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£500 Gaming PC

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June 11, 2010 2:50:50 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: hopefully in the next week (i bought an ipod touch, the screen is faulty so i have decided to get a refund which with the money i have saved gives me...

BUDGET RANGE: £500

Country: United Kingdom, England

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet, watching movies (not blu-ray)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

PARTS THAT MIGHT BE REQUIRED: I have windows 7 proffesional 32bit- but it only came with 32 bit as it is a student version, so if you think it would be benneficial for me to get a 64 bit version of windows 7 proffesional (will be a student edition again) please subtract £45

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ebuyer (I am open to other websites but strongly prefer ebuyer as it has free shipping and good service, but I will use another website if it is a good saving.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not bothered- just want the best performance in gaming i can get with the money.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want this to run most modern games such as bad company 2 and gta iv. But will primarily be using it to play team fortress 2. I wish to play these games on the highest settings if that is possible.

More about : 500 gaming

a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 4:24:19 PM

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 630 £75
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176579
Or you could save £10 and get the Athlon II X3 440 and unlock the extra core and see if it improves performance in GTA IV/BFBC2, altho if these aren't a high priority then you would be fine with a tri-core.

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3 £70
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/196403

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V £84
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166995
Ideally you would get this: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £90
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278

GPU: HIS HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 £133
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191864

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB £35
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158860

Case: Coolermaster Elite 330 £27
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127584

PSU: Corsair 400W £33
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150985

Optical Drive: SATA ~£15

OS: Windows 7 64bit £45
I think it is better to be on a 64bit OS these days, not only to utilize all the RAM in the system, but I've also heard that it has security benefits over the 32bit version.

Total: £518

If you really need to be under £500, then the easiest way to do that (aside from keeping your 32bit OS) would be to only get one 2GB stick of RAM for now and add another one when you have the money for it. This saving might also allow you to upgrade one of the other components, such as case.
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June 11, 2010 5:29:36 PM

OK then i guess ill stick with the 32bit os leaving £473, but with the left over £27 is it possible to get a higher voltage psu as using that corsair 400w with a hd5770 looks a bit iffy to me. Also is it possible to buy the upgrade version of windows 7 64 bit and upgrade the 32bit later on?
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 5:39:49 PM

Systems with 5770s wont even use 300 watts under full furmark load, so a good 400W PSU would be able to power it perfectly safely for awhile. However if you want to feel safer, then this is probably the first and last one before ~£70 that I would want to use: Be Quiet 530W Pure Power £45
These are two other good options:
Corsair VX450 £53, but is not much more powerful than the 400CX, and is more expensive than the more powerful Be Quiet 530.
OCZ StealthXStream 600W £58 Despite the name of it, is not much more powerful than the Be Quiet 530, and uses up almost all of the left over £27.

I do not know about the upgrading OS possibility.
June 11, 2010 6:01:34 PM

the motherboard and/or case should come with enough SATA cables for the hard drive and optical drive right?
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 6:12:30 PM

Yes I believe that the mobo comes with 2 SATA cables.
a b 4 Gaming
June 11, 2010 6:18:20 PM

matt101 said:
OK then i guess ill stick with the 32bit os leaving £473, but with the left over £27 is it possible to get a higher voltage psu as using that corsair 400w with a hd5770 looks a bit iffy to me. Also is it possible to buy the upgrade version of windows 7 64 bit and upgrade the 32bit later on?


No worries it's not a dodgy 400 watter hehe If u have the budget i'd hit tat BQ 530 else no sweat ^^
June 11, 2010 6:47:53 PM

I'd go for this build:



Then you can add windows 7 so that's £505. Just over budget.

I went for the x3 440 as it has improved performance in games vs the x4 630 & is £10 cheaper. Also the 512mb version of the 5770 is fine as the 1gb version does not see any advantage until about 1920x1080 resolutions.

If you feel you want to stretch to the x4 630 (even though it's worse in a gaming scenario) or get the 1gb version of the 5770, you could always drop the psu to the Corsair 400W CX but it'll be less reliable if you want to upgrade in the future.
June 11, 2010 7:35:06 PM

Doesn't all windows versions past XP let you use the same key codes for both 64bit and 32bit? So wouldn't it be cheaper to call up get another code and download the disk?
June 11, 2010 8:12:02 PM

@yo_yo2400 i've tried that-you can't get a 64bit disk with a student version.

@tb boy- i think i might go with your build- it all sounds great although i'd probably lean more towards a 1gb h5770 just in case i upgrade my monitor. Not sure about the case it has a wierd sticky out thing on the side and only comes with one back fan. Also can't i get a better optical drive for a few pounds more?

So whats a better case and optical drive?

Also will that motherboard come with at least 2 SATA cables? (sorry for asking this a second time)

Lastly will i notice a significant performance increase with windows 7 64 bit or am i OK if i stick with windows 7 32bit? as i will pay the extra if it really makes a significant difference.

Do i need an antic static wrist strap? or can i just ground myself using the case and psu (plug the psu in while attached to the case and touch a metal part of the case?
June 11, 2010 8:52:53 PM

matt101 said:
@yo_yo2400 i've tried that-you can't get a 64bit disk with a student version.

@tb boy- i think i might go with your build- it all sounds great although i'd probably lean more towards a 1gb h5770 just in case i upgrade my monitor. Not sure about the case it has a wierd sticky out thing on the side and only comes with one back fan. Also can't i get a better optical drive for a few pounds more?

So whats a better case and optical drive?

Also will that motherboard come with at least 2 SATA cables? (sorry for asking this a second time)

Lastly will i notice a significant performance increase with windows 7 64 bit or am i OK if i stick with windows 7 32bit? as i will pay the extra if it really makes a significant difference.

Do i need an antic static wrist strap? or can i just ground myself using the case and psu (plug the psu in while attached to the case and touch a metal part of the case?


Ok, here's a different build with a better case & 1GB 5770:



A bit over budget & I had to downgrade the PSU to the Corsair 400W (but which is no means a bad PSU, just a lower output).

Firstly, it's really not necessary to get a better optical drive unless you wanted to spend about £40 for one with blue-ray compatibility. There is very little difference between them, just go with whichever manufacturer you prefer. The sony optiarc's have a reputation for a good but cheap standard drive.

Also you definitely get 2 SATA cables, according to a review on motherboards.org (I cba to link to it right now). As for 64-bit vs 32-bit, i've always assumed that 64-bit was inarguably better & more reliable but after seeing this article I'm not so sure it has a monopoly on performance. I'd like other people's opinions on this?

There really is no need to get an anti-static wrist strap unless you're willing to waste money for that tiny bit of peace of mind. I recently built my first PC (after copious amounts of research :D ) & just touched the case the metal case frequently. I didn't even plug in the PSU as I didn't know you are supposed to. I think many manufacturers overexaggerate the risk of ESD but you should still take some simple precautions just in case.





June 11, 2010 9:11:35 PM

I might just stick with 32bit as i would prefer to have a powersupply i dont have to swap for a while, especially in case i upgrade anything. I'm getting really excited now! So can you reccomend me a PSU that will be relatively future proof for a while and is from a reputable company, that is within my budget and i will be set.

And thanks for all your help so far you have been great :) 
June 11, 2010 9:27:00 PM

I say just go for this PSU like before. That leaves you with an extra £15 to spend if you want to (maybe a slightly better 5770 such as this).

Gald to help out.
June 12, 2010 6:17:20 AM

pah! after looking at the motherboard i'd have to flash it to upgrade it's firmware and i'm not sure i'd want to do that, so is there a motherboard with support for the x3 440 right from the start, and also support for the phenom 2 x4 965 from the start as that is probably the cpu i would upgrade too later on.

Also i wanted a psu that is made by a well known manufacturar so i have done a bit of my own research and come up with these two:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/174182

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127861

Do you think the modular is worth the extra cash or should i go with the slightly cheaper non-modular?

Or even a different psu alltogether?

And sorry for yet another question- Does any of those parts selected come with a mini-speaker for the motherboard and do i even need one?
June 12, 2010 8:56:14 AM

I didn't think you had to upgrade the firmware as it's in the cpu support list on gigabyte's website:

http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/Support/Motherboard/CPUSupport_Model.aspx?ProductID=3156&ver=#anchor_os

I could well be wrong though, where did you read that it doesn't support the athlon x3?

This motherboard has had excellent reviews & has useful features such as core unlocking. It also says in the ebuyer spec: "Support for AM3 processors: AMD PhenomTM II processor/ AMD Athlon™ II processor" One idea might be to contact ebuyer & ask them if it has the latest bios update needed to support the Athlon X3 440.

If I am wrong I guess you could go for the a board with a newer chipset:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/206151

But I can't find any reviews for the newer chipset motherboards until you get to this one for £95.

As for the PSU, Be Quiet! is a well-known manufacturer in the PSU world & this PSU has had great reviews. But the OCZ modular would be a worthy upgrade, good choice there. I'd go for either of these two depending on wether you're willing to spend the extra £20.

And I'm pretty sure all motherboards come with the speaker, it doesn't do anything apart from giving you beep codes which can help to troubleshoot your PC.

Hope that helps. ;) 



June 12, 2010 9:54:54 AM

wow that sounds great! I think i will pick the OCZ modular, as i may want to upgrade in the future. Will contact ebuyer and find out about the motherboard and hopefully it will be all ok, got my refund for itouch today as well, so i'm pretty much ready to buy the parts.

Oh and i thought the x3 440 wasnt supported as i pressumed the board would come with F1 bios, but then again i may be wrong.

As the c2 x3 440 requires F2
and the c3 version requires f6.

I'll post when i find out whether it comes with that firmware or not. If not i might have a look around and see how difficult it is to flash the motherboard because apparantley you can do it though windows some how- not sure but will check it out.

Thanks! ;) 
June 12, 2010 10:19:51 AM

matt101 said:
wow that sounds great! I think i will pick the OCZ modular, as i may want to upgrade in the future. Will contact ebuyer and find out about the motherboard and hopefully it will be all ok, got my refund for itouch today as well, so i'm pretty much ready to buy the parts.

Oh and i thought the x3 440 wasnt supported as i pressumed the board would come with F1 bios, but then again i may be wrong.

As the c2 x3 440 requires F2
and the c3 version requires f6.

I'll post when i find out whether it comes with that firmware or not. If not i might have a look around and see how difficult it is to flash the motherboard because apparantley you can do it though windows some how- not sure but will check it out.

Thanks! ;) 


I think most manufacturers do ship it with the latest BIOS, but even if they don't do it as standard they might be able to do it for you especially if you ask.

Tou can use the Gigabyte @BIOS utility to easily update the BIOS, but you have to able to get into windows first to do that, which I don't think you can do with an unsupported cpu. The only way you'll be able to flash the bios is by having an already supported cpu handy, which I doubt you do. So if they don't have the right BIOS version & refuse to flash it, I wouldn't get the motherboard & instead possibly try a different supplier or go for a different board.
June 12, 2010 10:28:14 AM

OK i wouldn't have a clue how to contact ebuyer about their products, so can you reccomend me a motherboard to go with all of this then. I read a review on the motherboard you said before but somone said it had loose heatsinks and that kinda put me off, so i you could reccomend me a good motherboard (that comes with at least 2 SATA cables and a mini-speaker :p ) then that would be great!

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/174182

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

GPU: HIS HD 5770 1GB GDDR5
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191864

CASE: Antec 300
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166995

HDD: Seagate ST3500418AS 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158860

OPTICAL DRIVE : Sony Optiarc DDU1681S 18x DVD-ROM SATA - OEM Black
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/220989

Total of all that : £434.70
June 12, 2010 10:48:06 AM

There's a link saying "Contact Us" at the top of the Ebuyer website, I really think it's worth at least attempting to contact them & ask about the bios version.

Most AM3 motherboards do not support the X3 440 on their base BIOS system so I really think that that the 785 would be updated enough to support it.

The best motherboard I could find in your price range that supports the 440 on its F1 BIOS was the Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 which seems to be a fine board but is about £15 more expensive & doesn't have any reviews.


June 12, 2010 11:07:32 AM

nice, will contact ebuyer as soon as possible, but i do not have an account but my dad does so i will ask him if he could contact them and ask.

Thank you so much you have been incredibley helpful :) 
June 12, 2010 11:21:23 AM

No problem, glad to help. ;) 
a b 4 Gaming
June 12, 2010 12:28:37 PM

Neither of the Mod nor StealthXStream 600Ws are worth £15 more than the Be Quiet Purepower 530 IMO. As they are not more powerful, and arguably the quality of Be Quiet products is greater than the quality of OCZ PSUs. They are also not the best choice IMO if you want to futureproof yourself. The 650W XFX is the best cheapest PSU on ebuyer if you want proper futureproofing.
June 12, 2010 2:03:14 PM

OK rejigged the build a bit to take into account what everyone said and here it is. The PSU will be powerful enough for me to upgrade to a x4 955 or x4 965 in the future right?

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 Retail Box Processor £65.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

GPU: HIS HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 DVI HDMI Display Port Out PCI-E Graphics Card £133.09
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191864

CASE: Antec 300 Three Hundred Case £41.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

RAM: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V £84.17
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166995

OPTICAL DRIVE: Sony Optiarc DDU1681S 18x DVD-ROM SATA - OEM Black £11.32
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/220989

PSU: Be Quiet 530W Pure Power PSU - 120mm Fan Dual 12V Rails 5x SATA 2x PCI-E £44.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190751

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 870 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £83.37
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/218937

HARD DRIVE: Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blue £35.82
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124228

TOTAL- £500.72

Also sorry to be a pain, i'm even getting on my own nerves here. Does that motherboard come with at least 2 sata cables? and does it have USB 3.0 all it says is what it supports not what it actually has, so does it have USB 3.0 or 2.0?
a b 4 Gaming
June 12, 2010 3:10:31 PM

Yes the 530 Pure Power would be able to support either the X4 955 or X4 965.
When I checked out the picture on newegg it showed two SATA cables. It has 8 USB 2 ports and 2 USB 3 ports.
June 12, 2010 11:59:33 PM

Silvune's correct. The motherboard does come with 2 SATA cable & has USB3. The 530 Pure Power would be able to support the x4 955/965 but graphics cards make far more of a difference about which power supply you need so it's kind of irrelevant.
!