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£1250 Gaming Rig From Scratch (first time builder)

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Last response: in Systems
December 18, 2011 1:32:47 PM

Hey guys,

I have been researching parts for my very first gaming build for some months now so even though it is my very first build I'd like to think I am not totally illiterate when it comes to Components and the like.

Below is the form you have to fill out, any suggestions are welcomed with open arms and if I need anything (at all) please let me know.

Approximate Purchase Date: The first week of January (hopefully gonna hit some sales)

Budget Range: £1250 (although if necessary I could propably stretch to £1300)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, General Surfing of the web.

Parts Not Required: Absolutely everyting is needed due to this being my very first build (even Hard Drive although it is very painful right now...)

Preferred Website for Parts: (preferably all from the same site)

Country: United Kingdom

Parts Preferences: I'd prefer intel and Nvidia although they are not totally necessary

Overclocking: Yes (probably not straight away but definetely in the future)

SLI or Crossfire: Yes (again not straight away but in the future)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would like it to run most of the latest DX11 titles at High settings obviously I cannot hope for ultra on every single one, I would also like a Headset also. Also, to those americans out there don't be afraid to offer up any opinions just because I am British ;) .

Below are the parts I have got so far:


CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

Motherboard: (EDIT) Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 Socket 1155 onboard 7.1 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

RAM: Corsair 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz Vengeance Blue "LOW PROFILE" CL9 1.5V

Hard Drive: Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6Gb/s Barracuda Hard Drive 7200RPM 16MB Cache

SSD: (EDIT) Corsair 120GB Force 3 SSD CSSD-F120GB3-BK

After Market CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo (Socket 775/1155/1156/1366/AM2/AM3/AM3+/FM1)

Graphics Card: (EDIT) Sapphire HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DisplayPort PCI-E Graphics Card

PSU: Antec TruePower New 750W Modular PSU

Optical Drive: LG GH24NS70 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - Retail Black with Software

Case: (EDIT) Coolermaster Elite 430 All Black Interior Mid Tower Case with Side Window


Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

Monitor: Asus VH242H TFT LCD 23.6" HDMI Monitor

Keyboard: (EDIT) Tt eSports Challenger Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: Logitech G400 Gaming Mouse

USB Wireless Adaptor: TP-Link TL-WN821N Wireless-N300 USB Adapter

Headset: (EDIT) Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset

HDMI Cable: (EDIT) HDMI Cable 1.4 Black 2 Metre

Total Cost: £1271.09 (including shipping etc)

Are they all compatible?
Will the mobo give me a healthy 4.3-4.5GHz overclock?
Anything else I need?
Thanks in advance!

More about : 1250 gaming rig scratch time builder

December 18, 2011 2:55:58 PM

Anyone got any ideas or is this build the best it can be?
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2011 3:07:47 PM

That looks OK but I have quite a few suggestions:

CPU - Great CPU, no need to change.

MOBO - This is a better board for the price:

This normally goes for £200, it's a steal at £130.

RAM - Also great, leave this as is.

HDD - This looks fine.

SSD - OCZ have had some serious reliability issues with SSD's, I would go with a Crucial, Intel or Samsung drive instead personally. The Corsair and Kingston ones are OK too.

Cooler - Great cooler, no need to change

GPU - I would save cash by forgetting about SLI go for the 448 version of the GTX 560Ti. Reason being that you are playing on 1 monitor, by the time a GTX 560Ti can't play games well on a single monitor it won't be worth SLI'ing them.

PSU - If you forget about SLI and go with the GTX 560Ti 448 you would need 550-600W max.

CASE - Somehow that seems a bit pricey for that case, I would be tempted to go for an Antec One Hundred or Coolermaster Elite 430.

I think with either of those builds you should easily be able to get 4.5Ghz.
Related resources
December 18, 2011 4:57:11 PM

Thanks a lot I will factor those things in and get back to you.
December 18, 2011 5:09:36 PM

I was just wondering about the graphics card. Would it be better to go with a 6950? I don't really like going with a limited edition graphics card that may not be around for future SLI. If I were to go with 6950 I would probably go with 2GB VRAM but which model would you recommend?
December 18, 2011 6:26:09 PM

Just edited the build, I have put in the 6950 2Gb because I would atleast like the option to crossfire however I forgot to mention that I will only be playing MMOs and RPGs on the PC as I think most FPS titles should be played on console (just my opinion). So that narrows down the games that I need to run at high settings, I don't know whether that changes anything though.
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2011 7:55:29 PM

I would seriously forget the idea of SLI/Crossfire, just look at the pros and cons:


- Often (not always) good price/performance
- Can connect more displays


- Consumes a lot more power
- Gives off a lot more heat
- Is much noisier than a single card
- Not all games support dual cards
- Not worth it for upgrading because by the time the single card isn't good enough to play games it won't be a good idea to get another one. Notice how noone recommends 8800GTX SLI or GTX 260 SLI etc.
- Requires a more expensive motherboard, power supply and case. (This is why it's not always better value than a good single card.)

SLI and crossfire are only really worth it for people with ultra high resolutions who need more horsepower than you can get out of any single card in my opinion. For your build I think it would actually make it worse because you wouldn't notice the difference in performance since you could max anything on a ~£200 card anyway and it would make the build noisy and power hungry.
December 18, 2011 7:59:02 PM

Okay, I see what you are saying, so I will most likely get something more like a single 570/6970. Thanks a lot for the advice and the explanations!
a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2011 8:03:01 PM

No problem, sorry if I sounded a bit pushy I'm just trying to help :) 
December 18, 2011 8:19:17 PM

jmsellars1 said:
No problem, sorry if I sounded a bit pushy I'm just trying to help :) 

Yeah I know man, I am no expert and you have helped a ton! But still expect some more questions here in the future :) 
December 19, 2011 3:45:15 PM
December 19, 2011 6:07:47 PM

December 19, 2011 8:27:04 PM

Okay cheers, never crossed my mind that I wouldn't actually need a after market cooler straight away seeing as I won't be overclocking straight away. Thanks again I think I'm about set :)