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Build Advice New gaming computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by prune, 13 Oct 2010.

  1. prune

    prune What's a Dremel?

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    Hello all,

    I'm looking to get a new computer, mostly for gaming, as my current 6-year old laptop just does not cut it anymore (some of you may recall my thread querying about external graphics cards...yeah, not worth it...).

    My budgest is quite low, so don't laugh! I don't need a monster, just about anything will be an upgrade i guess.

    My budget is £400-£500 pounds, preferably closer to £400...It needs to include a monitor in that price, as well as keyboard. The only thing I can and will shift over is my mouse, which I'm just plain used to (not that this saves me much money, sigh...).

    I haven't looked at specifics, but I'm thinking a dual core, as opposed to a quad core - I hear/heard most games don't utilise four cores, some not even 2, so i'm hoping to save money there (unless I'm speaking nonsense; also quite possible!)

    The main thing will be a nice graphics card I guess, will a 768MB one do, or go for 1GB? Again, price is a real constraint, i know.

    As for RAM, will 2GB do?

    I don't plan on playing Crysis at full settings or anything here, and I know I couldn't with that budget, but things like WoW or other newer games at medium settings perhaps?

    I'm not sure where I should buy from to get the best deals/quality/assurance of good products, so if anyone could help me out that would be great.

    I've never overclocked, and it does sound a bit daunting, although I'm not completely computer-illiterate and could figure it out, especially with the guides here, but having said that, I just don't want to do it and risk any parts being damaged.

    Looking forward to useful replies! Thanks.

    Oh, and almost forgot, don't need an OS, have windows xp sitting around and will stick with that, nor do I need antivirus - have that too.
     
  2. shah

    shah Minimodder

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    Hello mate,

    You can start off with monthly buyers guide here http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/buyers-guide/2010/10/07/pc-hardware-buyer-s-guide-october-2010/2

    Adding a cheapest 22" monitor will set you back about £100 plus a keyboard.

    Altogether the build will need about £600 >> £500 :(

    Changes as follows:

    Cheaper graphics card (depending on the screen res.)
    Drop the heatsink (-£15) if you do not want to overclock.
    What monitor size you want?
    Any preference for keyboard?

    Shah.
     
  3. Bing

    Bing Every day is a learning day!

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    Money saving tip inbound:

    When choosing a graphics card, if they do two versions with different amounts of VRAM, read the reviews. Sometimes, the one with less memory performs exactly the same as the more expensive card because the bottleneck lies with the GPU, not the amount of RAM. :thumb:
     
  4. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Well, this is a good place to start but doesn't include a monitor so you'll need to find maybe £100 to get a budget monitor.

    Realistically, you either by crappy bargain-basement components, forget any serious gaming, by second-hand or up you budget by £100 or so for a monitor.

    Edit - Ninja'd :)
     
  5. Dae314

    Dae314 What's a Dremel?

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  6. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    £400 is tight

    £150 mobo cpu ram ( buyers guide )
    £110 case psu hard disk ( buyers guide )
    £70-115 4870 is available if you look around performance is decent enough ( 460 768mb is around £115 at the minute )
    £15 dvd rw

    £55 quid for moniter and keyboard hmm cant help you on that one

    id say you need a minimum of £45 more money and id recomend £70 more money

    would get 460 768 mb and a decent ish 19inch screen thats the best you will get on this sorta budget

    about £475 give or take

    depends on alot of things like moniter and you having windows xp + gpu choice

    its best you will get under £500 and its doable just

    ill knock it up on scan for you later and take a further look incase its doable for less
     
  7. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    [​IMG]

    The delivery makes it a little over £500, if you had more than 20 posts you could have free delivery, but something along those lines would work ok. Look around for some decent cheap monitors, and maybe downgrade to a worse graphics card. The GTX 460 would last you a while though. Also, getting one stick of DDR3 2gb memory might be a better idea, if you can find the same model in the future. It'll be an easy upgrade down the line :)
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2010
    thehippoz likes this.
  8. Sanzy

    Sanzy Minimodder

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    Siberdines looks like a decent enough build but your always going to struggle at that price range.
     
  9. Domestic_ginger

    Domestic_ginger What's a Dremel?

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    WRT monitor; if you have space check out the local classifieds and ebay for local pickup on a 19" crt or similar until you have the funds for something you prefer. Of course its going to take more space and require a stronger desk (some of teh puppies will clock in at 30kg) but should only set you back £15 for a very good screen. I would expect to get a 17" for free/bottle of wine.

    In terms of res for a much smaller screen you can get much higher resolutions than LCD and no need to worry about response times, viewing angles or colour reproduction!

    Keyboards are twenty a penny too. Car boot sales maybe a place to look too. This is of course if you are willing to save money now.
     
  10. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    what about:

    CASE+PSU - Coolermaster elite 330 with 500W PSU - £60 (ebuyer)
    mobo - MSI 770 C45 - £52
    CPU - AMD X2 II 250 - £47
    RAM - Corasir 2x2GB 1600mhz - £65 (£1333 is £3 cheaper !!!)
    HDD - WD cavier blue 500GB - £30
    ROM - samsung writer - £13
    GPU - 768MB 460 - £123
    MON - Benq G2020HD 20" - £102
    M/K - logitech keyobard mouse - £6

    TOTAL - £498

    OS - Win 7 HP - £73

    really really dont use XP and 2GB of RAM as your seriously compromising gaming you could get away with using XP and 4GB of RAM bu it will gimp your system until you get 64-bit.

    cant get it any lower without compromising performance massively
     
  11. cjgsilva

    cjgsilva What's a Dremel?

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    Hello adam

    where are u going shopping?

    that a great build! i u are short of money like me.

    I propose myself to buy one item a week.

    it takes but does not break my bank.

    patience is a virtue.

    see u all later
     
  12. prune

    prune What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies, and sorry it took me so long to get back.

    Lots of interesting info and suggestions.

    Siberdine that does indeed look pretty good, as well as what others have said.

    What's this about free delivery? 20 posts on this forum you mean? That's Scan.co.uk right? Is that affiliated with bit-tech then? I'm a little confused.

    adam_bagpuss: I actually was going to go for xp FOR the performance, you know with Windows vista for e.g. taking 1gb of RAM, as opposed to xp's 500mb, and I would have guessed 7 takes even more? Or is there inherently more gain even taking that into account?

    Anyways, I can probably save a large chunk by not buying a new OS.

    I don't need a great monitor, though would like an LCD; didn't even consider CRT...that's old school allright! I'm fine running things at like 1024x768 or so.

    I don't even speakers - just plug in my headphones...only peripheral needed is a keyboard really like I said.

    Another thing I was considering was maybe buying a pre-built PC off the high-street...is that a good idea? Would be a cheaper deal? Would I be able to upgrade it?

    Looking at pcspecialist too for prices, or is scan the best choice?
     
  13. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    It's hard to find a good deal when buying a custom built PC because they add a fairly large amount (£40-80) to the price. Pre-built PC's can be good, if you manage to find a good deal for one, but they're hard to upgrade due to the power supplies and cases they use. Your only options of getting as good a computer as possible is building it yourself, or finding a really good deal for a desktop (Inc. Monitor, Keyboard, etc).
     
  14. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    Xp wil not provide performance it will really hinder your build

    Xp doesn't. Not support more than 4gb of RAM total so you will only have around 3gb or less to use

    Xp is old outdated and is not supported anymore

    Win 7 64bit is far better and is a must have
     
  15. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    Hey Prune, I'll try to answer your questions in your post.

    1) Scan has an affiliation/partnership with Bit-Tech, after 20 constructive posts, you get free delivery. It's next day delivery and theres no time limit to use it, so it's pretty pimping. See the Scan section in the forums for info.

    2) Vista was a notorious resource hog compared to XP, but Microsoft redeemed themselves with Windows 7. It's a far superior OS, more stable, secure, everything. It's been rapidly adopted by gamers. Another reason to go with Windows 7 is it's excellent 64-bit support, meaning if you upgrade to 4GB or more of RAM, the OS can address it all. XPs 64-bit support is terrible. In short, XP obsolete, Windows 7 is the future.

    3) You could buy small LCDs extremely cheaply these days. eBay is a good place to look.

    4) Do NOT go to the high street. You will get some cheap shite and the chances of being able to upgrade are very small. High street systems will try to wow you with packages with lots of RAM, but the graphics card, PSU and motherboard will have been scraped from the bottom of a Chinese container ship.

    5) At your budget, any kind of prebuilt isn't a good idea. Scan typically build custom high end systems.
     
  16. Votick

    Votick My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    TOTAL: £458

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Chicken76

    Chicken76 Minimodder

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    My advices to you would be:

    1. Use the XP for now, and put the money into some components that would last you a while. You can always pick up a copy of Win7-64bit later, if you don't mind reinstalling Windows.
    The improvements in Win7 over XP certainly won't make for the loss in performance you'll suffer by taking that money away from a decent video card and processor.

    2. Don't buy Brand name at that price.

    3. As it was suggested before, buy one 2GB RAM module for now. It will be enough to run games in XP, and although you won't have dual-channel for now, getting another one later and installing it is a 3-minute job. No software operations needed, just turn off the PC, open the case, stick the module in the same channel, close the case, power on the PC, and get yourself a cold beer while Windows boots. :D

    4. Don't get a second hand LCD monitor. Chances are it will be a few years old, and that means it's lamp will not be as bright, it may have a higher response time, etc. Buy a CRT, the bigger the better. If you can find one with a 21" Trinitron tube you won't be disappointed. You'll be able to play in 1600x1200@85Hz (which is not bad at all) if you buy a better graphics card, or lower the resolution (1280x1024@100Hz) if you choose a cheaper graphics card without the loss of quality by not running at the native resolution as it would happen if you were using an LCD monitor. Also, the higher refresh rates you'll feel :naughty: if you play first person shooters. (it's true that you can get 120Hz in LCD monitors too, but those are quite expensive)
    Look what a quick search showed up:
    http://computers.shop.ebay.co.uk/Monitors-/174/i.html?Type=CRT&rt=nc&Screen%2520Size%2520%2528inches%2529=21%2522&_catref=1&_dmpt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_Monitors&_fln=1&_ssov=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282
    http://www.recycle.co.uk/advert/7965.html
     
  18. Siberdine

    Siberdine Safety Not Guaranteed.

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    [​IMG]

    A few price cuts allowed me to add a faster hard drive, and 2gb more of RAM for £4 more. Sticking with one stick of 2gb DDR3 1333MHz RAM would be wiser, but it's all out of stock on Scan.

    Anyways, this is a pretty good build, but these price cuts only last a day or two before it'll go up by £10-20. Anyway, get something along these lines, drop down the RAM if you want to save some money, and find a good, cheap monitor. It'll run games like WoW and Left 4 Dead and others at medium - high settings, and it'll last you a long time. :)
     
  19. prune

    prune What's a Dremel?

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    The latest one is nice and cheap, but surely, going by the info so far, the 4GB would be useless with XP?

    Well, things are constantly changing on my end, and I think I can go up to £550, MAYBE £600 for this thing (that's all inclusive - including VAT/Delivery etc). I do now want windows 7-64 Bit, to allow me to upgrade later on.

    I've been looking at PCspecialist.co.uk actually, and I can get the following for £558 including VAT, and it's free delivery:

    Case
    STYLISH PIANO BLACK ENIGMA CASE + 2 FRONT USB

    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™i3-540 Dual Core (3.06GHz, 4MB Cache) + HD Graphics

    Motherboard
    ASUS® P7H55-M SI: MICRO ATX VALUE MAINBOARD,USB 2.0 & SATA 3.0Gb/s

    Memory (RAM)
    2GB SAMSUNG DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (1 x 2GB)

    Graphics Card
    1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 5570 PCI EXPRESS - DirectX® 11

    2nd Graphics Card
    NONE

    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    250GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

    2nd Hard Disk
    NONE

    1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
    24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM

    2nd DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
    NONE

    Memory Card Reader
    NONE

    Power Supply & Case Cooling
    350W Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan

    Processor Cooling
    INTEL SOCKET LGA1156 STANDARD CPU COOLER

    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

    Network Facilities
    ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT

    USB Options
    6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD

    Modem
    NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

    Floppy Disk Drive
    NONE

    Firewire & Video Editing
    NONE

    TV Card
    NONE

    Operating System
    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)

    Office Software
    FREE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Limited functionality Word & Excel)

    Anti-Virus
    NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE

    Monitor
    19" Wide TFT Silver/Black 1440 x 900 5MS, D-Sub, DVI, 18.5" Panel (£89)

    2nd Monitor
    NONE

    DVI Cable
    NONE

    GeForce 3D Vision
    NONE

    Keyboard & Mouse
    NONE

    Mouse
    NONE

    Speakers
    NONE

    Webcam
    NONE

    Headsets (VOIP)
    NONE

    Surge Protection
    NONE

    Printer
    NONE

    External Hard Drive
    NONE

    Home Installation
    NONE

    Warranty
    3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)

    Data Recovery
    NONE

    Delivery
    STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

    Build Time
    Standard Build - Approximately 9 to 12 working days

    Quantity
    1

    What do you guys think?

    As always, feel free to tinker and swap around things; i'd like to hear of possible upgrades/cheaper prices/wrong choices.

    http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/computers/intel-core-i3-pc/ for ease-of-use I suppose.
     
  20. Showerhead

    Showerhead What's a Dremel?

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    If you're a student have a look at the win 7 student deals you can get pro for about £35 or if you're lucky you're uni might have a partnership where you can get it for free. If not if you have any kids in secondary education or higher this site will sell to you for a reduced cost.

    You could save some money on the monitor with the £80 Hanns G HZ194 but don't expect much from it. (Also comes with integrated speakers but they are really really crap.)
     

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