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Gaming PC - £600-700

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February 27, 2012 4:59:37 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Month or Two

Budget Range: £600-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Downloading, Internet Usage

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Possibly not CPU or Case

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Scan.co.uk / Any known UK Retailer

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Looking for as quiet as possible with good cooling. Not fussed about bling.


Bit of an odd one this. I'm thinking of doing a new build, but looking where possible to re-use some parts from my existing setup.

As the above mentions, looking to build me new gaming rig. At the moment I'm playing The Old Republic whilst I wait for ME3 but obviously its gonna be used for a lot of different games; ranging from Skyrim to Minecraft via Battlefield 3 and back again.

I've done a little bit of research, read reviews and asked for friends advice and I've come up with a list of what I think would be a good buy.

Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Mid Tower Computer Case (My current Case - Don't think it needs changing but please advise if you think it does).
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-300-three-hundred-...

FSP PPA7001602 Aurum Gold AU-700 700W Power Supply (PSU)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/700w-psu-fsp-aurum-gold-...

Asus Crosshair IV Formula AMD 890FX AM3 Motherboard
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-crosshair-iv-formul...

AMD Phenom™ II X4 955 (My current CPU - Don't think it needs changing but please advise if you think it does).

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/arctic-cooling-freezer-7...

Corsair Memory 8GB Vengeance Jet Black Low Profile 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-%282x4gb%29-corsair-...

MSI GeForce GTX560Ti 448 Core Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC NVIDIA Graphics Card - 1280MB
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280mb-msi-gtx560ti-twin...

I don't need a HDD or Optical Drives, just gonna use the ones I already have. I'm intrigued by the idea of a SSD though, would than benefit me for gaming?

Thanks for your time guys.

More about : gaming 600 700

February 27, 2012 6:10:04 PM

I would stay away from the AMD's. The following system starts with an i3-2100 series cpu. If you don't need the hdd and optical drive take those out of this build. If you prefer your case substitute it. For an SSD 64gb is plenty but go with Crucial, Intel or Samsung atm.

Update

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
Model #:CHALLENGER
Item #:N82E16811147153
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$59.99 -$5.00 Instant $54.99


Update

ASRock Z68M/USB3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

ASRock Z68M/USB3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Z68M/USB3
Item #:N82E16813157270
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$94.99 -$10.00 Instant $84.99


Update

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Model #:100315L
Item #:N82E16814102908
Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card

Note (Add)
$149.99 $149.99


Update

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified ...
Model #:p 1-550S-XXB9
Item #:N82E16817207013
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail in Rebate Card

Note (Add)
$69.99 $69.99


Update

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
Model #:BX80623I32120
Item #:N82E16819115077
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$127.99 $127.99


Update

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL
Model #:F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL
Item #:N82E16820231425
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$25.99 $25.99


Update

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:ST500DM002
Item #:N82E16822148767
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$84.99 $84.99


Update

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Model #:D RW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Item #:N82E16827135204
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$20.99 $20.99


Update

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Model #:GFC-02050
Item #:N82E16832116986
Return Policy:Software Standard Return Policy
In Stock

Note (Add)
$99.99 $99.99
Subtotal: $719.91
February 27, 2012 6:26:37 PM

If you've already got some hardware it probably is better to reuse it unless you can increase your budget.

The 890FX chipset does not support nvidia SLI and Asus haven't done anything to get the Crosshair IV Formula certified either. So if you do want the option to SLI then you'll need an AM3+ motherboard with the 990FX chipset.

I disagree with the FSP Aurum 700W on the basis that it is not [very unlikely to be] quiet. This is because the fan is a Protechnic Electric MGA12012HF-A25 which has a maximum speed of 2500RPM. Which wouldn't be so bad if it never spun that fast. However according to this review it starts off at 1300RPM and gets over 2000RPM by the time it reaches a 400W load. It is one of those cases where the theory that higher efficiency means quieter does not hold true.

This would be better:
XFX Pro 750W XXX Edition 80Plus Silver Modular £90
http://www.ebuyer.com/191824-xfx-750w-black-edition-mod...
Which is slightly better because the fan it uses (ADDA ADN512HB-A91) has a slighty slower maximum speed of 2100RPM, but according to another review it doesn't go above 1800RPM and stays below 1000RPM until a load of 600W.

An SSD doesn't really benefit gaming outside loading times. However using an SSD means that the mechanical HDD has to do less work which potentially means less noise.

Phenom II X4 955s need a fair amount of cooling, I think I would trust this over the Freezer 7 Pro, especially to do so quietly:
Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 13 £24
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/arctic-cooling-freezer-1...
Maximum fan speed of 1350RPM helps with the quietness aspect.

I would be looking to substitute an AMD Radeon 7800 series card for quieter performance.
Related resources
February 27, 2012 6:45:04 PM

Thanks for replying, guys.

I don't plan to SLI / Crossfire. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) to be a massive source of potential problems. I'm quite happy to stick with one GFX card, so will the mobo I've chosen suffice, or is it overkill?

Am I right in thinking ath the 7800 hasn't been released yet? How will they fair against the 448 core 560ti? I have to say, I've got a bit of a thing for the latter card!

With regards to RAM, is 8GB enough? Should I shoot for 16? I am running (and will be on this build) 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium.

How do SSDs actually work? Do you just install games onto them or do you install your OS or what? Noob question I know but I've never really encountered one.

I just want to clarify too that my CPU will suffice. Don't want to go bottlenecking anything.

Finally, I don't want to over emphasise on the noise levels, I just want something that doesn't sound like a train and keeps my parents awake at night! :D 

February 27, 2012 6:55:41 PM

XiahouPing said:
Thanks for replying, guys.

I don't plan to SLI / Crossfire. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) to be a massive source of potential problems. I'm quite happy to stick with one GFX card, so will the mobo I've chosen suffice, or is it overkill? I agree on not sli/xfire so you should be fine

Am I right in thinking ath the 7800 hasn't been released yet? How will they fair against the 448 core 560ti? I have to say, I've got a bit of a thing for the latter card! Have you use the Anandtech bench software? lets you compare products if they have been launched and tested

With regards to RAM, is 8GB enough? Should I shoot for 16? I am running (and will be on this build) 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium. 8gb is plenty

How do SSDs actually work? Do you just install games onto them or do you install your OS or what? Noob question I know but I've never really encountered one. They are used as boot drives and for key software. They increase the speed of loading but don't have any impact on how fast the software runs.

I just want to clarify too that my CPU will suffice. Don't want to go bottlenecking anything. An i3-2120 will out perform the 955 ND give you an upgrade path. The 955 is a dead end

Finally, I don't want to over emphasise on the noise levels, I just want something that doesn't sound like a train and keeps my parents awake at night! :D 

February 27, 2012 7:38:21 PM

Thanks for the reply, QuietPC.

Quote:
Have you use the Anandtech bench software? lets you compare products if they have been launched and tested

I've just checked their site. They haven't done the 7800 or the 448 Core 560ti (not that I can see anyway).

Quote:
They are used as boot drives and for key software. They increase the speed of loading but don't have any impact on how fast the software runs.

So I would install perhaps my OS and my the game I play the most, for example? Stupid question, I know.

Quote:
An i3-2120 will out perform the 955 ND give you an upgrade path. The 955 is a dead end

I guess then I could go for the i5 2500 3.3GHz in the future.





February 27, 2012 10:03:10 PM

XiahouPing said:
Thanks for replying, guys.

I don't plan to SLI / Crossfire. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) to be a massive source of potential problems. I'm quite happy to stick with one GFX card, so will the mobo I've chosen suffice, or is it overkill?

Am I right in thinking ath the 7800 hasn't been released yet? How will they fair against the 448 core 560ti? I have to say, I've got a bit of a thing for the latter card!

With regards to RAM, is 8GB enough? Should I shoot for 16? I am running (and will be on this build) 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium.

How do SSDs actually work? Do you just install games onto them or do you install your OS or what? Noob question I know but I've never really encountered one.

I just want to clarify too that my CPU will suffice. Don't want to go bottlenecking anything.

Finally, I don't want to over emphasise on the noise levels, I just want something that doesn't sound like a train and keeps my parents awake at night! :D 

Yes it kind of is overkill if you aren't going to add a second graphics card. If you are not going to add a second graphics card then going even beyond 650W for the PSU is overkill.

Yes you are right that the 7800 series hasn't been released yet. I would expect them to be released in the next month or two. I expect the 7800 series to at least match the GTX 560 TI 448 Core in terms of performance but they are very likely to be significantly less power hungry, hot and noisy, not only because of the smaller manufacturing process (28nm vs 45nm) but because AMD have consistently for the past two generations (at least) been more energy efficient than Nvidia.

The GPU is far more important than the CPU in gaming (outside of isolated games which really do need a good CPU), the only benchmark I've seen (from a very quick look) where the i3-2120 looked significantly better than the 955 is in Metro2033. So you can definitely do without upgrading CPU if you want in the short/medium term.
February 29, 2012 3:15:17 PM

Hi Silvune, thanks for the input. Think I'm gonna hold of for a month and wait for the 7800 series to come out and see where they stand in the grand scheme of things. Gonna hold off on the CPU too unless a deal comes round for an i5 2500 or something.

Thanks all for the input.
!