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First Ever Build Plan. (£600)

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March 13, 2012 4:47:44 PM

** UPDATED **

Hey Guys,

So... I have finally got some funding together and a rough plan of components for my very first PC build, and to be honest, I am very excited about the whole ordeal!

Please take a look at the components below and let me know what you think? If you think it can be improved, or something is pointless, then let me know!


PC usage:

Light/Medium gaming (Nothing new out though - mostly classics)
Light image editing

Already Bought.
CASE = NZXT Phantom 410
PSU = CoolerMaster 520W


Needing opinions.
CPU = Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz - £169.98
MOBO = Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 - £121.99
RAM = Corsair 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz Red Vengeance - £40.00
GPU = Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1GB GDDR5 - £159.96
Cooler = Corsair Hydro Series H60 - £49.95


What do you think? Also - is the i5-2500K really worth the extra £70 over the i3-2120?

The Extras:
Approximate Purchase Date: This Week
Budget Range: <£600
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Medium Gaming
Parts Not Required: HDD, PSU, CASE, DVD
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebuyer.co.uk
Country: UK
Parts Preferences: Nvidia GPU
Overclocking: Maybe in the future
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Unsure

More about : build plan 600

March 13, 2012 5:58:29 PM

For the price this would be a better GPU: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-asus-hd-6850-directc...

And then get this for your RAM (tall heat sinks = not good for coolers) : http://www.ebuyer.com/342352-crucial-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160...

If you can get the 2500K great, if not get the 2120 and put the difference into upgrading your GPU to something like this:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-evga-gtx-560ti-dual-...

Motherboard - the LX is a better value than the Gen 3 is - if you need the features of the GEN 3 great if not put that difference in getting the 2500K and the 560Ti - that will ensure your build will last.
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March 14, 2012 8:38:34 AM

g-unit1111 said:
For the price this would be a better GPU: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-asus-hd-6850-directc...


Many thanks, I will take a look into that.

g-unit1111 said:
And then get this for your RAM (tall heat sinks = not good for coolers) : http://www.ebuyer.com/342352-crucial-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160...


Damn xD I love the look of that vengeance RAM!

g-unit1111 said:
Motherboard - the LX is a better value than the Gen 3 is - if you need the features of the GEN 3 great if not put that difference in getting the 2500K and the 560Ti - that will ensure your build will last.


I have a ASUS P8H61-M PRO REV 3.0 Intel H61 Motherboard - LGA1155 socket (Brand New) sat on my desk at work. Would this be any good? One of the downsides I see is that it cannot support 1600 RAM
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March 14, 2012 9:25:28 AM

Have a look at this build:

https://secure.scan.co.uk/aspnet/Shop/SavedBasket/Show....

Your budget and requirements are pretty good, in that your requirement to run older games on the budget you've set is really quite easy. The motherboard is a good value one, however you could consider the Gen 3 as it will have better overclocking features. Low profile RAM for any aftermarket coolers you get (I'd recommend that for overclocking, stock cooling won't cut it), and the i5-2500K is a cracking CPU. You could get an i3-2120 but if you have the notes I'd suggest the i5-2500K is worthwhile. The 560Ti is a great mid-range GPU, however the new AMD 7850 is considered to be its successor for about the same price. Scan don't carry it but if you look around you may find it (it's just been released).

gingbeard said:
I have a ASUS P8H61-M PRO REV 3.0 Intel H61 Motherboard - LGA1155 socket (Brand New) sat on my desk at work. Would this be any good? One of the downsides I see is that it cannot support 1600 RAM


It would do the job. Don't worry about the RAM...either buy 1333MHz chips, or just stick 1600MHz chips in; they'll automatically downclock anyway. The overclocking features on that board are limited too. If you do decide to go down that route, don't get the i5-2500K as an overclocking-capable CPU isn't worth the money; go for the i5-2320 instead...it doesn't have integrated graphics but you've got a dedicated GPU, so you're not losing there.
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March 14, 2012 10:25:45 AM

I would use that motherboard as it has all you need, for just those 4 things you can get a GTX 580 without getting too close to your budget but as you're looking at older games the 560 Ti seems like the best bet for you.

Intel Core i5-2400 £143
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Pro...

Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB £40
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR3/...

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560Ti £150
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Gigabyte+GeForce+G...

If you wanted a different motherboard i'd stick with H61 unless you really want to overclock:

Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V GEN3 £48
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...

Without Motherboard: £341.40
With Motherboard: £388.76
(Both with P&P and VAT)

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March 14, 2012 10:56:03 AM

I dislike how everyone hate the (lets face it) awesome looking RAM :) 

Thanks for the help guys. I am really having difficulty deciding between:

the i3 + the P8H61-M PRO on my desk (as its the cheapest option)
OR
the i5 2500k + a Z68 board.

One of the issues that sways me to the second option is that the H61 mobo only has 3 fan ports (one cpu, two fans).. My case has 3 fans (Plus the CPU fan).

I realize I only really play the older games (and less intensive), but I would really like to be able to build a PC that will last as long as I can cope with it!
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March 14, 2012 11:02:12 AM

I think they look silly myself and as they can interfere with decent CPU coolers aren't good but that's my opinion.

Why not go i5 2400 and H61 board?

You can always buy fan splitters which will allow you to run a few fans on each port.

If you add this GTX 580 to the build i put up that will keep you gaming very happily for a long time:
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/PALI...

cost of all 4 components ~£550
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March 14, 2012 11:06:57 AM

I've got the same RAM, except in blue...but I use an H100 cooler so clearance isn't an issue for me. I did have a Hyper-212 installed with 2 fans, not issues there either. If you really like the RAM, go for it...there are aftermarket coolers out there that will accommodate it. Also, if you go for an i3-2120, just get that RAM...you can't overclock that CPU so you'll either be with stock cooling or an aftermarket cooler that performs better but doesn't overhang the RAM slots. There are plenty that wouldn't be ideal for overclocking but provide superior cooling to stock.

If future-proofing is a consideration, the i5-2500K is the better bet. You're playing classic games now but you may decide to play some newer ones later (XCom reboot etc), and a beefier system keeps your options open.

I meant to add, if your budget is £600, you could also get an SSD as a boot drive. It'll speed your system up a treat.
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March 14, 2012 2:35:11 PM

I realise this may not be the best place to ask, but just incase someone knows... What does the R3 mean on some of these MOBOs?
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March 14, 2012 7:27:59 PM

About a year ago Intel had an issue to do with SATA 3 connections...can't remember the exact details, but the R3 / Revision 3 / B3 means that the motherboard doesn't suffer from that issue.
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March 15, 2012 9:09:50 AM

diellur said:
About a year ago Intel had an issue to do with SATA 3 connections...can't remember the exact details, but the R3 / Revision 3 / B3 means that the motherboard doesn't suffer from that issue.




OK, thanks, so do I need to worry about the Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 ? Or was it only H61 boards that were affected?


diellur said:
I've got the same RAM, except in blue...but I use an H100 cooler so clearance isn't an issue for me. I did have a Hyper-212 installed with 2 fans, not issues there either.


I am currently looking at the Corsair Hydro H60 (mostly due to the size), would anyone recommend it? My only concern is that you turn an exhaust into an intake for it... Pulling warm air into the case doesn't seem like a great idea?
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March 15, 2012 10:24:59 AM

No...Z68 boards came out after the problem was solved, so by definition they are OK. Anyways, having just brushed up, the problem only affected H67 and P67 boards. So your H61 board should be fine. :) 

Here's a comparison of the H60, H80 and H100: http://www.anandtech.com/print/5054

Basically, the H80 is the best all-rounder, the H60 is the budget-oriented offering and the H100 is the best bet but introduces compatibility issues depending on your case. As you can't mount a 240mm rad, you're looking at either the H60 or H80. As for how you mount it, pulling in air is better as it's not pre-heated by the internals. It's not essential, you'll just get better performance. What I'd do with your case is mount the H60 / H80 on the top, sucking in, and then have the exhaust sucking out as normal. You'll get slightly more warmer air inside the case but not huge. Experiment with it to get the best setup for your system.

Just some background for you...long story short, closed-loop water coolers aren't amazing performers when compared against custom loops...they're more on a par with high-end air-cooling. However, they're a lot cheaper than custom water loops and also don't involve hanging circa 1kg off of your motherboard (as is the case with the comparable air-coolers like the Noctua NH-D14 and the Thermaltake Silver Arrow). Best of both worlds. But you need to balance the risk of having water in your case, too. The occurrence of leaks is vanishingly small, but the risk is there. Balance that against the risk of moving your PC, jarring it and hearing a *crash* as the heatsink comes loose. That too is a small risk...just down to you, really.

Personally, I'm fine with closed-loop water coolers. I was considering custom, but due to personal reasons couldn't afford it. I use the H100 on my CPU and have modded my GTX560Ti with a Kuhler 620, so in a sense I have water-cooling. Works well, too...when gaming, my GPU temps don't exceed 45 deg C and my CPU doesn't exceed 35 deg C (although it's not overclocked ATM).
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March 15, 2012 11:07:05 AM

diellur said:
Just some background for you...long story short, closed-loop water coolers aren't amazing performers when compared against custom loops...they're more on a par with high-end air-cooling. However, they're a lot cheaper than custom water loops and also don't involve hanging circa 1kg off of your motherboard (as is the case with the comparable air-coolers like the Noctua NH-D14 and the Thermaltake Silver Arrow). Best of both worlds. But you need to balance the risk of having water in your case, too. The occurrence of leaks is vanishingly small, but the risk is there. Balance that against the risk of moving your PC, jarring it and hearing a *crash* as the heatsink comes loose. That too is a small risk...just down to you, really.


I agree with you completely. I do not like the idea of having 600g hanging off my MOBO. And if there is a leak in the next 5 years, I assume Corsair will take the hit for it.

Do you use your H80 in a push/pull setup? And is the Kuhler 620 meant to be better than the H60? (I think the H80 could be a bit out of my reach, plus I am just looking to improve on the stock fan, not hit OC records)

NB. Just read that both are noisy! Is this the case?
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March 15, 2012 11:14:23 AM

Surely you can have the fans exhausting through the radiator? The air may be a little warmer but not much. This is slightly moot if you don't get a K series CPU, as a stock cooler is fine for them.
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March 15, 2012 11:35:34 AM

gingbeard said:
I agree with you completely. I do not like the idea of having 600g hanging off my MOBO. And if there is a leak in the next 5 years, I assume Corsair will take the hit for it.


They have done in the past. But they assess on a case-by-case basis so not guaranteed.

gingbeard said:
Do you use your H80 in a push/pull setup? And is the Kuhler 620 meant to be better than the H60? (I think the H80 could be a bit out of my reach, plus I am just looking to improve on the stock fan, not hit OC records)

NB. Just read that both are noisy! Is this the case?


I use the H100 (see my sig), and no...happy with the cooling it gives me. It'll run cool under normal usage and help with overclocking too. You shouldn't use stock cooling when overclocking, so you need an aftermarket cooler of some description...if you like the Hydro series, you could do worse. And you could get the RAM you liked. :D 

I'm not sure how the Kuhler 620 is in comparison to the H60...I have mine zip-tied onto my GPU, it's not cooling my CPU. It works well for that.


metal orient said:
Surely you can have the fans exhausting through the radiator? The air may be a little warmer but not much. This is slightly moot if you don't get a K series CPU, as a stock cooler is fine for them.


You can; swings and roundabouts. Either you have ambient air cooling your CPU and then warmer internal temps, or you have warmer air cooling your CPU and have a less efficient cooling system. The difference isn't huge, something in the order of 2 - 4 deg C.
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March 15, 2012 3:34:03 PM

gingbeard said:
Many thanks, I will take a look into that.



Damn xD I love the look of that vengeance RAM!



I have a ASUS P8H61-M PRO REV 3.0 Intel H61 Motherboard - LGA1155 socket (Brand New) sat on my desk at work. Would this be any good? One of the downsides I see is that it cannot support 1600 RAM


The Vengeance RAM does look cool - but not only do the tall heat sinks not do anything, they will make it a huge pain to install any aftermarket cooling system you plan to buy.

I wouldn't use the H61 board if I could help it - mATX is never good for a full desktop build due to limited expansion for HDs and video cards.
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March 15, 2012 3:36:29 PM

Ditch that 2500k and get a 2100 sandy or wait for the i5 ivybridge and use the integrated graphics
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March 15, 2012 3:48:31 PM

badjad05 said:
Ditch that 2500k and get a 2100 sandy or wait for the i5 ivybridge and use the integrated graphics


A "2100 sandy" ?
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March 15, 2012 3:52:11 PM

2100 Sandy-bridge, lol. But the 2500k really isn't worth the money for your CPU uses.
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March 15, 2012 3:53:23 PM

Also, why would you need a gen3 board? I think you can cheap out on the MOBO a little bit more to save some $$$
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March 15, 2012 4:05:17 PM

badjad05 said:
Also, why would you need a gen3 board? I think you can cheap out on the MOBO a little bit more to save some $$$


I guess I'm after possibilities and longevity.

I could go for a cheap MOBO and the i3-2100.. But what if my needs change - I think that's how I'm thinking :) 

Also - would the gen3 board/i5 not last longer in terms of futureproofing?
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March 15, 2012 5:36:18 PM

badjad05 said:
2100 Sandy-bridge, lol. But the 2500k really isn't worth the money for your CPU uses.


Maybes yes, maybes no. A dual-core system would certainly do the job, but the OP also wants future-proofing. There's about £60 difference between the i3 and i5 CPUs, so since it's well within budget I'd recommend going for it. Incidentally, the i3-2120 is the better CPU, if you're going for an i3. :) 

Also of note are the G630 and G840 CPUs. They're Pentium Sandybridge CPUs...not overclockable, but very good CPUs for a budget system. Just mentioning it in case you do want to go down that route. But, for a future-proof system that'll last circa 5 years, the i5-2500K is the way to go. Intel should release Ivybridge in a month or so, but they'll be pricier.

badjad05 said:
Also, why would you need a gen3 board? I think you can cheap out on the MOBO a little bit more to save some $$$


Do you mean the Gen 3 P8Z68 Asus mobo, or the Revision 3 boards? If the former, then it'll offer some good overclocking features...arguably worthwhile with an i5-2500K, not so much with an i3 or Pentium. If the latter...are you nuts? ;) 
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March 21, 2012 4:25:07 PM

That all looks fine. If you can, go for the 448 core version of the 560Ti as it's a better card; the standard 560Ti is a cracking card too, though. I'd also go for the H80 over the H60 as it has better performance.

If you want to future-proof your system, then yes...for an extra £70, it's definitely worth it. However, the i3-2120 is a capable CPU for a gaming system although more at the budget end. If you did go for the i3-2120, get a cheaper Z68 mobo as you won't need all the overclocking options your current selection gives you (i3-2120 doesn't overclock).
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March 28, 2012 9:05:14 AM

Thanks all - Best Answer had to go the diellur for all of his help. The PC is now built and running like a dream. If you are interested in pics - I will happily post some.

Well this sucks - page doesnt do anything when I hit "best answer"? It prompts the "am I sure" and thats it?
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March 28, 2012 10:41:24 AM

Thanks very much. :)  If you're having problems, let a moderator know via PM (the mod list is on the main forum page beside each forum section).

What is your final spec list?
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