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Hardware Building a £400 Gaming PC

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 11 Jun 2008.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Jun 2008
  2. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    A nice guide. This will really help the budget gamers out there looking for a new rig. All great tech at a low price.
     
  3. bowman

    bowman Member

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    'This industry focuses on the ‘sexy’ high end stuff far too often in my opinion and it’s that that is killing a lot of our enthusiasm because it’s no longer fun – we’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: enthusiasts are being misinterpreted.'

    I hate to bring up the computer/car old'n'busted metaphor again, but in this case I think it's actually relevant. The enthusiast industry should take a leaf from the car industry here. Sure, the manufacturers have their Bugattis, NSX and Supra models, but at the same time they have the GTIs, souped-up family cars with red badges on them, which are more affordable and which the enthusiast actually buys and enjoys. I think they should focus more on their Golfs and Civics instead of their GT-Rs.
     
  4. sotu1

    sotu1 Ex-Modder

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    excellent work. a decent PC in a very affordable budget. I think we can take this as the benchmark for a decent budget PC. good effort.

    shame you make me want to spend £400....
     
  5. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Great article! I'm amazed at what you were able to do with that system ;)
     
  6. Woodstock

    Woodstock So Say We All

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    pretty impresive, a shame that a 8800gt couldnt have been squezzed in, but thats life
     
  7. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Seeing this makes me start thinking about a 2nd PC... nope, I don't need one.

    Nice guide and definitely an interesting read. How much more would a 8800GT have been?
     
  8. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg New Member

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    Excellent timing, my little brother has just literally beat his computer to death, the case it totally mashed in places and the gfx card isn't giving a proper picture. So this clown is going to have to spec him a new one (and its going to be better than mine :()

    8800gt is about £130 last time I checked.
     
  9. AlexB

    AlexB Web Nerd and WC Addict

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    I built my little sis a C2d, 8800GT'd system for £500 with a 20" monitor a couple of months ago - tech is cheap if you know what and where to buy!
     
  10. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    http://www.tekheads.co.uk/s/product?product=608791
    8800gt is still under £100 at some places, and the 256mb version can be picked up for around 70 too...

    This article was a good attempt at answering the pc console debate, but its also worth thinking about the fact that things like psus and cases should last you much longer than the life of the pc itself so represent better value for money than they might otherwise seem to in the long run. (eg, my psu has been around for over 4 years and my case since 2001)
     
  11. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    That's a great price!

    I really would've liked to squeeze an 8800 GT into this machine as I've been quite vocal about the value of spending the extra for it, but unfortunately we were working with Scan for this particular article and couldn't 'shop around'. I tried and tried and tried, but there was just no way of doing it without really compromising heavily on something else (Celeron CPU anyone?). Of course, you could fit an 8800 GT from another retailer into the rig and even the cost of shipping would probably make up the difference, but if you wanted to order everything from one place, Scan sells 8800 GTs from about £110-115. And that's come down in the last few weeks, because when we started working on this, they were about £130 and well out of reach.
     
  12. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    How did you find the cooler on that Palit 9600? I picked up an 8800GT from Palit with exactly the same cooler, and not only did it never throttle down, it was also incredibly noisy and didn't seem to do a very good job of keeping the card cool.
    £20 on a Zalman cooler later and I was much happier.

    I'd quite like to see an article on building a storage server, I've got half a dozen harddrives lying around and I'm planning on turning them into a media server, for cheap. Not sure where to start yet, or which OS to go with (Windows Home server looks nice, but I could just go for an Ubuntu system and save £100 without losing much except ease of use)
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    The cooler was good in my experience and it kept the 9600 GT nice and cool... the machine was quiet, too, once the drivers were installed.
     
  14. Tejstar

    Tejstar New Member

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    Reall good read, especially as I'm toying with the idea of building a budget rig right now too! I agree with the above poster, it's be great to have a similar guide on how to build a decent server (that's next on my wishlist!)
     
  15. NZ_mod_man

    NZ_mod_man New Member

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    How did you manage to get that much overclock out of the CPU? It looks like you are using the stock cooler, am I right?

    I have the same CPU and very similar mobo but at 2.25GHz it is running at 60°C with the stock cooler. Intel says the burn out at 72°C and I don't really want to try it.
     
  16. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    nice one! £400 is actually cheaper than a PS3 if one buys 20 games.

    although XP might have been cheaper? and with only 2GB of RAM, 64bit? how much RAM does it use idle?
    i find if background RAM usage drop off 1GB when i had 4GB, the whole system became sluggish. that's half the RAM gone for Vista to be smooth.

    @NZ_mod_man, CPU's won't burn. i've had my previous q6600 at 85c (3.9Ghz) even though Intel said max of 72. just don't run longed periods it'd be fine.
     
  17. Nictron

    Nictron Member

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    One thing that I feel the developers can improve is the auto setting detection and installation process.

    Auto Detection:

    It cant be to difficult to program the software to accomodate to set graphics card performance, I mean there are plenty of information on the web about graphic card performance, they could atrubute a factor element on system scan to get the right settings in place before you start!

    Installation process:

    I don't know how many of you played Halo 2 but Microsoft developed an incredible installation process for the game, you just pop the CD in and choose to play, you start immediately with the first level even though the game is installing in the background!

    How come no none has adopted this approach to PC installations?

    To prevent or reduce piracy the developers and hardware manufacturers can come together and develop the following into PC gaming:

    1) A common encryption chip for all PC motherboards, this will help prevent piracy (CD validates with the chip before installation or during gameplay).
    2) Seamless installation process, like Halo2
    3) Standardised factors for GPU and CPU performance to optimise default setting detection.

    These three things will solve almost all of the PC's negative aspects.

    And as you have shown PC gaming is not costly, the little extra cost can easily be made up by purchasing the cheaper games at the shop since PC games are 35 to 50% cheaper than console alternatives.

    You could possibly further this article by selecting 10 games on Console and PC and compare total cost.

    System + 10 Games + Graphics comparison and Total cost. Also take into consideration things like game pads and steering wheels as they are cheaper on PC as well.
     
  18. banshee256

    banshee256 New Member

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    Did this actually come as a surprise to anyone? I have *never* bought anything that was top-of-the-line. Ever. There never was any reason to. Mid-range graphic-cards and CPU's perform well enough that you can enjoy games without much hassle.

    Example: I just bought two Dell Inspiron 531 with the AMD X2 Dual-Core 5600+ CPU, 3 GB DDR2 800 MHz RAM and an ATI HD 2600 XT graphics-card. £450. And I had it delivered, have 1 year of Collect & return warranty and I didn't had to suffer the hassle of putting it together myself. All this for £450. And it runs Mass Effect just perfect, with everything at their highest settings.

    True, the part of putting it together yourself is something many enthusiasts enjoy, but I've gotten too old, grumpy and impatient for such a project.

    What I'm trying to say is, that affordable computers aren't the slow, noisy, glorified typewriters that some people would have you believe. They aren't just decent computers either. They are great. And not just great for the price. They a great, period.
     
  19. Matticus

    Matticus ...

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    Wow this really is a great article. Just shows what you can do with your money.

    I think a lot of people may already have an old case they can deal with for a while or already have optical/hard drives. So if you stick to the same budget and people reused certain things I think you could have squeezed for an 8800GT.

    I know when I built my system I already had a hard drive that would do me for a few months, too many optical drives and a case.

    And don't you just love the way intel chips clock.
     
  20. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    Great read :clap: One of my favourite articles recently I think!
    Very interesting to see the hard drive round the "wrong way" I am going to have to try that later/this weekend when I have time to remove everything from my case.
    That case looks rather good too.
    Obviously a keyboard, mouse and screen are going to add ~£100 to this but that is still amazing value
     
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