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Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 26/1/2012 9:57:56 PM   
the anomaly


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Joined: 20/6/2006
Joypad Forumites Unite!

I'm looking to build my own PC and was looking for some knowledge and one of the first places I thought to check was here.

I want the PC for PC gaming/modding/developing and was hoping for some advice on what to buy, where from, how much I should spend etc.

Without any extras (monitor, cables, keyboard, mouse etc) how far would £600 get me if I'm trying to make it myself?



Thanks!
Post #: 1
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 26/1/2012 10:25:55 PM   
gingerdaniel


Posts: 2184
Joined: 27/5/2006
From: Usually the couch
Now there's a massive topic to go off on, i'd go for a barebones kit like THIS and find a decent SSD and graphics card to make it fly. That might push you over your £600 budget though....

If you wanna just get one and not have to put it together yourself, maybe look at something like THIS

The handy thing with PC's is that you can upgrade them bit by bit over the years! i've got about 3 pc's in parts through upgrades over the years.

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Post #: 2
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 27/1/2012 7:53:48 PM   
the anomaly


Posts: 6423
Joined: 20/6/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerdaniel

Now there's a massive topic to go off on
, i'd go for a barebones kit like THIS and find a decent SSD and graphics card to make it fly. That might push you over your £600 budget though....

If you wanna just get one and not have to put it together yourself, maybe look at something like THIS

The handy thing with PC's is that you can upgrade them bit by bit over the years! i've got about 3 pc's in parts through upgrades over the years.


Please do go on!

I kinda want to put it together myself to get to grips with how to do it. Plus the added bonus of getting to make it how I want to. Should work out cheaper too? Sort of? Any unforeseen drawbacks in doing it that way?

Regarding the budget to scale back my requirements for now I only need to be able to play about with Unreal. So messing about with UT3 etc. Once I get decent I'd be happy to upgrade in the future etc. Say in a year or two? Is it worth doing that you think?

Yeah trying to get my arse into gear this year and do loads of stuff. Always found it hard to try to use level editors on consoles etc ... as I just end up playing the game instead.


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Post #: 3
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 27/2/2012 11:37:01 AM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
How you getting on with this?

Currently putting together a system for my gf. Only got the processor and RAM atm but I've got the rest of the parts picked out. It'll be the 4th PC I've built, I'm planning on making it really neat and tidy. Cable managed, colour coded etc.

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 27/2/2012 11:44:44 AM   
Harry Tuttle


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From: Sometime in the future.
I'm in the middle of upgrading my machine. All I really need is a new processor, some RAM and a new graphics card.

What the best graphics card available for around the £150-160 mark? I usually go for Radeon's although my current card is Nvidia so I'm not that bothered about brand loyalty.

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 27/2/2012 2:54:24 PM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Think the GTX 560 Ti is currently the best at that price

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Graphics+Cards/NVIDIA/NVIDIA+GTX+560ti/Asus+GeForce+GTX+560Ti+DCII%2F2DI%2F1GD5+DirectCU+II+1024MB+GDDR5+PCI-Express+Graphics+Card+?productId=43564

You could probably find it cheaper if you shop around.

I'm going with the Radeon HD7770, it's in our 100 quid price range and is similar, slightly better in some cases, to the HD6850 but has drastically reduced power consumption, is likely to improve with updated drivers based on the new tech and has the ability to switch itself off when not in use.

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 29/2/2012 11:15:34 AM   
kata


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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Just ordered this case.



It's the only one me and the GF could agree upon. Plus there's not much for the toddler to piss about with.

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 1/3/2012 10:39:21 AM   
MBeard


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Just ordered an SSD to go into mine for the OS partition so hoping to see a dramatic performance increase!

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 1/3/2012 2:15:58 PM   
Emyr Thy King


Posts: 2177
Joined: 13/4/2006
From: The Grid
Where art thou the anomaly? Not fallen down a blackhole I hope. Or you inadvertently opened up a singularity with your first foray into PC building..admittedly the hole would be in your bank account if you're not careful. If you're still umming and ahhhing over what to do. I'd consult here:

Build your own

gingerdaniel
has given you a good start with those links. The iRush looks interesting and the board has a max RAM of 32GB which is very good. If you ever feel like going upwards of 12GB RAM. It has a modular PSU, which means you can disconnect or unplug the power cables you don't need. It's very handy as there's less cable clutter and it's ideal for cable management. Bear in mind you'd need to buy/acquire an O/S for it, I checked how much Windows 7 Home (max 16GB RAM) was with it and it took it up to £659.99.

< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 1/3/2012 2:16:26 PM >


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Post #: 9
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 1/3/2012 2:43:29 PM   
kata


Posts: 3204
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From: Motorville
For £570 you could build a very nice PC yourself.

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Post #: 10
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 1/3/2012 11:23:00 PM   
the anomaly


Posts: 6423
Joined: 20/6/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Emyr Thy King

Where art thou the anomaly?



A month latter and everyone wants to help.

Been busy! Changed job and decided to wait until probation was passed for me to dive in. Me being cautious as ever.

If I can wait it'll be the end of the month that I'll start sorting it out. Though building maps in Unreal on my laptop gets increasingly irritating as the maps become more complicated. So may want to just dive in.

I browsed amazon awhile back and just picked out bits I thought looked good to get an idea of what I need:

Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 Motherboard (Socket AM3+, Up to 16GB DDR3, USB 3.0, uATX)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-M5A78L-M-USB3-Motherboard-Socket/dp/B0054U7HIO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1HCR6PBYOTG3A&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT
Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Antec-Nine-Hundred-Ultimate-Gamer/dp/B000JMJS7A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2766RB50TSY15&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT
EVGA 01G-P3-1567-KR Nvidia GTX560Ti DS SuperClocked 1GB 256-Bit DDR5 Graphics Card
http://www.amazon.co.uk/01G-P3-1567-KR-GTX560Ti-SuperClocked-256-Bit-Graphics/dp/B0050IA9OO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3OPII84GEBTFA&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT
OCZ 600W ModXStream Pro Power Supply - UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCZ-600W-ModXStream-Power-Supply/dp/B001GLFD54/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I29DBK7RKRF1FI&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT
Intel Sandybridge i5-2500K Unlocked Core i5 Quad-Core Processor (3.30GHz, 6MB Cache, Socket 1155)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-i5-2500K-Quad-Core-Processor/dp/B004FA8NX2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I24PXSH14YKEE7&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT
Seagate ST2000DL003 Barracuda Green 3.5-inch 2TB SATA 6 Gb/s Drive (64MB Buffer,5900RPM)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-ST2000DL003-Barracuda-3-5-inch-5900RPM/dp/B004C0WVP6/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3HIW7AWFNHTD5&colid=D4VLPRNY1SMT

Dunno what you think of that.

Looking at Portal 2 spec - Which I hope to make levels with the editor:

Portal 2

Portal 2 Recommended System Requirements:

CPU - Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better)

RAM - 1GB RAM

Video card - DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card


In short I obviously don't want to go too crazy. What did I say before? £500 limit?! I want to be able to work with it.

In terms of actually putting together (if I have all the parts) how long do think I'd take to whack together? A couple of hours .... ?!?




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Post #: 11
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 1/3/2012 11:45:44 PM   
DJ Satan


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You're missing memory and maybe a heatsink, if it doesn't come with the processor.

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Post #: 12
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 2/3/2012 9:32:08 AM   
kata


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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
There's a stock fan that comes with the i5, perfectly adequate if you're not overclocking. Also the i5 2500k is socket 1155, the p67 and z68 are considered good workhorses.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigabyte-XKT-1155-Z68AP-D3-Motherboard-Rev/dp/B0054X4I4M/ref=sr_1_19?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1330680050&sr=1-19

Socket AM3+ is for AMD processors, most notably Bulldozer. It's an upgrade dead end though because apparently the AM3+ socket is being changed soon. Unlike the Gen 3 z68 boards which will apparently take the new Intel Ivybridge cpus.

Give yourself a morning to build it, shouldn't take much longer. Take your time.
Also good cable management means good airflow.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step-guide-building
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2601.html
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/build_a_500_pc_play_crysis_40fps?page=0,1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFkykETgkoo&feature=channel
http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2005/07/12/cable_tidying_guide/1
http://www.overclock.net/t/10703/cable-management-guide

Like DJS said you'll need RAM, but that's not too expensive atm. That PC will eat up everything you throw at it without blinking...




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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 4/3/2012 2:05:19 PM   
Emyr Thy King


Posts: 2177
Joined: 13/4/2006
From: The Grid
quote:

ORIGINAL: kata
That PC will eat up everything you throw at it without blinking...


Good links there, eat everything including your time? Much to your girlfriend's dismay I'm sure.


quote:

ORIGINAL: kata

There's a stock fan that comes with the i5, perfectly adequate if you're not overclocking. Also the i5 2500k is socket 1155, the p67 and z68 are considered good workhorses.


I never use the stock fans. I always buy a HSF from Arctic Pro. But there are other good brands. Regarding the i5 2500K CPUs. If I understand it correctly. The difference among the H67, P67 and Z67 chipsets is that the H67 takes advantage of the Sandy Bridge CPU graphics core but doesn't overclock 'K' processors whilst P67 is the exact reverse, it can't use the CPU graphics core but can overclock. Z68 does both but I'm not sure now whether it still costs a bit more. A bit pointless anyway if you're going to be using a graphics card. Which he indeed will!

I'm sure his machine will become so powerful it'll easily supercede the intelligence of the "rah rah rah! RAH RAH RAH! rah rah rah rah rah rah! ENGLAND!" types.



< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 4/3/2012 2:16:53 PM >


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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 4/3/2012 2:31:08 PM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Only real reason to go with Z68 is future proofing. From what I understand any Gen 3 Z68 board will accept the new Intel processors when they are released later this year. Has to specifically be Gen 3 though for the PCIe 3 support.

http://www.eteknix.com/news/all-msi-z68-and-h61-boards-to-support-ivy-bridge/

By the time you come to upgrade from the i5 though i suspect there will be even newer processors released that require a new board.

< Message edited by kata -- 4/3/2012 2:42:25 PM >


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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 4/3/2012 4:03:22 PM   
kata


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From: Motorville
http://lifehacker.com/5828747/how-to-build-a-computer-from-scratch-the-complete-guide?tag=nightschool

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 9/3/2012 12:01:48 AM   
the anomaly


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Joined: 20/6/2006
Mate keeps telling me to just buy a PC and jack up the graphics card ... it's tempting as I've been so busy ...

but I want the experience of building it myself. only issue is I won't be able to build a perfect (expensive) build ... but then I can always upgrade.

Next week I'll have some time. I'll start looking into it again.

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Post #: 17
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 15/3/2012 12:37:54 PM   
kata


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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Just need to motherboard for my build, should be here tomorrow. Been looking forward to building it for 2 months!

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 15/3/2012 3:49:34 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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Joined: 13/4/2006
From: The Grid
Post some pictures when it's built. I want to see how good your cable management skills are (not a euphemism for cable garroting). I've got a spare machine which is an old Lenovo (IBM) machine that has a recovery drive partition on it with XP. So i'm tempted to install Linux on it as I've never used it and see how it goes. Might try Ubuntu.

< Message edited by Emyr Thy King -- 15/3/2012 3:51:02 PM >


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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 17/3/2012 11:13:36 AM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Not perfect but almost all the cables are routed out the back, leaving it pretty clear for airflow.



Should have got a modular PSU so I didn't have to deal with loads of excess cabling., that XFX one is Seasonic OEM though and was on a really good deal.

Had to tuck a load of unused cables under the bottom HDD tray because I ran out of room at the back, even with the 2cm cable management space that case has.

Took 12 hours from start to finish, had to make dinner and tea and look after my son during that time though.
Windows has a stupid bug when installing from USB stick which took me over an hour to figure out and then it wouldn't recognise the second HDD until it was formatted, that took ages to figure out as well. Other than that it was plain sailing.

Back:








< Message edited by kata -- 17/3/2012 11:18:14 AM >


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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 17/3/2012 10:58:27 PM   
the anomaly


Posts: 6423
Joined: 20/6/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: kata
Took 12 hours from start to finish, had to make dinner and tea and look after my son during that time though.
Windows has a stupid bug when installing from USB stick which took me over an hour to figure out and then it wouldn't recognise the second HDD until it was formatted, that took ages to figure out as well. Other than that it was plain sailing.




Surely I'm going to take me much longer!?!

I've got an old PC. Is it worth tinkering with that first? Or will I be OK if I just take my time with the new set up?

Got to sort it soon!

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Post #: 21
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 17/3/2012 11:04:03 PM   
directorscut


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12 hours??? We only got 15 minutes to build a computer for our Systems & Maintainence class.


Did mine in under 10 minutes.

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Post #: 22
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 18/3/2012 1:25:31 AM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville

quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut
Did mine in under 10 minutes.


Did you have a 2 year old working against you? lol

Started at 3 and finished at 3 with massive breaks in between, even with all the time wasting it still would have took upwards of 8 hours. By far the most fiddly build I've done. Preparing the case and routing the cables out of the back and back in took an absolutely age, then I wasted a couple of hours with that bullshit Windows USB bug.

Should mention that's 12 hours with reinstalling windows, all drivers and software then testing some games out.

Still, 10 mins is insanely fast. I was still setting up my parts picture after 10 mins...

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RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 12:34:34 AM   
Emyr Thy King


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directorscut - What course are you doing? How far along are you?

kata - if you feel sharp pains along your body. You'll know it's my devilish minions at work
. Very nice job with everything there mate. Looks neat and tidy and your maximising the airflow, which is of course hugely important. Regarding cooling, what sort of system are you using? Push-pull? I have a NZXT Lexa case which is at least a four-year old design. The PSU as is common goes on the top, looking at yours I think it's better to it at the bottom. You don't need a supporting tray for it then and it's just to get at things. I too wish I had got a modular PSU as it's a pain. Unfortunately, I haven't routed the cables through the back because I couldn't fit the side panel over them, it wouldn't slide over properly. I'll really should have another go at it. And consider buying a modular PSU when I can, although I want to get a GTX 580 eventually.

Here's mine:







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Post #: 24
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 11:16:01 AM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
quote:

ORIGINAL: Emyr Thy King

kata - if you feel sharp pains along your body. You'll know it's my devilish minions at work
. Very nice job with everything there mate. Looks neat and tidy and your maximising the airflow, which is of course hugely important. Regarding cooling, what sort of system are you using? Push-pull? I have a NZXT Lexa case which is at least a four-year old design. The PSU as is common goes on the top, looking at yours I think it's better to it at the bottom. You don't need a supporting tray for it then and it's just to get at things. I too wish I had got a modular PSU as it's a pain. Unfortunately, I haven't routed the cables through the back because I couldn't fit the side panel over them, it wouldn't slide over properly. I'll really should have another go at it. And consider buying a modular PSU when I can, although I want to get a GTX 580 eventually.




My old PC was in a Thermaltake Soprano which is set up almost exactly like that NZXT. I know they say it's good for airflow but I'll never get a case with a side fan again after that Soprano, the amount of shit it sucked into the case was shocking.

Have 1 intake (200mm) and 2 exhaust fans (200mm & 120mm) case fans and a Coolermaster tx3 evo on the cpu. The tx3 cost me a fiver in an Aria superspecial. It's just a place holder until i get something better for overclocking. But atm theres not really much point, getting 90 fps in Witcher 2 (30ish with ubersampling) and similar in Shogun 2. GF is over the moon with SWTOR performance too, all set for Guild wars 2. Can't see a need to overclock for the time being, not installed any of my Adobe stuff yet though. Temps are staying under 50c too so I think I'll keep that tx3 for a little while.

Think most new cases have the PSU at the bottom, there's a filtered grill below where it sucks air so it's pretty much has it's own airflow system.

580s will probably be dropping in price in the next few weeks, think the 680 is out at the end of this month, which despite the hype performs only 20% better.
Was originally gonna get the 570 myself (after the disappointing Radeon 7770) but the 560 ti 448 is based on the 570/580 chipset not the 560 ( 2 cuda clusters disabled, 570 has 1 and 580 has none) and when overclocked compares as well if not better than the 570. It was 50 quid cheaper too.

< Message edited by kata -- 20/3/2012 11:18:37 AM >


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Post #: 25
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 11:36:03 AM   
Harry Tuttle


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I'll be ordering the bits for mine tonight. I only need a Motherboard, processor, graphics card and some RAM and have got £450-500 to spend. I decided on an Intel i3 processor (I'll go fully Quad core when the i7's are more reasonably priced), an ATI 7850 2GB graphics card and 8Gb of RAM. With the motherboard that only comes to around £390 so I've decided to buy a new case and put the rest of the money towards a new monitor which I'll buy in a couple of months. As it is my monitor can only display 1440x900 so it's pretty much going to be acting as a bottleneck until I get it replaced.

My graphics card won't be released until the end of the month though. Grrr .

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Post #: 26
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 1:05:52 PM   
kata


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From: Motorville
Be a nice boost though when you put it in.

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Post #: 27
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 2:40:06 PM   
Emyr Thy King


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From: The Grid
Not to ask a silly question, but you did have a fan filter fitted on the side case fan? I still get dust in the machine, which probably comes in from the back and top seeing as you don't fit filters on an exhaust fan. Still, it's not that much and I know I'd be cleaning the case a lot more often without those filters. I've got five fans working, two exhaust and three intake. x3 120mm and x2 80mm. I have the rear 120mm and the top 80mm fans as the exhaust. Then I have front and side 120mm fans in addition to the bottom 80mm fan as the intake.

I think that's a sensible idea holding off on overclocking, particularly as it's a new build and you won't be pushing it to the limit yet. I would really like to overclock my machine at some point, particularly as I like to play ArmA 2: Operation Arrowhead which being a military simulator using 200km² islands, you need a bloody good CPU.

As for a CPU cooler. Have you looked into the Gelid range? They're meant to be good. I've always used Arctic Pro but I may go for Gelid next time. If you're looking for water cooling, you can go for something like the Corsair H100, which seems a more compact and easier way of providing added cooling for overclocking.

By the way, if you're looking for another online retailer. I'd check AWD-IT (click). They're pretty good and they've usually got some good deals on. Plus there's a forum there if you want to make queries.

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(in reply to kata)
Post #: 28
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 3:04:13 PM   
kata


Posts: 3204
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Motorville
Yeah it had a metal filter that came with it. To be fair I haven't cleaned it out since we moved in this house a year ago. Going to strip it down completely, clean it then rebuild it soon. Use it as a media streamer upstairs.

Was looking at Gelid actually, this one.

http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Coolers+-+Air/CPU+Coolers/Gelid+Solutions+GX7+High+Performance+Quiet+PC+Cooler+?productId=46799


Did a little bit of overclocking this morning, just to see what this TX3 could handle. Got to 70c at 4.2GHz using Intelburn test, can knock 10 - 15c off that though because realworld stuff never tests a processor like those benchmarks. So I know if I ever need to I can get a moderate OC out of this cooler.

I have to be careful though because the MB is mATX. After seeing the temps using that little TX3 though I think I'll wait, put the money towards a new monitor. The one I'm on atm is only 1440x900. Would like some extra screen space.

Was looking at Hanns G, anyone have any experience with them?
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hanns-HL225-Widescreen-Monitor-DVI-D/dp/B004ANSOMY/ref=pd_cp_computers_2

Don't really want to go over 100 for a monitor.

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(in reply to Emyr Thy King)
Post #: 29
RE: Building a PC/Gaming/Developing - 20/3/2012 3:56:44 PM   
Emyr Thy King


Posts: 2177
Joined: 13/4/2006
From: The Grid
If you're going to use the old case again mate. I'd recommend using a pressurised air can. Such as this one:

Air duster

I've used one before and it's really handy for cleaning out dust efficiently.

That's not a bad gain, anything over 4GHz is very good in my book and again, it's not like you'll really need that much processing power with the games you play nor will any normal application need it. When you overclocked, did you have to adjust the voltages for the CPU or northbridge? That's one thing that I'm wary of about overclocking, is messing around with the voltage settings for various components just to get a stable run. It's a lot of trial and error.

As for the monitor. Well there's quite a few reviews there. So you can post comments on them and see what they say. I also recommend the bit-tech forums:

bit-tech.net

_____________________________

"This whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal"...."demigogic faux egalitarianism" - Will Self

(in reply to kata)
Post #: 30
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