£1000 Gaming Pc

Hi guys,

I have been following the advise on Tom's Hardware for a long time and thought it was about time I ask some advise myself!

I am looking to upgrade my current pc, which I guess is now very normal. I would like it to be able to play games such as Crysis, Far Cry etc with good performance on a 22 inch monitor (My current PC plays both, crysis, just about with a Q9450 and a 8800 GTX both overclocked).

Basically I am not bothered too much about overclocking my system and therefore will try to maximise the performance for the cost but am looking for a second opinion on my system build. Current ideas below, Any thoughts?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before Feburary would be nice.

BUDGET RANGE: Less than £1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: First Person Shooter's (Crysis, Farcry,CoD etc) and RTS Games (Also WoW but that really isn't an issue for a pc that can play the other games).Watching Movies on a larger TV. Other normal home pc tasks.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Happy to use old pc as a donor. The only re-useble parts though are:
My HDD (Toshiba - MBA3147NC - 15,000 RPM - 150GB, + 1TB Seagate for addintional space etc)
My Optical Drive (An NEC drive that is about 3 years old, does the job, don't burn a lot to DVD/CD and not interested in BR yet.)
My ANTEC case (Can't remember the model, looks rubbish and would preferably like to upgrade^^ but has good air flow)
All peripherals (Got a decent Samsung 22" Monitor, Razer Death Adder Mouse, Razer Lycosa Keyboard etc)



MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 Minimum


Parts I have prelimanry chosen:

Board Asus P7P55D Evo Intel P55 (Socket 1156) DDR3 Motherboard [90-MIB8D0-G0EAY00Z]
~ £160 from http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-361-AS

Memory PNY Optima - DDR3-1333 - 4GB (2x2GB Kit)
~ £100 from http://www.amazon.com/PNY-MD4096KD3-1333-Channel-PC3-10600-Desktop/dp/B0026ZPTR6

CPU INTEL - i5 - 750 - 2.66GHz - 8MB Cache
~ £150 from http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/3544475/art/intel/core-i5-750-2-66-ghz-8mb.html?srcid=867

Cooling Zalman - CNPS 10X - Quiet CPU Tower Cooler
~ £35 from http://www.eclipsecomputers.com/product.aspx?code=HFZ-CNPS10XQ&af=50

PSU Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750W
~ £100 from http://www.microdirect.co.uk/home/product/42359/Corsair-PSU-750W-CMPSU-750HX-ATX12V-2-2-EPS12V?source=googleps

GPU 2x Radeon HD 5850 (in CrossFireX) - XFX - 1.0GB GDDR5-4000 Per Card - Radeon HD 5870 GPU at 725 MHz
~ £450 from http://www.microdirect.co.uk/home/product/42414/XFX-ATI-Radeon-5850-HD-750Mhz-1GB-PCI-Express-2-0?source=googleps

HDD Toshiba - 15,000 RPM - 150GB - MBA3147NC
~ £Free! from http://storage.toshiba.eu/cms/en/hdd/product_overview/product_detail.jsp?productid=321

In addition I would quite like to buy Windows 7 but am unsure as I still have a few licenses of XP lying around. Will decide on that later.

That all comes to less than £1000 (all be it by £5!)
Could any suggest any balance issues / price corrections / upgrades for marginal costs?

Also, could anyone suggest a nice case for about £50? Not really a fan of the Antec 300 looks, but would settle for it if no nicer case with good reviews can be found.

Thanks for all the help guys. Sorry it is a little long winded, but hey what else am I going to do at work?


*Editted to put URL's in. I hate it when they are not added!
13 answers Last reply
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  1. I think you'd be better off just getting the one video card, and if you can get one 5870 for under £400 then that would make your budget a lot less tight.
    I don't think it's a good idea to spend £100 on that kind of RAM, you can get sticks just as good as that PNY for £80.
    I would also advise against overclocking on a board that has a foxconn cpu socket, which I'm pretty sure that Asus does.
    Another thing you should do is try to get everything from as few sites as possible, as that should save on delivery costs.
    That corsair PSU is a good one, but you could also save there without compromising on quality.
    I would want to know your opinion on these ideas before I suggested any specifics.
  2. I agree about the single card. Spend the extra money now to get a single, massive card, and keep the Crossfire for an upgrade later.

    On the PSU, some other good brands are Antec Earthwatts and OCZ.
  3. @ MadAdmiral Thanks for the reply. Although both of these are indeed good makes, i currently have a Corsair PCU, although it is only 500W, and am a firm believer in sticking to what you know. I may have also been drawn in by the modular design etc. It seems to me to be a cracking PCU. What you reccomend as a specfic upgrade / likewise swap for less money?

    @ Silvune Thanks too for your reply. I like the ideas you have suggested. If i was stubbon on my picks I wouldn't have asked for help :-)
    I know the RAM is not exactly cheap, but it is good quality, what would you suggest for £80? I like the idea of a sideways swap for less money!
    Yeah the ASUS board does have a Foxconn socket (i think so do Gigabyte), and I cannot seem to find any information that would lead me to worry about overclocking one. Are foxconn having issues with the socket full stop or just overclocking? Do you know of any reviews / benchmarks that have shown this to be a poor option. Again the board is not cheap and therefore would be able to make a change without breaking the budget.
    P.S. Fire away with the specfics if you wouldn't mind.

    As for the GPU, thanks both and I will take it on board. With a XFX 5870 only being ~ £320 that would be a large saving on its own. Although I am not sure of it allowing for a future upgrade. Not sure if I could justify another few hundred pounds in the next year or so.

    Cheers for the help guys.
  4. Quote:
    As for the GPU, thanks both and I will take it on board.

    No Punn Intended...Honest!
  5. On the GPU: with the 5870, you won't have to upgrade for a long, long time. Like 4 years. And then, another 5870 will be cheap, or the newer cards will be about the same price.

    PSUs: The only thing I can think of (if you're not going to stick to Corsair) is the OCZ ModXStream. Or not getting a modular if the case has a bottom mounted PSU.

    Foxconn's problems are mostly on huge overclocks. Like greater than 4 GHz. Other than that, they should be fine.
  6. If this was in stock Patriot Sector 5 Viper II 4GB (2x2GB) PC3-10666 1333MHz CAS6 1.65V £82 then it would be fantastic.
    This is in stock and pretty good as well: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz 1.65V £83
    If I was to ignore my own advice about keeping the number of sites down, then this is pretty good as well: Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL7 (7-7-7-24) 1.65V £82

    This power supply (OCZ ModXStream 700W £77) is probably enough to crossfire 5870s, altho after checking PSUs on overclockers and microdirect, I retract my statement about getting one that is cheaper. I think you should stick with that corsair as it has slightly more headroom for overclocking and two 5870s, altho if you take MadAd's advice about just replacing it, then you'd only need a 600W PSU for one 5870.

    Gigabyte boards that are named similiarly to this GA-P55"A", the important bit being the second A, don't have foxconn sockets. Asus boards that have an -E on the end of the name also are devoid of foxconn sockets, unfortunately they arem't easily available yet in the UK. And EVGA boards don't use foxconn sockets. There have been things said about non-OC sockets having issues as well tho, just depends how scared you are by it. If you do get a board with a foxconn socket, just be sure that the bracket is securing the CPU properly.

    And for a £55 case I like this: Lancool Dragon-Lord PC-K58 Altho I like it's bigger brother more, the K-62.
    A Good £60 case: Coolermaster CM 690
    If you've upped your budget for the case then you could look at an Antec 900/902 or a Coolermaster HAF 922.
  7. @ MadAdmiral Ahh so i will stick with my Mobo, unless you can think of one off the top of your head that would be more suitible. I am sure the level of overclocking I will do will not be too extreme. Just to push it a little to get more bank for my buck.

    I will stick with the Corsair for my PSU. I like the extra power it provides, especially as I will be upgrading to Crossfire GPUs at some point now that you have convinced me, along with some benchmarks, that the 5870 is the way to go. Although I am a sucker for nVidia it has to be said.

    Thanks for the advise, invaluable!

    @ Silvune As mentioned above I am going to stick with the Corsair PSU. As you mentioned, the extra head room is worth the cost, and is the reason I orginally chose it.
    Any ideas about the mobo? If you believe that the foxconn sockets are a problem, what would reccomend running a i5 750 from?

    If i happen to be running crossfire 5870s in the future, I am a little worried about the balence of my i5 750 system now. With the i7 920 only going for £30-£40 more, what would be your opinion? I understand that the the benifits of i7 920, but am unsure of their actually impact onto the user! I would ideally like this pc to last, and am aware that i5 750 will take a while to be fully utilised itself...current cost against future proofing i suppose. Any thoughts?

    Also, I would have bought the http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-024-PA&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=1516 if it was in stock, but I have sumbled accross the equivilent 1600 MHz stuff for £1 more, would you reccomend it? http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-026-PA&utm I assume I am missing something here. Does the change make much of a difference to the end user?

    Again, thanks very much for your help!
  8. Yes that 1600Mhz RAM is much better, definitely get that.
    I have found the Asus P7P55D-E Evo on another site for the same price as the P7P55D Evo is on overclockers, Asus P7P55D-E EVO £160. I don't advise switching over to buying everything from scan as some of their RAM is overpriced, so maybe if you split some of the items between them then you can get cheaper items from the respective online retailer.

    If you were to go Bloomfield, then it would cost more to get tri-channel RAM (around £100 minimum for 6GB) and a suitable motherboard, altho one only £15 more expensive would be fine: Asus P6T Intel X58 £177

    This is the article http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/p55-pci-express-scaling,review-31780.html you want to read if you want to know if scaling will be a problem. I haven't read it properly yet, but I don't think it's that much to worry about atm.
  9. Well bought the 4GB of Patriot Sector 5 Viper II (PC3-12800) in an attempt not to miss out as it is selling fast. I knew it was better but thought I should check (No currage in matters of importance). It arrives today some time. As my brother is also building a system if I choose to upgrade to Bloomfield I will just flog it to him!

    Still can't decide on that choice yet, it seems if I was to stick with the P55 platform I would only gain about a 45% increase on average when gaming. This compared to 50% on the x58 based platform...I think I can live with that. Seems the big differences are when you have more than two cards running. I am a little worried about the i5 possibly bottlenecking the performance when coupled with 2x 5870's...Although on Crysis, when running it on anything other than 1280x1024 it always seems to be the graphics that keeps performance down...more reading needed to further clarify this.

    Anyway, ordered the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus to provide some better cooling. It will work well for the time being and I have a 755 platform that needs a new CPU fan if I find one that is around the £30 limit with better reviews (seems like a good cooler for £20).

    Also, ignored your advice and went out on a limb, although you are right, the K-62 is a nice case :-) I have ordered myself a NZXT M59 Mid-Tower Case. No doubt i will be posting back on here in a month or so, saying that I hate the looks and they didn't grow on me, but all in all seems like a nice case for £45, and it isn't the Antec 300.

    If I can't decide in a week or so about the i5 / i7 build I will draw out the hat!

    Thanks for all the help. Much appreciated.
  10. I think when reading that article it is important to keep in mind that the P55 platform has the second card on the second slot at x8, if they were both x16 on p55, then it would probably beat x58. Unfortunately it is still a bottleneck of a kind isn't it. Maybe there will be more boards that have two slots at x16 in the future.
    The Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus seems to be one of the best budget coolers.
    Don't know if you want to read a review about that case, but here's one anyway: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/nzxt_m59/ They agree that it is a good budget case.
  11. Hey Sulvune, or indeed anybody.

    Just thought I would let you know I have chosen the I7 build, ustilising a I7 920 with D0 Stepping. The decission was pretty much forced as this price was seen for it : £117.50 from worldwidepc.co.uk. Never shopped with them / heard of them, but as it is paypal payments and cheap I took a leep. Worth checking this place out. £7.50 postage for 3-5 days on top of that still makes it cheap!

    Anyone heard of them before?

    Also, can anyone reccomend a good motherboard for the 1366 form. I need to purchase sometime in hte next two days, and don't have much time to research. I would be very greatful. Will let people know if this site turns out okay!

    I will also need some decent tripple channel RAM so if anyone knows of a set going at a good price in the UK...I would apprciate that very much!

    Cheers all,

  12. That is an unbelieveably good price. I hadn't heard of them til now, but I will recommending them to anyone who wants to buy an i7 920 in Britain from now on.
    This RAM looks quality to me for the price OCZ Platinum 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C7 1333MHz Triple Channel (OCZ3P1333LV6GK) £124 They have the same RAM at this site: LambdaTek for £118, so depending on the delivery charges might be the better place to get it along with a motherboard.
    I suggested a board before, so is there something which you are looking for in a board that the Asus P6T doesn't have?
  13. Just to let you know...

    I ordered all the parts and will be arriving over the next week. Setup in the end was:

    CPU = Intel i7 920 D0 - Retail @ £125 delivered !!!

    HSF = Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus @ £20

    MOBO = Asus P6T Intel X58 @ £141

    RAM = Patriot Viper 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 @ £119

    PSU = Corsair CMPSU-750HX 750W @ £113

    GPU = XFX Radeon HD 5870 @ 865Mhz @ £330

    Main HDD = Toshiba - 150GB - MBA3147NC @ Free!

    Case = NZXT M59 Mid-Tower Windowed Case @ £45

    Keeping my current Samsung 22" Monitor, Razer Lycosa Keyboard, Razer Deathadder.

    I am pretty happy with it for just under £900. I still have till saturday to cancel orders so if anyone has any better parts, keeping this under £1k I am still listening and would appriciate it.


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