Advice for first all rounder build (UK based)


Mar 5, 2009
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next couple of months

BUDGET RANGE: Around £1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Some gaming, Internet, Watching video (DVD and downloaded / streaming content currently, but may want HD stuff later), Occasional music production





SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later if I need to, but not straight away

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'm thinking of using a 26" HDTV initially so resolution will be 1366 x 768. I may want to get a bigger TV or a higher resolution monitor later. Does anyone have any views on using an HDTV of this size / resolution as a monitor?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like my games to look good and I'd like to be able to play what is current and at least a little way into the future, but as I've said above I'll be playing them at a relatively low resolution to start off with. It would be good if the PC was fairly quiet, small and plain looking (I'm not into flashy cases). I'd also like the PC to last for some time before it needs an upgrade or at least be easily upgradeable.

I'm new to building a complete system, although I have opened up PCs and changed / upgraded components like RAM, drives, etc. I'm a bit nervous about things like cooling and exactly what extra stuff I'll need on top of the obvious bits like motherboard, processor, graphics card, drives, case, PSU, etc.

A magazine (Computer Shopper) I picked up this month has the following among it's best buys:

AMD Phenom II X4 920 processor
MSI DKA790GX Platinum motherboard
Crucial CT2KIT25664AA1067 4GB DDR2 memory
Antec Solo case
I was also thinking about maybe an ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, but should I think about an x2 card and how much onboard memory might I need?
Any recommendations for makes of hard / optical drives?

Would these be appropriate together and for my purposes? Sorry if this is a bit vague, but I would really appreciate any input or advice!


Oct 23, 2008

I'd say wait another 4-6 weeks and what not price-wise. in April, the new AMDs and AM3 stuff comes out, plus who knows what Intel will do.

Get a better GPU with that budget, honestly.
DVD burders? LG or Sony or Lite-On are all decent.
Remember a good HSF.

Someone from the UK would be better at having/quoting prices. All I have is NewEgg


Dec 24, 2008
Here is my suggestion:

Ram: OCZ Golds 1000mhz

PSU: Corsair 650tx

DVD Drive: Samsung

Mobo: Gigabyte 790X DS4

HDD: WD Caviar Black 640gb

CPU: Phenom II x4 940

GPU: Saphire 4850x2

Case: CM-690

CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 2

So that's comes to £880 inc VAT/shipping and leaves you plenty of room for an OS. If you wanted you could also go for an intel build, Swapping a Q9550 and Gigabyte GA-EP-45-UD3P mobo. If you weren't going to buy now though these prices are subject to a lot of change as new parts come out. In 2 months this build might cost you around £800
i7 build ftw... £64.39 inc VAT
Coolermaster CM-690 Dominator Case - Black (No PSU) £76.99 inc VAT
Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLi Compliant Power Supply £164.99 inc VAT
XFX ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail £163.99 inc VAT
Gigabyte EX58-UD3R Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard £229.99 inc VAT
Intel Core i7 920 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - OEM £31.04 inc VAT
Akasa AK-967 Nero Direct Contact Heatpipe CPU Cooler (AM2/AM2+/939/LGA775/LGA1366) £4.59 inc VAT
Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound £123.04 inc VAT
G.Skill 6GB DDR3 NQ PC3-12800C9 1600MHz (3x2GB) Triple Channel DDR3 (F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ) £63.24 inc VAT
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (WD6401AALS) £16.09 inc VAT
LG GH22NS40 22x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM

Total: £938.35 inc VAT


Mar 5, 2009
Thanks a lot for the replies, much appreciated. It looks like maybe waiting a few weeks would be a good idea, as I'm in no special hurry!

Can I just ask why this might be the case? I've seen quite a few posts about i7 builds and was almost tempted at one point to just buy the Dell Studio XPS and not bother building my own, but thought it might be a bit restrictive later on. It seems to me that it probably isn't worth it yet as I won't be doing an awful lot that will use it to it's full potential at the moment and it seems quite expensive. Is it more about just lasting a long time? Sorry if this sounds stupid! I'm not very up on current hardware.

Is this strictly necessary and is it easy to use? I think I would be nervous about doing it wrong!

Once again, thanks for the replies.
The i7 comes with thermal paste, but from what I hear it's not so good. But if your not going to overclock, no need for the MX-2 I wouldn't think. But of all the thermal paste that MX-2 is the safest to use. It's non conductive which means if you spill some on other parts such as your motherboard worry it won't hurt it. It's easy as pie to apply. There's like a bunch of vids on you tube that gives you a "how to" for thermal paste/compound/grease.