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New £450 budget gaming build.. any help appreciated!

Last response: in Systems
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March 1, 2008 9:48:11 AM

Hello all!

So basically I am looking at getting a new base unit and I need a little help. Originally I was looking at getting some super £1000 build ($2000), now instead I’ve opted for a temporary “quick fix” which I’m looking to spend around £450 on or thereabouts.

Firstly, to afford that £1000 base unit I would have had to use finance or save for a few months.
Second, what with the upcoming offerings from Intel, ATI and Nvidia, it seems crazy for poor folk like I to make such a commitment in technology that will surpassed by the time I’ve finished paying for it.
Third and mostly, I’m sick the slow old computer I have now and I don’t want to wait!

My current system is:
Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.8GHz (HT)
1.5GB PC3200 DDR
Asrock P4VT8 Motherboard
ATI Radeon X1650 XT GDDR3 256MB

Basically my main requirement is that I want to be able to play most games smooth at 1680x1050 with AA etc. I’ll be doing other things with it but my biggest gripe with my current computer is game performance.

Everything needs to come from www.ebuyer.com as I live in the UK. Ebuyer is one of the cheapest UK e-tailers around and I know them to have good customer service as I’ve used them a few times before.

I haven’t built a new computer in a few years so I need a fair bit of help, but this is what I’ve been looking at:

Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160 - £42.99
I read these are easily overclocked and that 3 GHz is not unreasonable on the stock fan? I notice there is L2 and M0 stepping.. as M0 is more recent I’m assuming this is better! I’ll have to check with ebuyer which stepping this CPU is as it’s not listed.

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L - £63.16
A good all-round board.

2x OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2-667MHz/PC2-5400 CL 4-4-4-12 XTC Edition
Not sure really, just the first thing I saw on the list and seemed to suitable. At £31 for 2gb, why not have 4gb?

Pioneer DVR-215BK 20X SATA DVD±RW DL Ram Int Black – OEM - £18.99
I’ve always liked Pioneer.

Inno3D 9600GT 512MB DDR3 Dual DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card - £119.98
Performance close to the 8800GT but £30/20% cheaper, roughly on par with HD 3870 but £15 cheaper. Seems to make sense, in the UK at least.

Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM - £56.99
Cheap, purely for storage. Spinpoints seem to give reasonable performance overall.

I have 3 hard drives in my current system that I will be using for OS/Games etc.

Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower Case - With 500W EarthWatts PSU - £73.52
Are Antec are a good case brand? EarthWatts is rated as a teir 3 PSU. I know it’s usually better to buy separate but I’m on a budget. Otherwise I’m open to suggestions if you think these suck.. not too pricey as I will be upgrading the whole base-unit when I next upgrade.. black would be nicer but not too fussy. Quieter = better.

PSU

As above, only needs to run what I have mentioned as I will buy a whole new base unit next time I upgrade.

Other stuff
1.44MB 3.5'' Floppy Drive - £4.56

Total: £441.45

Also, should I be considering a fan of any type for the case?

Any help is very much appreciated!
March 1, 2008 10:36:59 AM

dude, that's a fantastic build!!! considering you don't want it to last too long, it's perfect... ofc, i'd suggest waiting for a bit, but then, hey... i know what it can be like to not have a PC... i also suggest splashing for an 8800GT, there's one on special at OCuk for 131? ut you'll need to pay for shipping... still a darn good deal... that way, you could keep the mobo and just swap the card in on your super build ^^

nonetheless, it's almost exactly what i have... and i can suggest an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/105994) and this centrifuge of a fan... http://www.ebuyer.com/product/56771 noisy but powerful... if you OC, they will come in handy

like i said, i have pretty similar components, and i can say that gaming is a peach... never tried AA, but then now that the proc is @ 3ghz, you know what i'll be doing tonight ^^

March 2, 2008 7:49:31 AM

No one else has anything to say about my build? :( 
March 2, 2008 12:35:00 PM

Roger that, amd_fanboi.

That's the thing. We know the best bang for the American buck. It's not the same thing in other parts of the world.

Since you're overclocking, stick another 120mm fan in the front. The build is looking good.
!