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Low-Budget Gaming System | £500 | Lots of detail posted, need opinions

Last response: in Systems
February 11, 2010 11:37:51 PM

NOTE TO MOD(S): I tried to edit my last topic however after several attempts it was refusing to let me. I hope starting a new one is okay given the big changes to the build proposal i've made!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Split into two buys - one within a week, the next at the end of the month.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet TV streaming, Web surfing, Photo/Image Editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: All peripherals + graphics card, will be re-using my 8800GT 512mb due to costs.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Scan, Ebuyer or Tekheads

PARTS PREFERENCES: No unlogical preferences, open to any ideas. AMD however seem to be the better CPU option for performance on a budget.

Misc components (cables, thermal comp, fans etc) - £35

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz - £67.21

CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 - £17.50

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H - £71.56

RAM: Crucial 4GB(2x2) DDR3 1333MHz Ballistix CL7 7-7-7-24 1.65v - £84.99

PSU: Arctic Power 700W (22Ax2 on 12v) - £41.88

OPTIC: Samsung SH223 22x - £14.99

CASE: Casecom 6788 (toolless optic/HDD bays and cable management trays) - £25.98

HDD: WD 500GB 7.2k 16MB Caviar Blue - £38.50

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - £75.28

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future (to unlock 4th core if not faulty)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 on a 22" LG.


I previously planned this rig with a 965BE and a top-end 790 chipset mobo. However, dropping those for the listed Athlon II X3 440 and lowering the mobo chipset to a 785 have made enough saving that I can get a new HDD and Win7, which wasn't possible before. Also, still having a very competent AM3 mobo means if I decide the upgrade is worth it, I can in the future upgrade my CPU to a more high-end piece.

The above build comes to £480, which is nicely within budget and leaves a little leeway.

I'm now looking for some reaction to the planned build before ordering it. Any thoughts or critique welcome!
February 12, 2010 10:53:19 AM

That resolution is a bit taxing on your GPU, but if you don't mind low to medium image quality, it's ok to keep the gpu.

The PSU is overkill & a question mark in terms of quality. Can't you get something else?


Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 400 W
February 12, 2010 11:09:06 AM

Whoa 700W? Look to hit a quality/juicy 500-600w 80+ bronze certified PSU and have peace of mind ^^
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February 12, 2010 11:21:14 AM

Have you thought about trying to unlock the two defunct cores on the Phenom II X2 550? It's around the same price as the Athlon II X3 440.
The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro comes with some thermal compound pre-applied, so you could save yourself £5 not buying some extra.
Personally I would go for OCZ StealthXStream 600W over the Arctic Power as it has enough connectors and power for crossfiring lower end cards or for one of the higher end 5000 series cards.
February 12, 2010 11:26:07 AM

batuchka said:
Whoa 700W? Look to hit a quality/juicy 500-600w 80+ bronze certified PSU and have peace of mind ^^

that what I've told him in the predecessor topic (the one with the 965), he wants to have the ability to cf two 5870 in the future...
I did offered him a antec 650 psu