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£500 build (4 SC2 and media center)

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February 21, 2012 8:48:52 PM

Hi all, I would really appreciate help on a new build. It's been a long time since I left the scene and the last build I made was an athlon X2.. so everything is really different now and I feel kind of lost. Currently I only have a laptop which I use for work, since I need linux on it and it has an integrated graphics (sandy bridge) needless to say my efforts to play (quake live) haven't got me satisfied.

So here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP i.e. in 1 month time

Budget Range: up to £500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Playing Starcraft 2 (must get 60fps please)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor and OS.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any(in the UK)

Country: The UK

Parts Preferences: NVIDIA GPU (will be using cuda for coreavc)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Saving money is important here, to be clear my three priorities are:
- Playing Starcraft 2 at full res 60fps guaranteed. GPU favored.
- Playing 1080p movies at 60fps (google for avisynth frame doubling). CPU cores are favored here.
- As silent as possible.

Thank you for your help.
February 21, 2012 9:21:08 PM

As per these links: Benchmark Results: StarCraft II and Overclocking Benchmarks

Your Starcraft 2 would have a HUGE increase in fps if you go for an intel i5.
AMD cpus can't reach the performance even if highly overclocked (a stock i5-2400 have about 25% more performance in this game at 1080p than a FX-8120@4.2ghz)

Going for this route would make a silent cpu cooler too, since the stock cooler is enough.

Since I don't know any UK website for PC I will write here a sketch of your computer:

CPU: Intel i5-2400 (it's the MINIMUM since you want starcraft 2, don't even consider any AMD cpu, just check the benchmarks again if you don't remember) or i5-2500k if you can spend the money
Mobo: Any Z68 (both cpus) or H67 (for i5-2400 only) motherboards. You need to get these since this chipsets will be compatible with the incoming Ivybridge
Ram: As per sandybridge architecture you won't have any gains going for ram faster than DDR3-1333 (just google for sandy-bridge architecture to check that)
You can start with single chip 4GB DDR3-1333, or go for 2x4GB DDR3-1333 if you can.

Since I need to go out right now (wife is calling) I can just help with this, I'll be back asap to check more benchmarks and see a nice VGA.
February 21, 2012 10:05:44 PM

Pretty much the best i can do, if you wanted to get an i5 quad core you'd need to find £50 which could be done a few ways including: getting a cheaper board without latest connections (USB3 or SATA3), a cheaper case, 4GB RAM, cheaper GPU although this seems counter-productive to me.

Both builds from Aria.co.uk

Build 1
Intel i3 2100 £ 89
Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V £48
8GB Mushkin BlackLine 1600 c9 £35
MSi GTX 560 £120
500GB Seagate £58
XFX Core 550W £52
Fractal Core 3000 £48
DVDRW £13
Total cost (with VAT and P&P) £473.48

Build 2
Intel i5 2300 £ 140
Gigabyte GA-H61MA-D3V £48
8GB Mushkin Silverline 1333 c9 £33
MSi GTX 560 £120
500GB Seagate £58
XFX Core 550W £52
Xigmatek Asgard £28
DVDRW £13
Total cost (with VAT and P&P) £502.06

Turns out just changing the case to a cheaper one was enough.
Related resources
February 22, 2012 5:43:51 AM

Starcraft 2 is such a cpu hog.. Thanks for the heads up.

Metal Orient is the 550W PS enough tough?

Thanks.
February 22, 2012 7:08:03 AM

More than enough, my friend is running a 560Ti and a 2500k on 520W.
February 25, 2012 6:42:01 PM

Ok just ordered the last parts. I went with the Pentium G840 which from what I saw offers the same level of performance for Starcraft II and Skyrim which are my main interests atm.

(¯`·._.· Build Description ·._.·´¯)
GPU:
BFG Geforce GTX 295 @ 90GBP including shipping on ebay
Now I'm not really shure I made the best choice here since this card is limited to dx10.0 . From what I understood SCII doesn't use directx 11 but I don't know if directx 11 cards can process the same graphics easier. Anyway I don't mind kicking back the visuals since I prefer gameplay and I chose this card with 1920x1080 in mind. If anyone knows more details on the directx issue please clarify me.

CPU:
Intel Pentium G840 2.80GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail @ 55.22GBP
I know overclocking is very limited because of the BLCK, but can someone explain to me what exaclty is the problem, is it the cpu that can't handle it, the sata HDs?

RAM:
4GB Mushkin Blackline #991995 (1x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 15.59GBP (I don't know why this came out cheaper)
4GB Mushkin Blackline #991995 (1x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 16.68GBP

MB:
MSI Z68S-G43-G3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard @ 69.59GBP
Can switch between iGPU and dGPU so maybe good for power saving since the GTX295 is an energy hog.

PS:
750W Cooler Master GX 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply @ 63.60GBP
Single 60A on 12V to feed the GTX295.

Case:
IN WIN Dragon Slayer Black Micro-ATX Chassis w/ USB3.0 @ 53.99GBP
I really like it. Check out the video review .

So total comes under 400£ without DVD/BR and HD, which I already have..
February 25, 2012 7:01:05 PM

Just discovered a major flaw :cry:  the board might be to big for the case...
I'll see what I can do.. if anything.
February 26, 2012 9:39:08 AM

Quote:
Just discovered a major flaw :cry:  the board might be to big for the case...
I'll see what I can do.. if anything.


Return it and buy a different case, or return the ATX mobo and buy a microATX one.

Quote:
BFG Geforce GTX 295 @ 90GBP including shipping on ebay
Now I'm not really shure I made the best choice here since this card is limited to dx10.0 . From what I understood SCII doesn't use directx 11 but I don't know if directx 11 cards can process the same graphics easier. Anyway I don't mind kicking back the visuals since I prefer gameplay and I chose this card with 1920x1080 in mind. If anyone knows more details on the directx issue please clarify me.


I was looking buying a 200 series GTX as well, but i find they go for too much on ebay, as i would say happened here, but there's no denying it's potency as it's still about the same as a GTX 570 and should game happily on SCII. Afaik SCII is a DX9 game so you should have no problems.

Quote:
750W Cooler Master GX 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply @ 63.60GBP
Single 60A on 12V to feed the GTX295.


Not the greatest PSU in the world and you would be fine with a 650W PSU (like an XFX core) but it'll work well enough i suppose.

Everything else looks good.
!