Building For the Future

  SeanUK 16:45 26 Feb 2011

Hi Guys/Girls,

I want to build a dedicated gaming desktop in the near future.

I am saving up for it at the moment, and should be able to afford to buy all components outright in 3-6 months time.

What I am trying to establish is if the current crop of Processors and GPU's have reached their peak.

Will we be seeing an entirely new range of GPU or CPU's in the near future, or just minor improvements?

I expect to spend around £1000 including a nice 26" gaming monitor for around £200-300.

Could somebody in the know give me advice on:

What range of CPU's and GPU's currently offer the best value for money?

What are some of the good websites to purcase parts from in the UK?

Are there any emerging market trends that will result in a noticable drop in price for today's 'top' parts?

I am looking at this build as a replacement for my Home Console, I would like to to be able to play 'mainstream' games at Maximum settings for at least a year.

Ideally, I'd like a machine able to handle Crysis comfortably on 26" monitor.

Thanks for any guidance/input you can offer.

- Sean

P.S I have already been reading up on GPU/CPU trends at the moment, but a lot of price/performance charts are based on US $ prices which seem to take a little while to filter through to the UK.

  SeanUK 17:55 26 Feb 2011

Here's what I have managed to come up with myself:

1 x AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM3 8MB L3 Cache 125W Retail Box Processor 186428 £104.13

1 x Kingston 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC CL9 DIMM (Kit of 2) with Thermal Sensor 186669 £71.30

1 x Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache 173804 £33.11

1 x Sapphire HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI Dual Mini Display Port Out PCI-E Graphics Card 244430 £149.99

1 x CIT 700W Black Edition PSU 12cm Fan Dual 12v Rail 20+4pin 2x SATA 169063 £26.07

1 x LiteOn iHOS104 4x BD-ROM SATA Blu-Ray Drive - OEM Black 172638 £31.65

1 x Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 OEM PCI Soundcard 98938 £16.78 £16.78

1 x Xigmatek Asgard All Black Interio/Exterior Mid Tower Case - No PSU 179016 £26.16

1 x Xilence Red Wing 120mm Quiet Fan - 3&4pin connection 138586 £4.26

Order Total £556.18 (with Vat)

I think this is around the minimum specifiction I would want, does anybody have any tips?

  robertmonkford 08:49 27 Feb 2011

CPU = Intel i5 760 2.80GHz Retail @ £136.66

CPU Cooler = Thermaltake Frio @ £33.18

RAM = Corsair Vengence C9 1600MHz 8GB (2x4GB) @ £79.16

Motherboard = Asus P7P55D-E LX @ £83.32

PSU = OCZ ModXStream 700w @ £63.32

Hard Drive = Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 64mb cache @ £58.32

Optical Drive = LiteOn IHOS104-37 Blu-Ray Reader Combo @ £35.82

PC Case = Coolermaster HAF 922 @ £52.48

Graphics Card = XFX 6870 @ £145.82

Total Basket Ex VAT: £688.08 ex vat
Delivery Charge: 4.99 ex vat
Basket + Delivery Ex VAT: £693.07 ex vat
VAT @ 20%: £138.62
Total Basket Value: £831.69 inc vat

I note that this would push your budget somewhat; I’d suggest dropping your RAM to 4GB and upgrading this later on. You could also opt for a 6850 instead of a 6870. Either or both of these would save you some money. Course, instead of a 26 inch monitor you could opt for 2x 19 inch monitors which would be cheaper and you get a larger display overall.

As for which company to choose, well there are a great many to choose from, some good some not so good.

The “big boys” such as Novatech, Scan and Ebuyer are usually able to buy in bulk so their prices are generally lower than most. I’ve used Novatech and Scan before, very good service and speedy too. I’ve also heard good things about Yoyotech too but I have never used them. That said, I didn’t use any of those when I bought my machine, I went with Daevinity. They weren’t the cheapest (I think they were about £20-30 dearer overall) but they were well worth it. Choices, choices....

Hope it was useful...

  rickf 09:01 27 Feb 2011

The Western Digital Cavair Green is only 5400 though.
I agree about buying from NOvatech. Very good customer service from my experience.

  ukpostcode 12:30 27 Feb 2011

Talk to them if they dont have what you want straight away.
Great customer support and service.

  SeanUK 13:12 27 Feb 2011

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your input.

£850 is probably my maximum limit for the PC itself. At the moment, I will be able to afford a £500ish rig in six weeks, whereas if I push it up to £800ish I'd have to wait another month or two.

I noticed your configuration has no sound card.

Is there much difference in audio quality when using a dedicated sound card?

How big would the performance difference be between the two systems?

  wee eddie 15:59 27 Feb 2011

It's components will be being by-passed within a month or three.

I would go for the fastest processor and MOBO Combination that you can afford. A slightly cheaper Graphics Card that you can up-grade in a year or so would be a suitable Trade-off.

  robertmonkford 16:31 27 Feb 2011

"£850 is probably my maximum limit for the PC itself. At the moment, I will be able to afford a £500ish rig in six weeks, whereas if I push it up to £800ish I'd have to wait another month or two."

My advice would be to wait til you had the full budget else you'll be compromising alot and you won't end up with the machine you really want or are happy with. :)

"I noticed your configuration has no sound card.

Is there much difference in audio quality when using a dedicated sound card?"

In my opinion there isn't any difference. Most motherboards now feature fantastic on board sound quality which is why I hadn't included one on the spec list; you can still acquire one at a later date if you wanted to but I don't think there is any difference to the majority of people.

"How big would the performance difference be between the two systems?"

I can't really answer this too well since I've only ever bought Intel computers; but i do believe the Intel one would really hit your expectations and then some; plus with the quality of components I suggested you should be able to overclock (if you wanted to) without too much of a problem....there have been some great guides in CustomPC recently too.

  Forum Editor 18:33 27 Feb 2011

on performance difference - it will be so small you will not be able to detect it.

The really important items for gaming are the CPU, the graphics card, and the display quality. 4GB of RAM will be fine, provided you have a decent graphics card.

In general I would agree with the advice offered by robertmonkford - it will be worth waiting until you can afford the more expensive machine.

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