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£400 Budget Gaming PC

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February 13, 2012 1:02:52 PM

Recently I have decided to jump into PCs and I would like to build my own. As you can see by the title I am on a very small budget considering some people spend up to a few thousand pounds on a new computer. I would primarily use the machine for gaming - In particular RPGs such as The Witcher 2, Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Also, I have recently started playing Tribes Ascend beta on my old, rubbish PC and its still fun despite having to play at 800x600 at minimal details to get more than 10fps :p 

I would like some assistance from the community regarding what parts to buy and whether the system should be intel or AMD based.

Approximate Purchase Date: By the end of February

Budget Range: £400 - keep in mind I already have a hard drive

System Usage: Primarily gaming, otherwise internet surfing and watching videos, I would like to play games at 1920x1080 as this is my monitor's native resolution

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (Amazon.co.uk, DABS.com, Ebuyer.com)

CPU: Either i3 2100 (http://www.dabs.com/products/intel-core-i3-2100-3-10ghz...)

or Phenom ii x4 960T (http://www.dabs.com/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-960t-3-0g...)

The i3 is a good dual core as far as I am aware and will surpass the 960T in applications that do not utilize more than 2 cores. However, many games are now using more that 2 cores so I am on the fence between these two processors. Both can be found for around £90 on DABS and Ebuyer Also, I would not be overclocking in fear of breaking the CPU - I have no experience with it

GPU: Either GTX 550ti (£95 http://www.dabs.com/products/evga-geforce-gtx-550-ti-95...)

or HD Radeon 6850 (£115 http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra...)

Also, I have heard that the new 7770 will be released on the 15th so consider that aswell.

Motherboard: If Intel, P8H61 (£48 http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-p8h61-m-le-rev-3-0-lg...)

If AMD, M5A78L-M LX (£38 http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-m5a78l-m-lx-am3--amd-...)

Both Basic motherboards, support 1333Mhz ram neither SLI or Crossfire capable but that is not a probelm, open to other suggestions.

Case: Antec 300 (£45 http://www.dabs.com/products/antec-300-three-hundred-ca...)
solid case, "Antec One" is a new case which is about the same price but I have have yet to see it at any UK delivering sites yet. Open to other sugestions

RAM: Not sure here, so many possibilities, open to suggestions (preferably under £30)

PSU: Corsair Builder series 500w (£40 http://www.dabs.com/products/ocz-technology-stealthxstr...) Good PSU has a 6 pin PCI-E for the GPU Open to other suggestions


CPU Cooler: Considering I will not be overclocking, I will not require an additional CPU cooler, I can use the stock cooler.

Thank you for reading and all help would be very much appreciated like if I should change certain parts or go with AMD/Intel :D 

More about : 400 budget gaming

February 13, 2012 1:15:40 PM

Get the HD6850 and i3 2100, don't get RAM running at over 1.65V as SB doesn't support it and 4-8GB will be fine.
Good PSU
Could probably save £10 or so on the case Casecom K59388 is only £30 on ebuyer and comes with 2 fans, screwless drive bays and lots of space.
February 13, 2012 1:18:28 PM

Robi_g said:
Get the HD6850 and i3 2100, don't get RAM running at over 1.65V as SB doesn't support it and 4-8GB will be fine.
Good PSU
Could probably save £10 or so on the case Casecom K59388 is only £30 on ebuyer and comes with 2 fans, screwless drive bays and lots of space.


OK, thanks, that looks like a good case :)  Any thoughts on if I sould wait for the 7770 thoguh?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 13, 2012 1:30:44 PM

Thom_C said:
OK, thanks, that looks like a good case :)  Any thoughts on if I sould wait for the 7770 thoguh?

Probably, the newer architecture will be better for newer games. Provided it is indeed built on GCN rather than a cut-down Cayman or Barts chip... It'll be announced this week.

And your money is much better spent on the i3. That way you can upgrade to an i7 years down the road if you like. Also it beats every AMD CPU in any game.

Go ahead and get 8GB RAM, it's very cheap right now.
February 13, 2012 1:37:10 PM

jessterman21 said:
Probably, the newer architecture will be better for newer games. Provided it is indeed built on GCN rather than a cut-down Cayman or Barts chip... It'll be announced this week.

And your money is much better spent on the i3. That way you can upgrade to an i7 years down the road if you like. Also it beats every AMD CPU in any game.

Go ahead and get 8GB RAM, it's very cheap right now.


Ok, useful information, thanks a bunch :D  ! Regarding the ram though, I only have a 32-Bit windows 7 so 4gb is the maximum I think. Would 8gb provide a significant boost in performance in games compared to 4gb?
a b 4 Gaming
February 13, 2012 1:43:41 PM

^ No.
February 13, 2012 1:46:41 PM

Quote:
inside. Won't need a wire


I'm sorry, what? :??: 
a b 4 Gaming
February 13, 2012 1:47:08 PM

Thom_C said:
Ok, useful information, thanks a bunch :D  ! Regarding the ram though, I only have a 32-Bit windows 7 so 4gb is the maximum I think. Would 8gb provide a significant boost in performance in games compared to 4gb?

Ah, yes - you'll hit the 32-bit limit for RAM at 4GB. No it doesn't, unless you're playing very, very intensive games.
February 13, 2012 1:50:00 PM

jessterman21 said:
Ah, yes - you'll hit the 32-bit limit for RAM at 4GB. No it doesn't, unless you're playing very, very intensive games.


Ok, thanks again :) 
February 13, 2012 1:54:22 PM

Ive been researching this same area very heavily.
Choosing between these very chips all week long.
dozens of youtube benchmark videos.

I would choose the 960t and 6850. without a doubt.
I ended up going with the FX 6100, if you cant afford that, I would have ended up picking the amd 970. but next on the list was in fact the 960t.

for me the cards came down to gtx 460 oc (but the 192bit downgrade) made me go back to the 6850.

Luckly I was able to throw 40 bucks more into it and go from the 960t - 550ti to
the fx 6100 - radeon 6850 combo. because I specifically want stable framerates in larger 64 player battlefield 3.
Otherwise it would be a tossup between 6100 and amd x4 970.
between 130-150 for all of these parts on newegg atm.
February 13, 2012 2:03:26 PM

robcardiv said:
Ive been researching this same area very heavily.
Choosing between these very chips all week long.
dozens of youtube benchmark videos.

I would choose the 960t and 6850. without a doubt.
I ended up going with the FX 6100, if you cant afford that, I would have ended up picking the amd 970. but next on the list was in fact the 960t.

for me the cards came down to gtx 460 oc (but the 192bit downgrade) made me go back to the 6850.

Luckly I was able to throw 40 bucks more into it and go from the 960t - 550ti to
the fx 6100 - radeon 6850 combo. because I specifically want stable framerates in larger 64 player battlefield 3.
Otherwise it would be a tossup between 6100 and amd x4 970.
between 130-150 for all of these parts on newegg atm.


How does the 6100 perform in games other than BF3 - it's a 6 core, right? Although I said, I wouldn't overclock, the motherboard I mentioned can unlock the 5th and 6th cores which are in the 960t. Unfortunately, newegg doesn't ship to UK, where I live, otherwise the build would be significantly cheaper :( 
February 13, 2012 2:56:36 PM

jessterman21 said:
The i3 beats every AMD CPU in every game. Don't waste your money.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...


The performance between the i3 and i5 2400 is quite smalll aswell, no doubt because most games don't don't take advantage of more than 2 cores. i3 it is then! :wahoo: 
February 13, 2012 3:01:39 PM

32-bit and 64-bit windows keys are interchangeable.
Call microsoft and ask about it, upon confirmation you could reinstall windows with 64 bit system
February 13, 2012 3:08:04 PM

vitornob said:
32-bit and 64-bit windows keys are interchangeable.
Call microsoft and ask about it, upon confirmation you could reinstall windows with 64 bit system


That's something to consider, thanks :) 
!