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First build, £600 - $1000 budget. Help choosing parts

Last response: in Systems
August 14, 2012 10:17:40 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This month

Budget Range: Around £600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, PS2 emulation, photo and video editing, folding, general use

Are you buying a monitor: Not yet, using a 42" HDTV 1080p, not sure of resolution but think its around 1920x1020? Want to buy one at a later date, possibly 3D

Parts to Upgrade: Completly new build, will be reusing an old laptop 2.5" 1TB HD for extra storage

Do you need to buy OS: No, currently have a Win7 64 bit pro license

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Open to suggestions, never brought parts before, ebay?

Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Parts Preferences: Open to your suggestions, your opinions matter, thats the beauty of this forum right? Used radeon before but only because they used to have a good budget range (havnt brought parts in years!)

Overclocking: Yes - Might not OC straight away, want it to be a lasting build so I wont OC untill I get some decent cooling

SLI or Crossfire: Yes - Will be using either in the future

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 Possibly, see monitor

Additional Comments: Im totally new at this but am quite adept with computers, I want a build that will last and be futureproof thats able to run latest games at the best possible settings and Run PCSX2 in HD settings. My budget is limited at the moment, If you guys could suggest the best possible graphics card for my budget for the meantime with the possibility of buying a second in the future for SLI or Crossfire (Not sure how these work though!) Am going to use 4gb ram for the meantime, and upgrade in the future (I have 8gb on my laptop, upgraded from 4gb, barely notice much difference as most of the stress goes on my cpu and video chip)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Just a bored nerd and I enjoy homemade projects, have a pair of technics 1210's ive modified and sprayed, really enjoyed it!


Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor - $219 at amazon
I cant justify getting an i7, the gains on an OCd i5 for the price seem minimal, although I could be wrong? Anyway I love the idea of getting this CPU

Cooler: Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ball Bearing CPU Cooler - $39.99 at microcentre
No idea what to go for here, noise isnt an issue (too a point, I dont want it too sound like a jet taking off!) Advice would be appreciated

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard - $134.99 at microcentre
Again not too clued up here, I want a decent mobo with SLI or crossfire capabilities for the future, at least 2 usb 3.0 ports, overclocking capabilities and room for possible upgrades in the future

Memory: Maybe the Crucial Ballistix range, 1 4gb module for the meantime, although again im not adamant on this, I dont know the relation between ram mhz etc, just heard the ballistix range is good

Storage: Intel 520 SSD 64 or 128gb - $129
Also got an old 2.5" from an old laptop, will this fit? Its a sata drive only about a year old with 1tb capacity

Video Card: Radeon HD 7870 - $289.39
This is mainly what I want advice on, I want a good performer that will last me for the meantime, with the possibility of buying a second in the future for crossfire or SLI for good performance. I think this is the hardest thing to consider as most games ive seen seem to hammer the graphics card and not so much the processor, but with a budget and so many options I dont know what to get. The possibility of OCing in the future would be nice too

Case and PSU: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case - $79.99 and PC Power & Cooling 950W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply - $109.99
These are only provisional, any reccomendations on a decent case that looks sleek and unique? A usb 3 port at the front would be nice but not essential. If theres a case thats ideal for cooling id love to know about it. I cant justify spending too much on a case though?
As for the PSU I have no idea what im doing with this!

Thanks for looking guys, I look forward too seeing any suggestions! This is all new too me and I may be missing things, please correct me if im wrong with anything, I wont get offended if you assume I dont know something as i probably dont!
Also prices are provisional in USD for now... Obviously I will be buying from the UK so in GBP, havnt looked into it much yet. Prices are taken from pcpartpicker

Id also like to post my step by step with pics of the build if and when it comes to fruit if anyone would be interested?

More about : build 600 1000 budget choosing parts

August 15, 2012 12:42:41 AM

The processor is perfectly fine for gaming and can be easily overclocked. But depending on how much you plan on overclocking you should update your motherboard. The main hard drive should be able to fit in your case. I personally don't recommend an ssd for a computer with this budget. You could put the money that you save into a video card like a gtx670. But if you like quicker boot times that much you should keep it. The 7870 is easier to overclock though and is better for sli. Everthing else is perfectly acceptable
August 15, 2012 12:46:01 AM

Depending on how much gaming and video editing you do you might also want to upgrade your ram to 6gb or even 8gb for less than $50.
Related resources
August 15, 2012 11:23:14 AM

Best I can suggest is this:

Antec One Black Midi Tower Gaming Case #50303
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Blue 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz (CML8GX3M2A1600C9B) #45510
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Unlocked Processor - Retail #43216
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H Intel Z77 Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard #49021
750W OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply #45459
XFX Core Edition Radeon HD 7850 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card #50787

Unfortunately there is no money for an SSD so you will have to use that 2.5" HDD for a while. I also couldn't fir in a better GPU but the 7850 is no slouch. It will be interesting to see what Nvidias new cards are like tomorrow.
August 15, 2012 9:03:17 PM

Cheers guys, your both right a SSD isnt essential, ive never owned one but im guessing it improves loading times and not overall performance, so following your advice im dropping the SSD for the meantime.
As for the Antec case, I came across it last night, replaced it for the cooler master case. Still not quite what im after, found this last night:
However im quite wary over how cheap it is along with the brand name ive never heard off, might make a seperate post too see if anyone has any feedback from it.
Is the intel core i5 2500k any different? I went with the 3570k based on the review on this site, apparently the ocing capabilities are great, and the cpu isnt something I want to compromise on.
Have no idea on the PCU so ill take your reccomendation and replace mine with the OCZ.
Seems to be the graphics im still struggling with, so far either a radeon hd 7850 or a 7870, will see whats being released tommorow though (had no idea!)
August 15, 2012 10:50:36 PM

Yeah I have suggested that case a few times as it seems OK and comes with a few fans which will help cooling etc, but it certainly isn't quality.

2500K is slower but can be OC'd harder to get it to the same performance, went for it to save money, the 3570k is the upgrade to the 2500k but overheats more easily because of the smaller die size.

BTW the build i put together was on, forgot to put that in the reply.
August 16, 2012 11:56:07 AM

Ill write a review on it once I receive it
Anyway ordered the parts yesterday, went a bit over budget and changed a few things (especially the graphics card, went a bit overboard!) And as for the cpu, ive stuck with the 3570k, didnt know it overheats more easily, however when I do OC it wont be permanant and certainly not often, I want the processor to last and ive heard the processor wont last so long if its oced but ive never seen this myself.Anyway Heres my final build:

Core i5 3570k
ASUS P8Z77-V LX Z77 Chipset
8192MB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz
750W OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply
Saphire HD7870 2gb DDR5 - got this based on reviews, brilliant cooling and OCing capabilities, and was high on the Toms Hardware GCU hierarchy chart, will see if it was the right choice
750W OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply - Might regret this choice!

Anyway I could take pics and show step by step on how I build it, based on the responses to this thread and the countless other new build threads would anyone find it worthwhile to read? (Want to post purely to give something back to the forum!)
August 16, 2012 2:40:59 PM


CPU: i5 2500k- $205.99 [...] fcfc2eda0d

GPU: Evga GeForce GTX 670- $380.14 [...] e=googleps

RAM: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB)- $42.99 [...]

WD Caviar Green 500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache-$44.00 [...] KgodtUcA4w

Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-650 650W Continuous @ 50°C, 80 PLUS GOLD Certified-$99.99 [...] 6817182071

Case: Logisys Optimus II 10-Bay ATX Mid Tower Case w/2x120mm Fans-$33.99

DVD Burner: SUS 24X DVD Burner-$18.99 [...] 6827135204

GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX-$144.99-

$971.08 ---$74 left over! [...] print=true Just to give you an idea of performance
August 16, 2012 2:42:51 PM

^^^^^^^^sorry bout dead link