First Gaming-Spec PC £700 / $1,125


Jul 22, 2011
This will be my primary build, and I would like some advice on it's components, value and the risks of overclocking.

Budget Range: Between £600-£800 / $1000-$1250

System Usage: Gaming, Office Work, Music Production (in the future) such as Cakewalk or Pro Tools

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Optical Drive, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Website(s) Preference:,,,,

Overclocking and SLI or Crossfire: Depends on components and overall price

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 LG LH325000 - 100Hz

I'm looking at either...

Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 Processor (OC'd to 4.2GHz)

Asus SABERTOOTH P67 R3 ATX Motherboard

Coolermaster Silent Pro 700W Modular Single 12V PSU

Coolermaster V8 Heatsink Fan

Or this thrifty setup...

Intel Core i3 2120 3.3GHz Socket 1155 Processor (without OC'ing)

Asus P8P67 LE R3 ATX Motherboard

Coolermaster Silent Pro 600W Modular Single 12V PSU

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Heatsink Fan

With these also...

Asus GeForce GTX 560 DCII OC 1GB Graphics (maybe at 900MHz)

Asus Xonar DS 7.1 Sound Card (this can wait)

Kingston 6GB (3x2) DDR3 1600MHz Black HyperX T1 CL9

WD 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6/Gbps Caviar Black 7200rpm 32MB Cache

Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus Mid Tower

I'd like to be able to run pretty much everything at high or ultra spec, and don't really want to need an upgrade in six months time just because I didn't pay a little more now. That being said, if I run the risk of the system perishing from excessive overclocking, then it's probably going to cost me quite a bit down the road.


May 31, 2011
Well first off those setups will perform quite differently, the Core i3 CPUs are generally the lower end of the socket 1155 CPUs whereas the i5 2500K is the best CPU currently available (IMO) just behind the i7 2600K. So if your looking for the best performance the i5 2500K is the clear winner.

Secondly, is there any reason why you have chosen the ASUS Sabertooth MB? If I were you I would go for a more common board such as the ASUS P8P67 Pro or the Asrock P67 extreme4 (I use this and its great with the 2500k).

Thirdly, I haven't any experience with your choice of cooler but nearly everyone out there including myself are using the Coolermaster Hyper 212+. This is probably one of the best price/performance coolers out there, some people are able to OC their 2500K to 5GHz using the Hyper 212+

Ok... A lot of people may disagree with me here but the GTX 560 isn't impressive at all and you are not going to be able to run every game out there on max settings, that card I believe was designed for budget systems, you will get away will playing games on Medium/High setting now, but a year down the line you will be struggling. If I were picking a GPU I would either get two Radeon HD 6850's and Crossfire them or get one Radeon HD 6950. Two 6850's in Crossfire would easily out do the 6950 now, but two years down the line when newer games are out the 6850's will be dated and then you will have to start over again. However if you when with the 6950 you could buy another two years down the line and crossfire them which would bring you back in the game.
Your Call
You want the 560 ti version of that card. More cores, and higher frame rates. This build allows you to add another one of those cards later on for SLI. £59.99 inc. VAT
Coolermaster HAF 912 Plus Midi Chassis £71.92 inc. VAT
750W XFX Core Edition 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply £110.03 inc. vat
Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard £159.78 Inc VAT
Intel CPU Core i5 2500K Unlocked Sandy Bridge Quad Core Processor OEM £21.88 inc. VAT
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler £55.80 inc. VAT
1600MHz RAM Speed, CAS 9-9-9-24 Timings, 1.5v VDIMM, Lifetime Warranty £40.98 inc. vat
Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache £14.03 inc. vat
LiteOn IHAS124-19 24x DVD±RW DL & RAM SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black with Nero Essentials £173.29 inc. VAT
Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

Total: £707.70 inc. VAT £71.99 inc. VAT
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - OEM


Jul 22, 2011
Thanks for some awesome feedback guys.

What you said about processors is true. The i3 is much less expensive, but I suppose you get what you pay for.

On the Asus SABERTOOTH Mobo, the thermal armour is well designed to regulate temperature. And over here (in the U.K.) it's roughly the same price as your Asrock Extreme 4. Where the Gigiabyte is a very affordable Z68, I'd prefer the high quality P67.

As for the cooler, I was unsure as to whether the Hyper 212+ would be enough to keep an OC'd 2500K frosty. But I guess you've cleared that one up, thanks!

That RAM looks a real bargain! I realise that I need a dual channel setup, might have to get it. Does it not matter that the Samsung HDD is only SATA-II? And that XFX is a great price for a 750W PSU, but I really want a modular power supply.

Lastly, I hear you about the GPU's (nice thinking about Crossfire by the way), and this section will get more attention. I have a preference for NVIDIA, so I guess the GTX 580 would be my equivalent card. However, it's cheaper to buy a pair of 560's and hook up SLI, so that's not a bad comprimise for now. Also, price-performance wise I'm not sure the Ti version beats the newer 560, have you seen the comparison?