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Thread: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

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    Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Hi all,

    I've built my own gaming rigs in the past and always go to excess in the parts that I choose! I have a friend who has just approached me to see if I could build her son a gaming rig with a budget of around £400!! (usually what I spend on the GFX & CPU )

    They have been looking at pre-built systems in that price range but I told her she could probably get more for her money if she built it herself and I offered my services.

    I've been trawling around this evening trying to get a decent idea of what I could stretch to component wise and havent quite got to that sweet spot yet. I am looking for as good a gaming pc as I can get for that kind of money and I'm hoping you super people might be able to help!

    A few things to bear in mind:

    *I do not need to allocate for a monitor, keyboard, mouse or speakers. They have these already.
    *I have a copy of Windows 7 64bit that I can use so won't need to allocate for an OS either.
    *All other components will need to be purchased, including a case.

    I have been looking at the i3 cpus, at least 4gb of ram, and an ati gfx. She has asked for at least a 250gb HDD....and with the prices currently I don't know if her budget will stretch that far in that department. If you guys could help me out on getting a list of viable components for a complete build I can look into getting prices as cheap as I can.

    Thanks in advance!

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    bored.gamer Yosh's Avatar
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    You can check this out for £350, he has been trying to sell it for a while and surely it will be better than an i3 based system you can build for £400.

    Failing that i'd be looking at something Dual Core bundled with 4GB DDR3, and perhaps go down the route of a 2nd hand GPU as you will get more for your money.

    Also with HDD prices there is a nice As new 500GB on the forums as well for £40! Not bad a price and will suit your needs just fine.

    PS. I dont know if you have access to the For Sale forums, if not then apologies but if you look around Ebay/Gumtree etc you can find some bargains and build a half new / half used system but to much better spec.
    Insert signature here.


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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    i'm sure you can build an i5 system for under £400!
    that's what i had planned (price came to around £310) but i've ended up getting an i7 instead and so far.. my cost is nearly £400 and that's without the hard drive and gpu and optical drives. haha

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    building new an i5 is going to be very hard.

    For new an i3 2120 is going to be your best bet

    From Scan
    LN40917 Gigabyte GA-PH67-DS3-B3 £62.00
    LN36723 Intel Core i3 2120 £95.28
    LN40393 MSI HD 6770 1gb £76.40
    LN40345 450W PSU, Coolermaster RS450-ACAAD3-UK £41.34
    LN39293 Samsung DVDrw £13.91
    LN39213 Sharkoon T9 Value Red Edition Mid Tower Case £46.66
    LN37493 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3 1600mhz cas9 £20.88
    total £356.47 that gives you £43 for a hard drive.

    The gpu is near the bottom of the performance range I'd use for gaming, you could probably get away with less, but for a new card there's nothing I'd really consider really for gaming. the 6770 is a rebrand of the 5770 (with lower idle power consumption) it's roughly equal to the older gtx260 216sp or 4870 (which are worth looking at if you are willing to go 2nd hand, can be got for around £50)

    Bit more gpu power, swap the psu for LN41657 OCZ ZS Series 550W £48.96
    and a gtx560 (non-ti) or 6870 (around £140)
    But that would push you over the budget without a hard drive.

    Note: The case could be changed, I've got for the sharkoon because it's decent although nothing amazing, but with the led fans, painted internals and window it does look funky, without being overly garish.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Hard drive pricing is going to be the main issue here. AFAIK,it will get better in the next few months. I would wait a while if possible.

    This is the best value drive I can see ATM is this 500GB drive for around £69:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb...cache-85ms-ncq

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showpr...=14&subcat=940

    I had a look on Scan,Aria,Dabs,OcUK and Ebuyer and other 250GB and 320GB drives are around £65 to £70.

    I would also have a look at the Athlon II X3 460 for around £60 to £65. From my own experience they are quite decent gaming CPUs for the price.


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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Unfortunately she wants it for a Christmas present so waiting for HDD prices to come down isn't an option. The closest I could get a decent rig was around £520, but in some ways she could buy a 3XS system for that and save the hassle and I wouldnt be poked if anything went wrong

    When do we invision HDD prices will return to some kind of normality?

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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    I had a look at what Pob suggested and I might have come up with a re-jigged version. It will involve more than one supplier but the budget will be maximised.

    Edit!!

    It seems the XFX 450W and FSP Blue Storm 500W PSUs which CCL Computers had at around £35 have sold out!!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 07-12-2011 at 12:52 AM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    What do you think to this system?

    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ConfigureSystem.asp?SystemID=1383

    If you configure and take the OS away it comes to £478.....its almost equivalent to what i was looking at but with a hd 6870 instead of the GTX 460. Wonder whether she could stretch to that - it's far superior to what she was looking at originally.

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    • CAT-THE-FIFTH's system
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      • CPU:
      • Massive E-PEEN
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      • RGB E-PEEN
      • Storage:
      • Not in any order
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVEN BIGGER E-PEEN
      • PSU:
      • OVERSIZED
      • Case:
      • UNDERSIZED
      • Operating System:
      • DOS 6.22
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      • NOT USUALLY ON....WHEN I POST
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      • FUNCTIONAL

    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    I managed to find this motherboard:

    http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/prod...px?pid=4004#ov

    It has 4 RAM slots for under £50. It is quite basic and I would go for a more expensive motherboard but it should be fine with a 65W TDP Core i3 2100.

    The following parts are from CCL Computers.



    The following parts are from Ebuyer.



    The PSU is from Dabs.



    The total comes to around £423 including postage. If you go with an Athlon II X3 460 you can get the build to under £400. The HD6850 1GB comes with a BF3 code.

    BTW,many computer parts are selling out near to christmas. The PSU is at a very good price and will sell out quickly and probably the GPU and motherboard too.

    I had to hunt around a few suppliers to get a good deal for a build a mate is doing ATM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Got my case from ebuyer. It's the £24 something
    Casecom and it's got solid good reviews. Check it out. No need to be spending so much on cases when you're on a tight budget!

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Thanks for looking around guys - really appreciated.

    I think what I'm going to do is approach her and see if there is any sway in the budget. As Cat has proved, you can build a system for £400 (which I'm amazed at! ) , but I feel with just a bit more cash she could build a pretty decent machine that would last him longer and would really give her value for money.

    If she stretched to say £500 I think you could walk away with something more suited to her needs.

    Took a bit of inspiration on Pob's and Cat's build:

    LN39213 Sharkoon T9 Value Red Edition Mid Tower Case £46.66 – scan
    LN36723 Intel Core i3 2120 £95.28 – scan
    LN39588 Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3 £71.62 - scan
    LN39293 Samsung DVDrw £13.91 – scan
    XFX Radeon HD 6870 £135 – Amazon
    LN41657 OCZ ZS Series 550W 80 Plus Bronze Power Supply (PSU) £48.96 – scan
    LN37493 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair DDR3 XMS3 1600mhz cas9 £20.88 – scan
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB £65.99 – CCL Computers
    =£498.30

    The case could change, althought I do like it for the money (although it is out of stock in red atm!)

    I havent really searched around for the best prices yet, I'm sure I could squeeze a few ££ out, but overall what do you guys think to that if she could stretch to £500?

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    The Merc Alpha looks decent for the price:

    http://forums.aria.co.uk/showthread....c-Alpha-Review

    It can even take an HD6990!!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    I recently built a PC with the T9 case and TBH I thought that it's build quality and layout was inferior to the cheap Antec cases (100/200/300 seems popular among people I have built for recently..)
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
    HTPC2: Asus AM1I-A / 5150 / 4GB / Corsair Force 3 240GB / Silverstone SST-ML05B + ST30SF / Samsung UE60H6200 TV / Windows 10 Pro
    Spare/Loaner: Gigabyte EX58-UD5 / i950 / 12GB / HD7870 / Corsair 300R / Silverpower 700W modular
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The Merc Alpha looks decent for the price:

    http://forums.aria.co.uk/showthread....c-Alpha-Review

    It can even take an HD6990!!
    Ok had an email back of her today saying she could stretch to the £429 build Cat put forward. 1 question regarding the case, is 1 fan going to be sufficient cooling?

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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Considering the spec, the amount of "mesh" in the case, the position of the included fan and the position of the PSU (which should suck air in)......I cannot see why you would need more fans.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
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    Re: Building a gaming PC on £400 budget!

    Quote Originally Posted by shaithis View Post
    Considering the spec, the amount of "mesh" in the case, the position of the included fan and the position of the PSU (which should suck air in)......I cannot see why you would need more fans.
    Thanks for the quick response.

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