I'm hoping to build a gaming PC by mid 2010 and just need to know what to get as I'm new to buidling PCs.
My budget will be around £800 - £1000 (if I can stretch that far).
As said above, I'll be using it for Gaming but also for a lot of sound processing and multimedia based software.
I've already got a mouse, keyboard etc., but wouldn't have much of a clue on what monitor to get.
I'd prefer to buy things off a UK based website; cheapest if possible.
I've loved AMD for years but after reading much about the i7 920 I may have been converted and would be more than willing to give that a shot.
Not sure on overclocking so wouldn't be into that... depending on how easy or hard it is.
I've been reading about Sli and how not many people seem to use it today, maybe because single Graphics Cards are that damn good today?
I wouldn't want anything thats overkill e.g. buying a motherboard that just isn't needed to run the CPU and stuff but I do want quality... hopefully wich is what I can get for my budget.
The PC will probably need the ability to have 16GB ram, am I right?
The biggest thing that really worries me is not getting the right motherboard that I'll run into serious compatibility issues... the same goes for the case and danger of getting a crappy power supply. Also, what about cooling?.. will that come with some cases?
First, if you're thinking about buying by mid-2010, researching now might end up being useful, but the fact of the matter is that the hardware landscape is likely to be quite different in six months' time, in terms of availability of parts, pricing, etc. Trying to plan that far ahead may leave you with a list of parts that are not nearly as good as what you could get if you did your planning in the month leading up to your purchase. Just a thought.
Second, RAM: 16GB is probably overkill for just about anything you might be doing right now. You can game comfortably on 4GB (6GB if you're on the 1366 platform, even though it is technically more than you need, but 3GB is a little on the low side). For your other needs, you may benefit from bumping up to 8GB (1156) or 12GB (1366), but above that, you'll likely start to see pretty serious diminishing returns.
Third, cooling: any decent case, such as the CoolerMaster HAF 922, will be spacious and either come with enough stock case fans (or at least have the capacity to add additional case fans) to provide good airflow. If you aren't overclocking, you should be fine using the stock cooler that comes with your CPU. If you're planning to overclock, you'll want to invest in a decent aftermarket heatsink fan, such as the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+.
I'll let someone else try to give information on AMD and i5 CPUs, since my knowledge is mostly confined to the i7-900 series. The i7-920 is soon to be replaced by the i7-930, which is effectively the same CPU, near as I can tell, but with a marginally higher multiplier (stock frequency of 2.8GHz instead of 2.66GHz) - in any event, it should be priced consistently with the current 920. If you're overclocking, the difference in performance between the 920 and 930 is likely to be negligible. If gaming is your top priority, the 920 may be more than you need (depending on the amount of sound processing and other multimedia work you do). From what I understand, the i5-750 provides better gaming performance than the i7 chips, but the i7-920 (and above) start to shine when you start adding in other uses (multimedia, other image/sound editing, etc.). Hopefully others can provide more insight, here.
Hope this helps you out a little - if you aren't planning to buy now, it doesn't make a ton of sense to suggest specific parts, since it is more likely than not that better options would be available by the time you ended up purchasing. Others may feel differently, though.
January 26, 2010 10:27:02 PM
Thanks a lot for your reply.
I do agree that technology will change in 6 months but just want to get to know what is good now and maybe, hopefully cheaper in 6 months time and even get some insight on what I could be building and learn from it for when I make future purchases.
I think I read that I should have room for 16GB of ram but I know I wouldn't need it now, just something to fall back on when I do need more.
Thankfully I can rest now regarding the information about cool thanks.
Agree with everything restatement said. I wonder if the i7 930 would turn out to be a better gaming CPU than the i5 750.
However I think that it would be a struggle to get a Bloomfield system for £800, certainly now, at £1000 it would be very possible. For £800 now I think that you would be looking at an i5 750 and 5850 or 5870 depending on what other options are taken with hardware choices. But for your needs I think that you would prefer a Bloomfield system over a Lynnfield system if you could test them both out. Especially with a revision of the current Bloomfield chips. But then again the i7 860 and 870 (both Lynnfield) are very good processors. For gaming the top AMD quad cores are very competitive with Intel processors in gaming, they tend to fall behind a bit in video editing and CPU bound tasks.
You can always do a compatibility check on here before you order everything, altho if you are starting your research now, by june or july you will be much more confident in being able to confirm it for yourself by then.
As for cases, two that I like are the Cooler Master CM 690 II and Lancool PC-K62.
Power supplies from the following brands should be fine: Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, OCZ, Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Enermax. There are other good brands. The size will depend on what card you decide to get and whether you will want to crossfire them. I think one of the problems with crossfiring is that you shell out a ton for two and before long a single new card will out perform those two (or more) olders ones.