Looking for buying advice for Gaming PC

  Barry McAuley 16:58 11 Oct 09
Locked

Hi all, I'm looking to buy a new Gaming PC and customized one on pc-specialist.com. Based on the review I read for the Processor and Graphics Card it seemed like it would do the job. The price is cming in at £623. Here is the spec:

Processor (CPU) - AMD PHENOM II X4 945 3.0 GHz SOCKET AM3 8MB CACHE
Memory (RAM) - 4GB CORSAIR XMS3 DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY
Motherboard - ASUS® M4A79XTD EVO: DUAL DDR3, S-ATA II, 2 x PCIe x16, 2 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI
Operating System - NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED
USB Options - 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD
Memory - 1st Hard Disk - 500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
1st CD/DVD Drive - 22x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Graphics Card - 1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4850X2 PCI EXPRESS (Special Offer)
Sound Card - Sound Blaster® Audigy™ SE (£24)
Network Facilities - ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
Memory Card Reader - INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)
Case - STYLISH PIANO BLACK FUSION CASE inc. 2 FRONT USB
Power Supply & Case Cooling - 600W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£59)
Processor Cooling - STANDARD CPU COOLER
Firewire & Video Editing - 2 x IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE PORTS (1 onboard, 1 at back panel)

There is an option to get an ASUS® CROSSHAIR III FORMULA: DDR3 - Republic of Gamers, CrossfireX motherboard. This would bump the price up to £684 from £623. Would the price increase be justified?

I want to be able to play all the games out atm and still be able to run new games for a few years at a decent fps.
The monitor I plan to buy is this: click here…961417.htm
(Just got hired at Argos so 10% discount :)) The max resolution is 1920 x 1080.

There are a few other single card options; 1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4870 PCI EXPRESS is £614, not much of a price reduction, would it be worth the extra £9 to get the 1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4850X2 PCI EXPRESS?
Another option is the 1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4890 PCI EXPRESS which is £652. What do you think would be the best option?

From what I've read DDR3 RAM seems to be the way of the future, I wanted to get it just so I wouldn't have to worry about upgrading the RAM for a few years. Would there really be no benefit in getting DDR3 over DDR2 without an I7? If I did decide to drop the DDR3 I would have to go for a different prebuild as the only option is DDR3.

So what does everyone think? Is it a rip-off? Would I be better of going for a different Processor Graphics Card Combo? Is pc-specialit the best site for this or are there cheaper alternatives? Is the motherboard up to scratch? Should I buy a more robust cooling system (I don't plan on over-clocking the system so I figured the standard cooling system would suffice)?

If anyone would like to give me some advice I would be really grateful.
Thanks in advance,
Barry

  inmymind 07:47 12 Oct 09

Hi Barry, the biggest concern i have with your build is the psu. The PSU is often the most overlooked component in a system. The problem with pcspecialist is that they don't specify what brand of psu they'll be using.
Also, not sure about the case, looks very cheap & nasty to me.
As for your cpu, mobo & ram. You're doing the right thing going am3. Its either that or i5 you should look at. Thats my opinion anyway :)

  inmymind 08:11 12 Oct 09

Oh and an hd4870 would be more than enough for this system. Have you ever thought about building yourself?

  Barry McAuley 12:29 12 Oct 09

Thanks for the advice inmymind, I'm thinking of going for the I5 processor, would this mean I would have to change the Motherboard to something like a Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2?
Could you recommend any good British customizing websites? I'm reluctant to go for an American site cuz the pounds so weak atm.
I thought about making a machine for myself, people say its really easy but i'd be a little frightened of messing up.

  inmymind 17:04 12 Oct 09

Yes you would need to change the motherboard to a p55 chipset. Cougar extreme are well recommended, not sure about others, hopefully someone else can recommend you there.

I've just built my first system, i was a bit hesitant at first, but decided to take the plunge and it is a very rewarding experience. You can get cpu/mobo/ram bundles, which makes it easier as they're already assembled and tested. I'd recommend novatech for parts, their customer service is excellent. If i were you i'd get on to their forum, thats where i got all my advice.

  Barry McAuley 17:58 12 Oct 09

I think I might make it myself, no customization sites seem to offer the selection I'm looking for. I can always ask family and friends for help as well.
Thanks for the advice, Wish me luck.

  inmymind 18:28 12 Oct 09

Excellent, you'll really enjoy it. You can have exactly what you want in it aswell then. Seriously, get yourself on the novatech forum, you'll get a lot of help there.

  citadel 19:02 12 Oct 09

hd5850 is out now, faster than a hd4890 plus its dx11 ready. not too expensive either.

  GaT7 19:52 12 Oct 09

>>There is an option to get an ASUS® CROSSHAIR III FORMULA: DDR3 - Republic of Gamers, CrossfireX motherboard. This would bump the price up to £684 from £623. Would the price increase be justified?>>

For a 'gaming' PC the best component needs to be the graphics card (GPU), so it's only worth it if the GPU increases the price significantly.

>>I want to be able to play all the games out atm and still be able to run new games for a few years at a decent fps.>>

The 1Gb 4850x2 was a bit of a disappointment - going from reviews anyway. The only cards that fit the bill would be the expensive top of the pile ones, including citadel's suggestion.

As it's going to be a 'gaming PC' get the best graphics card you can afford & build your PC around this. In other words, even if it means sacrificing on the other main components - but don't go too low either. G

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