Need Advice on ~£600-700 system. (gaming/video)

Hello, this will be my first build, though I know my way around a computer fairly well. My old computer packed in after a faithful few years, so I decided on a new one. Bought one from a company called palicomp which came with wrong GPU, wrong sfx card, no keyboard/mouse, broken led light on fan, dirty finger prints on the case, a condescending sales guy and a 75p/min technical help line... but enough gripping. I've decided to finally build my own. I'm a student, heading to uni, so I'm not made of money unfortunatly, thus the budget (£700 tops). Anyway, to get into things:

[Approximate Purchase Date]: A week.

[Usage]: Gaming/watching video's, listening to lots of music, study/work (prob should be first :p), light video editing in the future perhaps.

[Parts Not Required]: Moniter, Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers

[Preferred Websites], a great website, and the only one I have experience buying parts from. Would welcome advice of other websites (shipping to mainland UK) that are reliable/cheap.


-[cpu]: Either the E8600 3.33GHz 1333MHz FSB Socket 775 6MB L2,, or the E8500 3.16GHz 1333MHz FSB Socket 775 6MB L2, The E600 is better in the longterm for over clocking I think, but by how much? Is there any other difference between the two other than the .17Ghz stock speed? Because the E8500 is a whole £70 cheaper.

-[motherboard]: I'm leaning towards the P45 chipset, as I've read that it's superior for over clocking compared to the nforce 780i chipset (the other motherboard I was considering). Is the PQ5 Deluxe a good motherboard for overclocking? If I dropped to a PQ5 PRO how much would performance/overclocking suffer? How bad is the 780i chipset for over clocking, compared to the p45? Should I be looking outside these two chipsets? The mobo is a real dilemma for me at the moment :(

-[ram]: Basicly I'm looking for 4GB DDR2 SDRAM (will be usuing 64bit os to fully utilise this) but what type depends on whatever mobo I end up taking. I couldn't find a QVL for the PQF Deluxe, so I used the one from the PQ5 PRO, and ended up choosing Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1066MHz/PC2-8500 HyperX Memory CL5 2.2V, Just hope it's compatible (if I choose that mobo) and it's reliable.

-[gpu]: I'd like a decent(ish) graphics card, as it will have to last me a while. I don't mind not having SLI, so going for one good one is ok. I was looking at the Zotac GTX260 216 Core 896MB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out PhysX and Cuda ready PCI-E Graphics Card, I read some good reviews of Zotac graphics cards and they seem to be nicely priced compared to some of the others, so I'm leaning towards them. Is the 216 core version much better than the 192 core version,, is the difference worth paying for? Should I get a better one, perhaps a GTX275, for better "future proofing"?

-[hdd]: Stability and reliability here is important, I have a most invaluable ~15gb (if memory serves) music collection (invaluable to me atleast :p) and I would be loathe to lose it :(, also I can't be losing dissertations and essays and such. I was planning on having a 1tb hdd, but that might be a tad too much, though I'm not sure, I guess a 650GB would do too. I have little experience with hdd companies/models, so any suggestions would be great.

-[cd/dvd drive]: I'd like a DVD-RW and again I want something reliable here, and I'm really not too sure what company to choose from. I'm leaning towards something from sony perhaps? I've had decent eletrical goods from them before.

-[case]: I was looking at this case: Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower Case - With 500W EarthWatts PSU, I really like the look of it, sleek, black and minimalist ( I don't like the cases with enough led's to light up a medium sized dance club) plus it comes with a 500W psu, is that enough? It says 500 earthwatts, and I'm clueless as to how they differ from normal watts? Would be grateful if someone could explain that to me, (I get the feeling thats a really stupid question for some reason :(, tried google but no luck, all I got was websites advertising more cases with earthwatt psu's).

-[psu]: see above

-[os]: I'll be getting either a 64bit version of vista ultimate or premium (with option to upgrade to win7), I think premium will do for me, to help keep costs down.

[Overclocking] Oh yes

[SLI/Crossfire(X)] Not hugely bothered, I don't think wow even benefits from two gpu's, and I'm leaning towards the P45 board for overclocking, which has no sli support (as far as I know).

[Moniter Resolution]: 1280x1024

[notes]: I know I should buy a special heatsink and fan for the purposes of overclocking, but I'm at a loss as to what sort of thing to look for, or if I need a certain grade/strength (shooting in the dark here) of fan? I don't mind a fans that are bit noisy, as I nearly always wear a headset anyway.

I've tried to be as thorough as possbile, and hope this isn't too long winded. Just to recap, this should all hopefully be in the £650ish range (£700 at the max, I don't even have a car yet! >.<). I would be incredibly grateful for any advice/insight, and thanks in advance!
4 answers Last reply
More about advice 600 700 system gaming video
  1. -[cpu]: Get the e8500, save the dough and overclock it.

    -[motherboard]: P45 is the best chipset. Asus or Gigabyte are good. Stay away from 780i. Old and not that great.

    -[ram]: Kingston should be fine.

    -[cd/dvd drive]: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe LightScribe Support - OEM
  2. Case and PSU are fine.
    O/S is fine also.

    Top 5 heatsinks:

    Top 5 Low Profile Heatsinks on Frostytech
  3. With a P45 chipset you can do Crossfire, but not SLI.
  4. ASUS M4A78T-E 790GX Socket AM3 onboard VGA DVI HDMI 8 chann
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 DHX Memory
    Coolermaster CM690 Dominator Black Mid Tower Case -
    XFX HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDTV graphics card
    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3
    Corsair 750W TX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 80+% Efficiency, Single +12V Rail
    Western Digital WD1001FALS 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM Caviar Black
    plus £40 and £8 takes the total to £658
    if you want you can switch to the phenom 945x4 wich brings the total to £697
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