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First time building a gaming PC (£550 - i3 rig)

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  • Systems
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August 13, 2012 6:05:42 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Before September
Budget Range: £500-550 before shipping
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming
Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: No
Location: UK, London
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Probably not
Your Monitor Resolution: two 1920x1080 monitors in a dual screen setup


Additional Comments: I'm looking to buy a decent budget gaming PC. I already have peripherals such as keyboard and mouse. I also have storage hard drives, which is why I've decided to go with an SSD.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm upgrading from my ~4 year old desktop with an 8800gt and Core 2 Duo @ 3.0ghz. I want to be able to play newer games such as GW2 and BF3 more smoothly and at higher settings.

This is also the first PC I'll be building myself, and I'm kind of anxious about selecting the correct parts, so I'd appreciate any feedback :) 


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£43.62 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£34.28 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£80.00 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£182.14 @ Scan.co.uk)
Case: Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.99 @ Novatech)
Power Supply: OCZ 550W ATX12V Power Supply (£63.98 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Optical Drive: Sony DDU1681S-0B DVD/CD Drive (£11.96 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £550.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-13 19:01 BST+0100)

Also, I had a lot of difficulty selecting a motherboard. I don't have much intention of upgrading or overclocking, so I figured it'd be alright, is it a good choice? And does anyone have input on the case? I was going to go with an NZXT 210, but uh, this one looked prettier and the reviews seemed good.

More about : time building gaming 550 rig

August 13, 2012 7:11:02 PM

g-unit1111 said:
This would be a better choice for motherboard: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8h77-v-le-intel-h7...(x16)-usb-30-d-sub-(vga)-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

This motherboard will give you full ATX, more SATA ports and RAM slots, and everything else.

And then for PSU I'd suggest this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/600w-corsair-builder-ser...

Otherwise everything else looks good.


Thanks for the suggestions, I appreciate it.

If I didn't intend to use more than 3/4 hard drives, or use the extra expansion slots/crossfire, do you think this motherboard would still be worth it?

Does the PSU you've suggested have any advantages other than lower cost? I chose the OCZ PSU originally because it was modular. After looking at a video review of the (non-modular) Corsair, it seems cable management would be much more difficult. Although, I haven't built a PC before, so maybe it's not a big deal.

Thanks again! :) 
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August 13, 2012 8:39:48 PM

Quote:
If I didn't intend to use more than 3/4 hard drives, or use the extra expansion slots/crossfire, do you think this motherboard would still be worth it?


That motherboard only has 4 SATA ports and 2 RAM slots. If you ever want to upgrade your RAM, you won't be able to. If you want to upgrade your CPU you forfeit access to the multiplier. If you run more than 1 x HD and 1 x optical you won't be able to.

Quote:
Does the PSU you've suggested have any advantages other than lower cost? I chose the OCZ PSU originally because it was modular. After looking at a video review of the (non-modular) Corsair, it seems cable management would be much more difficult. Although, I haven't built a PC before, so maybe it's not a big deal.


Cable management is actually a big deal in that it helps with temperatures and air flow dramatically. You can certainly use a non-modular PSU and be fine. It's all in how you route your cables that will make all the difference, and you should definitely purchase a case that will accommodate for that.
August 13, 2012 9:31:45 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
If I didn't intend to use more than 3/4 hard drives, or use the extra expansion slots/crossfire, do you think this motherboard would still be worth it?


That motherboard only has 4 SATA ports and 2 RAM slots. If you ever want to upgrade your RAM, you won't be able to. If you want to upgrade your CPU you forfeit access to the multiplier. If you run more than 1 x HD and 1 x optical you won't be able to.

Quote:
Does the PSU you've suggested have any advantages other than lower cost? I chose the OCZ PSU originally because it was modular. After looking at a video review of the (non-modular) Corsair, it seems cable management would be much more difficult. Although, I haven't built a PC before, so maybe it's not a big deal.


Cable management is actually a big deal in that it helps with temperatures and air flow dramatically. You can certainly use a non-modular PSU and be fine. It's all in how you route your cables that will make all the difference, and you should definitely purchase a case that will accommodate for that.


I'm going to be going for the ASUS motherboard, thanks for your help! :) 
!