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$650/£400 - Budget Gaming PC

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June 17, 2011 3:23:23 PM

Hey guys first time posting so sorry if I do anything wrong,

It's my birthday tomorrow, and therefore I have decided to build my own PC, i'm a bit short on money and really out of date with parts.

I am looking for someone brilliant to help me string together a PC soley for gaming, for my budget of 650$/400£. I do have a sucky monitor, however will upgrade that later.

I'll be playing WoW and various other shooters, and would like to get a constant good framerate.

If anyone can help me out it would be greatly appreciated! thanks

(I am from the UK and see this forum is mostly US.. thought I'd post anyway)

More about : 650 400 budget gaming

June 17, 2011 3:27:08 PM

GWoody93 said:
Hey guys first time posting so sorry if I do anything wrong,

It's my birthday tomorrow, and therefore I have decided to build my own PC, i'm a bit short on money and really out of date with parts.

I am looking for someone brilliant to help me string together a PC soley for gaming, for my budget of 650$/400£. I do have a sucky monitor, however will upgrade that later.

I'll be playing WoW and various other shooters, and would like to get a constant good framerate.

If anyone can help me out it would be greatly appreciated! thanks

(I am from the UK and see this forum is mostly US.. thought I'd post anyway)


WoW is playing better with Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU. So an i3 2100 and a 460 along with 4GB and 500g HDD should be fine
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2011 3:50:22 PM

Hey Gwoody! Welcome to the forums. Happy birthday! I will totally help you out with a build.

But first, I have some questions that can easily be answered by filling out the standard form here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic... The important questions are monitor res and parts not required.

Cheers :D 
Related resources
June 17, 2011 4:22:07 PM

Yeah no problem man, sorry.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP - When I'm happy with my build

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800): 650$ (maybe could squeeze 700 or so) / £400-450

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Games Sole Purpose -> Watching Movies -> Surfing net

Parts Not Required: Keyboard Mouse OS Monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: UK Sites.. but can find myself if that is too much hassle

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU only

Overclocking: Would be happy to learn to so Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Not a clue ^_^

Monitor Resolution: Im pretty easy, my shooters id prob play old school 800x600.. but wow maybe 1024x768.. but for the purposes id say 1280x960 say.. (im not the best with this stuff thats why i'm asking :/ )

Additional comments: Built for best performance on games
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2011 4:24:53 PM

One last question. What games do you play? At 800x600, that's interesting since most games are formatted for widescreen now.
June 17, 2011 4:33:40 PM

Some uk sites for you mate
Aria.co.uk
Scan.co.uk
Ebuyer.co.uk
Pixmania.co.uk
Envizage.com
I reckon your looking at
amd 955 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-bla...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(2x2gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/174597
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240999
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/262260
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124228
shop around to find best prices obv, but that 955 is the cheapest I've found lately and I'm grabbing one on monday :) 
Case choice I leave to you :) 
Moto
June 17, 2011 6:12:20 PM

Well I only played BF2, Counter Strike, WoW and games like that, I would play (if possible) BF3 when it comes out etc. Mainly World of Warcraft though.

Also thanks moto, ill have a look at all them options however can you link me to an equivelent priced Intel Processor, it is the only thing I don't like AMD Processors :)  thanks alot!
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2011 6:34:25 PM

Why don't you like AMD? I usually say go Intel, but in this case I'd say go AMD.
Here's what I came up with....

CPU: (good tip moto) Phenom II x4 955 http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-bla... $88 ($=£, K)

GPU: XFX 6870: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/244474 $122

RAM: G.skill 2x2GB 1600: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240501 $33

Case: Rosewill challenger (under different name) http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172779 $28

PSU: CX 500 (again, good tip moto) http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240999 $44

HDD: Spinpoint F3 1TB http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804 $40

And a cheap DVD drive brings it to $388.
However, I didn't include a motherboard. If we could find an AM3+ crossfireX motherboard, We'd be in good shape albeit over budget.
June 17, 2011 6:35:32 PM

The i3 2100 is probably the closest priced intel proc,
but for the budget you posted, amd is pound for pound the way to go, my Gf plays WoW on a triplecore 2.9GHz chip with a 5770 and gets great frames, the 955 is going to last you a long time,
if you upped the budget I'm sure we could find a Intel build for you though
Edit ty for the praise Strike :p 
an am3+ plate is going to call about £150 out of the budget
Moto
a b 4 Gaming
June 17, 2011 6:38:37 PM

^^. I could build you an i3-2100 build, but it wouldn't really have the upgradability (OCing, crossfire) that a cheap AMD would. Still, the i3-2100 is a bit stronger, especially in WoW.
June 18, 2011 1:31:10 AM

Well.. you guys are the experts, I appreciate the time you've taken to help me :)  I think i'll pretty much go with your call, but people have told me to stay away from AMD (I dont really know why) what are the reasons for choosing one over the other? And what do you think the best option is for me :p  thanks alot guys

Also, another noob question but why quad core and not a dual core for gaming? I know youre probably right just intrigued, again appreciate the help!!

The budget can also be anywhere between £400-500... Id like to know the options I have for a cheaper end of that budget (400) and up the scale if you get me? like saying "you could have this better CPU if you spent £500" (dno it in $) but £500 is really my max i can afford :) 
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 2:06:14 AM

AMD Vs. Intel. A time old battle.

AMD
PROS
-cheap quad core performance, good for gaming
-cheaper boards
-more options in the budget range
-a bit of upgradabilty with AM3+

CONS
-Vastly outperformed by Intel quads. AMD can only hold it's own in a budget sector
-No clear upgrade options
-Some games prefer intel CPU's
-dominated in single threaded apps

INTEL
PROS
-very fast!
-excellent for single threaded apps
-IGP and virtu for power saving
-has brand recognition
-some games prefer Intel

CONS
-Expensive! Even the cheapest SB is almost outta budget.
-outperfomed in some apps
-boards with SLI/crossfire are much more expensive than AMD counterparts


I think that should help to outline the differences. In your case, AMD wins.
June 18, 2011 7:56:09 AM

Basically as Strikes said, at the sub £600 level your almost always going to go amd on the simple fact that you get more for your pound
my own pc cost about £480 last january and I recently made a similar build on here for someone that is now about £350, so price drops help hehe
Quadcore because Blizz want a dual as minimum spec, and if you game, you never use minimum spec :)  triplecores pretty much all you need for it but a quad helps you on nongaming applications as well,
add to that the Black editions are unlocked multiplier, i.e. simple overclocking
Games dont use all four cores on quads though so no point getting a 6core chip, they actually can perform worse than quads for gaming,
I'll look for an Intel Mobo and chip for you though, just swap them for the amd ones listed if you wish :) 
Moto
June 18, 2011 12:17:26 PM

Brilliant, I think the AMD option sounds best for me then! :)  Thanks a bunch. So I should go with the spec Striker said? and what was this about the AM3+ Cross mobo or something? Could I finally get a link to that?

:p  Thanks guys you've been amazingly helpful... and i'm not going to be one of those guys who doesn't listen, i'll be going for the AMD setup ! :) 
June 18, 2011 12:32:03 PM

The Am3+ Mobo I'm going for on my build is the AsRock 890fx (Gx has integrated gfx) and has the black socket, I.E. it will take the new chips when they arrive, maybe with a bios update for certain Dozer chips though,
its about £145 but worth it imo for the usb 3.0, and black socket
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ASROCK-SKT-AM3-890FX-DELUXE5-S-L-...
That plate, a 955be from http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-bla...
Given that boxcode is correct its a c3 stepping which is the refined version,
other than that its your call on the graphics, case etc
Glad to help man,
moto
June 18, 2011 12:57:37 PM

Thank you :) 
June 18, 2011 1:11:00 PM

What would your personal GFX choice be Moto ??
June 18, 2011 1:48:16 PM

I have a Sapphire 5770 in my rig atm,
I'm taking the overkill option on my new build though, two Asus 6950 Direct CuII's, tripleslot beasts hehe
but for WoW, ati choice would be 5770 or better,nvidia choice is nvidia 460 or better
they're both about £100, scout about and you'll find them cheaper though
Moto
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 2:10:52 PM

What's your thoughts on going 6870, moto? It would require 2x6pin PCI cables, but I think for only £20 more you get a BIG increase in performance.
June 18, 2011 2:11:17 PM

Okay man, if its not to much trouble, I know i'm constantly asking with nothing in return, but could you lay out the final spec fully for me ? ^_^ haha, sorry to be an annoying noob im just useless at this all.. haha.

Also how is the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Extreme 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card ? Someone else recommended a build with that in it ?

Actually the full build they recommended was;


Your basketProduct Name Qty Price Line Total
Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - OEM £156.98
(£130.82) £156.98
(£130.82)
XFX ATI Radeon HD 5830 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card £79.99
(£66.66) £79.99
(£66.66)
Gigabyte Z68A-D3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard £79.99
(£66.66) £79.99
(£66.66)
Cooler Master Elite 430 Windowed Case - Black (with 500w Elite Power PSU) £64.99
(£54.16) £64.99
(£54.16)
Kingston HyperX Genesis Grey 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (KHX1600C9D3X2K2/4GX) £34.99
(£29.16) £34.99
(£29.16)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3500413AS) £26.99
(£22.49) £26.99
(£22.49)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 High Performance CPU Cooler (Socket LGA775/1155/1156/1366/939/AM2/AM2+) £22.99
(£19.16) £22.99
(£19.16)
OcUK 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £14.99
(£12.49) £14.99
(£12.49)
Sub Total : £401.60
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
DPD Next Day Parcel
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £10.50
VAT is being charged at 20.00% VAT : £82.42
Total : £494.52


Or if you use this 5850 - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=GX-259-SP

5850 vs 5830 - http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/171?vs=164

Its a total of £531.52


(I know my budget here was £400 and im probably alot more likely to lean towards that but 500£ is a possibility for me.. maximum though.) :p  Thanks
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 2:23:10 PM

Might I suggest 6870? How much is the 5850? http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=295
(it performs MUCH MUCH better in crossfire also... Something to keep in mind for the future ;)  )
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=303

Something like this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6870-black-46... However, I saw a deal that was an XFX for £120 so keep an eye out for deals.

And DO NOT get that coolermaster case/psu bundle. Bleh. Low quality PSU Doesn't have required connectors.
June 18, 2011 2:32:40 PM

£ 117 for 5850, i assume the one youve suggested is alot better, and you do get a game with it, cant go wrong there for 3-20 quid! :) . Out of interest would you go for intel if my budget was 500£? I mean that build I linked really does impress me, and he is strongly backing that intel is a way better choice for me... What do you guys think? I dont want to undermine your knowledge of course.. just curious :) 
June 18, 2011 2:42:02 PM

I'd push it to the 5850 if you can afford it, and the vengeance ram I linked is a better brand than kingston for a few quid more
otherwise thats a nice build
Moto
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 2:43:31 PM

Well here's a question. Do you want to overclock? The 2500k is intel's cheapest overclocker.
If you have no interest (remember you need a cooler to really OC) then drop to the i5-2400. Just as powerful, but no overclocking.

And swap the case and PSU PLEASE
here's a pretty good combo of items:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240999 <psu
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172779 <case
the case is the Rosewill challenger under a different name. The rosewill challenger actually got the Tom's nod for a budget gaming case!
June 18, 2011 2:44:33 PM

Well looking at that 6780 (assuming the cards better) id much prefer to go with that? (quick question as always -.-) what does it mean "black edition" ? :)  and ill take the ram into consideration thanks Moto :) 

Re read your post striker, missed the coolermaster mention, will you offer me an alternative dont like the sound of it not having the required connectors man?

Another Edit: you beat me too it ! :p 

and yes i would overclock :)  seems really easy to do on that one from what ive read and my friend knows how to do a little bit
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 2:59:33 PM

Black edition is just XFX's way of saying it's factory overclocked I believe. It's naming really.
June 18, 2011 3:05:15 PM

Alright man, thanks alot, you think that intel spec will dominate then for the cost? (I mean would you reccommend that for that budget or ? )
June 18, 2011 3:29:57 PM

Hehe, I could've put money on the psu choice Strike :) 
Sorry I didn't pick that one up :p 
Moto
June 18, 2011 5:17:05 PM

Jesus... well thanks alot guys youve been amazing... bet this forum thrives because of guys like you :) 
June 18, 2011 5:56:52 PM

Personally I just like helping folks spend their hard-earned a little more wisely,
I learned a lot from Toms so its only fair to pay back in kind
Moto
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 6:11:30 PM

Same. I came here about a year ago seeking help for a buddy of mine. The people here were very kind, and I learned alot. I guess the atmosphere drew me back.
June 18, 2011 8:42:13 PM

Thanks for your reply man and I will take it into consideration. I have mixed and matched a few things from what ive been recommended all over.

Tell me what you think of this spec. I'm not sure if links to other sites can be posted or not. If not i'll immediately edit.

CPU:156.18 - Intel CPU Core i5 2500K Unlocked Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor OEM. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel...-cache-95w-oem
GPU:£131.62 - XFX HD 6780 Black Ed. +Shogun 2 game. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-x...eam-processors
MOBO:68.82 - Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3 Motherboard. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...3gb-s-raid-atx
PSU:£44.97 - Corsair 500W CX Series PSU. Link: http://www.******.com/product/240999
Ram:£38.54 - Corsair Memory Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(...-9-24-xmp-150v
HDD:£26.99 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3500413AS). Link: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=HD-247-SE
Case:£28.71 - Casecom 6788 Black Mid Tower Case. Link: http://www.******.com/product/172779
Cooling:£19.03 - Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 High Performance CPU Cooler (Socket LGA775/1155/1156/1366/939/AM2/AM2+). Link: http://www.****.co.uk/VendorStores/A...roductId=43268
DVD Drive: £14.99 - OcUK 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) OEM Link: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...odid=CD-099-LG

_________________
Total= £529.85 inc VAT. (bit out of budget but I can squeeze it)

Does everything work together? Is the PSU good enough for the GFX card etc?

Whats your opinions on how good this gfx card is ? I think its a nice deal. Think im pretty happy with this would like to hear opinions though!
June 18, 2011 8:50:11 PM

Thats a nice looking build, you could up the psu to a 600w if you need to reassure yourself, its about a tenner more tho so your call,
http://www.amazon.co.uk/corsair-cx-600w-Computers-Acces...
as always, shop around to find the deals :) 
and yes to the gfx card assuming its the 6870, I've not heard of the 6780 :p 
Moto
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 8:50:26 PM

Uhh, hard to say. Those links are screwy. If you could fix em, I'll give ya my opinion.

EDIT: Browsed just the titles. I suggest swapping the CPU cooler for a 212+, I think they are only £3 more I think?
June 18, 2011 10:27:12 PM

Thanks for being so supporting guys and is this the product you meant striker - http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/11718775/Cooler-Master-Hy...

? :)  and thanks moto for doing my dirty work :p 

EDIT: Some advice from a UK forum was "The RAM is too expensive, its also very tall, this can interfere with big heatsinks." any problems I should think about?

Double EDIT: From what I can gather OEM is without warranty, would I be best taking the extra few pounds for 2 years warranty on both CPU+GPU?
June 18, 2011 10:35:11 PM

2 edits in prior post, and again thanks for that tip
a b 4 Gaming
June 18, 2011 10:39:01 PM

Not sure about ram... I'm pretty sure it fits though. We'll wait for moto on that one.

and WRONG WRONG WRONG! =p The XFX GPU comes with a LIFETIME warranty, as long as you register. The CPU comes with a 3 year warranty I believe.
June 18, 2011 10:48:07 PM

Good job I have you guys to tell me ;)  hehe. Read reviews on the cooling you suggested, seems heavily praised, but said to be really big, I am just assuming it fits? :p  and alrighty then I will purchase the OEM's registered !

reedit: nvm I re read (its a bit late) so do you think it will effect the system in anyway having a 500w moto / striker? Should I get the 600?
June 18, 2011 11:09:02 PM

Ugh, so many questions ... feel like im becoming annoying -.-

but can you guys find an equivalent quality/price for these products on either play/scan/ebuyer as i dont know what is equivalent

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3500413AS)

22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter

Many thanks...
June 18, 2011 11:40:55 PM

for hard drives you are looking at speed, 7200rpm, the read/write speeds and the cache,16mb but the spinpoints are good drives, the f4's can be as fast as ssd's if set up in raid properly (not my strong point sorry)
any old dvd writer, theyre only about £20 just make sure its sata, not ide
The cx's are basic psu's ok for most budget builds but the way we're going I'd go for the Tx series and the smallest one there is 650w I think so if you stick with the Cx, i'd take the 600w version
check this, theres a pic a bit down of vegeance with a 212, initial issues but he worked around it to get clearance ok, **Edit forgot to paste link and cant find it now lol, the guy basically moved the fans up the cooler's body a couple of fins to clear the ram better,**
Sorry for the absence, watching Firefly :p 
Moto
June 19, 2011 12:21:05 AM

haha I really cant afford that psu... I'll stick with the corsair ;P and fair enough then I shall return when I have all the parts priced and everything set for the best measures
June 19, 2011 2:11:15 AM

CPU:156.18 - Intel CPU Core i5 2500K Unlocked Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor OEM. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...

GPU:£131.62 - XFX HD 6780 Black Ed. +Shogun 2 game. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6870-black-46...

MOBO:68.82 - Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3 Motherboard. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z68a-d3-inte...(x16)-ddr3-1866-2133-sata-3gb-s-raid-atx

PSU:£44.97 - Corsair 500W CX Series PSU. Link: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240999

Ram:£38.54 - Corsair Memory Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 XMP Dual Channel Desktop. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(2x2gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-150v

HDD:£29.98 - 500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9ms, NCQ. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-samsung-spinpoint-...

Case:£28.71 - Casecom 6788 Black Mid Tower Case. Link: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172779

Cooling:£15.99 - Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus. Link: http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/11718775/Cooler-Master-Hy...

DVD Drive:£14.99 - Sony AD-5260S-0B 24x DVD±R, 12xDVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RWx6 SATA, Black, OEM. Link: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sony-ad-5260s-0b-24x-dvd...

Final price £548.40.

Really happy with the spec, the only (until I think of even more, paranoid you see!) questions I have are;

Will the Ram and Fan definitely fit somehow ?

And is the Cooling good if I am planning on OClocking the processor ? THANKS <3 :) 
a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2011 4:54:15 AM

Ram should fit under the cooler. If you are worried, grab some G.skill ripjaws. I fould a deal earlier, if you can wait a bit I'll find it.

And that cooler can take you to 4.5GHz and up! Awesome cooler for the price.

If you can wait a bit I'll find you some lower profile ram

EDIT: found the ripjaws on Ebuyer! http://www.ebuyer.com/product/264748
this stuff is a little cheaper, but looks less cool: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240501
!