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  1. #1
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    Help: Building a Mid End PC for 400

    I know next to nothing about custom building, so I am asking for advice on what you fellow RPSites think I should go for.

    I should be able to salvage my PSU and my GPU from my current (also custom built) PC. I would like to build a Mid to High end gaming PC for, if possible, less than 400. Or around 400.

    So advice about what are the best sites to buy parts from, and what parts, and anything else pertinent please. :)

  2. #2
    Network Hub DarkNoghri's Avatar
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    I'd start with something like these: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4556/b...buyers-guide/2 (scroll down to the Intel Mid-tower System section) or http://www.anandtech.com/show/4456/s...buyers-guide/4

    Those are both at least a month old, but still hold up fairly well. Thus the prices should have dropped a bit. If you remove the SSD they recommend, that drops another 100$ off the price. With PSU/GPU, you should be able to hit your budget with a bit of playing around, unless UK prices are horribly more expensive than in the US. The extra CPU heatsink/cooler isn't needed, either. The case is interchangeable based on your preferences, and RAM/HDD/DVD can be swapped based on what you want and what the best deals are. Right now, I would definitely stick with the Intel i5-2500k for a CPU though, which is what these builds are built around.

    On the other hand, you may want to wait just a little bit. The AMD Bulldozer chips are supposed to be releasing in the next week or two as I recall. They may end up being a good alternative, or they could just force pricing changes, but it might be worth it to wait and see.

  3. #3
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    Ok, so at the minute, based on talking to few people I'm thinking something like this:

    Mobo

    CPU

    RAM

    HDD

    And I think that if I order that of this German site it should come to <400 with shipping. I don't read German, so I'm not sure about that last part :P

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    What are your current PSU and GPU? What kind of performance would you like to have? Do you need a case, OS, or any peripherals included in your budget?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    What are your current PSU and GPU? What kind of performance would you like to have? Do you need a case, OS, or any peripherals included in your budget?
    My current PSU, and my current GPU. I think (hope) the PSU would still be fine, I know the GPU is old and crappy, but my circumstances are that my current computer is falling to bits and won't play any games without a BSOD or a CTD. The Gfx card will be fine for what I want to play right now anyway, and I'll upgrade it in the future when I need too.

    I might need a case, apart from that I should have everything else covered.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Value brand PSUs aren't known for their reliability, but 750W is well above the actual power requirements you'll have so you should be ok for now. You probably will need to upgrade it when you get a new graphics card as it only has 1 PCI-E connector and most mid-high end cards need 2 now.

    The components you've selected look good, but I'm curious as to why you're going for such an expensive motherboard? Is there a particular feature you're looking for that isn't present on the many cheaper models? You can also get a 1TB drive for around the same price as that 500GB one, although it would be slightly slower the speed difference isn't going to be noticeable in practice.

    If you need a case then Antec and Coolermaster have some nice roomy cases at the lower end of the price scale. From my experience you'd probably regret going for a super cheap 20 case as there's a whole load of issues they can have with airflow and build quality that wouldn't be immediately apparent.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    Value brand PSUs aren't known for their reliability, but 750W is well above the actual power requirements you'll have so you should be ok for now. You probably will need to upgrade it when you get a new graphics card as it only has 1 PCI-E connector and most mid-high end cards need 2 now.
    I see, ok, if it'll do me for now that's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    The components you've selected look good, but I'm curious as to why you're going for such an expensive motherboard? Is there a particular feature you're looking for that isn't present on the many cheaper models? You can also get a 1TB drive for around the same price as that 500GB one, although it would be slightly slower the speed difference isn't going to be noticeable in practice.
    The Mobo was suggested to me because it has PCI-3 I think. So for future proofing I guess. Is there an alternative you would suggest?

    I did compare the prices on the 500GB and 1TB HDDs, the 500 is cheaper enough for me to go for that, and I don't think I really need 1TB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    If you need a case then Antec and Coolermaster have some nice roomy cases at the lower end of the price scale. From my experience you'd probably regret going for a super cheap 20 case as there's a whole load of issues they can have with airflow and build quality that wouldn't be immediately apparent.
    Yeah, I'm really not sure about cases. I don't understand how your supposed to know whats going to fit and not fit etc. I had issues with my current PC when my friend and I were building it, we had to rip half of the back off to get some things to fit properly.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    I don't know enough about motherboards to give you good advice, but 140 does seem rather a lot to spend when you're on a tight budget. I'm not saying you should go for a super cheap 40 model, but I'd be surprised if there isn't something in the 80-100 range that would suit your needs. The problem with choosing a motherboard for future proofing is it's only going to last as long as your CPU or RAM will, as the sockets change regularly.

    As far as cases go, a mid tower case designed for ATX motherboards should in theory have enough space, but the cheaper ones often aren't designed particularly well. My old case didn't have enough room to plug the monitor cable into the back without taking pliers to the metal surround, others might have drive bays that get in the way of long graphics cards, or have inadequate cooling for a gaming PC. The Antec 100 or Coolermaster Elite would be good choices, or if you need to go cheaper then you can use the pictures and listed dimensions as guidelines.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about PCI 3.0 with your build.

    Something like this with this CPU would free up enough cash to upgrade your GPU as well.
    Last edited by Spider Jerusalem; 29-09-2011 at 07:53 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spider Jerusalem View Post
    I wouldn't worry about PCI 3.0 with your build.

    Something like this with this CPU would free up enough cash to upgrade your GPU as well.
    Like I say, for what I want to play at the moment my GPU is fine. And I kind of want to base my new build around the 2500K.

    Any other mobo suggestions based on that?

  11. #11
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    I just built a new system around the 2500k using this. Got everything you need really and if you've got a semi decent cpu cooler you'll should be able to get 4.5ghz out of that 2500k.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spider Jerusalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Web Cole View Post
    Like I say, for what I want to play at the moment my GPU is fine. And I kind of want to base my new build around the 2500K.

    Any other mobo suggestions based on that?
    Sure. The lower spec Asrock should suit your needs just fine.

  13. #13
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    I'll recommend a P8P67 or P8P67-M then, you won't need Z68 unless you particularly love the idea of future SSD caching. ;) Even though we've just released our own PCI-E Gen-3 boards I would not say they are needed unless you really have the CPU upgrade itch next year and really want to keep the same motherboard.

    I would strongly advise a quality PSU, but it's your choice as it's another 60 quid to swallow that you could probably be dropping on a beefier graphics card.

    An i5-2500K, 4GB mem, 500GB disk, P8P67-M and 560/6870 should suit. :)
    /Richard Swinburne
    ASUS HQ, Taipei.
    ROG.ASUS.com

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