Final thoughts/review on my uk build £660

So i am about to start buying
Checking my build here and see what you guys say or whether you rate it.
Its just the tower im building but need everything in it!

Case- Haf 912 - £64.55

psu - XFX 650 watt core edition £64.79

cpu - i5 - 2500 - £161.99

mobo - Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Intel Z68 - £77.99

GPU - powercolor hd 6850 - £95.99

ram - Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory Kit CL10 1.5V - £27.99

dvd-drive - Samsung SH-S222AL - £14.98

HDD - western digital 750gb 3.52 sata III 7200rpm 32mb cache - £85.12

Windows 7 - £69

total £663

overclocking no
sli/crossfire - dont mind

HDD and motherboard had 2 choosen but the discontinued them so found these but hdd is expensive and mobo seems ok?

Q.)is it all compatable
Q.) have no idea wether some parts have slightly cheaper alternatives for money saving
Q.) what would be the next gpu up? why not crossfire/sli two £60 cards to get a 2gb card with more cores etc?

any feedback or alternatives welcome

post links though please
38 answers Last reply
More about final thoughts review build 660
  1. sorry should mention uk sites please ebuyer aria scan o/c etc
  2. Gigabyte z68 is a good board and Western Digital is a solid HD maker.

    I didn't go back through each part for other changes.
  3. come on guys i want to start buying :D

    cheers raidden is ther a slightly cheaper alternative t my hdd choice
  4. I would guess so. There are still a lot of 500 GBs and even some 250 and 320 GBs on the shelf in America. Should have the same stuff in the UK most likely. As long as they are 7200 RPMs they aren't a super huge step down or anything.

    The 32 MB cache is really nice on the WD, but it isn't a deal breaker if you have to drop to 16 MBs. I would try to avoid 8 MBs though if you find any of those in the search.
  5. finally are all these parts compatable? they will all go together and fit in the case?

    and whats the next gpu up? and would it be worth it?
  6. just found this HDD is seems a clear better choice at 87p more

    Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache £85.99

    also is it worth getting the 2500 over the 2400 for £14 extra? seems i only get an extra 0.2ghz is that worth it?
  7. All the parts should work together just fine.

    The next better GPUs are
    6870 no Nvidia equivalent
    6950 or 560TI
    6970 or 570
    6990 or 580
    7970 no Nvidia equivalent

    The 6870 is probably $20 more and probably not worth it, the other steps up are probably going to be about 40 GBP each at a minimum and the 7970 is probably going to be north of 500 GBP and the performance is markedly increased for each step. If money is no object for you then just get the 7970. Otherwise, you can decide for yourself how many steps you want to pay for at 40+ GBP a pop.

    The Seagate HD you pointed out is fine too.

    As for the processor, it affects everything that the computer ever does. The 2400 is 3.1 GHZ and the 2500 is 3.3 GHZ, that is about 1/15 or ~7% more. If you think it is worth 14 GBP for ~7% more on pretty much everything you ever do, then get it. Else don't get it.

    If it was me, I would get it.
  8. cheers raidden youve defintately been a massive help to me here.

    Ill def stick with the 2500k as i found it cheaper at £156.

    also was really pleased with a 64mb cache, 1tb, hard drive for £85

    i think ill start buying and consider the gpu a bit more.

    the only other thing is the haf case i am getting has 1 * 200mm and 1 * 120mm fan is this sufficient or should i buy an extra optional 1?
  9. There is a saying in America, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Do they have that saying in the U.K.?

    A case fan is good for 1 thing only and that is to prolong the life of the internal components.

    By bringing more cold air in and more hot air out they reduce the temperatures internal to the PC. Every 10c higher in average temperatures literally halves the life of some components.

    As long as slots are available, you can pay maybe 1 or 2 GBP per 1c temperature reduction in the case. You spend maybe 10 or 20 GBP and get 10 or 20c temp reduction for many of the components.

    Kinda like paying a little bit more for your food budget so you can include 7 apples a week in your diet.

    Except that fans are more like super apples. It costs many times more than an apple, but if you eat one it covers you for a whole year. I mean literally too, one fan may buy the computer a whole year in additional lifespan.
  10. just realised that the 2500k only recognises 1333mhz ram and ive choosen a 1600mhz

    q.) should i just switch to a 1333 mhz and save a bit of cash? as i wont be overclocking as i dont want increased heat or to shorten life span of any parts. I know the mobo should allow me to change it to 1600 but i probably wont
  11. What you currently have is fine. The 2500k can use 2133 RAM if the motherboard supports it and that is what you put in there.

    Higher speed RAM causes a lot of configuration headaches, but that is about it.

    Even with 1600 RAM, you probably won't have problems with configuration, especially since it is Crucial RAM which is the best type.

    That being said, if you want to drop back to 1333 RAM, check and see if you can get this RAM part number for cheaper somewhere


    if so, get that instead if that is the route you want to take.
  12. what im saying though is from what i understand when i put the ram in it will be recognised initially as 1333 beacuse of cpu is this right?

    i then need to change it in bios settings.

    By doing this you say i will not cause any adverse problems(as long as i do it right)?

    This is intel site saying the 2500k spec saying 1066/1333mhz?
  13. I think it will recognize as 1600 right away, but I could be wrong.

    Even if it does recognize as 1333 you can do nothing and let it operate like that.

    I am not going to try to argue with what it says on Intel's website. I haven't read it myself I just know that I have seen a lot and I mean a lot of people come on here having a 2500k and 1600 RAM and none of them complained about it not working.

    That is unless they got a motherboard that wasn't capable of recognizing 1600 RAM natively or at all.

    That being said, I have never seen or heard of anyone getting the part number that I said and it not working exactly like it says it does right out of the box.
  14. so all the things in my should work as described and 'fit' together nicely?

    can you see any problems with it, i.e bottlenecking, compatability, overkill parts or later upgrade problems. for example do i need 650w or should i go 550 and use extra money for an additional fan/better gpu

    sorry im almost completely satisfied with my build and almost ready to order just like to make absolutely sure. be nice if the machine was obselete in 6 months lol.
  15. You aren't going to buy much more in the way of video cards if you drop back to a 550w. That might save you like $5 or $10 and each graphics card step up is usually about $60.

    Stepping back would probably buy you like 20% of the difference for a better video card at the most.

    I did a quick check to verify this using the same site you had for the 6850 and the 6950 there from the same brand is 176 GBP which is about $80 more.

    If you can find that in the budget all the better, but I wouldn't try to get a worse version of all the stuff you have just to try to squeeze in a 6950 instead.

    The 6850 isn't exactly a high end card. It is a very good value card priced well in relation to its power. The x9xx cards are the ones aimed at the high end crowd with a larger price increase than the performance increase they come with.

    For absolute best future proofing you would have to go with a 7970 which is like 500 GBP.

    Otherwise, you just need to accept that you got the best price/performance deal you could get your hands on and accept that it is going to fail to perform up to par faster than the 7970 will (or anything else that cost 80+ GBP more, for that matter).

    If I were you, I would not scale anything back from where it is now. Everything is high quality and the system should perform beautifully.

    That being said, after you buy it I would start saving for some of the optional fans you can install later. Lower internal temperatures increase the life of components by a lot. You could end up paying 5 GBP more and going a whole extra year before parts start failing. It really is a pretty good deal to buy fans for your case when you get the money to.

    Also, I know it is glossed over, but you may want to make sure your OS choice is legal. The System Builder OEM CDs are almost never legal for the things that people here try to use them for according to the license agreements.
  16. will def make sure what type of copy it is but its of a place many people recommend.

    I was thinking do i really need 650watt No one on this site ever sia dwhy i need so much, why not 500/550?
  17. also is the powercolor 6850 as good as others with cooling. slightly worried about size due to the heat sink and cooling of it. although silent running is nice.
  18. Have a look at this build:

    I'm guessing you're OK with the i5-2500K, even though you said in your first post you weren't wanting to the future, you could just adjust the multiplier a bit to OC to 4.0GHz and get some more life from your system.

    The GPU is my preference, and will run pretty much any game right now on high settings at 1080p (with the exception of really demanding games like BF3, but it'll still look gorgeous). You don't want to SLI, so no need to break the bank on a high-power PSU or mobo that supports it...however, if you swap the 560Ti for a 6950 then you'll be able to Crossfire later on. If that's something you're interested in, get the XFX 750W PSU to give you the wattage overhead.
  19. It is a pretty complicated subject to get into, but I will try to run down the basics of PSUs a little bit better.

    First of all, the wattage on the label is relatively meaningless. It can't be directly compared to pretty much anything and tells you very little of worth about the PSU.

    There are 450w PSUs out there that put out more power in normal operating conditions than some PSUs that say 850w on the label.

    The first thing that should ever be compared about any PSU is the brand. Some brands are known to be horrible (Diablotek, for example) and some brands are known to be extremely good (XFX, for example).

    I would feel pretty confident in saying that even the highest wattage Diablotek would put out less power than even the lowest wattage XFX.

    Secondly, PSU brands source their parts from many different places. Some companies that manufacture PSUs (like Seasonic) both make and market their own PSUs as well as manufacturing PSUs for other brands (all XFX PSUs are made by Seasonic, as well as some Corsair and Antec PSUs).

    Other brands don't do any of their own manufacturing. Corsair engineers design something and then ask for some other company to make it. The two top companies they ask for this are Seasonic and Channel Well Technology.

    There are many different OEMs that do the actual manufacturing. Seasonic, Channel Well, FSP, Sparkle, Andyson, Topower (now out of business), 3Y, Super Flower, Delta, Enermax, and many more.

    Some of these OEMs are better than others. FSP will make any PSU design they are contracted to make for anybody regardless of how horrible it will perform in people's computers. Seasonic will only take designs that are going to perform tremendously well in the average computer.

    In general, you can get by just fine if you investigate every PSU that you buy and ensure that the OEM is Seasonic.

    You can short cut this even more by only buying the XFX and Seasonic brand PSUs, because Seasonic is the only OEM for these brands.

    Next, you need to understand that internal heat affects PSU efficiency and the ability of a PSU to do its most basic job.

    Every 1c increase in temperatures inside the PSU causes the maximum wattage it can provide to decrease. This reduction is pretty well linear. You can expect 10c higher temperatures to reduce the wattage 10x the amount of a 1c increase in temperatures.

    A PSU might only be able to provide half the power at 40c as it could at 20c. At 60c it might be further halved in relation to 40c.

    The quality of the internal components used makes a big difference in the sorts of heat that a PSU needs to hit before it can't provide its stated wattage anymore.

    For many brands like Diablotek, if you are at room temperature then you are already much higher than the temperature that you would need to have to deliver the stated wattage.

    Seasonic OEM PSUs, on the other hand, use better components and they can provide all the wattage they list on the box at room temperature. Indeed at room temperature they can provide much MORE wattage than what is stated on the label.

    Only after you evaluate this far can you even begin to compare wattages on labels.

    If you kept up so far you should have a good idea why:
    1) You shouldn't put a lot of brand PSUs in your computer regardless of the wattage they say on the package or the price of the PSU (Diablotek, for instance)
    2) Why you should take Seasonic OEM PSUs over other OEMs
    3) The wattage on the label really doesn't tell you much about the PSU.

    If you control all the above factors then you still need to know even more to decide whether, say, an XFX 550w or an XFX 650w is right for you.

    Firstly, you need to know about how load affects efficiency.

    Say you have a PSU that is 90% efficient at 50% load and 80% efficient at 100% load (common'ish approx).

    If you draw 500w from this PSU and that is a 50% load (as if the PSU were capable of 1000w at room temperature) then you would be pulling 500w / 0.9 watts from the wall (556w).

    If you drew the same 500w from your PSU and it was only capable of 500w at room temperature (100% load @ 80% efficiency) then you would be pulling 500w / 0.8 from the wall (625w).

    It goes without saying that 556w is better for your power bills than 625w is.

    The PSU would be giving the same 500w to the motherboard, video card, and such, and all the overage would be wasted as heat inside the PSU.

    With the PSU pulling 500w out of 1000w max, that would be a wastage of 56w. With the PSU pulling 500w out of 500w max, that would be a wastage of 125w.

    All that becomes heat sitting inside the PSU. Heat that makes the PSU perform much worse, as described above.

    In addition, if you have a PSU mounted in the top of the case, the heat from the other components moves upward (heat rises) and goes inside the PSU further increasing the temperatures and reducing the efficiency of the device.

    At super high heat levels and load levels, PSUs fail to provide their stated power or parts internal to the PSU can physically explode rendering the PSU unable to operate.

    In general, PSUs provide the power most efficiently at about 50% load, slightly less between 40 and 60%, even worse between 30 and 70%, and worse still between 20 and 100%. If your PSU is capable of going beyond 100% of stated wattage it is almost definitely going to be operating very inefficiently.

    So you need to know the average wattage of the components you are going to be using, including idle wattage, regular usage wattage, and maximum draw wattage.

    Once you know those things, you can lay them out along the PSUs efficiency curves.

    As a rule of thumb, you should probably get a PSU that is about 2x of your expected average usage. That puts you at 50% load as often as possible.

    This is all quite complicated stuff and we generally try to avoid going into huge detail about it because most people just don't need to know it.

    Anyway, if you made it this far, you should be able to now answer your own question adequately.
  20. cheers raidden as always youve been a big help and very detailed. I think ill stick to the 650 then :D

    Diellur i like that build i think i will definitaly steal the 560 ti twin frozr
    I think ill stick to the stock cooler and get some additional case fans to help everything overall. also HDD i think should be 500 and the mobo doesnt have usb 3.0 and i have external drive that is 3.0.

    overall though price and build impressed me i will consider more of the parts cheers :D
  21. Also, I wouldn't suggest you get a 6850 SCS3 if you don't need absolute silence from your video card.

    It costs about $50 more than a regular 6850 and has the same processing power.

    It is only really for people who have very silent case fans and very good airflow in the PC, especially with fat side fans aimed at the video card.

    If you can handle a bit of noise from the video card, I would suggest getting a regular version with 2 fans on it, or one fan on the far end away from the exhaust port that blows air lengthwise along the card and out the back of the case.

    You could get a 6950 for the same price as a 6850 SCS3 and most people would be better off making that trade.

    I use a SCS3 myself, because my requirements aren't like most people's.

    If you can get a Powercolor 6850 that isn't a SCS3, that is fine, otherwise just get a Sapphire 6850 or something instead, based on the number and positioning of fans on the card.
  22. You're welcome. :)

    That mobo does have USB 3.0 on the back panel...just an FYI (but it doesn't have USB 3.0 headers for the front panels).

    Also, stock cooler is fine for stock speeds...just make sure you get an after-market if / when you do OC.
  23. Quote:
    Some of these OEMs are better than others. FSP will make any PSU design they are contracted to make for anybody regardless of how horrible it will perform in people's computers. Seasonic will only take designs that are going to perform tremendously well in the average computer.

    Poor timing:
  24. lots to consider i will stick with no o/c though

    the powercolor silent 6850 was the only 6850 under £100 on special offer/ but i think i will go for

    6950 or 560 ti twin frozr II i think it will be worth it long run

    also going to stick with xfx 650watt core

    and get 1 maybe 2 additional case fans

    although not sure if i should stick with 64mb cache HDD might lower it to 500gb 32 mbcache and use that money towards better GPU

    just trying to decide as original budget was £500 and its already £660 lol
  25. metal orient said:
    Some of these OEMs are better than others. FSP will make any PSU design they are contracted to make for anybody regardless of how horrible it will perform in people's computers. Seasonic will only take designs that are going to perform tremendously well in the average computer.

    Poor timing:

    I don't really feel that my quote has been refuted here.

    It did show weakness at 100% load at high temperatures, but if that is the biggest black mark then the PSU will perform tremendously well in the average computer.

    Not like the combination of very high temps and 100% load doesn't do bad things for most PSUs.

    It would take a 3x high end video card setup and a poor cooling system to get these sort of situations "in the wild". Traditional PSU guidelines for SLIing high end cards is 650w + 200w per video card after the first so in a 3x high end card setup the ideal calculated wattage would be 1050w, not 850w.

    In my experience, few people spending $1500 on video cards alone want to play around with below recommended wattage PSUs. They may get stupid brands (and often do) sometimes, but they usually don't shortchange on labeled wattage.

    With only 2x SLI, it should be extremely difficult to tax this PSU to the breaking point. One would have to top mount the PSU in some really bad case with no fans which nobody in their right mind would use for SLIing high end cards anyway.

    Believe me, it does pain me to see the NZXT 850w failing any test, even the most straining, but that still puts this maker/model as one of the best in the 850w space.
  26. Help please almost have my basket together on 2 sites as I would rather get everything from 1 site potentially cheaper however: doesnt have my choosen HDD and there are too many greens blues black etc

    help me find one please. I would like above 600gb, sata 6gb/s, and 64 mb cache if possible please however cost is a factor less than £100 if possible
  27. potentially 500gb would make it even more affordable and would probably still be enough space
  28. As near as I can tell, there is not any hard drive on Aria that fits your requirements.

    Not like I enjoy spending my time on websites with so little user friendliness.

    As far as I can see they have about 16 hard drives, it shouldn't be too hard for you to look yourself on Aria for a hard drive and pick one out if you absolutely must shop from there.

    I suggest the Samsung Spinpoint F3.
  29. Your like a teacher who has all the patience in the world. appreciate all your time raiddinn.

    i feel the same aria is a nightmare

    I was just trying to build the same pc on 2 sites to get the best price. that way delivery is cheaper than ordering of 4-5 sites although parts will be slightly more.

    I was going to order today and get delivery for tomorrow but had problems with aria customer service so not sure about them now
  30. I think I could do pretty well teaching, too bad I don't have a teaching degree.

    In any event, I am glad I live in the U.S. and don't have to deal with user unfriendly websites that have bad CS.
  31. This is the build from ebuyer that i think i will order first thing tomorrow

    Case- Haf 912 - £64.55

    psu - XFX 650 watt core edition £66.63

    cpu - i5 - 2500 - £161.99

    BARRACUDA 1TB SATA - 3.5IN 7200RPM 64MB 6GB/S IN - £89.99

    PowerColor HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card - £98.99

    ram - Crucial 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory Kit CL10 1.5V - £27.99

    dvd-drive - Samsung SH-S222AL - £11.98

    Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard-£85.40

    windows 7 - £71.14

    total 690.67 but free delivery so compared to 663 at start of post not bad but still expensive
  32. what you think reasonable price?
  33. I am not completely familiar with prices for things in GBP.

    Honestly, I don't care much either. Whether it costs 650 GBP or 700, the most important thing is that it performs well.

    I would hate to see you end up with a poor performing system over an attempted savings of 50 pounds. Trying to cut to the bone on some parts to maximize others doesn't always lead to good results.
  34. I understand what your saying raidden everything is exacly the same except for th passively cooled gpu has gone for a different model and 2500k to a 2500.
  35. Changing the 2500k down to a 2500 is a pretty tough sacrifice, IMHO.

    In the future, it would be nice if you had the option to OC the processor if/when it starts to bottleneck your performance. The 2500k is very good at OCing and many people can get upwards of 50% more processing out of the same chip.

    It is up to you, but even if you don't see yourself OCing in the short term, you may want to still get the K because you never know if you change your mind later.

    It may be the case that you are a little cash crunched 5 years out and being able to OC might give you the 6th and 7th year out of the computer so you don't have to buy a cheapy one due to a low budget when your computer starts to feel slow or whatever.

    Something to think about at least. 15 or 20 pounds or whatever might give you a lot more flexibility in dealing with future computing scenarios. I am over 30 years old and my family's tech budget consists entirely of what we get for our birthdays and on Christmas. No iPhone, no iPad, no iPod. We are behind the curve pretty much everywhere, but I would still try to scrape together the difference to get a 2500k instead of a 2500 if I was upgrading.

    Just sayin.
  36. I agree...if the difference in price between the non-'K' and the 'K' was £60-70, it's one thing but it's buttons between them in reality. I'm all for shaving down the cost associated with a build, but in this instance I urge you to think about future-proofing your system. Get a cheaper case to make up the price difference...?

    The 6850 is an older card too...fine for older games of course, and Crossfire is an option but just pointing that out.

    Try the Scan website. Never used Aria much, Ebuyer a bit but Scan is ace. Check their bundle deals as well, might get a CPU / mobo combo that's affordable.

    Whichever way you go, let us know what you settle on. :)
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