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First time custom-building, is this a good sub £600 rig?

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February 19, 2011 9:43:37 PM

Hello, I plan to build a mid-range PC, £600 or less.
It will be used for gaming (Crysis,Crysis 2, GTA4 , BFBC2 , so basically graphically intensive games).I want to run those games at high resolution (1650x1050 or more) and high settings but no or little AA as I dont see a big difference. It will also be used for casual browsing, watching films and stuff like that.
I also plan to oc, to maybe 4ghz.
The OS i will be using is a linux and Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit dualboot.

I am thinking of buying from aria.co.uk because of the cheap prices, but dont mind recommendations of other sites.
The rig itself:
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.20GHz Black Edition (Socket AM3) Processor - Retail
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+/+Proces...(Socket+AM3)+Processor+-+Retail+?operation=shoppingCartAdd&productId=40096&context=

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Fans,+Heatsin...

MSI 880GMA-E45 AMD® 880G (Socket AM3) DDR3 PCI-Express Micro-ATX Motherboard
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...(800+Chipset)/MSI+880GMA-E45+AMD%C2%AE+880G+(Socket+AM3)+DDR3+PCI-Express+Micro-ATX+Motherboard+?operation=shoppingCartAdd&productId=40761&context=
Not sure about the motherboard though, what is the best AM3 chipset?

4GB Mushkin (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 9-9-9-24 Silverline - 996946
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory/DDR3+D...(2x2GB)+DDR3+PC3-12800+9-9-9-24+Silverline+-+996946+?operation=shoppingCartAdd&productId=42413&context=

500GB Western Digital Caviar Blue Hard Drive - HDD
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Hard+Drives/S...(Serial+ATA)/500GB+to+1TB/500GB+Western+Digital+Caviar+Blue+Hard+Drive+-+HDD+?operation=shoppingCartAdd&productId=27026&context=

LG DVD Writer, GH22NS50, SATA, Black, OEM
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CD/DVD+Drives...

Coolermaster Elite 342 Micro-ATX Case
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Cases/Micro+A...

750W Arianet Black Series Silent ATX2.2 Power Supply
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie...

Sapphire HD6850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...

OR
Asus HD 6850 1GB GDDR5 OC Graphics Card
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Card...(EAH6850+DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2)+?productId=42291

The asus card is a tiny bit more expensive but its a bit faster, which one is better, the Saphire or Asus card.
Overall, this will be around £550 including postage fees, is this good value for money?
What kind of performance should I expect from this rig? I am currently on a laptop (nvidia g102m and intel core 2 duo t6500 2.1GHz) So will i get blown away by the speed of this :D .
The components aren't set in stone, i wouldn't mind going intel, just AMD seems to give more bang for buck , so please no cpu flame war :) .

February 19, 2011 10:07:45 PM

The power supply is not worthy of your money. So to afford something better quality, change the CPU to this:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 £102
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/CPUs+%2F+Proc...
As gaming doesn't really benefit from anything above a quad core. Altho GTA IV possibly does, but you're not going to be able to play anything at all if you get an awful power supply that can't give you the power you need at best, and at worst may kill some or all of your components including itself.

Your motherboard doesn't allow for multiple cards, so you don't even need one that is "750 watts", my suggestion is the Antec High Current Gamer 520 80Plus Bronze £56
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/245671
Unless, you want to get a power supply that will leave lots of upgrade options open down the road. If so I will suggest something else.

It doesn't really matter which 6850 you get, altho I would get the Asus one as I'm pretty sure that one has been shown to be quieter than the Sapphire one.

I have a WD Caviar Blue, if I could go back in time I would have gotten either the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB or the Seagate 7200.12 500GB, as they are known to use just one platter, and are probably the fastest 500GB harddrives around.
February 19, 2011 10:21:02 PM

If I was to get this motherboard in case I decide to crossfire later on, what size psu would you recommend?
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...(800+Chipset)/ASRock+880G+Extreme3+(Socket+AM3)+DDR3+PCI-Express+Motherboard+?productId=41129
And the seagate drive seems ok, HDD speed isnt a huge concern for me, I just want something reliable.
And yeah I did think 6 cores was an overkill but surely with a little bit of OC it will be as fast as the 955 in gaming and it will be a bit more future proof?
Related resources
February 19, 2011 10:32:22 PM

This is a really good power supply, it is a good price and plenty powerful enough for a system with two 6850s: Antec Truepower New TPN-650 80Plus Bronze Modular £70
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Power+Supplie...

I can't imagine that there would be any reliability issues with any drives from the major 3 (WD, Samsung & Seagate), apart from having bad luck or something. The three drives in this thread have been around long enough that if there were any reliability issues with them they would have come to light by now.

You'll have to choose another case with that Asrock motherboard.
February 19, 2011 10:39:40 PM

How well do Asrock do with overclocking?
I have never heard of this brand before.
I am also not sure which AM3 chipset is the best.
Thanks for the help btw :) 

EDIT: Google says I would be better spending my money on Asus or Gigabyte .
What about this mobo?
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/...(800+Chipset)/Asus+M4A88TD-V+EVO/USB3+AMD+880+(Socket+AM3)+DDR3+PCI-Express+Motherboard+?productId=40258
If I understand correctly, this board has x16+x16 crossfire (2 cards at the same speed?)
I am new to all of this.
February 19, 2011 11:08:28 PM

Asrock motherboards are pretty high quality these days, and has been steadily increasing for the past year. That Asrock 880G Extreme3 is the cheapest 800 series chipset motherboard that has two PCI-E lanes at x8 or above.

The board you linked does have two PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, but when they are both populated they run at x16/x4, which is not ideal with fast graphics cards. On the Asrock they are divided up x8/x8, which is better.
Plenty of tests have shown that there is negligible difference between performance of two cards on dual x16 vs dual x8. You should only ever get worried about having two slots at x8 when trying to run heavily overclocked 580s or something.

The cheapest motherboard that is from either Asus or Gigabyte which has dual x8 crossfiring for AM3 is the Gigabyte GA-890GX-UD3H
http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/... £100 If this overclocks better than the Asrock and otherwise outperforms it then it may be worth the extra ~£23, but I'm a bit skeptical.

It is fine to go with a 700 chipset motherboard if you dont want the option to add a really fast SSD this year or if you don't need or want USB3. Or if you are willing to buy add on cards to provide those functionalities. The Asus M4A79XTD Evo was a really popular motherboard before the 800 series chipsets came out, so would be a solid choice.
February 20, 2011 7:36:15 AM

Hmm this was my recent 550quid UK/Ebuyer heavy 1920 x 1080 gamer config i sent over the email and perhaps something useful for ya ^^
February 20, 2011 12:04:38 PM

Thanks batuchka,looking at that build it seems too good to be true to have such a pc with such a GPU at only £550 :D 
I am still deciding whether to go x4 or x6 .
Also, if I went spent a bit more(still under my budget) and got intel i5-2500k with its appropriate socket mobo and kept everything else the same ( except the psu and hdd Silvune recommended)
would i notice a big performance increase?
I know intel scores higher on benchmarks but would I get a fps increase of ,lets say around 20fps?
Or would i be better off getting the 955 and ocing it and then getting a beasty gpu?
February 20, 2011 2:06:45 PM

For the same $$ for a gaming config of course the last thing u want is compromising on GPU ^^ Millions on dual cores are still gaming on as we speak hehe

The Game Rundown: Finding CPU/GPU Bottlenecks, Part 2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/game-performance-bo...
Quote:
Conclusion: A Trend Toward 3+ Cores

The average optimal number of CPU cores suggested by the test results is 2.75, showing a clear trend towards at least three CPU cores.The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games.



February 20, 2011 2:20:40 PM

Can I ask, What sort of games did you play on the £550 rig, what settings and what fps did you have?
Because that rig seems similar to mine ( after reading reviews I will defo get the 560ti)
And what about the cpu and the old 700 series chipset. Did that bottleneck your gpu?
February 20, 2011 2:26:15 PM

1. Client played Crysis, Crysis Warhead, SC2, WOW, Battlefield BC2 and Black Ops (ones that i recall)
2. No worries about 770 if u not planning CF/SLI
February 20, 2011 2:29:26 PM

How well did the games perform ? ( especially crysis)
And how well does the board overclock as I am planning on ocing gpu and cpu.
February 20, 2011 2:34:58 PM

Dude was very happy for 1920 x 1080 gaming and this wasn't a one off config for my side for clients either :p 
!