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New £1200 Gaming/Multimedia System

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August 29, 2011 4:24:17 PM

Hi all,

been about 5 years since i last built a machine, think I have a fair idea on what's good, but but as my old machine is starting to play up, haven't spent as much time looking into this as I would have liked, so would appreciate some second opinions please.


Approximate Purchase Date: Soon as possible

Budget Range: £1200

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming and media centre ( both pc and direct tv output )

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor and OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Scan & Ebuyer preferably, though I'm fine with any reliable site

Country of Origin: U.K.

Parts Preferences: Ati GPU, other than that, any good quality brand is fine

Overclocking: Yes, though I've never tried it before, so only the basics

SLI or Crossfire: Not yet.

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 and 1080p tv.

Additional Comments: Ideally looking for quiet, but mainly need a machine that will last. I intend to buy a second card, extra HDD and new monitor next year. Each of my last machines lasted me about 5 years so I am willing to wait a little while if it provides reasonable benefits, but would rather buy as soon as possible, so far I'm looking at

Case - Xigmatek ELYSIUM - £142.78
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/xigmatek-elysium-black-c...

PSU - Antec High Current Gamer Pro 850W PSU HCG-850 - £141.56
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/850w-psu-antec-hcp-850-g...

Motherboard - Asrock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 Socket 1155 7.1 Channel HD Auido ATX Motherboard - £204.90
http://www.ebuyer.com/276331-asrock-z68-professional-ge...

Memory - Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 2000Mhz Memory Kit CL9 - £95.00
http://www.ebuyer.com/275176-crucial-ballistix-8gb-2x4g...

CPU - Intel CPU Core i5 Unlocked 2500K Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor - £159.78
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...

CPU Cooler - Corsair Cooling Air Series A70 Socket Performance CPU Cooler - £53.71
http://www.ebuyer.com/226440-corsair-cooling-air-series...

GPU - MSI HD 6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition/OC AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 2GB - £203.63
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/2gb-msi-hd-6950-twin-fro...

SSD - OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD - SATA-III - Read 525MB/s Write 500MB/s 85,000 IOPS - £139 48
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spin...

HDD - Samsung 1Tb Spinpoint F3 Hard Drive - £39.58
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spin...

Total - £1180 .42 ( + Delivery )

Again, thanks for any and all help.
August 29, 2011 4:39:19 PM

If the main focus of your build is Gaming and you wish to SLI in the future, i suggest:

PSU - OCZ ZX Series 1000W 80 Plus Gold £135
Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 Intel Z68 £147
RAM - Corsair Memory Vengeance Black 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz £45
CPU - Intel CPU Core i5 2500K £155
Cooler - Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus £22
GPU - MSI 1536MB GeForce GTX 580 Twin Frozr II/OC £375
SSD - OCZ Agility 3 60GB SSD £78
HDD - Samsung 1TB Spinpoint F3 £40

£997 total without a case. And that build with a GTX 580 would completly destroy a 6950. The 1000w PSU will allow for a second card to be added in SLI in the future aswell.
(Priced up using www.SCAN.co.uk)
August 29, 2011 5:05:31 PM

Dunno if that RAM is going to fit under that cooler, that build doesn't look like it is going to be particularly quiet either. Maybe try this:

i5-2500k
8GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz 1.5v
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
Gainward Phantom GTX 570
Crucial m4 64GB or 128GB
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
850W Corsair TX850
Noctua NH-D14
Fractal Design Define XL or Coolermaster Cosmos

That will easily fit into your budget and should be really quiet. I took out the GTX 580 because even at 1080P it seems like overkill and it is quite expensive for what it does. A GTX 570 will easily cover what you need.

All of those parts are quiet and the Crucial M4 is supposed to be the most reliable SSD on the market, it's fast too.

EDIT: Even with the more expensive Cosmos and 128GB SSD this should come under £1100
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August 29, 2011 6:13:17 PM

Thanks for the quick response guys, to be honest I'm still looking at the lot of the parts you've suggested, but did have one quick question, why GTX?
From experience I've always found that Geforce slightly out does radeon on a strictly gaming basis, but in turn radeon always seemed the better option for multimedia.
I really want a good gaming experience out of this machine, but the pc is my entire media centre so both parts are equally important to me, so I'd be happy to hear any opinions on whether the GTX justifies the additional cost ( especially bearing in mind that I will eventually be buying 2 or possibly 3 cards ).

Thanks.
August 29, 2011 7:06:22 PM

GTX 560Ti performs about on par with 6950
GTX 570 performs about on par with 6970
GTX 580 just has better performance compared to all of them and since its do-able well within your budget, why not go for the best performance available.
August 29, 2011 10:13:52 PM

GTX 580 is like a 5-10% increase in performance over a GTX 570 for like 40-50% more money, it just seems very expensive to me. In terms of multimedia performance, even the integrated graphics on any 1155 chip would easily handle HD and 3D movies etc so dont worry about the multimedia performance of any of the cards, they should all be fine.

You could get an HD 6970 instead if you want but it's not really any cheaper. Also, the Gainward Phantom GTX 570 is supposed to be really quiet.
!