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Other Advice building a Gaming PC for a N00b (£500 budget) <3

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Zauber, 9 Nov 2010.

  1. Zauber

    Zauber New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm a brand new user here, got referred by a mate who uses this all the time.

    I've read the guide for noobies building a new PC, but I'm still a bit stuck. I've got a moderate knowledge of PC hardware, currently I'm on a laptop but as a gamer who spent alot of money on a laptop two years ago, I have now decided to build a computer that I can game on, and use programs such as Adobe after effects and Photoshop.
    Just wondering if you guys could suggest a few setups that I might be able to use, it would be really helpful!

    Currently I'm on

    System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
    System Model: Studio 1737
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
    Memory: 4096MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 3066MB RAM
    Page File: 1335MB used, 4796MB available

    Card name: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
    Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
    Chip type: ATI display adapter (0x9591)
    Display Memory: 1529 MB
    Current Mode: 1440 x 900 (32 bit) (60Hz)

    As you can see, for a laptop it's better than average, and I think I will keep it or sell it.

    Anyway, I'm a student and what I want is a PC I can

    Play decent games on (BF BC2, CoD BO)
    Use photoshop, After Effects

    My budget is roughly £500 but if you think you could make an awesome setup for +- £100 then I'm happy.

    Thank you for your time, if you can just give me some setups off the top of your head it would be really helpful :D

    Thanks <33333

    EDIT: Didn't see the template, sorry, adding it now!

    Budget:

    £500 preferably, but I could go to £600 if necessary!

    Main uses of intended build:
    Gaming, using Photoshop & After effects

    Parts required:
    Everything! I'm a noob and have NO IDEA!

    Previous build information (list details of parts):
    No previous build info!

    Monitor resolution:
    I would be happy with a 1440x900 one, but you guys have free reign!

    Storage requirements:
    Really not that large, Currently used 220gb out of 640 in 2 years
    I'd guess 500gb would be fine!

    will you be overclocking: yes/no (delete as required)
    Need your advice... I know what it is, but I don't know if I should do it!

    Any motherboard requirements (no. of USB, Xfire/SLI, fan headers):

    I'd like 2-3 USB, dunno what Xfire SLI or fan Headers are so....

    Extra information about desired system:

    Needs to be good enough to play games (CoD BO, BF BC2) and to render videos and photos on Photoshop & after effects
    Would be nice if I could do day to day tasks such as browse and documents etc nice and fast
    also Wireless is important, built in or external dongle IDC :D
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2010
  2. favst89

    favst89 New Member

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    Start by looking at the buyers guide for an idea of what you want, probably the affordable all rounder but maybe with a slight step up on the processor or graphics.
     
  3. Zauber

    Zauber New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback :) Any advice is greatly appreciated. If you could suggest what processor or graphics would be more suitable, that would be a great help too!
     
  4. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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    This is probably as good as it gets for around £600:
    [​IMG]
    ^The above basket is Ebuyer by the way. An optical drive would cost around £12~15.

    That MSI motherboard would support Crossfire at x8/x8, so if you wish you can add another 6850 to it in the future...and the Corsair PSU would be up to the job as well.

    If you need Windows 7 and monitor within the budget as well, that would cost around £200, and that would only leave you with £400 budget for the system itself....

    You would most likely only able to get a Athlon II X2 CPU on a budget motherboard with a Corsair CX400W PSU (they have gone EOL almost everywhere, except for Aria), a 5750/5770 graphic card and something like a 500GB hard drive at best. While what I quote above would cost around £200 than what you get at £400, but it would be way better than it and well worth the money if you can stretch.
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2010
  5. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    This is the best I could do with an AMD build on scan

    There are many options with this, and I am in no way telling you to buy this build as it is currently (a couple parts were put in just to get an accurate price). This is mainly to outline a potential AMD build for you since Marine did an intel one.

    1) The PSU I chose is modular and a Corsair. It's possible that you can find a cheaper PSU at around 500W (that's all you need) that's not modular and is another trusted brand (or the same brand).

    2) The Antec 300 was thrown in mainly to get a good price estimate. You should look at different cases and how well the air circulation is in them and decide for yourself which one you want. The Antec 300 is put in because that's what was on the buyer's guide :p.

    3) The memory is quite flexible, but you should get 2x2GB of 1600MHz RAM. A build at your budget makes for an excellent overclocking build as you can get more for the money you spend.

    4) You could drop to the 500GB Spinpoint F3 or another smaller HDD. An SSD will not fit in your budget. The only thing to make sure of is really that it's 7200rpm.

    5) That AMD processor is one of the cheaper ones. You can do some core unlocking and make it a better processor, or you can spend some extra money and get an X3 or X4 processor.

    6) That cooler is one of the cheapest and quietest cooler that still gives good effective cooling. I would probably recommend that in whatever build you get. If you can afford more, the ThermalTake Frio is always an option

    7) I did a few searches for a motherboard, and that's just the one I ended up with. You might want to look around for a better one :p

    8) Friends of mine are very pro GTX 460. They recommend it over any other card that competes in its category. There's no arguing that the 460 is one of the most overclockable cards in the market, and it's at a fairly good price. An AMD build might do better with an ATI graphics card though so you may want to consider the 6850 still.

    Windows7 and a Monitor are not included in this budget as including them in the budget would give you a system that would probably only last 2-3 years at most unless you overclock it well.
     
  6. Zauber

    Zauber New Member

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    Wow, these suggestions are amazing. Thank you so much for going to the time to help me.
    I realize I may have to re-evaluate my budget, as I do need a monitor and win7 is preferred.

    Thank you for the help and I'll definitely use your advice!
     
  7. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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  8. Zauber

    Zauber New Member

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    That BENQ Monitor looks awesome!
    Also, I'm a student and I bought Win7 before, I take it for a new PC I need to rebuy? :(
    I got it for £30 before which kinda sucks, lol.

    Of the 2 setups posted, one is AMD the other is INTEL, which is best for my needs?

    I just want to be able to render videos and photos nice and fast and play good quality games at high settings, are these pcs upto that or do I need to fork out a bit more? :p

    Thanks again for the advice!
     
  9. shifty27

    shifty27 New Member

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    It's going to be hard if you need a monitor AND a copy of windows 7 to meet your budget of £500...

    Do you not know how to get copies elsewhere hint hint
     
  10. Dae314

    Dae314 New Member

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    Intel builds tend to be a bit more expensive, but the i5-760 is a very good overclocker. If your budget can handle the i5 build then I would go with that. Think about the graphics also as the graphics has a big impact on your game. The GTX 460 is a stronger card than the 6850, but the 6850 is a bit cheaper :p. Intel and AMD extend really only to the CPU and the motherboard. Don't be afraid to mix and match some of the other parts from the builds we suggest and from what you find to make your machine better/cheaper. Remember to check compatibility though, and if you're unsure you can always post what you plan to buy here and we can look at it for you :).

    Did you buy the Retail edition of Windows 7 or did you get an OEM edition? If you bought a retail edition, I believe it's legal for you to take W7 off your old build and put it on your new one. With the OEM edition this isn't strictly legal. Also, if you're still a student, look at your school's offers on deals with microsoft (most schools in the US have some kind of deal with microsoft where students can purchase microsoft products at a discounted price).
     
  11. murraynt

    murraynt Well-Known Member

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    Hey zauber

    First: as a student you can get student version of Windows7, im personally using OEM.
    Reactivating it is no problem, even if something goes wrong just ring Microsoft and say your baord broke and was replaced under warrenty ;)

    Build wise: At that budget you will be looking at a AMD CPU, If i were you i would stretch to an I5 at least as a lot more games are taking full advantage of 4 cours.
    Also take into account that intel are releasing a new range of CPUS soon.

    Marine-RX179 posted a build, i would change the graphics card to an Nvidia 1gb 460GTX as they are slightly less expensive or even a 786Mb 460GTX.

    Change the board to the gigabyte one.

    Chage the HSF to the Geild tranquillo

    Change the PSU to the 400 watt version.

    All these small changes will allow for a better case like the Raven R2
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/09/09/silverstone-raven-rv02-review/1
    or the coolermaster 690II
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2010/02/18/cooler-master-cm-690-ii-case-review/1
    Or save some money.

    IMO a good case is well worth the money.

    EDIT: welcome to bit-tech man.
     
  12. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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    The only reason I recommeded the 6850 over a GTX460 1GB was because that MSI board would support Crossfire at x8/x8, but not SLI. It's a great board for under £90 having Crossfire, as well as USB3.0 and SATA3.0 ports. The 600W Corsair PSU is taking into the account of possible future graphic upgrade, may it be adding another 6850 to SLI, or switch to a high power consumption graphic card in the future.

    I don't think it make much sense to downgrade the CPU cooler and sacrificing upgrade options for the sake of more expensive case. While I absolutely love my CoolerMaster 690II Advanced case, I think they are too much of a luxory for people on a tight budget. Better case does help lowering temperature, but for CPU temp its impact is not as much as the actual CPU cooler does.
     
  13. murraynt

    murraynt Well-Known Member

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    How does it overclock?
    The reason i mentioned the case was nothing to do with cooling but the fact that its a better made case, allowing you yoo keep it for many builds.No point in loads of good hardware and the pc looking like its form aldi.
     
  14. Jehla

    Jehla Member

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    I've been looking at this recently and it seems only to be on upgrade versions.
    Am I missing something?
    More importantly what proof do you need that you had xp/ vista installed? :naughty:
     
  15. murraynt

    murraynt Well-Known Member

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    you don't, just do a clean install.Well thats all iv'e ever done for my oem version
     
  16. sb1991

    sb1991 New Member

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    The software itself does a check before installing to see if XP or Vista (or windows 7) were previously on the hard drive. If it doesn't detect a previous OS, it allows you to carry on but the activation key won't work at the end (if you try to use it). You can get around this by simply installing the operating system again, or by changing one value in the registry (see here). Not entirely conforming to the letter of the law, but assuming you have a copy of a microsoft OS (and who doesn't have an old XP disk?) it doesn't strike me as that naughty.
     
  17. Marine-RX179

    Marine-RX179 New Member

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    That are a whole range of cases at around high £30~low £40. The CoolerMaster Elite 430 I suggest is a bit like a cut-down version of the 690/690 II, less the cable management, opening for the back of the CPU for installing backplate, and optional fans are only up to 120mm instead of 140mm, but it is Windowed (I had to pay extra £13.25 for my 690 II's Windowed panel), looking alright and only cost £37, which is around half of 690II's price.
    And when it come to casing, everyone's preference could be different...even IF he doesn't want the 430, should have no problem finding a case that HE likes (not us) around that price range.

    While I agree it's worth spending extra on the case if there's a case that you like enough since you will be stuck with it for a long time, I disagree on cutting the budget from the PSU for the sake of spending more on casing, as while the Corsair CX400W may be fine for a single 6850/GTX460 1GB, but if the OP decide to upgrade higher power consumption graphic card in the future, the CX400W will not be up to it, and he would need to get a more powerful PSU as a result. 600W is the sweet spot for PSU, as it will handle an overclocked system with any single graphic card, and even Crossfire/SLI for graphic cards that are not too high in power consumption. Another thing to consider is that the CX400W going EOL and being replaced by the inferior CX430 everywhere...Aria seems to be the only place still selling the CX400W, but £35 plus shipping would put it at £40+, so it would be better off getting the CX600W for under £55 instead, unless the OP is willing restrict his future upgrade potential, just for the sake of only saving less than £15 and risk needing to buy another PSU in the future.

    As for the MSI board, let's assume worst case it can only overclock the i5 760 to 3.8GHz, the board only cost around the same as the semi-decent AM3 board that has USB3.0/SATA3.0 ports. Not only is that, it support Crossfire at x8/x8, which AM3 board that support that would cost £100+. Now if we comparing the CPU price, Phenom II X4 955BE cost £110, where as the i5 760 cost £140~150; even at 3.8GHz, the i5 760 would walk all over the Phenom II X4 955BE at 3.8-4.0GHz. So bottomline is, for extra £30~£40 over a Phenom II X4 955BE build, he will be getting a i5 760 build with Crossfire capability. And let's face it...i5 760 at 3.8GHz would be more than fast enough, and the actual frame rate in actually gaming would be identicial between a i5 at 3.8GHz and a i5 at 4.2GHz even on a high-end graphic card like 5970/GTX580, unless the games are poorly ported or with poor cores optimisation (i.e. WOW), or ultra CPU demanding game that is very rare such as ArmaII...even then, the frame rate won't be too huge a difference.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2010

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