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PC Build Advice

By Stephen Bowles · 8 replies
Nov 18, 2013
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  1. Hi guys,

    I'm looking to build myself a new PC suitable. I have particular games I'd like to run with decent performance at reasonably high settings - at the moment that's FSX, Rome 2 TW and Football Manager 2014 (yeah, that one's not resource heavy but it's on my list :) ) - but would like it to be future-proof. I already have a monitor and mouse but everything else needs buying. Considering that, with the budget I have (£800), I've come up with the following set-up:

    Case - Bitfenix Merc Alpha Gaming Case
    CPU - AMD FX6-core FX6300 3.5GHz 14Mb cache
    RAM - Corsair 8Gb DDR3 1600MHz
    PSU - 700W Coolermaster B700
    Motherboard - ASUS M5A97 Motherboard
    Graphics - 2Gb AMD MSI HD 7870 OC PCI-E
    HDD - Western Digital 1TB
    DVD-RW - Liteon 24x player
    Cooling - Standard AMD processor cooling fan, case has a fan at the rear, planning on buying four more fans and adding two to the front, one to the top and one to the bottom of the case
    Speakers - Logitech ZS13
    O/S - Windows 8 64-bit

    If anyone can take a quick scan through and let me know if I've missed something glaringly obvious, that would be great. Or if there is anything I can substitute that would give better performance for a similar price, that would be great.

    I think everything is compatible (I'll double and triple-check this before buying!) so I'm not looking for any in-depth analysis, but any guidance would be great! Thanks!
  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Good Selection, but might I make a few alterations for you to consider because you have a £800. We maybe able to squeeze a bit more out of this build, ill go off amazon.uk for the pricing:

    Gigabyte Z87-HD3 79.99
    i5 4670k 174.50
    Corsair 750watt Bronze 68.98
    Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1tb 49.99
    Cooler Master Hyper212 Evo CPU Cooler 23.99
    NZXT Phantom 410 mid tower 84.95
    Corsair Vengeance 8gb 2x4gb 1600 65.76
    Liton DvD Drive 13.15
    R9 280X Gigabyte 230.47
    Logitech Z323 Speakers 32.99 (Could not find the speakers you listed so went for what I thought might be close.

    Thats just a little advice to maxise your build to the budget, this will provide much more power overall and future proof you for quite some time. Hope this help!
    misor and Stephen Bowles like this.
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    I think the OP needs to include an OS in the budget so would probably need to go down to an i5 4570/4670, H87 motherboard and won't need an aftermarket CPU cooler.

    Also those games aren't very GPU intensive at all so an R9 280X is going to be overkill. Could probably fit in an SSD with the savings.
    Stephen Bowles likes this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,043   +4,768

    I think they did include an OS.
  5. Stephen Bowles

    Stephen Bowles TS Member Topic Starter

    First of all, thanks for the responses guys.

    My big concern was the processor - while I'm reasonably computer literate and was able to get through a fair amount of literature out on the web, I'm still a bit lost on the i5/i7/AMD series debates - I went with AMD for my initial spec on the basis of cost and that overclocking may be an interesting project in the future. But, the i5 series seems to be the winner here... Considering I'm not actually too bothered about the overclocking aspect, I'll take a good hard look at the Intel processors available too

    The O/S does need adding to GhostRyder's specs, along with a couple of little things that I forgot to mention, like a network card (I'm not a fan of dongles) and a keyboard. Cutting back the graphics card seems like the best option to free up cash from GhostRyder's specs, so I might have a little browse about. Thanks for pointing me to Amazon by the way, for some reason it never occured to me to head in their direction!

    What do you think about cooling? Would more fans squeeze out a bit more performance, or is it all a bit much of a muchness?
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    Yeah sorry should have clarified, that was in response to GhostRyder's build which was £800 without an OS.

    • Try and get a motherboard with onboard wifi, saves a slot and will keep your GPU cooler.
    • You don't need any more fans IMO, Intel's Haswell CPUs are very efficient and as long as you get a GPU with a decent cooler and a decent case you'll be fine. Fans are always something you can add later.
    • Other retailers to consider are Ebuyer, Scan and Dabs, I always find those places (along with Amazon) have the best prices with delivery.
  7. Stephen Bowles

    Stephen Bowles TS Member Topic Starter

    Having had a look around, I'm not sure I'll be able to get all I want plus an i5 processor. But, having looked at a few of the suggestions by GhostRyder (e.g. the power supply) and reducing the fans on the advice of slh28, I've been able to bump up the processor a bit and am now looking at an AMD 8320, along with a larger case.

    I guess the final question is will the higher spec processor make up for not going for the i5? I could look at using a passively cooled GPU instead, which would probably free up enough cash in the budget, but I'm worried that these might need a little bit more care with airflow etc (plus I'm always suspicious of something that's much cheaper but purports to have the same performance!).

    Time to sleep on it anyway think, thanks for the advice!
  8. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    If you go with an FX 8320 processor, you will get great performance and will perform on par with an i5 in most cases. The only reason to choose the i5 over the FX chip is for straight gaming, if you plan to overclock and want to save some money, the 8320 will be a better option over the unlocked i5.

    Try something like this instead:

    MSI 990FXA
    FX 8320

    Now as far as wifi built in on an AMD board, I could not locate one for you so just grab a wifi card. I would get an aftermarket cooler still if you want this CPU, will help you overclock and just keep things at better temps, the stock fan is very mediocre.
    misor likes this.
  9. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    The FX8320 will be a good option if your games can take advantage of multiple cores, but just bear in mind it's a lot more power hungry and hotter than a Haswell i5. When you consider that you'd also need an aftermarket cooler for the FX then the price saving isn't really that much.

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