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Feedback on a gaming build <£1500

Last response: in Systems
January 13, 2010 8:18:23 PM

Hey guys,

I've been researching building my FIRST computer for the best part of three months and i love it lol, it is very very intresting to see what im currently missing out on :) 
I have posted here a few times and slowly have been updating my build from a £750 build which has now rose to over £1200, money is a slight problem as i dont want to spend too much being it my first build.

So far I've came up with this build and im just looking for your feedback and improvments that can be made, capitabilty too but i think they will all work with one another:

CPU: Currently im going with the much loved Intel i7-920 which i plan on OC to roughly 3.6GHz..nothing to serious, Though i see intel recently releaced a spanking new range of CPUS so im unsure whether to go with this or hold out and hope for upgrades to the i7 range.

MOBO: Asus P6T, or ASUS P6T Deluxe V2..not quite sure what i'd be paying the extra 50 quid for if i went with the latter.

RAM: Corsair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 (1600MHz) Tri-Channel (TR3X6G1600C9), or if the bugget allows then Dominator with the same specs.

Case: Antec 1200, quite pricey at £130 but it seems perfect in everyway, was initially going with the 300 but i think it would be too small for GPU and other componants and i like the multiple fans and neon of the 1200.

CPU Cooler: Coolermasters V8, has great reviews and benchmarks seem rock solid.

PSU: Corsair HX(Modular) im unsure again, i dont want to waste money by getting a PSU that is too high a wattage than my needs need. 650W seems a good number, not too much or too little..

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1, not put alot of thought into it as i deemed it an accessorie

Graphics Card: This will be a 5870, 5970 is simply far to expensive and the cards below this i feel would not meet my gaming needs.. which brand of card will again depend on bugget.

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, dont feel the ultimate offers any/enough advantages over the home premium for the extra £100.

Hard Drive: I today started looking into SSD's for the first time and was intrigued, i now plan on buying a "Corsair Extreme X32 32GB 2.5" SATA-II Solid State Hard Drive " which i will plant the OS and my current most played games on.
i will also buy a second hard drive for everything else to go on, i was thinking a 500 or 640G WD black version.. only 2 quid differance between the two on OcUk so its going to be 640G :)

thats the main stuff, plan on using a Razer Naga mouse, Razer Destructor Mat and Razer Lycrosta keyboard. I currently use a Dell ultrasharp monitor at 1680x1050.
The system will be used first and formostely for gaming, two games im looking forward too are TotalWar Napoleon and Star Wars the old republic, i would be looking to play them maxxed out with little to no lag, other than gaming i like watching streamed films, which reminds me i forgot to pick an optical disk for this..for the ammount of time it will be used and price of them just assume a basic one. As i sayed i will be doing LIGHT overclocking and have no intension of using crossfire. Not sure what the current price stands at but as i sayed i dont want to spend anymore than £1500, preferbly below £1200.

Hope you guys can help me improve my current line-up.
Thanks alot in advance
January 13, 2010 8:30:06 PM

Looks good. Imo, get the P6T Deluxe v2 OR get a P6T SE.

HOWEVER, if you plan to CrossFire down the road I recommend investing in a 750W PSU like a 750TX/HX.

Also, try the onboard sound first, then if you arn't satisfied get the sound card. Btw, make sure you have a good set of speakers/headphones to take advantage of a dedicated sound card.

As for SSD, imo, don't bother with anything less than 80GB. You WILL eat up the 32GB after installing OS, Office, games,etc.

As for HDD, if possible, grab a Samsung F3 which is quite a bit faster than the WD 640GB.
January 13, 2010 8:38:20 PM

I was looking at the samsung F3 a few days ago and came to the conclusion the WD was the better pick for a few reasons.. they're a dedicated HDD company, the WD drive has 32MB Cache compared to samsungs 16MB, the WD has a 2 year longer warrenty. Though the WD does not specify a seek time, samsungs is 8.9ms which compared to most others of 8.5ms i assumed this wasnt a very quick HDD.

I will look into the F3 abit more and search for benchmarks and reviews to check for sure, those figures are probably just for show on paper.
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January 13, 2010 8:45:27 PM

If you want to save £10 and get one of the best harddrives around, get this: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB @ £40 Those specs you stated mean very little in HDD performance, the Samsung wins because it uses fewer platters. The only area where WD wins is the warranty.
If you're going to buy an aftermarket heatsink for the CPU, then get the OEM version of the 920,
A very roomy case, good cable management, very good cooler, and cheaper is the Coolermaster HAF 922: thought you might want to consider it.
I don't see anything wrong with the Asus P6T.
And I don't think you will benefit from getting an SSD atm, especially not a 32GB one.
January 13, 2010 8:56:52 PM

Will definetley take that case into account, thanks mate.

Just got an idea to through into the pot before i go off to bed, if 32Gb is not enough - which you are right it isnt, and i cannot afford anything higher within reason, how about scrapping the SSD idea and getting the next best thing, the Western Digital VelociRaptor which holds 150Gb for £122 and then also buy the samsung as a secondary HD for anything that holds no significant importance to go on. This is just an idea of the top of my head, i'll have to check benchmarks to see what performance i would lose vs a SSD.

Thanks again for the input guys
January 13, 2010 9:16:04 PM

Here's a Tom's review comparing some Spinpoints & various WD drives. The Seagates seem to be older 7200.11s, not the newer 7200.12s.


The Spinpoints win out on price/performance, though the Velociraptors are certainly faster by some/most measures. lists (sorry, American prices) 150 GB Velociraptors at $170, while 500 GB F3 Spinpoints are $55.

Any traditional hard drive is going to be significantly slower than an SSD, the Velociraptor doesn't even come close. There's a Tom's review around somewhere showing access times on both Velociraptors & SSDs, but I can't seem to find it right now.
January 14, 2010 3:15:31 PM

Firstly, have a look at they're generally a bit cheaper than overclockers. The P6T is a great board, I have the original P6T Deluxe and have been very pleased with it, the onboard audio is good and especially if you use the digital outputs there's no point spending more on a dedicated card.

Cooler, I have a Scythe Mugen 2, great cooler and under £40, will outperform the V8, although it's a bit of a beast sizewise! Other than that it all looks pretty good I wouldn't bother with a small SSD you'll just get frustrated with it being full, the Samsung drives are really good (I have two of them as well as a WD in my rig) a velociraptor won't offer you much more in terms of performance and some of the new 2Tb drives (WD are the best of the bunch here RE4 being the best of the best) will offer better performance.

If it's the first time you've built a PC make sure you get the OEM version of windows it'll save you a few bob!
January 14, 2010 3:29:17 PM

MoBo - Ilke the V2 or the ASUS P6X58D

Memory - For the price of CAS 9, you can get CAS 7 usually for about 2-5% more.

Case / PSU - Putting anything other than the Antec CP-850 in the Antec 1200 would be a crime. Electrically, it's every bit a match for the Corsair HX-850 if not better....but it's much cheaper, quieter and is specifically made for that case.

Performance (40% of the final score) - okay. Let's figure this out here. On second thought, what's to figure out? We have an Antec 850W that performs better than a Signature that appears to cost less than a Signature. We have a unit that was promised to do 80 Plus standard, but ended up doing Bronze. No, the unit didn't quite match the Signature in terms of voltage stability, but it came real close. And to be honest, the differences in voltage readings were so small you could put them down to connector resistance. And since the ripple and noise suppression more than made up for the slightly less stable voltages... Rating = 10.0

f the CPX form factor catches on, the CP-850 will be flat out untouchable. It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise. . I'd like to see some better capacitors in there, but you just can't fault the CP-850's performance here.

I don't know how Antec managed something this awesome for such a low price, but they must really want the CPX form factor taking off if this is the performance we're getting.

The Antec CP-850 is a superlative power supply by almost any standard. Its electrical performance is up at the level of its more expensive brethren, the Signature 650 and 850, and Seasonic's flagship, the M12D-850: Voltage regulation is extremely tight for all the lines at all loads, and the ripple noise is amazingly low.

The noise performance is excellent, with the <400W performance matching or bettering virtually every PSU tested thus far. Above 500W load in our heat box, the noise level goes over 40 dBA@1m, or about the norm for PSUs rated this high. It has the virtue keeping itself extremely cool, however, cooler than any other PSU we've tested at such high loads.

Our atypical spot check with a room ambient thermal test showed the CP-850 would reach only 24 dBA@1m at 700W load in a 27°C working environment. This is ridiculously quiet for such high power output.

For the quiet-seeking computer gaming enthusiast, the CP-850 (along with any of the three compatible cases) is something of a godsend. Fantastically stable power, super low noise at any power load, long expected reliability due to excellent cooling, modular cabling, and all at a price that's no higher than many high end 6~700W models.

32 GB gonna be a bit small for the OS alone , let alone games.

Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


Look at the charts and compare the benchmarks for the specific usage types you expect will be most used.
January 14, 2010 4:35:13 PM

Thanks alot Jack for pointing out that PSU to me, going to check it out right now.

As far as the Mobo goes why is the P6T DV2 better than the P6T, not quite sure what it is im spending an extra £50 on..which could be used in other areas.

Update on the SSD situation: I'm now thinking of spending a bit more on a '64gb Samsung PB22-J ' which comes in at £150 on OcUk - , im confident that this should hold Win7, office and 1 or 2 of my fav games, i also then plan on buying a Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb HDD as the main hard drive, i feel wasting another £20-30 on a 1TB drive would be unuseful as im only just hitting close to 200Gb on my current main single drive.
January 14, 2010 5:27:35 PM

Corsair is now out and Antec is in, as far as the PSU goes :) 
January 14, 2010 7:24:22 PM

Case / PSU - Putting anything other than the Antec CP-850 in the Antec 1200 would be a crime. Electrically, it's every bit a match for the Corsair HX-850 if not better....but it's much cheaper, quieter and is specifically made for that case.

Excellent point.