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  1. #1

    I'd like to get into pc gaming, i was hoping for advice on my build so far?

    Overall the price comes to around £600-£700 give or take a few pounds, so the budget is around this mark. I wasn't sure if i was missing anything or if someone could suggest better parts. Some of the parts are out of stock at the moment but you can still give me your opinons.

    Power supply
    http://www.ebuyer.com/124927-arctic-...2-arctic-700td

    Internal hard-drive
    http://www.ebuyer.com/173804-samsung...-cache-hd103sj

    Optical drive
    http://www.ebuyer.com/270850-samsung...sh-s222ab-rsms

    Motherboard (The thing im most unsure about)
    http://www.ebuyer.com/220150-asus-m4...board-m4a88t-m

    CPU
    http://www.ebuyer.com/190673-amd-phe...-hdz955fbgmbox

    Graphics card
    http://www.ebuyer.com/279585-xfx-hd-...e-hd-687a-zhfc

    Casing
    http://www.ebuyer.com/143854-antec-3...761345-08300-3

    RAM (This x4)
    http://www.ebuyer.com/147903-kingsto...kvr1333d3n9-2g

    I have a monitor and keyboard etc its just these parts. Oh and i know i'l need a 64bit operating system, so i'l be including windows 7 when i buy it. I'd like to play games like; Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Fallout 3, Lord of the rings online and things like that, just general gaming. Another little thing i was thinking about, is there any part i can include so that it has built in wireless? If you think its all terrible feel free to build me one. Thanks for your time, i hope i explained all that reasonably well.

  2. #2
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    Note that your graphics card (along with pretty much all of them) requires two PCI express power connectors and your PSU only has one *BUT* you'll get loads of adaptor thingies with the psu/motherboard/graphics card allowing you to turn a couple of regular power connectors into a second pci jobby.

    If you're unsure about motherboard and stuff I often find it simpler (and a teensy bit cheaper) to get motherboard/cpu/memory bundles - most places do them (check Dabs/Novatech/Overclockers if you're struggling). You can sometimes get a better deal on operating systems if you buy a bundle too (as they can ship an OEM copy rather than a consumer one).

    Easiest way for built in wireless would be either a PCI wireless card or a USB wireless dongle. Plenty of choice of either but personally I prefer wired connections for desk PCs, especially for online gaming.

  3. #3
    You really, really, REALLY don't need a 700W PSU. 550W will be all you need for this rig. Look to spend the same amount on a 550W PSU that has a better efficiency.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the help guys it means a lot, as you can tell i'm a noob at this so any help is gold. Thanks for the advice about the power connectors and the bundles, i'm taking a look at them. About the power supply, i was only thinking in the long run if i wanted to update parts and such, but i'l go with what you said.

  5. #5
    Maybe you're adding something I'm not but the parts you've listed are sub £500. Even with Windows tacked on that's well below budget. If you've got up to £700 I think you should be looking at an i5 and a 560ti. For example:

    MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) P67 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £105.81
    Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £159.77
    KFA2 GTX 560Ti OC 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card £163.79
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 i5 Memory Kit CL9(9-9-9-24) 1.65V £26.51
    Antec 300 Three Hundred Case £47.25
    Samsung SH-S222AB 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - Retail Box Black £15.99
    OCZ 500W ModXStream Pro Modular PSU £55.28
    Cart total inc vat: £574.40

    Add in the Samsung F3 for about £40 and a wireless card for around £10 and you should have enough left over for Windows 7. If you're a student you can get this for around £40 saving you a bit more.

    Some quick notes. I've only given you 4gb of RAM as this is all you'll really need for gaming. If you want the comfort of 8gb you can get it for £20 more or so but it is best to get it in the form of two sticks to keep it dual channel. I don't know if that particular 560ti is any good. I chose it because it was the cheapest on Ebuyer. It would be worth you reading up on the ones various places have cheap and working out which suits you best. Not sure but I think the 300 only comes with rear and top fans so you may need to add in a couple of front ones for decent cooling. Lastly it way be worth looking at getting a better cpu cooler if you want to overclock or care about noise.

    If you want to get closer to the £600 rather than £700 mark sub out the 560ti for a 6870 (you can find them on offer for under £130 now and then) and if you're not overclocking perhaps a locked version of the i5 and a different motherboard. What resolution are you planning on gaming at? Will help decide if spending the extra is worth it.

    Hope that is of some help.
    Last edited by ComradePenguin; 06-09-2011 at 12:24 AM.

  6. #6
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Yes if you can stretch to £700 then go with the build ComradePenguin is suggesting above, it will give you a better gaming experience in the more demanding games. I've just ordered very similar parts myself. That KFA2 560ti card is decent, there are reviews if you google.

    For a cheap wireless card, try this. A PCI card is more reliable than USB dongles.

    Also consider getting a sound card. By no means essential, the on-board sound from the motherboard is acceptable, but a decent sound card gives a noticeable improvement in games, particularly through headphones, and can be had for under £20. Asus Xonar DG

  7. #7
    Comrade Penguin's build is good, you can easily get a good 8GB of ram for a tenner more though, http://www.ebuyer.com/264750-g-skill...2800cl9d-8gbxl

    The people on the ebuyer forums are extremely friendly and helpful, you might in fact want to check a thread I made only a couple days ago for a similar price - ours came to £750 in the end but included a £90 SSD drive, so if you didn't want the SSD drive it would be £660:

    https://forums.ebuyer.com/showthread...verify-it-s-ok!

    Everytime I build a computer there are always new obscure terms I have to ask about, or I need to ask for the justification behind certain recommendations - don't be afraid to ask!
    Last edited by hexagonalbolts; 06-09-2011 at 11:26 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ComradePenguin View Post
    Maybe you're adding something I'm not but the parts you've listed are sub £500. Even with Windows tacked on that's well below budget. If you've got up to £700 I think you should be looking at an i5 and a 560ti. For example:

    MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) P67 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £105.81
    Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor £159.77
    KFA2 GTX 560Ti OC 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card £163.79
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz/PC3-12800 XMS3 i5 Memory Kit CL9(9-9-9-24) 1.65V £26.51
    Antec 300 Three Hundred Case £47.25
    Samsung SH-S222AB 22x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - Retail Box Black £15.99
    OCZ 500W ModXStream Pro Modular PSU £55.28
    Cart total inc vat: £574.40

    Add in the Samsung F3 for about £40 and a wireless card for around £10 and you should have enough left over for Windows 7. If you're a student you can get this for around £40 saving you a bit more.

    Some quick notes. I've only given you 4gb of RAM as this is all you'll really need for gaming. If you want the comfort of 8gb you can get it for £20 more or so but it is best to get it in the form of two sticks to keep it dual channel. I don't know if that particular 560ti is any good. I chose it because it was the cheapest on Ebuyer. It would be worth you reading up on the ones various places have cheap and working out which suits you best. Not sure but I think the 300 only comes with rear and top fans so you may need to add in a couple of front ones for decent cooling. Lastly it way be worth looking at getting a better cpu cooler if you want to overclock or care about noise.

    If you want to get closer to the £600 rather than £700 mark sub out the 560ti for a 6870 (you can find them on offer for under £130 now and then) and if you're not overclocking perhaps a locked version of the i5 and a different motherboard. What resolution are you planning on gaming at? Will help decide if spending the extra is worth it.

    Hope that is of some help.
    I'd recommend swapping out the Antec 300 Case for a HAF912 case - Plenty of room and great airflow, which is perfect for when you want to upgrade. It'll also make cable management so much easier.

    Not that much more expensive, either!

  9. #9
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Nuts, as of today there is a new deal on most Nvidia GTX 560Ti cards that bundles a free code for Batman Arkham City. My Asus 560Ti from ebuyer arrived yesterday. First choice was the MSI Twin Frozr, but that was out of stock when I ordered last week, now back in stock for £176 and free delivery. Now's the time to get one if you're in the market for a sub-£200 card.

  10. #10
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    Im in the process of sorting out my new budget oc build too, which is nearly exactly the same as hexagonalbolts lists. Although Im ordering from Aria as its a bit cheaper.

    Im contemplating a nicer case than a stock one, the fractal r3 looks pretty sweet and im yet to decide if im going for an ssd for windows and games (then store everything else on 2tb drive) and unsure if its worth it.

    Also its worth mentioning the MSI Twin Frozr is probably the best 560ti and the best upper mid range card out there considering price.

    Anyway id say give Aria a try if your budgets tight, i've looked everywhere and atm the 2500k is £150 and the MSI mobo £98. Also if your looking to overclock at all you'd best include a cpu cooler!

    This is my build:

    MSI P67A-GD53 Intel P67 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard
    Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail
    8GB Corsair Vengeance Blue LP (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
    Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl Gaming Midi Tower Case
    MSI GeForce GTX 560Ti Twin FrozR II OC 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
    be quiet! Dark Rock Advanced CPU Cooler

    Basket Total £ 478.67
    Approx. Delivery £ 11.62
    VAT £ 98.06
    Total £588.35

    I've compromised my budget a little mainly due to hating cheap cases and gone for memory that matches my mobo colours, I've also no need for a psu as i'll be stripping out an old one.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    @Gravy, this weekend I've assembled an almost identical PC to that in a Fractal R3 case! It's a great case for the money, solid, well designed and very quiet. The only niggle I'd change is that the case sides are a real bloody faff to clip back into place - if you're someone that needs to get into the case frequently to tweak stuff (I'm not really) then that might annoy you in the long term. Cooling is pretty good, though I've put in a second quiet 120mm fan at the front as I had one spare, and it's dropped CPU temps by 3 or 4 degrees so definitely of benefit in the long run if you're going to routinely overclock.

    The only unexpected snag with the build was that my Arctic Freezer Pro CPU cooler means I can't use RAM DIMM1 socket on the MSI mobo as the cooler overhangs it - I assume the Dark Rock will have a similar issue so be aware. This means putting the RAM in slots 2 and 4 for dual channel - I was a bit worried about this as the mobo manual says you must use DIMMS 1 & 3 for two matched sticks in dual to guarantee the mobo will post - but didn't turn out to be a problem, it all worked perfectly first time, at least with the memory I've got anyway.

    The MSI Overclock button on the mainboard gave me an automatic 4.2GHz overclock on the 2500K in one button push! A lot less than it's capable of probably, but any more than that I've not experimented with yet in the BIOS.

    I was thinking about getting an SSD too but I've decided to wait and get one in six months or so. Waiting for prices to drop to less than £100 for at least a 120GB SATA III SSD which is the sweet spot for me. In the meantime I've put Windows and just the essential system stuff into a seperate boot partition on a 2TB drive to make for a quicker switch to a new SSD later.

    With apologies to the OP for the thorough hijack of his original question :)
    Last edited by Colonel J; 11-09-2011 at 03:48 PM.

  13. #13
    I wouldn't go down the AMD route personally. That X4 is soon to be replaced, is power hungry in comparison to Sandy Bridge chips and slower. An i5 will be pretty future proof for gaming and would be a better bet if a bit more expensive. I wouldn't get an F4 as your main drive as it's only 5400RPM. Get a 1tb F3 and if you need additional storage another possibly slower drive.

  14. #14
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradePenguin View Post
    I wouldn't go down the AMD route personally. That X4 is soon to be replaced, is power hungry in comparison to Sandy Bridge chips and slower. An i5 will be pretty future proof for gaming and would be a better bet if a bit more expensive. I wouldn't get an F4 as your main drive as it's only 5400RPM. Get a 1tb F3 and if you need additional storage another possibly slower drive.
    On CPU, after researching my new build I went Intel over AMD for the reasons CP says here.

    I've just got the same 2TB Samsung as that from ebuyer. Yes it won't be as speedy as a 7200rpm but it's a very good all round for that money. I'm only using as a boot drive temporarily until I get an SSD in a few months, it's mainly for long term storage, but having said that I'm pleasantly surprised, it doesn't feel at all slow and would be perfectly acceptable if I had live with a system HDD permanently. I gather that the four platters can make it just as fast for very large file transfers though it will be slower for small system files. Very techy review here. But if it's going to be your permanent system drive, I'd be inclined to do what CP says and get a 7200RPM 1TB now then add a second drive for more storage later.

    All your other components look good. I've no experience of that case. If it helps, the things I look for when choosing a case are reasonable quietness, decent cooling (and will I have to spend more money on more/quieter fans?) and does it have the basic features I want on the front panel (headphone socket etc). Other than that, cases are much of a muchness around the £50 mark.
    Last edited by Colonel J; 11-09-2011 at 04:43 PM.

  15. #15
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    @Colonel J

    Thats music to my ears, I've just ordered said mobo, cpu and gfx card and I'll be adding to that as i go (only a poor student should have everything sorted for BF3). The case issues don't worry me too much, its seems a lot more practical than having a £50 case that annoys me and lacks some features. I'll probably add some more fans to the case as and when I can - Im planning on doing a good cpu overclock and probably the card and ram as and when i need to so that extra cooling will help.

    I've read about the issues for ram space, but I also read somewhere you can turn the dark rock cooler on its side as it were so it expels air out the back of the case and also allows you to fit ram in the correct slots so I should be ok.

    Hoping to get an overclock of 4.5ghz or more chip permitting, but its good to know i can click a button for instant results! Great feedback much apprieciated.

    @OP As previously mentioned i definitely wouldn't go the AMD route atm, for the price and overclockability*(speeds of 4.6-5ghz arn't uncommon) of the 2500k your system will be more future proof, giving you some time before it needs updating.

  16. #16
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    I would suggest that you shy away from the AMD processor though they really look promising. Just merely looking at benchmark results, you would already notice that they really are losing out to its intel counterpart.

    I would actually suggest that you look at that option. Though AMD really has its form following and if you are one of them, then we cannot say much about swaying you over to the other side.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    they are loosing in benchmark but cause they are more expensive. for a buck amd beats intel.
    amd 965 £93.99 vs i3 2100 £92.66
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

    amd 965 = 4288 and i3 = 3864

    therefore for that price suggesting intel is unreasonable imo

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    they are loosing in benchmark but cause they are more expensive. for a buck amd beats intel.
    amd 965 £93.99 vs i3 2100 £92.66
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

    amd 965 = 4288 and i3 = 3864

    therefore for that price suggesting intel is unreasonable imo
    Fair point but what I, and others I guess, are suggesting is out of their total budget they'd get a better build overall by spending more on the processor and less elsewhere rather than spending the same on the Intel equivalent. Further to that the 965BE and its socket is to disappear in the very near future. I know you can get AM3+ mobos now but without knowing how good Bulldozer is, it is a bit of a punt in the dark. By contrast spending an extra £60 on an i5 2500K should mean you avoid the need for upgrades for several years. Also in fairness to the 2100 thats a synthetic benchmark. For gaming Bit-tech found it bests even an 980BE so it may be the better option if you're not using any quad core loving applications.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    thx for the link.
    good point indeed. and stupid bulldozer should come soon. AMD slacking behind intel is not good thing for them and for intel but mostly for us consumers.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    I haven't much to add to what has already been said but you might want to check http://www.hardware-revolution.com/ for good advice on (mainly) CPU & GPUs. Other useful beginner guides there too.
    Last edited by Wolfenswan; 16-09-2011 at 03:27 PM.

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