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How do you do....it? Thread, Building a gaming PC in Technical; Hey, not sure if this should be here or in the gaming section, but it is a "how do i?..." ...
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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Building a gaming PC

    Hey, not sure if this should be here or in the gaming section, but it is a "how do i?..." type question!

    I am looking into building my first gaming rig, and frankly there are so many different makes & model numbers of hardware out there that it's making my head hurt a bit!

    So I wondered if any veterens here would look over my spec here and see if a) I've made any obvious mistakes, b) anything that could be improved for a reasonable cost, and c) if this will cope well enough with titles due to be released now/near future ie Diablo III, Modern Warfare/Battlefield etc or am I going to be needing to upgrade something very soon?

    Much thanks!

    -------------------------------
    PC Components
    -------------------------------
    Case & Power/ Fans: Galaxy III Black/blue with 750W (or 850W?) power supply, extra fans etc. Approx. £30

    CPU: Intel i7 2600k (8M, 3.4) £190

    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-M £69

    RAM: 8Gb (4x2Gb) £33

    Graphics: nVIDIA GTX560 £115


    Extra 'standard' bits like HDD, media drive, wireless/ethernet etc. I am OK with.

    Any thoughts or opinions appreciated!

    Cheers.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    General advice from me - don't buy that case a PSU; buy the best case and PSU you can afford - the PSU is vital, you really don't want to skimp on that, and a good case will make assembly and future upgrades easier, as well as have good air flow.

    Spend as much as you can afford to on the graphics card (obviously back this up with reviews, slightly cheaper doesn't necessarily mean worse, £50+ cheaper probably does), it'll have a much larger impact £ for £ than the processor in a gaming rig

  3. Thanks to LosOjos from:

    Pete10141748 (14th May 2012)

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    I would always recommend buying a PSU from a well known manufacturor, badly made ones can be a real problem further down the line.
    No need to get an I7 for gaming, there is virtually nothing that will use the extra cores so stick with an I5. You can also get Ivy Bridge CPUs now (3xxx rather than 2xxx), at first look i think the motherboard you linked supports them.
    RAM - Get 2x4gb rather than 4x2gb, leaves room for expansion.
    Graphics is fine, thats just where to chuck the extra money to reach your budget so if you can afford a better one then do it. It will run the games listed perfectly well.

    Assuming I am allowed to post links to other forums have a look at OcUK Full Systems & Bundles - Overclockers UK Forums as every day there will be a "i have £xxx money to spend, make me a good PC" post

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    Pete10141748 (14th May 2012)

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Firstly, i7 is probably overkill. The i5 3570K is all the processor you would ever need, and in all honesty you could probably get away with an i3 for most games. It's also the newer Ivy Bridge processor, where the i7-2600K is last gen, so the newer processor uses less power. Saying that, it's a good price on that i7...

    The 560 is a decent card, but the 560Ti is better. If you're not desperate to build this, nVidia are in the middle of replacing their line up with the 600 series so there'll either be a 600 coming out, or the prices on the 500-series will drop.

    Motherboard is good (Asus are brilliant), 8gb of RAM is plenty (and Patriot are decent, AFAIK).

    The only thing I would say is - I wouldn't trust that PSU to run my kettle, let alone my PC. You cannot, cannot, cannot cheap out on your PSU. If that goes bang, everything could get fried, and cheap power supplies are cheap for a reason. Corsair and Antec are, generally speaking, the better PSUs at a reasonable price (others vary by model). If you can find a review of a PSU on jonnyguru.com, that's about the best opinion around. You want something around 550W going by the numbers spat out @ eXtreme Outer Vision - eXtreme tools for computer enthusiasts (with full capcacitor aging on so you can run it for a good long while) - just make sure it has 2 x 6pin PCI-E power connecters for the 560/560ti. This unit was the first decent one sorting by price at eBuyer.

    Case is personal preference and you can spend loads on them, but this is damn good for £25 if you're not too fussy.

    You might also want to consider an SSD, 128gb Crucial m4's are down to £90 on eBuyer, well worth the investment - so long as you have a secondary hard drive for games you don't play frequently.


    In summary: spec is plenty good enough, consider a slight bump up to the 560ti if you can, but for the love of God get a better PSU. No point in risking hundreds of pounds worth of components for the sake of a few quid saved on a crappy power supply. Seriously. Don't do it.

    EDIT: as others have said, get 2 x 4gb, not 4 x 2gb. No difference in price.
    Last edited by sonofsanta; 14th May 2012 at 04:47 PM.

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    Pete10141748 (14th May 2012)

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Thanks for the speedy responses! I will take them on board for sure.

    I didnt have my heart set in anything so changes for the better are fine with me, I'd seen the 560Ti around so will look more into that, and thanks for the link to the PSU that looks great to me

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete10141748 View Post
    Thanks for the speedy responses! I will take them on board for sure.

    I didnt have my heart set in anything so changes for the better are fine with me, I'd seen the 560Ti around so will look more into that, and thanks for the link to the PSU that looks great to me

    - quality case with good cable routing and airflow
    - quality branded PSU... can't go wrong with Corsair
    - branded memory Corsair etc
    - 560Ti or newer, preferably a factory overclocked edition
    - i5 2500k with aftermarket cooler
    - Intel or Crucial M4 SSD
    - Samsung HDD
    - any motherboard except ASUS

    I like the MSI I have in mine, solid and good value. Get a copy of Custom PC mag as their hot lists are pretty much on the money imo.

  10. Thanks to gshaw from:

    Pete10141748 (14th May 2012)

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    @sonofsanta is spot on with his recommendations. Just to add to what he said...

    RAM: For third-gen Intel Core processors (Ivy Bridge) you should get 1.35v/1.5v 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM. Avoid 1,333MHz (or > 1,600MHz) RAM and DIMMs with ridiculously tall heatspreaders - they just get in the way of larger CPU heatsinks and are purely for looks.
    Motherboard: Z77 or Z68 chipset, 20-pin USB 3.0 header, plenty of PCI Express slots. Asus have the best UEFI BIOS, fan control options and their Z77 motherboards have a very unique feature no other manufacturer has (T-Top).
    PSU: Choose a power supply somewhere in the ~400-600 watt range from a reliable make such as Seasonic or Corsair. PSUs are generally most efficient at around half their rated load so don't go OTT and buy a 700-1000 watt power supply, because a modern PC won't use anywhere near that amount of power. Modular PSUs will reduce the number of cables inside the case since you only need to connect the ones you require.
    Case: As already mentioned, good airflow and cable routing are essential. Front or top mounted USB 3.0 ports are very useful too.

    Here are a few suggestions...

    Processor - K models are overclockable, but require a Z68/P77 motherboard
    Intel Core i5-3550 (£159.80)
    Intel Core i5-3570K (£172.98)

    Motherboard - Gigabyte and MSI motherboards aren't as good as Asus
    Asus P8Z77-M (£88.52)
    Asus P8Z77-M Pro (£114.92)
    Asus Maximus V Gene (£150.92)

    RAM
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 1.5v 1,600MHz DDR3 (£34.89)
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance LP 1.5v 1,600MHz DDR3 (£39.36)
    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair Vengeance LP 1.35v 1,600MHz DDR3 Arctic White (£41.98)
    8GB (2x4GB) Samsung Green 1,600MHz DDR3 (£55.99) - Overclockable to 2,400MHz!!!

    Heatsink/Fan (for CPU)
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo (£25.18)
    Corsair A50 (£26.99)
    Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme (£34.74)
    Thermalright HR-02 Macho inc. 140mm fan (£39.22)

    Additional Fans (if required)
    Scythe Kaze Jyuni (£9.18)
    Thermalright TY-140 (£9.44)
    DeepCool UF-120 (£9.72) or DeepCool UF-140 (£12.78)
    Scythe Gentle Typhoon (£11.98)

    Graphics
    nVidia GeForce 560 Ti (448 Cores) e.g. MSI Twin Frozr III/OC (£179.47)

    PSU - Avoid Coolermaster and OCZ. Too noisy!
    Corsair CX-430 v2 (£36.52) or Corsair CX500 v2 (£44.87)
    Antec High Current Gamer 520w (£58.24)
    Corsair AX-650 (£108.78)
    Seasonic X-560KM 90% efficient (£107.47)
    Seasonic X-460FL 90% efficient fanless (£116.95)

    Case
    Fractal Design Core 3000 (£49.49)
    Fractal Design Arc Mini (£58.78)
    Fractal Define Mini (£71.18)
    Silverstone TJ08B-E (£82.80)
    Antec Solo II (£89.92)
    Corsair Obsidian 550D (£109.86)
    Corsair Obsidian 650D (£136.38)
    Corsair Graphite 600T White (£137.98)

    SSD - Avoid OCZ SSDs!
    Crucial M4 (£88.94 for 128GB, £177.90 for 256GB)
    Samsung 830 (£97.34 for 128GB, £199.50 for 256GB)
    Intel 330 Series (£104.54 for 120GB, £167.02 for 180GB)
    Intel 320 Series (£147.74 for 120GB, £172 for 160GB) - 5 year warranty
    Plextor M3 Pro (£140.54 for 128GB, £263.10 for 256GB) - 5 year warranty

    HDD
    2TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 / ST2000DM001 7,200rpm (£84.65)
    2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 7,200rpm (£111.84)
    Last edited by Arthur; 14th May 2012 at 09:10 PM.

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    Pete10141748 (14th May 2012), sonofsanta (15th May 2012)

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    For heatsink also consider the Be Quiet Dark Rock Advanced or Xigmatek Aegir. Personally I'd go for the Xigmatek, really impressed with mine and installation was a doddle, some of the aftermarket coolers have nightmare fiddly clip mechanisms when installing!

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete10141748 View Post
    Started ordering componants for my new gaming PC.
    Nothing to do with work, but still cool nonetheless!
    Go on then, which bits did you pick in the end?

    /component voyeur

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    So far I've ordered;

    8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS3 1.5v 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM
    Corsair TX650W PSU
    Standard Sony 24x DVD RW optical drive (no need for anything fancy)
    Standard b/g/n wireless PCI card
    This case (May not be amazing but it'll do for now)
    Thrown in some extra fans for good measure


    Later today when I have time to shop around some more for the best deal I'll be looking to order the more expensive parts;
    Intel i5-3550 Quad-core 3.3Ghz 6Mb cache
    nVIDIA GeForce GTX560 Ti 1Gb (2 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA)
    Asus P8Z77-M motherboard

    Think I'll also pick up one of the Corsair A50 heatsinks too.

    My budget will be all but gone once I order that little lot so for now I may just use my existing PC's 500Gb HDD to get things up & running and then treat myself to a 1Tb (possibly 2Tb) HDD next payday.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Looking good, good choice on the PSU, thankfully

    Regarding the processor - the i5-3570K (i.e. the easy to overclock one) is about £7 more than the 3550, you may as well get it. The overclocking process goes something along the lines of
    1) Increase multiplier
    2) Run Super Pi to test stability
    3) Repeat until you've hit your limit (or start increasing voltage if you can be bothered)
    so it's straightforward enough for a 12 year old to do. And if you have a decent heatsink on it, you may as well - no point in the aftermarket heatsink if you're not going to push the processor, after all.


    Also: stuff the HDD in a month, get an SSD and just shuffle your game installs around as necessary to make the most of the space.

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    Pete10141748 (16th May 2012)

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    Regarding graphics cards: **B Grade** Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560Ti SUPER OC 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card []

    Bargain. EDIT: just to reassure, B grade just means someone may have had it, opened it and returned it under DSR, but they're still tested as fully working. and as others have said, get an SSD at least for windows, it makes a terrific different, something like a crucial M4 drive would do you tell, even if it's jsut a 64gb one.

    On another note, took delivery of a Gigabyte Windforce 3X GTX670 an hour
    Last edited by mrbios; 16th May 2012 at 01:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Also: stuff the HDD in a month, get an SSD and just shuffle your game installs around as necessary to make the most of the space.
    Or do what I did and buy a small SSD and a duplicate of the original. Install your OS on the SSD, and the OS alone. Stick the other two drives in a RAID-0 and iInstall -all- applications to the RAID. Leave as little junk on the OS drive as possible and watch your machine boot in 25-or-less seconds, and watch your games load with breakneck speeds.

    My games are backed up to a third drive I found lying around, so if the RAID fails I can just reinstall Steam games from there. I'll never look back after having an SSD.

    See my sig for my components.

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    @sonofsanta Cheers for the heads-up about the 3570k, for the sake of £7 I shall get that one instead!
    @mrbios Thanks a lot for the link to the discounted card, that'll help me a lot - have purchased it now along with the Asus motherboard too


    I'll take a look at the SSD options again, if it's really worth doing. Maybe just a small one for the OS and then a RAID arrangement as Mako suggest.


    Thanks for all the advice guys, you rock

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete10141748 View Post
    @sonofsanta Cheers for the heads-up about the 3570k, for the sake of £7 I shall get that one instead!
    @mrbios Thanks a lot for the link to the discounted card, that'll help me a lot - have purchased it now along with the Asus motherboard too


    I'll take a look at the SSD options again, if it's really worth doing. Maybe just a small one for the OS and then a RAID arrangement as Mako suggest.


    Thanks for all the advice guys, you rock
    Really really really worth doing. SSDs are amazing. Once you have one, you too will be indoctrinated into the cult and be recommending them to everyone you can.

    Short and entertaining summary of the state of the SSD market: Hard choices: SSDs | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
    Your best bet regards value will probably be the Crucial m4, the 128Gb models are down at £90 now which is superb value. Worth noting that a 128gb SSD will outperform a 64gb SSD as well as it has more memory chips to access in parallel - so you don't just get more capacity, but more performance as well.

  23. Thanks to sonofsanta from:

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