Buying a new gaming desktop

By JackReeves
May 20, 2010
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  1. Hi Guys,

    I've recently been looking into buying a new PC (Probably from MESH) but I wanted some advise on a few things.

    Basically I am not sure whether to go for an £800 model or a £1300 model because I'm not sure whether the upgrades will make all that much difference for my needs.

    Here are the 3 systems I am looking at:
    System 1 XGS PII 945 Price: £836.99
    AMD Phenom™ II X4 945 Quad Core Processor AM3 (3.0GHz, 8MB Cache)
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed
    XGS Gaming Chassis - Midi Tower Black / Black Mesh + 550W PSU
    ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 TurboV EVO Mainboard - AMD 890GX CrossFireX- AM3, DDR3 - ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
    1TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer [upg £ 11.07]
    22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5750 Graphics Accelerator
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Free Microsoft® Works 9
    Free Cyberlink Video Editing Utility Suite - 7 titles (oem)
    BullGuard Internet Security ver. 9 - 90 Day Trial - AntiVirus/Firewall/Backup/Spamfilter
    Supports up to 12 USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel) - M4A79XTD
    2 x 1394a ports (one at mid-board; one at back panel) - ASUS P6T / M4A79XTD


    System 2: XGS PII 965BE Price: £ 1093.96
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Black Edition Processor - (2.8-3.3GHz,6xTurbo Core,9MB Cache) [upg £ 25.53]
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed
    XGS Gaming Chassis - Midi Tower Black / Black Mesh + 700W PSU [upg £ 12.76]
    ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 TurboV EVO Mainboard - AMD 890GX CrossFireX- AM3, DDR3 - ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
    1.5TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer [upg £ 21.27]
    22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5850 Graphics Accelerator [upg £ 119.15]
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Free Microsoft® Works 9
    Free Cyberlink Video Editing Utility Suite - 7 titles (oem)
    BullGuard Internet Security ver. 9 - 90 Day Trial - AntiVirus/Firewall/Backup/Spamfilter
    Supports up to 12 USB 2.0 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel) - M4A79XTD
    2 x 1394a ports (one at mid-board; one at back panel) - ASUS P6T / M4A79XTD

    System 3 XGS i7 930 Price: £1241.97
    Intel® Core™ i7 930 Quad Core Processor (2.80GHz,8MB Cache) - LGA1336
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed
    XGS Gaming Chassis - Midi Tower Black / Black Mesh + 700W PSU
    ASUS P6T SE Mainboard - Intel Core™ i7 & i7 Extreme Edition - ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
    1.5TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer [upg £ 17.02]
    22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5850 Graphics Accelerator [upg £ 136.17]
    Multi-Format Memory Card Reader -(52-in-1 Internal) [upg £ 8.51]
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Free Microsoft® Works 9
    Free Cyberlink Video Editing Suite - 7 titles (oem)
    BullGuard Internet Security ver. 9 - 90 Day Trial - AntiVirus/Firewall/Backup/Spamfilter
    Supports up to 10x USB 2.0 Ports (6x back panel, 4x mid-board) - P6T SE
    2 x 1394a ports (one at mid-board; one at back panel) - ASUS P6T / M4A79XTD
    Network Ready PCIe Gigabit LAN
    ASUS PCE-N13 Internal 802.11N WiFi Adapter - 300Mbps [upg £ 41.70]
    2 Year Return to Base Hardware Warranty - inc 2 Years Free Collect & Return [upg £ 67.23]




    As you can see the base model is quite a lot less than the highest but I was wondering whether the difference would be worth it in your guys opinion. I would basically be buying this PC for gaming and a small amount of music production so they would be my needs, anything else is useless to me really.
    I've read the reveiws on the Graphics cards and it seems the HD5850 is much better than the HD5750 but is the up grade worth it? I have seen that the FPS is much better on the HD5850 does a lot better but as this would be my first high spec computer I am not sure how much of a difference it would make when you get to the knitty gritty.

    In regards to the processer I have no idea, I have read that the i7 is not worth the money at the moment however I have also read that it is the best processor? I was also a little confused as the lowest price system has 3.0GHz and the middle proccessor has 6 cores (Not sure whether that makes too much difference)?

    I would be grateful for all your experience as you can tell I am out of my depth!

    Thanks in advance :D

    By the way I wasn't sure what area to put this as it wasn't really tweaking but couldn't find anywhere better!
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Out of the above 3 choices, the second one seems the best bet. Although you could save a few bucks and get the Phenom II X4 965 BE instead of the PII X6 1055T. The HD 5850 is definitely theway to go.
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Looking at the systems which you have chosen, I think 8GB RAM and 6 core processors are overkill for what you are trying to achieve. Gaming is pretty much all dependant on the video card, and there is very little real life difference between the Phenom II X4/i5/i7 processors.

    Here's something I configured at pcspecialist.co.uk for £1087:

    Case
    COOLERMASTER HAF 922 MID TOWER GAMING CASE (£80)**SPECIAL**
    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™i5-750 Quad Core (2.66GHz, 8MB Cache)
    Motherboard
    ASUS® P7H55D-M EVO: MICRO ATX, USB 3.0 & SATA 3.0GB/s
    Memory (RAM)
    4GB CORSAIR XMS3 DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY!
    Graphics Card
    1GB ATI RADEON™ HD 5870 PCI EXPRESS - DirectX® 11
    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    1.5TB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 32MB CACHE (7200rpm)
    1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
    24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
    Memory Card Reader
    INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)
    Power Supply & Case Cooling
    CORSAIR 650W PSU (TX650) 80+ ULTRA QUIET (£79)
    Processor Cooling
    INTEL SOCKET LGA1156 STANDARD CPU COOLER
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Network Facilities
    ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT
    USB Options
    6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD
    Operating System
    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence (£79)

    You get a better graphics card (5870 rather than 5850), better case, better power supply and also USB 3.0. You could also go AMD of course, which will probably be around the same price.

    In any case for the CPU I wouldn't go any higher than the i5 750/Phenom 955 and for the GPU I wouldn't go any lower than a 5850. There is a vast difference in gaming performance between a 5750 and 5850.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    I like that build, slh28. :)
  5. JackReeves

    JackReeves Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    You guys are amazing, I think I'm going to get your build :D However I might upgrate to 8 GB of RAM, or is this definately not worth it?
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,847   +64

    Hi jack,
    the answer to the additional 4GB of ram for a vast majority of the population is that it will not benefit them at all, however with you doing the music production, it very will may be of benefit. I guess you have to quantify "small amount of music production". I do some audio work myself and often have 5-7gb of ram being used.
  7. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    8GB RAM is irrelevant for gaming, and it may or may not be helpful depending on which music production apps you use. Even so, you will see much better performance gains across your system if you take the £100 from the RAM upgrade and spend it on an SSD as a boot drive.
  8. JackReeves

    JackReeves Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Hi People,

    I have been offered the following:

    Elite ATX 750
    System Base Price: £ 552.34
    Intel® Core™ i5 750 Quad Core Processor (2.66GHz, 8MB Cache) - LGA1156
    Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed
    ThermalTake V5 BE Gaming Chassis + 700W PSU [upg £ 55.32]
    ASUS P7P55 LX Mainboard - Intel Core™ i5 / i7 - LGA 1156 / ATX
    8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB ) [upg £ 102.13]
    1.5TB Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer [upg £ 21.27]
    22x Dual Layer DVD Writer Super Format +R/-R/RW/RAM
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5870 Graphics Accelerator [upg £ 289.36]
    Multi-Format Memory Card Reader -(52-in-1 Internal) [upg £ 8.51]
    7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
    Free Microsoft® Works 9
    Free Cyberlink Video Editing Utility Suite - 7 titles (oem)
    BullGuard Internet Security ver. 9 - 90 Day Trial - AntiVirus/Firewall/Backup/Spamfilter
    Supports up to 14 USB 2.0 ports (6x mid-board, 8x back panel) - P7P55-M
    Network Ready PCIe Gigabit LAN
    3 Year Return to Base Hardware Warranty - inc 3 Years Free Collect & Return [upg £ 126.81]
    Fast Track: Ready to Ship - usually 48hrs delivery (RTS)


    I have been advised that the PSU is made by HEC and I had a look and there are some good reviews for this company.

    Its all that for £1194.98?

    Is that good?.... Mesh seem desperate to make the sale mwahaha
  9. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Looks pretty decent. :)
  10. Arris

    Arris TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,508   +81

    Looks good considering I just spend about £250 on just 5850 card alone :S
    Although with i5 750 vs i7 is hard to tell what is better to go for...

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/pc-components/processors/intel-core-i5-750-633100/review

    Not sure how much of a performance hit that is.
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    For gaming purposes there won't be any noticeable difference between the i5 750 and the i7 920 / 930.
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