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HELP with Building a GAMING Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by kk949, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. kk949

    kk949 New Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm looking to build my first gaming PC and have a budget of around £800-£850 and need your help. Have done some research and come up with a list of all items i plan on buying but was wondering if you could suggest better (or cheaper) alternatives for each of the parts I've listed.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Display: LG L226WTQ 22" (3000:1, 2ms, 300cd/m2) for £193. (definately want a 22"+ screen!!)
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 for £118
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (1066MHz) for £94
    MoBo: Asus PK5 SE Intel P35 DDR2 (1333MHz FSB) for £70
    Graphics: OcUK GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 675MHz core GDDR3 for £103
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 500GB SATA 32MB cache 8.5ms seek time for £74
    Case: Amtec 900 Ultimate Gaming for £67
    PSU: Ocz StealthXStream 600W ATX2 for £48
    Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120A CPU Cooler for £26
    Optical: Asus DVD+-R Dual layer lightsribe for £25
    OS: Microsoft Vista Basic edition for £52
    Keyboard/Mice: Logitech Cordless Combo for £35
    Speakers: Creative I-Trigue 3000i 2.1 for £72 (I wanted something with an i-pod dock)

    What do you think of these specs? Do i need any further parts to build the computer? Am I being ripped off?? The total here comes to about £977. Any recommendations on how i can reduce it down to £800-850 without drastically compromising on performance??

    Any help will be GREAT!!!!!
     
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    seems ok to me :)
     
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  3. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    The good choices:

    1. Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 - Not the fastest wit the largest cache, but good none-the-less.
    2. Asus PK5 SE Intel P35 DDR2 - Haven't looked at how upgradeable it is, but Asus is rarely a bad choice if ever.
    3. Asking on more than one forum.
    4. Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 500GB SATA 32MB - Silent and very fast - as well as reliable.

    The bad choices:

    1. OcUK GeForce 8600GTS 512MB 675MHz core GDDR3 - I'm assuming you want pretty graphics? You will need a better card from the 8800 series, even if it means less GPU memory. The quality of the chip holds precedence for your budget.
    2. LG L226WTQ 22" (3000:1, 2ms, 300cd/m2) - Don't know about this monitor, but the reason why I have listed this as a bad choice regardless is that your card will not run the latest games smoothly at the resolution of this monitor unless you cut down the graphics quality.
    3. No sound card! Always get a sound card to take some of the audio processing load off the CPU.
    4. Microsoft Vista Basic edition - Just get XP if you're going to get Vista Basic: More games will be stable and XP is less of a resource hog, unless you want to play Halo 2 or something.

    The other choices are okay.
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'd have to do research on each of those brands and models to give each part the BM seal of approval, but at first glance, it looks OK. Math is right - you definitely need a sound card - I use Creative's SoundBlaster line. And if you're building the PC specificially for gaming, you should definitely go with XP, not Vista.
     
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  5. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster

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    Hi,

    As Mathematix said you should be looking at a better graphics card for gaming. I would not go for anything less then an 8800GTS. The price difference between a 320Mb and 640Mb now is only about £20.00 - £30.00.

    As for the memory you can never go wrong with Crucial, we always try and use that every time at work. But I would go for the 800Mhz with 4-4-4-12 timing then the 1066Mhz with 5-5-5-15 and save yourself £50.00 which would go towards a better graphics card.

    The Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 is over £50.00 cheaper then the E6850 and will over clock to 3Ghz so good buy.

    My boss installed Vista on his pc(well he got me to) and the bench marks he got was 20% down on XP so I had to do another reinstall putting XP back on. At least it gave me sometime to do in the days between Christmas and New year when most of customers were closed.

    Hope this helps you in anyway.

    Regards

    Taosty
     
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  6. spammeh

    spammeh Bit Poster

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    Graphics card: I would go for a 8800gt, best price/performance card. You won't be disappointed with this card.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-071-OK&groupid=701&catid=56&subcat=1008

    Ram: Seems you're buying some mighty premium priced ram sticks there. Buy some cheaper 800mhz sticks.
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-058-GL&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=813

    You could buy a soundcard (creative X-fi series) if you want that extra oomph but other than I'd see how you like the onboard audio (which do not suck these days and it won't hog major processing power so don't worry.)

    Buy a slightly cheaper cooler http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-017-AR&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=821

    you could buy a cheaper case too to reduce costs (more room than the 900 inside, maybe less sexy looking I don't know :p)
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-145-CM&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=29
     
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  7. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    I agree with the graphics card not being good enough..

    The Nvidia 8800GT is the best value for money card right now, it outperforms the 8800GTS and is cheaper. It's only 2nd to the GTX and GTX ultra and at roughly £150, you can't argue!

    You *could* up the CPU to a quad but as most games don't support it yet, there's little point.

    As for the mobo, should be fine, I had a look and it will support the new 45nm CPU's:

    5 Star Review9-way Intel P35 motherboard round-up
    Anyone looking at building a new desktop system should not look any further than Intel Core 2 processors, and when time comes to pick a platform you should have Intel's own P35 chipset in mind as it officially offers 1333MHz FSB support and will be compatible with upcoming 45nm processors. This translates in a fairly 'future-proof' platform, with some models currently available supporting DDR3 memory already.

    I found your other thread while searching :P

    dave
     
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  8. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    I'd also be tempted to raise the PSU to 800w, 600w isn't a great deal on a high end gaming rig...
     
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  9. spammeh

    spammeh Bit Poster

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  10. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    Yea maybe not RIGHT now but say he upgrades.. it's about keeping urself future proof. I've saw a few posts on another forum I use where people have to upgrade their PSU because they have went for SLi options..

    And I didn't say 1000w, I said 800w ;)
     
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  11. spammeh

    spammeh Bit Poster

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    ah yeah that's true dave. I just noticed his budget again though :oops:

    He wants to lower it :twisted:

    Go get a 3850 instead of the 8600gt - same price range but 3850 performance > 8600gt by a landslide.
    (although you kinda really need a high end card for decent framerates for a native res of 1680x1050 so I'd beg/borrow/sell a kidney to make 8800gt fit into budget)

    Cheaper ram - see above. -£60 saving or so

    Willing to overclock? - buy a lower end c2d and overclock. E2140 -£81:twisted:
    ( http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17784493 )
     
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  12. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    That's why my Theramltake 560W PSU is perfectly fine and dandy. You only need the higer rated PSUs if you are overclocking, have SLi/Crossfire, multiple HDs, etc. :)
     
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  13. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    the 8600gt cards are ok, I have one although I'd have the 8800 any day.
     
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  14. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    ok like some of the others have said RAM! The RAM ur going for is too pricey my friend...I bought 4GB for my gaming machine and it came to a total of £113 and they were all 800MHz PC6400 DDR2. If u look on Overclockers u will find 2GB kits for under £30 I kid u not!! and these arent cheap crap...they are good quality RAM.

    I cant fault ur case...I have two Antec 900s myself...without a doubt the best gaming case EVER!! :biggrin

    Graphics wise: 8600 is old skool my friend...if u really wana break the barrier either the 8800 (am I plugging nVidia? lol) or my personal faves the ATI HD2900XT range...or if u wana step into the future the new 3850 or 3870 from ATI...but saying that depending on what board u went for, you could buy an extra graphics card for either SLi (nVidia) or Crossfire (ATI) and I will tell u this...IT ROCKS!! I have two ATI 2600XTs in my gaming machine and WOW!! :biggrin

    Processor wise, you are ok...the monitor...it's good u wana get a 22"...I myself have the brand new Samsung Pebble model...22" widescreen of pure sexiness :biggrin 2ms response time with a 3000:1 ratio...price tag however is £220...I paid £7 less lol...but my its a beauty...im going to buy 2 of the 20" versions for my other computer which currently has two 19" Iiyama LCDs...

    DVD-RW not that it matters but u can pick up something similar for under £20 I bought my samsung 18x for under £20...

    another thing I forgot to mention, are you going fully SATA on this gaming machine or were u planning on using IDE? Cos if u ask me SATA is definitely the way to go as thats what I have done with my gaming machine both the HDD and DVD-RW are SATA...makes the insides look neat :biggrin

    Talking of neatness, I like ur choice of PSU...however u would be better with a modular one...that way u wont have so much cables lying around cluttering the inside...with a modular PSU ur only using the cables u need...and with the money u will save on RAM u can use that to get a 600W modular PSU...so really another £40 and ur laughing mate...

    Keyboard and mouse..DO NOT GO WIRELESS!! Trust me...wireless BAD!! USB...Very GOOD!! take it from someone who has used wireless keyboard and mouse for 3yrs...I have a Saitek Eclipse gaming keyboard with a blue illumination under the keys (looks hot in the dark hehe) and a Razer DiamondBack blue LED mouse...im so pleased with them both :biggrin each cost me about £20-£30.

    You CPU cooler...its ok...but for ur CPU I would recommend something from Zalman...these boys know how to make some serious CPU coolers...mine is the CNPS 9700 and its great...only downside is...when u put it in the Antec900 the side fan will touch the fins but not enough to damage it...so if ur like me and u can live it then leave the side fan (thats if u get a side fan as one doesnt come with the Antec 900)...otherwise its a sweet looking CPU cooler...price around £34 from ebuyer.

    Now speaker wise...before we get onto that...what about sound card? u dont mention a sound card and my recommendation would be the X-Fi range...either the XtremeMusic OEM for about £50 or the Gamer version for about £80+ couple any of these with Creative's T6100 5.1 surround sound...and OH MY GOD!! :biggrin if u love ur Call Of Duty 4 or Need For Speed Carbon or anything that gives off great sound trust me...u want these bad boys...the speakers u can get the OEM for around £35 from ebuyer or Amazon.

    Lastly, your choice of OS...I personally have both Vista 64bit and 32bit ultimate running on the gaming machine...I mainly use 32bit to play all my games on...and after a few hiccups it all seems fine...I have Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and Double Agent (both I love so much), Hitman Blood Money, Need For Speed Most Want, Carbon and Pro Street (this one is really crap by the way), Juiced 2 (wipes the floor with Pro Street!), Tomb Raider Anniversary, FIFA 08 and Matrix: Path Of Neo. All of these games I have had no trouble playing...altho both Splinter Cell games u need a patch or two to get them to run cos they dont like Vista but once u apply the patches damn its good...u can get an OEM version of Vista Ultimate for around £100+ or like others have said...go for XP Pro...

    Now, I hope that has helped...good luck with whatever u go for...and hope u love ur gaming machine as much as I do mine :biggrin
     
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  15. kk949

    kk949 New Member

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    cheers guys.... lots of learning for me!!

    i think will def go fork out the extra for the 8800gt (does it matter a huge amount if i go for gt or gts???) also do you recon i could cope with 256MB as or should i def go for 512?

    am slowly inclining towards 20" for cost reasons :cry: Although will get a decent soundcard, wired keyboard/mouse and vista premium. Am planning on sticking wiht SATA for the machine - keep it neat andtidy. am also going to replace my memory with a cheaper corsair ones at 800MHz - they're going for around 35.

    Another question - i know the antec case looks really sleek but what do you guys think of the Coolermaster CM-690?? Is it worth downgrading for hte sale of £20??
     
  16. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    No probs man, if u decide to downgrade to a 20" LCD I highly recommend the 20" Samsung Pebble...u can get one for about £170 on ebuyer sleek as hell. As for the 8800, GTS will be better and its upto on the memory on the card...my two 2600XTs from ATI are both 256MB and games run no problem on them...so its ur choice mate.

    As for the case...it has some good cooling options on there, also the PSU will be going at the bottom which is always a good thing in my eyes, only thing I am not keen on is the way the HDDs will be put...cos the cables will be against the case cover...but saying that at least they wont be bent too much if u know what I mean...other its not a bad case for the price...but I would still stick with Antec 900 :biggrin
     
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  17. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    It all depends...

    The 8800GT is a better card than the OLD 8800GTS cards, so if you decide to go for the newer 8800GTS cards, make sure you're getting the right one.

    Currently the 8800GT's can be had for around £170 while the GTS's can be had for £200. The performance difference isn't much and you can overclock the GT to match the GTS. If you're not comfortable with overclocking, GTS is probably your best option.

    As for memory, I bought my 8800GT with 512mb ddr3 memory for £160 a few months ago...
     
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  18. vlb

    vlb Byte Poster

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    if you aint comfortable with overclocking yourself you can buy a factory overclocked 8800gt from Zotac, extremely reliable and one of the most popular makes of 8800gt out their, quite cheap too

    http://www.micom.co.uk/products.asp?partno=DISZOTZT-88TES2P-FSP

    i also wouldnt pay that much for Ram, you can buy matching sticks of Geil dragon for below £50 quid.

    The pentium D 820 is probably one of the best chips for gaming, it out performs higher spec chips.

    My Rig is

    Asus M2n4 SLI
    Athlon X2 4800+
    4gb Geil Dragon quad channel
    Zotac 8800GT

    i play COD4 competitivly and i am always the first person to have loaded the map (sometmies wait for nearly 10 seconds for others to have joined) and i am constantly above 200fps (even in smokey maps)

    good luck with what you decide

    Vlb
     
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  19. rax

    rax Megabyte Poster

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    Screenshots from in game during play? and what settings do you use? high?

    Also, initial load time will be more to do with the HDD speed than anything else.. well that and if it's already preloaded onto that huge 4gb ram you have heh (lucky b*stard)
     
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  20. kobem

    kobem Megabyte Poster

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    i do not want to make you upset but if i were you , i would buy a PS3 or xbox360.
    although i am a pc gamer(not a fanatic) , for nba2k8 i could buy these consoles
     
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