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Feedback on potential new build

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23 March 2013 20:00:54

Hi,

I've been messing around on Gooey GUI for a little while and come up with a potential build. I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback on where I could improve, or whether anything isn't compatible. Thanks in advance.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: In the near future

Budget Range: Between £300 - £550

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, mainly Guild Wars 2.

Are you buying a monitor: Maybe; not sure whether I'll stick with my current non HD one.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Ebuyer, Amazon

Location: Leeds, UK

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: The best I can get out of the below specs

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: To run Guild Wars 2 on ultra in WvW.

Specs:

Motherboard -

Asus P8H61-MX R2.0 Socket 1155 8 Channel HD Audio mATX Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/393399-asus-p8h61-mx-r2-0-intel-l...

Processor -

Core i3-2130/3.40 GHz LGA1155 3MB

http://www.ebuyer.com/281420-core-i3-2130-3-40-ghz-lga1...

GPU -

EVGA GTX 650 Ti SuperSuperClocked 2GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/407220-evga-gtx-650-ti-supersuper...

Hard Drive-

WD 1TB 3.5" SATA-III Caviar Green Internal Hard Drive - 7200RPM 64MB Cache

http://www.ebuyer.com/321341-wd-1tb-green-desktop-drive...

Ram -

Crucial 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz Ballistix Sport Memory

http://www.ebuyer.com/342351-crucial-8gb-ddr3-1333mhz-b...

PSU -

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PSU Single 12V Rail 135mm Fan

http://orders.ebuyer.com/customer/shopping/index.html?a...

Case -

Zalman Z5 Plus ATX Midi Tower Case

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zalman-Z5-Plus-Midi-Tower/dp/B0...


All comes in at around £500, and gonna pick up a cheap optical drive just for drivers / windows installation, don't really care about it that much.

All suggestions welcomed!
a b å Intel
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b Î Nvidia
23 March 2013 20:42:27

Few issues there tbh. Also display resolution is your current monitor.

i3-2130 is a slightly ageing CPU, its not bad at all, but it's not the best value. Also, there is a definitely argument against putting an i3 in any new gaming build, simply because they are competing with the FX-6300 which is a better all-rounder.
If you are set on Intel, consider the i3-3220, but the FX-6300 is hard to ignore at that price level.

HDD is a Caviar Green. These are energy saving series and not very good for a boot/install drive, more for data/media storage. If you want WD, think Caviar Blue series (or Black but those are expensive).

Ram - go for 1600Mhz, no reason not to, they are effectively the same price and equally well supported by Intel chipsets.

PSU - OCZ are a slightly sketchy PSU brand, also 700W is massive overkill. For that system you want a 400-500W PSU. Think XFX Core 450 or 550 if you want a bit of headroom.

Here's what you can get for £500. I went over a tiny bit, and the sellers aren't just Ebuyer Amazon, and you can edit it down to less fairly easily by going a bit cheaper on motherboard/case/HDD, but this is a nice balance of quality
It has an i5 and a better graphics card
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£139.49 @ Dabs)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£61.49 @ Ebuyer)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card (£125.98 @ Dabs)
Case: BitFenix Shinobi ATX Mid Tower Case (£49.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£36.18 @ Aria PC)
Total: £504.27
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 20:51 GMT+0000)
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23 March 2013 21:03:09

Rammy said:
Few issues there tbh. Also display resolution is your current monitor.

i3-2130 is a slightly ageing CPU, its not bad at all, but it's not the best value. Also, there is a definitely argument against putting an i3 in any new gaming build, simply because they are competing with the FX-6300 which is a better all-rounder.
If you are set on Intel, consider the i3-3220, but the FX-6300 is hard to ignore at that price level.

HDD is a Caviar Green. These are energy saving series and not very good for a boot/install drive, more for data/media storage. If you want WD, think Caviar Blue series (or Black but those are expensive).

Ram - go for 1600Mhz, no reason not to, they are effectively the same price and equally well supported by Intel chipsets.

PSU - OCZ are a slightly sketchy PSU brand, also 700W is massive overkill. For that system you want a 400-500W PSU. Think XFX Core 450 or 550 if you want a bit of headroom.

Here's what you can get for £500. I went over a tiny bit, and the sellers aren't just Ebuyer Amazon, and you can edit it down to less fairly easily by going a bit cheaper on motherboard/case/HDD, but this is a nice balance of quality
It has an i5 and a better graphics card
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor (£139.49 @ Dabs)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£61.49 @ Ebuyer)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£55.00 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card (£125.98 @ Dabs)
Case: BitFenix Shinobi ATX Mid Tower Case (£49.90 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£36.18 @ Aria PC)
Total: £504.27
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 20:51 GMT+0000)


Thanks for the response! And yeah, I was looking at the FX-6300 originally, but I'd been told that I should have been opting for I3/I5 for a gaming machine, and I didn't want to put too much of my money in the processor, hence the I3. Could I put the FX-6300 in the spec you've provided, or would I need an alternate mobo?

I opted for the 700 power supply to be on the safe side, the program I was running said the max wattage was 550-600, so I thought it better to be safe than sorry. But anywhere I can make a saving, I'd be more than happy to.

But yeah your outline looks perfect for my intended usage. Thank you again for taking the time to look into it for me; I've put together PC's in the past, but its mainly been trial and error, with a little too many errors for my liking.
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23 March 2013 21:15:20

Also my resolution atm is 1280 x 1024. Sorry, forgot to add that into my response.
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Best solution

a b å Intel
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b Î Nvidia
23 March 2013 21:18:50

Willis Hall said:

Thanks for the response! And yeah, I was looking at the FX-6300 originally, but I'd been told that I should have been opting for I3/I5 for a gaming machine, and I didn't want to put too much of my money in the processor, hence the I3. Could I put the FX-6300 in the spec you've provided, or would I need an alternate mobo?


In general Intel has been the way to go for gaming machines but the FX-6300 is priced against i3s and games are progressing to a point where having a good quad core is likely to be highly recommended. The FX uses a different motherboard, I stuck a variation below.

Willis Hall said:

I opted for the 700 power supply to be on the safe side, the program I was running said the max wattage was 550-600, so I thought it better to be safe than sorry. But anywhere I can make a saving, I'd be more than happy to.

Picking a PSU can be a bit tricky, but this site is quite good as a guide - http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
As a general rule, your graphics card (and to a lesser degree, processor) dictates your PSU. Once you know how much you need, you can shop around to find good quality units. In the UK those XFX units are very well priced, 80Plus Bronze rated for efficiency and made by Seasonic (who's own PSUs are usually quite a lot more expensive). There are other good brands to look at too ofc.

Again I used all £500, you could pick parts from either build to product a cheaper overall product, but in this case I snuck in a HD7870XT which is a properly high end card (cut down version of the HD7950 which in turn is a cut down version of the HD7970, and those cost a hell of a lot of money)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor (£99.98 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£66.20 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£50.21 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: Club 3D Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card (£171.62 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£34.96 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£47.93 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £507.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 21:18 GMT+0000)

Also, if you aren't planning on upgrading your monitor soon (or ever) then a lot of these graphics cards are kinda overkill. The prevalent gaming resolution right now is 1080P and even the HD7850 1Gb is sufficient really. At the level of the 7870XT you have a fair bit of headroom to run future titles at that resolution with basically everything turned up.
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23 March 2013 21:32:53

Rammy said:
Willis Hall said:

Thanks for the response! And yeah, I was looking at the FX-6300 originally, but I'd been told that I should have been opting for I3/I5 for a gaming machine, and I didn't want to put too much of my money in the processor, hence the I3. Could I put the FX-6300 in the spec you've provided, or would I need an alternate mobo?


In general Intel has been the way to go for gaming machines but the FX-6300 is priced against i3s and games are progressing to a point where having a good quad core is likely to be highly recommended. The FX uses a different motherboard, I stuck a variation below.

Willis Hall said:

I opted for the 700 power supply to be on the safe side, the program I was running said the max wattage was 550-600, so I thought it better to be safe than sorry. But anywhere I can make a saving, I'd be more than happy to.

Picking a PSU can be a bit tricky, but this site is quite good as a guide - http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
As a general rule, your graphics card (and to a lesser degree, processor) dictates your PSU. Once you know how much you need, you can shop around to find good quality units. In the UK those XFX units are very well priced, 80Plus Bronze rated for efficiency and made by Seasonic (who's own PSUs are usually quite a lot more expensive). There are other good brands to look at too ofc.

Again I used all £500, you could pick parts from either build to product a cheaper overall product, but in this case I snuck in a HD7870XT which is a properly high end card (cut down version of the HD7950 which in turn is a cut down version of the HD7970, and those cost a hell of a lot of money)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor (£99.98 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£66.20 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£50.21 @ Ebuyer)
Video Card: Club 3D Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card (£171.62 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case (£34.96 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£47.93 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £507.13
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-23 21:18 GMT+0000)

Also, if you aren't planning on upgrading your monitor soon (or ever) then a lot of these graphics cards are kinda overkill. The prevalent gaming resolution right now is 1080P and even the HD7850 1Gb is sufficient really. At the level of the 7870XT you have a fair bit of headroom to run future titles at that resolution with basically everything turned up.


You sir, are a bonafide legend. Exactly what I was looking for. Now just to sell the current rig and buy in the parts!

Thanks so much for your help/
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a b å Intel
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b Î Nvidia
23 March 2013 21:46:35

No problem, my own gaming machine is in the same kind of price bracket (i5, GTX660) and I'm in the UK so I'm much more familiar with prices.

The one thing I didn't mention was that the AMD option has the potential for overclocking, but you'll need a solid CPU cooler to support it.
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23 March 2013 22:01:28

Rammy said:
No problem, my own gaming machine is in the same kind of price bracket (i5, GTX660) and I'm in the UK so I'm much more familiar with prices.

The one thing I didn't mention was that the AMD option has the potential for overclocking, but you'll need a solid CPU cooler to support it.


How come you went for the i5 over the FX? Only ask cos you recommended the FX over the i5; on paper the FX does look superior, wondering if there's something I haven't taken into consideration. One thing I probably should have mentioned is that I've read is Guild Wars has poor multi threading optimization, believe it only supports 4 cores max, so a lot of people recommend less cores. But the fx is still more powerful core for core, anyways.

And I don't have much interest in overclocking; my current set up has a lot of issues with overheating, don't want to put myself in that position again. Got the 9800 gtx atm, and had to bake it three times!

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a b å Intel
a c 170 B Homebuilt system
a b Î Nvidia
24 March 2013 01:39:05

The FX6300 is great because it offers great value against the i3. Most games still only support dual core so in benchmarks there isn't much between them. Allow for the fact the FX is overclockable and that the i3s Hyperthreading has poor effect in games, and it only seems better value.

The FX6300 vs i5s is more complicated because even against the most basic i5 the 6300 is a lot cheaper which is money you can pocket or spend on graphics. The i5 is the superior processor, unless the 6300 is overclocked, and it uses less power and has 4 "true" cores, unlike the 6300, which shares resources within its 3 modules of 2 "cores" each, but the price difference still makes the 6300 a worthy consideration, especially if any games you run aren't processor limited.

I personally bought an i5 for a number of reasons.
- The FX6300 wasn't out. My PC is over 6months old, and the previous generation 61** etc weren't as compelling.
- Most of the software I use outside of gaming isn't multithreaded, so extra threads aren't going to be very helpful.
- I have a compact(ish) ITX system, and you can't buy AM3+ boards in the ITX form.
- While its not an issue for me now, if I reuse my PC as a HTPC or something at the end of its lifetime, the lower power draw will be useful.

So to be clear,an i5 is a better processor almost all of the time, but in the UK at the moment you are looking at a price gap of around £40-50 above an FX6300, as it is priced against the FX-8*** series.
Spending £50 on graphics is usually going to give you more in game performance than £50 on CPU, but as you are playing at such a low resolution, there is a logical cap on how much you should spend on graphics (if you go from 100-150fps then that's a huge performance jump, but after 60fps it's mainly wasted). The Intel build is better for your current demands, the AMD one is probably better in the long run because it has plenty of graphics power to spare, can be overclocked if needed and is on a socket which AMD will continue to produce CPUs for (you won't really be able to upgrade a current i5 other than to a current gen i7).
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