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Gaming/Video Editing computer under £550 (871 USD)

Last response: in Systems
April 15, 2009 8:28:31 AM

Hi guys,

I made a post like this a while back, but money was slow, so the thread expired before I could get back to it.

Basically I want to build a new computer for video editing and gaming, aswell as college work, music, torrenting etc. I origonally posted this question on another forum but they sent me here :)  just thought it might help, to see what I was origonally suggested. I have a budget of £550 (871 USD).

Im at college, so money is not very constant, but at the moment I've got a (reasonably) steady income, and I'm ready to buy the monitor. I was planning on buying one of these two now I'm wondering about going bigger, but have a fairly limited space as I want speakers either side. I'm hoping I can build the computer gradually over time, adding and subtracting from my present computer.

Any help would be much apreciated.

April 15, 2009 11:59:20 AM

Ah thats cool. Ye it includes monitor.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: When I get the money, within a year. I want to build it gradually if possible.#

BUDGET RANGE: £550 (871 USD).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD video editing, gaming, torrenting, surfing the net, college work...

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, Mouse... not sure what else.


PARTS PREFERENCES: Monitor - between 19" and 22".


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Whatever is best for everything overall.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quite would be lovely, but not essential. Computer as a whole - nothing too flashy, but needs to have sum style.

Hope that helps, and thanks for the reply!
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April 15, 2009 12:06:24 PM

you should change the preferred website to anything in the UK because most US companies don't ship to the UK and if they do it's $200 for a PC and monitor.
April 15, 2009 12:58:09 PM

Oh yeah, thats what I meant.
a b 4 Gaming
April 15, 2009 9:01:40 PM

In your price range, you'll probably need to start out with an E5200 CPU and overclock it. You might be able to get a P43 motherboard though, and a 9600GT or 4830 GPU... I'll get back to this one in a few hours.
April 15, 2009 9:18:47 PM

Ah great thanks, yeah I was recommended the E5200 on the other forum too. I'm not too sure how overclocking works, I'll get a more experienced freind to build the computer for me. Is overclocking fairly straight forward, and are there any disadvantages? I don't really understand it.
a b 4 Gaming
April 16, 2009 7:26:23 AM

Yes it will be fairly straightforward with the right motherboard and cooler. Now that I'm free let's see what the money gets us:

Antec 300 case -51
Excellent budget case, can be upgraded with a few extra fans as you go.

Gigabyte P43 MB -75 126
A P43 board from a major company. You'll get a decent overclock from this one.

E5200 -58 184
Sunbeam CCTF CPU cooler -32 216
It's a good cooler, even a great one. Doesn't install easily on the more crowded P45 boards, but yours should have room.

Kingston HyperX CAS 4 800mhz 4GB -32 248
Very high quality RAM, excellent latency and voltage.

OCZ 500W SXS -45 293
Pretty much a budget PSU that is still quality and enough for your needs.

WD 320GB HD -40 333

DVD Drive -15 348

XFX 4850 -120 468
If the final price is too much, this can be cut back... but this is a very nice video card.

ASUS 19" -77

£545 :)  Well, there's probably some missing VAT or shipping in there. That's a pretty strong system really. You'll just have to OC the CPU and you'll play any game at decent settings and schoolwork will be a breeze.

My site selection was somewhat random and may not reflect the best price in all cases. It will give you shopping options though, so compare away.
April 16, 2009 8:09:04 AM

zeebee123 said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: When I get the money, within a year. I want to build it gradually if possible.#

BUDGET RANGE: £550 (871 USD).

Um...Within a year...

What exactly is your cash flow like? In a year from now $800 will buy you a VERY different PC than it would today. So if you will be able to raise the funds in a month or less, then you can start planning it out, but if you are going to take more than 2 months to get the money for this rig then there is absolutely no point in trying to plan it out right now. And buying components gradually is a bad idea. You can buy a PSU and a case, as the prices on those items do not change often at all...but everything else in the PC will have its prices drop considerably by time this PC is finished if you buy it over the course of a few months. The components you buy will just sit in your closet and depreciate in value as you are waiting to buy the remaining components. The best way to ensure you get a good deal on components is to buy everything when you are ready, not over a long timeframe. If you can only afford to make payments every so often and can't save up the whole amount at once, some sites will allow you to use a payment plan for the components you buy (with interest of course). OEM's like Dell or HP will also do payment plans on PC's.
April 16, 2009 8:11:57 AM

Anyways, Proximon's list is great, I probably would have made the exact same suggestions.
April 16, 2009 10:32:02 AM

Thanks alot Proximon, looks good. Would that set-up be good for HD video editing? Just checking because you only mentioned gaming and college work. Thanks again for your time!

xthekidx - Yeah I see what you mean. I have £200 at the moment, but as I'm at college I'm just doing 'odd jobs' for people so don't really know when will have the £550 but I'm unlikely to get it within 2 months. Just wanted to see what kinda system I could get for the money, but if it's ever changing then I dont know...

I am wanting to get the monitor, and probably speakers soon though. Is there any bigger monitors for a similar price, as depending on the size of the speakers I could go bigger, which would be nice for video editing. Or would going bigger reduce the quality for the money quite alot. Basically the space for the monitor and the speakers is just under 80cm, so on the speakers thread I left about 47cm for the monitor.

Thanks alot for your time, and sorry to waste it if it will be obsolete before I get the money. :??: 
April 16, 2009 1:58:31 PM

What could I get for £480 (715) dollars, if i wanted to buy sooner, how much worse would it be?
a b 4 Gaming
April 17, 2009 6:54:02 AM

You would basically get the same setup minus the video card...

Since you are piecing together a system as you go, I have a few different suggestions:

- Find a large old ATX computer case that someone will give you or sell you for nothing. These can be made to work well with some modifications, which can be fun in themselves. Mostly the old large cases just need some holes and fans installed.

- Same list as above but start with an AMD dual core 7750 and a 790GX motherboard. This will give you a nicer platform to expand on and will also give you decent onboard graphics, so that you can make do without a graphics card for a while.

Gigabyte 790GX board

AMD Kuma 7750
April 17, 2009 8:40:28 AM

Ah cool thanks. I'm just thinking, if the prices do go down as quickly as I'm being told, I may aswell just wait and but it all in one, if it will work out cheaper for what I get. I can make do with the computer I have for a while longer.

What was your reasoning on going for a dual core instead of a quad, (don't get me wrong, I'm a complete newbie) just wondering as apparently Adobe CS4 is raving about how well it works with a quad core, and it seems to be alot better for everything eccept games. If it would work better for everthing else, I would prefer that probably, as video editing is equallly as important as gaming, and surely it will make all the other stuff I do on the comp (which will make up the majority) alot faster. Just a thought...

Thanks so much for your help so far, it's really helped alot, sorry to keep asking questions.

EDIT. And which parts bits will I be overclocking?
a b 4 Gaming
April 17, 2009 10:44:05 AM

Click on the link to my guide in my signature, or look at the top of the forum for it. There's a section there about quad and dual cores. For a program to run better on a quad core, it has to be specifically written to take advantage of it. Quite possibly CS4 is, as well as other professional programs.
April 17, 2009 1:02:31 PM

Ah cheers, great article.

Hmmm well I also wouldn't dream of "burning a DVD, downloading a movie, and playing TF2 all at the same time." and I wouldn't drive while on the phone either :) . So in that respect I should go for a dual core. But as I am also going to be doing a fair bit HD video editing, and abit of photoshop I don't know... How much more would it be? And would it be alot worse for gaming, or just not worth the extra cost? I think probably, as I'm getting on okay at the moment with what I have, I could survive with a dual. But would I really be missing out? :??:  Im sure I could happily start multitasking if my computer was up for it. I mean I multitask a fair bit, but never with big programs. Like I have probably, at times surfed the net, chatted on msn, listened to music and done college work on Word at the same time, or the same but downloading stuff instead of surfing the net. But would never do anything else if I was playing a game. Occasionally I listen to music while editing if my computer permits :p . But I wouldn't say I was a heavy multitasker.

What you think? now that you know my life story. :sarcastic: 
April 17, 2009 7:12:44 PM

It would run you about another £120-140 for a cheap intel quad. You might consider a Phenom for cheaper, but they aren't very good processors. PII x3 720 is a decent option as well, but its a tri core not quad.
a b 4 Gaming
April 17, 2009 8:55:01 PM

Yep the idea here is to have upgrade options. It's more important, when your budget is low, to buy parts that will last a while and buy cheap the parts that will be replaced.

So, in order, here is my list of priorities for spending (in your case.)

Case - Can work through many builds.
PSU - Can last 5 or more years, an eternity in PCs.
Drives - you might buy another HD later, but you won't replace a good one.
CPU cooler - A flexible one that will work on many different CPUs and boards.
Motherboard - Hopefully you can stretch this 4 years.
RAM - Same
GPU - usually lasts two years when you get a decent one.
CPU - If you start out slow you'll have all sorts of upgrade options. There's a lot of difference between an E5200 and a Q9650, or a 7750 and a PII 940.

At least if you get a cheap CPU and a motherboard with built in graphics, you arrive at the working PC a bit sooner. Then you can upgrade from there.
April 17, 2009 10:43:39 PM

Cool, ye I was wondering how long it would all last. Seems good. So what you rekon, dual or quad?

Thanks again, I think I might nearly have finished pestering you with questions now. But then theres the whole overclocking business. :sarcastic: 
a b 4 Gaming
April 17, 2009 10:53:25 PM

I think you'll be fine starting with a dual core. AMD or Intel, we pretty much have listed out the two paths.
April 18, 2009 9:00:42 AM

Sweet. Well thanks alot for all the help both of you, really helped alot. Now just to get the money. I think as my present computer is doing ok I'll wait and build it in one when I get the money, hopefully there will be sum better prices/parts by then.

Oh and are there any 20" monitors (or maybe even 22" depending on the speakers I get) for a similar price, and quality. Or do you think this one you reccomended is the is the best bet for the price.

Thanks again,

a b 4 Gaming
April 18, 2009 10:32:09 AM

Just keep looking for monitors. Local shops are often best for those because of shipping costs.
April 18, 2009 11:56:11 AM

Ah ok, good plan, hadn't thought of that.

Right I better get saving, will report back when I have more money. THANKYOU!

August 12, 2009 12:53:48 PM

Hi guys, I've got the money now. So what should I go for? What has changed?
August 12, 2009 1:10:18 PM

well, I made a list on OCUK,

Monitor - Dell IN2010N - £104.98

CPU - Phenom II 720 BE X3 - £89.99

GPU - HIS 4850 512MB - £79.99

mobo - ASUS M4A77TD Pro - £68.99

memory - Corsair XMS3 4GB 1333MHz - £60.00

PSU - OCZ StealthXStream 500w - £48.99

Case - Antec 300 - £45.99

HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB - £34.99

Optical drive - LG GH22NS40 - £18.99

it comes to £567.28 inc delivery.
August 12, 2009 2:33:06 PM

Ah that looks great thanks. Slightly over budget though, especially as I think I will be needing a 1TB internal hardrive for HD editing. Speaking of which all this kit looks quite game orientated, will it be good for editing too?

Thanks a lot! :) 
August 12, 2009 3:11:03 PM

^ it's the best you'll get on that budget.

if you wanted to try for a quad core then you could get a 785G motherboard and the 550 BE X2 processor, and then use ACC to try and unlock the extra cores.
August 12, 2009 3:13:18 PM

Na I think I'll stick with a dual or tri core after what Proximon said.
August 12, 2009 3:43:20 PM

^ I went for stuff that was in stock, hence me not including the 4770 over the 4850.

also buying just those few extra's on ebuyer will push the price up by a bit.
August 12, 2009 5:06:22 PM

What's the 4770 and 4850? Is the 4770 better, I can wait a bit longer.
I still havn't fully decided what I want to get, different people are recommending different things. So will that set up be good for HD video editing too?
August 12, 2009 5:34:24 PM

^ the 4770 is basically a 40nm 4830 with a higher clock speed, it's slightly worse in performance than the 4850 at stock, but if you up the voltage you can push it up to around 1GHz at which point it's about as good as a 4870.
August 15, 2009 12:28:41 PM

This is what my freind thinks I should get:

IIYAMA 22" Widescreen TFT DVI & Analouge Black - £135.69

Achilles Mid Tower Case with 500w PSU & Card Reader Black - £36.98

LG 22X DVD+/-RW DL OEM Black - £18.12

Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 32Mb Cache Hard Disk Drive SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM - £42.88

Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 32Mb Cache Hard Disk Drive SATAII 300MB/s <8.9ms 7200rpm - OEM - £42.88

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 4 x 2.66Ghz 4MB Cache 1333 FSB Quad Core Processor - Retail - £134

Spire BlueStar 1000 SP678S0 CPU Cooler - £12.41

Asus P5QL SE Intel P43 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - £52.89

Microsoft USB Keyboard & Optical Mouse Black - £11.73

Corsair Dominator DHX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit - £68.99

Asus ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB DDR2 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail - £31.04

Comes to £587.61 including delivery.

What you guys think of that?

August 15, 2009 12:58:09 PM

^ for gaming that is extremely poor.

and it uses a poor quality PSU.
August 15, 2009 1:05:44 PM

Why would it be poor for gaming? Is the PSU important?
August 15, 2009 1:09:05 PM

1) it has a 4350 mobo, the lowest you can get in ATi's 4xxx series (and has similar performance to the latest ATi IGP)

2) the PSU powers the whole computer, if it screws up or can't provide power, then say goodbye to the whole Computer.
August 15, 2009 1:12:07 PM

Hmmm, But would your set up be any good for HD video editing? Or is it just for gaming.
August 15, 2009 1:18:05 PM

^ it would be slightly worse at video editing (although you could fix what with a core unlock and an overclock), but it would be far better than the Q8400 build when it comes to quality and gaming.
August 15, 2009 1:20:46 PM

Hmmm, does sound good. My freind asks, "what is wrong withthe 4350 mobo and what they would reccomend instead and why?"
August 15, 2009 1:25:12 PM

He says cheap PSU's are fine. And that if they do fail, it is very unlikely to damage other components. But I do agree that A better graphics card would be good... This is confusing...
August 15, 2009 1:30:31 PM

the 4350 is the absolute bottom end graphics card you can buy today, is that enough to convince you?

Cheap PSU's aren't fine, you'e energy bill will go quite a bit higher than using a quality PSU form corsair, Antec, PCP&C, OCZ, etc. And there is a fairly high chance of your components dieing if the PSu dies.
August 15, 2009 2:15:48 PM

the min graphics you should consider is a 4670
September 5, 2009 5:16:59 PM

Right well it seems that I need a better graphics card, so I'll see if I can get a bit more money together :/ , or save some money somewhere else...

As for the processor, can somebody tell me why a quad core is bad for gaming?
September 20, 2009 5:32:56 PM

September 20, 2009 6:17:46 PM

most games dont ulilise quad cores yet
September 20, 2009 6:20:49 PM

But why would that make it worse than a dual.
September 20, 2009 6:46:08 PM

if a game uses only 2 cores of a quad core it wll act like a dual core cpu an the other 2 cores will jus idle in the background say its clocked @2.5ghz then you using 2 2.5ghz cores now a higher clocked dual core will perform better then a lower clocked quad core in a dual threaded situation
September 20, 2009 7:13:57 PM

Right... :/  Well a dual core is worse for HD video editing. So I'm gonna have to comprimise somewhere...
September 20, 2009 7:58:59 PM

Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM

LG GH22NS40 22X SATA DVD±RW/DL/RAM Black Bare Drive

AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz AM3 Retail Boxed Processor

SunBeam Freezing Storm Black Case - No PSU

Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz HyperX Memory Kit CL7 1.5

ASUS M4A77TD PRO 770 Socket AM3 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard

Corsair 450W HX Series Modular PSU - 7 Year Warranty

Acer V223HQ 21.5" TFT Monitor 1920x1080 300 cd/m2 10,000:1 (dynamic) 5ms VGA Black

Razer Salmosa 1800dpi Infrared Gaming Mouse -

OCZ Alchemy Series Elixir Gamers Keyboard - UK

Sapphire HD 4670 1GB DDR3 DVI VGA HDMI PCI-

all for £586
September 22, 2009 3:44:53 PM

Ah cool thanks. :) 

Basically I'm going to be doing fairly equal amounts of video editing and gaming. So It comes down to whether a quad core will be better for gaming, than a dual will be for editing. And It seems it will be. And also better for, internet browsing, file transfers, and everything else you use your computer for...