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Thread: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

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    Question Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    I have been asked to build a new PC for a friend, it will need to include everything in the case.

    To narrow down the budget, lets say £30 for a nice case, £50 for a PSU and £35 for a HDD, total so far = £115

    For Graphics I am thinking along the lines of the ATI 4770, but seem to only find them for around £85 now? I've read a few other posts here suggesting they were as cheap as £70 earlier in the month! Is that still a good card for ~£85? or is there better? - perhaps a bit cheaper?

    So to go with that, which mobo and CPU should I be looking at? Would AM3 be worth going for in this budget? No overclocking will be done, so just a standard good quality mobo is fine...

    They are unsure how much they want to spend, so I have volunteered to spec up 2 PCs for them to choose from, one on a tighter budget, and one slightly more relaxed... but it only needs to run todays top games at an acceptable standard on 1680x1050 res.

    I find it strange how so many of the cheaper AM3 mobos include onboard graphics, when we don't really want that.

    Of course memory has to be included in this budget too, I'm thinking perhaps a single 2GB stick, so he has the option to buy a second matching 2GB stick at a later date?

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    A copy of windows is not needed in this budget as on my advice they pre-ordered Windows 7 when it was £45.

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Id say a for cpu get an AMD x2 or x4(£76 for x4 620)

    Amd X2 240 might be a good buy(£46) http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-A...che-65W-Retail

    Get an AM2+ board for like <£50 and should be fine.

    GPU: 4770 is a good card but id say get a 4850 if you can simply because it performs better and is cheaper (if £85 is correct for the 4770). If power efficiency is a concern then look for the 4850 sapphire vapour x, that has a similar TDP to the 4770(like 5 or 10 watts in it max) and performs great.
    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Am I right in assuming any AM3 cpu will work on any AM2+ board?

    Do all AM2+ CPUs support DDR2 and DDR3? and AM3 only support DDR3?

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    This is what I would get:

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 ~ £62

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    MSI 770-C45 ~ £48

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/MSI-7...dio-GB-LAN-ATX

    4GB 1333MHZ DDR3 ~ £60

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166996

    OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W PSU ~ £48

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/135159

    Coolermaster Elite 330 ~ £25

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/127584

    500GB Samsung F3 ~ £34

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    SATA DVD rewriter ~ £15

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    PowerColor HD 4730 PCS Edition 512MB ~ £55

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/177396


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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Meh CTV beat me again haha. I agree with all he said.

    2GB in my opinion is a bit too low for gaming with W7 and 4GB will be much smoother so get 4GB of RAM.

    AM3 CPUs will work on most AM2+ board but IIRC I remember that they will be slightly bottlenecked if HT3.0 is not supported. AM3 CPUs do support DDR2 too but the board themselves don't AFAIK.

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    I had a quick scout around and if the OP can increase the budget there are some better graphics cards available for around £70.

    There is the HD4830 which can be had for around £70:
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s....html?asu-4830

    An HD4770 can be had for around the same price:
    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/VT...ail_20313.html
    http://www.dabs.com/products/best-va...hdmi-657F.html

    If the OP is very quick there is an HD4850 512MB for just under £70 too:
    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/Te...ail_24814.html

    All these companies offer free delivery. With Novatech you can get cashback through Quidco too.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 28-11-2009 at 05:36 PM.


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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Would it not be possible to save a little on the budget by going for an AM2+ board? - would it be sacrificing performance?

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Andaho View Post
    Would it not be possible to save a little on the budget by going for an AM2+ board? - would it be sacrificing performance?
    No point TBH!! The DDR3 I listed is around the same price as DDR2 and the motherboard is around the same price as equivalent AM2+ 770 motherboards.

    The motherboard I listed is very good for the price:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mot...board-review/1

    You are getting decent performance and all solid capacitors for under £50.


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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    No point in getting an AM2+ board when the prices are essentially the same. It's like having the option of buying Vista for £100 or Windows 7 for £100, of course you'd pick Windows 7 and in this case of course you should pick AM3.

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Ok, is there anything here you would change guys?: (or anything I've missed lol)

    MSI 770-C45 £48.17

    AMD Athlon II X2 250 TO Price £48.29

    Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Ballistix Memory Kit CL6 1.8V £60.00

    PowerColor HD 4770 512MB £71.99

    OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W PSU £48.07

    500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ TO price £34.49

    Sony AD-5240S-0B 24x DVDR 12xDVDDL DVDRW x8/-RWx6 SATA Black TO Price £14.94

    Coolermaster Elite 335 Black Mini Tower Case with Rear 120mm Fan TO Price £24.14

    Total: £350.09

    Those are all from Scan or ebuyer, I don't really want to spread out the order over other suppliers... I want to get this built by next weekend and increased nubmer of suppliers = increased risk of late delivery! I'm not sure if that's the best value graphics card either of them sell? - but I would always prefer to avoid an unbranded - I have to support this machine if it goes wrong
    Last edited by Andaho; 29-11-2009 at 02:42 AM. Reason: forgot DVD drive

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    I'd say get the Phenom X2 545 as its worth the extra ~£14.

    It will last you quite a bit longer and the slightly higher clock speed as well as higher cache and the fact that it is L3 cache will help too.

    But it's up to you really, if you really don't want to spend another £14 then the build is fine.
    Last edited by Ulti; 29-11-2009 at 02:42 AM.

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    I assume you will need to add an optical drive??

    The HD4850 512MB is a more powerful card than an HD4770 for the price:
    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/Te...ail_24814.html

    The X2 545 is better for gaming due to the fact it has L3 cache which the X2 250 lacks.

    OTH,your friend could upgrade the CPU at a later date if needed.


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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I assume you will need to add an optical drive??

    The HD4850 512MB is a more powerful card than an HD4770 for the price:
    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/product/Te...ail_24814.html

    The X2 545 is better for gaming due to the fact it has L3 cache which the X2 250 lacks.

    OTH,your friend could upgrade the CPU at a later date if needed.
    Yes, thank you, I added a DVD drive

    I certainly have to avoid 1 stock level, and unbranded...

    would a 4850 at ~£90 from ebuyer be better value? Or rather than going up spec, would I get better value going down to something like a 4650? Like this: Sapphire HD 4650 512MB DDR2 HDMI DVI VGA Out PCI-E £37.31

    From a point of view of presenting him with a price, it weould be easier to put a cheap graphics card in the spec, and give him the option of extra for a 4850 or 5750? - is the 5750 worth the extra over a 4850?

    Oh and, the CPU... better for gaming by how much? are we talking benchmarks of like 100 FPS compared to 103 FPS? because £48 to £62 is more than a 25% price increase, would it just give few extra FPS? or as an overall cost for box would it really be better value?
    Last edited by Andaho; 29-11-2009 at 03:15 AM.

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    Re: Budget £300-£350 Gaming PC - CPU/MoBo advice

    I would say the X2 545 should be around 10% to 20% faster in CPU limited situations and you maybe able to unlock it to a quad core using the MSI motherboard too. OTH,if the budget is tight the Athlon II should be fast enough.

    Regarding the HD4850 it is made by Peak according to the product code:
    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sou...dkmnjcFqAElYEQ

    The HD4730 has very good performance for the price:

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=19175

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_4730

    http://www.elitebastards.com/?option...=734&Itemid=27

    The main problem with the HD4730 is high power consumption and relatively weak AA.

    OTH,it should do the job and the extra money could be put towards a DX11 card sometime next year.

    If you are spending the extra money the HD4870 512MB is the best for performance for around £91:
    http://www.dabs.com/products/xfx-hd4...ldvi-68KL.html

    This review may prove useful to read:
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/...0_5750_review/
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 29-11-2009 at 03:22 AM.


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