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£650 gaming build review

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July 29, 2012 8:24:07 PM

So I already have Case, PSU and if needed an old cd/DVD drive and 500gb HDD
I should have around 650 for the rest. (MoBo, CPU, GPU, SSD?
So this is my predicted build.

Case - Antec 300 already got
PSU - XFX Pro Power 650W already got
CPU - i5 3570K not sure how beneficial IB is over SB.
GPU - 7850/7870 depending on when it comes out possibly GTX 660ti
MoBo - ASrock Extreme 4. I just want at least 16gb ram for future and possible Xfire/SLI of GPU.
RAM - Have no idea of what is good and what is not in RAM
SSD - From what I have seen Crucial M4 128GB are quite good. But I have seen OCZ are alright and pretty cheap. I was thinking of just getting an SSD and when I can afford it a HDD and just install like 2/3 games on it for the time being and it should be good.
OS - I don't want to sound bad but I've heard that it's quite easy to get windows for free.

This is my first build and I have done a hell of a lot of research this past month as I am 14 so money is pretty tight as I aren't a little rich kid that gets what they want from their parents. This is my own hard worked money so I don't want to waste it on a piece of crap that won't last a couple of years. Please say which parts need to be better or which could be better for the money. Thanks in advance.
July 29, 2012 8:52:08 PM

Or for this amount of money should I just buy a fast HDD
July 29, 2012 9:07:40 PM

Save cash and go for a Phenom x4 965 + Asus M5A97 + 7870. Drop the SSD. Its pointless for a gaming system. Invest in a 2TB 7200RPM HDD instead. Stick with 8GB DDR3. You don't need more. Standard games are hard coded for 2GB due to being 32-bit and those that can access more won't push much further.
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July 29, 2012 9:11:41 PM

Is that phenom unlocked? I aren't sure about AMD CPU at all. What about those 8 core bulldozer processors? Sorry for all questions.
July 29, 2012 9:14:01 PM

And I was only going to get 8gb but I might get more in the future as me and abou 5 friends are making a YouTube channel and I am the on,y one who is good with computers and will potentially have the best computer. As more ram for rendering and all that and for music remixing etc.
July 29, 2012 9:24:18 PM

Tbh I'm not keen on a 3 year old processor
July 29, 2012 9:51:40 PM

Its your money. The Phenom II still does the job. Bulldozer is slower than the Phenom II generally across the board anyway.
July 29, 2012 10:24:01 PM

Well is there much difference between 7850 and 7870
July 29, 2012 10:25:10 PM

I'd say stick with the i5; the Phenom II may do the job, but at your price range you can do a whole lot better. There's really no discernible difference between the 3570k and 2500k, so your decision mostly lies on whether you want lower temperatures or more features.

On your OS, it's relatively easy to get for free if you're in uni - many schools have partnerships with MS that allows them to provide their students with W7 at little to no cost. Being 14, I don't know that you'd have that luxury, so just in case, I left about 100 quid wiggle room in this:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570k -- £174.73 @ CCL Computers
HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO -- £25.15 @ CCL Computers
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 -- £109.99 @ Amazon UK
RAM: Kingston HyperX 2x4GB DDR3-1600 -- £35.96 @ CCL Computers
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 -- £219.95 @ Overclockers.co.uk
Total -- £565.78
July 29, 2012 10:31:58 PM

absolutely no point getting a pcie 3 card and an AMD processor, it would run it at pcie 2 speeds

for mild overclocking this is a pretty spanky setup
July 29, 2012 10:44:21 PM

skaggy said:
absolutely no point getting a pcie 3 card and an AMD processor, it would run it at pcie 2 speeds

for mild overclocking this is a pretty spanky setup


What has PCI-E got to do with anything? Current GPU's don't even push PCI-E 2 speeds - ?
July 29, 2012 10:47:17 PM

skaggy said:
absolutely no point getting a pcie 3 card and an AMD processor, it would run it at pcie 2 speeds

That's not really a huge issue, though, since the card still doesn't saturate PCIe 2.0's bandwidth (at x16, at least).

I should also mention that if you really don't want to pay for an OS, you could always go with Linux. There's very limited gaming to be done on it, but hopefully that'll be changing in the coming years with the Linux release of Steam.

Or, if you know anybody in IT or something like that, you might ask them if they've got any spare W7 keys - often, they're enrolled in one or more programs that offer them multiple keys for multiple OSes.

Elsewise, you may just have to bite that 72 pound and buy it yourself.
July 30, 2012 8:06:46 AM

Thanks but what about hard drive?
July 30, 2012 8:09:53 AM

Because this one is like 5 years old and I was originally going to use it temporarily with a small SSD
July 30, 2012 4:36:13 PM

ryanwyvill1 said:
Because this one is like 5 years old and I was originally going to use it temporarily with a small SSD

Ah. If I were you, I'd avoid an SSD for now - just about the best you could get would be something like a 64GB Crucial m4. A good drive, for sure, but a little low on storage space. For now, I'd get either a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB or Seagate Barracuda 500GB (whichever is cheaper at the time of purchase). When it's time to do some more upgrading, SSD prices will have (barring catastrophe) dropped even more, so getting a 128GB+ will be even better value.

To leave enough room for Windows 7, you'll likely have to drop down to a 7850:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£174.73 @ CCL Computers)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.15 @ CCL Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£109.99 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£35.96 @ CCL Computers)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£49.44 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card (£173.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Total: £569.26
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-30 17:25 BST+0100)
July 31, 2012 5:52:56 PM

one of the parts where i thought i could save £20 on was the motherboard or is the ASRock a good board for the money and a part i should keep and how easy is it to transfer the OS and other necessary files to an SSD and on a gaming build is overclocking a good option for a build on a budget
July 31, 2012 8:08:48 PM

or how about this non over clockable gaming build

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/dw9U
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/dw9U/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/dw9U/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor (£158.98 @ Dabs)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£83.99 @ Dabs)
Memory: Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£34.20 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£47.98 @ Dabs)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£229.81 @ CCL Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£72.96 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £627.92
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-31 21:09 BST+0100)
July 31, 2012 8:50:28 PM

Drop the 3550 to a 3450 - no sense paying £10 more for 200MHz. I'd also recommend spending the extra £1 on DDR3-1600 memory. Other than that, looks good.
August 1, 2012 10:11:27 AM

would this build last as long as the 3570k one before it would become unuseable
August 1, 2012 8:51:29 PM

The build won't become 'unusable' for a very long time. There'll be a point where it won't run games to your satisfaction, but I doubt that'll be the CPU's fault.

This won't last as long as a 3570k build, but the difference there will probably be negligible. I'm sure you'll be able to use it for several years before needing to upgrade your CPU - it'll probably last until Skylake is released (after all, look at how long Phenom IIs have lasted). In the coming years, your first upgrade priority isn't going to be the processor, though, it'll be the video card, and that's no big deal.
August 2, 2012 7:41:09 AM

so as a gaming build go for the second one
August 2, 2012 9:41:10 PM

Unless you can bump up the budget, then yes.
!