Help building a £850 PC - Q9550 and GTX 285

By RiseorDie · 21 replies
Oct 24, 2009
  1. hello all

    thank you for reading and considering to help me here

    i'm building a computer and my limit is £850 maximum, thats about $1400 us dollars.

    anyway i'm looking to have the following:

    processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz
    Graphics card: Nvidia GTX 285 1GB GDDR3
    Ram: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz (***ddr3, would this work?)
    Hard drive: 500GB SATAII 7200RPM 16MB Cache
    Power supply: OCZ GameXStream 850W PSU

    OS: windows 7 home 64-bit

    i'm really confused on alot of things here, i'm 100% sure that i want to get a Q9550 and a 285 gtx graphics card, but i dont know which memory(RAM) or motherboard to get with it becuase i dont know which one supports both.

    if anyone has any advice on what to change and what to keep then i'd really appreciate it my friends...
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hi Rise,
    welcome to Techspot :)
    First of all I hope you take this in the helpful spirit intended. I think the premise of your build is flawed, and here is why:
    1) unless price differences are skewed wherever you are, getting a Q9550 does not make sense when a vastly superior i7 920/860 (or another model of the i7 class) is only a few dollars more.
    2) secondly the GTX 285 is dated tech,inferior performance wise, technologically, and a HD 5870 can be had for the same price. not to mention that it will be ready for the next generation of games.

    if you don't consider a rethink of your build, i think your shorting your new build both in value and performance per dollar. for 850 quid, you can have a superior build to the one you are proposing.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

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

    Yes infact, you could build a much better system with $1400

    Core components:

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail$200
    GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail$110
    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM - Retail$80
    SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video ... - Retail$400

    Total: $900
    Leaving you $500 for OS, hdd, case, cooler (if you want), keyboard, mouse and phericals.
    For the harddrive, I would consider a larger one at a minor cost upset.

    EDIT: Actually, I think Rage often recommends the CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX TX750W 750W Power Supply Retail
    at $150 for similar builds, and he's probably right.
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    and adding to HK's proposal, the i5 750 runs rings around the Q9550 as well.
  5. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    oh dear god you guys have a point.

    the i7 processor seems to cost alot along with its motherboard and ram.

    but the i5 750 seems to be about reasonable.

    either way they both beat the Q9550.

    the 5870 supports direct x 11, but is there a big difference between 10 and 11?
  6. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    also with a 750 wat power supply crossfire ready, can i run 2 ati 5870?

    becuase i was thinking of getting the: OCZ GameXStream 850W PSU - SLI Ready

    and i cant buy from newegg, i'm using ebuyer for now
  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    there is a big difference between DX10 and DX11, it is a major technological revision and makes a big difference in the appearance and performance of the next generation of software. and in the mean time while waiting for DX11 games to emerge, the HD 5870 handily out performs the GTX 285. I will post some benchmarks for you, but due to the architectural superiority of DX11, frame rates rise when running a DX11 game with DX11 hardware as opposed to DX10.

    and yes that PSU will easily run two 5870's in CF
  8. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok here is what i got now:

    - Novatech Motherboard Bundle - Intel Core i5 750 - 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz - Intel P55 Motherboard
    - Sapphire ATI Radeon 5850 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card - Retail
    - Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLI Compliant Power Supply
    - Coolermaster HAF 922 Case - Black (No PSU)
    - Optiarc AD-7241S Lightscribe 24X DVD+/-RW Dual Layer DVD-RAM SATA Black
    - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit DVD - OEM

    i have not chosen a hard drive yet, i have a question regarding it.
    does it matter if you install the OS on a different hard drive? does it improve anything or should i just get one hard drive?

    i'm using, its the best website and they have the new ati cards.
    the total so far is: £870

    what do you guys think?
  9. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    not exactly. that VGA is a 5850 not a 5870, The PSU is 650W. and you might want to email a question to the seller about the PSU because 99% of the time in a prebuilt machine...the power supply is of very low quality.
  11. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    i really appreciate you're help red1776, you've been saving my *** ever since i got here :)

    ok so i found this one, a friend said that i should buy it instead of building my own:

    # Intel Core i7 920 processor
    (2.66GHz, 8MB Cache)
    # Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
    # 6GB memory (ddr3)
    # 1TB hard drive
    # 1GB ATI Radeon HD4870 graphics

    it seems reasonable and the reviews on the internet recommend it.

    if i'm buying this one then i can raise the price limit, but if i'm building my own then i'm stuck at £850.

    i think the only problem with it is the PSU which i can change some time later...
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    If you would rather buy than build, Dell actually is making some pretty decent machines these days. The weak spots are the bundled PSU, and the motherboard would not be one that you would hand pick, but like you said you can change out the PSU at some point. The 4870 will handle most games up to 1920 x 1080 on high detail. 1100 quid seems a bit high, but that could be the current exchange rate. otherwise if you decide to build your own, I like HK"s build :)
  13. hellokitty[hk]

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

    The dell will work, as mentioned, they don't pick the best motherboards or powersupplies, but it will work.
    I rather like my build too, its your choice but remember the 5870 has about 60%-70% better performance than the 4870 :).
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Dell's PSUs are conservatively-rated and are usually FSPs or PC Power & Cooling, so they're pretty decent. The motherboards are not too bad either, but this factor differs from model to model.
  15. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Assuming that you'll build the system, I really like the looks of HK's build. As for the 750TX handling two HD 5870s I'm just a wee bit skeptical. It's a darn good PSU but if you're planning to add any other stuff in your rig, the CrossFire might strain the PSU.

    However, others would know better.
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Not really Ritwik7, since two HD 5870s with an i7 (LGA1366) CPU will use 550-600W at most; well within that PSU's capabilities.
  17. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks for clearing that up Rage.

    Then do you think the Corsair 650TX will be safe to SLI two GTX 275s or CF two HD 5850s?

    Also, if you were to select between a Corsair and Seasonic, which would you pick?
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I don't know about two GTX 275s (seems a little tight IMO) but two 5850s shouldn't be a problem IMO.

    Oh, and FYI, the 650TX is built by Seasonic; on average, Seasonic's own PSUs are of extremely good quality, but expensive. I would go for one if I had the cash, but if not, I would pick Corsair.
  19. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    i think you can run 2 ati hd 5850 crossfire on a corsair 650 W SLI ready PS...
  20. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    after reading you're advise and others on the net i have came to conclude that even though the dell might be the right choice, i felt its better that i build it and know whats inside my system.

    the graphics card seem to be older on that dell pc, and its not direct x 11... also thier ram and hard drive is much slower, but they havent added those details on thier website... not to mention the motehrboard and maybe other components...

    i have made my choice and i have chosen the following components with alot of research and thought put into it... i feel like this is the best i'm getting for my money, and i would like to thank every one here for thier effort and time to help me. so here it is:

    - Intel Core i7 920 processor
    - G.skill trident 6gb ddr3 ram 2000MHz triple channel kit
    - Asus P6T SE Intel X58 motherboard
    - XFX ATI Radeon 5850 1gb
    - Corsair 650W SLI Compliant Power Supply
    - WD 500gb hard drive 32mb cache 7200rpm
    - Optiarc AD-7241S Lightscribe 24X DVD+/-RW
    - Coolermaster HAF 922 Case
    - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

    total price: £1084.70 inc vat

    i had to raise my money from £850 to £1085

    i wish i could add the 5870 but i lack on cash, and there isnt a big difference on the benchmark tests...

    anyway i would like to thank you guys again, i'm happy with this system now, its much better with what i've started with... :)
  21. hellokitty[hk]

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

    If you go with the i5 and supporting motherboard like I posted above, you will save a marginal amount of cash with quite minor performance hits.
    No matter, 5850 is an awesome card.
  22. RiseorDie

    RiseorDie TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    but some say the i5 motherboard is to expire soon and it will be harder to upgrade with it... but the i7 and the x58 can be upgraded to other processors...
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