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£250 upgrade?


Recommended Posts


So it's my birthday soon and I've decided it's time to give my ancient PC a bit of a revamp. I've set a preliminary budget of £250 for the four main performance altering components. There's room for movement on that budget if the increase seems worth it. I don't play a massive number of modern PC games but I've got GTA4 and I'd like it to run acceptably with decent settings. To me this is probably 20fps at 1024/768, I'm not too demanding. Well, I hope.


Any tips on good UK stores would be handy too. I've been using Dabs and Aria, and recently came across a site called Tekheads. Anywhere else I shouldd know about?


EDIT: This any good?






Edited by thegoldenvision
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You can also check out eBuyer

They've always had good prices for stuff whenever i've been shopping! LOL

The system you've spec'd out seems to be fine for what you want, it depends on what settings you will be using for detail sliders etc, as that is when it starts really crippling your pc.




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A site I use often is www.eclipsecomputers.co.uk.

I see warlord in here so I won't comment on components.

Also check out micromart magazine they have a lot of adverts for uk retailers

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My build:


PSU: Gigabyte Superb 550W


Motherboard: Biostar TP45D2-A7 P45


CPU: E5200


RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 PC6400 Corsair Value Select Dual Channel


Video card: Asus Glaciator+ HD4870 1GB


Total: £300.64.


With this setup, if you're playing at 1024x768, you should be able to max out the game with ease and still get great FPS. But you can play at much higher resolutions than 1024x768 with this setup, so if your monitor supports higher resolutions, this PC would still rip through games. The P45 board should let you overclock the E5200 a lot.

Edited by Warlord.
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Thanks for the replies everyone, eclipsecomputers has some good prices compared to the other sites I've been on.


Warlord - My current PSU is 500W, would I need that upgrade? I'm guessing you mean it's £19 over budget rather than £69. I'm willing to go to £300 if it looks worthwhile though.



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Oh yeah my bad, I meant £19.51 blush.gif.


For the PSU, it depends. What's the PSU brand and model? How much amps does it have on the 12V rails?


If you can go up to £300, you can get a better build. Will update the original post with the new build.

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+12v is 18A

-12v is 1A


The brand appears to be CTK. Either way I don't think it's anything too impressive. I'm curious about your suggestion being faster, is it because the GPU is that much better?

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+12v is 18A

-12v is 1A


The brand appears to be CTK. Either way I don't think it's anything too impressive. I'm curious about your suggestion being faster, is it because the GPU is that much better?

That PSU won't work I'm afraid. Seems to only have one 12V rail (you don't count the -12V) and 18A is just way too little. So you're going to have to get a PSU as well.


The HD4870 is MUCH faster than the 9800GT. It's on par with the GTX260. Not only this, but the CPU I recommended is also much faster than the 9650, especially when overclocked. The 9650, in all honesty, is a horrible CPU. Even though the 9650 is a quad, it's still slower than the E5200.


The E5200 is a great overclocker. With the board I recommended, you should be able to overclock it to some great speeds.

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So I tried getting the exact configuration from CCL as Warlord posted only some of it was out of stock and I'm impatient, so I eventually ordered at eclipse. I didn't get a confirmation email and after seeing some terrible feedback about them on google I called them only to find that everything was out of stock there, too. Managed to cancel the order.


Wanted to get everything over and done with so eventually ordered the following from ebuyer:


ASUS P5Q SE iP45 Motherboard - £68.43 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150285

Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.5GHz - £49.01 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/148715

XFX HD 4850 1GB Graphics Card - £79.99 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/168453

Corsair 4GB DDR2 800MHz Memory - £33.90 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/166785

CIT 600W Dual 12V Rail PSU - £27.82 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/159707


= £259.45


I tried getting a name brand PSU but they were either sold out or just too expensive for my delicate eyes. The one I chose seems to have decent specs and the limited feedback I could find has been largely positive. Went for the 4850 after reading some very positive reviews, it's around £30 cheaper than the cheapest 512mb 4870 and I likely won't even come to appreciate the difference. I was sorely tempted to buy an 9800GT for £70 to keep my overall price below £250 but in the end I plumped for ATI because of the motherboard. My old set-up for reference:


P4 2.8ghz (hyperthreading, for what it's worth)

2gb PC3200 RAM

ATI x1650 Pro 512MB


Worthwhile upgrade? At the very least I'm glad that the motherboard offers scope for improvement in future.

Edited by thegoldenvision
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Don't get the HD4850, aim for atleast a HD4870/GTX260 216.


And that PSU is utter crap, don't risk such a good system with a PSU like that.


What about this build:


PSU: Arctic Power 700W


Motherboard: Asus P5Q SE (different site as it's cheaper here, but still a great site)


CPU: E5200


RAM: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800 Dual Channel


Video card: Zotac GTX260 216 (free copy of Terminator: Salvation)


Total: £313.67.


The GTX260 216 is much more faster than the 4850 and this has a reliable PSU too smile.gif.

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I can't tell you about individual parts that you want to buy. But PCspecialists.co.uk is by far the best and very cheap for building a custom PC/laptop. http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk - At least check it out buy building a whole new PC with the specs you want and see how much of a price difference it would be compared to just buying new parts.

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Ok, update time:


I bought the components from my last post with the exception of the PSU. I decided I'd like to have two PCs available so I bought a case with a PSU for the same price. It proclaims 34A on the 12V rail but has no 6 pin connector for the 4850.


The 4850 is not working in the current environment, it's producing the red failure lights D1601 and D1602 whenever I turn the new system on. The documentation that came with the card is terribly limited but some googling revealed this:


D1601 - Red LED On, shows critical temperature fault

D1602 - Red LED On, shows External power connector A was removed


The XFX docs DO recommend that you use a PSU with its own 6 pin connector rather than a molex thing, but it appears as a tip rather than a set rule. Hopefully the PSU is at fault and it's not a problem with the GPU itself, as I don't have any alternative PCI-E slots or cards to test it out.


I've ordered a Corsair PSU anyway.

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Sorry to hear you had problems with eclipse.

Everything I have ordered from them has been delivered next day, with no problems.

I guess I'm lucky

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