iBUILD Gaming PC

  got2nesa 22:30 24 Nov 2008

Thanks to rustyboy I have been able to drop my custom built PC from over £1600 to £1000 by not going completely overboard with unnecessary upgrades, which are far too expensive for their 'performance:cost' ratio.

This is what I've come up with, that I'm pleased with, though I am making a few exceptions which I'll go over further down:

Antec Nine Hundred - Advanced Gaming Case
650 Watt Power Supply Unit
Intel® Core™2 Duo E8400 Dual Core 2x3GHz 6MB cache
Standard CPU Cooling Fan
Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz
LG Internal Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Combo Drive
ATI Radeon 4870 512MB
Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium (64-bit)
22" Widescreen TFT 1680x1050 5m/s Monitor
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer
Logitech S220 2.1 Speakers with Subwoofer
802.11g WiFi PCI adapter
2 Years Return to Base inc. 2 Years Free Collect & Return Parts & Labour

*I'm happy with everything except:

Standard cooling fan... I don't think I will be capable of installing an upgrade myself, so I'm wondering, is this sufficient for the PC? Will the lack of a cooling fan at all cause problems? Is it expensive to pay to have it upgraded and installed by a tech?

And what do you all think of this machine?

I heard the Radeon is outperforming the Nvidia GTX 280 on benchmarks... But I believe that was the 4870 x2...

I don't like to settle for something I won't be pleased with, so I'm asking as many questions as I can to make sure I go to the right place and get the right rig.

Does the motherboard (Asus P5Q) not support SLi/Crossfire? Is the motherboard not good enough? Is it hard to upgrade a motherboard at a later date? Would I have to purchase a whole new machine, etc...

Final price: £1119.60
click here


  got2nesa 23:11 24 Nov 2008

But with this £1119 build... I'm sacrificing the following:

- Microsoft Office (£69)
- Processor Cooling (£15)
- Amazing Monitor: LG W2252TQ 22 Inch Widescreen: HDCP/DVI/2 ms (£179)
- Logitech Digital Precision Gaming Headset (£25)
- Surge Protection (? I'm not sure if the £1119 comes with it) (£14)
- Printer: HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-one (£59)
- Keyboard (£7)
- Mouse: Logitech G5 (£35)
- DVI cable (?) (£5)

= £408

And... I can upgrade my processor, RAM, and Sound Card to top-notch quality...

All of this for £1610

£1119 + £408 = £1527

I think that my second option is a much better deal... With the £1119 option, which appeared amazing at first sight, I see that it's lacking personal-essentials such as printer, office, amazing quality monitor, cooling (which makes me feel more comfortable), surge protection, great headset...

£1600 sounds like a lot for a gaming pc, but I'm not just getting a tower, I'm getting monitor, printer, accessories, and a GREAT gaming PC... Sure it may become obsolete, but I'm not even paying much extra for it, the only reason it is £1600 instead of £1200 is because of the accessories I'm getting. So, essentially, the tower of option #1 is weaker and in the same price-range as option #2, whereas option #2 offers not only a payment plan option, but also an all-in-one package that won't leave me running around picking up keyboard/mouse, etc...

What do you all think of my observations?

Thanks for the input!

  nosharpe 12:41 25 Nov 2008

Very pricey

  I am Spartacus 13:40 25 Nov 2008

If you're not overclocking then the standard cooler is adequate. If you are (and a 8400 should reach about 4GHz) then a better heatsink would be required, some use the standard Intel push pin mountings, some require motherboard removal to fit a backplate. Again if you are overclocking then I'd substitute PC8500 1066MHz RAM instead of the 800MHz to give yourself a bit more headroom.

Uou don't state the exact model of P5Q but many have 2 PCIE slots for Crossfire although one will probably only work at 8x speed. Some versions have onboard WiFi.

The reviews I've read of the 4870 x 2 and the GTX280 say that there's not much difference in performance. Is it worth paying around £30 for a couple of fps in some games? Unless you're getting a 24" + monitor then it's probably really overkill to use something more than a 4870, even a 4850 should be ok. I'm not really a gamer so someone else can confirm that.

I've been more than happy with onboard sound for the last couple of years. I suppose a dedicated card depends how high you want the quality.

I know prices are going up a fair but but would agree that they sound pricey although I haven't costed all the parts.

I've made an almost identical machine, mostly on ebuyer, and it has came to less than £1000, considerably less than the price you quoted. Take a look - click here. If you want to make that up yourself, just go to ebuyer click here, go to your basket then add the quickfind codes from my link.

I have not included Vista. The reason for this is if you already own a previous Microsoft OS, and there is a student living at home, then you can buy Vista Ultimate for £60 - click here. You can also buy Office 2007 from this site for £35. It is completely legal as long as you have a student living at home. I have bought from this site and not had any problems - they are genuine.

If not, then Vista can be bought from Ebuyer for £87 - click here.

You can also buy your mouse, keyboard, etc from ebuyer too and they will almost certainly be around the lowest price on the web and the selection is huge. For a computer like yours, I would recommend this brilliant mouse click here

Building it yourself is very easy these days, it's just a case of slotting everything in and will save you quite a lot. Another area I would perhaps consider saving money is the case and PSU. For example, you could go for this click here and save £30, or just simply look through the massive selection of cases as the Antec one is quite expensive.

Just to confirm that the software4students site is legitimate for those of you who are (understandably) suspicious, here is a link from Microsoft’s site: click here

  got2nesa 16:54 25 Nov 2008

Thanks [email protected].. but I'm really hesitant about messing around with such expensive equipment...


I wouldn't know what to do... I've opened up a PC before and added RAM and video cards... but I haven't gone beyond that...

Also, I need a finance option. I won't have the £2500 it will cost to buy a really good custom made pc from click here

for a few months...

I would love to save money, but if spending more money means my computer is professional and overclocked and amazingly powerful then why the hell not?

If I do it myself, it wont be overclocked and it will probably blow up when I turn it on :(

  citadel 17:48 25 Nov 2008

you can get openoffice.org free and save £69

  Joe R 17:58 25 Nov 2008


this one might be to your liking. click here

  Joe R 17:59 25 Nov 2008


click here

  got2nesa 17:59 25 Nov 2008

I just bought the IDENTICLE specs

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer 420W Case with Side Window
Lights & Illumination: NONE
Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Maximum Case Cooling Fans for your selected case, and match the colour of the fans already in the case
Power Supply Upgrade: 1300 Watts Power Supplies (Tagan 1300W TG1300-BZ PipeRock Series Modular Power Supply)
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8600 @ 3.33GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 ***Overclockable XXX*** Cache 64-bit
Overclocking Service: XXX (Extreme overclocking 20% to 30%)
Cooling Fan: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme CPU Cooler ***Overclockable XXX***
Motherboard: (QX9650/Q9770 Support) Asus P5E DELUXE Intel X48 Chipset CrossFire FSB1600 DDR2/1066Mhz Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394, & 7.1Audio ***Overclockable XXX***
Memory: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC8500 DDR2/1066Mhz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Dominator ***Overclockable XXX***)
VGA Power Supply: NONE
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB DDR5 PCI-Express Dual DVI-I & TVO Video Card 2: NONE Video Card 3: NONE
Monitor & LCD: 22& quot; TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Samsung SM2253BW 22& quot; 2MS Wide LCD Display DVI Monitor) 2nd Monitor: NONE
Hard Drive: Single Hard Drive (1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 32M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive) Data Hard Drive: NONE
Hard Drive Cooler: Vigor iSURF II Hard Disk Drive Cooling System (1 x System)
Sound: Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer 7.1 PCI Sound Card
Speakers: Logitech X-240 2.1 Configuration Speakers System
Keyboard: Logitech PS/2 Keyboard (Black)
Mouse: Logitech MX518 Gaming-Grade Optical PS2/USB Mouse
Extra Thermal Display : NONE (AS SHOWN)
Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: D-LINK DWL G520 Super G 108Mbps PCI Adapter
Wireless 802.11B/G Access Point: NONE
Flash Media Reader/Writer: None
Cable Wiring: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU
Cables: DVI Male to Male Cable (3m)
Video Camera: NONE
Power Surge Protection: Belkin 6-Socket Surge Protector
USB Port: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
USB Portable Drive: USB 2.0 3.5& quot; 7200RPM External Hard Drive (USB 2.0 3.5& quot; 7200RPM External Hard Drive 1TB)
Floppy: NONE
OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium w/ Service Pack 1 (64-bit Edition)
Media Center Remote & TV Tuner: NONE

This setup from Cyberpowersystem.co.uk costs £2426 including VAT...

The same... from Ebuyer...


The difference? Having to wait for parts to arrive.... having to build it yourself... having to OVERLOCK yourself... having to make sure the fans and cooling are all proper yourself... etc....

They offer professional service AND warranty! AND life time tech support... all for extra £400??? You're getting a 20% faster machine with a potentially greater lifespan along with all of this support for virtually free.

So... if I'm going to max out with the best graphics card (4870x2) and best gaming process (E8600) and 4gigs of Corsair Dominator memory... ALL of which is extremely overclocked to squeeze the most out of it... with extremely good cooling and psu...

Not to mention, for the £2400 option you don't have to pay until 6 months later with their payment plan...

Much better in my opinion.

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