Building a Gaming PC - thoughts?

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Waynej, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Waynej

    Waynej
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    I have been looking over at www.aria.co.uk for parts for building a new gaming PC system for myself, as my current PC is pretty ancient. I realise there may be items cheaper elsewhere, but I was going with aria due to their 9mths finance option.

    I was looking to get everything together for no more than £600. The games I want to run at the moment are Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3, Halo 2, and basically any of the latest PC games I can throw at it.

    Aria have a new feature on there website too, which gives you a list of hardware to choose from, which I presume is to ensure everything is compatible with each other (which is great for me as I'm only really used to building fairly old systems some years back, mainly P3's).

    Check the link out below and let me know what you think:
    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Systems/systembuilder/GAMER1

    :thumbsup:
     
  2. Waynej

    Waynej
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    OK, well, I've just added some things from that list to my basket and overall it's come to more than £650. There are just a few things I'm unsure about, mainly being what PSU to get.

    Check out my picks below, and what I can choose from aria HERE, and hopefully you can recommend the most suitable item for my needs.

    If there are some better items that will work with this available elsewhere and cheaper, then I will also consider this option. I just mainly want the bulk of the order on finance with aria to keep initial payout down to a minimum, so will consider other items from elsewhere if the price and performance is right.

    Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer #25541 £ 56.95 £ 56.95
    Xilence 600W Gaming Edition PSU #27930 £ 39.95 £ 39.95
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz (Retail 775) #27971 £ 89.95 £ 89.95
    ASUS P5K Intel iP35 Socket 775 Motherboard #27298 £ 58.95 £ 58.95
    Patriot 4GB PC2-6400 C5 Extreme Performance (2x2GB) #26803 £ 59.95 £ 59.95
    500Gb HITACHI SATA Hard Drive - 16MB #24957 £ 57.45 £ 57.45
    Samsung SH-S203 20X DVDRW - SATA - Black #29919 £ 14.09 £ 14.09
    Pioneer DVR-115DBK 20x Internal DVDRW Black Bare #29521 £ 14.95 £ 14.95
    nVidia GeForce 8800GTS 512MB PCI-E #29750 £ 172.95 £ 172.95
    Windows Vista Home Premium 32 OEM #25905 £ 50.65 £ 50.65


    Cart Total £ 615.84
    VAT £ 107.77
    Total £ 723.61

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The system I want for playing the latest games, but also for my graphic designs and video editing. I'm not so concerned about capture cards and the like just yet though, I'll scout those out in good time and can add to the system when I need to.
     
  3. Seque

    Seque
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    512mb 8800gt £170
    Antec 900 case £70
    550w Corsair Psu £55
    Asus P5K SE £60
    Western Digital 500Gb HD £65
    4GB Corsair 800mhz ram £70
    Vista 64-bit premium £60
    Pioneer CD/DVD £15
    Cost so far £565

    PSU
    Dual core E8400 3GHZ 1333mhz 45nm £130
    Total cost £695

    or Quad core Q6600 2.4ghz 1066mhz 65nm £170
    Total cost £735

    prices inc vat + free delivery from scan.co.uk
     
  4. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Thanks for that, I get free delivery with scan thanks to these very forums actually, though I'm not sure if scan allow you to pay in finance instead of all up front.

    I notice you have listed the 64bit version of Vista instead of the 32bit and both the Dual Core and Quad Core CPU's. Can you perhaps explain to me what the main differences are between these?

    Everything else sounds good to me :smashin:
     
  5. Miss Chief

    Miss Chief
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    if you want to fully utilise the 4GB of Ram you'll need to take Vista 64bit, although drivers for some of the more obscure devices or from smaller manufacturers can be thin on the ground.
     
  6. Seque

    Seque
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    hi windows vista 32-bit will only recognise a max of 3GB of ram so no matter how much more u put in it wont matter. so u will want 64-bit if u r getting or plan to use more than 3gb.

    Depends on what u use it for and ur budget regarding cpus
    Dual core will have a higher clock as standard and will be faster for the majority of games and things u need to do. however with a quad core u will benefit from the extra 2 cores by doing things like video editing and running multiple apps at the same time and more demanding games etc. more games are now supporting quad core as well. u can also overclock the quad to be 3ghz+. but again this will need cooling (= additional £'s) and u will need to know how to overclock.

    so really depends on ur budget hence why i suggested dual and quad.
    quad core will cost u £40 more than dual and extra £20-40 for cooling.

    scan do offer finance

    "Buy now pay in 9 months time . . when you spend only £300 (inc vat) or more.

    0% Interest if you choose to pay in 6 months time - (10% deposit required)"

    http://www.scan.co.uk/finance/
     
  7. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Have a look at the Coolermaster CM690, a great budget case for £50. The Antec 900 is a good case for cooling but the CM690 is cheaper and better looking imo.

    Instead of that chip I'd go for a Q6600 quad core or I'd wait for the new Penryn E8400 which will be more efficient (45nm) and apparently overclocks very well.
     
  8. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Cheers for the tips, I will certainly check out the Coolermaster case, as I'm not quite that keen on the Antec 900 one really, just it was the nicest one available for a good price.

    What would the Q6600 quad core benefit me from the one I listed? Again, I am greatful for your tips and certainly appreciate them. I'm trying to keep cost down at the same time though. Keep your suggestions forthcoming guys, as I wont be ordering til the end of the month anyway, and I'll post my results once I have it up and running.

    I've never tried overclocking before, I presume there may be some form of risk to overheating something?

    While I do want it for gaming, Crysis seems to be the most demanding from what I have read, so long as I can run that game at an acceptable performance then I'll be happy. I want the PC version of Gears of War on full settings though :) I'm a big Gears fanboy and want to whore out all the gamerscore again.
     
  9. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Somone above recommended Vista 64bit to me, I'm a bit baffled now though.

    Do I really need the 64bit version? From what I've read and been told, it may be more hasle than it's worth and I should perhaps stick with the 32 bit version?

    I'm also now debating whether to come down from 4GB ram to 2GB... I don't know though, I like the idea of just being a bit more future proofed, I guess I could add that extra 2GB when I need it though.

    What do you lot think, Vista 32bit + 2GB or 4GB Ram or Vista 64bit + 4GB Ram?
     
  10. Seque

    Seque
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    if u plan on getting more than 3gb of ram at any time u will need 64-bit. with the very cheap prices of ram at the mo i would get 4gb and vista 64-bit.
     
  11. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Cheers, I must have missed your earlier post! lol

    I'm just checking out scan now actually, may very well order from them on finance. The mobo you recommended looks good, though it's not yet released and is only available to pre-order.

    I'm hoping to order these parts by the end of the month and will now use Scan, mainly because I get free delivery and now I know they do finance (thanks to you ;)).

    Can you recommend a different motherboard, that perhaps has an optical output for 5.1 or even the other connection method. I can't remember the name (feel stupid now lol), on the back of my sub I have 1 Optical input, and another input which I think supports 5.1 too. It looks like a phono connector but is coloured in orange - that make sense?

    Failing that, Optical might do the trick anyway. Though I'm going to need a splitter as is so I can connect my 360 and PS3 by optical, not sure if they do 3 way optical splitters, assuming I need to add PC to that?

    I will probably go for your recommendations by the way, though I prefer the look of that Coolermaster case posted above, so I'm going to have to hunt that down elsewhere by the looks of it!

    Thanks for your help. :smashin:

    Tejstar, I have just ordered that case you recommended, thanks for pointing it out by the way! I got it from ebuyer for £49.99 with free delivery. I have my eye on the CPU you've recommended too, may pick that up... I would have just added the case to my order from scan at the end of the month to bang it on the finance list, but they dont have it in stock... they do have a side panel glass window for it though. Which I may pickup for some nice light display or something, I'll have a good look at the case when it arrives mid next week and determine if I want that though. At the moment, I just want to focus the spendage on getting the parts and focus on getting it up and running, anything extra is a bonus which I can get after all is proven to be in working order I suppose.

    I'm bound to stumble into a few issues I expect when setting it up, I literally haven't built anything since about mid 2004, other than repairing my bro's PC after he was about to scrap it in mid '05. So I hope you guys will still be about to lend any advice should I stumble into any issues.

    Another important thing I need to ask you lot, as I have only dealt with building old second hand machines or repairing already built machines in the past... I wanted to know if newly purchased DVD Rom's or the motherboard actually comes with the necessary IDE cables for the HDD or DVD drives?

    Do I even need a floppy disk drive? I'm thinking that everything can now be done in DOS from the OS's DVD Rom disc, is that the case or do I need a floppy drive for some sort of bootup application. If memory serves me well, I'm sure I setup XP on this machine by changing the BIOS to boot to DVD instead of anything else, which worked a treat... just wanted to make sure!

    I'm not ordering anything else for another week or so now, so am still open to ideas or suggestions until I hit that order button!

    Thanks
     
  12. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Damn, I should have mentioned earlier, just as well I had a good look now though.

    It looks like the the 512mb 8800GT graphics card that you guys recommended to me is no good... I don't have a DVI connection. I only have VGA, which is what I want to connect to; is there a similar card that will enable me to run Gears of War, Crysis etc. but work over VGA?

    Preferably a card with 2 VGA outputs, as I would like to connect to my Hyundai A321 32" LCD for the gaming, but use my Acer 19" AL1916W for actually working on.

    Still a good week left before I am ordering, hopefully there is something available on Scan that meets this criteria as I do really need it on finance, being that it's bound to be quite expensive.
     
  13. kaidiez

    kaidiez
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    I think it comes with dvi-to-vga converters, if not i wouldnt think they cost that much. That card is very good for the price, am gonna get one when i can afford to build my new pc.
     
  14. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Ah ok, I hope there's no noticable loss of quality though, anyone clarify?

    Thanks for pointing that out btw, so long as it will work over VGA then that's great by me.

    I've never had a card with 2 outputs on it before, I expect this is for what I want then, outputting to 2 screens?

    Will this enable me to game at my A321's native res of 1366x768 over VGA, and am I able to work on my AL1916W at native res of 1440x900?

    Also, does outputting to two screens take any of the card's memory, which could otherwise be used for gaming or other operations? Hopefully not!

    Not sure if anyone would know all that?
     
  15. Seque

    Seque
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    The p5K motherboard is the step up from the SE and will cost u about £10 more. u will be able to connect this to your home cinema via coaxial and optical S/PDIF jacks if your surround sound will accept it. i.e u wil connect the orange jack to ur sub like u mentioned. side speakers by green jack etc. This does not have an optical output however if u wanted that u would have to buy a more expensive motherboard like Gigabyte GA P35-DS4 £110 or u would be bettter getting a sound card like Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme 7.1 Audio PCI-E Soundcard which has a optical in and out.

    u can also buy splitters for optical ouptuts something like this
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=97934&doy=21m1&C=SO&U=strat15

    obviosuly if u look around u will be able to find a much cheaper 1 that does the same job.
     
  16. Seque

    Seque
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    i dont think u will find to many newer gfx cards with vga outputs as DVI is superior to vga. to connect ur 8800gt u would need to the hyundai a231something like this

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/2m-DVI-TO-VGA-CABLE/dp/B000K5O1M8

    and to connect to ur 19" lcd use a dvi-dvi cable might be supplied with card im not sure though.

    quality will be lost although i cant see it being very much at that res.

    the two outputs will inded allow 2 screens to be connected
     
  17. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Cheers again FutureTech, you've been a big help thus far. I'll order that DVI-VGA cable tonight, so long as I am able to connect to at least one screen on the day to set it up, then all is well. You mentioned a DVI-DVI cable for my monitor though, my Acer monitor is VGA only as well, so would need a converter or the same cable you recommended for my Hyundai TV.

    The motherboard you recommended then, I can connect by coaxial to this and get my 5.1 then? Technically I could even make do with stereo, as my PS3 is my main movie player for the Blu-ray's and upscaling DVD's. I could upgrade and just add a 5.1 sound card at a later date like you mentioned... given this, would you still recommend the same motherboard?

    I think I've got a good idea of what I need now, I'll run through the list marking everything down and double check with you guys later that everything is compatible. :smashin:
     
  18. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Which mobo you go for depends purely on what features you are looking for. Personally, I've had problems with Asus mobo's in the past and now only go for Gigabyte or Abit mobos.

    I do concede though Asus do some really nice boards.
     
  19. Waynej

    Waynej
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    I obviously want as less hassle as possible, especially with this being my first system build in a couple of years, and more so being from new parts with my money lol. I'll have a browse through Scan in a bit and see if I spot any Gigabye or Abit mobos that may be suitable.

    So long as it has a couple spare PCI slots so I can add a video capture card, and possibly a TV tuner or two in the near future, then that should be all I need. Also, depending on whether the mobo has surround output or not, then I'll likely need another slot for a 5.1 sound card.

    Obviously that's all more money, though as it happens I'd add those items as and when I can afford it. Sound obviously takes priority though.
     
  20. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Will re-add my list of final purchased components soon.
     
  21. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Arrgh! we're on Page 2!!

    Come on guys, don't leave me hanging high and dry now, so close to getting this sorted. I just want to pick your brains for another week before I get these parts ordered. :cool:
     
  22. Mikeybloo

    Mikeybloo
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  23. KHA2005

    KHA2005
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    It is better, check out this review to see whether the performacen increase is worth it to you, imo depends on the monitor you'll be using:

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/12/11/nvidia_geforce_8800_gts_512/6

    That mobo should be fine, has a PCI-E slot and a CPU slot, should do the job! :D

    Other than that, looks like the perfect build for the money. Not gonna get much better than that for now, although that depends on the new Intel 45nm chips coming out soon. Personally, I hate waiting but its up to you!

    Good luck with the PC :thumbsup:
     
  24. Seque

    Seque
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    hi yes that looks a good setup :thumbsup:

    u that mobo would be fine although the p35 chipsets are better and the p5k se is now in stock at scan but is £10 more so up to u.

    i wouldnt bother with the 8800gts 512mb as will only be better for playing at higher resolutions. the 8800gt will be fine unless u have like 24" and want to max games out then gts or gtx wud be better

    Enjoy Ur build :thumbsup:
     
  25. Waynej

    Waynej
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    Ah, cheers for pointing out the mobo again, would have missed that!
    I will go for the p5k se mobo actually as comparing it with the other one I mentioned, whilst they are similar, the p5k se can take upto 8GB ram max, where as the other one I mentioned would be maxed out with the $GB I was gonna use straight away. Just nice to have a bit of leg room here and there for future upgrades I suppose.

    I feel inclined to stick with the GFX card I have listed, it's the Asus branded one (with the company of heroes game image on the card). I presume this should be fine?
    I most defiantly want to run Crysis, I am not likely to be gaming above the resolution of 1366x768 though - which is the native res of my LCD TV, full settings at that res sounds cool to me...

    Seems like you guys have helped me cover all the bases, only other thing I'm really unsure about is cabling and cooling.

    Will Hard Drives and DVD drives come with the necessary SATA or IDE cables to connect to the main board, or will I need to purchase these separately?

    Everything else looks good to go then, compatible with each other? I had a quick run through the specs and all seems in order to me. Though it's been a long while...

    The memory/ram is still out of stock though. What do you think will make a suitable replacement should it not come back into stock when I order?

    I will just edit my post of listed parts to include the new motherboard, easier for me to just click through and add to basket when ordering.
     
  26. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    I would only go for 2GB for now, you can always add another 2GB later down the line.

    Also, consider getting the Corsair HX520 which is slightly more money but is modular and will make the inside of your case slightly easier to navigate (also better airflow).
     
  27. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    One more thing - you may want to consider getting a SLi board just in case you want to add another 8800GT in the future which would give you performance close to a 8800 Ultra. It all depends on what your plans are and when you plan on upgrading again.
     
  28. Waynej

    Waynej
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    I was talking to someone online who does that actually, I've no clue what SLi is though. What's the purpose of 'having' SLi and how much can I expect to pay for a SLi compatible board?

    I'm not looking to push costs any further really, unless it's really beneficial then it may be worth considering.

    Still, it's nice to be aware of my options. I just want decent gaming setup that will do me justice for several years... hopefully.
     
  29. Seque

    Seque
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    i wouldnt bother at all with sli u get like 50% increase over 1 card by buying 2. especially as u only will play at that low res. u would be better just buying another mid range card in a couple of years if ur 8800gt is lacking. but like i said at that res u really wont need the performance near the ultra.
     
  30. Waynej

    Waynej
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    That was kind of what I was hoping to hear/read, will 2GB ram be fine for Vista 64bit then?

    I don't mind immediately jumping and going for 4GB ram though, if 2GB will suffice then I may just do that. Not sure how much that will effect the overall performance of the computer when multi tasking or doing any form of graphic design or video editing, and of course gaming.

    Also, can you recommend me some other ram from scan please? The one you mentioned previously is now out of stock. It may be back in by the time I order though, be convenient to have the link to know which one to jump for when the time comes though! :smashin:

    In other news, Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War arrived today, can't wait to get going now. Only other thing I've ordered thus far is the CM690 case which should be delivered tomorrow.
     

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