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    Hi guys,
    I'm planning a PC build in summer after I finish my degree. I'll have a budget of around £500 and I want a setup that can play the new releases pretty efficiently. All the guides I find on the internet are American, as are all the people I play games with online - so I was wondering whether there are any Brits on here who can recommend components I can get my hands on easily here/advice!
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    If you buy second hand off gumtree - you can potentially get better stats for the money you put in

    in terms of buying components for it - i recommend Novatech, although im sure there are cheaper out there if some one else can also let me know lol

    on a side note - any one know a free benchmarking software to test hardware?
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    Copy and paste time. This info is about a year old now but mostly accurate I'm sure.

    If you've never touched a computer's insides before, it might be best to buy the parts but then have a friend or a computer shop build it for you, they won't charge that much. If you do it with no experience you'll make mistakes and it probably won't start first time, then you won't know how to fix it. Heck, when you've built a couple of computers it still might not start first time.

    The places I use to buy parts is the bit-tech forum, Amazon, www.scan.co.uk, www.novatech.co.uk, www.overclockers.co.uk/, www.ebuyer.com, and there's always Ebay.

    BTW if you have an account on Bit-Tech and make 20 posts or something then you get free delivery with Scan.co.uk (http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=186923)

    I'll list the parts and my advice, though I'm not a super nerd tech head, just an ordinary person like you. I built my first PC last year, a formidable PC will only cost you around half a grand; mine cost £450 or so and plays the newest games on ultra (maximum) settings at 1920 x 1080 (full HD and pretty, in other words), my parts don't even heat up all that much.

    You don't need to buy the newest and best thing, there is a lot of choice in the high tier of parts. Buy pre-owned to save even more money. Bit-Tech is a good place because it's full of nerds who keep buying new stuff, so they sell stuff that's top of the range and sometimes barely been used.

    I'm assuming you just want a computer for games.

    CPU/processor: You'll basically want one with a 'K' at the end of the name. This means it can be 'overclocked' (made to go faster) easily. Overclocking is an easy to follow process, on some computers it's just a click of a button.

    The best value processor now and for the past few years is the 2500K. You can get this pre-owned for plenty under £100 and it easily overclocks. I have this and (combined with my graphics card) it plays Metal Gear Solid V, Dying Light, Football Manager 2014 with every single league and player, Battlefront etc. perfectly (overclocked to 4.5GHz), and at low temperatures (see below). There are newer processors, but anyone with a 2500K doesn't need to upgrade yet.

    CPU cooler: Processors need a cooler (fan) to stop them frying. The unanimous choice is the Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212. It's a bit trickier to put on than the good old days, but you only have to do it once. It's a good price new on Amazon when I got it, about £20 I think. (Additionally you'll want thermal paste to put it on and TIM cleaner if you ever want to wipe it off and put fresh paste on.)

    Motherboard: Also linked to the processor, because each motherboard only fits certain types of processors, so the 2500K for example will only be fit on boards made to fit for it. The type of board isn't too major a deal, the better ones might make a CPU easier to overclock.

    I would recommend one that has a display that gives you a status on your computer. So if your computer doesn't start or goes weird, you'll know right away rather than going through weeks of expensive trial and error and tears. The one I have (for a 2500K CPU) is a Maximus IV Gene-Z. Naturally, my computer didn't start first time but I knew just looking at its LED display what the problem was. Also overclocking to 4.2 or 4.5 just takes a click in the BIOS, and there's an easy guide for manual overclocking. Pre-owned, I got this for £40 or £50.

    GPU/Video card: A good rough guide to see what's better than what is http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

    Price will depend on the card, you can see a rough price (in dollars) in the link. The GTX 970 is a popular recommendation as it's good value, though it is over £200. I got a 780 for £120ish, but that was major cut price. Pre-owned is fine again.

    OS: Anything older than Windows 7 is out of date now. It also has to be '64-bit' and not '32-bit', otherwise you're not going to be able to use enough RAM. FYI if you ever need an OS, they can be bought from someone or a good key site like G2A.com for varying prices. There's no need to buy it new for an extortionate amount. Always make sure you're getting a '64-bit' one, like Windows 7 Pro or 8 Pro, and not a business/enterprise key or a 32-bit key.

    RAM: 8GB is needed though there's a possibility 16GB will be required in time. It doesn't really matter as you can chop and change RAM easy, it's the easiest part of a build. They come in 'sticks' of varying memory size. So if you want 8GB, you can buy one stick of 8GB or two sticks of 4GB (2 x 4 = 8) or even 4 sticks of 2GB. RAM sticks have different speeds and values themselves, but the difference in values make no discernable difference, RAM is pretty simple. The only thing you need to make sure you're getting is DDR 3, which is likely what'll fit on your motherboard (check your board's specs to be sure).

    You're also advised not to mix different sticks of RAM. Sticks come in pairs and, according to some, should only ever be used in those pairs on their own, not mixed with another pair. Others say it's fine, so it's up to you.

    8GB of RAM pre-owned is something like £35 or £40.

    Case: The thing to look for in a case is where you can put fans (and how big the size they fit), the drive bays it has (for hard drives, CD drives etc.), the sockets it has for TV and such (e.g. for HDMI cables, DVI cables). My recommendation is http://www.scan.co.uk/products/silve...window-w-o-psu

    It has everything you'll need as far as I know, it's big enough to fit the big graphics card and coolers, it's highly rated and only £30. It's what I have.

    Hard drive/HDD/SSD: You'll want at least 1TB. 1TB should be enough unless you have 20 multiplayer games installed at the same time and way too much porn. People recommend buying an SSD drive as a 'boot drive' as it has faster boot times and increases load times in some games a bit, but it's a luxury and it's up to you if a few seconds saved each time is worth the price. At first at least, your computer will only take 10 seconds to boot in Windows 8.1 and about 40 in Windows 7 using a regular HDD.

    Also for hard drives you might want to avoid Seagate, they have a bad reputation. I got a 1TB Toshiba HDD (from Scan) for less than £40. I preferred to buy it new, because you never know what the last owner of a hard drive had on there. Keep things backed up on a USB stick or something regularly just in case most HDDs will either fail in the first few months or last for years.

    PSU (Power Supply Unit): The thing that powers your computer and should stop the whole thing dying (or setting fire) at the slightest electrical surge. This is so important to get right. You can look for a tier list (like http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/...tier-list.html) and aim for the top two categories. Power is also important, and will depend on your parts particularly your graphics card, though 750W should be enough. A 'modular' PSU is also better as you can take out cables you're not using to make the PC tidier (and cooler).

    I got a 750W Seasonic EVO 80 from Scan for £80. The possibly less reliable ones can be had for about £50, and pre-owned will be cheaper, but the extra price for a new, good PSU will be excellent value. A good PSU sacrifices itself to save the other computer parts; a bad PSU takes the whole thing down with it in (sometimes literal) flames, leaving you with no computer.

    Optical drive: A DVD RW is most useful. It'll play DVD and CDs but you'll also be able to burn things onto blank CDs like music or data if you wanted. Also consider writing and reading speeds. Should be cheap pre-owned.

    Sound card: Not necessary, as the motherboard's on board sound will likely be as good as many sound cards. You might motice a difference with an expensive headset or a crazy speaker setup, but that's it.

    I think that's it for physical parts. Other than that, when your computer boots, you'll want to stress test your graphics card (with MSI Kombustor) and your CPU (with Intel Burn Test, and also whenever you overclock). As for anti-viruses and firewalls, you'll be fine with Microsoft Security Essentials.
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    I wonder when it's better to have more cores and slower clock speed, or less cores and faster clock speed. A quad i7 overclocked to 4.4, or a 12-core E5 at 2.2?
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    (Original post by XMaramena)
    I wonder when it's better to have more cores and slower clock speed, or less cores and faster clock speed. A quad i7 overclocked to 4.4, or a 12-core E5 at 2.2?
    I think for gaming, 12-cores is definitely over kill. It would have increased performance I think, but there's really not much point.
    Hell, I have an i5 at 3.4 and I've encountered absolutely no problems with it, except loading screens which are longer by about 30 seconds on intensive games like modded Skyrim or Fallout 4.
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    (Original post by birdie95)
    Hi guys,
    I'm planning a PC build in summer after I finish my degree. I'll have a budget of around £500 and I want a setup that can play the new releases pretty efficiently. All the guides I find on the internet are American, as are all the people I play games with online - so I was wondering whether there are any Brits on here who can recommend components I can get my hands on easily here/advice!
    £500? If you like playing CPU-intensive game, like strategy games, you might have spend a third to half of that on the CPU. If you already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse, that can take £100 off the amount you need to pay for the PC. If you like GPU-intensive games like Call of Duty, they are still rather expensive. Just make sure you get at least 8GB RAM, Intel i5, 2GB GPU, 500GB, and you're essentially done. Just make sure you get a cooling fan.

    This is a good website for PC builds:
    http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    £500? If you like playing CPU-intensive game, like strategy games, you might have spend a third to half of that on the CPU.
    She could get a pre-owned 2500K for £60-£80.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    She could get a pre-owned 2500K for £60-£80.
    She could, but I never trust pre-owned for a computer, except games, unless they've refurbished them to a good quality and it's a seller with at least 4 stars/90% good reviews.
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    (Original post by asmuse123)
    She could, but I never trust pre-owned for a computer, except games, unless they've refurbished them to a good quality and it's a seller with at least 4 stars/90% good reviews.
    Well yes, that is the case when you buy things from places. You don't buy bad quality from a crap seller, I would hope.

    Pre-owned is perfectly fine, I would only be sceptical about getting a preowned PSU (the most important part) and hard drive (in case the seller was into some weird/illegal ****). Everything else is robust and even so, would cause no disaster if they were to explode and burn down your house and family because they were preowned.
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    Wow, never knew you could get such powerful PCs for so cheap. My laptop was like £1500 and can't run the latest games on ultra, not that I game but still.
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    (Original post by MountKimbie)
    Wow, never knew you could get such powerful PCs for so cheap. My laptop was like £1500 and can't run the latest games on ultra, not that I game but still.
    Buying a computer isn't cheap, but buying the individual parts and putting them all together (or paying someone else to) to make a computer is cheap.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Buying a computer isn't cheap, but buying the individual parts and putting them all together (or paying someone else to) to make a computer is cheap.
    Can you do the same with laptops?
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    (Original post by MountKimbie)
    Can you do the same with laptops?
    I don't know how tricky that is, but in theory you could build anything. Could build your own car.

    Never tried building a laptop, not many have, because if you're building a PC it's because you want to play the latest games, in which case it's highly unlikely you'll be using a laptop to do so.
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    (Original post by MountKimbie)
    Wow, never knew you could get such powerful PCs for so cheap. My laptop was like £1500 and can't run the latest games on ultra, not that I game but still.
    One pro about having a PC over a console/laptop is that you can upgrade the parts easily. Laptops have a shelf life in terms of gaming - they get outdated quickly and it's difficult to replace any parts.
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    (Original post by MountKimbie)
    Can you do the same with laptops?
    The short answer is no. Desktop PC components are, for the most part, all built to the same set of standards to allow them to be readily interchangeable with other components of the same type, while laptops are virtually always built around a proprietary layout of internal components. There are numerous reasons for this, such as the size, weight and portability benefits of soldering components straight onto a motherboard rather than using larger non-permanent connectors, as well as laptops generally having to meet stricter structural tolerances than desktops given that they have to be moved around. RAM and hard drives are the only major components that are intended to be user-replaceable across many laptops, but it's becoming increasingly common to see them soldered too as slimness becomes an even larger selling point. There may well be companies out there offering fully modular laptop designs, but they're a rarity if so.

    The closest equivalent for laptops is custom laptop builders like PCSpecialist, who offer a range of chassis options which you can then choose the components to go inside of them. Once chosen, however, the majority of components will be affixed to the board and as difficult to replace as most other prebuilt laptops.
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    (Original post by MountKimbie)
    Wow, never knew you could get such powerful PCs for so cheap. My laptop was like £1500 and can't run the latest games on ultra, not that I game but still.
    Have you tried swapping out the LED's for say the red colour. Red enhances speed and power at the cost of over-heating.
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    The short answer is no. Desktop PC components are, for the most part, all built to the same set of standards to allow them to be readily interchangeable with other components of the same type, while laptops are virtually always built around a proprietary layout of internal components. There are numerous reasons for this, such as the size, weight and portability benefits of soldering components straight onto a motherboard rather than using larger non-permanent connectors, as well as laptops generally having to meet stricter structural tolerances than desktops given that they have to be moved around. RAM and hard drives are the only major components that are intended to be user-replaceable across many laptops, but it's becoming increasingly common to see them soldered too as slimness becomes an even larger selling point. There may well be companies out there offering fully modular laptop designs, but they're a rarity if so.

    The closest equivalent for laptops is custom laptop builders like PCSpecialist, who offer a range of chassis options which you can then choose the components to go inside of them. Once chosen, however, the majority of components will be affixed to the board and as difficult to replace as most other prebuilt laptops.
    So you're not aware of the new laptops that are available that feature desktop grade components? They can be upgraded so yeah
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    (Original post by Sam579995)
    So you're not aware of the new laptops that are available that feature desktop grade components? They can be upgraded so yeah
    They're certainly not the same as "buying the individual parts and putting them all together" which is what the poster was asking about, are all extremely expensive, and still extremely uncommon. Even those that do have desktop components either use proprietary systems rather than meeting conventional standards for those particular components, or aren't actually intended to be user-upgradeable (as far as I'm aware every laptop with a desktop class CPU still solders it onto the board, it doesn't have a conventional socket to let the CPU be switched out).
 
 
 
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