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£1200 (ish) Gaming build

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June 16, 2012 4:39:53 PM

I've been working on this for the past few weeks and I've come up with this. I'll explain why I've chosen the components and am more than willing to look at any alternatives you can suggest. My budget remains around £1200 but I'd love to stay under that. Also consider I still need to buy peripherals, monitor etc.

Case: CM HAF 932 Advanced - £99.52 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-haf-932-v2-...
I've chosen this due to the looks, the size and the fact that it is more future proof than the other cases I considered. Oh, and the great airflow!

PSU: Corsair TX 650W PSU - £73.49 - http://www.ebuyer.com/257232-corsair-tx-650w-v2-psu-80p...
A PSU I've heard great things about with a 5 year warranty also.

Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G43 Z77 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio -£84.94 - http://www.ebuyer.com/345353-msi-z77a-g43-z77-socket-11...
Whilst I'm not using an Ivybridge processor, it is still a good, cheaper motherboard with all the features I need, plus OC genie!

CPU: Sandybridge i5 2500k - £168.18 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...
Looking to overclock in the future (could use the MSI OC Genie) and the best performing gaming CPU. Going for this over an Ivybridge due to lower temps and cheaper price? (Should I go for Ivybridge though? Still not 100%)

CPU fan: - Coolermaster Hyper 212 evo - £25.45 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...
A HSF which provides excellent cooling for it's price

RAM: Crucial 8GB Ballistix 1.5v RAM - £33.83 - http://www.ebuyer.com/342351-crucial-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-133...
1.5v RAM, ideal for the i5 2500k and also comes with a lifetime warranty

GPU: Gigabyte 2GB GeForce GTX 670 Windforce 3X - £339.20 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-gigabyte-gtx-670-win...(x16)-6008mhz-gddr5-gpu-980mhz-boost-1058mhz-cores-13


SSD: Crucial M4 128GB SSD - £83.00 - http://www.ebuyer.com/349750-sapphire-hd-7870-ghz-oc-ed...
When it comes to SSDs, reliability, for me, is the most important. It also provides good speeds and will be my boot drive

HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 - £72.00 - http://www.ebuyer.com/173804-samsung-hd103sj-spinpoint-...
One of the cheapest and best HDDs out there (so I've heard? Willing to accept alternatives)

OR 500GB alternative

Optical Drive: LiteOn - £14.50 - http://www.ebuyer.com/176026-liteon-ihas124-sata-dvd-op...



Peripherals and such

Monitor: BenQ 24" monitor - £126.93 - http://www.ebuyer.com/169099-benq-g2420hd-24-lcd-monito...
To be honest, I was a bit lost when looking for a monitor. However, this is a nice, 24" monitor and I've heard only good things about it.

Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 - £6.24 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/arctic-silver-5-thermal-...
Paste offering some of the best performance at a good price. Not much more to be said

Mouse: To be decided upon visiting and testing mice at a nearby shop

Mouse Mat: SteelSeries QcK Mass Mouse Mat - £9.58 - http://www.scan.co.uk/products/steelseries-qck-mass-mou...
Heard great things about the steelseries mouse mats so I decided to try one out, and it's cheap!

Keyboard: I have a cheap, standard one but any gaming keyboard suggestions would be appreciated! Total comes to £1136.86. Once again, I thank you for reading all of this and thanks for any feedback.

More about : 1200 ish gaming build

June 16, 2012 5:07:14 PM

1: get something like a asrock extreme4. has more features and performs slightly better
2: ivy bridge is faster. get the i5 3570k. even though it might not clock as high, it still performs better than a higher clocked sandy bridge
3:here is a ssd that is even more reliable and is also cheaper
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/128gb-samsung-830-series...
4:recommend you to get a caviar black drive as they do perform better
5:there is no point of getting arctic silver 5. the hyper 212 evo according to azeem40 comes with arctic cooling mx-4 which is a better paste and does not require curing
6 i would get a 750w power supply if you ever plan to add another 670 since the 650w doesnt have SLi capabilities for 2 670s
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June 16, 2012 5:12:28 PM

the 670 from gigabyte has a much better cooler than the evga one but will pump most of the heat in your case
June 16, 2012 8:58:50 PM

That's why I'm going with the Gigabyte card, with the 3 fans and so on. The asrock extreme 4 is probably a bit out of my price range and I cannot really see the benefits it has over the motherboard I've listed?
With regards to the SSD, since they both provide more or less identical real life performance, I'll go with whichever I can get cheaper.
I'd like to go with the 2500k since it has lower temperatures and overclocks slightly better (or so I've heard)
June 16, 2012 9:00:55 PM

Choosing between the two i5s depends on this: how high of an OC do you want?
June 16, 2012 9:07:40 PM

Well at the moment, I don't plan on OC'ing until I feel that either a) I need the extra performance or b) The CPU is 'on it's last legs' and needs that performance boost.. (The two reasons are similar, but not quite the same ;)  ) But I guess I would OC to around 4.2GHz?
June 16, 2012 9:15:43 PM

Then IB will be better.
June 16, 2012 9:21:22 PM

Hi hq56,


Just wanted to come by and drop a quick note that I think your build looks great.

There isn't really anything i'd change, but I would like to note that if you DO plan on doing 670 SLI in the near or later future you will want a 750W power supply that supports SLI.

Oh and also as others have said don't worry about the thermal paste as your aftermarket HS/F comes with awesome stuff as it is.

As for Sandybridge vs. Ivybridge I am on your side. I think the cheaper price tag on the sandybridge for maybe 5-10% less performance is not enough for me personally to spend more.

However, if you wanted the absolute best you should go with ivybridge as it does run a bit faster.


Happy building!

Shinseina
June 16, 2012 9:50:20 PM

Since you are using Scan.co.uk, you might want to keep checking the "No-brainer" deals (and they change daily). They are usual pretty good, and when they actually include a semi-decent board, you might want to grab it. ^_^"
All you would need then is a SSD and a graphics card.

Temperature difference due to thermal paste is usually very little. Around 1~2 degree even in max load and the coolermaster coolers usually include pretty decent stuff.

Ivy bridge is about 10% faster at the same speed. e.g. 3.4GHz i5-3570K is about 10% faster than the i5-2500K OC to 3.4GHz. It's due to the improvement in the architectural structure.
However, for the extra 10pounds or so, the Ivy bridge supports PCI-E 3.0 for your GTX670 and Lucid MVP (if you do encoding, it is fairly useful).
June 16, 2012 10:16:27 PM

you wont be able to do SLI in the future with the msi z77a-g43. if you dont plan to do that any ways, get a asrock z77 pro4
June 16, 2012 10:25:30 PM

I don't really plan on doing SLI for two reasons. a) The performance of a single 670 is pretty impressive as it is (sometimes edging in front of a single 680?) and b) I just don't have the money to spend about £700 on SLI 670s when I could buy a 680, meaning lower power consumption and so on.
In addition, from what I've read the PCI-e 3 slots have no difference over PCI-e 2 slots, since they provide no extra performance (since current GPUs do not fully utilize PCI-e 2?) So the fact I might use a Sandybridge CPU makes the i5 2500k a valid option
June 16, 2012 10:28:11 PM

it is better to have ivy bridge because they are faster than sandy bridge and there isnt a point of getting last generation stuff. PCI-E 3 can help out a bit in performance or when you run a couple of peripherals in the system such as wireless adaptors
June 16, 2012 10:33:41 PM

But in real life performance, I thought that the difference in performance was un-noticable? Furthermore, the excess heat produced by the newer Ivybridge CPUs is certainly a 'turn off' for many, me (partially) included. From what I've seen, PCI-e 3 only really becomes noticeable when using perhaps dual 680s or something, a set up far beyond economically viable for me..
June 16, 2012 10:33:45 PM

But in real life performance, I thought that the difference in performance was un-noticable? Furthermore, the excess heat produced by the newer Ivybridge CPUs is certainly a 'turn off' for many, me (partially) included. From what I've seen, PCI-e 3 only really becomes noticeable when using perhaps dual 680s or something, a set up far beyond economically viable for me..
June 16, 2012 10:54:47 PM

hq56 said:
But in real life performance, I thought that the difference in performance was un-noticable? Furthermore, the excess heat produced by the newer Ivybridge CPUs is certainly a 'turn off' for many, me (partially) included. From what I've seen, PCI-e 3 only really becomes noticeable when using perhaps dual 680s or something, a set up far beyond economically viable for me..



ivy bridge runs cooler than sandy bridge at stock clocks. once you go beyond 4.2ghz then ivy bridge gets really hot. otherwise it runs cooler or the same. you will notice some difference once you start doing something like multitasking
June 17, 2012 12:54:24 AM

Ivy produces less heat but because of the smaller die size greater temperatures are recorded, At stock clocks the temperatures are very similar (within a few degrees) and as you only intend to OC when you feel you need the performance boost it makes sense to go with Ivy as the point where you will need to OC will be further in the future.
June 17, 2012 7:13:29 AM

Ivy Bridge only gets hot when you add voltage to the CPU. Since you only plan to OC up to 4.2 GHz, you don't need to add voltage and hence, will not cause heat issues.
!