£650-700 Gaming System


Sep 6, 2011
Okay im making a new thread, didnt get much of a response in the last one and the minimum specs for the BF3 beta are out now.
I need a system which stays below 650. I can push to 700 provided it will be worth the extra money.
I originally had an idea of what I wanted but since then some sites have changes or removed some items. The other day ebuyer didnt have any Samsung F3's and that was what I originally aimed for :)

Approximate Purchase Date: Next few weeks

Budget Range: <£650 top end could be 700 if that 50 will help enough.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Programming, movies.

Parts Not Required: I require a full tower.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I dont mind provided they are trustworthy and are not insanely expensive

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: Dont mind but I do want an i5 2500k

Overclocking: Sure if coolers are not too expensive

SLI or Crossfire: Something to consider but couldnt add more to budget until early next year

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: Are sound cards worth it? what about network card? most motherboard seem to have these built in but are they good enough?
I could do with recommended places to buy items as sites I used to rely on dont stock quite what I thought I needed.
Dont care about appearance as such, case can be basic provided its not 'ugly'.

Here was the type of thing ive considered* but I didnt want to 'shop' around, hoping someone here can direct me to one place for all... I have merely put some items that were recommended but ive added a note to each.

CPU - i5 2500k - I have read its probably the best gaming cpu?

Motherboard - this is where I definitely fall down. I was originally advised to get a gen3 asrock extreme. but these seem quite expensive for my budget?

Memory- 8gb 1600mhz corsair vengeance memory, or some ripjaws?

GPU - 560ti? 6870? I am not sure which cards are equivalent? I just need best performance for price with this, I could get a 2nd of whatever I get in January.

PSU - someone on here said something like a 500w would be fine for single but as im considering SLI/CF in January should I get a 750w?

Case - Something simple and cheap like an Antec 300?

HDD- Samsung F3 or equivalent?

DvD - any old surely?

have I missed something? hope to get some replies and thoughts.
Thanks for your time.



CPU: i5 2500k yes sir £160 or so
CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ cheap, good, pretty silent. £20:ish
Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 ~ £106.42
Asus P8Z68-V ~124.98 ( no ps2 connector though, so usb keyboard and mouse are needed )
Memory: Yeah Corsair/Gskill/Kingston/Mushking 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz will do the trick should be about £43-50.
GPU: 560Ti or 6950 - both work great with FullHD resolutions. 560Ti from about £180, 6950 from about £190
PSU: for 560Ti and 6950 SLI/Crossfire 750W would be recommended.
Corsair TX750V2 £82, 850W XFX £78, Antec HCP-750 £90, Silverstone Olympia 750W £84
Case: Antec 300 with 2 extra 120mm fans for intake is a good budget choice. £50:ish
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB £45:ish
DVD: Yeah pretty much any DVD writer will work they cost about £14-15 new so not a big investment

So you are looking at about £700.
You can see exact prices once you do toss them in your cart.



^^ fairly good build above, its along the right lines.

In the OP it says you require a FULL TOWER case? Is there any reason for this? A mid tower case would be more than big enough for your build. Full towers are generally only needed for e-ATX motherboards and water-cooled builds.

Sound card and network card isn't required. The built in motherboard ports are perfectly fine.

UK Websites:

Personally I really like SCAN, they have some fantastic money saving "Today Only" deals where if you shop about you can save between about 10-20% on some components.

i5-2500k £160
ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 £115
8GB 1600MHz CL9 Vengeance RAM £45
GTX 560Ti £180
750w Modular PSU Antec True Power £90
Samsung SpinPoint F3 or SeaGate Barracuda 1TB £40
Samsung DVD-RW £15
Hyper 212+ CPU cooler £22


Total £667 without case



Sep 6, 2011
Thank you for your response.
I am thinking of using Scan at the moment, they seem to have a good wide selection and pretty competitive prices... not to mention they do deals 'Today only' and ill keep checking every day over the next week or two :D

I was looking at some tech before I saw your post, would this perhaps a be a good alternative to the motherboard you are suggesting?
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-z68ma-g45-%28b3%29-intel-z68-s-1155-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-sata-raid-pcie-%28x16%29-d-sub-%28vga%29-dvi-d-hdmi- £104.02 its pretty much equal price to the mobbo you suggested but I think I read this one has an auto overclock feature which would help me as im no expert at it heh.

I was thinking of going the 6950 route rather than the 560ti because according to the 'Best gaming gfx card for money" thingy on here says it beats out the 560ti in enough situations to warrant it being selected as the best in its category?

Can you recommend a good psu? There are so many, or can I just pick a well known brand... ?

Thanks for the help though much appreciated :)

edit: Ah I shouldnt have typed it like that, I basically meant I need a tower fully equipped. Dont care what size really as long as it works haha :D

Also thanks again for the help Adrian, you helped me before but as I plan on getting the system next week I really wanted this nailed plus with budget changes etc etc haha. I may see what I can get for my old system and use that to bump my budget closer to 800. Though I only have e8400, 4g or something, hd4890 and a lanparty dk x38 or something like that haha.


I would recommend sticking with one of the 3 boards me and Adrian listed. Especially the Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3.
Overclocking Sandy Bridge is extremely easy.

I listed 4 PSU's that fit your criteria, any of them will do fine, and pretty sure Adrian's listed PSU will work as well.
The price range will be £80-90 for any quality unit at that level.

You pretty much have all the bases covered, so the next thing in your list should be an SSD for boot drive in the 60-64GB range.
Crucial M4 is pretty good, same with OCZ Agility 3 60Gb and Vertex 3 60Gb, Corsair Force III 60Gb. £77 and up.


Sep 6, 2011
Haha I cant believe I didnt see that, ugh brain fart. I shall see how my budget stretches and pick one accordingly. I will probably lean towards whichever is cheapest at this point though.
Sorry about that haha

Thanks again for taking the time to reply :)


The MSI board you've listed is fairly limited in terms of expansion. Its only a MICRO ATX board, not a full ATX. If your not too fussed about having a GEN3 motherboard (only really necessary if you plan to upgrade to IvyBridge processor sometime next year).

This board would be your best choice:
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 £101

The Gigabyte 560Ti and the 6950 perform very similarly. The GTX 560Ti has ALOT of over-clock potential and will outperform a 6950 at 1920x1080 resolution. 6950 2GB is recommended for multi-monitor gaming, but for a single full HD monitor, 560Ti has the edge. http://www.hwcompare.com/8889/geforce-gtx-560-ti-vs-radeon-hd-6950/

Recommended PSU brands include: Corsair, XFX, SeaSonic, Antec, CM (Silent Pro Range only).

Keep your eye on those Today Only deals! They can have some really good offers at times. (Gigabyte GTX 560Ti for example has been on at £167 for the last couple of days - fantastic card - I own one myself, and £167 is a price not to be turned down).


Sep 6, 2011
Ah I didnt even see that. Haha this is why I need the help. God I need to be more vigilant :p
I was about to ask about that card, scan seem to give it 3 stars while the slightly more expensive one has only 2. I dont know how reliable site ratings are but im glad to see you suggested it.

Regarding the 560ti the price is lower so its more appealing and I doubt ill be running dual monitors for a while (my older one died so just bought a new one and cant justify buying another just yet).

that price is very appealing and it seems I could save myself a good amount on there. Thanks again for all your help guys.

Oh one thing to note is that I cant see an extreme3 on the website, guess they may be out... only seem to find extreme4 which has a 150 price tag... I had the same thing when I looked on ebuyer before, is the extreme3 hard to get hold of?


Sep 6, 2011
hmm, may be worth a look. But then I will probably just use this rig for as long as possible, like 3/4 years though that may be unrealistically optimistic heh.
I usually try to use a rig as long as possible before upgrading :)