<£450 gaming build, need last minute sanity check

BUDGET RANGE: £400-£450
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Left 4 Dead 2, The Lord of the Rings Online, Burnout Paradise, World of Warcraft)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case, optical drives, PSU

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for decent performance at a reasonable price with some room to upgrade/overclock the system over the next few years as money becomes available. Must have an HDMI output to hook up my TV/monitor (it has no DVI port and VGA doesn't support aspect scaling for displaying 4:3 resolutions). It would be nice if I could get decent performance at the native 1920x1080 res, but I don't mind dialing down the res as long as I can still play at higher quality than the machine being replaced. That shouldn't be too difficult because this ancient beast is an Athlon XP 3200+ sitting on an nForce2 motherboard, with a mighty 2GB of 400MHz DDR RAM and a 512Mb GeForce 7800GS AGP. It manages to limp through Left 4 Dead 2 at 15-20fps on medium settings at 1360x768, which is pretty much the lowest possible point on the playability scale.

After a week or two of research and pricing things up, this is what I'm about to place an order for tonight on Ebuyer:

Motherboard: Asus M4A79XTD EVO 790X Socket AM3 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard £86.53
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 3.1GHz 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 Retail Boxed Processor £69.29
Memory: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz Memory Kit Unbuffered £84.99
Graphics: MSI HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Display Port Out PCI-E Graphics Card £97.45
HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache - OEM £36.78
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English £72.49
Cart total: £447.53

I was originally planning on a Phenom II X4 955, but decided to gamble on unlocking the cores of an X2 550 instead to upgrade the video card. I planned to scavenge as much I could from the old machine to cut down costs, but that just ended up being the case, DVD-RW drive and PSU in the end. The Samsung F3 is recommended so often that I just had to replace my old 120GB PATA drive with it.

The PSU is the thing that I'm unsure about... I'm using a 680W Thermaltake Pure Power (PURE POWER-680APD) which has served me well for a couple of years and I'm fairly sure it can power this setup, but if it won't then I'll have to drop the OS and use XP for a while longer. I hate spending almost a quarter of my budget on an operating system, but if I want to play games then it has to be done.

So, any glaring incompatibilities that stand out? Terribly overpriced / underpowered parts?
7 answers Last reply
More about 450 gaming build minute sanity check
  1. It will all work. I'd highly recommend grabbing an HD 5770 instead of the 5750 though. The 5750 is a little underpowered for games. Here in the US, it's only slightly more expensive.

    The PSU you have should work fine. Newer tech uses less power than the old stuff used to.
  2. Now that I look at it, it's the same over here. This Radeon HD 5770 is only £20 more than the HD 5750. I think I tuned out anything over £100 when I was picking out parts. Oh well. Swapping the cards does put me slightly over budget, but I think the performance gain will probably be worth it.

    Thanks :)
  3. You get around a 15% performance gain over the 5750, so yes, the upgrade is worth it.

    You might want to look into getting a student copy of Windows 7. Over here, Microsoft has a program where you can get a copy for $30 (it's normally $100 for an OEM model). I'm not sure if it's a worldwide thing though.
  4. A 9800 GTX+ (around the same performance as a 5750) plays Lotro at DX10 high settings with AA off at 1680x1050. A 5770 plays at Ultra high Dx10 with 2xAA. (Thats on a computer with an Athlon 64 x2 at 3.2GHz) <at least if you dont count the various server side problems Lotro has had, are they still having rubberbanding and entire raids dumped and such?>
  5. It really chugs when more than a few characters are on screen at once, but I've been playing LotRO with my current setup in DX9 mode at 1280x1024 with high settings for the eye candy. I should be in heaven with the new setup :) I don't know about raids or anything since I only play casually, but Turbine did a complete overhaul of their hardware recently which was supposed to fix a lot of issues with the high population US servers.

    The order's now been placed and everything should arrive tomorrow. I decided to wait on buying Windows 7 until next month, I'll install Ubuntu until then and play around with WINE, or install XP and suffer through only having half my RAM usable. I used the money saved on the OS to swich to the Radeon HD 5770 and upgrade the Samsung SpinPoint F3 to the 1TB model. Final total was £422.24 and I'm really looking forward to putting the thing together. Feels like ages since I've messed around with raw components.

    Thanks for the help guys!
  6. You must play a champ or hunter. At that resolution with the 60+ skills a minstrel needs you wouldnt be able to see the game behind the skillbars. :p
  7. Burglar and Captain. And yeah, you can't see jack :D
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