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£600 gaming & design build

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January 10, 2012 3:25:56 PM

I have moved this post because I accidentally posted it in the wrong forum.

The system I have designed below seems, in my inexpert opinion, to offer reasonable performance and value for money. I have selected these components as I believe they allow me to expand in future by:

1) Overclocking the CPU to increase performance.
2) Adding another graphics card in SLI/crossfire.
3) Adding another hard drive in RAID.
4) Adding a second display.

Approximate Purchase Date: End of January

Budget Range: < £600 for the computer itself, ~£100 for the display

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, graphic and web design (Adobe CS5 suite), audio and video encoding

Parts Not Required: None

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Country: UK

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Value for money is extremely important as I am a student


Motherboard - £84.11
Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 Onboard graphics output 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

CPU - £168.40
Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked Core i5 Quad-Core Processor (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache, Socket 1155)

Graphics Card - £125.10
Sapphire 11179-09-20G HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card

RAM - £40.50
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Two Module Kit

PSU - £60.53
OCZ 600W ModXStream Pro Power Supply

HDD - £69.18
E.g. Corsair CSSD-F40GB2-A Force Series 40GB Solid State Drive

DVDRW - £13.55
SATA 22x DVD Writer SAMSUNG SH-S222AB/BEBE

Case - £44.34
Antec Three Hundred Midi Case

CPU Cooler - £15.99
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU Cooler

Total: £597.11

Plus this display:
LG IPS225V IPS LED 21.5" HDMI Monitor

I would be grateful if someone experienced could cast their eye over my list and tell me whether or not everything is compatible and if I can achieve similar performance more cheaply by substituting components.


Cheers!

Jack
January 10, 2012 3:28:18 PM

graphic design for £600? I dont think so
January 10, 2012 3:33:46 PM

Gooseta,

I do freelance web and graphic design (I am a medical student and do this to supplement my income). My XPS laptop has been satisfactory for this purpose, but I would like to move to a more powerful desktop. Why wouldn't the system i've outlined be appropriate?

Jack
Related resources
January 10, 2012 4:26:31 PM

An XPS with 6gb RAM, bottom of the range i5 and a now-outdated graphics card will outperform a system with an overclocked i5-2500k, 8gb RAM, a mid-high range graphics card and an SSD? Please explain your reasoning.

Jack
January 10, 2012 4:27:18 PM

Ok, gooseta's not helping so i thought id come up with something similar to my build.

Ok, as your going for design go for z68 mobo, dont skimp here!!!: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68a-d3h-b3-...(x16)-vga-on-board-at

Processor, get 2500k retail, get aftermarket cooler when you feel you want to: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...

Case, you chose well, antec 3hundred: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-300-three-hundred-...(new-version)

ram, 8gb vengance, lp ofcourse: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-lp-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

psu, dont get that ocz crap, im going for this xfx for if you sli/xfire: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-psu-xfx-pro-series-...

HDD, prices high atm, just get this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/250gb-western-digital-wd...

Graphics, id go for a gtx460 for use of the cuda cores in your graphics: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-evga-gtx-460-supercl...

comes in at 626 pounds, little over but its better. :) 
January 10, 2012 4:59:01 PM

mobohobo,

Thanks for your ideas.

1) The motherboard I selected is z68 and has all of the features I want (crossfireX, SATAIII, USB3, 8 channel audio). What additional features does the more costly choice give me?

2) Good shout on the low-profile RAM.

3) I didn't realise that OCZ are crap. Which PSU brands are considered the best?

4) What do you think about using a 40gb SSD as a boot disk and putting my audio and video files on an internal HDD?

5) The gtx460 and the 6870 are similarly priced, yet the 460 is lower in the graphics card hierarchy. Is it likely to be better for my needs?

Jack
January 10, 2012 5:08:18 PM

bs06job said:
mobohobo,

Thanks for your ideas.

1) The motherboard I selected is z68 and has all of the features I want (crossfireX, SATAIII, USB3, 8 channel audio). What additional features does the more costly choice give me?

2) Good shout on the low-profile RAM.

3) I didn't realise that OCZ are crap. Which PSU brands are considered the best?

4) What do you think about using a 40gb SSD as a boot disk and putting my audio and video files on an internal HDD?

5) The gtx460 and the 6870 are similarly priced, yet the 460 is lower in the graphics card hierarchy. Is it likely to be better for my needs?

Jack


1) the motherboard you chose has xfire but only at x4 and so you will be fairly bottlenecked by this, and thus i went for the gigabyte one which will run in x8x8 mode instead of x16x4 which would reduce performance.

3) corsair, seasonic, antec, xfx, and a few more i cant remember

4) for your budget i would get an internal hdd and then get a 40gb sdd later on, unless you have an hdd allready?

5) 460 is a really good card for the money, it also has cuda cores which will speed up photoshop, etc, which is why i went nvidea.

if you have any other questions just ask!
January 10, 2012 5:11:30 PM

3. The problem with OCZ power supplies is that OCZ makes 4 lines (last time I looked). One is pretty good. Two are OK. One is excessively suboptimal. And I am old. I never can remember which one is which.

One of the best PSU brands is Seasonic. Corsair, XFX, and Antec are generally very good. The current XFX PSU's are built by Seasonic so they are very good choices.

4. If your overall budget is less than 500 pounds, I do not think you can justify any size of SSD.

5. The GTX460 is an older design. The following article is based on US prices but it is a very good place to start when you are looking for a video card.
January 10, 2012 5:24:18 PM

OCZ PSUs are not crap. There are better certainly, but as a budget choice they are fine. Corsair and XFX may have better deals.

Ideally you would get a PSU capable of about 500W that was built by Seasonic... this might come from several brands. Antec, Corsair, and others. For instance an Antec Neo Eco 520W or a Seasonic S12II 520W are pretty much the same PSU and would be ideal... if the price works.
January 10, 2012 5:35:29 PM

Proximon said:
OCZ PSUs are not crap. There are better certainly, but as a budget choice they are fine. Corsair and XFX may have better deals.

Ideally you would get a PSU capable of about 500W that was built by Seasonic... this might come from several brands. Antec, Corsair, and others. For instance an Antec Neo Eco 520W or a Seasonic S12II 520W are pretty much the same PSU and would be ideal... if the price works.

yeah, i was just getting the point across :p  thanks for explaining i didnt know this :) 
January 10, 2012 5:45:21 PM

If you do choose an OCZ PSU, just read a well done review first. There are a few databases of reviews around, but sadly I'm on my laptop and don't have the link. jsc might have one for you.
January 10, 2012 5:58:09 PM

Thanks for your informative replies.

In light of your comments, here is my revised components list:

i5 2500k - £168.40
Potential for overclocking.

Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2h-B3 Intel Socket 1155 - £85
16x/8x SLI and crossfire support.

? Graphics card

Corsair Memory 8GB Vengeance Jet Black Low Profile 8GB DDR3 - £38.59
Good price and known brand.

XFX P1-650S-UKB9 Pro Series Core Edition 650W - £65.58
A bigger PSU for overclocking and crossfire.

Samsung SATA 22x DVD Writer - £13.55

Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Mid Tower Computer Case - £44.34

Still unsure on the graphics card and HDD.

1) Will the GTX460 definitely be a better choice for graphic design than the 6870?
2) I would like to start with a SSD if i'm going to use one to save the hassle of migrating everything. I have an external 500gb HDD that could be used as a stopgap until I can afford an internal HDD.

How does this sound?

Jack
January 10, 2012 6:04:23 PM

bs06job said:
Thanks for your informative replies.

1) Will the GTX460 definitely be a better choice for graphic design than the 6870?
2) I would like to start with a SSD if i'm going to use one to save the hassle of migrating everything. I have an external 500gb HDD that could be used as a stopgap until I can afford an internal HDD.

How does this sound?

Jack


1) for graphic design, the 460 will definatly be better, and its a coolish running, very short card.

2) that sounds ok, but for your budget i dont think id get an ssd but its your choice :) 
January 10, 2012 6:15:31 PM

an ssd would only really affect the boot times plus they are mlc which doesn't have as many write cycles so in about 3 years it would be almost useless
January 10, 2012 6:22:23 PM

Put a build together for you with an SSD, makes the build £13 over budget however:

All from aria.net

i5 2500k £170
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Pro...

8GB Excelleram 1600 CL9 1.5V
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR3/...

Gigabyte Z68 AP D3 £80
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards...

XFX 6870 1GB £120
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Car...

Mushkin Chronos 60GB SSD £84 (could swap for a crucial m4 for a pound more)
https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Solid+State+Drives...

OCZ ZS 650W £55
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Suppli...
(A review by johnnyguru of the 550W in the same range if you're curious about it's quality)http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Bitfenix Shinobi £47
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+T...

DVD drive £13
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Blu-Ray+%2F+...

With £9 postage comes to a total of £612.73

As the guys have said though the SSD is a bit of a waste, even adobe thinks so, going for more RAM seems to be the thing they say:
http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404439.html

Although Intel did a study showing that it increases performance in photoshop. However they are trying to sell SSD's so maybe a pinch of salt required:
ftp://download.intel.com/design/flash/NAND/extreme/Phot...

So if you instead just doubled your RAM to 16GB and then changed the SSD to this HDD
https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Hard+Drives/...
you may have better performance.

If you are willing to take the risks and be patient eBay and Gumtree can save you a lot of cash, the machine i built yesterday (in member configuration) came just under £600 and was mostly bought off ebay and works great the only real problem is that you are less covered in terms of warranty.
January 10, 2012 10:07:20 PM

This topic has been closed by Pyree
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