Looking to build a new gaming PC. Built a few in the past, but due to not having much room, and my company providing a laptop, buying a PS3 etc etc Iv'e not touched PC's in a whilst.
Now moving into a bigger place and new job, I thought Its a good time to get one.
I'm a bit out of touch with modern hardware, so some recommendations would be great.
Approximate Purchase Date: Don't care.
Budget Range: (500-600)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, FPS, MMO's, ETC ETC, watching movies, listening to music, web browsing.
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, headphones, speakers, monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Don't care
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: No / Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Not sure?
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200
- I mainly play Battlefield 3 on the PS3, but I miss the 64 player action, so looking to run BF3 and play on a 64 player server without trouble.
- Does not really need to support dual monitors.
- I don't really care about the looks of the case, so the cheaper the better possibly?
- Good sound card or on board sound to support either surround sound headphones or stereo speakers.
- Don't care about 3D.
- Preferable something which I don't need to over clock.
- I'm patient so boot times don't bother me, so no need for a SSD, unless it's really needed to improve gaming?
- Preferable a PSU that's not going to go pound my electricity bill.
- Quiet if possible
i3-2120 (good enough for battlefield)
ASUS P8H61 LE/CSM
Corsair Vengence 8 GB
Factal Core 3000 (the same as a Antec Gaming Series one but has one more fan and is a better quality)
Corsair HX650 or you can get a cheaper PSU
Corsair Force GT 128GB SSD (improve game load time and HDD price are high so you can get that a lot later)
ASUS 560 or XFX 6870 DD
What is preferable? The I5-1500k or 13-2120? Iv'e had a look at both, both at similar clocks speed. The I5 is 4 cores, without hyper-threading, whilst the I3 is two cores with hyper-threading. What's the best option for gaming? I'm more inclined to go for the I5 though.
Is there a huge difference between the P8H61 and P8Z68 motherboards? Looking at the X68, but if there is not a huge different, I may just go for the cheaper option.
Also looking at the 560TI? Is the ASUS version recommended over others?
H61 = no overclocking, no sata 3 / usb 3 (in general) etc.
Z68 = top end including full overclocking potential, + full support of sata 3 and usb 3.
Basically, with an i3 2120 there's no point getting a Z68 as you can't overclock the CPU anyway. And an i5 2500k is wasted on anything less than a Z68 / P67 - if you don't want to overclock you can save a little and get the i5 2500 / 2400 (non K series) as they can't be OC'd and stick it on a H61 board.
Alternatively, if you need sata 3 for full speed HDD's / SSD's you can look at a H67 which is in the middle of H61 / Z68. H67 cannot overclock, but supports sata 3 and usb 3.
As for saving money on the PSU / case, yes you could knock the case down to something cheaper, but you would sacrifice the build quality, cable management and probably low noise levels that fractal design offer!
Finally, never skimp on the PSU, it is by far one of the most important parts - without a decent one your whole system could struggle under load while playing games, and if the PSU blows you have a high chance of losing most of the rest of the components with it.
The system above looks nice, you can easily boost the 2500k to around 4-4.5GHz on a Z68 by possibly only needing to change the multiplier, don't hold me to it - OC'ing sandybridge cpu's is a lot easier than older C2Q's anyway, so even if you can't just adjust the multiplier, is should still be very simple.
An i3 on a H61 / H67 will easily play the games you want, but obviously not as well as the i5 - however you could save £100+ by going down the i3 route.
Not a lot of cost difference, the main benefit is a smaller case - but if space / portability isn't an issue for you then you may as well stick with a normal ATX case to keep your options open.
I only mentioned it as a lot of the cheaper H61 / H67 boards are mATX, and to put one of those in a full size case would be a waste.
You need to really decide what you want your machine to do! If you decide on a H61/H67 with an i3 you can save a bit on the mobo and go with an mATX board, if you want Z68 and size isn't a problem, you may as well stick with full ATX.
I'm currently looking at the Fractal Desire R3, the Fractal Core and Antec does not have USB 3.0 support. The Antec is far to beasty looking for me as well. The Define is much nicer look for me. My only issue is the door at the front. It looks like it's got inlets down the side of the door for the front fans, but bit concerned the door will be an issue for cooling when closed.
Any recommendations for a good case for below £50, at a push £60-70.