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Building a cheap(ish) rig for 1080 gaming and don't know where to start

Hi guys, long time lurker, first time poster.
Basically my 10 yr old son has gotten into pc gaming but is becoming limited as to what he can do with his laptop. So he's asked for a gaming rig for Xmas. I decided to build it myself, but it's been a while as the last I built one from scratch was a core 2 quad set up, yeah that long ago.
I've bought the case he pointed out to me which is a cit neptune, and I've already got an xfx pro series 650w psu I can use. But where next? He'll be using it with his TV so won't ever be running over 1080, so a 1080 rig that'll run any game for the next 2 yrs is ideal.
Does the 2500k still hold its own? A gtx770 4gb?? I'm outta the loop here.
For reliability and stability reasons I don't want to do any overclocking, if it won't run it stock, I don't want it.
No silly suggestions I'm not rich enough, if he can play gta v on it, then it's good enough
Thanks in advance
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More about building cheap ish rig 1080 gaming start
  1. You need to set a budget mate & me & others will pinpoint a build for you.

    Generally on the Intel front pretty much any i5 from sandy bridge onwards does well for gaming.
  2. DreadCalm said:
    Hi guys, long time lurker, first time poster.
    Basically my 10 yr old son has gotten into pc gaming but is becoming limited as to what he can do with his laptop. So he's asked for a gaming rig for Xmas. I decided to build it myself, but it's been a while as the last I built one from scratch was a core 2 quad set up, yeah that long ago.
    I've bought the case he pointed out to me which is a cit neptune, and I've already got an xfx pro series 650w psu I can use. But where next? He'll be using it with his TV so won't ever be running over 1080, so a 1080 rig that'll run any game for the next 2 yrs is ideal.
    Does the 2500k still hold its own? A gtx770 4gb?? I'm outta the loop here.
    For reliability and stability reasons I don't want to do any overclocking, if it won't run it stock, I don't want it.
    No silly suggestions I'm not rich enough, if he can play gta v on it, then it's good enough
    Thanks in advance


    Did you already own GTX 770 & 2500K plus motherboard????
  3. A very basic, low cost Intel / Nvidia system.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£142.33 @ CCL Computers)
    Motherboard: ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£68.36 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£45.73 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£34.74 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 2GB SuperSC ACX 2.0+ Video Card (£164.92 @ Aria PC)
    Case: CIT Neptune (Purchased)
    Power Supply: XFX 650W PRO (Purchased)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£9.00 @ CCL Computers)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM (64-bit) (£73.19 @ Aria PC)
    Total: £538.27
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-08 12:29 BST+0100
  4. Sorry, no I haven't owned or built a rig since the lga775 days, however a few people have mentioned the i5 2500 as being an affordable option as it's old and cheap but still good.
    And I've read much about a 770 being a good 1080 card, is it better than a 960?
    My budget is pretty tight but I guess I can stretch to 250 gbp for a gpu, and if I can get mobo and cpu for another 300 I'll be happy.
  5. OK that partpicker build, would it run all the heavy games coming out now? Would the 4gb version of the gpu be worth getting?
    Last gpu I owned was an evga 660ti, still have it actually. How much better are these 960's to that?
  6. I'd take a 4gb 770 over any 960 mate.
    In all fairness a r9 380 is probably the best current price/performance card.
    You already have a decent case & PSU so the benefits of the 960 (efficiency & temps) dont really matter here.
    Regarding cpu 's - on a tight budget & if you don't mind the older Intel platform there are 3450's & 3470's regularly on eBay for £70-80

    Cheap £40 h61 board & for £130 max you've got the basis for a really good system.

    For the same price new the other option is an fx6300 & a decent 970 board.
  7. That's interesting, would you regard the 3470 as a better i5 quad than a 2500?
    I had a couple of bad experiences with amd cards few yrs back which kinda put me off for life, have they upped their game a bit these days?
    Thanks for the cpu info, I shall now scour eBay to get an idea on mobo prices for it.
  8. Best answer
    The 2500k at stock I'd put on a par with a 3450, the 3470 rates slightly faster.

    The 2500k is more open to past abuse being unlocked & that's my main reason for sticking with locked second hand Intel chips if you don't personally know the seller.

    Board wise for sandy or ivy chips.

    ASRock H61M-DG3/USB3

    Nothing spectacular ,- its sata 2 only (4 ports) & has USB 3 rear & onboard headers
    Solid little board , has efi bios & full fast boot support for win 8/10.
    £40 near enough anywhere , used it in the last 2 build & for the money its a solid little number.

    Gpu's - you can't really rate on reliability between and/nvidia ,- that's going to gone down to manufacturer really.
    Fact is at the same pricepoint the 380 is slightly superior to the gtx 960 & 770.

    If you go 960 its pointless spending extra for the 4gb model - the bandwidth of the card makes it near useless.doesn't mean its a bad card just don't stump up extra for another 2gb vram when it makes no difference to performance.
  9. Thank you, I think that pretty much settles it on cpu and board, will hunt out a 'locked' 3470 and that board sounds ideal, it doesn't need to be all singing ad dancing, just power up and shut down with no agro when my lad needs it to.
    I'll bare the gpu comment in mind and I may research the R9 some more, if not I will go for a 770.
    Appreciate the help, cheers.
  10. Locked 2500 - you'd prob get that for £60-65 best offer.
    http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=111789683035&alt=web

    Locked 3450
    http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=231693128557&alt=web

    I've dealt with specola before - good seller - CPU I had off him was spotless & looked brand new.

    Performance wise nothing in it at all between the 2 - I'd have cleaned the 2500 better though before posting pics personally.

    Bear in mind you'd have to purchase a cooler for either of them.
    DEEPCOOL Tower Fan Computer Radiator GAMMAXX S40 Heat Sink with Cooling Fans, let your PC Case and CPU Cooler, 120mm Damping PWM Tower Fan/4 pcs 6mm Heat Pipe/Dual Airflow Channel Auxiliary Cooling Design https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HXH8TAG/ref=cm_sw_r_other_awd_r0QfwbF5651A1

    Blinding cooler for £18 - used it in the 3470 builds - 2 hour stress test & the highest it got was 52c
  11. Will that AsRock board run an.ivy bridge from out the box? Just read a lot of intel 1155 boards that need a sandy bridge just to first boot and change the bios to run an ivy, that's a pain in the arse I could do without.
  12. ^ yes mate - runs all ivy chips on first revision bios - it was designed for ivy bridge - its the the sandy bridge chips its backwards compatible with , not the other way round if you know what I mean.
  13. Yeah Im with ya, sounds ideal. Been looking around and they go from 40-50 still new, which is insanely cheap really ain't it. Last mobo I bought cost me 240 quid, and it was a pain in the arse. If that AsRock is reliable for that price I'm laughing, means the gpu budget can go up. What's an i5 limit before it bottlenecks the gpu? Gtx970 4...... I mean 3.5gb? Or is that 1080 overkill?
  14. Any 3ghz+ i5, be it sandy or ivy will have no trouble at all powering a 970.

    I'm using a 970 on a big screen TV myself. I vsync @60htz because I'm not one of those loons who insist they can tell the difference between 60 & 100 fps on a 60htz screen - never seen the 970 go above 70% usage at max settings - some would say the 970 is overkill for 1080p 60fps but I dont see it that way at all - yo me it means there is plenty of reserve grunt for titles 2 years or so down the line & at the minute I can max the eye candy on any title.
    If a 970 is in budget absolutely 100% go for it mate.
    Your spoiling your son here -in a good way ;-)

    That board is cheap because its pretty bare bol.
    If you don't need all the fancy features of more expensive boards though why pay more ??
    It just absolutely does the job for a gaming setup absolutely fine.
  15. You'll want a 120mm exhaust fan for that Neptune case mate BTW , if you go with that deepcool s40 cooler I recommended & add one of these.
    ARCTIC F12 PWM PST - Standard Low Noise PWM Controlled Case Fan with PWM Sharing Technology (PST) Feature https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B002QVLBM2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_awd_Eo9fwbEVA4473

    You can sync the CPU & exhaust fans which works brilliantly.
  16. That was exactly my thinking, I could get an adequate gpu for today's games, but what happens this time next year or tge year after? Definitely would rather some headroom, will the 970 be dx12 ready?
    I was so outta the loop on all this I considered just using my old 660ti, maybe getting another and running 2. Then I saw they were now on the 9 series lol.
    I'm a bit ocd when it comes to cooling, Ive never used a stock hsf, they just look shit. And I'll have a 120mm front, rear, and might even put a side one in depending on how much heat comes off the gpu and psu (when did they start putting psu 's at the bottom??)
  17. OK, just found an evga 970 4gb for 240 new, that'll do.
    Never had any issues with evga stuff, is it still that way with them or would u recommend a different brand these days? If I'm saving that much on cpu and mobo I'll order that card now :-)
  18. There honestly isn't a bad model 970 mate IMO.
    & £240 is a good price , most models are £260/279 at the minute.
  19. Too late I ordered the evga one this morning, better the devil you know I'm funny like that.
    Cheers for your help fella, I know where I'm going now, appreciate it.
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