Building a computer

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Hello, as of today i am going to start to try and build a new computer but have no idea of how to go about doing it, for example i don't know where to start as i have looked at different cases but don't know whether i have to take anything into consideration when choosing one. Anyway im looking for help on buying each part and on how to add that part to my build. If anybody could help me out on how to do this that would be great. Im looking to try and make a gaming computer with around a £1200 budget but would preferably not have to spend all of that.

Thank you Sam
 
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Some things I can think of off the top of my head are:

Case: Make sure its got decent air flow and can fit the motherboard with plent of room for GPU's and a decent Cooler for the CPU.

CPU (Processor): Main thing is make sure you have the socket with the mother board,

for example:

There is intel and amd boards for intel and amd processors, within that there are different socket's

so these two would be fine:

Intel Core i7-2600K 3.40GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor

Asrock Fatal1ty Z68 Pro Gen3 intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard

As you can see above they both say 1155, if they do not match they will not work

So if thats hard to understand was abit rushed but feel free to ask more.

Im sure if you get some ideas here then post a build people will refine it for you.
 
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Hi there and welcome :)

First, good on you for trying it out, it is a bit of a confusing world when you start out for sure.

The first thing I would suggest you do is have a look at this build guide thread. It is written for a slightly older platform (X58/ 1st generation i7) but pretty much everything in there applies to current generation builds. There are also a lot of very informative PC build guide videos on yourtube which are worth a look.

If you run into an abbreviation or saying you are unfamiliar with then this "OCUK Dictionary" may be able to help you. If you find something that isn't in there then please let me know.

In general terms, building a PC is relatively simple these days as most components are standard sizes. For example cases, motherboards and power supplies (PSUs) are made to "ATX" standard, therefore if you get an ATX case, motherboard and PSU then you can be confident that it will all fit together.

For the CPU, this is probably the component you chose first and then buy the motherboard to best suite it. At the moment the main sockets are AMD AM3, AM3+ and Intel LGA1155 and LGA2011, you need both the board and CPU to use the same socket for the system to work (the motherboard also needs to support the particular CPU, which is checked on the motherboard's website).

Things get slightly trickier with graphics cards, as most cards use dual-slot coolers and are relatively long - you need to check that the case you want is big enough to accommodate the card (this is usually advertised on the case's website). You will also need to check that the PSU you get is powerful enough to supply your graphics card (as well as the rest of your PC components) - for this tools like this PSU calculator are useful.

With RAM (system memory) you need to make sure you get a kit which is compatible with your motherboard. At the moment this is relatively simple as most platforms use the same DDR3 1.5V RAM. Also you are are best off looking for RAM sticks with "low profile" coolers - as they are generally good value and don't interfere with large CPU coolers (which RAM with large heatsinks tend to do).
 
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Thank you all for such quick replies :) wasn't expecting such a good welcome :)

@beejjacobs
Would this sort of setup be able to play top end games such as
Shogun Total War 2:
Recommended Specs (Recommended for optimum game play of Total War: Shogun 2):

- 2nd Generation Intel® Core™i5 processor (or greater), or AMD equivalent
- 2GB RAM (XP), 4GB RAM (Vista / Windows7)
- AMD Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series graphics cards or equivalent DirectX 11 compatible graphics card
- 1280x1024 minimum screen resolution
- 20GB free hard disk space

or Crysis:
Recommended System Requirements
OS – Windows XP / Vista
Processor – Intel Core 2 DUO @ 2.2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
Memory – 2.0 GB RAM
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS/640 or similar

These are the sort of games i like to be able to play and maybe games coming out this year.

Thanks again,
Sam
 
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Could you do me a favour and post the same checkout without the keyboard, mouse,monitor and OS please?
 
Soldato
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Could you do me a favour and post the same checkout without the keyboard, mouse,monitor and OS please?

the tool to show builds are in my sig :)

My choice would be very close. Same except for the case, which would be around £10 less (the optical is also a wee bit more expensive, but I've used an optiarc and they are good).

Dropping the SSD will bring it around £750.

YOUR BASKET
1 x MSI HD 7850 Twin Frozr III OC 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Cards £209.99
1 x Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail £173.99
1 x Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CT128M4SSD2) £119.99
1 x Gigabyte Z77-D3H Intel Z77 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard £84.98
1 x Cooler Master Silent Pro Modular 600W '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply £62.99
1 x Corsair Carbide 300R Mid Tower Case - Black £59.99
1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 16MB Cache - OEM (ST500DM002) £58.99
1 x Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (CML8GX3M2A1600C9) £39.95
1 x Akasa AK-CC4007EP01 Nero 3 CPU Cooler (Socket LGA775/1155/1156/1366/2011/AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/FM1) £21.98
1 x Sony Optiarc AD-7280S 24x DVD±RW SATA ReWriter (Black) - OEM £19.99
Total : £869.34 (includes shipping : £13.75).

 
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Thank you, I was looking at the graphics card that you have picked out in that list and i know that im going to sound like a idiot but what is over clocking and are there any cons to doing it?
 
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Thank you, I was looking at the graphics card that you have picked out in that list and i know that im going to sound like a idiot but what is over clocking and are there any cons to doing it?

It's basically turning the knobs to 11. :) You increase the speed of the processor and graphics chip, but in turns it makes them hotter, potentially less stable, risky (you can fry components), and requires some knowledge on how they operate (although graphics cards overclocking means pushing a couple of sliders around). You gain maybe 15-20% extra performance, but given your usage, just keep everything at stock and you will be fine. The CPU and GPU are plenty fast already at stock.

You could also drop the CPU cooler if you do not overclock, and maybe dab into overclocking later. It's an enthusiast thing, and mostly a tool to get more performance out of the components, especially when they start lagging behind with newer hardware (say 3 years down the line, if ever). The CPU can be clocked 30% higher 'easily', but nothing requires that atm really.

That graphics card is a really good performer, small, and not too expensive, runs cool and quiet, and use little juice (so less stress on the power supply). You have to step up by quite a lot to get anything more powerful.

best GPUs for budget :

< £100 : HD6850.
< £250 : HD7850.
< £350 : HD7950.
< £400 : HD7970.
> £400 : GTX680.

for CPU's it's easy. 2500K :)
 
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OK thank you, I may post back here later once i have some of the components. Thanks for all the help :)
 
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A quick note, Intel will be launching IvyBridge soon. It's not gonna set the world on fire, but could see some price fluctuations. Mainly tweaks of current CPUs (2600K, 2500K), to be more efficient (less power consumption, and run cooler), and give higher CPU clocks (I think stock is pretty much the same, but they should overclock better than the 2500K, so not much use to you).
 
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Soldato
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A quick note, Intel will be launching IvyBridge soon. It's not gonna set the world on fire, but could see some price fluctuations.

Dunno about that, they get pretty toasty by all accounts when being pushed ;)

But I'm in the same boat, thinking about building a new PC< but IB is so near now it's worth waiting just to see what happens to prices.
 
Soldato
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Dunno about that, they get pretty toasty by all accounts when being pushed ;)

But I'm in the same boat, thinking about building a new PC< but IB is so near now it's worth waiting just to see what happens to prices.

Waiting for them to come out. :) But they should run cooler around the same clocks, unless of course you are pushing to the 5GHz limit.

EDIT : Hmm interesting. Don't looks so cool actually. I am dissapoint :( It's just one test anyway, let's wait and see I suppose.
 
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Also can somebody explain to me what the Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CT128M4SSD2) is and what it does. Just interested.

Thanks
 
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Also can somebody explain to me what the Crucial RealSSD M4 128GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Hard Drive (CT128M4SSD2) is and what it does. Just interested.

Thanks

It's a solid state hard drive, it has no mechanical parts, the biggest advantage over mechanical drives are very low latency, no noise, less power requirements, and generally a lot faster, but you pay a lot more £/gb
 
Soldato
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Waiting for them to come out. :) But they should run cooler around the same clocks, unless of course you are pushing to the 5GHz limit.

EDIT : Hmm interesting. Don't looks so cool actually. I am dissapoint :( It's just one test anyway, let's wait and see I suppose.

Yeah, it'll be interesting to see what happens, although I bet for everyday over clocks there won't be an issue. It's the higher end of the scale things go weird from all accounts.
 
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