by size?


EDIT: also had a look at my database - 109,000 = 210MB. Bear in mind this was made over 2 months of playing 4/6 tables. In a similar time, i expect the person i'm helping to have a database close to a gig in a month.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 10:24:16 AM

Ok it seems the requirements are fairly minimal, it is mainly the SSD you need for quick look up, so i would drop to an i3 to save some money.

A cheaper mobo is probably doable in this build.

As mentioned, look into changing the monitors, i have no experience here though really so cant suggest anything on that front.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 10:28:27 AM

And yes i mean amazing by quality and not by size, by all means keep the size, you just wont need a monitor with amazing contrast ratios, refresh rate etc
September 6, 2012 10:30:26 AM

Thanks again Mike, appreciate the help. Am heading out for now but i'll definitely have a look later on.
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 10:34:57 AM

No problem. And just as a thought, does he need to be able to see all these tables at exactly the same time, or could he cycle through groups of them?

Reason i ask is he could have a set up with multiple desktops on one/two monitors where you can have windows open on each desktop and scroll through the desktops with your mouse wheel.

May also help him to keep tables organised.
September 6, 2012 10:44:57 AM

mikerockett said:
No problem. And just as a thought, does he need to be able to see all these tables at exactly the same time, or could he cycle through groups of them?

Reason i ask is he could have a set up with multiple desktops on one/two monitors where you can have windows open on each desktop and scroll through the desktops with your mouse wheel.

May also help him to keep tables organised.


I'm not quite sure what you mean, you've kinda lost me :p 

but what I think he wants to do is have 12 tables on one monitor and another 12 on the other. A bit like how this guy has set up his computer in the video below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QzhQIOFNhU 0:13 in the video

I can't even imagine playing 24 tables at once haha - there's far too much information flowing through for me haha
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 10:50:18 AM

Ok, lets go with 1 monitor as an example. You can use certain programs or AMD's hydravision to create multiple desktops on 1 monitor. These desktop's can be scrolled through using the mouse wheel (or other key/mouse combination).

This could allow him to have 1 monitor with 24 desktops, each with there own full screened table on, he could then scroll through each table 1 by one.

This is why i wanted to know if he needed to see them all simultaneously.
September 6, 2012 11:27:59 AM

OK so monitor size is the priority here rather than resolution or whatever. We could get a couple cheap TN monitors on amazon.
Any idea what dimensions he would want for his screen real estate?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-S22B150-21-5-inch-Wides...

This offer ends soon so take a look:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/22%2...

For your purposes, I don't think processing power is going to be a massive issue, so a cheap i3 and H77 mobo will do the trick:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/MSI+...

We could shave off £10 here:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/8GB+...

dont buy into fancy heatspreads. They dont do anything and are just for show. I have four of these sticks and theyre perfect.

Save another £15 here:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/OCZ+...
September 6, 2012 11:29:37 AM

And you never know, integrated graphics may do the trick. I heard the new ivy-bridge HD 4000 graphics renders nearly every sub-£50 card irrelevant. Might be worth waiting a few days for those to release?
a b C Monitor
September 6, 2012 11:49:43 AM

I think you're right in thinking the on baords graphics will be enough, what he may need however is a cheap gpu to provide another video output source to drive the second monitor.
September 6, 2012 11:52:30 AM

Not sure how intergrated graphics will handle mulitple monitors, depending on the ports available on the motherboard. What cpu do you have now so we have some kind of benchmark to work off in terms of DB query time, the SSD will speed this up as well.
September 6, 2012 1:00:29 PM

I just checked to see how ivy handles splitters, apparently not well so i guess discrete is the way to go.

With that in mind, here is my final build choice:

Case £28.07:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Frac...

Motherboard £59.92:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/MSI+...

CPU £89.92:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Processors+-+...

RAM £25.76:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/8GB+...

GPU £27.59:

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/EVGA...

PSU £34.90 (be quiet! do excellent PSUs, have one myself):
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/430W...

SSD £62.99:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/OCZ+...

Monitors x 2 £143.98:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/22%2...
September 6, 2012 2:10:06 PM

DVD Drive £12.94:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D...

That comes to a total of £473.13 which is actually under budget.

You could invest the saved cash into an HDD or other accessories which may eventually be of use (especially if your friend is gonna store a lot of archived data).

So now we need to know, do you want Windows 7, a keyboard, mouse and speakers?

This will add about £100 to the total.

I looked mainly at Aria and Amazon, and Aria ended up having the best prices. You could use Google shopping to look elsewhere but it will only be marginally cheaper elsewhere and if you stick exclusively with Aria you will only have to pay one delivery fee (which is about £10, next day delivery).

Let me know what you think! :) 
!