£800-£850 New Pc with SB

Hey all, sandy bridge is now just around the corner and i've decided to make a shopping basket to get ready to purchase as soon as possible, this will be my first build ever so i do have a few newbie questions and such. Anyway this is what i have come up with:

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: £800-£850 British Pounds (may need to go a little bit above i guess, as long as it's worth it)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming,Light programs use, general usage.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers,

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Scan.co.uk (don't have any preference, can use other Uk websites aswell but scan.co.uk seems to be the cheapest)

Country of Origin: United Kingdom - London

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: None

Overclocking: No (atleast not until the pc is very old):P

SLI or Crossfire: No - don't see the need + dont have the money atm

Monitor Resolution: My current monitor is... well very very crappy, i will be replacing it few months after i buy the pc when i can get more money of my parents ^^

Additional Comments: I do need to spend £80 on the OS.

Here is what i've come up with:

i5 2500 (around £150-160?) Since i'm thinking of not getting the K version, does that mean that i will never be able to overclock? is there any reason to go with the K version except for overclocking? I'm also thinking of going with stock cooler as i'm not going to overclock, good/bad choice?

Motherboard: (£80-100) It seems to be: P67 vs H67 on the boards, with H67's being cheaper, do you think i need a more expensive one if i'm not going to overclock? Also should i aim for a ATX or a miniATX? Also which brands to go with?

Case:(£32) Coolermaster Elite 430 Black Mid Tower Computer Case
I chose one of the cheapest cases, it seems to be averagely small, do you think i will have trouble with it? Since i'm a first time builder, i do want it to be a pretty simple task but the larger ones are atleast £50 and in my opinion aren't worth it.

PSU:(£66) Corsair TX CMPSU-650TXUK 650W Power Supply (PSU)
Is this a good one? I do want a reliable PSU with all those dread stories of PSU failing going around. Also i can save £10 if i go with similar corsair but 600 Watts, do i need the extra watts?

Video Card:(£228) XFX HD 6950 ATI - AMD Radeon Graphics Card - 2GB
The XFX brand seems to be £20 cheaper than all other brands, is there specific reason for that? Hmm

Memory:(£91) Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop
I chose the cheapest 2x4gb@1600mhz,Good/bad choice?etc

Hardrive: (£41) http://www.scan.co.uk/products/ss1tb-samsung-hd103sj-spinpoint-f3-sata-3gb-s-7200rpm-32mb-cache-89-ms-ncq-oem
Again, cheapest 1tb hardrive, any suggestions, is it good enough?

Hardrive, (£96) SSD:OCZ 60GB Vertex 2E SSD - Solid State Drive
Is it worth it buying one of these? i will mainly have the OS installed there as i don't think i will have any other permenant programs or games. Is it hard to install an SSD, i mean i'm a newbie and there don't seem to be any guides on how to do it, or is it the same with any other hardrive?

Optical Drive: (£13-17)Okey, this is the simplest thing and i just couldn't work out which one to get, there are so many options on the scan.co.uk website with all simmilarly priced that i just don't want to get an older version by mistake.

OS: Windows 7 Home premium (£80)

Total = £866 - £900 a little bit over budget
+ Scan offers scansure which will cost about £25 i think, which is basicly insurence for 28 days that if you Brake any component while building, you get a replacement.

If i Sack the SSD, I will like the price more but then again, i've heard it's major performance boost. Anywhere else i could save a few quid?

Also if i'm using Stock cooler for CPU, do i still need Artic silver 5 thermal paste?

Thanks for any help, i'm open to all kind of suggestions, i just want to be ready to buy as soon as Sandy bridge becomes available which is why i'm posting a bit early.
32 answers Last reply
More about 800 850
  1. I've heard that only the K versions can be overclocked but I don't know if this is fact. However you don't seem to keen on the idea of overclocking so I don't see a problem there.

    I think a HD6970 will just about fit in that case.

    That PSU is very high quality, its not modular though so cable manangement could be tricky

    Nothing wrong with a HD6950.

    Any reason why you need 8GB or RAM?, If this PC is for gaming then 4GB is plenty, I'm using 3GB on a X58 system.

    Here's my recommendation: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-041-PA&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=1517 Good timings and speed.

    That samsung Spinpoint is a very good choice.

    I haven't got an SSD but have read many people say its the best upgrade they've ever done, the one you linked to is a good choice, though it can be had cheaper.


    The stock cooler comes with pre applied thermal paste.

    Shop around to get the best deals

  2. Thanks for the reply, much apreciated.
    The reason for 8GB of Ram is to futureproof it a little but mostly because I'm the kind of person that likes to open countless of programs, aplications and games at the same time and RAM seems to be the best way to deal with my situation?

    PSU: I've heard that modular PSUs could be a bigger problem for newtime builders but would like more clarification on this. Also What do you guys think of downgrading it to 600 watts to save a £10? or is it better to be on the safe safe side.

    SSD: the one you linked to is 50GB so i'm not sure, would 50gb be enough for me? it does save £11 but probbably less when shipping charges come in place. I will do a final check on all the prices on all those shops but i've been doing price comparisons on a lot of parts and scan.co.uk seems to always win.

    I guess i will be fine with a stock cooler then.

    Any more thoughts on the case and my other questions? Thanks
  3. No harm in excess RAM, although I still think 4GB is plenty, at the end of the day its up to you and if you have the budget for 8GB then by all means go for it. Although I will say that the RAM I linked to is faster than that 8GB kit (tighter timings)

    Modular PSU's aren't complicated, you just plug in the PSU cables you need into the PSU, you certainly don't need to be an experienced PC builder to use one, besides PSU's come with instructions.
    600W would be enough, although if you ever plan on overclocking then I'd pay the extra £10 for the 650W.

    50GB is enough for a boot drive and more, windows 7 home premium 64Bit takes up 20GB so you'll be left with roughly 30GB for apps or a few games if you wish.
  4. I agree with you with RAM so i will wait and see the pricing of the proccesor and mobo before deciding but I just have this gut feeling to go with the 8gb lol.

    Well the price of modular vs non modular is the same and i've heard about adding electric resistance when plugging in the modular cables or something, do you think i will have trouble with air flow if i do go with non modular? What do most people go with these days? I guess i will keep the 650 watts just to be safe.

    When i'm happy and i'm 100% sure on the parts i'm buying, i will do a final price check on all major stores and unless there is atleast a few parts from different stores other than scan.co.uk, i think it would be pointless to possibly go through the hassle of dealing with 2 companies over 1 item to save a very small amount. obviosly if its a massive price difference, i will ;)

    I do want a bit more clarification on the Case issue though, even if all the parts fit, would it be easy to build, air flow etc.

    Another few questions i remembered are, my old monitor i'm going to use until i get a new one is a VGA cabled one, does the Graphics card support VGA ( i'm totally clueless on this) and if not, what cables would i need?
    And do all current mobos come with these internal speakers or do i need to buy one?Any other small bits i might need to buy for building first time?
  5. Not all monitors come with internal speakers, my Acer GD245HQ doesn't have internal speakers.

    Your graphics card will most likely come with a DVI to VGA adapter, so all you need to do is use the adapter on one of the DVI ports on the graphics card and plug in your VGA cable into the adapter.

    Never had a problem with my Corsair HX850 (modular), and have never read about people having problems with electrical resistance with modular PSU's, You'll be fine aslong as you go for a quality brand like Corsair, Antec, PC Power and Cooling, Enermax ETC....

    The case looks easy enough to build a PC in, though it doesn't come with any fans so I'd recommend you buy 4 x 120MM Fans.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/120mm-bitfenix-spectre-black-fan-blue-led-quiet-fluid-dynamic-bearings-(fdb)-1000rpm These are fairly cheap and very quiet, although don't push a huge amount of air


    These push more air and are only slightly more expensive and only 1 DB louder
  6. I meant Motherboard internal speakers, the ones that beep the errors if there are any ( i think anyway).
    Ok so i'm fine on cables hopefully :D

    onto Modular PSU, i was a bit wrong on pricing but i did manage to find
    Antec True Power New 650W Modular Power Supply PSU 80Plus Bronze SLi
    for £1 more, is it any better/worse then the corsair?
    Still not quiet sure on this but i guess it can't be that bad.

    Hmm, at first i though there was atleast the front fan as advertised on the product but when you go to specifications, it does say no fans included, the fans you linked to are preorder only so they will probbably not come in time with the rest of the parts, kind of confused on that.
  7. Oh right lol, not sure about the motherboard error code speaker.

    That Antec is absolutely fine for your needs and also high quality like the Corsair.

    Yeah the picture is alittle misleading on the case

    The coolermaster Red and Green fans seem to be in stock and they look like the best price/performance/noise ratio fans there
  8. "The coolermaster Red and Green fans seem to be in stock and they look like the best price/performance/noise ratio fans there "

    Hmm, i guess they just updated the stock or something, i have 2 Browsers open at the exact same URL, one says: pre order, the other says In stock.Though they will set me back a further £20. Also are fans easy to install? i'm guessing they should be but, anything i might need to be aware of?

    So what are your final thoughts on this build, I think the CPU i5 2500 i've chosen, is going to be the new i5 760 which was one of the best options, motherboard -> i will just have to wait for that to become available to get opinions on it. Does everything seem reasonable and balanced?
  9. Fans are very easy to install, they will come with 4 screws and you use those screws to attach the fans to the case, then either plug the fans into your motherboard via a 3 pin fan connector or plug them into the PSU via molex.

    The build looks well balanced and should give you great performance for atleast a few years
  10. Ok, Thanks for all your help, i think i will post again when the Mobo and CPU become available for a last time check.

    Just 1 last question at the moment, Which Optical drive would you go for? in the scan.co.uk there are quiet a few possible options and i don't seem to understand the difference ( if there is 1 at all). there is: Duel layer IDE, Duel layer SATA, Lightscribe duel layer - Pata, etc etc. Totally confused on which one to go with.
  11. I have no idea what lightscribe and label flash is, but if you just want a DVD ROM Drive then this will do just fine


    It can also write to DVD's.

    ~IDE is slower and older technology, SATA is what you want.
  12. KK thanks, seems perfect :)
  13. No problem. :)
  14. hmmm.... Haven't you considered Phenom II X6 cpu range for future proofing? Its Six cores compared to the Quad on the i5 range. I have to agree that the i5 have more core power, but in the long run as more programs(Games especially) start making use of multi cores ( Mafia II for instance for starters) the i5 will fall back in a maximum of 2 years.
    If you like opening a lot of windows and apps i think the Hexa core would be useful, Plus its a lot cheaper and the AM3 socket mobo isn't going out use soon( unlike changing chipsets from intel)
  15. Before i found out of sandy bridge, thats what i was thinking of doing, but I do think that the new sandy bridge proccesors will be better overall then the Phenom II x6 and by the time six cores are fully utillised, i will probbably have to buy a new pc again anyway.

    I also found out that most 1155 motherboards that are beneath the £100 range do not support 1600mhz memory, and since i don't see the need of an expensive motherboard, i guess i need to change my ram. At first i though that would reduce price, but it seems it's the same.
    A thing i noticed though is the motherboard's specification:
    4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory

    Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB DDR3 1333 Mhz CAS 9 Dual Channel Desktop
    CMX8GX3M2A1333C9 - 8GB(2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333), NonECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, New Connector, 1.60V

    1.60V, would this be a problem?

    The description of the motherboard was found on a unpublished link yet ( i found it through google, but you can't really get to it if you navigate yourself the site yet) so it does have a chanse of being wrong.

    Still there is time for more motherboards to come and better descriptions/specifications available.

    Also, say i decide to go for 2x2gb for the time being, would i be able to later on add another 2x2gb? do they need to be the same brand/same specifications for that to work?
    Sorry for asking so many questions, but it is my first time and i don't want to screw up :D
  16. Doesn't SB CPU's have an IMC (intergrated memory controller) like the Core i7 range does?

    My motherboard (Giagbyte GA-EX58-UD5) supports: "6 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory" Yet I have 3 x 1GB OCZ RAM Running at 1200Mhz 6-6-6-16 @ 1.68V without a problem.

    I'm 100% sure 1.6V wouldn't be a problem at all.

    As long as the motherboard you choose supports 4 Dimms (pretty sure most SB mobo's will) then you could use 2 x 2GB of RAM now and add another 2 x 2GB later
  17. "Doesn't SB CPU's have an IMC (intergrated memory controller) like the Core i7 range does?"

    No idea what IMC does or whether SB CPU's will have it. :P

    Then I might go with 4gb at start, do you think the 4gb Memory you linked(but a 1333mhz version?) would actually show any seenable performance increase because there are £40 4gbs and then there is £60+ though they all seem the same, some don't even have lower latency.
  18. Quote:
    have no idea what lightscribe and label flash is, but if you just want a DVD ROM Drive then this will do just fine

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/sam [...] -black-oem

    It can also write to DVD's.

    ~IDE is slower and older technology, SATA is what you want.

    Technically the optical drive is slow enough that IDE isn't a bottleneck, however the large ribbon cable is definitely undesirable. If you are buying a new optical drive it really should be SATA.
    I'm pretty sure Lightscribe is the ability to print your own labels onto the disc itself, label flash sounds like a similar type of technology.
    It is not what I would call a 'must have' technology, but for some people it is worth the extra cost.

    P67 allows overclocking, but cannot utilise the graphics processors on the Sandy Bridge core. H67 cannot overclock, but can utilise the graphics cores. The advantages the i5-2500K has over the non-K version, is the ability to overclock and a faster graphics core.

    I don't know what specs you are looking at for 1155 motherboards. But if 1155 is anything like 1156, it will support RAM upto 1.65V, obviously it is more desirable to have RAM with lower voltage.

    You can always underclock your RAM, so you can buy 1600 MHz RAM and it will run at 1333 MHz, probably with lower voltages and lower timings.

    Yes you would be able to add another set of 2x2GB later on. You would have to try to make sure that the specs matched as closely as possible. For instance same speed, same voltage, same timings.

    Here is a link which I think is useful for comparing 8GB to 4GB and the performance difference between them: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/ssd-vs-8gb.html

    Glad you changed to the Antec Truepower New TP-650, it is infact higher quality than the Corsair TX-650, which is now based on a CWT design (PSHII) - it used to be a Seasonic S12(II?) design. So the performance has gone up, but the build quality will have gone down slightly.

    I used a modular power supply on my first build, frankly it is a saving grace in the case that I have now.

    Personally I would also not get fast fans for exhaust as IMO they would be noisey, despite manufacturer stated specs. The exhaust fans are where hot air would naturally head to, so it doesn't need much encouragement to get out of the case.
    As you are a first time builder you won't really know what sounds loud to you, unless you have been around other people's custom built rigs and can ask how fast their fans are. The next case fans I buy will not be faster than 1200RPM. Intake fans can probably be faster, because usually the air has to fight it's way past HDDs to get to the hottest hardware (GPU and CPU). The CM 430 Elite has a fan in the bottom on the case, which could be a slow spinning fan blowing cool air directly towards those components.

    The P67 motherboards I've looked at so far have had quite a few fan headers on the motherboard. However most fan cables are not that long, so if you want to plug them into the motherboard you'll probably have to buy fan extenders, which won't need to be very long inside that case. Make sure you have plenty of cable ties as that will help make the inside of your build much more organised.
    BitFenix fan 3-pin cable extension
    You will have to get the right one for the kind of fan connectors the fan actually has; some come with 3-pin, some with 4-pin (peripheral/Molex), some with both.

    100 cable ties.

    I also find these useful in tidying up the cables that come out of the back of the computer:
    Akasa Black Re-Usable Cable Ties x5
  19. hard to define "sensible performance increase". You could get 4GB of DDR3 1333Mhz 9-9-9-20 for £40 or spend £17 more and get 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz 7-7-7-20

    Personally I'd go for the faster RAM, but I like benchmarking so every bit of performance I can get is a plus.
    You won't see a big difference in responsiveness or FPS between the two kits, but then again £17 isn't all that much money in the grand scheme of things.

    Its up to you TBH.
  20. Thank you both for the helpful posts - at the above 2 posts i've made up my mind on a few things:

    4gb Memory - The benchmarks, though i gave only a quick look as i don't understand too much, seem to show very small performance gain, and i can always increase to 8gb later on anyway. I'll decide on which one to go later when the prices of CPU and MoBo get cleared away.

    H67 and i5 2500 - I'm not going to be overclocking so there is no reason for me to spend more.

    Onto Case fans,Still bit confused here, Silvune could you reccomend what kind of case fans you have in mind? Also, must I install all 4? i don't really seem to like the fan that you have to put in the middle of the case window, it would kind of mess up the view in my opinion lol.

    At the cable ties and Cable management thing, I was actually looking for a guide as to how to deal with cabling inside the Case but couldn't find something reliable and updated. I don't seem to understand what exactly you have to do to minimise bad airflow, is there any guides around, with pics or videos preferably? I'll certainly get those cable ties, for 1 quid, i can't go wrong with that :D
  21. Unfortunately I don't know of any good guides to cable management. One of the principles is to get as many cables stored or running behind the motherboard tray as possible. With some cases this is easier because there are holes in the motherboard tray for that exact reason.

    Another principle is to just make the cables as tidy as possible, without them hanging around all over the place inside the case. It probably takes a certain amount of trial and error, or experience.

    Personally I think one of the easier ways is to have the PSU in the case, with some idea of where the connectors will end up going, in other words plan where the cables need to end up, and figure out a tidy route for them to get there, before putting everything in.

    Onto Case fans,Still bit confused here, Silvune could you reccomend what kind of case fans you have in mind? Also, must I install all 4? i don't really seem to like the fan that you have to put in the middle of the case window, it would kind of mess up the view in my opinion lol.

    I'm not talking about the fan hole on the window. If you look at the bottom two pictures on this page: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/antec-three-hundred-enermax-staray-cooler-master-elite-430,review-31975-9.html you will see what I mean. One of the holes is for a PSU to be mounted and have a (dust-free) in take and the other, if the PSU is short enough, you can install a fan there, altho it looks like you'd have to find your own dust filter for that.

    Personally I wouldn't want that many fans either, you could probably get away with just the one exhaust fan, however that leaves a lot of holes for dust to fall into the case. Which you can put up with if you don't mind cleaning it more often or can arrange to have positive pressure (more air being taken into the case than air being exhausted, ie more intake than exhaust fans). You might also be willing to block those holes up somehow, maybe a dust filter such as this:?

    Silverstone fan grille and filter kit

    Have you looked at the Antec 100? It is an updated version of a rather popular case, the Antec 300. It has cable management holes, an improved front panel. Unfortunately it will probably be over £40. The Antec 300 also had plenty of space inside for long graphics cards, don't know what the Antec 100 is capable of yet, but it should be pretty similar to the 300.

    As for case fans. It depends how much you're willing to spend, but exhaust ones should be slow IMO (1200RPM or less), intakes that blow over HDD cages, unless the cages are reasonably open (like the on Elite 430)
  22. I'd highly recommend you have more than just 1 exhaust fan, the HD6950 runs hot, I expect you'd run into some thermal related problems.

    Atleast have 1 intake and 1 exhaust.

    What silvune said about cable management sums it up nicely.
  23. Sorry for my newbiness but i'm kind of confused. Is there a difference between the normal fan slots and a exhaust fan? is an Exhaust fan, just a slow fan that you put in that location (near the PSU) or is it a special type of fan? How would i go about mounting the exhaust fan in that location, do i need extra screws and you also mentioned filters...

    Omgitzfatal, If those fans are important then i'm thinking that 1 exhaust fan you guys are talking about and then 3 120mm fans that you linked to earlier around the Fan slots except the one on the window?
    If that would be alright, Please explain what exactly i will need to get, Again sorry for my newbiness but I seriosly have no clue.

    I did give a look to the antec 100, But to be honest, i don't really like the look of it and it will be more expensive by £10 like you said. I would rather much have the coolermaste 430 with the fans.

    And When it does come to building, i will try my best with cable management but i guess it does come down to experience.
  24. A fan can be used as an exhaust fan or an intake depending on which way you install it, You don't need anything extra to install a Fan to be used to exhaust air.

    I would buy 4 of those Coolermaster fans I linked to earlier, you don't need a slower fan for exhausting air, its just that fans for exhausting air out of the case are nearly always positioned high up in the case, and hot air rises so the heat naturally wants to escape, the exhaust fans don't really need to be powerful.
  25. An exhaust fan is simply a fan that blows hot air out of the case. To make it do so, you have to install it facing in the correct way.
  26. Ok guys I might chickening out but what are your thoughts on this case?

    Xclio / Meridian Technology A380Colour Black Tower Computer Case

    It's on a deal at scan.co.uk for about £53 which is pretty much what i will pay for the coolermaster 430 + fans as this one comes with the fans included.
    I read a few reviews and their not the best of the best but nothing that worrying except:
    "A word of caution, you must use right-angled SATA and power connectors with provided drive rail/cage assembly, other wise the drive connections will simply fail to fit inside the plastic handle of the cage."

    What exactly does that mean, would that be a problem for me?

    The deal is today only, so if you guys aprove it, i will actually order it on it's own, since i have this "free delivery" with scan.co.uk, i don't actually mind buying the case first seperately.
  27. Absolutely hate the styling, but I guess thats subjective. It should do fine cooling your hardware with the included fans.


    Right angled sata cables ^^

    Your motherboard may come with one, but I'd buy one seperately just incase it doesn't.
  28. Oh BTW sata cables are used to connect your HDD's and optical drives to your motherboard.
  29. Ok Thanks A lot, The styling isn't perfect but to me, a case is a case and this one has the few things i want from a case, a window and some LED's, i certainly think their a bit too bright, so i will probbably be switching them off while there is no one else to see them. It's a toolless case and will have more room for building and i won't have the worries of installing extra stuff like fans.

    I've also thinking of removing the SSD from my build, i agree it would speed up booting up and the other stuff i put in it up by quiet a bit but I don't currently have any permenant software that will benefit from it except the OS and i don't see the need to pay £40 - £60 for a 20 sec faster boot. I mean does it speed up anything else if all i have in there is the OS?
    I did like the idea of 2 Hard drives for easy backing up of files, but i can always get another cheap hardrive for backing up later on i guess.
  30. If you only had the OS on your SSD then only the OS would benifit from faster loading times and boot times.
  31. Yeah, I don't have anything in mind other than the OS to put in there, so if i did get one, i would fill it with junk and keep reinstalling/ installing new stuff for better loading times. I'm not a FPS fan anyway, i don't seem to make the difference between 30 FPS and 100 FPS aslong as the game runs without lag then i'm fine.
  32. An SSD won't increase your FPS in games at all, only decrease the loading times.
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