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Help making a new £1,200 - £1,400 Gaming Rig

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July 19, 2007 10:31:55 AM

Hi guys!!

I'm looking to make a new gaming rig for about £1,200 GBP (approx 2,459.81 USD). I would like to be able to overclock (on air) but if I can get a good rig that needs no overclocking for a while then all the better (never tried overclocking before). Already have a monitor etc so the parts I'm looking for are;

Case - Thinking Antec 900 really like the look and noise isn’t an issue just no jet engines :D 

Mboard - thinking Asus PK5 (series) are these the best ? What is the best out there for pure gaming power/overclocking? (DDR2)

Processor - Thinking E6850 (looking to upgrade to quad in 4/5 months as and when quad cores are needed more)

Processor Cooler - What’s the best are tec (Titan Amanda) worth it / will it fit on MBoard or are they a gimmick?

Graphics card - Thinking HD 2900 series (keeping power/cost ratio down a bit, unless you can fit a 8800 GTX in the price) is the HD 2900 1Gb DDR4 cards better than the 512Mb DDR3 cards? price diff is next to nothing.

Memory - was looking at OCZ reaper 1150 Mhz 4gb (is this a waste? its not that expensive and faster is better right ? timings are 5-5-5-18 so does this make it slower than other modules I could get for the same price range? (DDR2)

Power supply - Looking at OCZ 700W but anything that’s good will do

Audio Card (if required as I would like good audio) - thinking Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional 7.1 is this a good one ? waste of cash ?

New speakers - Would like 7.1 but open to advice

I have been reading around but I'm still finding it hard to make up my mind. I'm looking for the best rig I can get for gaming and can go to £1400 if that helps any.

Any help or setups you can suggest would be amazing and really appreciated. Many thanks in advance !!!!

Regards Tristan...
July 19, 2007 11:17:44 AM

X Fi fatality is a waste of money, I got Xfi gamer and it works great in vista 64. Just make sure you download the drivers and ALChemy.

everything else looks fine, I bought the 8800 GTS 640 instead of the HD 2900 XT cos its quieter and does AA better, even if its un anti aliased performance is not as good. but up to you, either way you will be able to play the latest games in whatever res you want.

what operating system do you want? hard drives?

if you want 7.1, do you have space for 8 speakers?
July 19, 2007 11:26:16 AM

Hi there :D 

Will be running Vista 32bit ultimate ed I have some sata2 drives in my current machine so its just a re-use and reinstall job. Heard Vista 64 is just a huge pain in the ass for digital sigs and security.

Moving to my girlfriends so will have my first ever computer room /joy hehe so should have plenty of room.

Any other pointers would be great :D 

Cheers :D 
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July 19, 2007 11:33:46 AM

I have Vista 64 and havent had any problems besides my Sony NEC dvd writer not working (SATA).

and I cant connect to an unsecured wifi network but I dont know if that is because of Vista, the network, or the card.

For RAM, I'm no expert, but I would probably rather go for RAM with better latencies than higher clock speed. maybe get 1066-4-4-4-12 if there is such a thing? if not, I dont really see the point in spending lots of money on ram, most of the time I dont think you see the benefit as much as you would if you spent the same on graphics card or CPU.

you may even want to consider getting 4 GBs instead of 2.
a b K Overclocking
a b 4 Gaming
July 19, 2007 12:21:40 PM

There's no point in getting 4GB of RAM with a 32-bit O/S. Well, you'll only see a little over 3GB of it.
I'd suggest WinXP at least until Vista is out of the beta testing that Microsquishy has everyone doing for them for free. WinXP is a known quantity that works. Vista might work, might not.
July 19, 2007 12:25:12 PM

Don't bother getting more than 2GB of RAM unless you're using Vista 64.

Anyway for this sort of budget you can make something really nice.

CPU: Intel Q6600 or E6850 ~£190? after July 22
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35 DQ6 - £140
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2GB DDR800 - £93
Video card: EVGA Geforce 8800GTX - £370
Cooler: Thermalright Ultra 120-E + Scythe S-flex fan - £50
PSU: Corsair 620W - £88
Case: Antec Nine Hundred - £68
Sound card: X-Fi Extreme Gamer - £59
Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 - £190

All comes to just over £1200 from overclockers.co.uk.
July 19, 2007 12:33:29 PM

I've found the prices on Scan to be keener than OCUK recently. Worth a look - saving me approx £50 on the (much cheaper) build that I'm planning.
July 19, 2007 12:49:55 PM

Yeah I haven't bothered shopping around; take that as more a list of recommended components rather than a recommended retailer. If Scan sells all that stuff for cheaper and you're happy with their service, get it from there.

But those parts I listed should serve you well and I think it's about the best you could get for the price (maybe swap the DQ6 board for an Asus P5K Deluxe, but either would be fine and they're about the same price).
July 19, 2007 12:57:49 PM

I've heard Scan's good on service but not used them (yet). Am about to order within the next week or so. OCUK certainly seems to have a strong service rep though so cannot grumble at that. Anyone know anything about Ebuyer's service/costings?

Foxrocks, if you're at a loose end would you mind giving me some advice on my list of components (already in another thread)? I'm putting together my first build on a much smaller budget but need advice/confirmation on parts.

Good luck Tristan.

July 19, 2007 1:10:08 PM

I'll take a look at some point, Raz. :) 

Tristan: For about £1300 you could get an SLI-8800GTX rig if you skimped a bit on sound.

CPU: Intel E6550 - ~£100
Motherboard: EVGA 680i - £170
Graphics card 2: EVGA 8800GTX - £370
Speakers: Logitech X-540 - £50
Sound: Onboard?

Everything else should be able to remain the same as long as the Corsair PSU is ok with 2 x 8800GTX, if not just get something a tad beefier. So it depends on what you value more: visuals or sound.
July 19, 2007 2:53:23 PM

Hola, thanks for the help guys !!

Looking at the EVGA 8800GTX's would the BFG 8800GTX be a better choice (same price) but has a 600MHz core rather than the EVGA's 575MHz.

Is it really worth SLI? never had a chance to see it in action so all ive read is that 2nd card runs at 1/2 "power" so to speak so £370 is quite alot unless it does something pritty good is the AA etc boost worth it?

Cheers
July 19, 2007 3:05:08 PM

Tristan - I'm only new to this myself but what I've read so far suggests that the second card doesn't even get to 50% to be honest. Seeing as there is still so much uncertainty surrounding whether or not even the 8800's will be truly effective with DX10 games, personally, I would just go for one card and then look to upgrade if necessary when the time comes. I've read many posts now suggesting that one uber-card is a better choice than pairing 2 lower models. No doubt by the time we get to see DX10 games in all their glory there will be newer, stronger cards than the 8800s.

I'm sure that the more experienced on the forum will clear this up later on today for you though so take my 'interpretations' with a pinch of salt until then.
July 19, 2007 3:28:19 PM

Hehe cheers dude aye its all about dx10 :D 

Has anyone out there got a HD2900 1Gb card? cant seem to find any helpful reviews about them, seen em on Overclockers as an "own brand" although they are identical to the Saphire 1gb version ... Not even sure if the 1gb ddr4 version is better than the ddr3 512Mb version numbers say it should be but you never know...
July 19, 2007 3:42:01 PM

tristan315 said:
Hola, thanks for the help guys !!

Looking at the EVGA 8800GTX's would the BFG 8800GTX be a better choice (same price) but has a 600MHz core rather than the EVGA's 575MHz.

Is it really worth SLI? never had a chance to see it in action so all ive read is that 2nd card runs at 1/2 "power" so to speak so £370 is quite alot unless it does something pritty good is the AA etc boost worth it?

Cheers

SLI is only worth it in very high end systems; linking anything less than the best card available at the time is a waste, since chances are you'd be better off in terms of power useage and expenditure buying a single uber card (8800GTX) than two lesser cards (2 x 8800GTS, for instance). But if you can afford 2 x 8800GTX cards then regardless of how efficient the SLI process is, you're getting the absolute best performance available at this point in time.

However az Raz points out, the best bet in this instance may be to get a single 8800GTX now and then perhaps upgrade to one (or two!) Geforce 9900 or whatever they end up being called when they're released towards the end of the year.
July 19, 2007 3:54:59 PM

As for the BFG vs EVGA 8800GTX question, I tend to view factory overclocked cards as a bit of a waste of money seeing as it's pretty easy to reach those speeds yourself. If the price difference was £5-10 then it'd be ok, but from what I've seen they charge more like £20-30 over stock cards.

If you can get a BFG OC card for the same price as an EVGA stock then that's a bit different. I've heard good things about EVGA's warranty but I doubt you'll go wrong with BFG either tbh.
July 19, 2007 10:38:56 PM

So the stock 8800gtx is 575Mhz clock and 1800Mhz ram anything else is overclocked? and we can overclock these cards ourself? sorry just getting confused with all the diff varients. if you could clarify this it would be great also any links to overclocking 8800 sites would be ace cheers in advance :D 
July 29, 2007 2:07:12 PM

Hi guys won some cash :D  always nice so i figured what the hey and blew it on the following. Thanks for the advice and help :D  and yes i know more money than sense but could have been worse and should be a nice rig.

Leadtek GeForce 8800 Ultra Leviathan ***Water-Cooled*** 768MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI 685clock and 2328mhz ram :D (PCI-Express) - Retail 1 £394.99
EVGA nForce 680i SLi (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard (122-CK-NF68-A1) 1 £144.99
Hiper HPU-4M730 Type R 730W ATX2.2 PSU - Black 1 £74.99
Creative Inspire 7.1 T7900 Speakers - OEM 1 £49.99
Logitech MX Revolution Advanced Cordless Mouse - Retail 1 £44.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 "LGA775 Conroe" 3.00GHz (1333FSB) - Retail 1 £149.99
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1 Soundcard - Retail 1 £50.99
Logitech G15 Gaming-Grade Illuminated Keyboard - Retail (967599-0120) 1 £46.99
OCZ 2GB (4 x 1GB) PC2-6400 800MHz Reaper HPC Enhanced Bandwidth Edition Dual Channel DDR2 (OCZ2RPR800EB2GK) 2 £159.98
Sub Total: £1,117.90
City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri) Shipping: £12.95
Total Vat: £197.90
Total inc Vat: £1,328.75

Also got a Thermaltake Kandalf Watercooled case, should make my first steps into watercooling easy :D 

Thanks again :D 

Kind Regards

Tristan...
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