Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Please rate my £1300 Gaming Rig (and offer improvements if possible)

Last response: in Systems
Share
November 27, 2011 9:54:56 AM

I have the following rig design and would like some feedback.

The goal is a Gaming Rig that will allow me to Overclock a bit on the 2500k and possibly (but not essential) to OC the GPU and in the future pair the GPU in a CF arrangement.

My budget is £1300 although I would like to keep under that if possible.

I have a good source of low cost parts so I have included the NORMAL RETAIL value of the parts for comparison as if you can suggest any alternatives, although I may be able to buy myself cheaper - it would be the best comparison (ie the GPU i know I can buy for £258 although Overclockers sell for £290, if you found a better value GPU at say £280 the price to compare it against would be £290 and although I may be able to buy it for less, typically)

(Normal Retail : £180) - (My Cost : £165) --- Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail [BX80623I52500K]

I plan to overclock to ideally around 4.3-4.5, hopefuly I have a board and cooling setup to account for this but advise if I havent

(Normal Retail : £90) - (My Cost : £84) --- Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard [90-MIBH80-G0EAY0KZ]

Is this sufficent for Overclocking a 2500k?

(Normal Retail : £35) - (My Cost : £29) --- Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (KHX1600C9D3X2K2/8GX)

I know that 4GB is enough, 8GB gives me a bit of multitasking and futureproofing but I am unsure if Kingston is good enough or for a little more there are better RAM brands out there

(Normal Retail : £0) - (My Cost : £0) --- Onboard

I am only going Headphones or 2.0 sound so the onboard is good enough

(Normal Retail : £9) - (My Cost : £6) --- TP-Link 150Mbps Wireless-N-Lite USB Adapter (TL-WN721N) [TL-WN721N]

The wireless router will be only 2 meters away in the same room so this should be fine I reckon.


(Normal Retail : £290) - (My Cost : £258) --- Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 6970 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card [11187-00-40R]

This is the one I am unsure on. Sapphire are supposed to be a good brand for GPUs however I don't know if I have missed a better option

(Normal Retail : £173) - (My Cost : £145) --- OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" SATA-3 Solid State Hard Drive (VTX3-25SAT3-120G) [VTX3-25SAT3-120G]

By my reckoning, after formatting and installing W7 64, I would have a good 90GB spare, at a typical 5-10GB install size that gives me 9-18 games I could install. I am pretty sure I wouldnt have that many games on the go (5 is usually my max if that) and if I did, installing on the 1TB HDD I am using should be good enough I reckon for the occasional play on that game.

(Normal Retail : £84) - (My Cost : £84) --- Seagate ST31000524AS

Since the SSD is my main drive, this is for storage mainly. Unlikely I will install or run anything from here.

(Normal Retail : £19) - (My Cost : £14) --- Samsung SH-S222AB/BEBE 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM [SH-S222AB/BEBE]

I dont plan on playing Blu-Ray or DVDs from this rig so just something that can read and write dvds for occasional burning is fine for me.

(Normal Retail : £62) - (My Cost : £62) --- Noctua NH-D14 Dual Radiator CPU Cooler

In all my research, the D14 either compares 1:1 vs The Silver Arrow but on some tests the Silver Arrow suffered where the D14 shone on so it seems the better option. I am however unsure if this and a simple case fan are going to be enough to keep my system cool... do I need some more case fans?

(Normal Retail : £63) - (My Cost : £58) --- Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus Case - Black

If I wasnt overclocking, I would go with a standard case but this seems to be the business when it comes to overclocking. My only main concern is that it is roomy enough to keep my 6970 and that it wont be bumping heads with the installed RAM when considering the D14. I am fairly sure it is big enough but would appreciate some input.

(Normal Retail : £70) - (My Cost : £70) --- Cooler Master GX 650W '80 Plus' Power Supply [RS-650-ACAA-E3]

I have heard some good things about this PSU, would consider other ones as long as I can get good performance and ideally low sound from it


(Normal Retail : £190) - (My Cost : £170) --- AOC E2795VH 27" Widescreen LED Monitor - Black

This is a good reviewed, fairly low cost 27 inch monitor, big enough I reckon and the specs seem suitable for gaming unless someone can suggest an alternative.

(Normal Retail : £23) - (My Cost : £23) --- Blaze M2021 Tomahawk 5800DPI Laser Wired Gaming Mouse - Black/Red [BL-M2021-RED]

THe 5000 dpi seem strong here, more than enough for gaming

(Normal Retail : £8) - (My Cost : £8) --- Blaze K3285 Multimedia Slim USB Keyboard - Black [BL-K3285]

I dont plan on running massive macros or key assignments so a simple keyboard seems fine here

(Normal Retail : £22) - (My Cost : £19) --- Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller - PC / Xbox 360 (52A-00005) [52A-00005]

Since some of the games I want to play work better with a Controller, this seems a good bet but would consider a better value one if available

(Normal Retail : £12) - (My Cost : £7) --- Creative A40 2.0 Speakers (51MF1640AA001) [51MF1640AA001]

Although most of the time I will run the system with headphones, having speakers for when I dont need to seems a practical idea and these at 2.0 seem fine enough

(Normal Retail : £29) - (My Cost : £29) --- Energy Sistem Energy DJ 400 Comic Art DJ Style Headphones

I am unsure if I will go with these, just picked a fairly decent enough looking pair of headphones




My build (considering my costs I can buy for) works to about £1200 or so.

I would like to get that down if I can, although it is within my £1300, I dont want to waste money on parts that are unneeded and want to make sure I am not missing out on better deals. If there is an SSD that will work as good as the one selected for £50 cheaper, I would get it. If it is better to just get a smaller HDD due to the Thailand issues, I am fine with that if it would save me money since I wont immediately need massive storage, cant even see needing 1TB but I am sure I would fill it up with things once I can.


This rig should be considered as futureproof as possible without buying parts that on a performance / price ratio are poor and will depreciate heavily with no real benefit. I want to be able to look at this rig in a few years and perhaps upgrade the CPU or add in a GPU for Crossfire and at most add in some ram but otherwise I would want it to last a good 4+ years as I dont see myself investing in a new system before then.


Is there anything you can suggest to either help me improve the performance of the rig build above or perhaps suggest AS-GOOD-AS alternatives for the parts that may save me some money.


Thanks in advance
November 27, 2011 11:15:27 AM

bump - pls
November 27, 2011 11:57:12 AM

No the Cooler Master GX 650 is not any good:
http://hardocp.com/article/2010/11/22/cooler_master_gx_...

The Antec Truepower New TPN-750 was reviewed positively at SPCR in terms of its noise, the 650W version has the same fan so either of those should be a good choice in terms of low noise.
Another unit which should be quiet is the Be Quiet Efficient Power 600W, which is based on the FSP Aurum 600W but with a better fan and fan controller.

The Cooler Master HAF 912 can take CPU coolers up to 175mm, so the NH-D14 will easily fit in the case.
And GPUs: 27/39cm in length depending on whether the top harddrive cage is installed or not. So you will have to check the website, of the manufacturer of the card you end up deciding on, to see how long it is and whether you will need to remove the HDD cage.
Noctua specifies a maximum DIMM height of 44mm. So you should probably double check on the Kingston website how tall that set is. Altho if it is 'low profile' RAM (ie RAM without tall heatspreaders) you shouldn't have any trouble.

The Corsair Force 3 and OCZ Agility 3 are very close to the Vertex 3 in terms of performance and parts used, so maybe you could find them cheaper than the Vertex 3.
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-corsair-force-srie...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-ocz-agility-3-ssd-...

I think that Sapphire 6970 is the single blower fan version, which is fairly likely to be quite noisy especially on load. I would go for a version with at least a larger fan, if not two larger fans. Such as this:
PowerColor HD 6970 2GB AX6970 2GBD5-2DH £254
http://www.ebuyer.com/280423-powercolor-hd-6970-2gb-gdd...

If you want to save money then some alternatives to the Silver Arrow and Noctua are the Thermalright Archon and NZXT Havik 140. I don't think it takes a super cooler to get the i5-2500K to 4.5GHz.

I don't think you will need any extra airflow from the case, I would suggest building and then seeing if the temps are to your liking, if not then you can add fans.
Related resources
November 27, 2011 12:07:31 PM

I agree with the changes made but i would also like to see a better featured case. Maybe the haf x or something such as that depends on your likings.... please post a link for the saphire 6970 and i may be able to suggest something different. I am not normally a fan of saphire's cooling solutions. If you wanted to save some money you could also find an "unlock-friendly" version of the 6950 and save yourself some money. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I believe this one has a dual-bios switch
November 27, 2011 12:50:37 PM

Silvune said:
No the Cooler Master GX 650 is not any good:
http://hardocp.com/article/2010/11/22/cooler_master_gx_...

The Antec Truepower New TPN-750 was reviewed positively at SPCR in terms of its noise, the 650W version has the same fan so either of those should be a good choice in terms of low noise.
Another unit which should be quiet is the Be Quiet Efficient Power 600W, which is based on the FSP Aurum 600W but with a better fan and fan controller.


Thanks - I have just looked at the Be Quiet 600W, should be a good £30 saving right there thaks

Silvune said:
The Cooler Master HAF 912 can take CPU coolers up to 175mm, so the NH-D14 will easily fit in the case.
And GPUs: 27/39cm in length depending on whether the top harddrive cage is installed or not. So you will have to check the website, of the manufacturer of the card you end up deciding on, to see how long it is and whether you will need to remove the HDD cage.
Noctua specifies a maximum DIMM height of 44mm. So you should probably double check on the Kingston website how tall that set is. Altho if it is 'low profile' RAM (ie RAM without tall heatspreaders) you shouldn't have any trouble.


Sure, so the key thing here is to check over the dimensions of the equipment before ordering.

Silvune said:

The Corsair Force 3 and OCZ Agility 3 are very close to the Vertex 3 in terms of performance and parts used, so maybe you could find them cheaper than the Vertex 3.
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-corsair-force-srie...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120gb-ocz-agility-3-ssd-...


If you are saying the corsair force 3 and OCZ Agility 3 are as close in quality, looking at those I could make savings of £10-£20 saving straight away by picking one or ther other alternatives - Thanks

Silvune said:

I think that Sapphire 6970 is the single blower fan version, which is fairly likely to be quite noisy especially on load. I would go for a version with at least a larger fan, if not two larger fans. Such as this:
PowerColor HD 6970 2GB AX6970 2GBD5-2DH £254
http://www.ebuyer.com/280423-powercolor-hd-6970-2gb-gdd...


I can get it for about £250 so ebuyer has a good price for this and 2 fans sounds appealing! - Ty

Silvune said:

If you want to save money then some alternatives to the Silver Arrow and Noctua are the Thermalright Archon and NZXT Havik 140. I don't think it takes a super cooler to get the i5-2500K to 4.5GHz.


The Archon reminds me of a poor Silver Arrow and I dont like the Silver Arrow... I like the idea however of buying ONE BIG sink with fans so that I dont need to hang random fans at strategic points in the case

Thanks for the help so far from everyone




In regards to the 6970, I dont mind who the brand is as long as the price is competitive, it is stable and reliable (ideally with a few years warranty) and runs well... it doesnt have to be top of the class for comparing 6970s to each other but somewhere near the top would be nice.




The biggest jumps in cost I have found from taking my system to an overclocking option comes with the higher cost case, higher cost heatsink and higher cost mobo that supports overclocking more... I would say £150 if I dropped these concepts and went with stock case, sink and mobo... I suppose it comes down to just how important the overclocking is.

Is it worth shaving this area (saving £150) and not overclock? If this was your build and your budget, would you cut this and no overclock or go overclock? also would you do anythng different than I have?
!