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£650-ish Gaming Computer

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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 5:30:28 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: About 1 week or so

BUDGET RANGE: £600-£700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming is all I really need it for, along with some light web-surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, speakers, keyboard, Mouse.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I don't really know. I'm in the UK though.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Whatever is cheapest/best

OVERCLOCKING: I've never done it before

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Whatever you think is best

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

I do need to buy a new OS too, as at the moment I'm just on an old laptop running XP, which I've long since lost the disc for.

I've been told that CyberPowerSystem is a good place to go for cheap pre-built systems. Is this true?
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 5:35:02 PM

You shouldn't be looking at prebuilts. You'll pay extra and get lower quality parts. I'm not in the UK, so I don't know where is the best to buy from. I have seen a lot of preferences for Ebuyer though.

Here's what I would look for (links/prices in US only):

CPU: X3 425 $70
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
GPU: HD 5850 $300
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W $60 after rebate
Case: Coolermaster 690 $70
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $23
OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

Total: $923 (~600 pounds)
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 6:24:56 PM

I would suggest components from scan if their RAM choice wasn't restricted to overpriced Corsair kits. Overclockers.co.uk do some good deals, so check them out.

CPU: AMD Athlon X3 440 £67
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191955

Mobo: Asus M4A785TD-V EVO £71
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169532
Allows for a second card to be added.

RAM: G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-24) 1.65V £100
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490

GPU: PowerColor HD 5850 £229
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/199769

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB £40
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158860

PSU: OCZ Z Series 650W 80Plus Silver £68
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/190772
I don't know how many amps this has on it's 12V rail, but should be good enough to power two 5850s.

Case: Antec Three Hundred £43
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854

DVD Drive: Samsung SH-S223 22X DVD±RW/RAM/DL Serial ATA Black Bare Drive - OEM £15
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145450

Windows 7 64bit Home Premium £78
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173791

Total: £711

If you want it under £700, then some rethinking will have to be done. But as it is, it's a good gaming rig with some upgrade potential - mostly being able to add another card.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 6:31:08 PM

I would personally look at the Antec 300 Illusion. The 300 is a good case, but there might not be enough airflow to keep everything cool.

I would also look at some of the other 650W PSU from Corsair, Antec, SeaSonic and Silverstone. Get whatever's cheapest.
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:02:40 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I would personally look at the Antec 300 Illusion. The 300 is a good case, but there might not be enough airflow to keep everything cool.

I would also look at some of the other 650W PSU from Corsair, Antec, SeaSonic and Silverstone. Get whatever's cheapest.

I don't think you would if you lived in the UK, as it's not available. And it will have plenty of airflow, if it doesn't then it's easy enough to add fans later.

He probably could go cheaper, if he really needed to but I don't think it's worth it based on what I've seen that's available. Unless he wants to give up the possibility of crossfire later.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:13:04 PM

A couple months or so down the line I guess crossfire could be an option, if that helps?
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:16:20 PM

Any quality 650W unit will be able to Crossfire the 5850. You'll likely need adapters to get the right connectors, but the PSUs will be able to handle the load.

And by cheaper, I meant the cheapest of those brands listed. Look at the offerings from those companies and get the cheapest 650W unit in that group. You'll get a high quality unit at a lower price that way.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:19:07 PM

My uncle is telling me a Quad Core processor is needed for newer games. Is he right?
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:25:16 PM

Almost no games require a quad core. I actually can't think of a single one that has a quad core as a requirement. There are a few that don't run well without four cores (like the GTA), but those aren't all that common either.

Triple cores are actually better for gaming overall. Search the articles here at Tom's for one called "How many cores do you actually need" (or something along that line). There's a review they did to compare actual gaming performance with a single, dual, triple and quad core. It found that adding the second and third cores had a huge performance gain, but adding the fourth core actually decreased gaming performance slightly.
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:25:27 PM

Not all games. There are some games that absolutely need a quad core, such as GTA IV.

Units from those other companies are going to be more expensive than the OCZ one I suggested.
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:27:53 PM

Fair enough on the PSU. I know OCZ is really cheap over here, but they're higher quality units (the ones with high efficiencies) are more expensive than the lower efficiency units from those companies at the smaller sizes. It was just something to check out.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:37:21 PM

I've always been a big GTA fan, and would like to be able to play it on my new PC. Should I bump up the CPU (I can probably stretch the price) to a X4 630 Quad-Core?
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:42:16 PM

It's not a bad idea. The triple cores can potentially be unclocked to operate as a quad core, but it's not guaranteed. The X4 630 would only cost a little bit extra any way.
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:44:14 PM

When you get GTA IV be sure to install the latest patch for it, as that helps improve it alot.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 7:50:49 PM

Thanks a lot for the help guys, really appreciate it.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 8:25:49 PM

Sorry for another question, but do I need to buy any additional fans or heatsinks?
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 8:28:27 PM

Normally, I wouldn't advise getting extra case fans, but I might consider it with the Antec 300. I would at least wait and see if the temperatures are too hot.

You only need an aftermarket heatsink if you're going to overclock.
Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2010 9:06:55 PM

Thanks again, man. You two have no idea how lost I would have been without the guidance.
!