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£850/$1330 Gaming/Graphics system.

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October 17, 2011 4:48:18 PM

Hey guys I have been scouring the review sites for the past month looking for information to aid me in speccing and building a new system. The system will be primarily for gaming. Games I intend to play are Battlefield 3/MW3, Skyrim, Diablo etc. As well as Gaming it will be used for graphical design in Photoshop and 3D but no rendering will take place. I plan to do a little overclocking to 4.0 but probably won't breach that much.

My budget at present is about £850/$1330

The budget does not include money for a graphics card. I currently own a Zotac GTX 470 so I am hoping that will keep me going until the new 28nm cards come out. For the PSU I have gone to 850W as I will probably end up grabbing 2 560TIs or soemthing when the 28NM cards come out.

So far I have built 3 specs that I have been altering around.

The prices are based on UK prices as I live there. These were priced a few weeks ago so there could be some change.

Before people jump on the bandwagon of you only need 8 gig of ram. I usually have tons of programmes etc open and it's only an extra £30 that will definitely help in the long run. I usually have two 3D programmes open, Photoshop, several reference images and some firefox windows/skype etc.

I am running 2 monitors at present. Not dual screening in gaming just use one for reference images and seperate programmes from time to time.

Hopefully you guys with your techy knowledge can help me make a decision within in the next few days.

Here are the builds I have made so far.

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Case: CoolerMaster Haf x - £135
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: G Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz Ripjaws Memory 1.5V ----- x 2- £75
HDD: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB - £65
PSU: XFX 850W Edition Modular Power Supply Black - £95
Cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU Cooler - £55
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150
Lite-On 24x internal DVD - £14

£874

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Antec DF-85 Midi Case Dark Fleet - £110
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: 16GB Ram - £75
Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB Hardrive - £46
Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2UK Enthusiast Series - £85
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - £25
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150

£776

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Case + PSU: CM Storm Scout + Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular PSU - £130
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: 16GB Ram - £75
Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB Hardrive - £46
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - £25
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150

£711

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Here are other compenents I have considered.

Case:
Corsair 600T Case - £118
Antec DF-85 Midi Case Dark Fleet - £110
BitFenix Shinobi Midi-Tower - £60
Antec 300 Three Hundred Case - £50
Coolermaster HAF 932 Advanced Case (Now 2 x 3.0) - £100

Bundle:
CM Storm Scout + Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular PSU - £130

MotherBoard
Asrock Extreme4 Gen3 Motherboard - £138
ASUS 1155 P8Z68-V PRO - £135

HardDrive
Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB Hardrive - £46

PSU
Corsair TX 750W V2 -£85
XFX P1-850B-NLG9 850W Edition Modular Power Supply - £95
Corsair CMPSU-850TXV2UK Enthusiast Series - £85
**B Grade** XFX Pro 850W Core Edition Power Supply - £80

Cooler
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - £25
Corsair H100 - £80

Lite-On 24x internal DVD - £14


Sorry for the big post and I hope you guys can help me out.

Thanks.
October 17, 2011 5:04:46 PM

Interesting builds. Where are you buying from? as there are a lot of different sites to choose from:
aria.net
scan.co.uk
ebuyer.com
dabs.com
novatech.co.uk
overclockers.co.uk and more.

Are you looking to make this a particularly quiet build? if not stick with the Cm 212+ for the cooler.

I'd do build 2 but swap the case for the antec 300, and the PSU for the XFX in build 1.
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October 17, 2011 5:32:00 PM

Firstly, i wouldnt get the storm scout + psu bundle as cm dont make great psus, and the case is a little small. I would say build 1 with 16gb ram ( as you can get it for the same price as the 8gb).
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October 17, 2011 7:01:37 PM

@ Metal Orient

Hey cheers for the info

It's mainly Amazon/Ebuyer and Overclockers. I think there is a play.com buy in there too and maybe scan.co.uk

I was hoping for a bit of quietness. All I hear is good things about the CM 212+ (Some noise complaints) I was also looking at the EVO version but it doesn't look like it's available in the UK yet. I did look at watercooling stuff but I thought first PC maybe it's best to get an air cooler instead.

As for the case I am worried about size due to potentially using SLI in the future and further upgrades/water cooling etc. Maybe if I dropped down to a smaller/cheaper case I would look at Coolermaster HAF 912 as it has a few more features. It would be nice to have at least 1 integrated 3.0 slot at the front though.

I have swapped the PSU to XFX for my spec.

Thanks



@ Davayy

Ah right ok didn't know that about the PSU cheers for the tip. Yer space is a worry for me due to it being my first build.

Thanks for the tips mate. Hopefully I can keep it to a large case for future posibilities.


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So you guys think this (with 212) with a different case?

Case: CoolerMaster Haf x - £135
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: G Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz Ripjaws Memory 1.5V ----- x 2- £75
HDD: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB - £65
PSU: XFX 850W Edition Modular Power Supply Black - £95
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - £25
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150
Lite-On 24x internal DVD - £14
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October 18, 2011 12:50:44 AM

This is what I have now:

Case: CoolerMaster Haf 932 Advanced - £100
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
MOBO: Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: G Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333mhz Ripjaws Memory 1.5V ----- x 2- £75
HDD: Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB - £65
PSU: XFX 850W Edition Modular Power Supply Black - £95
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler - £25
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150
ASUS 24X DVD Burner- £20

£815

MSI GTX 560Ti TWIN FROZR II 1GB GDDR5 - £180

£995
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October 18, 2011 12:23:14 PM

You could consider this case:

fractal design define XL:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/fractal-design-define-xl...

Should help keep things quiet

or maybe this:

CM 690 II dominator
http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/Cool...

You could go for a Gelid tranquilo for a quieter cooler, but it's a few degrees behind the CM 212+.

I Wouldn't get the WD HDD, if your buying it for the SATA 3 interface it's a marketing ploy.

The MSI GTX 560Ti is a fine choice and what i'm currently planning in my build.

Just a quick check have you got an OS you can use?
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October 18, 2011 11:20:37 PM

Cooler

I like the look of the Gelid Solutions Tranquillo I have heard numerous reviews about it being hard to install but I think that was the original model (Not REV 2). I also did read some issues with it clashing with RAM slots as it is quite big. I dunno if anyone has any knowledge/understanding on if that is true?

Cases

Nice cases find. I like the look and the reviews of the CM 690 II Advanced. I must have skipped that in the past cause I thought a midi tower would be a bit small for potential SLI. Reading over it looks pretty good though. I am guessing my set up would look similar to http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1022710&mpage=1 Am I right in thinking that in the CM 690 II it can take a second GFX card for SLI without causing heating issues?

HardDrive

The harddrive was just based on the high ammount of decent reviews on Newegg tbh. I did look at Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB. But it will be still used as a running drive for modelling/graphics files and programmes where as SSD will be games/programmes. I will be using a Cloud Service to back up my data. What would you reccomend?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00461LT6S/ref=asc_df_B00461...

As for the OS I can get a copy of Windows 7 through my University I have one already installed on my current computer. Hopefully saving me £65 there.

Thanks for helping me out, much appreciated!
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October 19, 2011 10:35:03 AM

Cooler

Yeah there is overhang on the 1st RAM slot but this is solved with Low Profile memory modules such as: corsair vengeance LP's or XMS3, Or Mushkins Silver/Black Line. Just found it to be 30mm from top of the plastic slot to the fan so gskill ram isn't going to be possible. Although you could put them in the 2nd and 4th slots.

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18232... (30mm clearance)
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1681/7/ (38mm clearance, without the fan)

RAM HEIGHT
XMS3 height 25mm http://forums.hexus.net/memory/197960-height-corsair-xm...
vengeance LP 26.25mm http://www.corsair.com/memory-by-product-family/vengean... (ridiculous that they won't say the XMS height)

This is an interesting link, Thermalright being awesome:
http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_page/product_page/cpu...

Silverline is 32mm apparently but they over measure as you must lose at least 5mm from the part that goes into the slot.

Abit messy but i hope you get the picture


Case

I don't know for sure if it could take the heat load but i can't think how it wouldn't be capable of keeping them well supplied with air (with the correct fan configuration of course, as a note the rig in the link is ,in my opinion, a mess in terms of air flow. Way too many fans).

Hard Drive

Samsung F3 1TB is the hard drive most commonly suggested here as it's cheap, fast and reliable.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Surely the OS is tied to however long you stay at Uni? Won't it run out the year after you leave?
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October 19, 2011 5:04:09 PM

RAM

Awesome thanks for the info. Yer that Thermalight link was pretty interesting. I went with the XMS3s like you reccomended. Didn't realise it would be messy thanks a lot for that. Could have been a nightmare if I ordered it and that happened.

Case

Ok thanks yer I have seen some people with SLI in there and there is room for triple SLI so I am sure it should be good. I saw on ebuyer that you can get the 932 Advanced (2 x 3.0) for £100. Just thought I would swing that by you from looking around it's pretty cheap.

http://www.ebuyer.com/254370-coolermaster-haf-932-advan...

Hard Drive

Switched it for the one you recommended. Looks great, thank you.

For the OS nah it's just a permanent license (I think anyway) They give you a key and you are sorted. It's 1 per account and I think you might have to justify the reasoning behind it. I upgraded my XP to 7 in second year. It is a mainly computer orientated University and a common thing in English Universitys. You get some other programmes free etc but I think they have time stamps like you say or for educational purposeses only.

I guess it's just the case that needs deciding now? Unless you have anymore suggestsions?

Thanks once again for helping me and for the information.

Case: Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced Case - £76
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
MOBO: Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: CORSAIR XMS DDR3 1333MHz 8GB (2x4GB) ----- x2 - £75
HDD: Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB - £43
PSU: XFX 850W Edition Modular Power Supply Black - £95
Cooler: Gelid Tranquillo CPU Cooler - £26
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150
ASUS 24X DVD Burner- £20

£770

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October 19, 2011 5:59:07 PM

RAM

Glad that's sorted.

CASE

If you'd feel happier with the HAF, go for it. You're going to be living with whatever case you choose. (Sounded less harsh in my head). It does also have a USB3.0 box thing. SO if you like it go for it.

HDD

Cool.

As to OS, goddamnit finished uni last year. I never found where i could get free windows from.

Looks like you're all set, case is a tricky one. I am currently looking at the fractal define R3 as my one as i'd like my build to be quiet.

Maybe this:

Lancool (cheap subsidiary of Lian Li) Dragon Lord £54
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/lian-li-pc-k58b-lancool-...

Good luck
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October 20, 2011 1:58:59 AM

Case

It didn't sound harsh at all it's true! I did a few hours digging into cases mainly comparing the Haf 932 + 922 + CM 690 II + Fractal Design R3 and I have basically came to a choice between CM 690II and Fractal but I am more leanient on the Fractal. I looked around to see what people thought about either and people on Tom's seemed to reccomend the Fractal and replace the fans if need be. One issues with the R3 is there is no internal header for the USB 3.0 front port on the ASrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 not too big an issue.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/21473/5 if you haven't come accross that, it's worth a read and you can compare it to the Corsair 400R on there too.

Another case I have looked at is the Fractal Design Arc Case. Looks good but there aren't that many reviews on it. http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1263/pg1/fractal-... is one. Overclockersclub are putting up a review of the XL and Mini on the 23rd or so this forum says. http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=...

Have you looked at the Arc Midi and compared it to the Define R3 for your build at all?

Here is the build at the moment. Looks nice

Case: Fractal Design Define R3 USB 3.0 - £78
CPU: Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked - £165
MOBO: Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 Motherboard - £120
Memory: CORSAIR XMS DDR3 1333MHz 8GB (2x4GB) ----- x2 - £75
HDD: Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB - £43
PSU: XFX 850W Edition Modular Power Supply Black - £95
Cooler: Gelid Tranquillo CPU Cooler - £26
SSD: Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB SSD - £150
ASUS 24X DVD Burner- £20

£772

Cheers
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October 20, 2011 8:44:58 PM

Yeah, I have certainly seen many reviews for the R3, SPCR is the one I find most useful.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/fractal-r3
It does actually come with usb 3, if you find the right one. There is also a kit to convert the usb2 slots as well.

I have considered the arc midi. It certainly looks like a nice case but i think it'd pay that little bit extra for the R3. It justs look so nice and has better functionality.
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October 20, 2011 8:49:10 PM

What I meant by the USB 3 was the internal header on the ASrock Mobo doesn't support the connection from the case for USB 3.0

Yer I hear it's a lot more silent than the Midi.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 20, 2011 9:39:47 PM

Thumbs up on the excellent advice from Metal. I am changing your thread type so you can vote him as best answer.
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October 21, 2011 2:19:55 PM

Thanks a lot Metal Orient, much appreciated. Really good information

I tried to select your third reply as the best answer but it won't work for some reason :/ . Tried on 3 different browsers.

Thanks once again!
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a b 4 Gaming
October 22, 2011 12:40:59 AM

Looks like a new forum bug. new software is being integrated behind the scenes I guess. We'll get it straight.
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!