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Convince me to Upgrade/PC Custom Builders in the UK?

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by eharper256, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. eharper256

    eharper256 Cupcake-About-Town

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    Since this seems to be the forum for it...

    I'm considering upgrading my rig soon, since my current beastie is going on 6 years, though I'm going to have to try and convince myself. Honestly, it still does fine for most modern games since my monitor only goes up to 1440x900 anyways. I pulled a decent 39 fps in that resolution on Skyrim, and Mass Effect 3. Mostly because I upgraded the Graphics card about 3 years back to a Radeon 4670 and that's actually still at #319 in the all time graphics benchmark ratings, so its still ok considering its age and the fact it wasn't top notch when I picked it up (had to get something that was still DirectX 9 at the time, because I was, and still am, running Windows XP SP3).

    Of course, it seems that wherever I roll, I'm looking at shelling out £640 to £690 to get the new rig I want, and I'm so wondering if anyone can either a) convince me this a good plan for WS* and 2014, or b) suggest someone I've missed who is cheap and great.

    I've queried Overclockers, PCSpecialist, DinoPC and CyberPowerPC. I've even used PCPartsPicker, and hilariously, it ends up even worse, at £731.90 if I build it entirely myself from bits.

    If you're interested, my planned rig is:
    • An AMD FX-6 6300 (6 core)
    • 2x 4 GB 1600 MhZ RAM sticks
    • Ideally an Asus motherboard, since I've used them for ages and I know they're good.
    • A Radeon R7 260X or 270
    • A 1TB HDD, 650W PSU, Various Fans and Gubbins as required.
    • A New copy of Windows 7 Professional (this gives me quite the hit at £100, but I do kinda need to upgrade from XP!!)
    Certainly not bleeding edge, but its decently competitive.

    Currently CyberPowerPC is the front runner, although they're also most expensive at £689.67, mainly because they offer a pretty white case (!) with window and interior lights. Alot of boxes I've seen are horrible things that look like 90's 6 CD stereo systems or cylons (frackin' toasters) :roflamo: these days; which I frankly think are worse than the classic beige box TM.
  2. Vox_Populi

    Vox_Populi New Cupcake

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    I haven't seen you mention either Ebuyer or Novatech.
  3. Mellkor

    Mellkor Well-Known Cupcake

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    Get RID of that monitor before getting a new rig. No wonder your getting good fps its because your pushing a very low resolution picture.

    Why upgrade the whole pc if you just want more frames with your current resolution? the limiting factor in that is only the video card. its certainly not going to look any better.
  4. Greatheart

    Greatheart Cupcake

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    Hmm pretty nice setup, should certainly run Wildstar on decent graphics.

    My breakdown:
    CPU - AMD FX-6 6300 :up:
    Scores very well on PassMark benchmarking and is certainly worth the money. Good Choice.

    RAM - 2x 4 GB 1600 MhZ RAM :up:
    Honestly your choice of bob-standard RAM is great. You could drop to 1333 MHz and not make any real difference but the price gap is so small these days you're better off sticking with 1600 MHz. Although on benchmarking you'll see an improvement going up higher MHz you'll notice zero performance difference.

    Motherboard - Asus :up:
    So long as it fits your hardware, its not that important. Though as a rule of thumb I always make sure it can fit a second GPU of what I have now in case I decide to X-Fire/SLI, which with the size of current GPU's can be quite a pain.

    GPU - Radeon R7 260X or 270X :down:
    The 260X is listed as an entry level GPU and will probably last you a few years but I'd suggest upping to a GeForce GTX 760 which gets you much better stats and value for money. (Once again thank you PassMark.) You can pick one up for about £180 which is a big step up from £105 for the 260X. The 270X is slightly better than the 260X but still far under the GeForce GTX 760. All comes down to how deep your pockets are and if you intend to upgrade your PC or replace it in a few years. I doubt either of the cards listed could run Wildstar on high/ultra settings.

    HDD - 1TB :up:
    In my experience don't get a high speed HDD. The last one I had wore out in less than three years and there was no discernible performance difference. I use an SSD now which makes a huge difference in loading times but no gameplay difference at all. Its also quieter, uses less power and never needs defragging but for a budget system is completely un-necessary. (I love to min/max my PC and my character!)

    PSU - 650W :)
    Meeting the requirements of your setup is usually best, but if you intend to upgrade in the future then I'd step it up to a 750W which won't damage your PC, will allow for further expansion/upgrades and should run quieter.

    OS - Win 7 :up:
    Between Win 7 and Win 8 there is zero difference in gaming benchmarks so it really comes down to preference. Also Win7 is still cheaper. You can get Win7 as cheap as £32 if you shop around.Just make sure you get a 64bit version. :D


    You might want to check out your local small PC repair shops. I decided on my parts and approached a couple small repair shops to see if they'd put it together for me and I actually got the PC cheaper than making it myself! One of the companies gets a good discount with some suppliers so I switched a couple parts and got a better spec for the same money. Oh, and always offer them cash if they'll drop the price a little. That 20% tax becomes 10% more money for them and 10% less for you.
  5. Perigon

    Perigon Cupcake

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    The R9 270X is far better than the R7 260X and comparably there isn't that much of a difference between the R9 270x and the GTX 760 . Especially when you look at the price the R9 270X is a great option.

    Look at the charts even from the site you quoted:
    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

    The R9 270X will run wild star at top settings no problem.
  6. eharper256

    eharper256 Cupcake-About-Town

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    Funnily enough, my current rig's base is a Novatech, bought without an operating system, installed XP on it, then I just added the graphics card to it (a Sapphire). I only didn't include them since they don't offer a custom build service these days (I swear they used to), but you're right I should check them out again, as its possible I can get a good base and customise it.

    Funnily enough, I'm used to much worse monitors. I have to deal with an old 14" at work that is lucky to run 1024x768. So when I first got this 19" it felt amazing to be able to see my screen. And honestly; I'm someone who can't really see much difference between 720p and 1080p. "Its sharp enough!" tends to come to mind.

    Secondly, something I forgot to mention, my desk is really narrow; its a mere 16 inches wide and 40 inches long. So I could probably only get a 20" on there tops since the speakers, phone, and PC base has to be on there too. This is because the desk was bought originally for a laptop to sit on, but said laptop died a year later.

    Not that I'm entirely adverse to a monitor upgrade, its just that it would have to come later since thats another £130 or so.

    To clarify though, I'm not really worried about frames or resolution anyway. I'm having a hard time pushing myself to upgrade since I'm not really bothered with Shooters or other such demanding games, but I want to stay relevant enough to play RPG's. I'd be happy enough playing WS* in 1440x800 on my current rig, and it shows no signs of breaking yet. But I am increasingly concerned that I'm still stuck in 32bit on XP and eventually I am going to have to take the plunge to stay relevant. Whilst I could just grab a copy of Windows 7, format my drive and carry on, I tend to prefer going for full upgrades every 5 years rather than partial ones every couple.

    Yikes, thanks for that huge response greatheart.

    As for graphics card, I did check Passmark rankings for 260X, actually, I figured 'that's fine, its at #51'. Thing is, although its 'just' an extra £75 to go for GTX 760, that's actually a deal breaker. I really cannot afford to dump more than £700 and honestly £650 is already pushing it.

    I'm wary of an SSD, since I know I'll invariably have to write a chock tonne of data to my drive and move things around to my externals alot, which is exactly what wears them out quickly. I find access speed of drive to me un-noticable anyway; people must be impatient to think they're slow... or spoilt. I guess not everyone remembers old PC drives. The first PC my parents used was a 286 16MHz with a 20mb HDD. Said HDD had about a 7 second spin up as well. :roflamo: And that was amazing compared to waiting 15 minutes for your Spectrum game to load off a tape only for it to crash.

    Christcrackers, showing my age now, aren't I?
  7. Greatheart

    Greatheart Cupcake

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    True true, I was using this review to compare the two and the difference didn't seem that great which is why I preferred the GTX 760.



    Ahh thats fine. It'll run it and run it well enough, we all have our financial limits. I'm the kind of guy who replaces his PC every 5-6 years without upgrading anything so I usually buy everything the best thats out there. Current PC cost me £1.2k year before last but alas I'm moving out from the parents this year FINALLY so I'll be super scrimping from now onwards.

    Yeah SSD's aren't necessary by any standard. The missus has a regular HDD and I have my SSD and when we were playing Firefall together I'd load in about 6 seconds and hers would take about 30 seconds, but once you were in-game there's zero difference. Only reason I have one is because I got a super deal on it and I don't store alot of stuff on my PC. (My SSD only has 120GB of space but I still have 30GB free after having all my games installed etc.)

    Wow so I'm guessing you must be... early forties then? Think 20mb drives came out mid eighties if I remember my hardware history correctly.:)
  8. eharper256

    eharper256 Cupcake-About-Town

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    :eek: I obviously sound older than I am. I'm actually 29. But I was playing PC, Spectrum, and Atari ST when I was 4-5 since my parents were both nerds.
  9. Mellkor

    Mellkor Well-Known Cupcake

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    No worries man.

    Are you by any chance not using DVI or HDMI on that monitor? using a VGA plug with reduce your available resolutions..

    There's never enough space :)

    Id advise getting win7 64 bit when you can its just one of those thing that you have to have in the modern pc world.
  10. Mellkor

    Mellkor Well-Known Cupcake

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    omg....Never speak of those tape drives again lol.


    We had one for our commodore 64 at the time, eventually we "upgraded" (lol) to a 5-1/2 floppy which was "lightning speed" at the time lmao.

    /

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  11. Greatheart

    Greatheart Cupcake

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    Ooops! That's why I NEVER answer when a lady asks me how old she is. :roflamo:

    I was assuming a base age of 15ish to be playing computer games which threw me off. I'm 25 but I speak and act like an old man lmao. "Darn kids with their MyBook and FaceSpace! Back in my youth we had to talk to each other! Using our mouths!"
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  12. eharper256

    eharper256 Cupcake-About-Town

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    Lol, you just made me pick up my monitor to check whether it had HDMI, since you know... I'd never even thought to check! I was able to confirm that it indeed does not have a HDMI, though my graphics card does.

    Quoted for Truth

    Its one of those things I keep thinking about every couple of months might be a good idea only to forget about it, or be distracted by something shinier than takes my monies. Lol.

    Only my grandad had 5 and a 1/4 inch discs that I remember. Those big black things with holes in the middle. I drew on one with crayons because I thought it should be more colourful and got scolded... :geek:

    I grew up mostly with 3 1/2 inchers, both on PC and ST. I got excited with any game that came on many discs and had huge manuals back in the day, lol.

    Also Quoted for Truth. I also despise FaceSpace, lol. I also despise bus-stops these days, because its pure silence with everyone in engaged in some kind of symbiosis with their phones, rather than commiting to small talk, as one should. :ninja: I recently baffled several salespeople when I went into the 3 mobile store and told them to recommend me a phone I would hate, then repeatedly queried whether I could turn off data and remove its features.
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  13. Greatheart

    Greatheart Cupcake

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    lol I hate phones so much these days. Can't get a good ol' Nokia 3310, nooooo, its gotta be one of these fandangled smartphones where you have to know the Fibonacci sequence or something just to make a damn call! I miss being able to drop kick my phone with steel toe cap boots and know that my boots would come off worse...
  14. eharper256

    eharper256 Cupcake-About-Town

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    So I took the plunge and bought myself a new system at payday this month.

    In the end, I actually went with an Intel i3-4130 and the Radeon 260X since my budget was a little more strapped than I anticipated (£600); and I realised that apparently ATX 'mini' towers are actually huge when I checked the measurements, and wouldn't, for the most part, fit on my desk (without a dangerous amount of 8cm+ of overhang, at least), so I needed to shell out extra for a small LAN type case. Said small LAN case sadly precluded me from having an AMD (most sellers weren't stocking Mini-ATX boards for AMD FX's apparently, though they do exist).

    Nevertheless, Tom's Hardware still recommends the i3-4130 as the best mid-range processor due its Haswell Hyperthreading granting a (around 30%) better performance than its stats indicate for things that only use 1-4 cores (it has 4859 on passmark vs. the AMD's 6378, so if you factor in that 30%, it becomes a very equivalent 6316). Also, my current rig only scores 1275, so either is a massive jump anyway! Of course, I'm boned when/if games start to rely on 16 cores or whatever, but then I'm still boned with the six core in that case so whatever.

    Would have liked the Radeon 270X, but really couldn't take the extra £50 on the chin. The 260X is more than 5x more powerful than my current card though so its fine.

    Also went with Home Premium windows 7 rather than Pro. I was previously misguided in thinking I needed Pro for Japanese support; and don't see myself needing more than 16gb of ram anytime soon.

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