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First time gaming build - ~£700-£800

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February 18, 2012 11:21:59 PM

Hi, this is my first build, I've shopped around for a while now, so I'm just checking if everything will plug together.

Approximate Purchase Date: This week
Budget Range: £700-£800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web Surfing, Movies, Encoding
Parts Not Required: Keyboard and Mouse - My MX518 should hold out for a little longer
Preferred Site for Parts: ebuyer.com
Country: UK
Parts Preferences: AMD
Overclocking: Maybe, not now, don't want to spend any extra at the moment.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, not now.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Parts Selected
Case - Casecom 6788 £27.68
PSU - Coolermaster GX 650w (Not sure if this is enough for SLI, but I'm not too interested in that at the moment to pay any extra) £59.99
Motherboard - Asus M5A99X EVO 990X Socket AM3+ 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £96.18
CPU - AMD FX-4 4100 Black Edition 4 Core 3.6Ghz Socket AM3+ 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £88.99
GPU - Asus GTX 560 Ti Battlefield 3 Edition 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card (Only ~£18 extra for BF3, may as well) £185.94
Memory - G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V £40.00
HDD - Samsung HD204UI Spinpoint F4 2TB Hard Drive SATA 5400RPM 32MB Cache - OEM (OEM - I need to purchase some SATA cables separately, right?) £105.04
Optical Drive - LiteOn iHAS124 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black £14.99
Wifi - TP-Link Wireless-N150 PCIe card (Can't use ethernet this side of the house :(  ) £9.58
System - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM) £70.85
Monitor - Benq G2220HD Full HD TFT LCD 21.5" DVI-D Monitor (Does not come with DVI cable) £82.91
2 * SATA 2.0 (Right Angle)(Should cover HDD and Optical drive) £1.93 each
1 * DVI-D Dual Link Replacement Cable (Will this be compatible with the DVI-I GPU output and the 24 pin (duel link?!) monitor in) £6.18
Subtotal: £788.31

Other Questions
I'm aware that some of the motherboards do not have the correct BIOS preinstalled, and is a hit and miss on whether any unit is actually compatible with the Bulldozer range of processors. Unfortunately, I don't have any AM3 socket CPUs handy, so any advice on a course of action to take if the BIOS needs upgrading would be a great help
I've looked around and it seems having an antistatic wristband isn't essential in the building process as long as I'm careful, however if you have any differing opinions I'm open to advice.

I've been quite looking forward to the step up from a 2400XT, which can surprisingly run Skyrim at a semi-playable frame rate on lowest settings.
Since this is my first build, please excuse any rookie mistakes I may have made, thanks a lot in advance for your help. :) 
February 19, 2012 5:49:49 AM

Welcome to Tom's, My opinion:

Can't say i like the case, i would spend a more and get an antec 300 but then i can be a case snob. It does at least come with a fan.

Coolermaster are not recommended for PSU's, it also won't be able to SLI 2 560Ti's you'd want a 750W unit for that. Look for corsair, antec, xfx and seasonic. Johnnyguru.com is your friend here.

I like the motherboard, and I would have chosen it for an AMD build. Some would argue it is abit expensive when lower cost boards will get the job done.

I'd be interested to know why you chose the bulldozer processor.

No problems with a 560 Ti, what i was going to get until a great deal came up for a 6950.

RAM is a bit expensive i wouldn't pay £40 for RAM, This set will be fine. http://www.ebuyer.com/342352-crucial-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-160...

HDD is a little slow for a boot drive, these days 500GB 7200rpm drives are recommended (used to be 1TB before Thailand got flooded). And no your motherboard comes with 4 SATA3 cables.

Nothing wrong with your DVDRW

Can't comment on how effective this receiver would be.

Turns out OEM licences aren't strictly lega if you buy it and use it personally, but honestly it's not a problem.

I do like this monitor, again it was shortlisted in my build as it's crazy cheap but gets at least decent reviews, does sound like you'll need a DVI cable which is a bit shabby.

Won't need extra SATA cables

Looks fine, i'm sure you've read the WIKI on DVI, and for that cable it's not a problem.



Can't help you with the BIOS i'm afraid, but i'd have thought you'd get the latest BIOS on the CD in the box?

I didn't use an antistatic wristband, just remember to keep your case earthed and touch it regularly. Earth it by installing the PSU, plug it into the mains but don't turn it on.

It will be a significant stepup from a 2400XT, i came from integrated graphics to a 6950, incredible difference in power.
February 19, 2012 11:11:20 AM

Some suggestions for PSUs which are better than the GX 650:

XFX Pro 550W Core Edition 80Plus Bronze £55
http://www.ebuyer.com/264380-xfx-550w-core-edition-pro-...

Antec TruePower New TPN-550 80Plus Bronze Modular £60
http://www.ebuyer.com/159918-antec-truepower-new-550w-m...
Has quite a lot of hardwired cables, so if you want a more completely modular unit then this is more completely modular, however cables are fairly short at 45cm on the main cables:
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80Plus £60
http://www.ebuyer.com/174182-ocz-modxstream-pro-600w-ps...

XFX Pro 650W Core Edition 80Plus Bronze £60
http://www.ebuyer.com/241554-xfx-pro-650w-core-edition-...
One of the few 650W PSUs with enough connectors to SLI GTX 560 Tis.

It is actually possible to SLI GTX 560 Tis on a 650W PSU however on a heavy load you are likely to be pushing the PSU to ~80% of its rated capacity, which isn't really a problem, but most people don't like to do this. The sort of 650W PSUs that could be loaded to 80% and still remain cool and quiet are usually more expensive than the "entry level" 750W PSUs.
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February 19, 2012 7:07:44 PM

Thanks for your replies, I've made a few amendments to my current build.

Regarding the case, I'm sticking with the Casecom for now, unless the Antec 300 is certainly worth the extra £17 (I'm attempting to tighten my budget a little)
Cheers to both of you for the PSU advice, I've chosen the XFX Pro 650W Core Edition since it seems more than satisfactory for my requirements at the moment.
Glad to hear the motherboard's okay, it is a little expensive however it seems that it is the cheapest mobo in that range capable of SLI, whilst I'm not certain I'll SLI in the future, I'm happy to spend a little extra for it now.
I've chosen the Bulldozer processor due to the fairly low price combined well as a £10 cashback offer, and it's 3.6Ghz clock speed. I'm not at all knowledgeable on CPUs however that seemed like a fairly good deal. I have read that the Bulldozer processors aren't great for gaming; would a AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition 3.3GHz be more appropriate for my needs?
The Kingston memory seems all good, switched to that.
I've decided that a 2TB drive is overkill for my needs at the moment, I've downsized to a Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM which should be fine for now.

Forgot the motherboard came with SATA cables, thanks!
I've seen reviewers claiming that the manufacturer have upgraded the BIOs for them, although hopefully that isn't a problem I'll run into.

Amended Components List
Case - Casecom 6788 £27.68
PSU - XFX Pro 650W Core Edition PSU - Single Rail 9x SATA 4x PCI-E £59.58
Motherboard - Asus M5A99X EVO 990X Socket AM3+ 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £96.18
CPU - AMD FX-4 4100 Black Edition 4 Core 3.6Ghz Socket AM3+ 8MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £88.99 (- £10 rebate)
GPU - Asus GTX 560 Ti Battlefield 3 Edition 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card (Only ~£18 extra for BF3, may as well) £185.94
Memory - Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V £29.00
HDD - Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache £65.00
Optical Drive - LiteOn iHAS124 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black £14.99
Wifi - TP-Link Wireless-N150 PCIe card £9.58
System - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM) £70.85
Monitor - Benq G2220HD Full HD TFT LCD 21.5" DVI-D Monitor £82.91
1 * DVI-D Dual Link Replacement Cable £6.18
Total: £666.43 (With possible £10 rebate)

Again, thanks a lot for your help, much appreciated :) 
February 19, 2012 9:15:12 PM

I've been considering an Intel build, however initially chose the AMD hardware since I know next to nothing about Intel architecture. The i3 and mobo both seem pretty decent, so I've swapped the FX-4 4100 and M5A99X Evo out for them.

Amended Components List
Case - Casecom 6788 £27.68
PSU - XFX Pro 650W Core Edition PSU - Single Rail 9x SATA 4x PCI-E £59.58
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 Z68 Socket 1155 7.1 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard £85.99
CPU - Intel Core i3 2100 3.10GHz Socket 1155 3MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £89.72
GPU - Asus GTX 560 Ti Battlefield 3 Edition 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card (Only ~£18 extra for BF3, may as well) £185.94
Memory - Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V £29.00
HDD - Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache £65.00
Optical Drive - LiteOn iHAS124 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black £14.99
Wifi - TP-Link Wireless-N150 PCIe card £9.58
System - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM) £70.85
Monitor - Benq G2220HD Full HD TFT LCD 21.5" DVI-D Monitor £82.91
1 * DVI-D Dual Link Replacement Cable £6.18
Total: £727.82

Thanks again for your help, I presume that all of the other components will work with the new motherboard?
!