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1st Build Gaming System £400 Budget

Last response: in Systems
December 9, 2011 9:51:43 PM

Attention: Suggestions Closed parts have been ordered and post updated just incase this can help anybody else.

Hello ill keep try and keep this short and sweet, I'm looking for some opinions and a heads up if i got anything wrong.

I'm looking to build a cost effective (aka cheap) gaming system to meet my particular needs for abour 3 years i think my buget is a little low but ill be building the same system twice.

Approximate Purchase Date: 22nd december 2011

Budget Range: £350 - £450 / Final Cost: £470

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, HD movies and Image Editing (Photoshop CS4)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, HDD

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon or Scan

Country: England

Parts Preferences: AMD

Overclocking: No (But considering it with a Bulldozer CPU)

SLI or Crossfire: Not in initial build but would like to add at a later date

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 & 1920x1080

Additional Comments: The key areas i would like recommendations is my power supply and graphics card choice

Notes: this is a section ive added after to give some tips for any fellow noobs that happen to come by this thread.

1. no matter what mobo you get or where you order it from always check the maufacturers site for the list of compatable parts (Memory/CPU/GPU)

2. use for a quick comparison on GPU abiltiy to see if the incease in performance matches the increase in price

3. Amazon and Scan where the best sites i found amazon almost always came up cheaper however scan had loads more information on the products
as well as SCAN PARTS INSURANCE which covers your parts against installation damage so if you F*** up and fry something while trying to build
your computer they will just replace the part which is pretty awsome for the £6 price tag it carries

4. and finally set your price range lower that what you may have to spend as you will probably go over


Parts In Final Build

ASRock 970 Extreme3 AM3+ £77 (AMD FX Supported) Amazon

AMD Bulldozer FX4100 AM3+ £92 Scan

CPU Cooler:
Cooler Master GeminII Ultra Slim CPU Cooler AM3/AM3+ £30 Amazon

Kingston HyperX Genesis Memory 8GB:2x4GB 240-pin DDR3 1600 MHz 1.65V £35 Amazon

Hard Drive:
I will be using my current hard drives

Video Card:
XFX Radeon HD 6850 £115 Amazon

Power Supply:
Corsair GS700 700w PSU £70 Amazon

CiT Mars ATX Red Gaming Case £32 E-bay

Disc Drive:
Samsung DVD-RW £16 Amazon

EDIT: 11/12/11
Added new parts being considered and prices.
Dropped Nvidia Gpu (AMD own Radeon & Radeon offer more cost effective GPUs)
Dropped Foxconn Mobo (They haven't kept up to date with latest AMD CPUs but have kept up to date with Intel)
Replaced RAM with Corsair XMS3 8GB (only a £10 increase from 4GB)
Replaced Case (found a better one)

EDIT: 21/12/11
Final parts decision
Another new case
Budget increase to £450

EDIT: 28/12/11
Final Update to reflect parts ordered and prices including delivery
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 10, 2011 12:42:00 AM

The best gaming cards in that price range are going to be ATI


There are many good Nvidia cards, but not in your budget.



Even a GTS 450, a much stronger card than the one you listed, can't compete in this price range.

May I suggest Scan? It's easier to sort through cards there

does the Amazon CX600 include tax? If not perhaps this is a better deal for you
That's all the PSU you need.
Related resources
December 10, 2011 6:40:51 PM

All gigabyte boards need bios update to run FX CPU. So you need an AM3 processor first to get the board to work.
This board has FX enabled in all bios versions according to the website. I have the mobo but not the CPU yet so can't verify that.
December 11, 2011 11:37:02 AM

ok so i have some questions.

what is the difference between the Radeon cards ATX, Sapphire, XFX, etc?

the motherboards im looking at all list PCI-e 2.0 yet some DPUs say PCI-e 2.1 whats the difference? will a 2.1 card work in a 2.0 slot? (i bet it won't) ive just seen PCI-e 3.0 aswell now im confused? :/ 

should i be suspiciouse that some of the parts i've found and had reccomended are better & cheaper?

Thank for the help, scan is brilliant loads of info and easy to get around shame they dont have a free delivery optiuon though (i know im being tight ;)  ) and yes the CX600 includes tax and delivery for only £5 more than your link im gonna sit and work out the voltage of the build so far and see if i acctually need 600v but ill also take the sites advised into consideration as well (the part about getting a power supply that will last 2 or 3 builds).

oh and you could use for compairing GPUs it how i knew that the 5750/5770 is good bag for the buck

thanks for your reccomendations after looking through some radeon vs nvidia i think ill stick with radeon seeing as they are owned by AMD now (i know im behind) but also radeon are better in the £50-£100 price range as far as i can tell with nvidia just a little better when you get over £150 mark

thanks the mobo you suggested looks awsome!

P.S i would be prepared to stretch the buget some more for the sake of keeping the build future proof like i said i would like it to last at least 3 years or more with upgrades obviously
December 11, 2011 12:19:34 PM

This fits into your £400 budget and includes a better GPU than has been listed so far.

CPU: i3-2100
Motherboard: Asus P8H61-M
CPU Heatsink: Coolermaster Hyper-212
GPU: AMD 6850
RAM: 2x2GB Corsair
PSU: 530W Be Quiet!
Case: Silverstone PS03B Precision
DVD: Samsung DVD-RW drive

Total cost from Scan is £398.77 (you'll need to remove the Scan installation insurance to keep it below the £400 mark). It also includes delivery. ;)  Here's the link to the build:

Reason I picked the i3-2100 is that it's a recent chip which has excellent performance in a budget gaming build. The AMD Phenom series is long in the tooth, and the AMD Bulldozer is a's best to go as new as you can for the best price you can, and the i3-2100 is it for your budget IMHO. The motherboard sacrifices the possibility of Crossfire later down the road, but is enough for a single-card build...again, on a budget, things like Crossfire shouldn't be primary concerns. The CPU heatsink is excellent for the price and will be more than enough for the i3-2100...I'd even question the need for it, as the stock cooler should be enough as you're not overclocking. Could save yourself £20 there and upgrade later if you really felt the need. The GPU is a previous gen card which is still highly regarded, and has more grunt than the other cards listed so far. RAM, PSU and case are all budget but good quality (note that you should never, ever skimp on the PSU).

To answer your questions:

Yes, a PCIe 2.0 card will work in a 2.1 slot. PCIe 3.0 is the newest iteration of the interface and is only just coming out. No GPU yet supports it.
Exercise common sense when looking for parts. You'll get different manufacturers who do different things to the base design, hence the variation in price. More expensive GPUs tend to be overclocked or have custom cooling on them. There are various sites (Dabs, Ebuyer, Scan) that you can cross-check prices against to get a feel for what any component goes for, on average.

Whatever build you go for, enjoy and have fun! :) 
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 12, 2011 4:46:18 AM

Good stuff :) 
December 21, 2011 12:31:14 AM

ok one final annoying question the cooler i have listed is a corsiar A50 with the specs listing it at 159.5mm tall seeing as i will be "stood up" on my processor in the case i have listed with a width of 185mm im wondering will it fit?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
December 21, 2011 3:29:00 AM

Very hard to say on the case. Generally if a case has space for the 120mm back fan plus a bit more it's enough for most air coolers.
December 28, 2011 2:37:06 PM

Thanks for all the help from eveybody that posted. :) 
The parts started arriving today an ill be up and running in no time.
December 28, 2011 7:33:30 PM

karas667 said:
Thanks for all the help from eveybody that posted. :) 
The parts started arriving today an ill be up and running in no time.

What did you go with in the end?
December 29, 2011 3:47:51 PM

in my original post the part that was called parts im considering is now called parts in final build thats what ive ordered excluding the cooler im just using the stock cooler for now and all im waiting for is the Memory to be delivered and its finished.
December 29, 2011 3:59:05 PM

All I'm waiting for is FX4100 and OS. Amazon vs CCL. You'll win :fou: