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Build Advice £900 budget for a gaming rig mini itx?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Crazy Buddhist, 7 Jan 2013.

  1. Crazy Buddhist

    Crazy Buddhist Likes modding doesn't like bullies

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    Hi guys n gals,

    My nephew has in the region of £900 for a gaming rig. He has a screen and a good gaming mouse. He is thinking of buying this, to my horror:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alienware-X...s/dp/B007RZMWRU/ref=?ie=UTF8&m=A2M0LXPQQPIK05

    3rd Gen Intel® CoreTM i7-3770 (3.4GHz, 8MB Cache, w/ Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost 2.0), 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (2 DIMMS) - installed by HIDevolution, 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 , 1 TB 7200RPM 32MB cache Hard Drive, Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD BURNER (DVD+-RW, CD-RW), DELL 1502 Wireless -N WLAN Half Mini-Card 802.11 a/b/g/n, Alienware Multi-Media Keyboard, Alienware Optical Mouse, MG100, Internal High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio with WAVES MAXX Audio (Standard), 1 Year Basic Plan

    Bleh ... looks OK if you know nothing (or if you're 15 and want the computing equivalent of a very expensive pair of trainers) ... IMHO

    Major faults I see (admission: I'm not a gamer but know how to build a PC' just not up with all the latest developments hence asking you kind peeps for advices):

    1. No ssd for the system drive
    2. Is this proc really best bang for buck? How many games can use 8 logical cores?
    3. Proc not O'Ced and no aftermarket cooler
    4. 16G RAM? Really? Are there any games that use that? He's not rendering video!
    5. Windows 8?
    6. RAM - forgot 1600 ... surely that can be beat.

    I'll stop shredding this build here and get to the point ...

    £900 budget, needs to include gaming keyboard and an OS. Mouse and screen (1080p TV) sorted.

    Be very interested to see what views, builds and suggestions you can shoot. The linked machine just strikes me as labelled a gaming machine but defo not the best one could do with that money and seriously unbalanced in many respects.

    Thanks in advance for sage advice. Edit: he wants to go mini itx for plan parties.

    Be well,

    Crazy B :dremel:
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2013
  2. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    1. Yep, for £900 should have an SSD
    2. Overkill on the CPU for a gaming rig
    3. OC'ing isn't necessary, but a better cooler can help noise
    4. 16GB of RAM for gaming is ridiculous, 4-8GB is the sweet spot right now for price
    5. Windows 8 is okay, and it's what most computers will ship with now. I use it in Desktop mode..
    6. 1600Mhz RAM is fine, anything more is stupidly expensive and will deliver no noticeable performance gain.
    7. GPU can be better for the price
    8. Does he need wireless?
     
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  3. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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    Get a 3570K and a decent motherboard.
    8GB of 1866Mhz ram is more than enough.
    A 550W power supply like Corsair's 550TX is great.
    A 660ti is great for gaming.
    For under £900 you can get a 128GB SSD like a Samsung 840 and a large HDD.
    DVD drives are pointless if you use steam for downloading, but if you must, you can get one for about £12.
    A decent case like a fractal design R3/R4 is quiet with lots of airflow.
    Windows 7 or Windows 8 is good. Windows 8 isn't as bad as everyone thinks. You just have to get used to the Modern Ui and uninstall the 'Apps'.
    And Alienware Peripherals are pretty bad, they're cheap but high-priced. Get a decent Razer or Logitech mouse.

    On the Whole Alienware are a waste of money, overcharging for low-end generic OEM components. Even the case is a cheap shell made of badly cut steel and plastic.
     
    Crazy Buddhist likes this.
  4. OcSurfe

    OcSurfe Uber Noob

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    maybe a slightly bigger PSU if you want future headroom for SLI, but otherwise this is a very good basis to build on from
     
  5. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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    My build: http://pcpartpicker.com/uk/p/wpE4

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.45 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.98 @ Dabs)
    Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£73.39 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£70.72 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£105.84 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card (£187.10 @ Amazon UK)
    Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case (£78.89 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£68.48 @ Ebuyer)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£13.98 @ Novatech)
    Total: £887.82
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-07 22:57 GMT+0000)

    Almost enough monies for windows 8 :)
     
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  6. Crazy Buddhist

    Crazy Buddhist Likes modding doesn't like bullies

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    Thanks Cei, DarkWisdom, OcSurfe,

    Won't disagree with any of your advices. He doesn't need WiFi - the router is on his desk.

    Personal pref is for Corsair power supplies or OCZ.

    Looking two years out, as the machine will have to last at least that long, are games going to be on the market which would benefit from i7 over i5? If he needs more ram that's an easy upgrade later - 8G seems plenty.

    Also looking at OCZ Vertex for the SSD as they have a 5 year guarantee' views?

    Thanks again,

    Crazy B

    Stickeh - posted as I tapped this. That looks like a fine spec dude. +rep all round

    Pps Dark - mouse he got for Chrimbo - Razer' nice one.
    Ppps My new build is in a Fractal Design R4 - beaut case but the boy may want something 'sexier'.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2013
  7. Crazy Buddhist

    Crazy Buddhist Likes modding doesn't like bullies

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    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS11X Extreme CPU Cooler (£39.64 @ Ebuyer)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£119.98 @ Dabs)
    Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (£73.39 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£54.59 @ Aria PC)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£90.96 @ Dabs)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card (£213.59 @ Aria PC)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.93 @ CCL Computers)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£68.48 @ Ebuyer)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Keyboard: Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (UK Layout) Wired Standard Keyboard (£32.99 @ Novatech)
    Total: £913.52

    Looking something like this. Not sure on going Nvidia or ATI for the GPU ... some googling to do tomorrow. Comments welcomed.

    Cheers,

    Crazy B
     
  8. TheGreatSatan

    TheGreatSatan Dark Lord of BT!

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    All that stuff is so much cheaper here...
     
  9. TheGreatSatan

    TheGreatSatan Dark Lord of BT!

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    Because where I work, here's the price I can get you:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K $170
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master N520 $40
    Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 $95
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 $70
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM $80
    Storage: Sandisk 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $99
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card $307
    Case: Zalman Z9 U3 $60
    Power Supply: Corsair CX750 Modular $95
    Optical Drive: Lite-on DVD/CD Writer $16
    Keyboard: Gigabyte Aivia K8100 $75
    Mouse: Logitech G300 $40

    Total:$1147 US = £711


    You can save an additional $60 by getting the plain 660 instead. The Ti is only 8% better?

    I'm sure import duties will be a ripoff
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2013
  10. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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    Unfortunately, that's just the way it is! Isn't fun at all and you're not wrong on the import to be paid!
     
  11. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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    You could save some money by getting the GA-Z77-D3H.

    Half the price if you get 1600MHz memory: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-...pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v It's also low profile to avoid any issues with CPU coolers.

    There's no difference whatsoever in games between 1600MHz and 1866MHz RAM.

    The OCZ Vertex 4 is considered one of the best SSDs.

    Here's a 550W 80 Plus Gold unit for £70: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/550w-seasonic-g-550-modular-80-plus-gold-eps-12v-quiet-fan-atx-psu
     
  12. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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    With the above reply factored into your build;

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler (£27.47 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£74.39 @ Aria PC)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.98 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.56 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£90.96 @ Dabs)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£44.93 @ CCL Computers)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.41 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Keyboard: Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (UK Layout) Wired Standard Keyboard (£32.99 @ Novatech)
    Total: £612.66
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-08 09:28 GMT+0000)

    This is WITHOUT an OS or a graphics card.
    £105.36 Windows 8 - Scan.co.uk

    This gives you: £181.98 to spend on a top spec graphics card!
     
  13. mm vr

    mm vr The cheesecake is a lie

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  14. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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  15. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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  16. Crazy Buddhist

    Crazy Buddhist Likes modding doesn't like bullies

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    TGS stop showing off ... first your folk ruin the world economy then you boast about low prices! (Jokes ... Yr a good fella .. seem to recall I won 2G of ram in a giveaway you did elsewhere .. and some 'I park like an idiot' bumper stickers?)

    MM vv - good call on the ram ... especially as my nephew has decided he'd like to go mini itx .... which changes this ball game somewhat. Vertex 4 :) I love mine mate ... stellar.

    Clearly the mini itx route changes a bunch of stuff in detail tho the chip remains the same and so does the aim .. that zalman cooler is a no no! Shame tho - love zalman because with a hearty over clock they still cool and quietly too ..

    Stickeh, DarkWisdom thanks for your efforts and help. Off to bed now, get the drawing board out again in the morning.

    Be well all,

    Crazy B
     
  17. yougotkicked

    yougotkicked A.K.A. YGKtech

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    Is mini-ITX an absolute necessity? Micro-ATX has a lot more options and is still plenty small.

    here's what I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure there are a few changes that could be made, I didn't feel like routing around various EU vendors looking for prices and options.

    I foresee issues with trying to power a high-end GPU with an ITX PSU, my gut says to put at least a 600W supply in the machine, but the biggest ITX PSU I can find is 450w.

    If your nephew can stomach a Micro-ATX form factor, we should be able to bring the cost down a notch and give the hardware some room to breathe, making the 2-year target lifespan a lot more likely.

    P.S. not 100% sure that DVD drive will do the trick, never had to shop for a slim profile optical drive before.
     
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  18. Stickeh

    Stickeh Help me , Help you.

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    I don't blame him for it, I'd like to rebuild my system into one. There are a few itx cases that will take at PSUs and full length graphics cards the bit fenix prodigy for example. I will update my post with a revised build when I get to work ~1hr

    edit; at work now;
    Removed case and Motherboard from build;
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler (£27.47 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£34.99 @ Dabs)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.56 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£90.96 @ Dabs)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic G 550W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£79.41 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£12.98 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Keyboard: Microsoft Sidewinder X4 (UK Layout) Wired Standard Keyboard (£32.99 @ Novatech)
    Sub Total: £493.35
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-09 08:00 GMT+0000)

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77I Deluxe (£143.72 @ Scan )
    (I've selected this one without much research into ITX boards, this just has good placement of the cpu socket, alternatively gigabyte motherboard exists that would work well with a sealed loop water cooler and would be ~£5 cheaper)
    Case: Bitfenix Prodigy Black (£67.95 @ Specialtech ) White (£64.99 @ Specialtech)
    Total: £702.06 (White Bitfenix Prodigy) £705.02 (Black Bitfenix Prodigy)

    Leaving just under £200 in the budget for an OS and Graphics card of your choice.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2013
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  19. yougotkicked

    yougotkicked A.K.A. YGKtech

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    ah, should have thought of that. With a full-size PSU on the table there shouldn't be any problems making the ITX form factor work, though I will have to re-spec to fit the cost of the new case and PSU.

    P.S. I for one love my big 'ol desktop, hauling the extra weight to a lan party is well worth the sense of awe it inspires in others.

    P.P.S. I'm really feeling the time zone difference, you're on the way to work, I'm headed to bed. 12:30 AM here XD.
     
  20. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    yeah if he wants a really small gaming rig good luck building something smaller than that alienware

    1. then buy one, but it won't fit in that case
    2. it's a fast processor
    3. you can't fit an aftermarket cooler in that tiny case
    4. ram is cheap, who cares
    5. there is nothing wrong with windows 8
    6. you don't need faster ram if you're not overclocking
     

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