Another Gaming Rig advice thread!

By Omnipherous · 33 replies
Nov 28, 2006
  1. Greetings,

    It's come time to build a new PC to try my hand at the latest games coming out.

    Currently, my Athlon Xp 2500+, Radeon 9600Pro, 1Gb PC3200 has held well for some time, but desperately needs a bigger beast beside it.

    So, I started the usual trawl of websites and local stores to see what's what, and how much things are costing these days, this is what I have come up with so far, keeping in mind that i have a budget of around £650, with £700 being the absolute limit. Just a shame i can't get at newegg from the uk

    CPU/Mobo/RAM Bundle Deal From local hardware retailer (£259)

    CPU - Core2Duo E6400
    Motherboard - ASUS P5V-VM DH MOTHERBOARD
    RAM - 1GB DDR2 533 PC4200 (Planning to upgrade with another 1Gb stick early 2007)

    Gfx - Sapphire ATI x1950xt 256mb GDDR3 (£175)

    Monitor - Hanns G HW191D 19" widescreen (£140)

    That's what i've come up with so far, with HDD and DVDrw etc semi-interchangable. Roughtly a WD 200Gb SATA/2 drive. Sitting at around £570 just now, so don't have all that much headroom for Case/PSU and HDD.

    Wondering where to go from here, if i've got the prices about right, or if there's anything I should definitely look out for or avoid!

    Any advice would be appreciated, keeping in mind about the budget here.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Hi Omnipherous and welcome to Techspot, So your another one who wants to build a new rig and is based in the UK as myself. :) For that £750 you can build yourself a pretty great gaming PC, there is a great guide on the tech spot homepage that should give you a pretty good system

    Only I would stick with the Core 2 Duo's but maybe try and go for a better model and motherboard. However I would personally recomend waiting until Vista is released with DirectX 10 at the end of January as the next generation of Graphics cards will be out and readily available for the new games. Its a sad fact that DX10 is not backwards compatible like its previous releases and I feel you would really just be throwing your money away if you bought a new graphics card now.

    However im sure the good people of Tech Spot will be able to guide you in a better direction that I can! Hope this helps some...

    Also a couple of good places I use for components that are very good and have competitive prices are...

    You might want to compare prices and products here to make sure you will get a great deal!
  3. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply Cpt_Subtext,

    The reason I headed for the E6400 was due to the fact that the bundle offers CPU, Motherboard and some Ram for a reasonable price. This leaving me some cash to fund other areas of the PC.

    You mentioned waiting for dx10 graphics cards, will the motherboard also have to be dx10 compatible? If not, then i could go for a cheaper Gfx card just now, to tide me over until the release (and possibly the first price drop) of dx10 cards. Any suggestions?

    I will continue to search for components on the sites you mentioned, see if I can get a better Motherboard and CPU without going too much over what I had intended to spend, although if I do end up aiming lower for a temporary Gfx card, then this would offset the increase for CPU/Mobo! If you follow me..

    I guess i'm just going to have to make a decision and stick with it, but i'm all for future proofing, so I'm swaying towards waiting for a dx10 gfx card, and pushing up my mobo/cpu just now.

    My only other issue is finding a decent case. Most of the ones i have found, on ebuyer and the like seem to be very plasticy and tacky. Perhaps one of the sites you mentioned will have one more up my street!

    Time for a slight rethink.

    Thanks again for your response.
  4. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Basically the first of the DX10 graphics cards, the Nvidia Geforce 8800 series is already here and currently topping the charts beating everything else on the market but at a hefty price of around £500. ATI also have DX10 cards on the way that should bring the price down a fair bit when Vista gets published. When you come to buy a graphics card personally id make sure your motherboard is PCI-E compliant as should be all the new graphics cards.

    As for a case if you can stretch your budget id recomend any of the Thermaltake, Lian - Li or Coolermaster cases although these are among the more expensive case manufacturers... Im personally a great fan of Thermaltake and have used there cases for a few of my builds as they are mostly large and very solid and very good for dispersing heat.... but I know alot of people who would swear by Lian - Li.

    Again I hope this helps,
  5. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, Done some more searching and this is what i've managed to mash together, although some areas are still open to ammendment :p

    Bit of a mish-mash, but at least it's taking shape:

    CPU - Core2Duo E6400 - ~£130

    Mobo - Asus P5W PH Deluxe - ~£143

    Gfx - Ati x1600Pro 512Mb - ~£72 (temp until dx10 card)

    Hdd - Seagate Barracuda 160Gb SATA2 - ~£38

    RAM - Elixer 1Gb PC6400 DDR2 800 - ~£85 (increase to 2Gb early 2007)

    PSU - Hiper 530W TRUE POWER - ~£47

    Case - Thermaltake Suprano Black - ~£51

    So, that's what i've been able to come up with. Feel free to disect, disagree or down right slate what i've chosen. Main points of concern for me are Motherboard, and PSU, as I know least about these two areas.

    Along with the Monitor mentioned above, the total comes to just about £700, so if it's good to go, i'll put a plan in place to save for that dx10 card, and some more ram in the new year.

    Hoping to have this to build between xmas and new year, give me something to do on those rare days off from the grind!

    Advice welcomed! But i've hit my budget i'm afraid.


  6. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Id recomend this replacement by Abit for your Mobo which is the one I intend to use..... unless someone else knows a better one

    As for PSU's thats an area im not to clear on myself but id recommend getting about an 850Watt PSU or around that mark if your intending to eventually Go SLI or Crossfire.......

    as for ram id recomend this Corsair to start off with if you can stretch your budget abit
    again dont take my word as law.... peeps like Timeparadox, Rage and Wolfram all have far more experience than me! :)
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Thanks for the kind words Cpt_Subtext. As for you Omnipherous, I think this motherboard bundle will save u a lot of dosh and be a great performer too. As for the PSU, I like this one a lot better. It's a quality one and has more wattage than the Hiper one u posted. For the case, I think this is a cooler looking option, and cheaper too. Also, this is a cheaper option per GB when compared to the Seagate one u posted.
  8. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Oh that case looks really sweet, Does that site ship to USA?
  9. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for your reply guys, really helping a lot.

    Rage - The bundle deal you posted, I'm presuming that overall it's a better deal than the one i originally posted? The CPU is slightly better, but the RAM is slower and i'm presuming that the mobo isn't quite as good.

    Your advice on PSU and Case have helped loads, think those will be the ones I go with, as well as the HDD.

    A thought crossed my mind earliler today. If I am going to wait until the new breed of Gfx cards are out, would I be better finding something else to amuse myself with and just ordering the whole PC at the same time? rather than building one with a temporary card just now? Just a thought. Would the x1600Pro negate other components in the system? Or will I be just as well off going with what i have so far, and upgrading gfx when the time, and price is right?

    Going to review everything so far and see what's what, thanks again!

  10. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Good luck with your computer Omnipherous, When it's all built take a few screen shots of a game ( like FEAR or Oblivion ) and put it in the gallery :D
  11. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will do TimeParadoX, Oblivion is one of the main games i'm going for, although I won't be able to blast the settings up straight away until Gfx cards catch me up ;P

    It runs (barely) on my PC just now, with everything turned all the way down. Obviously when i realised just how bad it was, I stopped straight away so that I can save the joy for when I can play it in more glory :)

    Btw, The cpu/mobo/ram bundle doesn't give the model of mobo included? Just that it's a gigabyte one - any ideas?

  12. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Basically Omni that motherboard I suggested rocks.... its an overclockers board but even if your not into that it has other great benefits for future proofing and supports both Crossfire and SLI capabilities....

    But then im sure the tech spot elite know better than me! :)
  13. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, sorry to be a continuing pain :p

    From the suggestions so far, how would this look:

    CPU - E6400 C2D
    Mobo - Abit AW9D
    RAM - 1Gb DDR2 667
    Gfx - Asus x1600pro 512Mb
    Hdd - Western Digital 120Gb SATA2
    PSU - Thermaltake TR2 550W
    Case - Antler Phoenix
    Monitor Hanns G 19" ws HW191D

    If my workings are right, that would work out to be roughly £695 delivered.

    Looking good from my point of view!
  14. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Really good system so far, Just make sure that you update the drivers for the graphics card so it doesnt get out of date :D
  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    If you can find an X800GTO, that would be better than the X1600 card. Just my 2 cents lol :)
  16. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Well omni you have the makings of a beast right there.... I'll be using something similar as soon as I get the funds
  17. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, One last question, promise :p

    My attention is turning to cooling, or lack of, that I will have without purchasing some kind of set up for the CPU, and system in general. I have 3 or 4 spare case fans that I can hopefully attatch where needed, but what about CPU cooling? Without going too over the top price wise, as I will not be doing any overclocking (due to lack of knowledge :p). Just something that will keep the innards from melting.

    I'll have a look around myself and se what I can find and post it here.

  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I agree wolfram but the X1650PRO can do HDR+AA while the X800GTO can't.
  19. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had the x1600Pro 512Mb down as my gfx card, but for the same price (£3 less actually) I could get the x1650Pro with 256Mb Ram. Will it be worth the drop in gfx ram by going up to the x1650? I know that some cards don't have the best quality of ram on them, especially in the 512mb models.

    x1600Pro 512Mb, or x1650Pro 256Mb? Keeping in mind this only has to do me until dx10 card, and as long as it's better than my 9600Pro 128Mb :p

  20. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    For your cooling problem:

    Depends on what you're planning on doing with this system, If you plan on doing some really hardcore graphics with 3D programs like Lightwave or something then you'll need fans cooling praticly everything so I would suggest doing watercooling because it cools the whole system with cold water

    If you dont want to do watercooling ( If you never did watercool befor dont do it because if you mess up, your system will get water in it ) then just use the case fans + additional fans if you can add

    Since you're not overclocking then you wont need to go with 87945123 fans so you could still have stable cooling with stock
  21. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks TimePX,

    I don't plan to do any overclocking, but if I do in future I can always re-assess my cooling stuff. Water-cooling is a no-no, don't want to drown my shiney new kit :eek:

    I don't actually think i've included even a CPU fan in my spec until now, so I'd best add that to the list. So I should be fine with a decent CPU fan, and a few case fans, then i can change anything after running the system for a while and monitoring heat etc.

  22. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Yeah you dont need alot of fans to keep your system on stable cooling

    Good luck with your build, If you have any problems with running games just send me a Private Message :D
  23. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Good to hear. Do let us know when u finish building it.
  24. Omnipherous

    Omnipherous TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I decided to order all the components today, after getting the finances sorted into the correct bank account etc, only to discover that some of the items are out of stock! :(

    The PSU is a goner, as with the CPU, and case. Nuts! Guess i'll just have to wait til the stock changes from 'overdue' status and order it as soon as i can.
    On the plus side, I did find the mobo for cheaper elsewhere, and changed the gfx card to a 7600GT for not much more money.

    Here's hoping it won't be too long!
  25. Cpt_Subtext

    Cpt_Subtext TS Rookie Posts: 257

    Thats just sods law there for you mate.... ;) as others have said be sure to take some pics of it when its complete so we can all have a drool! lol
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