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$900-£1100 Gamer PC

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September 21, 2009 6:42:52 PM

Hi guys,

I have been reading some articles here and there on building our own PC but I still remain at a loss regarding component choices. There are many options available on the market and I doubt I have the knowledge to pick up the best parts at the most affordable prices...
So I hope you can give me a hand on this one. Here we go:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Early November 2009
BUDGET RANGE: $900-$1000 . That's approximately £700 at most (No idea when rebates are).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing, Movies, Development (website/applications), Word/Excel

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: seems I need everything:) 

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.dabs.com, www.amazon.co.uk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United-Kingdom

PARTS PREFERENCES:
-Processor:
Quad-Core Intel (but by all means if AMD offers the same thing for less then let me know)
-Graphics card: ATI as it seems cheaper and comparable to what Nvidia offers
-Motherboard:
one that supports cross fire, with 6 USB ports if possible, FireWire ports
-Hard drive: Best value for money. 750GB or more.
-RAM: 4 GB (is DDR 3 affordable??)



OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR DIMENSIONS: 23"
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1200 would be good.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would need Ethernet card and Wifi Adapter too.
I guess I will also need a good cooling system. I don't need a fancy case with lights popping from everywhere though. Also I just need basic keyboard and wireless mouse.


Thanks for your help. Hope I can learn a lot from your replies and advise others in the future.

Cheers,
Le Chevalier.

More about : 900 1100 gamer

September 22, 2009 12:37:55 PM

This is what I would get:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Antec Basiq BP500U 500W Continuous Power ATX12V Version 2.01 Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

MotherBoard Intel Gigabyte GA-P55-UD4P

Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

Video Card (ATI) PCI-e 4870 1GB (DDR5) Gigabyte GV-R487D5-1GD

3.5" HDD SATA-300 1TB (1000GB) 32MB Samsung (HD103SJ/7200rpm)

Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22X SATA DVD+/-RW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk w/o Software

This h/s below includes thermal compound and it's good for a light over clock.

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 RR-910-HTX3-GP CPU Fan For Intel LGA1156/775 & AMD AM3/AM2/940/939/754
September 23, 2009 4:51:23 PM

- Antec Three Hundred Case Black: £45
http://www.dabs.com/products/antec-three-hundred-case-b...

- Corsair Memory 550W VX PSU: £58
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-550w-vx-psu...

- MotherBoard Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 S1156 Intel P55 ATX DDR3 Audio & Gigabit Ethernet: £165
http://www.dabs.com/products/gigabyte-s1156-intel-p55-a...

- Intel Core I5-750: £150
http://www.dabs.com/products/intel-core-i5-750-quad-cor...

- OCZ Technology DDR3 4gb (2X2GB) Intel 1600Mhz Kit (dabs): £86
http://www.dabs.com/products/ocz-technology-ddr3-4gb--2...

- Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 DVI/HDMI (dabs): £204
http://www.dabs.com/products/gigabyte-ati-radeon-hd-487...

- Samsung 1TB 7200r/min: £57
http://www.dabs.com/products/samsung-1tb-7200rpm-32mb-s...

- SAMSUNG DVD±RW 22X S-ATA SH-S223B BLACK : £15
http://www.dabs.com/products/best-value-samsung-22x-s-a...

- CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 Cooler: £15
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-hyper-tx3-coo...

- LG Electronics 22" W2261V 2ms HDMI DVI FULL HD LCD TFT: £156
http://www.dabs.com/products/lg-electronics-22--w2261v-...

- Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave - USB Wireless Receiver: £53
http://www.dabs.com/products/logitech-cordless-desktop-...



The total configuration price amounts to a staggering £1,004 :ouch:  (and I'd probably need to add more to it if I'm planning to buy Windows 7 :ouch:  )
Since I will buy those components sometime in November I hope the price will come down by then. Still, the Radeon HD 4870 is more expensive than the Intel I5!! By the way, with the chosen cooler, how much do you think I could overclock the processor by?

I couldn't find an Antec 500W power supply so I went for the 550W one from Corsair. What do you think of it? Is it too pricey for what I get?

Also, I went for the GA-P55-UD5 model for motherboard. There is a £50 price difference between this one and GA-P55-UD4, mainly because of the extra 3 FireWire ports and possibly better built-in audio system. Once again is it worth the price??

Laslty, Do you know of any UK computer store (preferably online) that is cheaper than dabs? (Amazon.co.uk is not not cheaper than dabs, to my great surprise... )

Thanks for everything.
Related resources
September 23, 2009 6:18:21 PM

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

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804

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

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/151999

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

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169488

Antec TruePower New 550W Modular PSU - 80plus Bronze and SLI Certified 3x SATA

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159918

Asus M4A79XTD EVO 790X Socket AM3 8 channel audio ATX Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172846

XFX HD 4870 1GB DDR5 Dual DVI HDTV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169208

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

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/168571

AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz Socket AM3 6MB L3 Cache Retail Box Processor

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172684

SunBeam Freezing Storm Black Case - No PSU

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150298

OCZ Alchemy Elix key board

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149237

Razer Salmosa 1800dpi Infrared Gaming Mouse - USB

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/153129

£710.44
September 23, 2009 7:10:29 PM

Le_Chevalier said:
Hi guys,

I have been reading some articles here and there on building our own PC but I still remain at a loss regarding component choices. There are many options available on the market and I doubt I have the knowledge to pick up the best parts at the most affordable prices...
So I hope you can give me a hand on this one. Here we go:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Early November 2009
BUDGET RANGE: $900-$1000 . That's approximately £700 at most (No idea when rebates are).

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing, Movies, Development (website/applications), Word/Excel

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: seems I need everything:) 

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.dabs.com, www.amazon.co.uk
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United-Kingdom

PARTS PREFERENCES:
-Processor:
Quad-Core Intel (but by all means if AMD offers the same thing for less then let me know)
-Graphics card: ATI as it seems cheaper and comparable to what Nvidia offers
-Motherboard:
one that supports cross fire, with 6 USB ports if possible, FireWire ports
-Hard drive: Best value for money. 750GB or more.
-RAM: 4 GB (is DDR 3 affordable??)



OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR DIMENSIONS: 23"
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1200 would be good.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would need Ethernet card and Wifi Adapter too.
I guess I will also need a good cooling system. I don't need a fancy case with lights popping from everywhere though. Also I just need basic keyboard and wireless mouse.


Thanks for your help. Hope I can learn a lot from your replies and advise others in the future.

Cheers,
Le Chevalier.


First, let's check off the cheap stuff so you know what you have left-over for the good stuff.

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB for $55 (usually on sale for $10 less)
Memory: You won't need more than 4GB RAM. I always suggest Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339 for $74. You can always up the speed to 1600, and timings are pretty good.
Hard Drive: Start with an 80GB 7200 RPM drive now, and add a secondary drive with more space later. The Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST380815AS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive is $35.
DVD: 22X DVD SATA Burner at around $30
Keyboard: $7.
Mouse: $10.
Mouspad: You can make your own, or buy one for a few dollars. I like mouse rug pads myself, but that's $6 - $12 (with bulk purchases).

Sub-total: $202

Next, what's important? To me, the monitor. I won't suggest one, because that's one of the toughest things to consider. A 23" displaying 1900 x 1200 resolution is going to cost at the least, around $200 (the 28" Hanns·G HG-281DPB is going for $300, I'd recommend that if you're buying at that price range).

That's $402.

Do you have an Operating System and other software you need to buy? You'll have to add that into the cost. We'll leave that for later.

So, at the most, you have $553 to spend on the rest of the hardware for your computer (CPU, Motherboard, Graphic Card, and Power Supply. That's not very much, but those usually come bundled.

Gaming and Entertainment is your priority. You want to maximize on your future SLI/Crossfire set-up. You need to focus on what card, and a Power Supply that will support enough power to handle an SLI/Crossfire set-up.

Graphics Card: Let's go with the HD 4870 (I'd usually suggest a GTX 275, but you'll need a more expensive Power Supply, and it's $70 cheaper). $150
Power Supply: Read carefully: 500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX technology in dual mode). Something like that will cost you $100.

Sub-total: $250
Current Total without CPU/Motherboard: $652

Amount left: $248

That's too little amount for a Quad Core AMD CPU with a decent motherboard, unless you're intent on skimping out on the other parts somewhere. However, since you're going for a gaming and entertainment rig, it's easy:

AMD Phenom II x3 720 BE with the ASUS M4A79 Deluxe at $278.

That's going $30 before tax and shipping. You might find combo deals for the Graphics Card and the Power Suppy, or wait for prices to drop, or downgrade certain components.
October 1, 2009 6:28:26 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies.
I'm seriously considering buying all the components within the next 10 days.

Also, it seems I have decided which platform to opt for: AMD have won me over with Socket AM3.
So it is safe to start with the motherboard. I want something reliable, efficient, and able to support overclocking. Last but not least: it has to be moderately cheap:) . So this is what I propose:

- Motherboard: Asus AM3 AMD 790X ATX DDR3 Audio & Gigabit Ethernet: £77
http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-am3-amd-790x-atx-ddr3...
Gigabyte have a similar model that is £20 more expensive... Don't think it's worth the money. Asus, I hear, are at the very top when it comes to motherboards.

Now, onto the CPU:
- Processor: AMD HDZ720WFGIBOX Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Triple-Core Processor - 2.80 GHz: £98
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-HDZ720WFGIBOX-Phenom-Triple...

Let's move on to RAM. I'm getting the highest my motherboard can support
- RAM: OCZ 4GB KIT (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600Mhz PC3 12800 GOLD SERIES DUAL CHANNEL KIT (8-8-8-26): £83
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146058

Time to investigate the gaming part, the visual core. I go for ATI all the way. (Dissuade me from doing so if you can...):
- Graphics card: XFX ATI Radeon 4890 HD 900Mhz 1GB PCI-Express DVI XXX: £149 (that's a great card, right??)

I'm going to try first with a 1TB HDD, if it doesn't fit in the budget we will have to downgrade in capacity:
- Hard drive: Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache - OEM Caviar Green: £63
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150245
(dabs offer a non-OEM version for £67: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150245 Is it worth it??)

I need power to make all those engine roar. Predicting 550W would be enough for now, this is what I opted for:
- Power Supply: Corsair Memory 550W VX PSU: £58
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-550w-vx-psu...

There's only a few components left, let's look toward to the case:
- Case: CoolerMaster BLACK CM 690 CASE: £55
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-black-cm-690-...


And fans to cool all this crowd:
-Fans: 3x Akasa 12CM SILENT BLUE FAN: £15
http://www.dabs.com/products/akasa-12cm-silent-blue-fan...

I had to go for a great monitor, so here it is:
- Monitor: LG Electronics 22" W2261V 2ms HDMI DVI FULL HD LCD TFT: £156
http://www.dabs.com/products/lg-electronics-22--w2261v-...



Questions:
-I am planning to perform a model overclock of some 400-600Mhz: do I need to buy a CPU cooler for this purpose?
- Do I need to buy an anti-static mat for assembling the pc?
- Am I better off waiting for another 3 weeks, hoping for a drop in prices?(I may be able to afford a X4 by then...)
- Good enough config?






October 1, 2009 6:34:27 PM

Verdict : £754 . I still need budget for keyboard and mouse as my brain hasn't yet been riddled with nanotech implants...
The O.S. side is fine: Windows 7 is already mine:) 

Thanks,
Le Chevalier
October 1, 2009 7:31:02 PM

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164047

MSI 770-C45 AMD 770 AM3 DDR3
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/165438

Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804

Sony AD-7240S 24x DVD±RW
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164449

Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 4890 1024MB
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

OCZ StealthXStream 600w
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

CoolerMaster Elite 330
http://www.dabs.com/products/coolermaster-elite-330-atx...

LG Electronics 22" W2261V
http://www.dabs.com/products/lg-electronics-22--w2261v-...

Total = £692.45 without delivery

Both dabs and ebuyer offer free delivery, while overclockers charge £9 I think.


You'd need an expensive 790FX motherboard and at least a 750W PSU which would push you way over your budget of £700 if you want a crossfire capable set-up. My suggestion, forget about crossfire. Just change your graphics card in a few years when you feel it's not cutting it anymore.







October 4, 2009 11:12:41 PM

Hey guys,

Just thought I'd let you know of my final configuration:


-Case: Antec 300 Three Hundred Black Case - No PSU: £45.59
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/143854#

-Power Supply: Corsair Memory 550W VX PSU: £58.30
http://www.dabs.com/products/corsair-memory-550w-vx-psu...

-Motherboard : Asus AM3 AMD 790X ATX DDR3 Audio & Gigabit Ethernet: £77.19
http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-am3-amd-790x-atx-ddr3...

- Processor: AMD HDZ720WFGIBOX Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Triple-Core Processor - 2.80 GHz,7.5MB Cache,Socket AM3,95w: £97.92
http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-HDZ720WFGIBOX-Phenom-Triple...

- RAM: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 DHX Memory Kit (Latency: 9-9-9-24): £81.62
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148818

- Graphics card: Sapphire Technology ATI Radeon HD 4870 750Mhz 1GB GDDR5 PCI-Express HDMI: £124.31
http://www.dabs.com/products/sapphire-technology-ati-ra...

- Hard drive: Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black SATA-II 32MB: £41.54
http://www.dabs.com/products/western-digital-500gb-cavi...

-DVD drive: LG GH22NS50 22x SATA DVD±RW Dual Layer & RAM Black Bare Drive - OEM: £15.99

-Fans: 2x Akasa 12CM SILENT BLUE FAN: £9.24
http://www.dabs.com/products/akasa-12cm-silent-blue-fan...

- Keyboad + Mouse: Microsoft Business Hardware Pack - Black/Silver Wired Keyboard with Black Wired Optical Mouse - PS/2-USB: £14.99

- Monitor: LG Electronics 22" W2261V 2ms HDMI DVI FULL HD LCD TFT: £152.95
http://www.dabs.com/products/lg-electronics-22--w2261v-...

Total= £719.64

I decided not to buy a CPU cooler as there is already one provided by AMD with my Phenom II X3 720 BE.
I could have chose a slightly cheaper monitor but the LG one has it all: great image quality, great design, and VGA + DVI + HDMI!
Sapphire was my choice for the graphics card vendor: their Radeon 4870 HD does not run as hot as XFX's... I want a cool GPU.
Corsair Ram has great specs. No more to be said.
Case is solid; power supply is very good value for money given the brand.
Extra fans are cheap (and I hope silent) and may help in cooling down system after overclocking:) 

Now I just need to wait to receive all these guys at home and build it up (fingers crossed).

Cheers,
Le Chevalier.
!