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£1500 Gaming Rig Buyer/Retailer advice

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  • Gaming
  • Systems
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August 2, 2010 12:48:47 PM

Hello Community :) 

After much saving and patience, I've decided to buy a gaming rig before I start college.
Using theAnimal's great guide on constructing one of these threads I hope you can help me buy wisely, in the form of components and online retailers.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 2 weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: £1300 - £1500, including shipping.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Music, Some Photoshop and general internet usage.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Keyboard, Blu-ray drive, Memory card readers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Overclockers.co.uk, Scan.co.uk, Ebuyer.com, Aria.co.uk, Novatech.co.uk (I'm open to any suggestions)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England/UK

PARTS PREFERENCES: A high end Nvidia GPU, Intel i7 Processor, Cooler Master HAF 922 Case, 6gb Ram, 800gb+ HDD.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI in the future (I’d upgrade my PSU when I get another GFX card)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd prefer to match This System (Nvidia GTX 480, no ssd, no security software and Windows 7 64bit Home Premium.
I'm aiming for a decent gaming rig that has a good lifespan to maintain good performance on games up until this time next year, with only small upgrades between now and then (e.g. adding ram, another optical drive, HDD or SSD drive) I'd mainly stick to FPS's and open world games like Just Cause 2, GTA IV EFLC, Mafia 2, Sims 3 etc.

Currently I've created this basket:

(All prices are inc VAT)

Intel Core i7 930 2.80GHz @ 4.00GHz, Asus P6X58D-E Intel X58 (Socket 1366) DDR3 Motherboard, Corsair XMS3 (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Triple Channel RAM, Corsair H50-1 High-Performance CPU Watercooler and MX-3 Thermal Compound @ £642.97 - overclockers.co.uk

Corsair 650 W TX PSU @ £66.56 - scan.co.uk

Point of View GTX 480 @ £368.34 - scan.co.uk

1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black, SATA 6Gb/s, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache, 8 ms @ £71.65 - scan.co.uk

LiteOn IHAS124-19 24x DVD±R, 8x DVD±DL, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, DVD-RAM x12, SATA, Black, OEM @ £14.56 - scan.co.uk

Coolermaster HAF 922, Black, Mid Tower Case with 20cm Silent Fan @ £76.35 - scan.co.uk

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, Single, - OEM @ £75.28 - scan.co.uk

Samsung B2230N 21.5" Widescreen LCD Monitor @ £111.61 - overclockers.co.uk

Logitech MX518 Gaming Grade Optical Mouse, 1800dpi, PS2/USB 1.1/2.0, 7 Buttons, Black @ £23.44 - scan.co.uk

The above comes to a total of £1474.28 including shipping from both retailers (£11.75 for Overclockers.co.uk and £9.43 for Scan.co.uk next day) with added £18 for Scan.co.uk's Scansure Protection.

I'm confident in building this Rig, my main worry is the retailers I’m purchasing from. I've read up and both Overclockers.co.uk and Scan.co.uk have received good reviews but both have also received a few bad ones. I'm hoping for next day delivery reliability and a painless customer service experience should anything go wrong.

I'm trying to limit my retailers to just 2, to make it easier to keep on track with payment and delivery.

Any suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated.

More about : 1500 gaming rig buyer retailer advice

August 2, 2010 12:52:52 PM

Change the cooler option to the titan fenrir. It's an amazing cooler. For the rest very good build.

And why not get a bigger psu now?
August 2, 2010 2:09:42 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Change the cooler option to the titan fenrir. It's an amazing cooler. For the rest very good build.

And why not get a bigger psu now?


Thanks for the reply, what PSU wattage do you think I should go up to? I probably won't get another 480 for SLI until Spring next year but if that 650w PSU is stretched with the specs i've chosen now, I would have no problem paying a bit more for a bigger PSU just for the extra headroom.

The Titan fenrir is cheaper so I have no issue with that, will it be worth the saving when compared to the Corsair H-50?
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2010 2:15:22 PM

How about SLI with 2x GTX 460s? More than a match for 1920x1080 resolution gaming.
And no PSU upgrade required.

The Titan Fenrir should cool better than the H-50.
August 2, 2010 2:29:43 PM

I have ordered from scan for years and have absolutely no complaint.

As this is a gaming rig, my own personal opinion would be to drop to an i5 750 build with a P7P55D E Pro motherboard and 4gb 1600mhz CL7 G Skill Ripjaw RAM. This setup saves money without losing performance for gaming.

Corsair H-50 is overrated, a good air cooler will do the job better.

I would recommend spending more on the monitor, this is £160 for 23 inch
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/23-LG-W2361V-Black-Wides...

The monitor you picked has only an analog input. You want at least DVI input. The one I linked actualyl has DVI and HDMI.

I would actually stick with teh Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD if I were you, the 6gb/s are not worth the extra money, only SSDs really make use of the 6gb/s.

As for graphics cards, well I am very biased against the GTX480 due to its horrible design, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, but thanks to the great Fermi redesign, I would actually be more inclined to go with 2 x GTX460 in SLI. This is the first time in my PC history that I have ever recommended dual card set ups over single more powerful cards. But the cards OC so well, they SLI like a dream and they are cooler and more power efficient. Also, I am pretty sure a new design of the 470/480 cards will be coming, really would not want to be stuck with the old one.

If going with 480, you will need a bigger PSU if you plan on SLIing one day. If you want to OC CPU as well you are probably looking close to 1000W. If you go SLI GTX460 then 7050W will be plenty
August 2, 2010 3:14:28 PM

Thanks for those links WR2, i'm reading up on them now.
I think i'm sold on the Titan Fenrir, it does seem to perform better than the H-50 and the lower price is a bonus.

When I was looking up the GTX 480 one of the issues that kept popping up was the heat it reaches, If i was to get a 460, would you recommend ordering one and then ordering another later or ordering 2 on the spot?

Unfortunatley I can only really get a -22" monitor due to my computer desk, however I will be connecting it to a 32" HDTV through HDMI on occasion. Is there a large noticable difference between VGA and DVI?

With the HDD, I aimed at the 6gb/s + 64mb cache due to the fact I couldn't afford to add an SSD. Seeing as I most likely won't be getting an SSD until after the build (hopefully after a price drop) Should I keep hold of the WD Caviar Black or save money and get a cheaper HDD?

Another thing I wanted to ask was I prioritised buying that CPU/Mobo/Ram/Cooling bundle from overclockers.co.uk because it's already overclocked, how easy would it be for me to buy those parts seperatley and then overclock the CPU myself? Possibly saving myself some money at the same time and allowing me to shop around for different RAM, like the RAM asteldian suggested.

a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2010 3:33:14 PM

Both the Samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 HDDs have a slight edge in performance over the WE Cav Black 6Gb/s HDD. Since none of the three overload the 3GB/s SATA bandwidth the 6Gb/s is mostly marketing shtick and it's not worth paying extra for a slower HDD.

I recommend just 1 GTX 460 now. You might be surprised at how well it does @ 1920x1080. If you end up being happy with just the 1 card for the next year or so... you'll have more upgrade options down the road. And if you find a game where you're not happy with the performance, and don't want do dial back on the 'eye candy' settings you can pick up a 2nd GTX 460 anytime you want.



a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2010 3:44:16 PM

Looks like you're paying them £80 to assemble, test and OC.
Thats not too bad actually. They do warranty the work too.
I guess it's all down to how you feel about DIY at that level of work and learning.
August 2, 2010 4:06:48 PM

UH? wd caviar black slower?

It's got slower read/write meaning it transfers large files slightly faster. But the blacks have much better random read/write meaning it makes your system more responsive and improves load times significantly.

Both drives are worth their money but as a boot drive the black would be better.

as for the pre-OC. OCIng yourself is very easy 5min work maybe. But the warrenty is very appealing however.
August 2, 2010 5:21:33 PM

well? doesn't that prove my point? It loads games and boots faster as I said and transfers slower. Since you don't constantly transfer large files and don't wait for them even if you do it is far better to have faster load times. Thus it is a better drive. Don't mind the strange conclusion. Toms f3 review also states the black is a better enthousiast drive and that was about the old black the new one is even faster.
August 2, 2010 5:57:54 PM

I'll probably stick with the bundle and have them do the overclocking, I have no experience in overclocking and as this is a from scratch build i'd rather have the warranty than save £80 and risk sabotaging the entire system.

It seems a tight argument between the speed of the HDD, i'll keep deciding on what is better suited for me.

I'm going to go on WR2's advice and get one GTX 460, I'll either go SLI before christmas or if the single 460 surprises me then i'll add another one when necessary. Will the Corsair 650w be enough for 2 460's in SLI with the specs I have?

Here are my changes:

MSI GeForce GTX 460 Cyclone 1024MB GDDR5 @ £199.98 - overclockers.co.uk

LG Flatron W2261V-PF 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor @ £145.69 - overclockers.co.uk

When buying another GPU for SLI, would I need to buy another MSI GTX460 Cyclone 1024mb or would any other GTX 460 do? would it have to be another 1024mb card or could it be a 768mb card?
Also this might be a bit of a large request but looking at scan.co.uk and overclockers.co.uk, which is the best GTX 460? (e.g MSI, Zotac, EVGA etc.)
August 2, 2010 7:07:40 PM

I believe Evga is the most popular GTX460.
I would go with 1gb personally and I would have the second card be 1gb in the future too.

The monitor is good, size was not what was important when I picked the 23 inches, just the inputs, so 22 inch with DVI and HDMI is perfect
a b 4 Gaming
August 2, 2010 7:50:14 PM

Samsung Spinpoint @ ~£47, WD Caviar Black @ ~£72, £25 for 2 seconds faster booting time? This is part of the reason why I say that it's not worth the extra cost.

The Corsair TX650 does have enough power for two GTX 460s, but it doesn't have the enough connectors to do two - you'd have to use molex adapters. I'm not a fan of this method. Probably one of the cheapest PSUs with both enough connectors and enough power for two 460s would be the XFX 650W XXX Edition Single Rail Modular PSU £70, might be worth the extra £4 (plus delivery) to you.
August 2, 2010 8:06:09 PM

it may not be worth the price for some people but it isn't slower than the F3
August 31, 2010 10:44:26 PM

Update!

I've finally made my computer.
It's been running pefectly for the last 2 weeks so I guess I can comfortably class it as a success :D 

The final specs are:

CPU: Intel Core i7 930 2.80ghz @ 4.00ghz
Motherboard: Asus P6X58D-E (Socket 1366) DDR3
RAM: 6GB Corsair XMS3 (3x2GB) DDR 3 1600mhz Triple Channel
CPU Cooler: Titan TTC-NK85TZ/V2 Fenrir CPU Cooler
PSU: 650W XFX XXX Edition Single Rail Modular Power Supply
GFX: 1GB Gainward GTX 460 GS GLH
HDD: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 SATA 3Gb/s 7200rpm
Optical: LiteOn IHAS 124-19 24x DVD±RW
Case: Coolermaster HAF922
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM
Monitor: LG Flatron W2261VP 22in

Extras:
Logitech MX518 Gaming Optical Mouse
Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard
NZXT Sentry LX Fan Controller


This Came to Roughly £1351.76

Building it was a challenge, Especially fitting the CPU Cooler as the instructions were quite vague.
Otherwise it all went smoothly. I definitely understand how people who build thier own PC feel a sense of achievement after completing it, as I feel great achievement and pride as i've had no failures or problems so far. I've only had one issue and that was the position of the CPU cooler fan, which I had installed upside down. I researched into it, switched it around and noticed the CPU is now ~10°C cooler.

Thanks to everyone who posted in this thread and helped me out, much thanks.

I guess Mods can lock this/update this as solved now?

Some Pics:








(The Flash on my camera kinda sucked out the colour of the red LED and the fan controller display)

Thanks again guys :) 
a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 11:51:03 PM

Nice one, congratulations. And that first shot is quite artistic imo, makes the HAF look quite pretty, lol.
!