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PCR's guide to PC gaming hardware

Dominic Sacco
PCR's guide to PC gaming hardware

The PC gaming sector is continuing to grow and there are plenty of lucrative products to stock.

PCR rounds up the top new hardware, from monitors to flash drives, cases to coolers and graphics cards to game capture devices…

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780

SRP: £515 including VAT

Distributor: VIP Computers, Spire

Add-in-card partners: PNY, ASUS, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, Inno3D, KFA2, MSI, Palit, Zotac

They say: The GTX 7-series is based on the powerful Kepler GPU. The whisper-quiet cards come built for rich immersive gameplay and stunning graphics with GPU Boost 2.0 for playing at extreme settings. The £320 GTX 770 and £200 GTX 760 models are also available.

Specs: CUDA Cores: 2304, Base Clock: 863MHz, Texture Fill Rate (bil/sec): 160.5, Memory Speed: 6.0Gbps, Standard Memory Config: 3072MB, Memory Bandwidth: 288.4GBps.

 

ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Pro Motherboard

SRP: £249.99

Distributor: VIP Computers

They say: This motherboard supports Remote Wake to connect to the PC worldwide. Keyboards and mice can be given customisable macros and repeat delay. Connect a secondary device to the HDMI-In port to stop constant switching. Use the Fatal1ty Mouse Port and run F-Stream to use Fatal1ty’s preferred 500Hz mouse polling rate.

Specs: 2 x 64Mb AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with Multilingual GUI support, Intel Z87 Chipset, 4 x 240-pin RAM slots, 305mm x 191mm.

 

Iiyama 27-inch gaming monitor

SRP: £359.50

Distributor: Midwich

They say: Use of a high quality 120Hz panel promises a flawless gaming experience – less fracturing, smoother motion and judder-free animations. LED diode use considerably lowers power consumption and reduces CO2 emissions, making this LCD eco-friendly as well.

Specs: Full HD screen, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, 300 cd/m2 brightness, 1ms response time, DVI, HDMI and VGA (D-Sub) connectivity.

 

BitFenix Ghost case

SRP: £77.95 inc VAT

Distributor: Caseking

They say: Ghost uses BitFenix Serenitek Silencing material on its front and sides to stop system noise. It’s ready for 240mm water-cooling radiators, while top-mounted S4 storage houses a SATA hot swap port. Spectre fans keep noise and temperatures down and anti-vibration HDD trays also halt noise.

Specs: ATX, mATX, Mini-ITX; 210x522x510mm; three 5.25-inch, four 3.5-inch and three 2.5-inch drive bays, supports six cooling fans; two USB3.0 and USB2.0, removable dust filters, tool-free drive locking.

 

Plug and Play Bundles

RRP: Starting from £369.99

Distributor: Entatech

They say: These bundles include a motherboard, CPU and memory, and have been pre-selected to guarantee you compatibility and optimum performance. Using tier one brands, they are ready to use straight out of the box. Every Plug and Play Bundle is DOA tested to ensure the product works first time, every time. Our dedicated packaging keeps your kit safe during transit, giving you peace of mind.

 

AOC 144 Hz Gaming Monitor g2460Pqu

SRP: £249.99

Distributors: Bosse Computers, Maverick, Micro-P, Montara, VIP Computers

They say: Enjoy crystal clear pictures and fast-paced action – crisp and blur-free due to a response time of just one millisecond and a refresh rate of 144Hz. Connect using D-Sub, DVI Dual Link, HDMI, DisplayPort and an integrated four-port USB hub, including a fast-charge USB port for mobile devices. The Full HD display is equipped with LED backlights.

Specs: 1000:1 contrast, 350 cd/m² brightness, 24-inch screen, refresh rate of 144 Hz.

 

Maximus VI Extreme

SRP: £354.79

Distributors: VIP Computers, Spire Technology, Ingram Micro, KMS, C2000

They say: The Maximus VI Extreme  is built on Intel’s Z87 Express Chipset and designed with insights from overclocking legends. Extreme Engine DIGI+ III allows hardcore power delivery with premium components including black metallic capacitors. Dual Intelligent processors provide 4-way optimisation. One click can enhance performance, efficiency, power control, noise and cooling. Maximus VI Hero (£183.05) and Maximus VI Gene (£172.72) products are also available.

 

ASUS VG278HE monitor

SRP: £361.52

Distributors: VIP Computers, Micro-P, C2000

They say: This provides ultra-smooth visuals with a 144MHz refresh rate and 2ms response time with Trace Free II Technology. Nvidia 3D Vision 2 creates an immersive 1080p world in flicker-free 3D. Nvidia 3D LightBoost Technology offers twice the brightness of conventional 3D technology in 3D mode with zero increase in total energy consumption.

Specs: Refresh rate of 144 Hz, 2ms response time, 27-inch wide screen, ASUS smart contrast ratio of 50000000:1, 300 cd/m² brightness.

 

Small Form Factor (SFF) PCs

SRP: £Various

Distributors: VIP Computers, Entatech, Micro-P

They say: You no longer need a big, bulky, loud PC to enjoy gaming in the living room, but can play using a rig not much bigger than a console, running the latest games smoothly at a super high fidelity. Nvidia is partnering with the best system builders to develop a range of GeForce SFF PCs that incorporate their latest whisper-quiet GeForce GTX Kepler Series graphics cards and come pre-installed with GeForce Experience, allowing buyers to plug ‘n’ play.

 

Sapphire AMD Radeon 7730

Distributors: Micro-P, VIP Computers

They say: Delivers all of the award-winning features of the Graphics Core Next architecture, including AMD Eyefinity technology. Excellent gaming performance in its class with full support for DirectCompute effects like TressFX Hair (Tomb Raider). AMD ZeroCore Power technology virtually shuts down the GPU when the system’s display is idle. AMD PowerTune technology produces higher clockspeeds and faster framerates in the latest games.

 

Shadow Rock 2 cooler

SRP: £37

Distributors: Entatech, C2000

They say: Shadow Rock 2 is a low profile, high performance CPU cooler. Four 8mm heatpipes enable the space saving cooler’s high heat transference. Be Quiet’s oversized Shadow Wing PWM-fan provides the CPU and surrounding components with lots of cool air with minimal noise. The cooler supports all modern AMD and Intel sockets and comes with a versatile mounting system.

Specs: Four high-performance 8mm heatpipes, up to 160W TDP, 135mm fan, 23.5 dB, 200,000-hour life span.

 

HannsG 27-inch Gaming Monitor

RRP: £189.99

Distributors: Ingram Micro, Micro-P, Midwich

They say: The HL272HPB LED monitor offers a whopping 27-inch screen. The perfect host, the monitor sports Full HD visuals and HDMI 1.4 to deliver true HD content. Ideal for demanding graphic applications or a feast of multimedia, it’s the ultimate big screen solution for PC gaming. Includes a three-year warranty.

Specs: 1920x1080, Dynamic Contrast Ratio 30000000:1, 5ms, 2ms GtG.

 

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard

SRP: £349.99

Distributor: VIP Computers

They say: Everything needed for a high-performance gaming PC. With advanced audio technologies, dual networking, multi-card support and advanced cooling, it’s the ultimate choice for serious PC gamers.

Specs: 2 x 128 Mbit flash, Intel Z87 Express Chipset, four 240-pin RAM slots, 32GB max memory support, seven expansion slots, 305mm x 264mm.

 

Pure Wings 2 cooler

SRP: £10

Distributors: Entatech, C2000

They say: The Pure Wings 2 fans bring the famous Be Quiet silent cooling to entry level computing, yet are also appropriate for gaming and multimedia systems. Combining outstanding reliability, quiet operation, and a great price-for-performance ratio, Pure Wings 2 is unique in its class. Comes with a three-year warranty.

Specs: 80,000-hour life span, 19.2dB.

 

DGM IPS 27-inch monitor

RRP: £379.99

Distributor: Gem

They say: The IPS-2701WPH is one of the new range of monitors from specialists DGM, featuring a wide screen and glossy panel coating, plus a built-in stereo speaker, and sockets for VGA, DVI, HDMI and DP (Display Port) with HDCP support.

Specs: 2,560x1,440 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, 6ms response time, 350cd/m² brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 80000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

 

Roxio Game Capture HD Pro

SRP: £129.99

Distributors: Gem, Ingram Micro, Computers Unlimited

They say: This is an all in one solution to capture, edit, stream and upload gamers’ most memorable Xbox, PlayStation and Wii moments in stunning HD quality. Included in the product is hardware, software and a USB cable. Gamers can capture in resolutions up to 1080/30p or 1080/60i with HDMI or Component input and output. Stream gameplay and commentary live to TwitchTV. Edit videos, add transitions, picture-in-picture, special effects, text and voiceovers. Share videos with one click to YouTube, Facebook and other sharing sites.

 

Hauppauge HD PVR 2 GE Plus

SRP: £129.99

Distributors: Micro-P, C2000, Ingram Micro

They say: The Gaming Edition Plus is packed with features that allow gamers to film video recordings of their best gameplay in HD with full 5.1 Dolby Digital sound and then upload clips to YouTube and share them with others online. It uses state of the art H.264 video encoders more commonly found in broadcasting technology to record HD video and audio from a PC, Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 onto a Windows laptop or desktop PC or Mac using a HDMI input. The PVR?2 comes with the SteamEez application and streaming functionality for Twitch or Ustream.

Spire Kepler Rev 2 CPU Cooler Fan

SRP: £14.99

Distributor: Entatech

They say: This 9cm universal micro-processor cooler is the direct contact heat-pipe solution for the cost effective system. The two 6mm heat-pipes make direct contact with the CPU heat-source, dissipating heat effectively and fast. The high-density fins are crowned with a powerful fan for high airflow and great cooling performance.

 

Fractal Design Arc R2 Midi Tower Case

SRP: £71.99

Distributor: Entatech

They say: The Arc Midi R2 is developed with high-performance computer systems in mind. Featuring three high performance Silent Series R2 fans and ample water-cooling options, the Arc Midi R2 layout maximizes airflow throughout the case and keeps even the most demanding systems at cool temperatures.

 

XFX Radeon HD 7870 Graphics Card

RRP: £179.99

Distributor: Entatech

They say: The AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series is the upgrade gamers deserve. Based on the award-winning GCN Architecture, these cards are engineered for supremacy with the industry’s very first 28nm GPU design. With a host of incredible features, such as support for PCI Express 3.0, the ultra-efficient AMD ZeroCore Power technology and resolutions up to 7680x3200 with AMD Eyefinity technology, serious gaming starts here.

 

Transcend aXeRam DDR3 2400MHZ

RRP: Various

Distributor: Gem

They say: Unleash the power of the aXe. Transcend’s aXeRam extreme performance memory is designed to operate at a blazing-fast clock frequency with an exceptionally low voltage, providing hardcore gamers and enthusiasts with unparalleled overclocking ability. Features high speed dual/triple-channel performance, is enhanced for Windows 7 operating systems and has improved performance and compatibility for multiple video card setups.

 

Cougar Evolution

SRP: £84.99

Distributor: Spire Technology

They say: The Cougar Evolution full tower is the latest enthusiast-geared rugged chassis. Its spacious interior offers room for eight PCI cards, providing flexibility for multiple graphics solutions and up to seven fans equipped with a new dual-fan-set management system. The Cougar Evolution sports excellent cooling and ventilation characteristics that are the ideal foundation for a professional high-end hardware packed gaming system.

Specs: Up to seven fans, eight PCI cards, 223(W) x 514(H) x 523(D) dimensions, 3.5-inch drive bays (1/4(external/internal), 5.25-inch 6/0(external/internal).

 

Sabertooth TUF Z87

SRP: £199.99

Distributor: Spire Technology

They say: TUF (The Ultimate Force) series delivers toughness. With a unique design and military-standard components, TUF was born for stability, compatibility and extreme durability. It utilises serial point-to-point links for increased performance, allowing increased bandwidth, stability and faster data retrieval. Intel Z87 Express also supports iGPU function, letting users enjoy the latest Intel integrated graphic performance.

Specs: Intel Z87 Chipset, 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered Memory, 2 x PCIe3.0/2.0 x16, 1 x PCIe2.0 x16, 3 x PCIe2.0 x1, 8 x SATA III (RAID), 2 x eSATA3, six USB3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0/1.1 ports.

 

Gunnar Eyewear MLG Phantom

SRP: £79.99

Distributor: VIP Computers

They say: Using the latest in analog grinding technology, Gunnar lenses deliver superior optics in a highly customizable prescription format. Available in Amber and Crystalline lens tints, each Gunnar prescription has an anti-reflective coating designed to minimise distractions and visual noise. When there’s no time to blink, the Phantom doesn’t disappoint. With the second largest lens coverage in the Esport series, its highly wrapped configuration and headset compatible temples help achieve an optimal visual experience.

Specs: 120mm temple, 60mm width, 16mm nose, 34mm frame height, 0.21kg, high tensile steel.

 

HIS 7850 IceQ graphics card

SRP: £161.99

Distributor: Gem

They say: The more crowded the chassis, the greater the cooling effect of IceQ. Cool air is drawn from both sides of the fan and hot air is forced out of the computer case. This ensures effective cooling when there is another card in front blocking the fan inlet, such as in a CrossFire setup. A 7870 model is also available.

Specs: GPU: 7850, Core Clock: 860 MHz, Memory Clock: 4800 MHz, Memory Size: 2048 MB, Memory Type: GDDR5, Memory Interface: 256 bit, Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16, Card Dimension: 29.7 x 14 x 4.4 cm, Box Dimension: 39 x 22 x 11.3 cm.

 

Cooler Master Seidon 240M

SRP: £95

Distributor: Target Components

They say: The Seidon 240M is Cooler Master’s latest addition to its compact watercooling kit line that aims to bring watercooling to the masses. It fits in cases that support 2 x 120mm fan radiators, supports every available Intel and AMD platform and is as easy as a normal heatsink to install. It comes factory filled, sealed and tested with a two-year zero maintenance guarantee.

Specs: Performance 240mm radiator, double 120mm PWM fan.

 

Otone Eclipse 2.1 multimedia speaker system

RRP: £49.99

Distributor: Gem

They say: The satellites produce 10W per channel which, combined with the ported downward-firing subwoofer, provide a high impact sound. Power and volume controls are integrated in the right speaker.

Specs: 40W (2x10+20W) total RMS power, 70Hz-20KHz Frequency Response, >70dB Signal to Noise Ratio, 3.5mm stereo jack input, 2-inch high-sensitivity drivers, 4-inch subwoofer excursion driver, Sat 82x 172x59mm; Sub: 190x160x190mm.

 

Biostar HiFi Z87X Motherboard

SRP: £125

Distributor: Target Components

They say: The Biostar HiFi Z87X 3D socket LGA 1150 supports the Intel 4th, 3rd and 2nd generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors, with 4 DIMM of DDR3 1600/1333/1066MHz, USB 3.0 and UEFI BIOS that supports BIO-Remote 2 Technology and Supports Charger Booster Technology. Equipped with Biostar Hi-Fi Power technology, it will utilise audio components with independent power design for a significant reduction in electronic noise and superb sound quality.

 

GeIL EVO Potenza gaming memory

SRP: £Various

Distributor: Centerprise

They say: EVO Potenza features the latest Potenza heat-spreader, as well as GeIL’s Maximum Thermal Conduction and Dissipation technology for superior cooling efficiency. Dual-tone design and speeds of up to 3000MHz. Designed for the latest Z87 chipset.

Specs: A variety of models are available, including 1866, 2133, 2400, 2666, 2800, 2933 and 3000Mhz models in 8GB, 16GB or 32GB capacities. Voltage ranges from 1.5V to 1.65V.

 

CONTACTS

Bosse Computers: 0161 87 70 833

Caseking: 01782 444488

Centerprise: 01256 378000

Computer 2000: 0871 880 3000

Computers Unlimited: 020 8200 8282

Entatech: 0333 101 1000

Gem Distribution: 01279 822822

Ingram Micro: 0871 973 3000

KMS Components: 02920 713713

Maverick: 0871 88 03 733

Micro-P: 01282 776 776

Midwich: 01379 649200

Montara: +353 021 492 9700

Spire Technology: 01202 828444

Target Components: 01977 739 300

VIP Computers: 0871 622 7500

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Tags: Hardware, gaming, pc, sector guide

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