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£600 gaming & design build

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
16 answers Last reply
More about 600 gaming amp design build
  1. graphic design for £600? I dont think so
  2. 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
  3. An XPS with 6gb RAM, bottom of the range i5 and a now-outdated graphics card will outperform a system with an overclocked i5-2500k, 8gb RAM, a mid-high range graphics card and an SSD?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
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 :)
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. rather than an ssd get 2 hdds and stripe them (RAID 0) it's usually cheaper a 460 should be fine but a 6770 would be cheaper mobo's fine but for the case try this,
    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+Tower/ARIANET+Avenger+Midi+Tower+Gaming+Chassis+?productId=47468
    then just oc and you'll be fine
  12. 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 :)
  13. 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
  14. 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+Processors/Intel+Core+i5+%281155%29/Intel+Core+i5-2500K+3.30GHz+%28Sandybridge%29+Socket+LGA1155+Processor+-+Retail+?productId=43216

    8GB Excelleram 1600 CL9 1.5V
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR3/Dual+Channel+1600MHz/8GB+Exceleram+White+Sark+Series+%282x4GB%29+DDR3+PC3-12800C9+1600MHz+Dual+Channel+Kit+-+EBW301A+?productId=46931

    Gigabyte Z68 AP D3 £80
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/Intel+1155+Z68+%28B3%29/Gigabyte+GA-Z68AP-D3+Intel+Z68+%28REV+B3%29+Socket+1155+DDR3+PCI-Express+Motherboard+?productId=45563

    XFX 6870 1GB £120
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards/ATI/ATI+6800+Series+/XFX+ATI+Radeon+HD+6870+1024MB+GDDR5+PCI-Express+Graphics+Card+?productId=47776

    Mushkin Chronos 60GB SSD £84 (could swap for a crucial m4 for a pound more)
    https://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Solid+State+Drives/Mushkin+Chronos+60GB+2.5%22+SATA-III+Solid+State+Hard+Drive+?productId=46083

    OCZ ZS 650W £55
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplies/650W+or+less/650W+OCZ+ZS+Series+ATX2.2+80PLUS+Bronze+Power+Supply+?productId=45458
    (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=Story&reid=248

    Bitfenix Shinobi £47
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/MIDI+Tower/BitFenix+Shinobi+Black+Midi+Tower+Chassis+?productId=45934

    DVD drive £13
    https://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Blu-Ray+%2F+DVD+Drives/DVD%C2%B1RW+Dual+Layer+Writers/LiteOn+IHAS122-18+22x+Internal+DVD%C2%B1R%2FRW+SATA+Drive+-+Black+?productId=45290

    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/Photoshop_CS4_Performance_Comparison.pdf

    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/SATA+%28Serial+ATA%29/Less+than+500GB/320GB+Samsung+SpinPoint+F4+3.5%22+SATA+II+Hard+Drive+-+Recertified+?productId=46605
    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.
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