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Intel Budget System

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
This is a build log on a budget £300 gaming rig. My best friend has always been an avid console gamer, then I introduced him to NFS: World. This would run on his laptop and still look better than an XBOX, but doesn't need the raw power of modern games. He was astonished, that even his 7Gflop laptop could out perform his Xbox 360 in both games and HD multimedia. So he challenged me, with me being somewhat of a PC guy I accepted. £300ono was my target.

I set out with muster at this new challenge created for me. I looked at all the supplier sites here in the UK.( I do not endorse suppliers unless they provide sponsorship.) My initial thoughts were to purchase a Pentium Dual Core as these are very solid chips better than most of the AMD rivals. Then to my astonishment I stumbled across an i3 selling for £70 new. The i3 2100, this will have enough beans to play any modern game and single GPU setup. From this point the bet was in full swing.

New System -
CPU: Intel i3 2100 - 3M Cache, 3.10 GHz ---- £70
Motherboard: MSI H61M-P31 ---- £25
RAM: 8GB Crucial Ballistix 1600Mhz ---- £25
Case: Novatech Prowler v2 ---- £25
GFX EVGA 1GB nVidia GTX 650Ti ---- £106
SSD: 60GB OCZ Agility 3 ---- Present from me
HDD 1TB Western Digital ---- £20 (Secondhand)
PSU: Generic Included 500watt PSU (Subject to load testing.)

Total - £271inc VAT

Old System (For comparison)
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 @ 2.1GHZ
Motherboard: Acer Laptop Mobo
RAM: 4GB DDR3
GFX: ATi Raedon HD 4250
HDD: 640GB

Even allowing for price fluctuations from supplier to supplier there is no need for this build to cost upwards of £300. I just became my best friend's new best friend. tongue.gif

I am taking some pics now of the build log and will update them.

P.S. This is one of 2 builds I am currently undertaking. My rig is being upgraded from an Intel i7 2600k to Intel i7 3930k, aswell as going to SLi, the whole reason for X79, other than 6x Sata 6G. Head over to this Youtube video to see its current state. As I build that rig I will take photo's and provide a build log. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuvEsg9xMFs&list=HL1353583619&feature=mh_lolz


This machine rocks! It has so much gaming power for a build that was all about value. The experience we get whilst playing games is a very enjoyable one. Windows experience thanks to the SSD is a pleasant and speedy one.

The games that have been ran on the rig so far are Assassins Creed 3, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and FIFA13. All nVidia optimised titles and all have clearly been tested by nVidia for compatibility and experience.

I am going to write this initial report based on my experience using the machine and not stats, I think this is relevant as the intended purpose of the rig was to play today's games with acceptable frame rates not benching and setting records. I will try to be as unbiased throughout as possible. I start with the loading of Windows, this seemed to boot and be ready for commands in about 10 seconds, this is clearly thanks to the SSD. Once inside Windows start-up programs and services do not appear to hang user inputs at all, which are met quickly and responsively by the PC.

Installing games seemed no different to any other gaming rig, this is more due to installation media being much slower than PC's today. The first title we launched was FIFA13, we both love football. I made one change before FIFA13 launches which is to change the power management mode to "prefer maximum performance". FIFA for some reason seems affected by power management switching the frequencies based on load. Once disabled replays, throw-ins and anything which changes the camera angle will no longer caused the card to switch modes as it is running full speed already. I then went into the FIFA launcher and maxed out the settings. The games we then played ran flawlessly and you wouldn't have known the difference between his machine and mine.

Assassins Creed 3 is a BIG download all 13GB's of it. This made our next title we played NFS:MW as AC3 was still downloading. This game I knew was going to test this system alot more, I was not ready for how well the little machine would perform. The game appeared to be getting at least 45FPS at all times, being locked to his v-sync 90% of the time. Areas he would dip would include large built up areas, however my cards the GTX680's also dip in these places. A certain amount of his FPS drop like mine is clearly due to coding. I anticipate his experience with this title will only get better, as they fix the causes FPS droops we both get. At all times the game remained very playable and smooth.

At 11pm that night AC3 finally finished, so we installed it onto the SSD, this took a little encouragement due to Windows wanting the TEMP files, Install Files and Game Files all on the same drive. After editing Windows Environment Variables to use the HDD as temp storage and transferring the install files there as-well we had the space available.

At 12pm we are ready to load it up. My mate and I have been waiting for the game for the best part of a year now. If the machine runs this game poorly I will be in alot of trouble. Needless to say it handled it without so much as a murmur. To be a bit of an arse I maxed the settings out before we started. I wanted to see if it could handle it. Assassins Creed has always been resource hungry. This seems to be a flaw that has been designed out of the new havoc engine. To believe my eyes I had to install Fraps just to give me a read-out of the FPS. My thoughts were well founded as the data confirmed my suspicions that the game never went under 40 FPS and appeared to manage to sustain V-Sync the majority of the time.

On Tuesday the system is being fully performance evaluated, to see just where it ranks in terms of power/price. I would have ran a full set of test already but he was eager to get his hands on it. I can fully recommend this build to anyone who wants to play any of the titles listed above. At no point did I appear to run into a CPU bottleneck either.
Edited by SuPaTeD - 11/25/12 at 7:59pm
 
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Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
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post #2 of 48
Where is the PSU....?
    
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post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Sorry it has the generic included 500watt PSU. This may be subject to change during testing, depending on how it copes with the load. Edited build specs.
 
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Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
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Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
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Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
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Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
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post #4 of 48
Few things I'd change personally.

1. Change that ram, to some of that Samsung wonder ram. I've got some, and overclocked it to 2400mhz on the first try!

2. Ouch, get a better power supply! Even a good 450W will be fine.

3. I wouldn't buy a second hand hard drive to be honest, I bought one once and it failed, I got a refund, but you might not be so lucky.

4. Change that GPU so something bigger, the 650ti just isn't really that great,
Edited by snipekill2445 - 11/22/12 at 3:33am
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post #5 of 48
I don't trust included PSUs at all, especially on a case costing £25. Something I never skimp out on. The Bequiet psus are good and cheap here in the UK as they are british. Otherwise you run the risk of £300 down the drain.
    
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Samsung F3 1TB Hard Drive Crucial CT128M4SSD2 128GB SSD Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Windows 7 Professional  
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post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
There is alot of scare mongery that goes on with PSU's. If the PSU contains OVP and OCP to registered ECC levels then even if it dies it is no more deadly than a well made PSU. The biggest difference is in their efficiency as a transformer in converting the voltage. This is a £300 build not £500-600.

This being said, my biggest concern is the PSU giving out enough in the first place whilst under full load from the GPU. Hence why the PSU is being assessed during performance monitoring. This is the only component which I will allow to push me over that £300 limit.
 
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Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
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Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
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Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
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Ted
(13 items)
 
 
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Intel i7 2600k  AsRock Extrem3 Gen3 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 480  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
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Logitech 1000w Silverstone PSU Being Built :p Logitech 
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Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
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post #7 of 48
i would really suggest you APU build bro redface.gif

*Edit*
PCPartPicker part list

CPU: AMD A8-5600K 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (£77.05 @ Amazon UK)

Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard (£59.45 @ Amazon UK)

Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£29.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)

Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card (£52.39 @ Scan.co.uk)

Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£31.18 @ Scan.co.uk)

Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£33.96 @ Ebuyer)

HDD: 1TB HDD (£20.00)
Total: £304.02

Hope that helped thumb.gif
Edited by Tarun - 11/22/12 at 3:48am
post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
Just thought I would point out. This is all costing less than 90% of my hardware when bought on their own!!!
 
Ted
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Intel i7 2600k  AsRock Extrem3 Gen3 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 480  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech 1000w Silverstone PSU Being Built :p Logitech 
Mouse Pad
Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Ted
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 2600k  AsRock Extrem3 Gen3 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 480  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech 1000w Silverstone PSU Being Built :p Logitech 
Mouse Pad
Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
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post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Being careful how I respond as we all know where it leads.

The majority of the games he plays are all optimized for nVidia cards. The 650ti is level with the AMD rivals, was launched last month to purposely fit the gap you speak of. Its main competitor is the 7850 which is the GTX660 rival. Batman, Fifa, NFS and Assassins Creed 3 all perform better on nVidia and this is what he wants to play.
 
Ted
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 2600k  AsRock Extrem3 Gen3 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 480  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech 1000w Silverstone PSU Being Built :p Logitech 
Mouse Pad
Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Ted
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 2600k  AsRock Extrem3 Gen3 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 480  
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Corsair Vegance  60B OCZ Agility 3 Western Digital  LG BluRay 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Nova Xtreme 1080 Radiator EK 680 Plexi Top Acetal/Nickel GPU Block EK Supreme HF Plexi Top CPU Block Alphacool Cape Corp Pro Reservoir 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR120XP Extreme Performance 120mm Sin... D5 Vario Pump & EK D5 X-Top V2  Full EK Compression Fittings, InLine Temp Senso... Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Viewsonic 24" Logitech G510 1250w OCZ ZX Series Gold Rated 80%+ and Generic... Aerocool X-Predator Evil Black/Orange Edition  
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Trust Pound Shop! Still the best mat ever!!! Creative X-fi An experienced owner 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 950 @ 4.1 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E GTX 480 * 2 12GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 2 x 1 TB Western Digital DVD-RW Windows 7 Home Premium 24" Viewsonic 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech 1000w Silverstone PSU Being Built :p Logitech 
Mouse Pad
Pound Shop! Best Mat i've ever had! 
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post #10 of 48
Even though a cheap PSU will claim to have those protection features, it means nothing.

I once had a cheapo power supply that claimed it was a 880W. Within one week it exploded, and fried my Graphics card. In total $500.00 down the drain.

Trust me, DO NOT, skimp on the Power supply.
Defiance
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Intel 6600K Asus ROG Maximum VIII Ranger Powercolor R9 280x Turbo Duo Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200mhz 16GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB Western Digital 3TB Black 1TB External HDD External Optical Drive 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
Noctua NH-D15 Windows 10 Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair HX750i 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT H440 Black/Red Deathadder Chrome Turtlebeach Drift  
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Defiance
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 6600K Asus ROG Maximum VIII Ranger Powercolor R9 280x Turbo Duo Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200mhz 16GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB Western Digital 3TB Black 1TB External HDD External Optical Drive 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
Noctua NH-D15 Windows 10 Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair HX750i 
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NZXT H440 Black/Red Deathadder Chrome Turtlebeach Drift  
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