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Thread: £550 Gaming Rig

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    £550 Gaming Rig

    Evening all,

    Based on CAT-THE-FIFTH's excellent October build guide I've pieced together the following spec for a mid range gaming rig:

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - £95.95 Inc VAT
    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 - £82.76 Inc VAT
    Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black LP, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.5V - £44.59 Inc VAT
    1GB EVGA GeForce GTX 560 - £143.99 (Scan Today Only)
    Coolermaster RS-500-AMBA-D3 Silent Pro M 500W Modular - £57.59 (Scan Today Only)
    OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G - 60GB OCZ Technology Vertex Plus, 2.5", SATA II - £56.39 (Scan Today Only)
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM - £74.48 Inc VAT

    Total: £555.75

    Case, DVD ROM etc. I'll sort out at the end, just want to get the core components nailed.

    I'm not 100% sure about getting a SSD yet, I need to read up on them a bit to see if it's worth it. I have a couple of 250GB drives I can use for storage. I have no past experience with EVGA and OCZ so that's the other main thing I want to find out more about.

    I might also look into a cheaper GPU as I don't play that many games these days. Something about £80 would be better.

    Any thoughts/recommendations are most welcome.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    For gaming I would go with an i3 2100/2120 over a Phenom X4 - that might push up your motherboard price a little though.

    I'd also go for a more reputable PSU.

  3. #3
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    The Coolermaster PSU is made by Enhance Electronics which is a decent OEM,although I would suggest the Antec TruePower New 550W which is made by Seasonic.

    You can get the Crucial M4 64GB for £70 if you enter the code "CRUCIAL64" at the checkout on Ebuyer:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/264770-crucial...sd-ct064m4ssd2

    Out of interest do you intend to overclock the CPU or not?? If this is the case I would get a Phenom II X4 955BE. All the Black Editions are unlocked.

    Regarding the Phenom II X4 vs Core i3,in most recent games based on newer engines you tend to find there is little real-world difference between the two. OTH lightly threaded games will do better on a Core i3.

    However,I do have a Core i3 2100 and mates who have Athlon II and Phenom II CPUs too. We play Sins of a Solar Empire and SupCom II and at least I have found a 4GHZ Athlon II X3 does not struggle with these as does my Core i3 2100. The first game only uses one core too.


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    • no_numb's system
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Always worth seeing about software for students. Can be bought if you know anyone in education be it school or otherwise you can buy it

    www.software4students.co.uk

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    CAT what GPU's and res? I would of thought that gpu is probably the bigger issue.

    Very few games are cpu bound on mid range cards it's when you start sticking top end cards in that they start to become noticeable on games, still not that noticeable though.

    The Silent Pro M series from coolermaster is very good, it was the older Real Power M that was a bit weak (it was ok/decent, just not very good/great)
    Review of the 600w model http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story&reid=134

    EVGA are generally good, be aware that now most of their cards only carry a 3year warranty, it's only their top end models that carry the 10year warranty. (EVGA used to be very well known because all their cards used to carry a 10year warranty)

    As to a cheaper weaker GPU, depends on the resolution and games you play, most of the nvidia line below the gtx560 are pretty rubbish for the cost, esp when you can get the older cards cheaper and they will be better.
    On the ATi side, the 6770 is basically a rebadged 5770 with better power saving, and is about as low as I would go for gaming.

    EDIT: Actually if you run 17-19" monitor resolutions then a 6750 would be ok

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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    CAT what GPU's and res? I would of thought that gpu is probably the bigger issue.

    Very few games are cpu bound on mid range cards it's when you start sticking top end cards in that they start to become noticeable on games, still not that noticeable though.
    Bagnaj97 has an Athlon II X3 450 overclocked to 4GHZ(NB overclock too),8GB of DDR3 RAM,the motherboard in the OP and a MSI HD5850 1GB and runs games at 1920X1080. I run my games on a core i3 2100,8GB of DDR3,H67 mini-ITX motherboard and a HD5850 1GB at 1680X1050. Sins of a Solar Empire is a space RTS game. At least with the two CPU heavy games I mentioned the Athlon II X3 seems fine as does WoW although YMMV. No doubt a Core i5 would be better but I was surprised that such a cheap CPU overclocked actually performs reasonably well in many games.

    Of course we have not tried benching the games on both CPUs to see what sort of performance difference there is between them.

    The nearest I found myself to CPU bound with a recent game IIRC was with my old Q6600 at around 3GHZ while running Crysis 2 under DX11. I was getting almost 100% CPU utilisation although my graphics card was 100% ultilised and it was overclocked massively(it was running at 900MHZ from the stock 725MHZ with overclocked RAM). With the GPU overclocked it probably makes the HD5850 1GB as fast as an HD5870 1GB in most cases.

    Edit!!

    I suspect the original SupCom is also the other case if I was hosting the match on my Q6600 it would tax the CPU quite a lot.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 02-11-2011 at 10:49 PM.


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  8. #7
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Well I suspect that 4ghz overclock might have a big impact on the performance
    That's damn impressive for an athlonII

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    • rushholme's system
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Intel makes a HUGE difference in modern games.

    Tom's Hardware have done a comparison on this, where in almost all cases a dual core i3 beats a quad core Phenom II 970.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...t,2859-10.html

    The i3 2120 is amazing for two cores and is £95 - The Core i5 2400 can be had for £137 via google shopping. Both can only be overclocked by 5%.

    Last season's Intel Core i3 560 for £106 is an outstanding overclocker and is 32nm LGA 1156 so uses a different MB to Sandy bridge.

    SO

    Intel CPU £95-137
    Intel MB £80

    RAM,PSU,GFX etc are great.

    I would definitely get an SSD while HDD prices are so high and use it with your 250gb drive.

    This SSD
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/60gb-...270mb-s-retail

    Is much better than the one you have picked and is only £15 more (OCZ are not a reliable SSD brand IMHO)

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    • rushholme's system
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    "EVGA Nvidia 1Gb GeForce GTX 460 SuperClocked" is 95% of a GTX 560

    £114 deal of the day

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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Thanks for the info/tips, will take them into consideration.

    I wasn't planning on over clocking - is that what the Black Editions are designed for then?

    Also looking at this mounting solution for the SSD:

  12. #11
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    • Pob255's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • PhenomII x4 955 & CM Hyper 212+
      • Memory:
      • 2x 4gb Corsair Vengence 1600mhz cas9
      • Storage:
      • 250gb SATA Westerndigital + 500gb samsung +1tb Samsung
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      • Asus GTX560ti CuII
      • PSU:
      • Be Quiet E9 680w
      • Case:
      • HAF 912+
      • Operating System:
      • W7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 21" ips something

    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    Quote Originally Posted by rushholme View Post
    Intel makes a HUGE difference in modern games.

    Tom's Hardware have done a comparison on this, where in almost all cases a dual core i3 beats a quad core Phenom II 970.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...t,2859-10.html

    The i3 2120 is amazing for two cores and is £95 - The Core i5 2400 can be had for £137 via google shopping. Both can only be overclocked by 5%.
    Look at the actual number not the %, most of them are within the difference 5-10fps range and that's with a high end gtx480, drop down to a mid range and you'd see those gaps drop even more.

    Although I don't disagree, the i3 2120 is a stonking dual core cpu for the price, esp for those who don't overclock.
    The 5% oc is not true, many have stability issues going past a 2mhz bump in fsb, due to the nature of the cpu and the number of built in controllers, fsb overclocking is not advisable on sandy bridge cpu's apart from getting those few extra mhz for epeen.

    PS I'd go simple of an adaptor http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa...passive-cooler

    EDIT: The BlackEdition AMD cpu's have an unlocked multiplier like the K series i5/i7 SandyBridge cpu's, all the good phenomII cpu's are Black Editions anyway, the phenomII x4 8xx are not actually ture phenom cpu's, just higher clocked AthlonII x4 cpu's

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    • Xach's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: £550 Gaming Rig

    At the minute you can get the X4 965 CPU from Pixmania for £84.55 including VAT, you need to use the promotion code 3JITUK.

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