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£450 Budget Gaming Rig

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June 8, 2010 3:54:05 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 3 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: Roughly £450

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, programming, then general stuff like web surfing and document writing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS - Just want to build the box!

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Wherever is cheapest (UK), currently I mainly use ebuyer.com but am willing to go to other reputable companies.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: England

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, but will probably be looking at AMD within my budget range.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - probably won't be going too far though.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Unlikely, unless the graphics cards come down in price massively in the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

Hey guys,

I have a couple of questions, mainly which motherboard to get, as well as which PSU.

Here is what I am am thinking of buying:

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Socket AM3 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor. Ebuyer £78.17
Crucial 2GB DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory CL9 1.5V. Ebuyer £43.00
Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB Cache - OEM Caviar Blue. Ebuyer £35.82
MSI HD 5770 1GB. Scan.co.uk £115.13
NZXT Gamma Black Mid Tower Case £35.25 Ebuyer
Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA - OEM. Ebuyer £14.99

SUB TOTAL: £319.36

OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W PSU. Ebuyer £45.99
OR
Corsair 400W CX. Ebuyer £39.93

Initially I was thinking the OCZ, but a friend mentioned that I might be able to get away with a smaller PSU.

As for the motherboard, I have no idea. I was looking at:
ASUS M4A77TD PRO ATX Motherboard. Ebuyer £73.01

However, I am unsure as to whether this a good buy. Whilst it does technically support crossfire, it seems that the second card runs slower: " 2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (*blue@ x16 mode, black@ x4 mode)"
How much of a difference will this make? I have no immediate plans to crossfire, and I'm not really sure I want to pay extra for this option. However, if I decide not to crossfire then I could look at cheaper mobos. Any idea whether a mATX board would be any good? I would be looking at something like:

Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-US2H MATX. Ebuyer £57.59

MAX TOTAL: £438.36
MIN TOTAL: £416.88

Granted £20 difference isn't a great deal, but I would prefer not to overspend on features that I don't need, I really want the best performance for the money.

If you guys have any other improvements I would be happy to hear them.

Cheers,
Sam

More about : 450 budget gaming rig

June 8, 2010 4:36:07 PM

Hmm slightly over but with 4GB very juicy RAMs in hehe That MSI HD 5770 deal at Scan looks great though so u could mix n match perhaps? I'd splash (with limits) on a nice highly efficient PSU though
[
June 9, 2010 10:52:53 AM

batuchka said:
Hmm slightly over but with 4GB very juicy RAMs in hehe That MSI HD 5770 deal at Scan looks great though so u could mix n match perhaps? I'd splash (with limits) on a nice highly efficient PSU though
[http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Unt-6.jpg


Thanks for the reply batuchka!

The plan was always to add another couple of gig of RAM when the price came down a bit, and live with it in the mean time. I have no problems buying from multiple places and I particularly want the 1gig version of the 5770.

It's nice to see that you think a mATX board is suitable. Do you have experience with the Be Quiet PSU? I have been trying to find reviews and the only ones I can find are in German... (although I believe they are fairly positive about it). Why did you choose it over the OCZ (just out of interest)?

Cheers,
Sam
Related resources
June 9, 2010 10:57:18 AM

I am not in Europe but BeQuiet is one of those PSUs "we wished we had it here" LOL The OCZ Stealth series, unlike its ModExtreme cousin is not 80+ certified while if u study the 80plus.org test report for the BQ 530 PurePower:
http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_reports/BE%20QUIET_B...
85-87% @ 40-60% load spread sounds awesome hehe

As for GPU: 1GB video RAM comes in handy when u are gaming at say 1920 x 1080 resolution but as said if u can get a 1GB version at no etra cost why not hehe
June 9, 2010 11:27:14 AM

Personally I prefer to keep away from mATX boards, though Scan sells at slightly lower price. I would probably prefer grabbing a full ATX board though - plenty around that price

MSI 770-C45 for example - £52.69
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/MSI-770-C45-AM3-PCI-E-20(x16)-DDR3-1600(OC)-RAID-Blu-Ray-Audio-GB-LAN-ATX

G Skill 1600mhz CL7 4gb - £104.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490

Case - £25.24
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Xclio-3060-PLUS-Black-Si...!

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb HDD - £38.19
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500Gb-Samsung-Spinpoint-...

Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA - OEM. Ebuyer £14.99

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Socket AM3 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor. Ebuyer £78.17

Be quiet 530W PSU - £44.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190751

Total: £358.98

MSI HD 5770 1GB. Scan.co.uk £115.13

Total: £474.11

£24.11 over budget but you have great RAM and 4gb of it, a full ATX board, a better HDD. The case is nothing special but I do like the 36cm side fan cases.

You could even consider decreasing the GPU to a 5670 or possibly even the old generation 4xxx series. Due to the resolution you play at, a lesser card should be able to do the job until you get a better monitor - chances are the better monitor you get will be HD resolution which you wont be wanting to use a 5770 on anyway.

Course, if you can afford the £20 over budget than go for the 5770 as it is a great budget card
June 9, 2010 1:13:39 PM

batuchka said:
I am not in Europe but BeQuiet is one of those PSUs "we wished we had it here" LOL The OCZ Stealth series, unlike its ModExtreme cousin is not 80+ certified while if u study the 80plus.org test report for the BQ 530 PurePower:
http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_reports/BE%20QUIET_B...
85-87% @ 40-60% load spread sounds awesome hehe

As for GPU: 1GB video RAM comes in handy when u are gaming at say 1920 x 1080 resolution but as said if u can get a 1GB version at no etra cost why not hehe


Great! Thanks for taking the time to link too! Looks like a good buy, it seems to get good customer reviews too, but I don't take those on face value.


asteldian said:
Personally I prefer to keep away from mATX boards, though Scan sells at slightly lower price. I would probably prefer grabbing a full ATX board though - plenty around that price

MSI 770-C45 for example - £52.69
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/MSI-770-C45-AM3-PCI-E-20(x16)-DDR3-1600(OC)-RAID-Blu-Ray-Audio-GB-LAN-ATX

G Skill 1600mhz CL7 4gb - £104.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490

Case - £25.24
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Xclio-3060-PLUS-Black-Si...!

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb HDD - £38.19
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/500Gb-Samsung-Spinpoint-...

Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA - OEM. Ebuyer £14.99

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Socket AM3 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache Retail Boxed Processor. Ebuyer £78.17

Be quiet 530W PSU - £44.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190751

Total: £358.98

MSI HD 5770 1GB. Scan.co.uk £115.13

Total: £474.11

£24.11 over budget but you have great RAM and 4gb of it, a full ATX board, a better HDD. The case is nothing special but I do like the 36cm side fan cases.

You could even consider decreasing the GPU to a 5670 or possibly even the old generation 4xxx series. Due to the resolution you play at, a lesser card should be able to do the job until you get a better monitor - chances are the better monitor you get will be HD resolution which you wont be wanting to use a 5770 on anyway.

Course, if you can afford the £20 over budget than go for the 5770 as it is a great budget card


asteldian, thanks for taking the time to do a build! I will definitely consider that MSI board - at a similar price to the mATX boards it seems like a no brainer (I was particularly worried about a mATX board)! I should think that I could stretch an extra £20.


Just as a side thought, I have been 'recommended' to buy the phenom x2 555 BE and try and unlock the cores. Now, it sounds pretty dodgy to me - do you know if there is a chance of damage if this is attempted? I have been looking around the forums and it seems to be a bit hit and miss. Would you guys go try it? Assuming it didn't work, is there really a place for a dual core in a new build these days?
June 9, 2010 1:50:23 PM

It is worth considering the USB 3, but already being £24 over budget that would stretch it to £44. I mean if it is a very valuable addition for the user it may be worth it. Me personally, I went with USB2 and SATA 3 simply because I don't have any need for better - I game and that's pretty much it. Given that it is a budget build to last as long as it can for gaming I would lose out on the extra perks you may be able to get and go with what directly will effect your gaming significantly.

Of course, having said all that, it is a good Gigabyte board and if ever overclocking is to be done it may be nice to have if afforded.

Unlocking the cores is a gamble, damage is not the real risk, the issue is that if you are unlucky and it doesn't work then you are stuck with a 2 core CPU which I would not want to have.
June 9, 2010 1:54:57 PM

Hereisphilly said:
Just another thought (sorry to butt in) but it seems an awful shame to have a new build and not jump onboard with USB3 and sata6.
For an extra £20 you can have the Gigabyte-GA-770T-USB3
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigabyte-GA-770T-USB3-AM...(OC)-USB-30-SATA-3Gb-s-SATA-RAID-ATX



Hereisphilly, thanks for the suggestion! I had no idea that you could get USB 3 support so cheaply and so hadn't even considered it. However, it seems to only support SATA 3, not 6. This is going to make decisions much more difficult...
June 9, 2010 1:58:16 PM

ah my bad, sata is a little confusing
SataII is 3 gbps
SataIII is 6 gbps (newest & fastest)
so when i said sata 6, i meant SataIII which in turn can be abbreviated to sata3
(see the confusion) ;-)
Anyway that board will have you covered on the latest of both
June 9, 2010 1:59:36 PM

asteldian said:
It is worth considering the USB 3, but already being £24 over budget that would stretch it to £44. I mean if it is a very valuable addition for the user it may be worth it. Me personally, I went with USB2 and SATA 3 simply because I don't have any need for better - I game and that's pretty much it. Given that it is a budget build to last as long as it can for gaming I would lose out on the extra perks you may be able to get and go with what directly will effect your gaming significantly.


Agreed. I'm not sure on the lead time for these new usb devices to become standard, but I guess within 3 years I will be building again anyway, when these features will be standard anyway. I guess I just have to prioritise and think hard about the essential features, then see what I've got left to play with.

It's really great that people are coming in with other suggestions though - it is really prompting me to think carefully about component choice!
June 9, 2010 2:01:17 PM

Hereisphilly said:
ah my bad, sata is a little confusing
SataII is 3 gbps
SataIII is 6 gbps (newest & fastest)
so when i said sata 6, i meant SataIII which in turn can be abbreviated to sata3
(see the confusion) ;-)
Anyway that board will have you covered on the latest of both


Haha, thanks for the clarification! Damn tech terms... :-D
June 9, 2010 2:11:31 PM

Yeah in the end it all boils down to what exactly you want from a system an how much you are willing to pay.
For my latest build (about a month ago) i went for an i7 system with usb3 and sataIII, cos i figured in the future i'll want an ssd, and theyre only getting faster (soon to be on sataiii) so i went for it. But if you have no desire to do anything like that, or use fast external drives for backup etc, then save your money.
But if it was me and i could afford it, i'd rather insure the system, for only £20, as you can replace the gpu and cpu in future (seeing as you have an AM3 socket, it makes it easier), an still be up on the latest ports.

Hope this helps
June 9, 2010 3:00:09 PM

Hmm i also have a very specific reason for going NZXT Beta EVO with budget rigs/configs as i had drawn out a list based on the findings/experiences of peeps in various International hardware forums and compiled a list for casings that fit HD 5870/5970 Ignore the latter for budget rigs hehe
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=2580...
Quote:

List of Cases that fit a 5870

Cooler Master CM 690
CM 335 - verified by HWZ
CM Cosmos - verified by HWZ
Lancool K62 - verified by HWZ/Youtube
Thermaltake Tai-chi - verified by HWZ
CM 690 II Advanced - - verified by HWZ
Soldam XR-1 - - verified by HWZ
SilverStone Raven 2 - - verified by HWZ
Silverstone TJ09 - verified by Hardforum
http://www.hardforums.com/showthread...1458313&page=3
CM Stacker 832 - verified by HWZ
Antec Twelve Hundred (From other Forum)
Antec Nine Hundred (From other Forum)
NZXT Tempest (From they're website and other Forum)
NZXT M59 (From they're website and other Forum)
NZXT LEXA S LEXS (From they're website and other Forum)
Cooler Master Storm Sniper (Verified)(over 12 Inches)
Apevia X-Qpack and X-Qpack 2 (MICRO Verified 12 Inches)
Silverstone TJ07 (over 12 inches)
Lian Li P50
Corsair Obsidian 800D(Full Tower)( Over 12 inches Verified)
NZXT Beta EVO( verified by other forum)
NZXT Gamma( verified by other forum)
Xigmatek MIDGARD(Verified by www.hardwarecanucks.com)
Cooler Master 690 Nvidia edition ( verified by other forum )
Apevia X-qpack 1 (verified)
NZXT rouge case (Verified here also xfire )
NZXT Panzer Box (Verified other forum )
Cooler Master Haf 932 (Full tower over twelve inches)
Cooler Master Haf 922 ( mid tower verified other forum )
Antec 300 (mid tower)
Antec skeleton (work station case)
SILVERSTONE FT01-BW ( verified from new egg.com)
Coolermaster CAC-T05 Centurion 5( I thought it wouldn't but I just recived mine today and it does Will take pics soon!)
Rocketfish Full Tower
Antec Sonata III (Will fit one but in XFire will need HDD cage removed)
Lian Li PC-7 Plus II (Will fit one but in XFire will need HDD cage removed)
1.Thermaltake WingRS 301
2.Ikonik EN2-WB
3.Antec Two Hundred
4.Cooler Master Centurion 5 II
5. Gigabyte Luxo M1000
#1-5 verified by HWZ budget casing shootout
http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/produ.../20229/page:11


One could, via carefully picked case prepare for bigger, better GPUs and with this case:
http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/classic_series/beta_ev...
Quote:
• Expanded cooling directly cools video cards and CPU
• Support for up to 6 120mm fans with the option of dual 140mm at the top


so with more funds you can add more case fans if the heat generation due to more powerful hardware later demands it

Do note that i have built with a 955BE + HD 5870 in single GPU configuration with the NZXT Beta EVO :p 
June 9, 2010 3:07:27 PM

What is the width like on the Beta EVOs? I read somewhere that sometimes you can struggle with tall CPU heatsinks & side fans. (There isnt much clearance on my Haf 922 with a 200mm side fan)
June 9, 2010 3:14:01 PM

Casings at this price point were not built with the highest end/hugest air coolers out there but there are more than decent not so huge ones in the market hehe
June 9, 2010 3:34:04 PM


batuchka, why did you go for the Beta EVO over the Gamma? I understand that the Gamma is slightly newer and got good reviews from what I have seen.
June 9, 2010 3:40:13 PM

Hereisphilly said:
ah my bad, sata is a little confusing
SataII is 3 gbps
SataIII is 6 gbps (newest & fastest)
so when i said sata 6, i meant SataIII which in turn can be abbreviated to sata3
(see the confusion) ;-)
Anyway that board will have you covered on the latest of both
The Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 does not utilise SATA 6Gbps (which is how the SATA organization prefers it to be referred to to avoid this very confusion).
June 9, 2010 3:41:02 PM

00parrys said:
batuchka, why did you go for the Beta EVO over the Gamma? I understand that the Gamma is slightly newer and got good reviews from what I have seen.


It's not that bad a case - just no Cypress XT support and well looks wise it could be hit/miss with peeps hehe
June 9, 2010 3:55:09 PM

If I were to want an SSD as a boot drive in a couple of years time, should I be thinking about the newer SATA 6gb/s ports on a motherboard now? Alternatively, could I use a PCI add in card to do it?

EDIT
Another way of looking at it, which would you prioritise: 4gb DDR3 RAM or sata 6gb/s ports on the mobo. Especially as I could easily (and relatively inexpensively) add in RAM later.
June 9, 2010 3:57:56 PM

Silvune said:
The Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 does not utilise SATA 6Gbps (which is how the SATA organization prefers it to be referred to to avoid this very confusion).


Jesus, now i was confused!!

Right, the actual board you want with both interfaces is the GA-770TA-UD3
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...

But now its £81, so a bit more money again
June 9, 2010 4:24:29 PM

You probably would notice the performance loss with only 2gb of ram, but if it didnt take you long to upgrade, then imo it would be worth it.
A couple of weeks/a month @ 2gb would be worth it to then have the quicker ports if you thought you had a need for them in the future.
Put it this way, 2gb ram extra later is alot cheaper than a new mobo further down the line (cos i'm not sure about Sata 6gbps on a PCIe card)
June 9, 2010 5:51:04 PM

I was playing my games with Windows 7 64bit with only 2gb of RAM for about a month (one stick was faulty so was stuck with 2gb while one was RMA'd) and to be honest I had no noticable issues with gaming, so if you want to drop to 2gb and use the money on a better board I would say that was a good plan and then add the RAM when you can
June 9, 2010 7:03:31 PM

Sounds like a fun build to put together, lets see what can be done, (ill try keep it to ebuyer rather than scan, as scan charge a delivery)

BB in 20mins with a config
June 9, 2010 7:09:06 PM

They do, but if enough items are a few £ cheaper it soon makes up for it - also scan tend to deliver it all the next day or 2 at most.

May also want to check Novatech and overclockers.co.uk in addition to ebuyer. Between these sites you should get best price
June 9, 2010 7:22:53 PM

If you are a registered memeber on Bit-tech forums, then i think you get free Scan delivery...
June 9, 2010 8:05:02 PM

Ok, this is insanly difficult with the prices in the UK atm.

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

PSU - Be Quiet 530W Pure Power PSU - £44.98
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190751

Optical - Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA - OEM Black - £14.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

CPU AMD Athlon II X4 630 Socket AM3 2.8GHz 2MB L2 - £72.12
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176579

MB - Asrock M3A790GXH/USB3 790GX Socket AM3 - £75.85
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/205156

RAM - Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory - £89.50
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179278

HDD - Western Digital WD3200AAJS 320GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm - £33.99
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124734

GPU - 1GB MSI HD 5770 - £115.13
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/1GB-MSI-HD-5770-PCI-E-21...(x16)-4800MHz-GDDR5-GPU-850MHz-800Cores-DisplayPort-DL-DVI-I-HDMI

Total £488.56

A few pointers.

Antec Case - Renown to be the best budged case, savings can be made here with an NZXT, but only about £5

PSU - This PSU has enough power to supply a 2nd GPU should you go for crossfire, it is also the cheapest PSU ebuyer does that has 2, 6pin PCIe power cables.

CPU - Quad core. you can save £12 here and go for a Tri core, but is that saving really worth it? No it is not.

MB - Only board in your 'price' range that will allow for a crossfire set up in the future, without using a 4x electrical PCIe on the 2nd card. 1 card runs at 16x, 2 cards run at 8x and 8x.

RAM - DDR3, from the 2nd best memory manufacture, will also allow for a memory Overclock to 1333 with CL7 timings. Also allow 2 spare slots for a RAM upgrade later

HDD - Western Digital are basically the best HDD manufactures (Seagate also really good). You can then upgrade to a 2nd for RAID array at a later time.

GPU - Wow, GPU costs have gone though the roof. a 5770 is a good performance card for the price, it also boosts really good performance when set in crossfire. Its a shame that the 4850s and 260s are EoL, cause they would give insane performance for thier costs.

Recap - RAM / GPU / HDD can all be upgraded and fit in this system. System will last for years to come with those upgrades given

Unfortunatly £450 is not enough for a complete build for a gaming rig, £500 however is. It will pay divedens to up the budget to £500, trust me on that.

P.S, Both myself, asteldian and batuchka almost came up with the same build should really tell you something.

P.S.S, USB3 and SATAII, not worth the money, you will probably not use them even if you had them anyway
June 9, 2010 8:30:07 PM

That Asrock board has usb3 anyway, so you are set for that standard!
+1 on the build, like the look of it
June 10, 2010 6:22:26 PM

I'd go for this build personally:



June 11, 2010 9:32:11 AM

Thanks to everyone who responded to this thread, I have enjoyed reading your takes on the components and have come away with a good idea of my final build!

I especially appreciate the people who have taken the time to spec one online.

Hope you guys have enjoyed this challenge, it's always fun to squeeze the most out of your money!

Cheers,

Sam
!