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£400 PC for Arma 2

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  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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December 30, 2011 11:48:31 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: January(or ASAP)

Budget Range: £400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, General use

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS(W7), case, PSU, HDD, disk drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: ebuyer.com or anything that is cheaper but safe

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: No preference

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1152x864

Additional Comments: I hope to be able to play Arma 2 with at least medium settings on any potential build. My potential build so far:

Motherboard - Asus P8Z68-V ebuyer - £80

CPU - Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz ebuyer - £147

Graphics Card - Sapphire HD 6870 1GB ebuyer - £140

RAM - Corsair 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333MHz ebuyer £35

Case - I was going to reuse my current cooler master case.

HDD - I was going to reuse my current Samsung HD250HJ

PSU - I have a win power atx up to 700w PSU that I was thinking of reusing, will this suffice until I can afford a new one? It has worked well on this PC being on for about a year without being turned off, if that makes a difference?

Total: £402.

If this is all compatible, is this the best I can get for my money? It is based on This

More about : 400 arma

December 30, 2011 11:50:41 PM

Looks pretty decent in my opinion. Never played the game but I heard it's resource hungry maybe 12GB RAM. Then again 8GB should be sufficient.
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December 31, 2011 8:30:25 AM

Thanks guys. So do you think the i5 2500k is worth the extra £10 or so?
December 31, 2011 9:12:09 AM

yeah go for the 2500k
December 31, 2011 2:12:45 PM

So is this the absolute best build I can get for my budget? Is there anything I can spend up to an extra £10 more on(like you suggested with the CPU) to get a big improvement? I wish to play games with lots of soldiers on screen(like Arma, M&b and future TW games) would extra RAM make that much of a difference?

Also, could anyone give me an estimate on how well this could run newer games and Arma 2(if anyone has any experience of it)?

Thanks so far everyone. And sorry for all the questions, I'm on a tight budget and this is my first ever build so I want to be absolutely certain I'm getting the best I can.
December 31, 2011 4:15:12 PM

It's a great pc especially with the 2500k. I think you should buy it, it doesn't get any better for 400£.
January 9, 2012 10:36:13 PM

Sorry to bump this but I think I've settled on my build. I think I'll get an i5 2500 non k, HD 6870,8GB RAM and a Corsair 500w - but I need a Motherboard. Since I won't be overclocking I was thinking H67? Could anyone suggest a good Motherboard to support all of those for around £60/$90 that won't blow everything up? I'd also welcome thoughts on the other specs
January 10, 2012 7:04:04 PM

thank you
January 10, 2012 7:04:24 PM

If you do go with Kikatek could you say here how the transaction went?
As they have great prices but i'm always a little sceptical of cheap places.
January 10, 2012 7:26:42 PM

Hi BluePurple I'm a massive fan of Arma II, great game. I also built my system specifically with the intention of playing it as smoothly as possible :D 

The i5 2500 is certainly worth the money- Arma 2 is a very CPU hungry game and the i5 2500 offers great performance.

As for RAM- A2 can not use more than 2GB, so you really don't need much for high frames. 4GB is plenty, although at current prices it doesn't make much difference.
I would recommend the Corsair Vengeance 8GB 16000MHZ- great price on Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9-1600MH...).

In your build the GPU will most likely be the limiting factor. The HD 6870 is great for the price. At your resolution you should be able to play at high settings smoothly. Be aware that for £30 more you can have the far superior GTX 560 TI 1GB which offers a big jump in performance- smooth performance on very high.

Great choice of parts for the budget though- I look forward to seeing you around in Arma 2 :D 

January 10, 2012 7:31:19 PM

thanks man especially for the link, so a H67 motherboard, i5 2500 and a GTX 560ti would that allow max settings? i might not be able to afford the 560ti but maybe i could if i got a H61 motherboard and cut back on the RAM, would that be worth the cutbacks?
January 10, 2012 7:57:51 PM

Pretty much no one can play Arma II on 'max settings'- with every setting at the maximum even an i5 2500k overclocked to 5GHZ with a GTX 590 would struggle :D  It's one tough game. You could probably play 'very high' though, which is the top predefined setting (ignoring advanced options) with the GTX 560 TI.

But I don't think it's worth getting the GTX 560 TI if it means getting a worse motherboard and RAM though. Yes you'd probably get more FPS in Arma 2, but you'd give up the extra features and stability of the better mobo and the more responsive Windows desktop experience which comes with extra RAM. It's just a case of deciding your priorities.

The HD6870 is certainly a decent GPU for Arma 2 if you decide to go with that. I think you'll probably be happy with performance either way.
January 10, 2012 8:02:39 PM

So for a final build how about this?

H67 Motherboard
i5 2500
HD 6870
8GB 1333
an 80+ 500w PSU

Or what about an AMD build if it meant I could afford a GTX 560ti? The phenoms aren't that much worse than i5s
January 10, 2012 8:04:23 PM

Should just add that I've used Kikatek before, via Amazon. Absolutely fine.
January 10, 2012 8:29:42 PM

You're much better off with an Intel machine and you should invest in the K version. You can go for PII's from AMD and play Arma II just fine if you really wanted to but the tech is old and Intel is really the best option.

I played AII for about a year straight with a PIIx4 955 and an HD5770 and was able to crunch out decent frames with mostly everything on very high 1080p at about 3.6km view distance. You shouldn't have any problems with what you have intended.

Beware of Benchmark 2 in Arma II. It will hurt your feelings regardless of how much money you spend. [:bohleyk]
January 10, 2012 8:39:47 PM

thanks, i did consider the k version but that would require me to get a better motherboard and to afford that i'd have to take the money from the GPU budget.

now though i think i'll be going with a i5 2500 and 6870 with a cheap but capable H61. it seems the biggest difference between the H61 and H67 is the extra RAM slots, but since i'll be getting 2x4 8GB by the time i'd be upgrading my PC the H67 would need upgrading anyway.

does my reasoning make sense?
January 10, 2012 9:02:47 PM

I think the H61 doesn't come with SATA 3 or USB3 either
January 11, 2012 1:58:28 PM

All I'm expecting from the H61 is it just to let everything work, nothing special as I don't think I'll be using SATA 3 or USB3 anytime soon.

What about this for a final build?

Motherboard -Asus P8H61-M LE
http://www.ebuyer.com/266605-asus-p8h61-m-le-usb3-intel...

CPU - Intel Core i5 2400
http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/processor...

GPU - Gainward GeForce GTX 560Ti
http://www.dabs.com/products/gainward-geforce-gtx-560ti...

RAM - Kingston 8GB 1333MHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/172949-kingston-8gb-2x4gb-ddr3-13...

PSU - Corsair 500W
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-500-watt-cx500-v2-...

Total is around £427
Thoughts?
January 11, 2012 6:55:31 PM

If you're happy go for it. You could go on forever trying to fine tune but it's a decent build.
January 11, 2012 7:20:44 PM

Thanks, I think I'll go for it but I'll switch 560ti to a HD 6870 and use the money to upgrade the i5 2400 to a non k 2500(and still save money) and that'll be it
January 11, 2012 7:23:28 PM

Good too. Best of luck.
January 11, 2012 8:35:58 PM

I would really recommend getting the 560 Ti and the 2400 rather than the 2500 and the 6870, there is just so little difference between the 2 CPU's whereas the gulf between the 2 GPU's is far larger.
January 11, 2012 9:14:59 PM

I was going to scale them both down and get the i5 2400 and HD 6870 because the slight upgrade to the 2500 or 560ti didn't seem worth it. The HD 6870 even looked better at some games like Crisis here http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=330
If you really think the 560ti is that much better then I'll go away and do some more research? Or did you mean that neither upgrade would make much difference, but if I was adamant to upgrade one the better choice would be the GPU?
January 12, 2012 12:46:45 AM

I have never actually compared a 560 Ti vs a 6870 before i always assumed the gap was there as a 6950 and a 560 Ti tended to trade blows. Not as much difference as i would have thought.

Certainly scaling down both to the cheaper options is something you can, but yes really to make sure you get best performance in games generally the GPU is place to spend. However i don't know what is more important for ARMA 2 specifically.

January 12, 2012 10:51:30 AM

metal orient said:
However i don't know what is more important for ARMA 2 specifically.


Well he could pick up a PII X2 550 and use a 4850, it wouldn't really matter as that is generally what people used when I played. A2 comes down to view distance. The higher you go with the view the better hardware you need. Its heavy on CPU and the GPU not as much but it does play a factor. Obviously a better GPU will get you better frames but its not as important as the CPU.

With what he has selected he will be able to play the game pretty well. Besides with mulitplayer the game runs much smoother for some reason. The frames jump up about 10-15FPS on MP.
January 12, 2012 11:09:46 AM

That's great to hear, one of the main reasons that I was upgrading my PC was to play coop. Aswell as the fact that my current PC can only play decently on Takistan as it is mostly hills and desert.
January 12, 2012 2:31:47 PM

I have a little more money now, around £30. I thought about it a little and if its worth it I may be able to do either of these upgrades:

1) I could use it to get a z68 Motherboard and an i5 2500k, that would be alongside a HD 6870.

2) I could keep the H61 Motherboard and i5 2400 and use the money to upgrade the GPU from a HD 6870 to either a GTX 560Ti or a HD 6950.

Which ones of those are better options, or should I stick with the original build and retain the money?
January 12, 2012 5:54:54 PM

I'm lost now, just like you. I did warn you what would happen if you didn't make a decision.
I would go with option 1.
!