Custom Build PC - Advice

By sebmills25 · 12 replies
Oct 20, 2008
  1. I hope I have put this in the right section. Please tell me what you think. It is similar to another user I found on this site. My budget is up to £1000. I don't need a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Current PC cost is £629.06 inc vat.

    The PC is for mainly games only and I will dual boot both XP and Vista. My questions are:
    Is it a good spec?
    Should I get a better Graphic Card?
    Do you have any recommended changes?
    Will my hardware work for vista?
    Will I need a sound card or make do with the one on board?
    Do I need a wireless network card?

    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400

    Motherboard – Asus P5Q Pro

    Hiper 580 Watt

    Corsair HX 620W CPU

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA II 7200rpm 16Mb Cache

    Nexus Caterpillar ATX MIDI Tower Silent PC System Case

    Samsung DVD Rom Drive

    Corsair Twin2X 4GB DDR2 (2x2048MB)

    Novatech NVIDIA GeForce 9800

    Thanks for taking the time to read,

  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    This is a POWER SUPPLY, not a CPU, and its also better than the one you selected, however it is still over kill for a single 9800gt.

    I would use this power supply:

    And please remind me about pounds to USD conversions........

    And this RAM is much cheeper for the same thing:

    That depends on how much you are willing to pay. Maybe give us a budget?

    It should work with vista but i would recommend buying Vista 64 bit then getting this 4gig pair of ram:

    No you will not need one, same with the network card. Though i would recommend a different motherboard.
  3. sebmills25

    sebmills25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah yes. I think i meant to type PSU. Oops. :) Yea, 450 does make more sense. budget is about $1700 US dollars. Before I made any of your recommended changes I spent about $1000.

    Ah ok. So what motherboard do you recommend?

    Maybe about £100 - £150 ($170 - $250) for the graphic card.

    Thanks HK

  4. cpu2008

    cpu2008 TS Rookie

    With regards to your motherboard and cpu, i would use the E8400 as you suggested on a Asus P5K WiFi-ap board and then overclock it by around 20-30%, this will give you some great results, i wouldnt go 64bit however, due to the fact that not all software is compatible with 64bit but all is compatible with 32bit. Vista is a great choice as well for games as you'll get the full directx 10 hit as well which makes games like Crysis awesome. Also look at the NVidia GX280 graphics cards, there not a lot more but really are the best you can get for games at the moment.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    @cpu2008, the P5K has an older chipset and OCs much lesser than the P5Q Pro, which also supports Crossfire with two PCI-E 2.0 slots. The P5Q Pro is a far better choice. Also, the fastest card right now is the HD 4870 X2, which sells for around £380 or so.

    @sebmills25, why do you have two PSUs listed? Anyways, I'd recommend this card as a much more powerful choice compared to the 9800GT (it's actually slightly better than a GTX 260). With the P5Q Pro, you can throw in another card later and run them in Crossfire, which will allow you to run pretty much any game with all the detail settings maxed out. If you'd like to be able to run two of them, I'd recommend the Corsair TX750W instead of the HX620.

    Alternatively, you can go with this card now and add another one later in Crossfire. It's faster than a 9800GTX and the best bang-for-buck card right now. Two of them will be also be fast enough for most games, although not as fast as two HD 4870s.
  6. cpu2008

    cpu2008 TS Rookie

    @rage - Firstly why on earth would you want to use two GPUs in crossfire?, Especially on a board which only supports crossfire in x8 mode? And its well know that you are better off spending money on a top of the range graphics card than you are on buying two to run in crossfire as not many games acutually support crossfire anyway. And buying a top of the range card such as a GTX280 for about £320 is cheaper than buying 2 HD4850 at around £180 each and you will get better performance from the GTX 280.
    I suggested the P5K board as it is a fantastic overclocker and the sata port placement on it are in a position that if you fit a large GPU as suggested you can access them all, this however is not possible with the P5Q and even worse on that board is how hot the northbridge gets under overclocking conditions and as such reduces the lifespan of the board.
    I agree with your graphics card choice however but only if you do not want to overclock the system, hence why i suggest the 260 if you hw would be to overclock as it overclocks far better and cooler than a HD4870.#
  7. sebmills25

    sebmills25 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Yea, not sure why I had two PSUs. Maybe a little over excited last night. I have just one now.

    @CPU2008 - I have to go with Vista64, even though it’s a pain, I want

    Graphics cards - These are my shortlist of two. Price is about as much as I can afford. I need to pick one.

    Motherboard. I am really confused here. Should I stick or change? I could increase my motherboard budget from £90 to £150/£200.

    With regard to running two graphic cards, would I really need to do that? If I picked one of the above cards, how many years would they keep up with the latest games?

    Also, what about getting the E8600 cpu?

    I will list my revised spec once i can decide on the motherboard and graphic card.

    Thanks people...
  8. sebmills25

    sebmills25 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    @cpu2008, the P5Q Pro has two PCI-E 2.0 slots running at x8 speeds, which basically means you have the same bandwidth as you would if you ran two PCI-E 1.1 slots at x16. And the P45 chipset runs much cooler than the P35 chipset due to the northbridge chip being 65nm compared to the 90nm P35 northbridge chip. As for the HD 4850, two of them cost around £220 and will give comparable performance to the GTX 260 but yes, they will be unable to beat the GTX 280. However, two HD 4870s can be had for around £320 and make mincemeat of the GTX 280. Lastly, the HD 48x0 series just runs hotter due to the low default fan speed on the cards. There is a tweak available for that, and increasing the fan speed to around 60% makes the card run significantly cooler without much increase in noise.

    @sebmills25, stick with the P5Q Pro and an E8400. The E8600 is not worth the increase in price. Try and get your hands on an E8400 with E0 stepping if possible. E-mail Novatech about this if you're not sure from the info on their web page. Also, the P5E3 Premium Wi-Fi uses DDR3, which is very expensive, so don't bother going for it.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I suppose you could go with the 8500 CPU as, for intel, only the fastest CPU is a lot more expensive than others of its class.

    Are you going to overclock at all? And its impossible to tell how long your graphics card will last, technology is too fast. Though i hear if you keep buying the newest cards, then selling them right before the release of the next generation (and thus, the price drops) then its almost like leasing them. Not that i would recommend this.

    I am not going to recommend a motherboard aside from telling you to go with a DDR2 motherboard, i havn't looked into the newer intel P45 and X48 motherboards.

    For graphics cards and a lower budget, i would stay away from dual cards, and especially crossfire as the drivers definetly need work. So, pick a card with your price tag on it from this list:

    8800/9800gt ≈ 100 USD
    4850 ≈ 160 USD
    9800gtx+ ≈ 180 USD
    GTX 260 ≈ 240 USD
    4870 ≈ 250 USD
    GTX 260 Core 216 (wtf, GTX 270??!?) ≈ 300 USD
    GTX 280 ≈ 400 USD
    4870x2 ≈ 530 USD

    All prices were taken from because i think newegg is much easier to navigate than novatech. Keep in mind that if you use more than one card, you can ONLY use 2 or 3 of the same Nvidia card on an Nvidia SLI board, or up to 4 different (or the same) GPU's on an Intel Crossfire board.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    In any case, you can order the motherboard and RAM from Novatech in OEM boxes, which will help save some cash. Maybe it'd work for the video card too, I don't know for sure.
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    But do OEM come with cables and stuff? Or was that open box that doesn't necesaraliy come with cables?
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The items come in OEM packaging, meaning instead of the usual flashy boxes they come in plain white ones, the actual items and accessories still being the same.
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