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£500 Gaming Rig

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February 24, 2010 5:42:16 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: July 2010
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Mw2, Fuel, Fallout 3), surfing the net, word processing etc
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any in the UK
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING: Yes
Crossfiring: No
Monitor Resolution: 1440x900, would also like to plug it into my HD tv 32"
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like a dual monitor setup if possible (with my 1440x900), budget is flexible a bit (max: £550).

Thank You :) 

More about : 500 gaming rig

February 24, 2010 6:23:22 AM

It's a bit early to be thinking about parts, but you'll be looking at something like this:
Case: Up to your personal preferences
CPU: AMD PII X4 955 BE
MOBO: AM3 mobo from Asus or Gigabyte
RAM: 4 (2x2GB) DDR3 1333 or 1600
GFX: HD 5770, unless TV res is full HD (1920x1080) and you want to game on it.
PSU: 500W-700W from Corsair, OCZ, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, or Antec
ODD: Cheapest DVD burner you can find
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB or Seagate 7200.12 500GB

An Intel build is also possible, but you'll be looking at i5-750, which performs as well as the 955 but uses a platform that is only expected to last another 2-3 years (LGA 1156).
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 12:24:44 PM

You're not getting an Intel for the budget. Not if you want to game. And the LGA1156 socket will NOT be seeing better CPUs than what's already out. It may last another 2-3 years, but the only "upgrades" are going to be mainstream CPUs like the i3/i5 dual cores.

I'll fill in some blanks in the build.

GPU: You should be able to fit in the HD 5850 at least. Not that you need it for that low resolution. This will allow for playing most games (Crysis the main exception) at 1900x. So if you plan to game at full HD, definitely go with the 5850. If you're close to being able to get the HD 5870, that one would be perfect as it can play EVERY game at 1900x.

CPU: If you can't fit either the 5850 or 5870 into budget with the 955, you can easily downgrade to the X4 925, X4 620 or X3 425 without hurting gaming performance. This downgrade is preferrable to getting a lesser GPU.

Mobo: I don't know the prices over there, but the best board right now is the Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3. It's not too expensive, has USB 3/SATA III support, but only one PCIe 2.0 slot, so you can't change your mind about Crossfire.

RAM: Since you're OCing, you want to get 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks.

PSU: Add Silverstone to that list. OCZ is probably the least quality of all the ones listed, so if you go that route, get at least a 600W for the 5770 or 700W for the 5850.

Case: Look at the Antec 300 or 300 Illusion. Other good ones are the Coolermaster Elite, 690 or HAF 922. The HAF is the best case, but the most expensive of this list.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 12:52:55 PM

That looks good, with the exception of the GPU. See if you can drop the CPU to an X3 425 and afford the HD 5850.

I was going to say that the XXX version is just a factory overclock you pay a lot more for, but that's not true over there for some reason. It is out of stock, so don't worry about getting a non-XXX version...
February 24, 2010 2:24:20 PM

well we would need to find about £90 to add a 5850 (5770 = £120 + 90 = £210. £210 = The cheapest 5850)

Dropping the processor to a X3 only gives us about half the money we need, so the tota with a slower CPU and a 5850 would be about £610+

I'm thinking maybe a Core i3 setup, I wouldnt usually recommend a dual core, but the Core i3 does have hyperthreading and no doubt will overclock well.

Still though going with an i3 instead of a AMD 955 only gives us an extra £55 : /

If the OP isn't interested in DX11 then a 4890 may be the way to go
http://www.ewlink.co.uk/index.asp?function=DISPLAYPRODU...

Or perhaps wait for the HD5830
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 2:32:35 PM

Well, since the 5830 hasn't been officially announced, I can't recommend waiting for it.

The 5850 was more of a pipe dream. It's worth looking at, but I doubted it would fit in the budget.

The i3 isn't a very good gaming CPU. It's easily beaten by the x4 620. I'm not a fan of using outside of it's intended purpose as an HTPC CPU.
February 24, 2010 2:37:48 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Well, since the 5830 hasn't been officially announced, I can't recommend waiting for it.

The 5850 was more of a pipe dream. It's worth looking at, but I doubted it would fit in the budget.

The i3 isn't a very good gaming CPU. It's easily beaten by the x4 620. I'm not a fan of using outside of it's intended purpose as an HTPC CPU.


Yeah me niether, well I guess its the 5770 or the 4890 then .....

Does the OP need an OS, keyboard, mouse and speakers?.....I hope not :pt1cable: 
February 24, 2010 6:20:40 PM

Thank you so much!

For the GPU how about 2 hd5750 cf 1gb each, on far cry it is 6fps behind the hd5870 and 2 hd5750 is £200 and the hd5870 is £270?
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 6:25:35 PM

Yes, but you lose an entire upgrade path by CF right away. I'd go with the 5870 any day. Also, 6 FPS on Crysis is a pretty big difference...
February 24, 2010 6:34:49 PM

Ok, what is the cheapest AM3 with 2x PCI-e x16 so I can cf?
February 24, 2010 6:36:01 PM

Also would you think they would be a big price drop in the HD5870 by July, with fermi comin' and that...
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 6:39:13 PM

I have no idea on a price drop. I'd be surprised if it did...

You don't really need 16x/16x. The benefit is literally only 4% over 8x/8x, which is only noticeable when using 5970s. The price will definitely be out of your range too.
February 24, 2010 6:39:58 PM

@omgitzfatal Yes I do but I have some more money left over for that ;) 
February 24, 2010 6:40:52 PM

Ohh what about 8x/8x then? ;) 
February 24, 2010 6:44:01 PM

8x/8x is fine unless your running dual GPU cards like a 4870x2 or a 5970
February 24, 2010 6:53:06 PM

I meant what is the best AM3 8x/8x budget mobo ;) ?
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 6:56:40 PM

The best AM3 8x/8x board right now is the Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4.
February 24, 2010 6:59:45 PM

isn't that a bit expensive for a budget build :p 
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 7:02:42 PM

Yes. Which is why I didn't mention it in the original build. Slightly cheaper, but without USB 3/SATA III is the Asus M4A79XTD EVO. Still more expensive than the original build though...
February 24, 2010 7:07:51 PM

I would like to have the crossfire option though ...
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 7:11:05 PM

Coolermaster PSUs are not high quality. The PSU is not the place to skimp on quality. When it goes bad, it can take the entire build with it.

That's also a really expensive case.

Well, the board I mentioned above (the Asus) is 88 pounds. So spend the extra 18 pounds and get Crossfire support.
February 24, 2010 7:45:33 PM

I tend to disagree about coolermaster PSU's being bad quality or not high quality.

Haven't had a single problem with my coolermaster Real-power M700, its pretty much silent and has a continous power output of 700W. Its powered overclocked 4870's in CF

+ its backed by a 5 year warranty, i dunno maybe some CM PSU's are better than other's but I can't say a bad word about mine.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 8:05:16 PM

That's much better.
a b 4 Gaming
February 24, 2010 8:50:47 PM

I've seen numberous reviews that showed the only problem with Silent Pro PSUs was that they did not like supporting more than one graphics card. Apart from that their quality was top notch. So if you want to be able (and safe) to crossfire it probably is better to look at something else and I would agree that the PSU in that Antec combo is better in that situation. And the case is decent too.
February 25, 2010 4:30:04 PM

Btw the hd5830 is now on tom's hardware ;) 
seems to do quiet well ...
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2010 4:34:27 PM

Yes, but it did say it was pretty weak for it's starting price. It's not due out for at least a week. I would wait even longer than that to let the price settle to where it should be.
February 25, 2010 4:39:57 PM

I am buying it in July 4 months should be enough surely ;)  ..
a b 4 Gaming
February 25, 2010 4:42:54 PM

Definitely. They settle pretty quick, but the only issue with the 5830 is that it's going to be the only option at that price range, so ATI pretty much gets to set the price and the market can't move it as easily.
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