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UK ~£650 build gaming/development work

Last response: in Systems
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June 9, 2009 3:50:52 PM

Hi All,

It's been 5 odd years since I built a PC and I am quite out of the loop on all the latest stuff. I've thrown together a build, below, which I think represents good value for money at the moment. I'm fairly sure it all will work together properly, but I'm not completely sure it's the optimal build for the price range!

- I already have a 24" monitor
- I'd prefer to purchase all from one source for ease of delivery but am not committed to OverClockers. I also have an ebuyer.co.uk account (but will NOT use scam.co.uk having had serious problems with them in the past).
- I commonly have shedloads of stuff open (ie. 2 copies of Visual Studio, SQL server management studio, FireFox with 20 pages open, and in the evening a game on top of that).
- I'd like it to run new release games in 2-3 years, but wouldn't be expecting them to run at high spec by then of course!
- I'm likely to use the Windows 7 RC initially
- xfire, etc - no.
- I was not planning on over clocking but I'm not adverse to it, although I'll have to get myself up to speed with it as things are a bit different these days
- I have a bit of flexibility on pricing but not a huge amount (can probably get away with ~+£100)
- I'll probably splash out on an anti static mat & wrist strap as I've become risk adverse in my old age (don't laugh it'll happen to you too).

With all that in mind ...

a) Is there a better choice for GPU/CPU/Mobo combo? I'm tending towards AMD as they seem to have edged out Intel in the bang-for-buck ratio recently, but I'm perfectly open to changing.

b) Will the PSU be up to the job? Last time I build a system a 350 watt PSU was over doing things. We didn't have any of these fancy GPU power connectors either, they got their juice from the bus dammit.

c) Is there any value at the moment in going for more than 4GB ram? Seems to be plenty to me right now (but then 640k seemed plenty too ... ). Likewise there does not seem to be much point in DDR3, but maybe I should get a DDR3 mobo regardless? That may "future proof" me for a CPU/memory upgrade in a year or two?

d) Do I actually need the CPU cooler or is the stock one enough?

e) I'll be ordering everything late this week/early next week.

f) I'm half deaf from motorcycling and stock mother board sound is fine.

g) Any other thoughts/opinions/ideas/your mom jokes?


GPU: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB - £105

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 940 3.0GHz - £160

Memory: Corsair XMS2 DHX 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 - £37

CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro PWM CPU Cooler (Socket 754/939/940/AM2) - £15

MoBo: Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 AMD 77 £70 HDD

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB SATA-II - £100

PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro Modular 500W - £72

Case: Coolermaster Elite 330 Midi Tower Case £30

DVD: LG GH22NS30 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter £19

Thermal Compound £6
June 9, 2009 4:07:22 PM

the stock cooler is enough unless u are overclocking,get Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (WD1001FALS) instead of the seagate and then you are ready to go

edit:change the psu to Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK) it is better and only costs a little more
June 9, 2009 4:23:07 PM

computersss said:
the stock cooler is enough unless u are overclocking,get Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (WD1001FALS) instead of the seagate and then you are ready to go

edit:change the psu to Corsair TX 650W ATX SLi Compliant Power Supply (CMPSU-650TXUK) it is better and only costs a little more


Thanks - nice catch on the PSU, it's pretty much the same price.

Why the 1TB WD over the 1.5TB Seagate though? Speed?
June 9, 2009 4:36:15 PM

speed and also stability even the western digital 1.5 tb isn't as good as the western digital 1 tb black and i don't think you will need more than 1 tb
!