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£400-£500 pc, going into gaming

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January 13, 2010 11:04:55 AM

Hello people,

I've decided to gather parts to make a PC but I need some advice. I'm not looking to play games at the moment but I'm definitely looking to get back into gaming so I need some opinion as to whether the parts would be "suitable" for games.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Feburary to March at the latest

BUDGET RANGE: £400, but willing to stretch to ~£500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching TV shows, work-related programs (possibly matlab or other scientific programs), surfing, photoshop, gaming (in the future, looking onto games like dragon age origins or maybe crysis)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, monitor, soundcard, graphics card, optical disk drives

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: UK online retailers and/or UK stores

PARTS PREFERENCES:

CPU - Athlon II X4 620
~£80 from http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-Athlon-II-X4-620-Qua...

Motherboard - AsRock M3A785GXH/128M
~£70 from http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/42180

HDD - Seagate ST31500341AS 1.5 TB HDD, 7200rpm
~£90 from http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/15TB-Seagate-ST31500341A...

Case - Coolermaster Gladiator 600
~ £50 from http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Coolermaster-Gladiator-6...

PSU - Looking into OCZ fatal1ty 550w but not entirely sure, please advise (willing to spend approximately £50 to £70 at most, the cheaper the better)
~£60 from http://www.morecomputers.com/extra.asp?pn=OCZ550FTY-UK&...

RAM - Completely unsure, please advise as to what model I should get (preferably more than 2GB, DDR3, at least 1333MHz, preferably around £70 range)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: at least 1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I don't need a graphics card now, but am looking to playing games in the future, so would this build run a radeon 4870/4890/5770? Also, if I decide to crossfire or overclock, would the PSU be powerful enough to handle it? Lastly, how many more fans should I get for the case if I decide to do some (small) overclocking?

Please advise (especially for RAM and PSU), and thanks in advance.

More about : 400 500 gaming

a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 1:22:11 PM

I'd advise getting this 1TB hard drive instead of that Seagate. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB £70, as Samsung make the best drives atm. If you need over 1TB then for now stick with that Seagate cos I haven't found a drive yet that is better and as cheap.
This is the RAM I recommend:
Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £82
Alternatively,
Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz Dual Channel (PVV34G1333LLK) £82 if it was in stock. Or Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-12800 1600MHz Dual Channel + 3D Mark Vantage (PVV34G1600LLKB) £83
With that case, you could get by with overclocking without any extra fans, but add two/fill it up just to help keep it extra cool, not that the Athlon chips are massive heat producers anyway.
OCZ Fata1ty aren't exactly a bad line of PSUs, but here are some suggestions for some that are a tad better and/or cheaper:
OCZ StealthXStream 500W £50 Or the 600W version @ £66
Antec Earthwatts 500W 80plus £55
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W 80plus £52
If you want to be able to run a 4870/4890/5850 then you will need a power supply with two 6pin power connectors, the Antec Earthwatts 500W and the 600W StealthXStream has these. A single 5770 only needs one 6pin power connector and 500W will be plenty for one of them, I'd say 600W for two of them.
My advice would be to get one 5770 when you want to start gaming, and add another one later if you want to beef up your gaming performance, as potentially by that time 5770s will be quite cheap. Of course by that time it might make more sense to just replace it with a newer card.
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January 13, 2010 2:43:36 PM

Thanks for the information, I will take these into account.

I forgot to mention that I'm also open to suggestions for the other components, so please give advice if there are other cheaper combinations for this rig.

Since I would be using the integrated graphics chipset for a short while, do I need to overclock the integrated graphics chipset to run HD videos at a sufficient speed?

For the case, would larger graphics cards actually fit? I read in some cases that if crossfiring some mid-size ATX cases can't actually house it? And lastly, is it possible to extend the 6pin power connecters, say, splitting one 6pin power connector to 2 connectors?
a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2010 4:55:35 PM

I think integrated graphics will be fine for HD video.
This picture http://img.neoseeker.com/v_image.php?articleid=2300ℑ=44 ,from a useful review, shows a 4850 fitting. I don't know yet how long that card is (to compare to the cards you are looking at), but am researching it. From my research a 5770 is 22cm long and 4870 and 4890 are about 24cm. As you can see, a card in the first PCI-E slot will have no problems because it will extend into the 5.25" bay, whereas a second card would run into the harddrive cage if it was too long.
Two other cases that I think you should consider are the Antec 300 (which can apparently fit a 5870, 28cm) and Lancool PC-K58, as these are pretty good quality and reasonably cheap. These are cases that I like, so up to you if you consider them.
Not too sure about your last question, I wouldn't think that it was either possible or a good idea, but don't quote me on it.
!