Building a gaming PC

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Mike2228, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    I am planning to build a gaming PC. I've been doing a little research and have settled on the following pieces. (unless a bunch of you figure I would be better off with different pieces)

    Case, including fans and PSU.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1602042&csid=_22

    CPU

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2373004&Sku=I69-3570K

    RAM

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7104116&Sku=K24-9917

    I know I need a motherboard too but I don't really know much about them.
    Can anyone make a recommendation and point me in the right direction?

    And I also don't really know much about video cards. I need some guidance here too.


    As far as hard drives go I will probably just take my hard drive from my present computer and put it in my new one. (i think that is possible)


    Have I forgotten anything else?

    Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    You are gonna get a ton of different opinions on this topic, though most of us are more interested in tennis equipment than PC equipment.

    One thing you forgot: a better sound card. For video cards, if you are purely gaming, go here to see performance benchmarks: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/

    If you are on a budget, then check the newegg discount deals.
     
    #2
  3. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    thanks

    10char
     
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  4. Noodles

    Noodles New User

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    Intel is overrated
     
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  5. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    Would you care to recommend an AMD?
     
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  6. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    The benchmarks reports otherwise.
     
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  7. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    I'd say you'd get a better answer on a more relevant forum
     
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  8. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    Probably would but I don't feel like signing up anywhere else. There must be someone here with some knowledge and a willingness to lend some advice.
     
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  9. ninman

    ninman Hall of Fame

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    If you want to do serious gaming then go for a NVIDIA video card. The better quality your graphics card, the better your experience. You'll want at least 512mb, although I'm not sure if you get 1GB now.

    As far as casing, hard drives, fans etc, goes, most of that stuff is pretty similar. Basically you want to get good quality casing, and fans, with lots of ventilation to keep the system cool.

    You'll also want a powerful processor, and a lot of RAM (at least 8GB). I would also recommend the latest LCD screen, not too familiar with specific manufacturers.

    A general rule thumb though is performance. Gaming PC's need very, very high performance. You're using the machine to the limit of it's ability, so the best quality equipment and the most powerful.

    You'll also want a fast, responsive mouse, particularly if you like FPS games. Hope that helped.
     
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  10. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    Thanks.

    10char
     
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  11. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    #11
  12. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    Cooling is the key word. High power CPUs and video cards generate LOTS of heat. I've seen some gaming cases with as many as 7 fans, and water cooled CPUs.

    Depending on the type and complexity of the games you want to play, you may consider a dual GPU setup and an I7 processor. The newer games are resource killers.

    Check out the reviews of the different cards at Tom's Hardware, Maximum PC, etc. Do the homework or you'll spend a ton of money and still won't be able to play the games anywhere near maximum speeds or resolutions.

    I bought a top of the line video card for my teen about 3 years ago, it lasted about a year before dusty conditions caused it to overheat and killed it. It didn't appear that dusty, but after I removed it from the case, it was clogged inside.
     
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  13. Peters

    Peters Semi-Pro

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    Nah, Ati (AMD) are just as good. If anything, you often get more bang-for-buck at the price.

    The only downside is some games use Nvidia PhysX for extra little graphical effects which don't appear in Ati cards. But it's never really bothered me, personally.
     
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  14. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    #14
  15. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    thanks. And my budget is probably 900ish.
     
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  16. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    A lot of good advice. I would put it this way: stretch the budget on the video card, go a few clicks (3-4) short of the top of the line CPU, consider a RAID setup, get decent MB, memory, cooling and drives. Go low on the sound card, case and software.
     
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  17. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    do it if you're able to, its a lot cheaper than buying lets say an alienware. have a friend whose cousin made his own computer and spent $1200. thing was ridiculously fast at downloading games and he had cool lighting on it too.
     
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  18. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Agree. Video card is the most important component in a gaming PC.

    If you have the budget and space for multi-monitor setup, you should look into that. $100 can get you a single 21" 1080p monitor. $200 more (2X LCD) and a capable video card ($200?) can get you into surround gaming.
     
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  19. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    I'd like to chime in as I build gaming rigs and choose gaming laptops for friends all the time.

    I can't stress the importance of a good solid motherboard. Make sure you pick something that will support the near CPUs coming out. Bios updates usually fix newer chip support.

    i7 should be a minimum for heavy gaming. I am not familiar with AMD chips as of now.

    New 660ti from nVidia is out. Make sure your new mobo can support SLI later down the road. I currently have 2 x GTX 560ti super clocked in mine. Started out with 1 originally so I was happy my PSU and Mobo could support the new addition.

    8gb RAM minimum as its cheap as everything is 64bit now and in the future can actually utilize the RAM.

    I live by the rule of a good Power Supply. Corsair TX series is a sure fire win now and down the road for SLI.

    I went with Corsair water cooler h series. Really good push pull radiator cooling system.

    I used to be an AMD guy for years but the easy Intel way made it an easy choice for me.

    Remember don't cheap out on a good case for gaming. Good air circulation is key with vid cards specially nVidia.

    Evga vid cards are great. Their warranty is solid as I recently got an RMA within a week. And I live in Canada!

    Hope this helps.

    ps. if you can go with a 128GB Solid State Drive. You will fall to your knees with the speed. I can never go back. All 3 of my gaming rigs and both laptops have SSD in them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
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  20. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    Thanks to everyone who has chimed in.
     
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  21. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fDyc

    does that look like a decent setup?
     
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  22. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    You may not need that cpu fan unless you have a desire to over clock. Even then I would wholly recommend watercooling if the thought of overclocking even comes across.

    I would also recommend that you look at EVGA when deciding on a video card because they have a step-up program for video cards. It's a good option if you're unsure as to how powerful of a GPU you must run

    http://www.evga.com/support/stepup/

    Someone mentioned on the thread that the GPU is the most important aspect of a gaming computer. IMHO the SCREEN you'll be playing on is the most important. The size of your screen(resolution) will determine exactly how powerful your rig should be. There's absolutely no point to the 660ti if you plan on using a monitor that has a native resolution of 1440x900. Once you go up to 1920x1080 the cost of the 660ti will make more sense.


    I couldn't read the whole thread in detail but I'll ask these questions and I apologize if they've been answered previously:

    Do you have a screen already, if not, what size monitor do you intend to play with?
    What games are you looking to play?
    Do you want to play on maximum settings with AA and AF?
    What is your budget?
     
    #22
  23. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I'd look at adding an SSD someday but not on your original setup with your budget. I'm addicted to SSDs - you miss the speed on a regular HDD.
     
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  24. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    filphil, I really don't see a point of any resolution smaller than 1080p anymore. 21" 1080p monitor only cost $100. But like you said, OP might have old already.

    The most important thing OP has to look for as a budget gamer is to look at the performance vs money ratio. You always has to pay double or more money for 5-10% gain for top end hardware, which it is really not healthy for budget-conscious gamers. The best is to look down 1-2 tier lower.

    SLI, crossfire or watercooling are for hardcore hardware people. Usually by the time you have enough money to get a second card, there are already better single card solution out there for the same cost. And then there are game compatibility problem with SLI or CF mode. Watercooling is an expensive hobby, you are always better off to just buy better hardware than the little performance you can gain from water cooling.

    As for soundcard, unless you have the speakers and ears to back it up, there is not much advantage to get a dedicated sound card anymore. And I used to be an advocate of sound cards. Onboard soundcards are just doing a good enough job nowadays.
     
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  25. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    I am thinking along these lines.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fXRM

    I skimped down to a i5 and a gtx 560 ti.

    basically what you get a is rock solid system and an easy case to work with.

    I have the corsair case which is money for working in and adding parts with the best cable management around.

    check my case pic.

    [​IMG]

    Again. Dont spend money for today. Spend the extra $$$ so you still have a system 2-3 years from now. dropping $$$ on a machine every few years to keep up with the newest games is the biggest mistake alot of folks make.
     
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  26. Shangri La

    Shangri La Hall of Fame

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    OP your build looks decent. To get most gaming experience from your system, you'd probably spend 1:2 on CPU vs video card. SLI/Crossfire is a personal choice and I totally agree with Mucat. When I built my system last Nov, I chose to go single card because of heat/noise and other considerations.

    SSD will boost your game/windows loading immensely but won't help with fps, so you can upgrade that later on if your budget is limited. Sound card has less priority unless you're obsessed with sound quality like me. What I like the most about my system is the 400-dollar 5.1 sound system so I cant live without a good sound card.

    In Dharmaboy's build, if you move $100-150 from mb/water cooler/OS to video card, you can easily get 50% or more fps.
     
    #26
  27. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I don't really know what to say, here. There's a lot of inaccurate information, and wildly generic statements (get good EVERYTHING... duh). Unless OP gets a $600 video card, the above statement is not true. Per price point, there's always a competitive offering in the GPU space. They're also pretty flexible about pricing, if they notice that they're getting dominated at a certain price point, they'll just drop prices. Silicon is cheap ;) The fact that you are rating "goodness" by memory on card is indicative that you don't know the ins/outs of GPUs, and IMHO you should be careful making blanket statements like that. I'm probably coming across as overly harsh, but silly statements like that aren't helpful, IMHO.

    Cases/HDDs/Fans, while similar, CAN make a huge difference depending on your budget. I personally like Lian Li cases because they're designed well, are understated in their aesthetics (read as: will age well), and they are very, VERY well made to work in. If you open your case once while building, and never touch it again, sure, go for a crappy steel mid-ATX case. I do a lot of modding on my cases, and run a relatively unorthodox setup (RAID5 with 8x 1TB HDDs (soon to be 8x 2TB). So the case matters a little more to me... As far as fans, many current stock case fans are OK, but if you value silence (AND good cooling), you may want to eventually swap them out, but most people don't care enough to do so.

    8GB is nice, but most people don't need 8GB. Since RAM is so cheap, though, that recommendation is fine by me..

    As far as the performance claim, this is only true IFF OP is playing the latest titles, specifically FPS. This is also only true if OP turns on all eye candy (AI/AA, etc). Any mid range card, even from a generation back will be able to play modern titles smoothly at a reasonable resolution. IF you want the added eye candy, or demand higher FPS, sure, get a high end GPU.

    IMHO, unless you want to play the latest games, a previous generation high end video card, or current generation mid range card is the best bang for the buck. Make a point to get an SSD. This is the single "upgrade" that you really "feel" in a system build. They're extremely reasonably priced these days. Check out slickdeals to get an idea of pricing. Even if you're using the machine strictly for gaming, the transfer rates (sustained or not) are excellent on an SSD. It will cut down load times, which is something that's very nice ;) You'll feel it when you're NOT gaming, too.
     
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  28. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I beg to differ... maybe 3+ years ago I'd be inclined to agree... I'm a little biased, though... :twisted::twisted:

    That's not to say you can't get a very high bang for the buck with an AMD setup, but their latest release was underwhelming at best.
     
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  29. Mike2228

    Mike2228 Rookie

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    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ildM

    I ended up buying all that except the monitor. I'll be getting that ASAP.

    And apparently the GPU comes with Borderlands 2 for free.
     
    #29
  30. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    My rig at home ran everything I threw at it.

    Phenom II quad 3.5ghz
    AMD 6770, I think it was from diamond
    4 gigs of ram
    Some old salvaged case from an old build
    Heavily modified xtremegamer soundcard(full cap swap and changed out opamps, plus shielding on the card)

    I tend to play the more competitive games(source, q3, lol, cod4, etc) with it so I never saw the need for an insane amount of power.
     
    #30
  31. goober

    goober Legend

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    Some of us like to play games that are newer than 5-10 years old :)

    Actually I have got out of PC gaming rat race- with expensive upgrades every couple years to play the newer games. I have switched over to mostly console gaming even for FPS since I starting using XIM products which allow me to use mouse/KB on consoles.
     
    #31
  32. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    Hey now my team was two rounds away from winning 10 grand of a Nexuiz(2012) tournament and made it to the finals of a qualifier for a world tourney hosted in Korea in Arctic Combat(2012). I don't see the point of playing something with so much bloom it obscures the view of who you are shooting at. Low settings all the way.
     
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