Help and advice needed please on new PC

  TopCat® 01:34 06 Nov 2009

I'd like some help as I'm thinking about a new high-spec gaming computer and a 23/24 inch top class monitor. I already have a retail copy of Windows7 Pro and would be installing the 64 bit version of it, for the WindowsXP compatibility mode which it provides - for the grandkids' games.

Firstly, the monitors. I've narrowed my search down to three different makes and if anyone has used any of them then I would like their opinion please. They are: the NEC Multisync EA231WMi, the HP LP2475w and the LG W2363V TN LCD. The latter monitor was announced earlier this year but it's difficult to find sellers with stock.

Now for the computer itself. I don't feel confident enough to attempt my own build so it will have to be eventually sourced online. I have a budget of £1600 plus for the right machine.

Here's some idea of the major components I have in mind, but I bow to superior wisdom and experience on these things.

Intel 920i7 (DO stepped) CPU, a first class motherboard with Crossfire ability, a single (to start with) Ati Radeon 5870 GPU, and up to 12GB of fast memory. All adequately powered by a quiet PSU in a nice case and to run as quiet and cool as possible. A new cordless keyboard and mouse and 2:1 speakers just about does it. No monitor or OS is needed as explained above. This new computer will be the only one connected to the internet through a Netgear DG843G router.

I look forward to your suggestions and thank you for your time on this. TC.

  I am Spartacus 09:07 06 Nov 2009

I've been looking at all the reviews and am considering the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Intel X58 motherboard but only for its overclockign ability. Otherwise consider the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R.

You'd possibly be looking at well over £200 for 12GB RAM. I would be probably be looking at 6GB of Corsair RAM, Dominator in preference, mainly for the lifetime guarantee (which is honoured). However to give overclocking headroom I would also consider G.Skill Trident 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-16000C9 2000MHz Triple Channel Kit (£150).

Cases are a lot to do with personal preference. I really like the Silverstone TJ07B-W V2 click here but it's pricey and not really that good for aircooling. For watercooling it's brilliant. The Silverstone TJ10B-W is spacious, looks good (to me anyway) and provides good air cooling click here

I highly rate the Be Quiet 650 Modular PSU but it wouldn't be enough to power a Crossfire configuration. It's extremely quiet and comes with loads of modular cables.

Rather than Crossfire you could consider waiting until the X2 version of the 5870 is released. I've used Crossfire in the past and found that if you wait a while that you can get the latest generation of a single card that outperforms the 2 cards. Also 2 cards generate a lot of heat.

You will be limited to some extent of what the system builder can provide though.

  TopCat® 09:48 06 Nov 2009

Thanks very much for your comments and suggestions - much appreciated.

I missed out an important component from my list which is a decent hard drive, or possibly a solid state one if recommended.

Have to go out now but will return to this later. TC.

  I am Spartacus 10:03 06 Nov 2009

A few reviews of SSDs here click here

I bought a OCZ Vertex 60GB as a balance between cost and performance and use it as the OS drive with Samsung F1's as data/scratch drives. There's bigger and faster ones available.

  TopCat® 18:27 06 Nov 2009

Had a good read of the SSD reviews and fancied the Corsair 256 until I saw its price. Then found a full format gave it problems when tested, whereas a quick format didn't. I'll probably get a normal HDD at first and see about a SSD next year.

I also got my latest (174) PCA mag delivered today and in it are reviews on several Win7 machines starting on page 124. TC.

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