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Need Advice £750 Gaming System

Last response: in Systems
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April 29, 2012 1:30:43 PM

Hi all

It would be great if you guys could help me with my system spec :) 

Approximate Purchase Date: this week
Budget Range: £750
System Usage: Gaming
Preferred Website(s): a UK based company for the rest, not fussed.
Parts Preferences: INTEL, NVIDIA.
Overclocking: Maybe, not sure how easy this is.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments: Would like a micro ATX.

Okay so my spec atm is £696 but I will still need a cooler if the stock isn't adequate enough. I'm a bit nervous about whether it is all compatible and good value for money.

Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Unlocked Processor - Retail £147
ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M (Socket 1155/Intel Z77/DDR3/S-ATA 600/Micro ATX) £89
G.Skill RipJawsX 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL) £44
MSI GeForce GTX 570 OC Twin FrozR III Power Edition 1280MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £229
3TB Seagate ST3000DM001 Barracuda 7200 SATA III Hard Drive £120
Thermaltake Armor A30 Mini Tower Case £67

Looking forward to what you guys think. Many thanks :) 
April 29, 2012 2:16:28 PM

As much as I can work out I think it is compatible.
The maximum GPU length the A30 can support is 33cm, the MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition is 24.3cm, which is about the same length as a micro ATX motherboard is wide.

You need to decide on a PSU.

Any extra cooling you can get is likely to be appreciated in a small mATX case like the A30. But if you can be prepared to take the build apart to install an aftermarket CPU cooler later then you could see if the CPU stock cooler is enough before deciding.

The aftermarket coolers which meet the maximum height requirement of 90mm in the A30 that I know of/recommend are:
Scythe Shuriken
Scythe Big Shuriken
Thermalright AXP-140
Silverstone NT06-E
Alpenfohn Panorama
Cooler Master Geminii S
Cooler Master Vortex Plus
April 29, 2012 3:12:10 PM

Motherboard: Micro ATX, huh? I generally advise against it, since it's a bit harder to work with and has less upgradeability. If you REALLY need micro ATX, though, I'd change the ASRock Z77 to a Z68 Extreme3 Gen3. If worst comes to worst, you can switch that to the Pro3 Gen3... it'll give you a slight performance drop and less ports, but it'll save you quite a bit.

If the RAM is CAS9, then you're all set. Also, check that it's 1.5v or lower.

If you want Nvidia (why? I'll go with it, though), then I would really suggest waiting a bit. Nvidia is supposed to release the competition to the newly released Radeon 7850 and 7870 (which is what I would suggest) through the 6xx series. For now, the Radeon is a better value. Whichever GPU you go with, MSI Twin Frozr OC is the way to go! :)  The 570 is fine, but if you need to save a bit, go with the 560 Ti (which can be overclocked to 570 performance). However, a 570 can be overclocked far, as well. I'd REALLY suggest either buying a Radeon 7850/7870 (whichever fits in the budget) or waiting for the new Nvidia chips.

HDD: Not much I can say. I guess it's fine.

Case: See motherboard comments. However, the only big problem with mATX I can see is airflow/cooling. The case you have is TINY, but it apparently can cool quite well! (I'm assuming this is for LAN parties?) FYI, it'll be much harder to work in and install a system in a mini ATX case, since the parts are so close together and there isn't all that much room. However, 350mm of GPU clearance is amazing for a case that small! The largest problem with this case, though, is the 90mm of clearance for a CPU fan. The Hyper 212s are both 158mm tall, so I can't recommend them. Which leads me to...

CPU cooler: I have no idea what to do. 90mm tall is tiny! You won't be able to overclock much at all! In fact, at that point I'd be against overclocking. 90mm tall is TINY! I found a few, but people were using them to pump away heat from lights... as in LIGHTS! Here're a couple (US amazon links):
http://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Profile-Cooler-Platfo...
http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Profile-Height-Cooler...

I think a 650/750W PSU will do... I personally like the PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK II 750W Silver series, but it might be better to get a modular for you. Corsair, Seasonic, and PC power and cooling are nice.
Related resources
April 29, 2012 3:54:30 PM

ddan49 said:
Motherboard: Micro ATX, huh? I generally advise against it, since it's a bit harder to work with and has less upgradeability. If you REALLY need micro ATX, though, I'd change the ASRock Z77 to a Z68 Extreme3 Gen3. If worst comes to worst, you can switch that to the Pro3 Gen3... it'll give you a slight performance drop and less ports, but it'll save you quite a bit.

Neither of those two boards (Z68 Extreme3 Gen nor Z68 Pro3 Gen3) are of the mATX formfactor.

ddan49 said:
If the RAM is CAS9, then you're all set. Also, check that it's 1.5v or lower.

Yes those sets are CAS9 and 1.5V.

ddan49 said:
HDD: Not much I can say. I guess it's fine.

Positively reviewed at SPCR.

ddan49 said:
I think a 650/750W PSU will do... I personally like the PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK II 750W Silver series, but it might be better to get a modular for you. Corsair, Seasonic, and PC power and cooling are nice.

PC Power & Cooling aren't generally available outside North America.
April 29, 2012 4:32:08 PM

I wasn't aware of the mobo thing... I thought I saw the mATX version on newegg.

As for the PC Power and Cooling, I guess Corsair and Seasonic are all that's left. OP didn't provide a retailer.
!