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Building a gaming rig £600 budget

BYF

Well-known Member
i want to build a PC gaming rig with a budget of £600 for the base unit only.

using komplett.co.uk ive come up with these choices so far.

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4GHz Socket 939, 1MB, BOXED w/fan
£99.95

Club3D GeForce 7900GT 256MB, GDDR3, PCI-Express, DVI/Tv-Out, Retail
£205

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM
£54

EPoX EP-9NPA+ Ultra, nForce4 Ultra,ATX Socket-939,S-ATA,GbLAN,Firewire,PCI-Ex16
£62

TwinMOS PC3200 DDR-DIMM 2048MB Dual Pack Kit w/two matched PC3200 DDR DIMMs
£130

Total = £550

I already have a dvd-rom and cd-rw i plan on using aswell as a audigy 2 zs soundcard.

How does the above look, is it balanced and good for pure gaming performance or are there other options?


I currently have a pc that i built over 3 years a go, it has an athlonxp 2400 cpu (@ 166fsb sync'd with memory), radeon 9800 card, 1 gb of ram (2x 512mb DDR333 in dual channel mode), epox 8rda+ nforce2 board, dual channel etc etc.

However ive lost touch with pc tecnology, is it still best to have the ram speed running in sync with the cpu fsb speed for optimum perfomance and do you still need 2 seperate memory sticks to run in dual channel for extra performance or is this all obsolete now?

sorry for all the questions, will look forward to the responses
 

mikeyparkster

Standard Member
i would say.. go for AM2 socket definitely its where all future upgrades will be...Corsair ram aswell...and get your graphics card from Dabs to save yourself an extra £25..
also go for DDR2 RAM!!!

i would say go for something like my spec..

here's my spec i built my pc about 2 weeks ago.

from komplette

* 322039 ABIT KN9 SLI, nForce 570 SLI,Socket-AM2, DDR2, 2XGbLAN, Firewire, ATX, 2xPCI-Ex16
£100

* 320787 AMD Athlon 64 3800+ 2.4GHz Socket AM2, 512KB, BOXED w/fan
£100

* 311799 Antec Sonata II Miditower, Black w/450W PSU
£85

* 312023 Corsair TWIN2X 5400 DDR2, 2048MB PC5400 Kit w/two matched CM2X1024-5400C4 Dimm's
£125

* 314090 NEC DVD±RW burner, ND-3550A, 16x, Dual, Black OEM
£25

* 309535 Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM
£50

from dabs
* XFX GeForce 7900GT 256MB DDR3 PCIE Dual DVI
£180

the antec sonata 2 case would be a great choice as it saves a lot of money if you want a good case and reliable PSU - Plus it looks v.cool

£580
 

WelshBluebird

Well-known Member
I would agree with that - go AM2.
It seems the cache difference between the 3800 and the 4000 doesn't make much difference to preformance, and its rumoured AMD's next CPU architechture (k8l) will be able to work in an AM2 board.

and yes, you still need two sticks for dual channel, and I'm not sure about the FSB:RAM speeds tho
 

BYF

Well-known Member
thanks for the replies.

heres my revised list

EPoX EP-MF570 SLI, nForce 570 SLI, DDR2, Socket-AM2, 2xGbLAN, ATX, 2xPCI-Ex16 £85

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz Socket AM2 1MB, BOXED w/fan
£125

Corsair TWIN2X 5400 DDR2, 2048MB PC5400 Kit w/two matched CM2X1024-5400C4 Dimm's £129

Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM £54

XFX GeForce 7900GT 256MB DDR3 PCIE Dual DVI £180


= £573


looking better?


I probably won't upgrade this planned system instead i prefer to build a new rig every 3 years or so.

so does the above ram speed match the fsb of the cpu or does that not matter? coz on the old nforce2 boards if you had the ram at the same speed as the cpu fsb you could enable dual channel performance mode which gave quite a boost.

what about my chosen gfx card, is there anything else better for more bang for the buck? what do ATI have to offer as when i made my old system they were top of the tree.

ive read on various websites that the new am2 chips and ddr2 combo offer no perfomance advantage over a socket 939 chip with standard ddr ram, is this true?
if so could i increase peformance by going for socket 939 and normal ddr thus saving money and then buying a better card and faster cpu? or would i not actually save that much?
 

mikeyparkster

Standard Member
i managed to get a faster clocked processor last minute, but i couldnt find one for you am afraid :(

thats looking good though...be warned actually, my 7900gt was er..faulty, i sent it back and ordered another 1 in the mean time, it's a very good card, but apparently a failing epidemic from nvidia...
hopefully you wont get a faulty one which artefacts..(test HDR games) on full pwange fast.

i saw a x1800t or something going for a special offer of £120...google it, 50% price cut for one week only...

might be worth looking around at... but might have died by now or sold out.

i'd say go for AM2 because if you plan on upgrading you will be ****** off you didnt get am2 socket..

also, i didnt because im in summer and have nothing better to do, but if you want to hold back because you have ages it might be worth it for price cuts...like...AMD and INTEL are having a price war and you may see some nice price drops for processors...but it might only work out as like £30..so..
 

booyaka

Moderator
would you consider overclocking? if so have a look at the new core 2 duo cpu's from intel.

Before anyone guns me down as being a fan boy on the conroe bandwagon - i am not!!

Also would consider the X1800XT (ATI) as the 7900GT's are fast becoming a nightmare in terms of quality/build etc. Numerous 7900's are being RMA etc.

Have a look at conroe as these chips are mega overclockable and will outdo any AMD chip in the same category at present.
 

kushtibari

Active Member
The conroe 6300 appears to be the best bang for your buck out there atm They're clocking to 3.4 or more on stock volts and cost in the region of £135 quid. Mobo's are more expensive though - the Gigabyte DS3 seems to be a good choice but its nearly £100.

I'm certainly no fanboy either - bought 5 of the Opterons when they came out and currently running an AMD dual core and an Intel 630.
 

BYF

Well-known Member
i didn't know the conroe core was out yet.

will look into it.

so what speed rating would a 3.4 ghz intel chip have comapared to an athlon am2 X2 4200.
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
I agree with the above, forget AMD, get a Conroe as INTEL are back. The AMD FX is officially getting shafted by the Conroe normal chip let alone the extreme edition. Look on the web for reviews and tests.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
long time no see appolloa, welcome back :)

id deffinately go for a X2 cpu and id also opt for a x1800xt, as theyre more likely not to fail (the 7900 series is the worst series of cards for years, they have a massive failure rate.)
and the ati card can do full HDR and anti aliasing at the same time :thumbsup: oh and its also cheaper
 

WelshBluebird

Well-known Member
BYF said:
i didn't know the conroe core was out yet.

will look into it.

so what speed rating would a 3.4 ghz intel chip have comapared to an athlon am2 X2 4200.

with the old P4's (and PD's) the AMD would thrash and intel clocked at 3.4Ghz, but even a conroe clocked at 2.4Ghz will beat all of AMD's current offerings.
However, since the E6300 and E6400 only have 2MB of L2 cache (while the other conroes have 4Mb) from the benchmarks I've seen, I'd say they have to be clocked at around 2.6Ghz to be on the same preformance as the 2.4Ghz 4MB chache conroe.

So basically, if you can overclock an E6300 or E6400 to 2.6Ghz, it should beat nearly anything AMD has out atm.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
i know the extra cache that a 1mb amd cpu has is equal to about 200mhz but surely with the conroes, it should be alot more than 200mhz difference
 

WelshBluebird

Well-known Member
semiskimmed said:
i know the extra cache that a 1mb amd cpu has is equal to about 200mhz but surely with the conroes, it should be alot more than 200mhz difference

from what I've read, the cache difference with the X2's makes hardly any difference in some apps. And I don't think it can make a 200Mhz difference, as thats the gaps between speeds AMD uses, so I'd say more like 100Mhz difference for the AMD's.

From I'm going from with regard to the conroes is that the E6600 at 2.4Ghz with 4MB cache, does a 1M super pi in 21 secs, while a E6300 clocked at just under 2.6Ghz, does it in nearly 20 secs.
 

booyaka

Moderator
WelshBluebird said:
from what I've read, the cache difference with the X2's makes hardly any difference in some apps. And I don't think it can make a 200Mhz difference, as thats the gaps between speeds AMD uses, so I'd say more like 100Mhz difference for the AMD's.

From I'm going from with regard to the conroes is that the E6600 at 2.4Ghz with 4MB cache, does a 1M super pi in 21 secs, while a E6300 clocked at just under 2.6Ghz, does it in nearly 20 secs.

super pi isn;t the be all and end for gaming machines. Super PI is all about memory timings. With the DDR2 + 800/1000Mhz speeds that the ram is running (with conroe) thats why the PI scores are amazing.

If i was buying now i would also go the conroe route but with the lack of cheap but yet good motherboards around i would wait a little while.
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
well ive not noticed any speed difference between 512 and 1mb cores on the AMD platform. but i would have though that there would have been a major difference between 2 and 4mb on the conroes tbh :eek:
 

Noggin1980

Distinguished Member
semiskimmed said:
well ive not noticed any speed difference between 512 and 1mb cores on the AMD platform. but i would have though that there would have been a major difference between 2 and 4mb on the conroes tbh :eek:

Anandtech did 25 benchmarks with 2 core 2 duo chips at 1.86Ghz. One with 2MB of cache and the other with 4MB (The 4MB one was a E6800 underclocked to E6300 levels to make the only difference cache size)

Over the 25 benchmarks the performance improvement for the 4MB of cache ranged from 0% to 10% with an average improvement of 3.5%

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2795&p=4
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
semiskimmed said:
long time no see appolloa, welcome back :)

id deffinately go for a X2 cpu and id also opt for a x1800xt, as theyre more likely not to fail (the 7900 series is the worst series of cards for years, they have a massive failure rate.)
and the ati card can do full HDR and anti aliasing at the same time :thumbsup: oh and its also cheaper


He He, Thanks Semi. I've been busy repairing my rig!!! I put my 2 SCSI drives into a different orientation on my cable. It worked fine for a couple of day's then one of the damn drives failed!!!!!! I think it overheated as they were above each other and even though they have 2 quiet fans cooling them the stupid heatwave claimed it :mad: :mad: . It's under warranty till 2008 though (get what you pay for) so I've been mucking around reinstaling XP onto my single SCSI drive etc. I'll have to suffer some more noise now and buy some more powerful fans. Should of left it as it was but I want to get 2 300GB SCSI drives for storage at some point so need to shift the drives around. Lots of things to buy and so little cash he he.

To the OP, I don't know what mother boards you've looked at but my tip is Asus. Also I don't know about the failure rate of Nvidia cards but ATI are good and if more reliable then go for it plus 1800XT's should be cheapish by now.
 

mikeyparkster

Standard Member
semiskimmed said:
long time no see appolloa, welcome back :)

id deffinately go for a X2 cpu and id also opt for a x1800xt, as theyre more likely not to fail (the 7900 series is the worst series of cards for years, they have a massive failure rate.)
and the ati card can do full HDR and anti aliasing at the same time :thumbsup: oh and its also cheaper

my first card was faulty, my replacement however has been fine, have had it about a week and a day now..no problems and working very nicely..

do you think this card could potentially fail in the future or do you think i will be safe?
 

semiskimmed

Distinguished Member
they can all fail mate when ever they feel like it, that goes for every gfx card and everything else in the PC.
id wait atleast 6 weeks before i was sure it was working as some peoples are failing after 4 weeks
 

BYF

Well-known Member
ok guys you've sold me on the intel conroe.

from most reviews ive seen a stock 6300 can match and even beat a stock am2 x2 4200 cpu!! plus they seem

the only trouble is finding a board for these new chips in the uk for a reasonable price. any recommendations?

what ram woud i also need to match the fsb speed of the conroe 6300 or is that not needed? and how much is this ddr2 ram? is it pricey?

its a shame about the geforce 7900 gt has it seems to have unrivaled perfomance for the price but i don't want to mess about with returns and faulty cards. is the 1800xt similar price to the 7900gt?

my only concern by going intel is that the extra cost for a board and ram etc means i have less to spend on a graphics card. by going AMD i may have a bit less cpu power but could get a more expensive/better card so overall performance could well be better on the AMD with a better card? or maybe not?
 
D

Deleted member 39001

Guest
You have to remember that the CPU is always the potential bottleneck to your graphics card, so the faster and more powerful the CPU and the faster the system throughput the more chance you got of the CPU keeping up with the graphics.

You need a motherboard with the Intel 975X chipset on it to support conroe and it needs to be made after April 2006 as well from what I've read.
One like this:
http://uk.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=248&model=981&modelmenu=1

But I think that one will be exspensive but you get the idea.
 

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