Build a DX10 rig for under £176

How to build a massive DX10 gaming machine without mortgaging the missus

Likewise, if you want a 1Kw PSU that supports the likes of SLI, then it's going to cost a fair amount of cash. At the other end of the spectrum is the all-in-one case and PSU deal. We found one for just £26, which includes a 400W PSU.

This may not sound like a lot of power, but it's more than enough to run our setup. When spending such a small amount of money on a case, you'd expect it to be quite horrific, but it's surprisingly well featured. It has a matt-black finish, which helps on the looks front, and the front panel has USB and audio ports.

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Most of the internals can be fitted without the need for a screwdriver, and it even has a locking side panel. Sure, it isn't the best-looking or quietest case we've ever seen, but for this sort of money, we're not complaining.

The result?

As the most basic DX10 card available from NVIDIA, it comes as no surprise that the performance of the 8400 is not the best.

However, at £20 it still does pretty well, as long as you keep the resolution realistic. Okay, not everyone wants to play at 800x600, or even 1024x768, but then you shouldn't be so cheap, should you?

Surprisingly, Crysis gave some of the best results, although BioShock achieves the best framerates of all. Using the Optimal settings button, Crysis did set all the detail level to low, but the results still looked pretty good. However, if you're going to be realistic about playing DirectX10 games, then you are going to have to find a little more money in your budget.

Hooking the 9600GT up to our budget CPU worked absolute miracles, and at around £70 extra is an absolute steal. Not only could we turn the detail right up, but we could run a higher resolution and still get twice the frame rates of the 8400GS.

Surprisingly, adding a high-end quadcore CPU doesn't give much of an increase, with either the 8400 or 9600GT. In conjunction with the 8400Gs, the Phemom 9550 does give you some extra fps over the Athlon X2 4400+, but with when it comes to the 9600GT, the difference over the 4400+ setup is marginal.

So, if you want the best performance, and can spend a little extra, buying the 9600GT is the logical choice. You know it makes sense.