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Thread: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

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    Question Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Morning everybody!

    I'm planning to buy a new gaming desktop in a few weeks time to replace my current Dell XPS M1330 laptop which just can't handle the latest games at all - it's a portable laptop so it's not really a great suprise!

    I've been looking around online at all the different online stores for a gaming desktop (base unit only) that will be able to play the Sims 3, Fallout 3, Farcry 2 etc. on full graphics on a 22" monitor. I also don't want to buy another one for a few years so one that can be upgraded or will handle future games would be ideal. I just have no idea about buying computers (this will be my second) so I don't know whether I'm being ripped off or not so any help would be great.

    I have in mind from wired2fire.co.uk:

    Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000
    Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 600W
    Processor: Core i7 920 8MB Cache Socket 1366 (they overclock it from 2.66 to 3.6GHz)
    Graphics Card: Radeon HD4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI-Express
    Memory: 6GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz C9 Triple Channel
    Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58 UDR3 Socket 1366

    Along with a bluray drive, surround sound speakers and home premium, it comes to £1349.00.

    I'm pretty sure that this is a really good setup but I'ts really expensive and I don't know if it's a rip off or if it's just over the top for what I want out of it or maybe not?

    Any advise?

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Yes, you should be able to build your own to those specifications for around £1,100.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Ok thanks - it's just that I have zero experience with the insides of computers - do you reckon I could still manage? I'm worried that i'll put it all together and then it won't work and I'll have no idea why! Or does everything just sort of snap into place? Would I have to solder stuff together etc.?

    Also, is it easy to overclock a computer by yourself? If it is then maybe the i7 processor isn't really needed - do you recommend it or do you think I could just get a dual/tri/quad one? Which do you recommend?

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Everything is keyed, and the motherboard manual explains pretty much everything you need to know about assembling a computer. If you're unsure with anything at all you can post here for tips.

    Overclocking is easy enough, but it voids the warranty on your CPU (as well as any other components that are running above specification). You could easily get by with a Phenom II X4 running at stock frequencies, which could cost you less money too. But the i7 part prices are down into the reasonable range these days.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Putting together a PC is not difficult - no soldering required - its a bit like an electronic 'Lego' set - everthing pretty much plugs together. If you are concerned you may want to buy parts from someone like Scan, who offer a short term insurance against self assembly damage.

    The problems May (and only may) come with the operating system installation and getting all the parts to work together correctly - if you self build it is up to you (with help from Hexites ) to fix it.

    Overclocking is possible, but as soon as you start overclocking, you run into another technical area and you risk system instability and unreliability, and as you are stressing the components beyiond their design parameters, there is a small but tangible risk that they will fail prematurely.

    However many people do self build high end gaming computers, and some of those do overclock them successfully, but they usually are not first time builders (but then we all had to start somewhere)

    Another option is to spec up a machine, and get someone to build it to your spec (Scan, again, and others will do that). It costs a little more, but you free yourself the hassle of getting it all working together, and you get a warranty on the system as a whole, rather than just teh parts. Not as much fun though, and you won't learn as much, if that is of interest to you).

    So those are pretty much your options:

    Buy off the shelf

    Specify a custom desuign and get it built for you

    Specify a custom design, source the parts and build it yourself.

    Don't try overclocking until you get a bit of experience.
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    • $eamonk3y's system
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      • CPU:
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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Thanks - it would be a good project to build it myself and I suppose I could save myself some money in the process.

    Could you recommend parts and places to buy them from? Bear in mind that I want to play Sims 3, Fallout 3, Farcry 2 etc. on full graphics but I don't need to go over the top...

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    • $eamonk3y's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Sapphire - The one with the AM3 slot and crossfire
      • CPU:
      • AMD X4 Phenom II 955 Black Edition
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair
      • Storage:
      • 3TB overall
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4890
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 650w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Scout
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Prof
      • Monitor(s):
      • AG Neovo 24"
      • Internet:
      • The slowest broadband in the WORLD

    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Ok - I've looked on Scan and have found the following:

    Graphics Card: ATI 1GB HD 4890 - £139.70
    Case: Antec 300 - £45.97
    Power Supply: 650W TX Corsair PSU - £75.31
    Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, 3.2GHz, 8mb Cache - £181.88
    Motherboard: ?
    Cooling: ?
    Memory: ?
    1TB 7200rpm SATA II Hard Drive, 22” HD Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers already sorted out.

    It's really hard to know what's compatible with what! Could you help me find a motherboard, cooling, memory and anything else I've forgotten?

    Also, is the stuff I've found good? Will they all be able to work with each other? I chose to go AMD because value for what you get seems to be way better than Intel - what do you think?

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    I know this is overclockers and and they have generated a lot of hate over the years ( i have had no problems with them at all). This is a pretty good deal

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...id=339&subcat=

    Its AM3 so there will be no upgrade worries for a few years yet (all the new chips are mainly AM3) it also includes 1600mhz ddr3 not bog standard 1333 speed stuff. Also includes a cooler and is pre overclocked to 3.5igi .

    But if you read this article you will find out that a 4th core doesnt give you much of an advantage in games .

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/multi-...-31567-10.html

    Also the OCZ modstream 600 modular for £55
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...id=123&subcat=

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    • $eamonk3y's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Sapphire - The one with the AM3 slot and crossfire
      • CPU:
      • AMD X4 Phenom II 955 Black Edition
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair
      • Storage:
      • 3TB overall
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4890
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 650w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Scout
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Prof
      • Monitor(s):
      • AG Neovo 24"
      • Internet:
      • The slowest broadband in the WORLD

    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Thanks - great help - those components look great and it does seem that three cores is perfectly good.

    Moving on to the case, is the Antec 300 good enough? It's really budget so will cooling be good enough? Otherwise though I think it's really good.

    With the graphics card, the ATI HD 4890 seems to be amazing and the best price is still from Scan so that's cool. They all seem to have different names eg. Saphire or Asus and other things - are they all the same?

    Any advise on cooling? is the one included in the bundle sufficient? - this is the issue that has plagued me with my laptop and it's really really annoying so what do you recommend? (bearing in mind the Antec 300).

    Thanks for all your help so far - it's been really useful.

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y
    Last edited by $eamonk3y; 20-06-2009 at 12:33 PM.

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Quote Originally Posted by dfour View Post
    But if you read this article you will find out that a 4th core doesnt give you much of an advantage in games, yet.
    Remember, the games development industry is still playing catchup with regards to leveraging threading in their engines. But that's a nice bundle, regardless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    • $eamonk3y's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Sapphire - The one with the AM3 slot and crossfire
      • CPU:
      • AMD X4 Phenom II 955 Black Edition
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair
      • Storage:
      • 3TB overall
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4890
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 650w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Scout
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Prof
      • Monitor(s):
      • AG Neovo 24"
      • Internet:
      • The slowest broadband in the WORLD

    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Well, the games I play generally revolve around slower paced game play and incredible graphics instead of explosions, firefights etc all happening at the same time so I think that puts less strain on the computer. Do you think £100 for quad core would be worth it?

    I have quite a lot of stuff now:
    Graphics card, case, power supply, processor, motherboard, cooling, memory, hard drive, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

    I suppose I need a blu-ray drive, do I need to get a modem to connect to the internet or something else?, sound card and speakers. Is that all? Do I need to buy the USB ports and stuff like that?

    If anyone can recommend any deals with these things in or anything I've missed out, then please post.

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Lets go down your questions:

    The Antec 300 is a good case and will serve you well. For the money you cant really go wrong. Dont forget to get 2 more 120mm fans for the front and 1 for the side for am air flow.
    Quote Originally Posted by Antec website
    # Cooling System:
    • 1 rear 120 x 25 mm TriCool™ Fan with 3-speed switch control.
    • 1 top special 140 x 25 mm TriCool™ Fan with 3-speed switch control
    • 2 front (optional) 120 mm fans to cool the hard drives
    • 1 side (Optional) 120 x 25 mm Fan to cool graphic cards
    # Washable air filters reduces dust build up in your system, which helps keep your system cooler
    # Perforated front bezel for maximum air intake
    The Antec tricool fans are very good (I use them myself) but prices vary wildly so search for the best price you can get.

    http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=a...N&hl=en&tab=wf

    The 4890 series are all built but ATI but sold by there distributers. Very few are custom but some are modded like the XXX black editions and the saphire Toxic series. The one you have picked will do you well and can be overclocked at a later date when you need more graphic power.

    The cooler will do you well, especially with the full airflow of the 300 case. There are bigger and better but this one will be good. Airflow and overheating with laptops is a completely different kettle of fish than compared to a desktop. Dont worry about it.

    For quite a while the triple core will do. When your ready to upgrade it should be as easy as swapping one chip for another

    Blu-ray drives are expensive and unless your going to use it as a media player (at the moment) unnecessary. No PC game uses blu and most likely wont for a while.

    How do you connect to the internet at the moment?? If your wireless then you can just buy a wireless adapter but if its possible for gaming on the net a cabled connection is better.

    For mainly gaming a soundcard can be better but on baord sound on today's motherboards is excellent. Try the on board first and if your happy with it save the money. Look for creative x-fi fatal1ty brand (new or second hand) or the impressive Asus Xonar d2.

    Speakers 5.1 Logitech G51
    http://www.eclipsecomputers.com/prod...=SPL-G51&af=50

    Speakers really depend on what you want.

    Hope this helps

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Quote Originally Posted by $eamonk3y View Post
    ......

    If anyone can recommend any deals with these things in or anything I've missed out, then please post.
    Not exactly, but two things to bear in mind, if you don't know.

    First, Scan do free shipping for regular Hexus members. You do need at least 20 posts, but if you keep going the way you are, you'll have that in no time at all. Don't spam to get them, though, 'cos people like me get irritated and just remove them again ....probably with a few more for good measure.

    But anyway, once you qualify and set it up, it'll save a good few quid on an order like that. See here and here for details.

    Secondly, Scan do a "Today Only" deal where you can get a fairly wide ranging but constantly changing choice with a bit ff each. For a full system build, it adds up if you buy most of it that way. This is the Today Only page, and there;s a link on their home page. It changes around 1PM, weekdays and orders need to be in before it does to qualify, as I understand it.

    That all won't save a huge amount, but then, margins on mail order suppliers aren't usually all that large in the first place, so there's limited scope for cutting the cost down.

  14. #14
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    • $eamonk3y's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Sapphire - The one with the AM3 slot and crossfire
      • CPU:
      • AMD X4 Phenom II 955 Black Edition
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair
      • Storage:
      • 3TB overall
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4890
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 650w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Scout
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Prof
      • Monitor(s):
      • AG Neovo 24"
      • Internet:
      • The slowest broadband in the WORLD

    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Thanks - a great help. I'll have a look at those fans.

    I use a cabled connection for the internet - I'm guessing that comes on the motherboard? Also, do the USB ports come with the motherboard as well?

    In general, do they supply all the wires that you need? Would the case come with the wires to connect all the buttons and fans etc. And would you need to buy your own wires to connect hard drives to the motherboard and power supply? Do you think the motherboard comes with wires to connect the maximum number of things that it can? What do you think they give you with the items?

    Thanks for advise on Scan - seems they are a bit cheaper than OCUK for some things and bit more for others but always only pound off but they also have the really good assembly warranty and now the free shipping so that's great.

    Cheers,

    $eamon3ky

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    • $eamonk3y's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Sapphire - The one with the AM3 slot and crossfire
      • CPU:
      • AMD X4 Phenom II 955 Black Edition
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair
      • Storage:
      • 3TB overall
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4890
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 650w
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Scout
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Prof
      • Monitor(s):
      • AG Neovo 24"
      • Internet:
      • The slowest broadband in the WORLD

    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Oh - and have you found Scan to be reliable, good customer service etc. Because OCUK have had bad reviews...

    Cheers,

    $eamonk3y

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    Re: Some help buying a gaming desktop online please!

    Cases should come with the cables necessary to connect case buttons, ports, etc. Case fans will usually connect to Molex connectors on the power supply. Depending on the case and PSU, you might need a splitter or two, but with many cases, you'll get away with what's supplied.

    Motherboards usually come with a reasonable cable set. For instance, my last mobo (an Asus P45 board) came with 4 SATA cables and an IDE cable. But if I want more than 4 SATA internal devices, I'll need to buy more. Personally, I always like to have a few spare cables laying around, and as I was low on SATA cables, I bought a handful more with the mobo. At a pound or so each, getting a spare or two might be worthwhile .... but then, I'm always doing bits and pieces with PCs and will use them. If you won't ..... up to you.

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