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£900 Gaming PC

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April 24, 2012 4:52:55 PM

I'm usually a mac/linux user, and after going back to my old gaming rig after 2-3 years found it frustratingly slow
Even after a clean install it's still frustrating the hell outta me!
So I plan on a new machine to completely replace my xbox/old pc

Approximate Purchase Date: next month if all goes well with my cars MOT

Budget Range: £800-1000, Around £900 is ideal though

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming! Elder scrolls series (just got back into modding oblivion and now wanna try my hand at skyrim, ideally would like to be able to run skyrim with the high res pack on ultra, probably only at 1080p though as i think thats my monitors max), a few RTS (mostly older ones such as BFME and Dawn of War, so not really demanding) and a few shooters (half life, crysis, maybe some battlefield 3 although i've been boycotting all EA releases). Will be doing some programming/graphics type stuff, but have my mac for that, would still be nice to have a backup i guess

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, (i basically just need an OS, case and the contents of said case!)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: was thinking of using www.pcspecialist.co.uk and getting the system pre built to save some time, so links to builds on there would be sweet, but if you guys think i would be better off just buying parts then I'll believe you
preferably sites where i can get the parts delivered free in the UK though

Country: UK (Scotland if that matters at all)

Parts Preferences: no preference really, although a decent hard drive size would be nice so i have space for games and my other OS's
Had a look at the

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Additional Comments: Have an intel Q6600 in my old pc that could be salvaged, but would rather keep in in the system so i can sell it on.
Also have 4Gb of ram but at a very slow clock speed (pretty sure it was one of the slowest when i bought the PC)

More about : 900 gaming

April 24, 2012 5:55:08 PM

I built this on the website you linked. If you build it yourself, you could probably manage it at under 900-950 pounds. I dont know what retailer you will use in UK, so I cant check for you. Just find the retailer, and add these items to your shopping cart.


Case
PCS MAELSTROM T900 BLACK GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i5-2500k Quad Core (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache) + HD Graphics
Motherboard
ASUS® P8Z77-V: PCI-E 3.0 READY, WIFI, SLI, CROSSFIREX
Memory (RAM)
8GB SAMSUNG DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (2 X 4GB)
Graphics Card
2GB AMD RADEON™ HD7850 - DVI,HDMI,2 mDP - DX® 11, Eyefinity 4 Capable
Memory - 1st Hard Disk
120GB INTEL® 330 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 500MB/sR | 450MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk
500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6GB/s HDD 7200RPM 16MB CACHE
1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX650 V2-80 PLUS® BRONZE (£69)
Processor Cooling
INTEL SOCKET LGA1155 STANDARD CPU COOLER
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Network Facilities
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs
USB Options
6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD
Operating System
Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)
Office Software
FREE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Limited functionality Word & Excel)
Anti-Virus
BULLGUARD INTERNET SECURITY - FREE 90 DAY TRIAL
Warranty
3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days
Quantity
1

Price: £1,015.00 including VAT and delivery.

Notes:

1. You can get a cheaper case. Their case options were limited, but I am sure you could pick up a decent case for under 50 pounds.

2. If you dont want to overclock (its really easy, quite safe and highly encouraged that you do) pick up a 2500 without the k suffix and save ~20 pounds.

3. Get better memory. The website only had samsung and kingston, but I would get Corsair Vengence or G.Skill RipJaw 1600mhz memory

4. The SSD that I added to your build is on the expensive side. You may get a better deal picking up a OCZ, Corsair or Crucial SSD.Pick a SATA 3 one and if you are going OCZ or Corsair get one with a sandforce or everest controller. If you want to save money, go for a smaller size (64-80GB) or get rid of it completely.

5. The power supply I picked was a bit over kill, but the cheaper power supplies they had were not brand name. If building your own, I would look for a 550 Watt 80plus gold/silver power supply. Corsair, Seasonic are good brands, but I hear Antec isnt bad either. If you cant find anything significantly cheaper, the Corsair 650 I picked is good too, and provides you with ample headroom to upgrade.

6. I picked the Standard CPU cooler, but if you want to do a major Over Clock, it may make sense to invest in a good Aftermarket Cooler

7. I picked Onboard sound, but if you are an audiophile, get an external sound card.
April 24, 2012 7:39:28 PM

Thanks! I Probably will build the system myself more for the sense of achievement than the cost saving (although that is a nice bonus)
I've been hearing a lot about the new Ivy bridge CPU's. Are they worth having a look into or should i just stick with the 2500k suggested and see if it drops in price when the ivy's come out?
I was leaning towards the GTX570 more than the 7850 for the performance gain in shooters but i guess the 2gig VRAM will be better for open end games like skyrim etc?
Also is the SSD worth the extra cash? I've never really seen the appeal of them unless you have cash to splash

Related resources
April 24, 2012 8:32:35 PM

If you are mainly gaming, Ivy Bridge is not much of a step up, but maybe the SB processors will become cheaper. The main advantage of IB is the onboard Graphics, which you wont use anyways. Also, I would get a trusted platform for cheaper rather than the first stepping of a new platform that performs slightly better.

I picked the 7850 to stay within your budget. But if you can afford it, get the 7870. You shold be fine for the games that you listed with a 7850 though. Also, the 2gb WILL NOT HELP skyrim one bit. But you will see benefits to games like Battlefield 3, or Elder Scrolls 6 when it comes out. But instead of planning that far ahead, I picked the cheaper card, so you could just buy yourself a nice sexy 680 GTX when you have the money down the road.

Also, I did not consider your thoughts about SLI. I suggested a low Wattage power supply based on the idea that the games you played did not require SLI, but if you are serious about it, you should upgrade to a 750W power supply.



a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 9:13:12 PM

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Midi+To... £67.99 inc. VAT
Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus Black Midi Tower Chassis

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie... £63.95 inc. VAT
750W OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply

http://www.dabs.com/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155... £109.99 Inc VAT
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.us.asp?Model=Z77%20Ex... <----- a better look at that board

http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-ivy-bridge-gets-prelau... £149.99
Intel Ivy Bridge i5 - 3570K 3.4Ghz

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air... £29.99 inc. VAT
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/... £38.99 inc. VAT
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CML8GX3M2A1600C9)

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D... £14.66 inc. VAT
Sony Optical 24x DVD Writer, AD-5280S-0B, SATA, Black, OEM

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Hard+Drives+-+In... £75.59 inc. VAT
1TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5" SATA III Internal Hard Drive [ST31000524AS]

http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra... £259.99 Inc VAT
Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon 7870 1000MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Software/Operating+Syste... £68.88 inc. VAT
MICROSOFT Windows Home Premium 7 SP1 64-bit EN 1pk - OEM [GFC-02050]

Total: £880.42 inc. VAT


http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Hard+Drives+-+SS... £99.95 inc. VAT
Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive
April 24, 2012 9:14:06 PM

Thanks once again. You clearly know what you are talking about, where as I'm too used to the apple store where you click a few shiny buttons, flash the student card and the computer is on it's way!

After some thought and a generous offer on gumtree for my old pc heres the setup i have come up with -

Case - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0064LFTR8/ref=ox_sc... - looks spacious, seems like it will cool well and ultimately i think it looks pretty sweet too!

CPU - took your advice and i beleive i will overclock - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004FA8NX2/ref=ox_sc...
with this as the cooler http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002G392ZI/ref=ox_sc...

Motherboard - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005FSHIVG/ref=ox_sc... - slightly worried about the fact it says it has 2 chassis fan connectors but the case has 4?

PSU - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/7135799410/ref=ox_sc... - enough? i can't decide

GPU - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0073LUYJ6/ref=ox_sc... - heard some great things about this card!

RAM - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004CRSM4I/ref=ox_sc...

HDD - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006GAK6EI/ref=ox_sc... - going with this and probably gonna get a SSD for the OS at a later date

Optical Drive - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005SNHVWE/ref=ox_sc...

OS - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004Q0PT3I/ref=ox_sc... - what does it mean by OEM copy? I can maybe even pick up a copy of 7 ultimate off a friend so theres no real worry here

Paste - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0002VFXFE/ref=ox_sc... - not even sure i need this

If you made it to the end of this, then i thank you
Have i missed anything/is anything incompatible/poor parts
If all is well i will probably order next week on pay day!
April 24, 2012 9:29:16 PM

Why_Me said:
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Midi+To... £67.99 inc. VAT
Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus Black Midi Tower Chassis

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie... £63.95 inc. VAT
750W OCZ ZS Series 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply

http://www.dabs.com/products/asrock-z77-extreme-4-s1155... £109.99 Inc VAT
ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 ATX

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.us.asp?Model=Z77%20Ex... <----- a better look at that board

http://www.guru3d.com/news/intel-ivy-bridge-gets-prelau... £149.99
Intel Ivy Bridge i5 - 3750 3.4Ghz

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air... £29.99 inc. VAT
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/... £38.99 inc. VAT
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CML8GX3M2A1600C9)

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D... £14.66 inc. VAT
Sony Optical 24x DVD Writer, AD-5280S-0B, SATA, Black, OEM

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Hard+Drives+-+In... £75.59 inc. VAT
1TB Seagate Barracuda 3.5" SATA III Internal Hard Drive [ST31000524AS]

http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra... £259.99 Inc VAT
Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon 7870 1000MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Software/Operating+Syste... £68.88 inc. VAT
MICROSOFT Windows Home Premium 7 SP1 64-bit EN 1pk - OEM [GFC-02050]

Total: £880.42 inc. VAT


http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Hard+Drives+-+SS... £99.95 inc. VAT
Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" SATA-III Solid State Hard Drive


spent an hour making my amazon build, was finally happy with it, posted on here, then i saw this!
Would there be much of a performance difference between the two?
Had never heard of aria but they seem pretty good
Thanks!
April 24, 2012 9:35:48 PM

You'd be better off going for Why_Me's build:

Better case, cooler, motherboard and much better PSU (really,do not buy this).
Better price as well. You have put in a better GPU but at 1080p a 7870 is likely to be more than enough.

Amazon is quite expensive compared to other shops like aria or scan.
April 24, 2012 9:53:40 PM

Yeah I think i probably will then
If i wanted to just go for the 2500K rather than the ivy bridge would i still make all the other parts the same?
Also the mother board says in the specifications it has a max graphics memory (i guess it means VRAM) of 1700Mb
Probably not much of a hit now but if I added a better card (or another 7870) later on, would this have an effect?
Thanks for everyones input
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 10:02:52 PM

splittie96 said:
Yeah I think i probably will then
If i wanted to just go for the 2500K rather than the ivy bridge would i still make all the other parts the same?
Also the mother board says in the specifications it has a max graphics memory (i guess it means VRAM) of 1700Mb
Probably not much of a hit now but if I added a better card (or another 7870) later on, would this have an effect?
Thanks for everyones input

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviewdb/Graphics-Cards/ATI/... <----- AMD 7870 reviews with benchmarks. With a slight over clock that card beats the 7950. The extra 1GB VRAM with the 7950 actually hurts FPS at the normal 1920x1080 resolution.

2500K will work fine in that Z77 board I posted.
April 24, 2012 10:30:21 PM

Thanks, will probably order the exact setup you posted but with the 2500k simply because I want it now!
Will i need anything else to build it up like cables, tools etc
I figure i'll manage it OK with the use of youtube guides but the hard drive says it comes with no cables, screws or anything really. Not checked any of the other parts yet, but if someone could tell me whats missing to put these parts together I'll be down to maplin tomorrow morning to see what i can get my hands on
May even be able to pick up a few of the components there, although it seems really poorly stocked where i live!
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 10:37:42 PM

splittie96 said:
Thanks, will probably order the exact setup you posted but with the 2500k simply because I want it now!
Will i need anything else to build it up like cables, tools etc
I figure i'll manage it OK with the use of youtube guides but the hard drive says it comes with no cables, screws or anything really. Not checked any of the other parts yet, but if someone could tell me whats missing to put these parts together I'll be down to maplin tomorrow morning to see what i can get my hands on
May even be able to pick up a few of the components there, although it seems really poorly stocked where i live!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <----- That board comes with two SATA cables. If you click that link and then click on the pics of the board and expand them you can see the two SATA cables that come with it.

Just make sure your touching the case when installing the motherboard or you have a chance of bricking it with static electricity. That will also be in the vids though on youtube.
April 24, 2012 11:05:20 PM

Sorry to post again
I just wanna be 100% clear before i shell out what is about 5 months wages for me (being a student I legally have to be poor)
So the SATA cables that come with the board will be all that I need to get this thing up and running with the parts you linked?
Thanks once again Why_me and everyone else that has posted
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 11:26:17 PM

splittie96 said:
Sorry to post again
I just wanna be 100% clear before i shell out what is about 5 months wages for me (being a student I legally have to be poor)
So the SATA cables that come with the board will be all that I need to get this thing up and running with the parts you linked?
Thanks once again Why_me and everyone else that has posted

1 SATA cable for your hard drive, and 1 SATA cable for your optical drive. That board comes with 2 SATA cables so your all set. :) 
a b 4 Gaming
April 24, 2012 11:28:28 PM

Why_Me said:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviewdb/Graphics-Cards/ATI/... <----- AMD 7870 reviews with benchmarks. With a slight over clock that card beats the 7950. The extra 1GB VRAM with the 7950 actually hurts FPS at the normal 1920x1080 resolution.

2500K will work fine in that Z77 board I posted.

Good thing I run at 1680x1050. :p 
!