OC3D Recommended Systems - Q4 2013 Page: 1

OC3D Recommended Systems - October 2013

Introduction

It's been five months since our last batch of recommendations, and there was much discussion in the forums at the time. Since then we've had a lot of tasty new hardware come through OC3D towers, and so we felt it was time to bring our choices up to date.

There are a few changes, which we'll go over as we get to them. It's worth remembering, for the more vehement amongst you, that these are starting points. They aren't gospel. If you would prefer a big HDD to a small SSD, then do it, although you'd be foolish to. Additionally we have given you two options in the mid-range, rather than the one. Our primary focus this time is on exceptional value for money rather than parts that would match aesthetically. We're primarily looking at gaming performance, with average daily tasks as the second area of focus. Let's crack on.

£500 System :

Now we know that straight away there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth about 600W PSU because it's more than required. The important thing to remember is that with a lot of overhead the PSU remains cool, and a cool PSU is a quiet one. We'd rather spend an extra tenner to be guaranteed some silence even under heavy loading. One of the big upgrades from our first bargain system is the increase to a 120GB SSD. It's amazing how quickly the prices are tumbling, and 120GB is enough for all but the most avid gamer. Finally as the GTX650Ti has been discontinued we've had to look elsewhere for our GPU, luckily theres still plenty of places selling the Ti Boost!. It's a lot of system for under £500, and leaves some wiggle room for those of you who would prefer more RAM, or a better looking motherboard.

HardwarePrice (with link)
AMD Athlon X4 760£62.98
Gigabyte F2A85XM-HD3£53.99
Arctic Freezer 7 Pro£19.99
4GB Corsair Vengeance LP£39.95
Corsair CX600M£58.00
Corsair Carbide 200R£46.99
120GB Samsung 840 Evo£83.93
Asus GTX650 Ti Boost£130

 

Corsair 200R                                                            Gigabyte F2A85XM-HD3

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013  

Asus GTX650 Ti Boost                                                   Corsair Vengeance LP

OC3D Recommended Systems - Q4 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013



OC3D Recommended Systems - Q4 2013 Page: 2

OC3D Recommended Systems - October 2013

Mid-Range

Sub £800

One of the most popular requests from our last list was a PC for less than a thousand pounds. Luckily with prices being so competitive we've been able to bring you two options for the midrange. One at around £800, and with a couple of changes we've got an extremely powerful gaming rig for just shy of £1200, and lots of room to manouver should you wish to adjust the line-up to your taste.

If you ever doubt how much more powerful hardware has become for an affordable price, you need to look no further than here. An excellent set of components that pack a much bigger punch than they have any right to. For the measly sum of £762 you have the outstanding Intel Core i5-4670K at the heart of your system. From testing the Aria Gladiator bundles we know how well the combination of this CPU and the Scythe cooler work, so it would be churlish to choose anything else, especially for the price.

Graphics are handled by the HD7870, in Tahiti LE guise. An absolutely insane overclocker it's still the best mid-range card around and, similarly to the HD7790 on our value system, it comes with Crysis 3, Tomb Raider and the brilliant Bioshock Infinite free. We could have used the R9 270X, but with the HD7870LE having the same stuff under the hood, and being a whopping £40 cheaper, it's still the sensible choice for the money.

You're getting a LOT of PC for £768

HardwarePrice (with link)
Intel Core i5-4670K£176.88
Gigabyte Z87-D3HP£98.99
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2133MHz
£92.99
Corsair CX600M£58.00
Corsair Carbide 300R Windowed£78.00
120GB Samsung 840£83.94
Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler£44.99
XFX HD7870XT Tahiti LE£133.99

 

Corsair Vengeance Pro                                                      XFX HD7870 LE

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013 

               Scythe Ashura                                                 Corsair 300R Windowed

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013    OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013





OC3D Recommended Systems - Q4 2013 Page: 3

OC3D Recommended Systems - October 2013

Sub £1300 

Now you might prefer to spend some more, and get an uncompromising gaming system. Keeping the majority of our components from the £800 system we make the following changes; 

We want to ensure that our power supply runs cool and quiet for as long as possible. This isn't only for our immediate aural benefit, but power supplies tend to be the component we upgrade the least so it usually survives an upgrade or two. To this end we've utilised the Corsair RM650, probably the quietest PSU on the market, and with Gold certification it easily handles our system. The second, and by far the biggest, upgrade is to move straight to a GTX780. An absolute power-house of a graphics card, and here in the excellent MSI Twin Frozr guise. Utilising the MSI GPU we'd have to include the GD65 just for the harmony between the two, even if the GD65 wasn't the best value motherboard on earth, which it is. As we're still on air at this price-point it's important to have one that doesn't sound like a vacuum when it's under load, and the MSI is excellent. Finally to ensure good airflow we're housing it all in the larger CM Storm Trooper case. The whole system comes in at just a shade over £1300. Considering a big, fast SSD, a fast CPU and a GTX780 we think it's a bargain. *Edit GTX780 prices have just been slashed so our MSI Gaming card is now just £411!*

 

HardwarePrice (with link)
Intel Core i5-4670K£176.88
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming£161.99
Corsair Vengeance Pro 2133MHz£92.99
Corsair RM650£93.41
CM Storm Trooper£124.00
250GB Samsung 840 Evo£125.99
Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler£44.99
MSI GTX780 Twin Frozr Gaming£411.00

 


CM Storm Trooper                                                        MSI GTX 780 Gaming

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013
     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013  

                                            MSI Z87 GD65 Gaming                                            Corsair RM650 

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems - October 2013

 



OC3D Recommended Systems - Q4 2013 Page: 4

OC3D Recommended Systems - October 2013

High-End

Deciding upon an extreme specification is always the hardest part. Anyone could just throw money at the problem until they had a specification bloated with high-end, super expensive hardware. That's all well and good if you've recently won the lottery, but hardware changes so quickly that you would be out of date by the time it all arrived. What we want is to certainly have a system with incredible amounts of performance, but one that would also make sense. You want someone to look through your specification and nod appreciatively, not just assume you are rich and brought the best of everything.

Compared to our previous Athena system this one has the biggest changes of our updated list. We've changed the LGA2011 motherboard in preparation for the next batch, and gone too are the HD7970 Crossfire cards. So what have we got this time?

If you're looking at the top end you still need a hexcore CPU, and the Core i7-4930K is the one to beat. Couple this to two of the best graphics cards on earth, the GTX780, and you're already annihilating the performance of any other choice. With the storage we're sticking to our Neutron GTXs for the moment. Otherwise it's similar to our previous model. A good case and PSU will always be so, and there isn't anything yet to displace them. We love the low pricing of the Corsair Vengeance, and the heat-spreader beautifully matches our Black Edition Rampage IV Extreme. Just enough red to really shine against the sea of black. Finally we've got an additional 240 radiator to ensure that we have the maximum surface area and thus can keep our fans nice and quiet without affecting cooling performance.

So all in all you're getting a hugely powerful system for just a touch under £3400. Given that we've water-cooled our graphics cards as well this time it's obviously going to be more expensive than our air-cooled HD7970 setup from before. Sure it's expensive, but we don't think you'll need to upgrade for a long while.

HardwarePrice (with link)
Intel Core i7-4930K£457.83
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Black Edition
£399.99
2x MSI GTX780£414 ea
2xXSPC GTX780 Waterblocks£94.99 ea
Corsair AX1200i £259.99
2x Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB£191.99 ea
16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 2400MHz
£149.98
Corsair Obsidian 900D£299.99
XSPC Raystorm D5 AX360 & Photon Res£219.99
XSPC AX240 Radiator
£74.98


Corsair Obsidian 900D                                      ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013

MSI GTX 780                                       XSPC GTX 780 Waterblock

OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013     OC3D Recommended Systems October 2013   

As always we love to hear your thoughts on our choices, so let us know what you think on the OC3D Forums.