Need guidance on building an inexpensive gaming computer

By Habylab
Jun 22, 2011
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  1. Long time no see, techspot!

    I have long considered building my own PC, or buying a cheap but good pre-built gaming machine. I now have a couple of weeks to build my own PC, and also the money to do so. However, I would still like to keep it reasonably cheap, around £300-400 would be great.

    I have considered THIS one for a while now, as it appears to be able to play the latest games, and isn't to pricey for me. However, I believe if bought separately to build, I could maybe beat it and slightly cheaper?

    I am not talking a complete gaming machine here (I spend most of my gaming time on my PS3, mainly due to my old PC), but it would need to be able to play the latest games to a reasonable standard. The pc I linked above can play games such as Far Cry 2 on high settings, so similar to that.

    As I said, I have some free time over the next three weeks, and a bit after that, so any guides to learn how to build my own pc from scratch would be welcomed.

    Thank you.
  2. Habylab

    Habylab TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 263

    Any help for a guy in need of a good computer? Thanks.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Assuming no OS... This is a real tight budget line... How about this for an Intel system:

    And £400 budget, and ebuyer (to take advantage of 5 day super saver and free delivery)

    CPU: Intel Core i3 540 3.06GHz Socket 1156 4MB L3 Cache Retail Boxed Processor £79.99
    Mobo: MSI H55M-E23 H55 Socket 1156 GBLAN DVI VGA HDMI Out MATX Motherboard £56.26
    Hard Disk: Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache £41.99
    DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW & DL SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black £14.91
    Case: NZXT Beta Evo Case £36.73
    PSU: OCZ Stealth Xstream II 600W PSU - 3x SATA 2x PCI-E £57.83
    GPU: Palit GTS 450 1024MB GDDR5 DVI VGA HDMI Out PCI-E Graphics Card £83.08
    RAM: G-Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Module CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V £37.00

    Total price (Inc VAT and free 5 day super saver del) £407.79

    I'd let others comment before commiting though, as its always nice to hear feedback.
  4. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    These are the specs on the one he linked for those who don't want to go to the website

    - Case: Antec 300 Gaming Case
    - Power Supply: OCZ 600w StealthXStream II
    - CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 840 "95W Edition" 3.20GHz Processor
    - Motherboard: nForce 630a (AM3) Motherboard
    - RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
    - Hard Drives: 1TB HDD
    - Graphics Card: Choice of the latest DirectX 10 and 11 graphic cards
    - Sound: 7.1 Channel Sound (On-Board)
    - Optical Drive: OcUK 22x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black)
    - Cooling: x2 White LED 120mm Fans

    400 bucks isn't expensive, but remember this is just bare bones computer. The onboard graphics card won't give you the performance you are looking for, and there is no OS included.

    Leeky's build is going to be superior to what you have linked as his includes a video card. Personally I would stick with Intel. I have a PhenomIIx4 box and in some games it just does weird things that aren't present on my i7.
  5. Habylab

    Habylab TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 263

    Thanks for both of them guys, really appreciate it. They did do a great one for £350 that had a 1024mb Radeon graphics card, but have stopped selling it sadly. I'll have a look at both of them in more detail when I can!
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Try this
    Grand Total = £394.4 + free shipping on the entire order

    EDIT: Another 10 quid or so would net you an optical drive. You could probably also find one cheaper on eBay or at your local computer store. Good luck, I hope that helped. :)
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    +1. That's an excellent budget build, Rage.
  8. Habylab

    Habylab TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 263

    I am really liking that Rage, good price too! I have some time off now so will look at the excellent build tomorrow.
    What could you do for £350 just out of interest?
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Glad you liked it. :)

    For £350-ish, drop down to this CPU and this graphics card. In fact, with this CPU, you can actually go with an mATX board without issues, since it likely won't get as hot as the Phenom II chip, even though they have the same TDP (unless you decide to unlock the 4th core :p). I'd recommend this mobo as a great, inexpensive choice.
  10. Habylab

    Habylab TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 263

    Thank you, might be buying this fairly soon! Any good guides you could link me to please?

    Sent from my Galaxy S
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    There's a sticky in the Other Hardware forum that links to a lot of different guides, including TechSpot's own PC Buying Guide.

    Good luck! :D
  12. Habylab

    Habylab TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 263

    I would probably need a quad core come to think of it now...

    And thanks for the guides!

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