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£500 gaming pc

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March 31, 2012 9:09:14 AM

Hi guys im new to the site and to building so please give me your honest advice :) 

Will be buying stuff early April hopefully...will be using the rig for:

Gaming (primarily WoW), computing degree, other usual stuff.

Having done some research i came up with the following within my £500 budget:

CPU - AMD FX 4170
Mobo - ASUS M5A78L/USB3
Ram - Corsair 4 X 2GB 1333 MHZ
GPU - Sapphire HD 6870
PSU - OCZ 500W
Case - Blue mars from tekheads
DVD - any cheapish drive
HDD - optional as I have a relatively new drive and on a budget!

Would really appreciate opinions on this as ive probably made a mistake or 2 :) 

Currently i use an old refurbished ibm business flat desktop piece of **** so anything will be an upgrade...literally!

More about : 500 gaming

March 31, 2012 9:13:30 AM

Any specific sites or shops you want to buy from?
If so, then I'll see what I can place together from there, but my number one piece of advice at the moment is:
For gaming, go SandyBridge. AMD just aren't cutting it in the gaming market right now.
March 31, 2012 9:32:35 AM

No not really altho uk based is gonna be easier/cheaper ofc!

Haha i think i am amd biased somehow (no idea where from i've not tried either haha!). I do keep hearing that i should go Intel but will I be able to within the budget?
Related resources
March 31, 2012 10:03:13 AM

For an AMD build I would go for a phenom II.

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 965 Black Edition @£87

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/AMD+...

PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 @£132

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz @£38

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

550W Cooler Master GX 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply @£42

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/550W...

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO @£26

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air...

MSI 990XA-GD55 AMD 990X (Socket AM3+) @£83

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards+...

Xigmatek Midgard II Black Midi Tower Chassis w/ USB3.0 @£50

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Midi+To...

500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive @£51

http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/500G...

Samsung SH-S222BB/BEBE DVD Writer @£13

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D...

My calculations say that that build is £523 which is slightly over budget. You can replace that hard drive out and get a cheap one from ebay if you like. You could also cut back on the motherboard and case. If you wanted to go intel I would probably go i3 2120 and p67 mb.


March 31, 2012 10:33:48 AM

Hmm lots to think about now!

Thanks yoyoman that confirms what ive read about the fx series being rubbish..

I was looking into intel and concocted the following build:

http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/6hO0

Ps the website is awesome lists loads of stuff has good prices from different sites, and you can compare them all...really helped me :) 

I believe the i5 is better than the i3 iirc - so would it be a good idea to use my year-old hard drive and use the saved money to buy the i5 with a p68? (heard great things about this combo).

Ps graphics card wise i am sort of settling with the idea of the amd 6870 - good choice? (with warcraft in mind)
March 31, 2012 10:35:52 AM

Asus z68 Mobo: £119.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards+...

Intel i3-2120 CPU - £94.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Processors+-+...

Xigmatek Midgard II Case £49.19 (can use a whole range of cases, I just used Yoyoman's reccomendation)
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Midi+To...

Corsair Builder Series 600w PSU £52.93
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie...

Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) - £37.19
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

XFX Radeon 6870 (with Free Deus Ex game) £125.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

Sony Lightscribe 24x dvd/cd drive £15.97
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D...

Total - £496.05

If you have a hard drive already, then that build should be good for you.
March 31, 2012 10:37:06 AM

Also, I'd really advise against a low quality psu, and make sure you go Antec, Corsair or Seasonic. You don't want to screw over most of your parts by supplying the wrong amount of power.
As for the i5-2500k, it's an amazing processor, but you'll need an aftermarket fan if you want to overclock.
Motherboard wise, I'd be very tempted to go ASUS or ASRock as they're generally the most quality for your cash.
March 31, 2012 10:56:09 AM

Oh right i thought ocz were a good brand for psu's...have to say i have been struggling in that area.

If i were to go i5 i could get an aftermarket fan later when i think about overclocking - iirc the coolermaster one people reccomend is quite cheap too?

Is it worth overclocking ie would i notice the benefits in warcraft?

There really is a lot to think about with all this huh...its fun though :) 

Thanks for all the help so far by the way!
March 31, 2012 11:15:19 AM

No problem!
Overclocking really helps the i5-2500k (already a great processor btw) in most applications! The CoolerMaster V6GT is a nice aftermarket fan from what I can recall :) 
March 31, 2012 11:30:34 AM

hmm as its the top end of my budget and i know nothing about oc'ing i think il leave the i5 for now..

next question! are ssd drives worth it or is it just for booting/opening stuff faster - if it is then i wont bother because this pc will be a million times quicker at everything than my current one haha!
March 31, 2012 11:38:41 AM

"is it just for booting/opening stuff faster" yes
March 31, 2012 11:40:18 AM

If you have a larger amount of cash, SSDs are really worth it. And I mean REALLY worth it.
But if you don't care about having the FASTEST boot / load speeds, and you're budget is lower, then SSDs aren't required.

Also, don't get me wrong, the i5 processors are amazing if you have the money, for example the i5-2400 (not K-series, meaning not overclockable) can still hit 3.6ghz+ with turboboost mode enabled, so if you can afford it, go for it!
The same with the i5-2500k, if you can buy, even if you can't overclock YET, in the future, stick an aftermarket fan on it and you'll be amazed by the difference for the price of a fan, and some basic BIOS knowledge!

And even then, the i3-2120 is a great gaming processor, thrashing everything AMD has to offer, just being a dual core instead of quad core (like the i5/i7 series) will mean lower performance in well-threaded applications, say editing or other areas like such!

But if gaming is your only real wish, then go for any of the above processors, and the best GPU you can afford along with parts like I recommended in a previous post :) 
March 31, 2012 12:24:04 PM

Ok cool, i think im getting there then:

Intel i3-2120 CPU - £94.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Com [...] ctId=43840

ASRock Z68 pro3 - £71.98
http://www.dabs.com/products/asrock-z68-pro3-gen3-s1155...

Tekheads Mars case - £ 28.90
http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/TekValue-Mars-ATX-Gam...

Corsair 8gb (2x4gb) - £40.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

Corsair Builder Series 600w PSU £52.93
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie...

XFX Radeon 6870 (with Free Deus Ex game) £125.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

Sony Lightscribe 24x dvd/cd drive £15.97
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D...

Only things im not sure on now - is it worth upgrading the ram to 1600? and the case - purely chose it because of price and looks haha - any obvious flaws?
March 31, 2012 12:30:13 PM

Ram: Not really... not in my opinion, that's just the maximum it'll run at with stock voltages etc.

Case: Has no front USB 3.0 port, but other than that, I don't think cheap cases really offer much cable management and other such features anyway. But then again, I have no idea about this specific case :p 
March 31, 2012 12:58:18 PM

targetdan said:
Ok cool, i think im getting there then:

Intel i3-2120 CPU - £94.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Com [...] ctId=43840

ASRock Z68 pro3 - £71.98
http://www.dabs.com/products/asrock-z68-pro3-gen3-s1155...

Tekheads Mars case - £ 28.90
http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/TekValue-Mars-ATX-Gam...

Corsair 8gb (2x4gb) - £40.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

Corsair Builder Series 600w PSU £52.93
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie...

XFX Radeon 6870 (with Free Deus Ex game) £125.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

Sony Lightscribe 24x dvd/cd drive £15.97
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Storage/Optical+Drives/D...

Only things im not sure on now - is it worth upgrading the ram to 1600? and the case - purely chose it because of price and looks haha - any obvious flaws?


You may as well get corsair xms3 1333mhz RAM as you will find hardly any benefit between that and the vengeance you selected unless you are bothered about looks. ;) 

Also, I the PSU I suggested is a high quality one ; hardware secrets did a review and found it to be a very good psu. Nonetheless the one you selected is a fine psu.

Lastly I hear that XFX's customer services aren't the world's finest so you would probably be better off with a powercolor/sapphire card but that is your choice.


Otherwise, it seems like a good build and I very much hope you are successful with it.
March 31, 2012 1:08:02 PM

Or you could just go fully gaming related and do something similar to the $650 budget gaming pc rig that was made here, possibly something like:
Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/6hVm
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/6hVm/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/6hVm/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.99 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£45.99 @ Dabs)
Memory: Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory (£17.99 @ Maplin Electronics)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£269.98 @ Dabs)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 335 ATX Mid Tower Case (£30.23 @ Maplin Electronics)
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V Power Supply (£49.99 @ Dabs)
Total: £504.17 (fiver over budget, change any parts to what you'd like)

EDIT: Damnit, I forgot the optical drive... you can switch out the gfx card for a cheaper one and put that money towards any cheap optical drive :) 
March 31, 2012 2:04:51 PM

Lol dont confuse me!!

I think im gonna stick with the last rig i posted but with a couple of tweaks:

Zulman z11 plus case - £47.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+To...

Ty Yoyo i will get the slightly more expensive 6870 - £132

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

and the 1333 ram - £35.89
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

Also the psu you suggested is cheaper and recommended: :) 
Coolermaster GX 80 plus - £42.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/550W...

So with all the previous items too:

Intel i3-2120 CPU - £94.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Com [...] ctId=43840

ASRock Z68 pro3 - £71.98
http://www.dabs.com/products/asroc [...] ntent=TB00

Sony Lightscribe 24x dvd/cd drive £15.97
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Sto [...] ctId=42805


Which would bring my grand total to around £440 which is great because 500 would be a stretch anyway. Am i also right in assuming i may need odd bits here and there to actually build it too - like cables etc? or static wrist thingies??

Many thanks to you 2 guys for sites and advice, been a great help in forming my (almost?!) final decision :) 
March 31, 2012 5:03:33 PM

targetdan said:
Lol dont confuse me!!

I think im gonna stick with the last rig i posted but with a couple of tweaks:

Zulman z11 plus case - £47.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+To...

Ty Yoyo i will get the slightly more expensive 6870 - £132

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

and the 1333 ram - £35.89
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/...

Also the psu you suggested is cheaper and recommended: :) 
Coolermaster GX 80 plus - £42.99
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/550W...

So with all the previous items too:

Intel i3-2120 CPU - £94.79
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Com [...] ctId=43840

ASRock Z68 pro3 - £71.98
http://www.dabs.com/products/asroc [...] ntent=TB00

Sony Lightscribe 24x dvd/cd drive £15.97
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Sto [...] ctId=42805


Which would bring my grand total to around £440 which is great because 500 would be a stretch anyway. Am i also right in assuming i may need odd bits here and there to actually build it too - like cables etc? or static wrist thingies??

Many thanks to you 2 guys for sites and advice, been a great help in forming my (almost?!) final decision :) 


You can purchase a anti static wrist band if you wish. The optical drive you selected is an OEM drive so you need a SATA data cable (correct me if I am wrong). A couple of fans to go in the case would do nicely (but looking at the specs it appears as if it already has 5 fans installed so you probably wouldn't need to). You can get a massive pack of cable ties from amazon for just £1. If you want to have your CPU super cool you can purchase an aftermarket CPU fan but as you aren't OCing that is hardly necessary.

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Peripherals/SATA+Cables/...

(please can someone comfirm that the above SATA cable will work with his optical drive)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealey-CT25101-Cable-Ties-100mm...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/LUPO-Anti-Static-Wrist-Strap-Gr...

Otherwise you're all set; that build will eat WoW for breakfast. :) 

P.S If you are reusing your hard drive you will need to reinstall windows.
March 31, 2012 9:31:07 PM

Yeah the links given by Yoyoman seem to be all in order :D 
Have fun gaming!
April 14, 2012 3:12:21 PM

Thanks for all the help there guys i have the parts now :) 

Went for:
i5-2500k
Gigabyte H61 d3v mobo
gx550 psu
MSI gtx 560
G.Skills ripjaw 8gb ram
pioneer dvd-rw
zalman z11 plus case

Very happy with all the shiny new toys!

Only problem is that after getting to POST outside the case i had a psu spark when attaching the power lead and i think i broke the mobo :-s new one on order along with a mushkin ssd :D  *fingers crossed*
April 14, 2012 8:02:36 PM

Not bad! Upgrade your motherboard and buy an aftermarket fan if you ever want to overclock (it'll increase performance even more than your current upgrade) :D 
!