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Gaming Rig for about £750 ($1200)

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January 14, 2010 6:02:24 PM

Hi there. I'm planning on building a new pc but the last time I checked up on benchmarks and so on was about 5 to 6 years ago. The PC I built back then died recently... maybe just the PSU (made quite a few sparks when it went) but I felt it was a good time to build a new rig rather than spend money to get the old one running again.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week/next few days. BUDGET RANGE: £750 (~$1200) + whatever it costs for an OS

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Watching Films/Animation

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Harddrive (have a sealed unused spinpoint available)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: http://www.scan.co.uk I've got a lifetime free delivery bonus here.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Doesn't matter... my last PC was AMD/Nvidia but since I'm not up to date with things I'll go with whatever will get the job done for gaming.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably Not

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'll be looking for a new OS. I've got 32-bit XP Pro but I guess it's time to switch to windows 7 in order to get the most out of my new rig. Unsure what to get... OEM/Retail? Home/Pro/Ultimate?

I'm building this computer to last. I'll not be planning to upgrade/replace it for several years but want it to be good for games to come in the next few years. Older games will include: Civ IV, Oblivion, Fallout 3. My last rig (the nearly 5 to 6 year old one) was capable of running Fallout 3 at 1920x1080 with high level textures at a very playable speed. I had to install a motion blur effect reducer mod though and forfeit detailed water reflections+shadows. But I was happy with it... I don't play games just for graphics.

I've had a small read around and came across the helpful stickied thread with suggested setups. I tried to match the parts in the thread for the 'gamer' setup with what was available on scan's website. I'm unsure about what RAM and Case to buy.

The suggested setup in another thread:



  • And this is what I found on scan:

    CPU - HDZ955FBGIBOX - AMD Phenom II X4 955 BlackEdition, Sok AM3, 3.2GHz, 8MB Total Cache, 125W, Retail

    £121.84


    Mobo - Asus M4A79-T Deluxe, AMD 790FX, AM3, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 1333/1600OC, SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX

    £137.01


    PSU - 750W Corsair CMPSU-750TX, SLi, Single 12V Rail, Quiet & Cool 80%+ Eff

    £90.32


    GPU - HD-585A-ZNFC - 1GB XFX HD 5850, PCI-E 2.0(x16), 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 725MHz, DisplayPort/ 2x DL DVI-I/ HDMI + Dirt2*

    £254.25

    So far: £604.42

    So around £150 left for some suitable RAM, a decent case and a simple CD/DVD reader/writer. I'm not including the OS cost into the budget but still would like suggestion on what to get. I would appreciate any comments on the setup so far and if anything should be changed in order to get the most out of my money.

    I would have done more research myself on parts but the only internet access I have at the moment is this old slow laptop which barely manages to have two tabs open at once making it difficult to browse and compare.

    Thank you in advance for any help/suggestions.

    Oh yeah, a fairly random question here: Is it possible for certain components to cause short circuits or anything like that? I believe my PSU simply died but I guess I'm a little paranoid about putting in my old HDDs into the new rig. It should be fine to just plug them in and check if they got fried, right? Is it likely at all that a HDD suddenly caused the PSU to 'die'? What happened was the whole PC suddenly powered down during a game and when I tried to turn it back on a few sparks flew out the back from the PSU with a bit of a 'pop'. The HDDs I'm interested in recovering were only used as file storage (one was ~6 months old and the other around 2 years).

    Again, like I noted above, I've already got an unused and still sealed spinpoint available to use for my new system. Though I may buy a newer one at a later date.

    Thank you for your help.
  • More about : gaming rig 750 1200

    January 14, 2010 7:56:29 PM

    Any DDR3-1333 RAM 4GB(2*2GB) kit (cas7 preferred) will work.

    For a case look at the antec 200
    January 14, 2010 9:34:25 PM

    I would suggest getting a cheaper motherboard. Don't see why this wouldn't do nicely: Gigabyte GA MA790GPT-UD3H £91
    And if you're not going to be crossfiring then you don't need a 750W PSU, and could easily drop down to the 650W equivalent of that Corsair: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/650W-Corsair-CMPSU-650TX... (£61)
    I'm going to suggest this RAM until it is sold out Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V (£82) even if it's not from scan.
    This RAM (not including the other changes I suggested) would give you a £70 budget for a case.
    These are two of the cases that I like that are in the price range:
    Coolermaster CM-690 V2 Dominator Black Midi (£56)
    Lancool K58 Black Advanced Tower (£58)
    The Antec 300 is a good step up from the 200.

    And I'd suggest getting Home Premium and the OEM version.
    Related resources
    January 15, 2010 8:11:24 AM

    I would suggest to go with CM 690 case, i'v got one also, and it's brilliant case for the money :)  good air flow plenty space.
    I also agree with silvune for PSU and mobo.
    Don't just look at scan there are quite few more shops where you can get good deals, ebuyer.com overclock.com overlockers.com <--(expensive deliveries :/ )
    If you could stretch your budget a bit you could get i5 750 that would put 955 into shade.
    FOr GPU look in another shops, probably you could get that 5850 for around 218quid now there is no need to pay premium just cause they'r in stock.
    Good luck building new machine, even 955 is awesome machine :) 
    January 15, 2010 9:45:14 AM

    Thanks for the replies. Here's a revised list:

    CPU - HDZ955FBGIBOX - AMD Phenom II X4 955 BlackEdition, Sok AM3, 3.2GHz, 8MB Total Cache, 125W, Retail
    £121.84

    Mobo - Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H, AMD 790GX, SAM3, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 1333/1666, SATA 3Gb/s, RAID, ATX
    £91.03

    PSU - 650W Corsair CMPSU-650TX, single 12V rail, energy efficient, quiet & cool, fully compatible
    £72.49

    GPU - HD-585A-ZNFC - 1GB XFX HD 5850, PCI-E 2.0(x16), 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 725MHz, DisplayPort/ 2x DL DVI-I/ HDMI + Dirt2*
    £254.25
    Will possibly try to find it elsewhere for cheaper.

    Case - RC-690-KKN1-GP - Coolermaster CM-690 V2 Dominator Black Midi Tower Case with Mesh Top Panel w/o PSU
    £55.80

    Total so far with the RAM in the above post: £677.25

    I'll then be also buy an OEM copy for Win 7 64-bit.

    I'll probably be buying the stuff on around monday or tuesday next week and will consider the RAM mentioned above if it's still in stock. I've heard some bad things about Ebuyer's sales and support though, so I'm a little reluctant to buy from them. The one reason I'm going with Scan is for the free delivery and previous experience with them. I was hoping the free delivery there would offset the possible cheaper prices to be found on other sites. The only RAM they have though is CAS9: TW3X4G1333C9A - 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS3, DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333) 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24. I've read around a bit found a few posts saying there is very little noticeable difference between CL7 and 9? Is that true? Mind you, I'm not a gamer that demands perfect FPS rates. Perhaps I should look at what they have for DDR3 1600?

    Anyway, I've would have around £70 left for any other hardware atfer buying the above. I've noticed I forgot about a soundcard... anyone know how the onboard audio is on the motherboard listed above? Should I perhaps instead use the money on a USB headset like the Medusa 5.1? I forgot to mention that I have a 2.1 speaker system from my old system.

    In regards to the i5 750, will the difference really be that noticable? I saw that the 'builds by usage' thread listed a 'gamer' build with the i5 750. It was actually cheaper in total than the build quoted in the first post. I would just have to swap the mobo to accomodate the new cpu right?

    Thanks again for any help.
    January 15, 2010 10:53:45 AM

    thats true about the i5 750. one thing i was going to mention that was pointed out to me in a thread I made about my new gaming rig was why not get a mobo that is going to last for upgrades like something that has SATA III and USB 3.0 ports? If you switch to an i5 750 you could get something like this:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-P7P55D-E-Intel-P55-Express-S1156-PCI-E-20-(x16)-DDR3-2200(OC)-SATA-6Gb-s-SATA-RAID-ATX

    Switching out to that mobo and using the i5 processor is going to cost a bit more but I think it would be a sound decision.
    January 16, 2010 3:06:01 PM

    So how does this look? Changed the Mobo to hopefully the right one for the CPU. I didn't go with the suggested mobo from above as the total cost of the build will start being a bit pricey. I now intend to spend the remainder of the £750 budget on a half decent soundcard or headset. Any comments regarding that?

    In regards to the RAM: the previous link for the kit on Ebuyer is sold out now... since just about everything is coming from scan I've chosen the ones I mentioned before. RAM is probably the only thing I'll be willing to upgrade at a later stage, so it's not that big a problem if it's not CAS7 for now.

    The new list:

    CPU - BX80605I5750 - Intel Core i5 750, s1156, Lynnfield, Quad Core, 2.66GHz, DMI 2.5 GT/s, 8MB Cache, 95W, Retail
    £152.46
    Mobo - Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2, Intel P55 Express, S1156, DDR3 2200, SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX
    £84.07
    EDIT: Changed the above away from a microATX to an ATX. Asus P7P55D LE, Intel P55 Express, S1156, PCI-E 2.0(x16), DDR3 2000(OC), SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX
    £101.70
    GPU - HD-585A-ZNFC - 1GB XFX HD 5850, PCI-E 2.0(x16), 4000MHz GDDR5, GPU 725MHz, DisplayPort/ 2x DL DVI-I/ HDMI + Dirt2*
    £254.25
    PSU - 650W Corsair CMPSU-650TX, single 12V rail, energy efficient, quiet & cool, fully compatible
    £72.49
    RAM - TW3X4G1333C9A - 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX XMS3, DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333) 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24
    £95.29
    Case - RC-690-KKN1-GP - Coolermaster CM-690 V2 Dominator Black Midi Tower Case with Mesh Top Panel w/o PSU
    £55.80

    Total: £731.99

    Also, anyone have any suggestions on how to test my old harddrives to see if they're 'fried' or not? It'll be fine to just plug them into the new rig and see if the data is still there, right? I'm not planning on using these as the main HDD of course. As mentioned previously, I've got a brand new HDD lying around for that.

    Many thanks in advance!
    January 16, 2010 3:47:00 PM

    Yea, good build. Shame about that RAM going out of stock.
    You'd probably be best asking about the harddrives in the hard disk section of the forum.
    January 20, 2010 5:29:37 PM

    Alright, I've ordered most of the stuff yesterday and have received an email from scan that the Corsair PSU has been recalled by the manufacturer due to a discovered fault in the batch.

    I'm given the option of waiting for when a new batch arrives or to choose another PSU. I also obviously have the option to buy this PSU from another site... but I've become worried given that there's supposed to be a fault in a certain batch.

    So... can anyone suggest me another decent PSU from http://scan.co.uk/ first?

    If they have nothing there, then perhaps another site? Seeing as my last PC died due to the PSU I'm not taking any chances.

    Many thanks.
    January 20, 2010 5:40:55 PM

    This is around the same price as that Corsair, it's on Overclockers.co.uk tho: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular £73
    This is on Scan: Antec Signature 650W £82 a pretty solid power supply, I'm sure Jonnyguru.com will have a review of it.
    I don't usually recommend this power supply as it is not rock solid when crossfiring, but if you absolutely are not going to crossfire then it might be worth getting: Coolermaster Silent Pro 600W Modular £72
    Some of the other PSUs I would have recommended aren't in stock on scan. The Antec Truepower New modular was the main one I was looking at.
    January 20, 2010 6:02:06 PM

    Signature is one of Antecs premium lines. Its 80+ bronze certified, better than most Corsairs. Its got 43 amps on the 12V rails, which is plenty, but it does only have two PCIE connectors.

    Noarms said:
    Alright, I've ordered most of the stuff yesterday and have received an email from scan that the Corsair PSU has been recalled by the manufacturer due to a discovered fault in the batch.

    This is what separates the good companies from the bad. Many would have let the batch ship and replaced them one by one as customers requested RMAs. +1 to Corsair for good business practices.
    January 20, 2010 6:58:15 PM

    Hey, thanks for the fast replies... I suppose I'll go for the Antec. Also, I'm not planning on crossfiring, so those 2xPCI-E should be enough.

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

    Seems like it's an amazing PSU. Although I might have to read up on PSUs with multiple rails, but I can always post in a section of this forum for help from you guys. :) 

    EDIT: Hang on does the 5850 need 2xPCI-E 6pin connectors? Might need to look for another PSU after all.
    January 20, 2010 7:27:55 PM

    Yea, the 5850 needs two 6pin power connectors, which the Antec Signature 650 is able to provide. One is a 6pin, the other is a 6+2pin, which would be used to plug into an 8pin PCI-E connector if you had a GPU that had a requirement for that. You will just end up leaving the 2pin bit hanging next to the vard.
    Bottom line: that PSU is fine for one 5850, altho it will absolutely rule out crossfiring with it.
    January 20, 2010 7:36:09 PM

    Oh right, oops... missed that little note. Was just looking for another 2x3 PCI-E on that list from jonnyguru.

    Thanks again for the speedy reply.
    !