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New Build, approx £550-£600 budget

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 9:30:55 AM

Hi all,
I am building a PC for my Brother and his wife, I have a good idea on what to build them and was going to go ahead and start ordering, due to spending plenty of time giving advice here I figured I didn't need to post for help, but I don't want assume I know all and prevent maximising the build for the money so thought I would post here to see if I am missing anything or can optimise it at all, after all, I have been away from 'the PC game' for a few months and lots can change.

So, without further ado:

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next couple of weeks

Budget Range: ~£550
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (Rift, Star Wars TOR, GW2), the other stuff they do is very minor so gaming performance is what matters

Parts Not Required: monitor, OS, though also not concerned with mouse/keyboard and speakers as cheap bundles are fine


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I will be using scan to link all the items as I like their site, but I have no real preference to where the parts are bought, Ebuyer is usually a good price as is Scan (though their delivery is steep), Aria, anywhere is good really.
Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: No preference, with the budget it is all about price/performance

Overclocking: Maybe (given that it will be me who has to do the OCing for them, t may or may not be done depending on if I have the time to play around, initially it is unlikely bt I do intend to build with the option to OC in mind)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (Depends on which board I go with, I may just go with one card and when I upgrade their lesser computer it will have an XFire mobo so wen this comp needs a new powerful card the other comp Xfires the old)


Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Not too worried about USB 3 or SATA III. THey won't be making use of an SSD and they rarely ever have any data to transfer. AMD motherboards are my weakness, I have never actually built AMD so am nottoo knowledgable with their mobos

So, what I am thinking:

CPU: AMD 955 BE - £112.26
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-bla...

Mobo: Gigabyte GA 770 - £52.04
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-770t-d3l-amd...(x16)-ddr3-1666(oc)-sata-3gb-s-sata-raid-atx
or
MSI 870 - £69.44
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-870a-g54-amd-870-am3...(x16)-ddr3-1800-2000(oc)-sata-iii-6gb-s-sata-raid-atx
Though the extra cash for USB3, SATA III is not really worth it for this build. So unless there are other perks I would sooner go with the cheap one or pay £10 more for an Asus 790 mobo that can XFire

Case: Antec 300 - £49.43 (or possibly the HAF 912+ for £7 more)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-300-three-hundred-...

DVD Drive: Samsung - £12.53
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/samsung-sh-s223c-bebe-22...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint f3 500gb - £30.59
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-samsung-spinpoint-...

RAM: Corsair DDR3 1600mhz CL9 - £38.54 (I was going to go with G Skill but that is about £50)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(2x2gb)-corsair-xms3-ddr3-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-165v

PSU: Antec Truepower New 650W - £67.16
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/650w-antec-truepower-new...

GPU: Radeon 6850 - £143.62
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-xfx-hd-6850-4000mhz-...

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212+ - £18.95
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-p...

Keyboard/Mouse - £8.75
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/genius-kb-c100-usb-keybo...

Speakers: £17.96
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/logitech-s220-21-speaker...

Total: £551.83
Depending on how close to £600 they can afford to go I could possibly upgrade the mobo to modern chipset and even XFire capability. Alternatively I could go with a 6870 card, however, due to upgrading their other computer soon too, I think I would rather keep the 6850 as that is likely what the other PC will also end up with a 6850 and so eventually one can get a powerful card while one can use XFire of the two cards (assuming one of the PCs has an XFire board of course)

So, any alterations or suggestions I am all ears for. Many Thanks for your help
a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 11:15:10 AM

Surprised you haven't heard about the free next day delivery offer for members of the bit-tech forums with 20 or more useful posts. I'd get cracking if I was you.

The HAF 912 has a more modern interior than the Antec 300, altho it's exterior appeal is more subjective, as lots more room for HDDs including SSDs, so £7 isn't that bad for all that.

The Gigabyte GA-770T-UD3 was an often recommended motherboard before the 800 series chipset was released, so may be a better buy, altho I only say that because I don't know anything about the D3L.

I think that the PSU in the above build would probably have to be the one you use for the crossfire build, because there are a myriad of other options for a PSU to power a single card build that should be at least a bit cheaper.

btw how has that Powercool PSU you bought been doing? (Pretty sure it is you who bought one of those).
a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 12:43:55 PM

It sure was me, in fact it is still running good and strong, so I have to confess I was considering buying one for this build - but figured no point in actually posting it here because all the replies I get would be focused on 'Eek! Get a decent PSU!!' (understandably so, an unknown PSU brand is always a risky thing to go with)
Powercool 750W £49
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-powercool-pc750um-m...

The only downside to the Powercool is that it only has two actual PCIE slots for cables, so SLIing/XFire would mean using other slots on the PSU - but then I myself tend not to use multi cards so it is not an issue.

I may go with the Powercool for the single card set up and use the Antec for the PC that will eventually XFire.

Otherwise, what PSUs would you recommend for the above build? I prefer modular but if a decent non modular was notably cheaper I would go with that. In terms of power, I have a habit of buying 650W PSUs to protect any and all upgrades I may do, but in reality, aside from a more powerful card there probably won't be any significant upgrades done.

As for motherboard, the 770s are becoming hard to find, I linked the D3L because it was still in stock. I am thinking I may be better off going up to a more modern chipset mobo. But as I mention above, once I do that it may even be worth that little bit more to make it an XFire board.

Free delivery with useful posts from bit-tech, damn I have been hanging out in the wrong place :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 4:19:06 PM

Hahaha, yea that's why my post count on here has dropped like a stone, I'm busy trying to get enough posts on forums which offer free delivery at various UK online retailers. So far I've done bit-tech, which does Scan and CCLOnline. Atm I'm trying to get free delivery at OCUK, which is a bit more difficult/complicated; 100 posts and a year of membership or 250 posts and a few months (can't remember how many months) for free next day delivery, going to take awhile to get that as that forum is so busy you hardly ever have a chance to make a meaningful contribution to a thread.

Another downside to the Powercool is that it is unlikely to have the sort of efficiency that the name brand PSUs have, altho that would have to be tested to be confirmed.

The Antec Truepower New TP-520 is about £10 cheaper than the Truepower, is 80% Bronze certified, but if it is anything like the S12 II Bronze 520W Seasonic it is based on, it's efficiency will be around 87% at 20% load. Unfortunately I don't know what the cable lengths are like on it; the ones for the Seasonic original are a bit short for the CPU connector. 52cm IIRC.

I don't have much wisdom with motherboards these days. But I think an Asrock board will be amongst the cheapest to provide a motherboard with crossfire and the new chipset, such as the Asrock 870 Extreme3 £72
http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?origin...
a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2011 6:00:55 PM

Well Scan is my main shop place so I will definately have to work on the delivery thing there.

That board is a good price, I will keep it in mind. Will also check out those PSUs, just gotta find out if cable is long enough for a bottom mounted PSU
!