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£500 on CPU/RAM/GPU/MBOARD/PSU

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December 2, 2009 11:01:44 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: before xmas
BUDGET RANGE: <£500
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (CS:S, COD4, MW2, FIFA, BF2 and the next BF game if any good), internet, music, .NET development.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already got: 19" Samsung, MS keyboard, gaming mouse, SATA HDD, CoolerMaster Cavalier3 case, Creative Labs 5.1 speakers and Win 7 Pro 64bit.
PARTS REQUIRED: CPU, motherboard, RAM, PSU and graphics card
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: novatech.co.uk (scan.co.uk, ebuyer.com, amazon if needed)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UK
PARTS PREFERENCES: favour AMD otherwise no preference
OVERCLOCKING: Consider if easy, stable and worth it
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Unlikely due to budget and unclear on the benefits at my res.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I tend to hang on to hardware for 2-4 years so longevity is more important than upgrade paths as a full system swap is more often required after that long.

PARTS CONSIDERING (based on the top AMD budget build from the ,very useful, Recommended Builds by Usage thread) :
AMD Quad Core Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 - Retail (£134)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?AMD-P2...
ASUS M4A77TD Pro AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail (£75)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?ASU-M4...
HIS ATI Radeon 5770 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Graphics Card (£132)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?HIS-57...
G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C7 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (£102)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?GSK-4G...
Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLI Compliant Power Supply (£75)
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CSR-65...
Total: £511

Any stupid mistakes or suggestions for alternatives with better system balance or "bang for buck"?

Thanks in advance.

More about : 500 cpu ram gpu mboard psu

December 2, 2009 11:25:58 AM

3 Suggestions:
- That processor is not compatible with that motherboard. You want a Phenom II x4 which fits an AM3 Socket. The 945 or 955 are good choices. Stick with the AM3 socket, it will be more upgradeable in the future.
- 650W is overkill if you will not crossfire. 450W would be plenty for that graphics card and a Phenom II x4 945 or 955.
- Anything beyond DDR3 1333 is superfluous with an AMD build. See if you can find ram at that speed with tight timings (7-7-7-??) for less money.

That ram is awfully expensive too... that same G.Skill kit runs about 125 USD (about 75 pounds)
December 2, 2009 11:35:36 AM

I spotted the AM2/AM3 mistake after posting (see edit).

Will read up on the PSU and RAM choices. Is motherboard a sensible choice?
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December 2, 2009 11:41:13 AM

McBainUK said:
I spotted the AM2/AM3 mistake after posting (see edit).

Will read up on the PSU and RAM choices. Is motherboard a sensible choice?


Yes, mobo looks fine for what you need.

Here is a decent PSU calculator: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
Always add a little extra wattage just to be sure, and also to allow for upgrades in the future. PSUs generally run the more efficiently when using roughly 50-75% of their maximum load, though it varies with each particular model. Still, it is advantageous to buy a PSU with a little more juice than you absolutely need, so as to hit this sweet-spot.

For example, the efficiency curve for that Corsair model you selected:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article813-page1.html
These aren't huge differences, just something to keep in mind.


Edit - fixed that link
December 2, 2009 12:16:39 PM

nofun said:
Anything beyond DDR3 1333 is superfluous with an AMD build. See if you can find ram at that speed with tight timings (7-7-7-??) for less money.)

I've not found any DDR3 1333 with timings close to 7-7-7-24, all DDR3 1333 RAM kits available seem to be value RAM with terrible timings.

nofun said:

That ram is awfully expensive too... that same G.Skill kit runs about 125 USD (about 75 pounds)

Found them for £80, a saving of £30 :) 
December 2, 2009 1:56:25 PM

PARTS CONSIDERING:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 8MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor (£125)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164047
ASUS M4A77TD PRO 770 Socket AM3 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard (£68)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/171664
G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 Ripjaw Memory Kit CL7(7-7-7-24) 1.65V - (£80)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490
Corsair 550W VX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 5 Year Warranty (£62)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/132563
XFX HD 5770 1GB DDR5 DUAL DVI DISPLAYPORT HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card (£119)
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/175978

Total: £467

How does it look now?
December 3, 2009 8:18:45 AM

Bump.

Would really appreciate it if someone could check the list above, ordering in the next 12 hours.
December 3, 2009 10:29:42 AM

Everything on that list looks fine.
December 3, 2009 10:33:38 AM

Thanks for the vote of confidence nofun. Got a little nervous after the AM2/AM3 mistake...
!