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Thread: New £1k PC spec

  1. #1
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    New £1k PC spec

    Hi folks.

    I only discovered this site last week (lol). I've been so impressed by vast amounts of useful information on here that I decided to add to the cause and contribute myself.

    Basically, I've hit the stage where I need to build a new PC. My current PC spec isnt too bad, but the latest games are definitely taxing it and I'm loathed to upgrade it since it is a P4 and an AGP based motherboard. So I've saved up about £1k and I've been looking up the best rig I can get for my money (from Scan of course). I've digested a lot of info from this site (and others) and I'd like to share my choices (and welcome any feedback) with you guys. I've not actually hit the "checkout" yet, so there is room for some final adjustments.

    Ok, so here's my requirements...
    My PC will be mainly used for gaming. I'm not really bothered about overclocking, although the option to do it in the future isnt a bad idea. I've already got a decent monitor, sound card, keyboard and mouse, so I only really need the main box, plus standard parts (cpu, mobo, memory, gfx card, case).

    This is what I've chosen...

    CPU:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, Socket 775, 2.4 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, Conroe Core, 4MB Cache, Retail
    Price: £177.99 ex VAT
    I knew from the offset that I wanted to go Core 2 Duo. Looking at the prices, the E6600 seemed to be the best chip to get before the price starts to rocket up. Reading through numerous posts, this seems to be everyone elses opinion too. So I'm happy with this choice.

    Motherboard:
    ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP iP965, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX
    Price: £109.39 ex VAT
    This was a tricky decision. There's soooo many choices out there. Obviously the motherboard had to have the right compatibility with the CPU etc. Also support for high speed memory. I originally looked at the Intel bad axe, but it seems that it doesn't support 800Mhz memory? I was also stuck whether to go with P975 or P965 chipsets. Maybe someone could help me here! But for now I've chosen this board, since it seemed to do everything I wanted, plus it came with WiFi support and is an Asus (not heard many complaints about them).

    Memory:
    2Gb (2X1Gb) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12, EPP
    Price: £178.99 ex VAT
    At first I was baffled with the differences between memory. Some guy at work told me to get the PC8500 stuff. But looking at the motherboards, they dont support memory of that speed? Seemed like a waste of money to me. I decided to go with PC6400 (800MHz) memory, since this was the top speed the motherboards would support. I know that with memory, the lower the CAS latency, the better - but I wasnt sure what the difference between getting "value" kits of RAM or the more expensive sort is (like the Dominator RAM) when they sometimes have the same CAS latency? Anyway, to be safe, I went for this stuff - seemed like a reasonable price and its CAS 4.

    Graphics Card:
    256MB Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro, PCI-E(x16), Mem 1400MHz GDDR3, GPU 580MHz, 36Pipes, Dual DVI, TV-Out
    Price: £110.59 ex VAT
    "Should I blow £300+ on a graphics card, or save my money for now?" I've decided on the latter for several reasons...
    DirectX 10 cards have just started to come out (the NVidia 8800) and this is obviously the shape of things to come. ATi have announced that they will be releasing a DX10 card in January. This will no doubt mean that games developers will already be adding DX10 content into their products. At first I would imagine this will be optional DX10 bells and whistles but wont stop non-DX10 cards from chugging along happily. However, NVidia and ATi will probably have a few more card releases up their sleeves in the near future (maybe by spring), which will probably be more affordable and therefore start to saturate the market.

    The question you need to ask is: "how long will it be, before game developers start to make DX10 exclusive products?" Whereby non-DX10 cards simply wont work (like atm, most games require DX9c compatible cards only). This could be 1.5 to 2 years away perhaps. A major catalyst to this is the release of Windows Vista with its DX10 based content. I can't imagine developers will want to support old-hat cards for much longer than 2 years.

    With that in mind, I beleive there's no point in spending a lot of money now on a top end graphics card. If its a non-DX10 card (like the X1950XT-X for example), it will be dead in 1.5-2 years even with all its muscle, since it simply wont posess the the technology to display the gfx. Why not get an 8800 then? Well its the first DX10 card on the market, so we have no way of knowing whether it will perform well in 1.5-2 years time.

    So I've decided on a card that should happily run games for the next 1.5-2 years with a view to upgrading to a DX10 card later on.

    Case and PSU
    Antec P180 Silver Advanced Tower Case w/o PSU
    Price: £80.85 ex VAT
    620W Enermax Liberty Modular Series SLi - ELT620AWT aPFC ATX2.2 2xPCI-E 12cm Quiet Fan
    Price: £84.79 ex VAT
    I wasn't looking for a rude-boy case so I've gone for the P180. It seems to get really good reviews everywhere. One criticism I've noticed is that u need a PSU with long cables since its mounted on the bottom of the case. I've seen somewhere (cant remember where) that some people have rigs with the Enermax PSU and the P180 case, so I assume the cables must be ok. Anyone know this for sure?

    Other bits:
    320 Gb Seagate ST3320620AS Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.5 ms, NCQ
    Price: £57.04 ex VAT
    Enermax Laureate EB305C-S (Silver) both IDE & SATA HDD External 3.5” HDD box with USB 2.0
    Price: £23.65 ex VAT
    320Gb is plenty for me and the caddy will mean I can easily get stuff off my old IDE hard drives.

    Net Total: £823.29
    Delivery: £16.09
    VAT: £146.89
    TOTAL: £986.27
    Last edited by Puncr0c; 23-11-2006 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Added links

  2. #2
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
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      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
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    you missed the cost of Windows, and of a DVD drive

    other than that, seems pretty reasonable.

  3. #3
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    Gonna pinch the black DVD drive out of my old rig. As for Windblows, I wasn't sure whether to get XP Pro or wait till January and get Vista? I'm sure I've read somewhere that Vista actually runs games slower?

  4. #4
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    It has higher system requirements, so on low-end hardware things will run slower. It was the same when moving from 2k>xp and probably from 98>2k

  5. #5
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    • Mutley's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Abit IP-35 Pro
      • CPU:
      • Intel QX9650 (OC'd to 3.8Ghz)
      • Memory:
      • 8GB (4x2GB) G.Skill DDR2-1066 8500CL5D
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD & Samsung HD501LJ 500GB SATA
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus GTX 660
      • PSU:
      • Enermax Infiniti 650W
      • Case:
      • Antec P-182
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • NEC 20WGX2
      • Internet:
      • 60MB Cable (Virgin)
    in your consideration over which version of Windows to buy, you might want to consider that DirectX 10 will only be supported on Vista (apparently, its a fundamental part of the OS). This would clearly impact which video card you get.
    I wonder how long it will be before we see Dx10 magically back-ported to XP....An awful lot of people are going to be sticking with XP.

    Mut.

  6. #6
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    also consider that if you buy XP today, it comes with an upgrade coupon for vista (you can use the upgrade coupon and pay the difference if you want a better vista version than you're entitled to)

  7. #7
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    I would put in a new DVD-burner. They are only about £20.

    Overall looks like a well balanced system. No weaknesses except maybe in gfx. But the card you've gone for should last you happily until dx10 stuff starts being a reality.
    Asus Z170 Pro Gaming. i5-6500. 16gig Ripjaw 2400. Samsung 950pro NMVe 250gig+ 1tb Intel 660p. GTX Titan. Corsair TX650M.



    939 3800 X2 | 2gig corsairXMS 3200C2
    1950XT | 500gig,320,200,160
    Plextor DVD burner | Yamaha CRW-F1 CD-drive
    Thermaltake Xaser 3 w 480W FSP | X-fi fatal1ty

    Things have moved on since I first joined...

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Do you think a new DVD burner will be a safe option? My current one is only about 2 years old, I doubt it should break any time soon. But you might be right, they're really cheap so it wont make much difference to the overall price.

    Yeah XP Pro sounds like the way to go for the time being (especially if its got the Vista upgrade coupon).

    So what do you guys reckon about the X1950 graphics card then - do you think it will last for 1.5 - 2 years (in terms of games being reasonably playable 30fps+ on medium resolution)? I have been considering maybe going for the X1950XT (its about £30-40 more). Only problem is that I cant find any benchmarks for it and there doesnt seem to be much support for it.

  9. #9
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    optical drives are a PITA, and tend to die without warning. i'd get a new one

    as for graphics, i don't do ATI - but the one you picked is a good value option

  10. #10
    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutley View Post
    I wonder how long it will be before we see Dx10 magically back-ported to XP....An awful lot of people are going to be sticking with XP.
    It's not gonna happen. DX10 doesn't just hook into Vista, it's part of the kernal itself. The only possible way to get it in XP is via emulation, and emulating it will be so slow that no current home PC will be powerful enough to render it usable.

    In short DX10 on XP isn't going happen.

    ------

    That's a nicely rounded spec. Graphics is a sticky point at the moment. You could just plump for an 8800GTS or GTX and rest safe in the knowledge that you've got the fastest of current cards, but could be kicking yourself when the ATi's are out. Personally, I'm waiting for the 2nd revision at least before considering upgrading. If you're in no immediate need of the absolute best at top quality in high-resolution, then the 1950XT will suit the rest of the spec nicely.

    My only real change to the spec would probably be to drop the Enermax PSU and get a Seasonic (either 600W or 650W). Had both recently in a couple of systems, and the Seasonic beats the Enermax all ends up. I assume you realise that a (decent) 600W is over the top of what you need, and have simply over-specced with a view to potential upgrades (such as the aforementioned DX10 power-drainers)?

  11. #11
    Tools are the subtlest of traps redsky009's Avatar
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    • redsky009's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5B Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Intel C2D E6600 @ 3.29 Ghz with Arctic Freezer Pro 7 cooling
      • Memory:
      • 4 GB Corsair Twin XMS 6400 (Cas 4)
      • Storage:
      • 320GB Seagate + 500GB WD (SATA 300, 7,200rpm)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 1GB PowerColor HD4870
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 520W (modular)
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Centurion 532
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • NEC LCD2070NX (20", 1600x1200)
      • Internet:
      • 22Mb ADSL 2+
    Nice spec, very similar to mine (going for a centurion 532 case and Hiper Type-R or Corsair 520W modular PSU) and the cheaper CL5 Corsair RAM (seems quite easy to get the timings down on the P5B).

    Retiring my old PC so I'll just stick SuSE on that and use my XP for the new PC

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    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    My only real change to the spec would probably be to drop the Enermax PSU and get a Seasonic (either 600W or 650W). Had both recently in a couple of systems, and the Seasonic beats the Enermax all ends up. I assume you realise that a (decent) 600W is over the top of what you need, and have simply over-specced with a view to potential upgrades (such as the aforementioned DX10 power-drainers)?
    Ah thats interesting. What are the cable lengths like on the seasonic PSUs? Do you think they'd be long enough for the P180 case? Why is the seasonic better? Is it because it runs quieter?

    You're right about the power of the PSU, 600W is overspecced for this particular setup, but I just figured it'd futureproof the system when I do go for a DX10 card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redsky009 View Post
    Nice spec, very similar to mine (going for a centurion 532 case and Hiper Type-R or Corsair 520W modular PSU) and the cheaper CL5 Corsair RAM (seems quite easy to get the timings down on the P5B).

    Retiring my old PC so I'll just stick SuSE on that and use my XP for the new PC
    Are you going for the X1950Pro?

  14. #14
    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puncr0c View Post
    ... What are the cable lengths like on the seasonic PSUs? Do you think they'd be long enough for the P180 case? ...
    I have a seasonic S12 and Asus A8N32 SLI, in a P180 and the 4 pin 12V cable is routed over my video card, does look to clever. I got the PSU in march 2006 so not sure if the have change the PSU since then, I would say that the (picture of) A8N32 SLI has the 4pin connector in just about the worst possible place, near the top right ... oh same place as the ASUS P5B Deluxe. I'd check if the PSU has longer cables on more recent versions (I think they do a modular PSU), consider getting a different PSU or get an extension for the 4pin connector just in case.

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    • Barrichello's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Maximus VII Ranger
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7-4790 (3.60Ghz)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB
      • Storage:
      • 2 x (250GB) Samsung 840 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Geforce GTX 770 (DC2OC 2GB GDDR5)
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750HX
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define R4
      • Operating System:
      • Linux/Win 7
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      • BenQ XL2720T
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      • 100MB/100MB
    Quote Originally Posted by Puncr0c View Post
    Are you going for the X1950Pro?

    Hello - I have got my X1950Pro just delivered today from Scan (was on today special on weds) Im ordering the rest of my set up at the weekend - alot same as yours (e6600 core duo/P5b Mobo etc)

    I was tempted to go for a "top of range card" but at £120odd i paid for the x1950 i think bang for bucks with be great until DX10 has become mainstream. From reviews will run the type of game/aps i need "now" at 1280x1024 so sure i will be happy when its all set up - cant wait

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    Lover & Fighter Blitzen's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
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      • 4 x 1GB OCZ Platinum PC6400 @ 4-4-4-12
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 500GB Samsung Spinpoints - RAID 0
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GTX 285
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      • Enermax MODU 82+ 625W
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    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    It's not gonna happen. DX10 doesn't just hook into Vista, it's part of the kernal itself. The only possible way to get it in XP is via emulation, and emulating it will be so slow that no current home PC will be powerful enough to render it usable.

    In short DX10 on XP isn't going happen.

    ------

    That's a nicely rounded spec. Graphics is a sticky point at the moment. You could just plump for an 8800GTS or GTX and rest safe in the knowledge that you've got the fastest of current cards, but could be kicking yourself when the ATi's are out. Personally, I'm waiting for the 2nd revision at least before considering upgrading. If you're in no immediate need of the absolute best at top quality in high-resolution, then the 1950XT will suit the rest of the spec nicely.

    My only real change to the spec would probably be to drop the Enermax PSU and get a Seasonic (either 600W or 650W). Had both recently in a couple of systems, and the Seasonic beats the Enermax all ends up. I assume you realise that a (decent) 600W is over the top of what you need, and have simply over-specced with a view to potential upgrades (such as the aforementioned DX10 power-drainers)?
    I'd be interested to see your evidence of the Seasonic beating the Liberty 'ends up'.
    The Seasonics are great but the cabling is short....remember that!
    Lets not forget, in the last statement you make you say that 600W is over the top. So why would you use the Seasonic over the Enermax there either?
    TBH.....the Seasonics are very quiet. Thats the only Pro for it over the Enermax and they themselves are also extremely quiet.


    If i wanted a 600W PSU at the moment i would tkae:
    a) 620W Corasir
    b) 700W Silverstone



    Quote Originally Posted by redsky009 View Post
    Nice spec, very similar to mine (going for a centurion 532 case and Hiper Type-R or Corsair 520W modular PSU) and the cheaper CL5 Corsair RAM (seems quite easy to get the timings down on the P5B).

    Retiring my old PC so I'll just stick SuSE on that and use my XP for the new PC
    Go for the Corsair. The Corsair are THE BEST PSUs around at the moment and are good for high-end systems whereas the Hipers are low-mid range.
    Last edited by Blitzen; 23-11-2006 at 10:41 PM.

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