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diy gaming computer help

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I've been considering building my first computer as my dell is 10 years old and seems like a dino nowadays. I haven't done any gaming in forever (quake 3/team fortress at old lan parties), but thought maybe I could jump on the battlefield 3 gamewagon. I am out of the loop as to what I would need to make this happen. Not looking for an ultimate machine, something that will perform well and i can update from time to time. The computer will see mostly general usage (internet, ms office, some photoshop) and music storage/playback. I feel like if I don't build one now and re-orientate myself with the hardware/software I will be out of touch with computer tech for the rest of my life...not ready for that.

 

With a budget of 1500 (of course i can go less expensive too), all I have chosen so far is:

 

$150 keyboard/mouse, likely razer

$225 lian li case with 750-850W corsair PS

$100 1tb hard drive

 

Need suggestions for:

graphics card - really lost here

motherboard/cpu - lost here too

solid state hard drive - optional, might be out of budget, what size/worth it?

memory/ram - how much?

cd/dvd drive - anything I need to consider?

monitor - what is a nice standard size that will work well with a graphics card, 21"/23"???

soundcard - i don't think i need one, could just get a usb dac/amp...my dac has coax&optical, maybe a motherboard will output this?

 

Anything else I'm missing besides software?

 

Thanks, any and all help is appreciated!

post #2 of 23

Have you decided where are you going to buy from? Would help a lot.

post #3 of 23

search for "pc buyers guide" on guru3d website

 

It has recommendations for low, mid, and high end

post #4 of 23
post #5 of 23

Pro tip wait until BF 3 is out. You may build a serious overkill computer otherwise. what fps demands? Running 60 or 120 hz monitor?

 

What resolution are you going to game at? Stereo3d? Gaming is the most demanding task I presume. If so it never hurts to go nut on the video card side but you can take short cuts regarding both memory and CPU. Lower speced CPU is generally good overclockers. I have had mine for many years since a 3,6 gig core 2 duo is still quite competitive. I don´t know which chips today is easy to overclock or not. My you can overclock both by multiplier and bus speed but I suppose it´s just clock on the sandy bridge CPUs? Do correct me I am a bit lost nowadays as well :)

 

 

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post

Pro tip wait until BF 3 is out. You may build a serious overkill computer otherwise. what fps demands? Running 60 or 120 hz monitor?

 

What resolution are you going to game at? Stereo3d? Gaming is the most demanding task I presume. If so it never hurts to go nut on the video card side but you can take short cuts regarding both memory and CPU. Lower speced CPU is generally good overclockers. I have had mine for many years since a 3,6 gig core 2 duo is still quite competitive. I don´t know which chips today is easy to overclock or not. My you can overclock both by multiplier and bus speed but I suppose it´s just clock on the sandy bridge CPUs? Do correct me I am a bit lost nowadays as well :)

 

 


Its mainly just OC by multiplyier on sandy bridge cpu's. Intel i5 2500k and i7 2600k are basically the only cpu's one should consider these days when building a gaming rig for over 800$. Both OC to 4.5-5 Ghz super easily :)

 

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the links and info...I have not disappeared, just reading up on what has been offered.

 

Most of the shopping will be done at newegg.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinBenton View Post

Its mainly just OC by multiplyier on sandy bridge cpu's. Intel i5 2500k and i7 2600k are basically the only cpu's one should consider these days when building a gaming rig for over 800$. Both OC to 4.5-5 Ghz super easily :)

 



I'd say if it's just for gaming, the i5 is a better choice. You can save a little and spend the rest on a great GPU. 

 

In my opinion, go for an i5 2500k and pair it with a 6950 which I believe you can flash to a 6970. If I'm wrong there, feel free to correct me. But that should be enough power to run just about an game on the market maxed out in 1080p.

post #9 of 23
the i5 or phenom II is great either way but with your budget the i5 be a nice choice. the 6970 or 6950 be nice and really great cards and should handle everything from 1920x1200 and below just fine.

monitor i would suggest try to get a nice IPS panel. no need to go for TN panels anymore since IPS been getting much cheaper. IPS and S-IPS is the closest you'll get nowadays when comparing to CRT level of color accuracy just about but still behind on some of the finest CRT's in the past(especially ones that used trinitron tubes). Dell and viewsonic makes excellent IPS panels. for motherboard anything Asus or Gigabyte be perfect. Foxcon is great as well. i like your option on computer cases as well. i like simplistic designed cases and li-lian makes some of the finest. i'm not into blinging out the computer with annoying lights.
Edited by RexAeterna - 10/23/11 at 10:12am
post #10 of 23


Keenween - I just came across this thread and thought I'd give you some tips, having lots of experience regarding building gaming PCs - in fact I put together a new SB rig last month for £800, which is maxing out Crysis just fine. Can't figure out how to use this editor yet :) so I'm going to respond inside the quote:

Quote:

With a budget of 1500 (of course i can go less expensive too), all I have chosen so far is:

 

$150 keyboard/mouse, likely razer #### this is an absolutely enormous waste - trust me on this. People who buy expensive mice/keyboards are generally rubbish at gaming and think that buy spending loads of $$$ they'll get better - which is absolute nonsense. Go for a nice $50-60 Logitech media keyboard and mouse setup. Any more than this is a huge waste. Personally I've got this => http://now-order-cheap.co.uk/?id=B000T5KPK6 with an old logi mouse, and I am pretty insane at whatever games I play. </modesty> :)

 

$225 lian li case with 750-850W corsair PS ####not too fond of Lian Li at all - you don't need a full tower case remember, so I would definitely recommend the CM Storm Enforcer - it's a fantastic case with amazing looks, stupendous airflow, and a really well designed interior - it was a dream to build my rig with it, and it will comfortably contain the largest GPUs. http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/chassis/enforcer/

You'll then need a PSU, and I find the OCZ ModXstream 700W to be fantastically priced for the job, and it's modular so you can have your cables nicely organized :)

$100 1tb hard drive - I would think carefully here - do you need so much space? If so, that's fine, but if not, spend the money on a faster drive. Make sure whatever you're getting is SATA 3 (the latest), and at least 7200rpm. I cut down from 1tb to 750gb just so I could get a 64mb cache drive too. I would recommend this: http://www.dabs.com/products/western-digital-caviar-black-750gb-7200rpm-sata-6gb-s-64mb-7DJ6.html

 

Need suggestions for:

graphics card - Now, think about what games you will play / what movies you might watch etc. You said you want something upgradeable - I would go for the 6850/70 or the 6950 (someone correctly stated that you can unlock the 6950 to a 6970, but it can be risky, and you must get the right brand (the 6850 can't turn into a 6870)

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/159

The 6850 will max out most games comfortably, but will struggle on Crysis and BF3, *only* managing high settings in 1080p rather than very high :) - the 6950 will max Crysis and BF3 comfortably. You may want to go for a 68xx and Crossfire a year or so later if necessary.

You definitely want the i5-2500K - there is no doubt about it (you will hear a lot of "the i7-2600K is better.. blah de blah... multi-threading..."... NO it's not, for normal use. Unless you are some ultra keen programmer who is performing multi-threading tasks on a daily basis, you will see *no* difference. Get the i5-2500K, OC it when it starts becoming slow (relative to the market). As for the motherboard, you need a P67 chipset (remember this) with two PCI x16 slots. I went for this: http://www.ebuyer.com/265918-gigabyte-ga-p67x-ud3-p67-socket-1155-7-1-channel-hd-audio-atx-motherboard-ga-p67x-ud3-b3

 

solid state hard drive - optional, might be out of budget, what size/worth it? Naaa :) you might want to invest in a small one for your OS, but later on when they get a bit cheaper - atm not worth it really.

memory/ram - how much? - get a solid 8GB RAM (2 x 4gb) and make sure it's compatible with the motherboard you're after (if you go for the one I said, then get corsair vengeance 1600mhz, and OC it using XMP in the mobo BIOS (your motherboard will tell you how to do this, don't worry!)

 

cd/dvd drive - anything I need to consider? - Defo go for a bluray drive - they're only about $30 more, and it's totally worth it. I got a Lite-on Bluray reader (you don't need a writer as it's far more expensive) and it plays blurays just fine, along with DVDs and CDs.

 

monitor - what is a nice standard size that will work well with a graphics card, 21"/23"??? I got a HANNS-G 23" LED monitor, which is an absolute beauty. It cost around £120 (how much in dollars i can't think of right now) so it's a real bargain. It supports DVI-D and VGA (you'll want to connect via DVI-D of course :D )

soundcard - i don't think i need one, could just get a usb dac/amp...my dac has coax&optical, maybe a motherboard will output this? I'm new to sound and stuff, but I don't have a sound card, and I listen with my Ety's just fine :)

 

Anything else I'm missing besides software? - Um... yes - use the website pcityourself.com - it's an absolutely mindboggingly fantastic site for beginners, and it was like a dream come true for me when I built my first rig.

 

Lastly, when you have come up with your final rig, or if you need help, post on Tom's Hardware forums - they will give awesome advice. Also message me when you have your spec sheet ready.

 

As for where to buy from, try NewEgg, Ebuyer, etc. Go for 3 different online stores, find the cheapest price for each component, and then order - this way you won't pay too much for shipping by buying through loads of sites, but you will save around $100 by comparing.

 

Thanks, any and all help is appreciated!

Perplexed. (but not so much when it comes to computer building)
 

 

post #11 of 23

I'm going to chime in on the KB/M thing. If used right, gaming keyboards and mice can enhance your experience. I use a Logitech G700 mouse and I switch between my Model M keyboard and G110 keyboard depending on the genre. A mechanical keyboard in a vanilla variety can come in handy with FPS games when you need to react fast and not have to worry about ghosting. My G110 is used for MMOs, RPGs and single player games for the macro keys. I don't personally find it a waste of money but I can understand why some folks would. Plus, setting this thing up for indivisual games gets to be a hassle sometimes. Plus it has a soft glow to it making gaming in the dark slightly easier. But again, this is merely a subjective argument. 

 

I will say however, I love my G700 for everything though. From browsing to gaming, this was a solid buy. If thats out of the budget, I switched from the MX518 mouse which was amazing on its own as well. I had two of those over the course of 5 years and I still use my other for my laptop. Again, this is all my opinion. I got both the G700 and G110 for half off so that may have swayed me a tad. 

 

 

 

 

On a side note however TC, you might want to see if there is a Microcenter in your area. That place has amazing deals in store. Keep your eye on their site as well. If not, newegg is always great and occasionally, Tigerdirect. As much as I hate them, Bestbuy can have their deals too. Early last year, I scored a 4890 for $100 there and not too long ago, they had the Soundblaster Titanium HD for $50. It's VERY rare but Bestbuy has great deals every few months. 

post #12 of 23

Maybe ultra-lush keyboards/mice will make things SLIGHTLY better, but the cost involved is ridiculous - you should spend the extra $50 (well you should just save it, but you know what I mean) on a better GPU, or an SSD, or a better monitor - all of these things will make a far greater difference than a mouse and keyboard.

 

From the OP's description, he really won't care about ghosting/using five trillion macros to level up in World of Warcraft. I find my setup to be perfectly adequate (Logitech Media 600) - what more do you really need?

post #13 of 23

Perplexed, I strongly suggest you read this thread about mechanical keyboards and study this thing before saying something stupid like expensive keyboards are waste..

http://www.overclock.net/keyboards/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide.html

 

Those Razer Blackwidow keyboards are with cherry MX blue keys and they are not "absolutely enormous waste ", they have same kinda tech inside as really expensive professional keyboards. Everyone I know who have tried keyboards with cherry brown or blue keys are now amazed how bad regular cheap  ****tylogitech rubberdome keyboards feel like when you have used a proper one.

 

Ps. Its NOT about getting better at ganming or typing faster, its about the FEEL that makes it so much more enjoyable :)

 

e. also I strongly suggest getting nvidia over amd, even if its a bit more expensive, nvidia makes a lot more co-work with game developers, resulting in better drivers in new games :)

 

e2. but dont attack me though, I wouldnt sacrifice PC's performance over kb/mouse, these great keyboards are kinda luxury stuff like expensive headphones (but you DO get some benefits for that extra money (not including expensive rubberdome keyboards)) :D


Edited by FinBenton - 10/23/11 at 12:01pm
post #14 of 23

 

 

Quote:
I strongly suggest you read this thread about mechanical keyboards and study this thing before saying something stupid
its about the FEEL that makes it so much more enjoyable

I strongly suggest you stop being rude, naive, and immature.

 

This thread you refer to states the following: "you've got to press the key all the way down to the bottom to get it to register. This wastes a lot of energy and causes fatigue"

 

Oh...my...God... Are you seriously so unfit that you can't summon the immense force required to push a piece of plastic down by one centimetre? But then I suppose I'm a pretty hench guy  :| Have your fingers been worn down to their last inch of bone? You are a joke.

 

I play well, enjoy myself, and have fun without these ridiculous wastes of money.

 

For the $100 you spend to "not take up so much energy pressing the keys, and reduce fatigue" pff.. I could hire a professional finger strength physiotherapist...

 

It's the same as network cards, sound cards (for non-audiophiles), expensive HDMI cables - you don't need them, they make a tiny difference, and are simply not worth it.

 

Be sensible with your money - spend it on more important things. No wonder so many techies can't afford food and water (unless it's for water cooling)...

 

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexed View Post

 

 

I strongly suggest you stop being rude, naive, and immature.

 

This thread you refer to states the following: "you've got to press the key all the way down to the bottom to get it to register. This wastes a lot of energy and causes fatigue"

 

Oh...my...God... Are you seriously so unfit that you can't summon the immense force required to push a piece of plastic down by one centimetre? But then I suppose I'm a pretty hench guy  :| Have your fingers been worn down to their last inch of bone? You are a joke.

 

I play well, enjoy myself, and have fun without these ridiculous wastes of money.

 

For the $100 you spend to "not take up so much energy pressing the keys, and reduce fatigue" pff.. I could hire a professional finger strength physiotherapist...

 

It's the same as network cards, sound cards (for non-audiophiles), expensive HDMI cables - you don't need them, they make a tiny difference, and are simply not worth it.

 

Be sensible with your money - spend it on more important things. No wonder so many techies can't afford food and water (unless it's for water cooling)...

 

 

 

 

 

I'll give you the HDMI thing though most of us know one you buy for $0.01 from Amazon is just as good as the $400 Bestbuy HDMI cord. I'll grant you the network card too. 

 

As for the machanical KB thing, again, it's subjective. Immersion is what we're looking for. Once you hit that point of reacting without thinking, there are times where the mechanical KB comes in handy. Especially in FPS games. For FPS games, the quicker you can push the button you need and pull off to the next one, the better. Same goes for the soundcard. Before getting into high end audio, I used the on board sound as opposed to my last build using a Soundblaster. It makes a huge difference in gaming paired with the right gear. 

 

As for the waste of money comment, the same could be said for this hobby. Why do you need to spend $300+ on headphones and $200 for an amp (I'm being cheap here)? To better the experience of your music right? Same goes for gaming. I've spent a lot on this build with gaming in mind. It's a hobby like any other. You spend money on something you get enjoyment for. I'm not speaking for gamers in general but merely for myself. The KB/M helps getting immersed in the game. As does the soundcard. Audiophelia and Gaming can both be expensive hobbies and very rewarding at the same time. I'd even go as far to saying euphoric in some cases. But at the end of the day, it's all personal preferences. I can't see the appeal of spending boat loads of money to make your car go faster if you're not really racing but some folks like it. 

 

To each his own

 

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