Good afternoon all, hopefully everyone’s doing well now that we’re passed the halfway mark and now hurdling towards the weekend. Some of you might remember the piece we posted last week where we told Ryan to put together a PC build weighing in at under the €1,200 mark. We always get feedback on PC builds, so we’ve decided to run with it.
When Ryan’s build went up, we asked the folks over at our Boards.ie Talk To Komplett forum to take a look at the build and see what they thought of it. After all, Ryan’s only Welsh, so surely we could get a decent home grown machine out of the charming Boards.ie constituents. Indeed, we got a few interesting builds, but we’ve decided to post the best of them here.
We won’t keep you waiting, so the without any delay we’ll tell you that the very impressive build we have here come from a man known to us only as Messerschmitt, and it turns out he’s a bit of a hero.
Messerschmitt’s build boasts some similarity to Ryan’s, at the very least, they both boast the same case. The Cooler Master HAF 922 is a relatively low-cost case with lots of space for cables, good airflow and it only looks a touch ungodly. Not much more to say about it than that really.
You can find the Cooler Master HAF 922 here, for the princely sum of €92. You can also check out the absolute raft of awards its won on the same page.
Where Ryan went for an Intel Core i5 processor to keep costs down, Messerschmitt has instead opted to splash out, going for a Core i7 Quad. Ryan was of the opinion that if you were building on a budget Core i5 might suit your needs better, but clearly that’s not the way everyone flies.
Moreover, the addition of a Core i7 processor offers a nice bit of future-proofing, for those who are building a machine they’d like to see last a while, rather than one they’ll be upgrading continuously to pull more and more performance from. It’s also excellent to see that all of its reviews rate it at 5/5 with everyone seeming very pleased indeed.
At the moment, the Intel Core i7 Quad (i7-920) is €242, which is pretty hefty compared to Ryan’s Core i5, but fits very well into this build.
The motherboard in this build is Gigabyte’s GA-EX58-ED3R. It’s a solid board and boasts a raft of awards to its name, including Editor’s Choice from Hardware Enthusiast, OC3D’s Value for Money and Recommended awards, Hot Hardware’s “Approved” stamp and TechReport’s Recommended award.
As well you might expect its an ATX board with multi-core support up to four cores and it’s perfectly happy to talk to an Intel Core i7 processor. It sits at the €163 mark too, which isn’t a bad deal at all.
You can check out the Gigabyte GA-EX58-ED3R in a lot more detail over at our product page for it, and if you find you need more detail you can just hit the “Additional Information” tab and you should have just about everything you need.
When it comes to power supply both Ryan and Messerschmitt went with the same option, Corsair’s TX 650W. In one of the builds that someone put together in an attempt to beat Ryan’s they had managed to throw in a 1000W PSU, but frankly that’s a bit overkill.
As we said in Ryan’s build, Corsair makes some nice, solid power supplies that you can rely on to just keep on going for years. Moreover, the fact that it’s a 650W unit means it should have enough oomph (to use the vernacular) to keep just about any machine going.
Corsair’s TX 650W will set you back by €83, which isn’t bad at all when you take into consideration the fact that it also boasts a five year warranty. So you at least have that to fall back on if anything ever goes wrong on you.
The RAM in the box, if you’re following Messerschmitt’s build religiously, is a fairly hefty 6GB of Crucual’s BallistiX DDR3, clocked at 1333MHz. It’s a solid choice and there’s enough of it in there to make sure you won’t need to worry about adding any more in the near future.
6GB of Crucual’s BallistiX DDR3 will set you back €135, which isn’t a bad old deal at all.
When it comes to a build like this, there’s always going to be a lot of emphasis on your choice of graphics card. In this case, it’s the MSI Radeon HD 5770. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when it comes to cards there are all kinds of reasons people choose the cards they do, but it can often come down to something as simple as preferring one brand over another…
There are a few reasons the Radeon HD 5770 manages to impress. It’s got fully 1GB of GDDR5 memory, a clock speed of 850MHz and an output resolution of 2560×1600, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
Perhaps most importantly though, it supports DirectX 11, which promises to become that bit more mainstream than DX10 did, if only thanks to the fact that Windows 7 has managed to achieve such solid traction with gamers.
MSI’s Radeon HD5770 will set you back the not inconsiderable sum of €144, which isn’t a bad deal considering what you get for the money put in. it rounds out the build quite nicely.
When it comes to coolers, the biggest distinction you’ll have to make is whether you’re going for liquid or air-cooling. Once you’ve done that, you’re fairly free to make decisions on whatever basis you’d like.
Ryan went for liquid cooling with Corsair’s H50 Hydro Series, but Messerschmitt is keeping it old school-cool with a Scythe Mugen 2 to keep the CPU at a manageable heat.
The Scythe Mugen 2 will set you back €35 and, for those interested, you can check it out in more detail here.
Both Ryan and the good Mr. Messerschmitt went with the same DVD drive, because it’s both cheap and reliable. Sony’s NEC Optiarc will set you back just under €20 and should see you through any DVD-related tasks you might need it to.
Perhaps the only part of Messerschmitt’s build that Ryan could actually find any real fault with was his choice of hard drive, a 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3. While it’s a fine drive, and it’ll happily do the job for €46, Ryan insisted that I remind people that for very little extra they could get its bigger brother.
The Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB tips the scales at just €74, and it’s certainly an option we’d be happier advising people on. Still, that didn’t stop Ryan from throwing a 500GB drive into his build, including an SSD for good measure and improving the boot speed.
When I first asked Ryan to put together a machine for €1,200 he assumed I’d been talking about a full machine, including a display. He very quickly decided that it’d be unfeasible to include a monitor, because he ran into some fairly ludicrous expense issues. Messerschmitt continued undeterred though…
This build includes an LG 22” LCD. At €185 for a 22-inch display, it’s a bit of a steal, but it’s also worth pointing out that it’s been incredibly positively reviewed by every one of our customers who have come back to leave a comment. The various different reviews have titles like, “Great Monitor,” “Excellent,” “Great Buy!!!” “Excellent Monitor,” and “Wow! A great buy!”
If you’re at all interested you should check out our page for the LG 22” LCD W2261VP-PF.
This is where things start to get just a touch ridiculous. I noted that Ryan had off-handedly commented of building a gaming rig for €1,200 that, “Sure for that I can get you a copy of Windows 7 as well.” That later turned out not to be the case, because Ryan had to ditch the copy of Windows 7 so that he could afford to add something like RAM, which I’m assured simply slipped his mind 😉
Windows 7 Home Premium will set you back €95, which isn’t a bad price at all, considering you’re going to need a Windows 7 install to really get the value for money out of the GPU in this build.
Now, I’m not one to point out my colleagues’ shortcomings (manifold as they might be), but it’s come to my attention that Messerschmitt’s build includes RAM (fully 6GB of memory too) and a copy of Windows 7. I’m going to have to give Ryan a fairly stern look later on, but he’ll point out that Messerschmitt did go just a touch over budget, pushing his build up to the €1,240 mark.
Still, for €1,240 we’d be quite impressed to see a nicer machine come out of it… and for anyone curious, I can soundly say that, yes, that is a challenge. If anyone thinks they can outdo Messerschmitt’s build then you should certainly call across to our thread on Boards.ie where we all compare notes about distilling the best rig possible without straying from the budget 🙂
Before I go, I have to give my unreserved thanks to Messerschmitt, who put the whole thing together for us for no more reason than because he seems to be an enthusiastic and friendly guy.
If you’d like to check out Messerschmitt’s build in full, the way he passed it on to us, you can take a look at his Shopping List for the full build.
Tags: 1TB, 22", 5770, BallistiX, cooler, Core i5, Core i7, corsair, cpu, crucial, display, GPU, H50, HD 5770, hdd, Hyrdro Series, i5, i7, intel, LCD widescreen, monitor, MSi, Mugen, Radeon, RAM, samsung, Scythe, SpinPoint, SpinPoint F1, SpinPoint F3