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Any way to shave money off this Skyrim-ready PC with monitor? (~

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xKratosx    2

My girlfriend's parents have helped her out with so many things lately, and her dad really wants a gaming PC but is holding off due to uncertainty with his job, so I figured it'd be a nice gesture if we bought/built him one so he doesn't have to worry about it - the problem is I had a figure of ?500 in my head and I'm struggling to keep the costs down!

Here's my build so far with Ebuyer:

xUl5RCy.png

On top of that, I need to add memory (I'm buying myself 3x4GB sticks, and will put my 4x2GB 1333mhz DDR3 sticks into his machine) and a copy of Windows 7 or 8 which costs around ?68.

Just a few things I'm unsure of, I'd be very grateful for any help/advice:

1) Is there anyway to get a cheaper copy of Windows 7/Windows 8? It was part of their pre-order deal but I swear I only paid ~?40 for my copy of Windows 7.

2) Do the specs look good enough to run Skyrim nicely? Are there any parts I should improve, or any parts I can save on?

3) Is the monitor okay? It's quite tough to find a fully adjustable monitor with decent specs :/

4) I've previously seen a site that you put the computer build on, and it searches sites for the cheapest price, but can't find it now... does anyone know it please?

Thanks :D

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+Chicane-UK    669

Maybe drop to a 21"/22" monitor.. that would shave a little bit off...

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Luc2k    734

You can't fit 3 memory modules in that motherboard.

2) You need to change the ratio between CPU and GPU. Maybe a Phenom II 965 with a 7850. The GPU is more important when it comes to games.

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xKratosx    2

Many thanks Luc2k - great spot on the motherboard memory modules! The 3 would be for my machine (Dell Vostro 430) and I'd be giving him my 4x2GB modules, so ideally I need a motherboard with 4 slots.

Good shout on the CPU/GPU balance... unfortunately the only thing he's mentioned to me that he definitely would like is an i5 processor :(

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Athlonite    86

2) You need to change the ratio between CPU and GPU. Maybe a Phenom II 965 with a 7850. The GPU is more important when it comes to games.

That's exactly what I run and it's butter smooth with 4x aa and 16x Aniso at 1080p on an Sapphire HD7850 2GB card and PII 965BE with 8GB DDR3-1600 corsair vengence LP

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Luc2k    734

Many thanks Luc2k - great spot on the motherboard memory modules! The 3 would be for my machine (Dell Vostro 430) and I'd be giving him my 4x2GB modules, so ideally I need a motherboard with 4 slots.

Good shout on the CPU/GPU balance... unfortunately the only thing he's mentioned to me that he definitely would like is an i5 processor :(

Any particular reason why he wants the i5? I guess he can always buy a better GPU after, but until then, the performance in games will be A LOT worse. In current form that would be a very bad gaming build and you should tell him.

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threetonesun    1,205

Good shout on the CPU/GPU balance... unfortunately the only thing he's mentioned to me that he definitely would like is an i5 processor :(

But why. An i3 would be a better choice. Also you're going to want at least a 7770 (preferably a 7850 or 650 Ti) for gaming.

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xKratosx    2

Thanks all :) I've just noticed the 7850 is quite a bit more expensive (like, ?130ish) but I guess if you think it'll definitely be okay to drop the CPU? I have no idea why he wants an i5 btw, I think he's keen on learning Visual Basic and other programming languages on the machine as well as gaming... TBH I've always been told the Core i processors are a lot better than Intel too, but I don't know if that's necessarily the case for a build like this?

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Blackhearted    512

You can't fit 3 memory modules in that motherboard.

2) You need to change the ratio between CPU and GPU. Maybe a Phenom II 965 with a 7850. The GPU is more important when it comes to games.

Actually, they both need to be in decent balance. A powerful GPU wont matter much with a weak cpu. And in the case of what you said, it's a bit off balance. Not to mention instantly very out of date.

But why. An i3 would be a better choice. Also you're going to want at least a 7770 (preferably a 7850 or 650 Ti) for gaming.

A dual core(which an i3 is) is never a good choice for playing any kind of modern game on.

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Arceles    403

Go AMD, newer games like many cores.

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xKratosx    2

Managed to shave some more off, and add a better graphics card (but a worse CPU and monitor)

WnIh8Tg.png

What is better, the AMD Phenom or the i3? Like I said it'll be used mostly for gaming, but also some VB etc coding/development stuff

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threetonesun    1,205

A dual core(which an i3 is) is never a good choice for playing any kind of modern game on.

Find out which games today require a quad-core CPU, and then get back to us with that list.

Mind you, the high end i3s can do hyper-threading as well. And recent gaming tests have shown them running circles around quad and hexa core AMD CPUs. Not to mention, we're talking about a PC built around a 7750 at the moment, so please consider how that will have an effect on the total FPS when comparing CPUs.

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xKratosx    2

Thanks three, I've actually switched out the 7750 now for a 7850 :)

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threetonesun    1,205

What is better, the AMD Phenom or the i3? Like I said it'll be used mostly for gaming, but also some VB etc coding/development stuff

Which i3? That Phenom is quite old, although not a bad processor, but for the most part they're still on the market because overclockers like them as a cheap option.

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Jason S.    1,243

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.

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Luc2k    734

Actually, they both need to be in decent balance. A powerful GPU wont matter much with a weak cpu. And in the case of what you said, it's a bit off balance. Not to mention instantly very out of date.

I go by 2/3 CPU/GPU mostly. Unless we are talking about a CPU bottleneck (which shouldn't be the case with the Phenom), money spent on the GPU is more rewarding when it comes to gaming. It's true that it is out of date-ish, but this is the sacrifice one faces on a budget.

What is better, the AMD Phenom or the i3? Like I said it'll be used mostly for gaming, but also some VB etc coding/development stuff.

The i3 should be faster in games that only use 1-2 cores (like Skyrim @stock), but I consider the loss of the other 2 too much for general usage and games that use everything. It's also more expensive and can't be overclocked. It does use substantially less power than the Phenom though. Your call.

Skyrim bench.

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DirtyLarry    2,073

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.

Yeah I have to agree more or less.

Also I am really not sure how people are saying the CPU itself is not very important for gaming??? That is just not true.

Crysis3-CPU.png

So yeah, better to save up some and do it right, or do it this way, and then have to spend money in the very near future because this way is only going to get you so far before games are hardly running.

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TheLegendOfMart    1,558

Another case of trying to build a budget gaming machine. I would highly suggest you find a bigger budget; otherwise, i think you'll be very disappointed.

Whats wrong with gaming on a budget, not everyone needs to max games out at native resolution with all the AA turned up.

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ahhell    1,306

An i3 would be a horrible choice and you will just be disappointed.

An i5 (or equivalent) as a minimum would be a smart move.

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Blackhearted    512

Find out which games today require a quad-core CPU, and then get back to us with that list.

Mind you, the high end i3s can do hyper-threading as well. And recent gaming tests have shown them running circles around quad and hexa core AMD CPUs.

It's not really hard to find benchmarks on some other tech sites that show a dual core lags behind a quad core in many modern titles. What DL posted above is one example, a drop somewhere between 15-20%(i5 vs i3) on the average framerate and an even bigger drop on the minimum. That site neowin frequently promotes on the frontpage, techspot, also has many game benchmarks that show similar drops in performance in many games from dropping to a dual core.

Also, despite how windows sees an i3, hyperthreading does not make an i3 into, or comparable to, a proper quad core.

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xKratosx    2

Thanks all, I have to say regarding the budget that:

1) He is not a big gamer. He had an Xbox but gave it away to his nephew.

2) I let him try my verison of Skyrim on the Xbox and he was already blown away by the graphics, but he is interested in the mods available on PC.

3) I'd like to buy it as a nice gesture (not even a birthday/Christmas gift) hence ?600+ being a bit much for us right now. This is around the same (or more) as he was looking to spend himself.

I agree that it'd be wonderful to get better specs, but I'm not sure how realistic this is... he also said it took him a while to get on with two analogue sticks (he hasn't played games seriously since Doom etc) so there is a chance he will play it for a little while and then go off gaming as he did with the Xbox.

I totally see that the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it, but the machine I'm building for him is better than my own machine for gaming (first gen i7, soon to have 12GB RAM, ATI 6750) which also cost around ?600 a few years ago.

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threetonesun    1,205

So yeah, better to save up some and do it right, or do it this way, and then have to spend money in the very near future because this way is only going to get you so far before games are hardly running.

So an i3 with a 680 GTX can play Crysis 3 on high above an average of 30 FPS?

Does no one in this thread understand the concept of a mid-range gaming PC? An i3 with a 7850 will be perfectly fine for most games. It will be exceptional for Skyrim.

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threetonesun    1,205

It's not really hard to find benchmarks on some other tech sites that show a dual core lags behind a quad core in many modern titles. What DL posted above is one example, a drop somewhere between 15-20%(i5 vs i3) on the average framerate and an even bigger drop on the minimum. That site neowin frequently promotes on the frontpage, techspot, also has many game benchmarks that show similar drops in performance in many games from dropping to a dual core.

Also, despite how windows sees an i3, hyperthreading does not make an i3 into, or comparable to, a proper quad core.

The guy wants to play Skyrim, I really doubt he's going to be firing up his benchmarking tools to check what the difference in FPS between his new gaming PC and his non-existent octa-core PC is.

As long as it will play current games above an average of 30 FPS at your resolution, what different does it make to the end user?

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tsupersonic    1,325

I totally see that the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it, but the machine I'm building for him is better than my own machine for gaming (first gen i7, soon to have 12GB RAM, ATI 6750) which also cost around ?600 a few years ago.

Not really, a first gen i7 is still better than a Phenom or an Ivy Bridge i3, in terms of performance. If you want pure performance, always go Intel. Go AMD, if you are budget conscious. Personally, I would stretch the budget to make the i3 or i5 happen.
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