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Thread: My first build - advice appreciated

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    My first build - advice appreciated

    Hey all,

    After having been into computing since I was a kid and with me about to enter 4th year of University, I've decided I'm finally going to build myself a PC. The upcoming release of Civilization 5 was a good incentive for this too - only one month away!

    Anyway, with the help of a couple of my Computer Science buddies I've been toying around with different builds on Scan.co.uk. My budget was £500, but I've stretched it to £550, and don't want to go higher or I may have to stop going out too often this year. Though with a new PC and my senior honours project and it being my final year, maybe that won't be too hard!

    I was out with my friends earlier tonight, and one offered me a case for free, the CoolerMaster Centurion RC534+. I was initially going for the Antec 300, but a case for free seems too good a bargain, as it allows me to fit an i5-750 in my build . Seems a decent case too.

    Here is my basket on Scan.

    But I'll paste here for good measure:

    PSU: 650W Corsair CMPSU-650TX, SLi/Xfire,Single 12V Rail, 80%+ Efficient, 120mm Quiet Fan, ATX12V v2.2
    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP
    CPU: Intel Core i5 750, Lynnfield 45nm, Quad Core, 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache, 95W, Retail
    HDD: 500GB Samsung HD502HJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms, NCQ, OEM
    GPU: 1GB XFX HD5770, PCI-E 2.0(x16), 4800MHz GDDR5, GPU 850MHz, Cores 800, 2x DL DVI-I/HDMI
    MB: Asus P7P55D-E LX, P55 Express, S1156, PCI-E 2.0, DDR3 2200(OC), USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX

    Any thoughts on those specs? I haven't yet checked to make sure there's no incompatibilities, but I think they should all work together. My main questions are regarding the PSU and motherboard. Is that PSU good for the price? I realise you shouldn't cut corners on a PSU, so I want to make sure it's good whilst staying within my budget.

    Also, the MB is an upgrade from what I had initially due to my friend's recommendation that I should be future proof with USB3 and SATA 6 support. I don't see myself using these any time soon, and if I wanted a USB3 port I could buy a PCI-E card for that, so I'd be interested in hearing options for a cheaper ATX motherboard. Although being that it's just within my budget (if I can get free shipping!) I think I'll go with it for now.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by JamesDS; 22-08-2010 at 05:40 AM. Reason: got over the 5 post limit so can post proper URLs now

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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Well, everything there is compatible and TBH, you would be hard pressed to better it IMO.

    The PSU is top value for its current price, i paid the same amount for the 550W version only a few month back so its not worth going for a cheaper one and it leaves you with a lot of headroom

    The only suggestions i can make really is if you can stretch for a GTX 460, its a lot faster than the 5770 for around £20 more.

    You may also want to pick up an aftermarket CPU cooler at a later point as frankly, the Intel ones are crap.

    Lastly, if you stick around and make 20 posts you can receive free shipping from Scan - bringin the total cost down, as shown here.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Thanks for the quick reply Terbinator. I am currently in the process of buffing up my posts to get free shipping in a day or two .

    The GTX 460 is tempting, but as I'm not a big gamer I think the 5770 will do me fine - in fact, it's probably more than adequate. It'll be great to be able to switch on anti-aliasing for a chance, and having some proper Anisotropic filtering going too...I've played on low spec machines, mainly non-gaming laptops with dedicated GPUs until now. The 5770 will feel like heaven to me!

    Glad you like the PSU, it seems to be too good to be true, but as far as I gather Corsair are well renowned for quality PSUs, so I guess I shouldn't doubt them.

    I will keep the cooler in mind - have you any suggestions for something cheap? I may get it afterwards if I find the extra CPU cooling would be beneficial.

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    • marktime's system
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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Might be worth holding out until Scan does a 'today only' deal on a few of those items - you might find you can get the cpu/mobo bundle a bit cheaper. Would also be inclined to stretch to an extra £13 and get the 1TB F3 for futureproofing.

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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by marktime View Post
    Might be worth holding out until Scan does a 'today only' deal on a few of those items - you might find you can get the cpu/mobo bundle a bit cheaper. Would also be inclined to stretch to an extra £13 and get the 1TB F3 for futureproofing.
    Wow, I found Scan are doing 'Today Only' deals on everything in my basket except for the PSU! That means that with free shipping I can get all the above for £542 and have a 120mm fan, blue mouse pad (always wanted one of those...) and a sata cable in included. That's pretty sweet.

    Here's my latest build:


    If I can get free shipping come midnight tonight, I might be looking at purchasing then while these deals are still here. Do the deals completely change every day, or could I still find some of these on offer? I quite like the deal with the MB+fan, and saving £7 on the CPU is also nice, so I don't want to miss these if they're one times offers.

    As for the TB drive, I cut down on that to get it to within my budget, but I'm planning on getting a TB external drive that my new PC and laptop can backup to in a few months, so I'm sure that'll solve any of my space problems. 500GB will be fine for me for the near future - by the time I need a TB it'll probably be as cheap as what 500GB is now.

    The idea of a CPU/MB bundle is nice, but the chances of it being USB3/SATA6/P55 motherboard with something at least the spec of a i5 750 for a better price is probably slim, is it not?

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    • marktime's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P6T Deluxe v1
      • CPU:
      • i7 920@4ghz
      • Memory:
      • 12gb Corsair Vengeance 12800
      • Storage:
      • 60gb OCZ Vertex 2E, 150gb VelociRaptor, 2tb Spinpoint F4
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire Radeon HD 5870
      • PSU:
      • Antec TruePower New 650W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-75
      • Operating System:
      • Win 7 x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung 245B
      • Internet:
      • Be Unlimited 24mb

    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    If you're prepared to wait and buy stuff as it comes up on TO no doubt you'll run into the mobo/cpu combo you want with either the Asus or Gigabyte board.

    TO offers tend to change soon after 1pm each day, the Friday offers last right over the weekend until Monday 1pm, so you should be ok ordering up til then.

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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesDS View Post
    Wow, I found Scan are doing 'Today Only' deals on everything in my basket except for the PSU! That means that with free shipping I can get all the above for £542 and have a 120mm fan, blue mouse pad (always wanted one of those...) and a sata cable in included. That's pretty sweet.

    Here's my latest build:


    If I can get free shipping come midnight tonight, I might be looking at purchasing then while these deals are still here. Do the deals completely change every day, or could I still find some of these on offer? I quite like the deal with the MB+fan, and saving £7 on the CPU is also nice, so I don't want to miss these if they're one times offers.

    As for the TB drive, I cut down on that to get it to within my budget, but I'm planning on getting a TB external drive that my new PC and laptop can backup to in a few months, so I'm sure that'll solve any of my space problems. 500GB will be fine for me for the near future - by the time I need a TB it'll probably be as cheap as what 500GB is now.

    The idea of a CPU/MB bundle is nice, but the chances of it being USB3/SATA6/P55 motherboard with something at least the spec of a i5 750 for a better price is probably slim, is it not?
    You can get the Core i5 760 for a few quid more:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel...21x-95W-Retail

    Also I would check the Scan Today Only and Shop Offers web pages too. Aria also has some good prices too and they are also worth a look at too. The Core i5 760 is available for around £137 although you will have to pay for postage on the order:

    http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/...roductId=40924

    If any of the applications you are running can use six cores a Phenom II X6 is also worth a look at too!

    The Phenom II X6 1055T is slightly cheaper than a Core i5 750:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-P...he-125W-Retail

    In multi-threaded applications it is similar in speed to a Core i7 860.

    There is also a slightly more expensive 95W version but this out of stock at Scan currently.

    The Asus M4A87TD EVO is a decent socket AM3 motherboard as it has a split 8 phase VRM,USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 for around £75:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...-SATA-RAID-ATX

    Socket AM3 looks like it will have a longer lifespan the socket 1156 which is being replaced by socket 1155 at the end of the year.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: My first build - advice appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    You can get the Core i5 760 for a few quid more
    Cheers, I actually saw that earlier and added it to my build without updating it here - few quid more for a lot more performance, no brainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    If any of the applications you are running can use six cores a Phenom II X6 is also worth a look at too!

    The Phenom II X6 1055T is slightly cheaper than a Core i5 750:
    <snip>
    In multi-threaded applications it is similar in speed to a Core i7 860.
    Now that is a good idea, when my budget for the CPU increased it didn't occur to me I could afford a 6-core Phenom II. That would be perfect for me, as one of my main reasons for buying this PC is to play Civilization 5, which has been said to scale with however many cores you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Socket AM3 looks like it will have a longer lifespan the socket 1156 which is being replaced by socket 1155 at the end of the year.
    Good point, you're probably right. I think I will reassess my options, as I definitely like the look of that CPU.

    Just when I think I've got it sorted, there's always something else to consider...

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