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hi im a beginner at hardware in PC's and i started to think about building a gameing PC but i dont know much about motherboards, i was wondering if i could have some information about them. I'm thinking of spending £600 - £700.

At the moment im looking at AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core, 8GB of RAM and ATI Radeon HD 3870 graphics card.

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Last Post by jbennet
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If you are in the UK try http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/

good site. ive used em before.

whats your budget? a basic quad core gaming machine can be made for £600 or so.

2 pointers,

1)The Core Quad is better than the Phenom in my opinion. The core i7 looks nice but its very very expensive atm. Bad point is that if you want to upgrade to an i7 in the future, youll need a new motherboard and ram

2) 8gb of ram isnt really worth it. Go for 4 of the fastest stuff you can support instead. Will also save you money. Also go for vista premium x64 bit edition so you can make full use of it.

3) There is better cards than the 3870. The 3870 is still very good though.

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Im looking to spend altogether around £600, but i know nothing about motherboards or processors and have a general idea about graphics cards. I am also in the UK.

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Oh how exciting! I loved building my first PC. Although there is a lot to learn to get the most bang for your buck. I used extremetech website when I was building my first, and now I like techreport website for good comparisons between similar products.

Two tips:
1. Try to keep upgradeable parts in mind. Like a motherboard that can run a wide range of processor and RAM speeds.

2. As jbennet pointed out 8 gigs is overkill. Four gigs is fine if you are running a 64 bit OS. If you are running a 32 bit OS, then 3 gigs is the most that the OS will recognize.

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How do i know what motherboard to get, and ill bring the memory down to 4gb, ill be able to upgrade it if i wanted to anyway

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There's a few basic categories of motherboards, then there's brands.

First choose a CPU, this will narrow it down. As jbennet says the Intel Core Quads perform better than the AMD, but are more expensive.

If choosing intel, you then need to decide SLI or not. On your budget I'm thinking not, but it's a nice upgrade path if that's in your budget (SLI is for 2 or more NVidia cards, Xfire for ATI cards. Xfire is much more common and might be something to keep an eye on for later).

Then RAM, but that's really a no-brainer. On your budget it will be DDR2, not DDR3.

If Intel, (not core i7 it's too new & way too expensive), and not SLI, you're looking at a P35, P45, X38 or X48. I'd recommend a P35 or P45.

Those are all chipsets (P45 etc.) Now you look at a model and brand. Gigabyte have always made solid boards, but everyone has their favourite. Have a look at their website and google a few reviews.

Here's a Gigabyte P45

Oh yeah, I'd try to stretch to a 4870 graphics card if possible.

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Yeah a 4870 is one of the best cards on the market atm for its price
Runs very very hot though. Invest in some good cooling. Also get a beefy enough PSU and a large case (the card is physically very long)

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