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  1. #1

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    Default Computer Guys - Need Help Making Gaming Rig

    Guys,

    I got about $2k to put into a gaming PC. Are there any links or recommendations for components to get the best bang for the buck? I plan to build this PC myself and buy parts from Amazon and Newegg.

    Any recommendations?

    Mike

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    Tomshardware.com used to do a PC build a couple times a year for a gamer, enthusiast and budget person. Those computers tended to be pretty nicely spec'd.

    If you could tell us what games your planning on running and at what resoultion that might help as well.

    Personal suggestion is a i7 CPU, motherboard to support it, ATX or MATX, as much 8 gig RAM or as you can afford and good video card which will depend on what games and resoulution you want to run.

    Corsair RAM, Case and PSU would be a good combo as well. The rest really is hard to know without what your playing.
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    Well, my main impulse right now is to run Diablo 3 and Starcraft II, but I know those aren't gonna push the system much. I do want to be somewhat future proof so I can run some of the new shooters on Max.

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    Honestly, with that budget the games you're playing shouldn't be too big of a factor. A DIY rig at $2k should play anything out there.

    I've been out of the loop for about a year now since I switched over to a Mac and consoles for my gaming. I'll recommend Anandtech in addition to Tom's Hardware as a great site for research and reviews.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Well, my main impulse right now is to run Diablo 3 and Starcraft II, but I know those aren't gonna push the system much. I do want to be somewhat future proof so I can run some of the new shooters on Max.
    Gotcha, personally I would get the best CPU and motherboard you can then as those are the biggest pain to upgrade later on. Upgrading graphics cards is quite easy.

    Here is a good article on CPU's to help you find one you like: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...lock,3106.html

    Here is a Newegg build that should be decent: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...view,3165.html

    Here is there 1250 enthusiast build. You could upgrade a couple parts if you wanted, but its well within your budget: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...lock,3160.html

    Tomshardware tends to normally pick pretty ugly cases lol so personally I like the ones from Lian-li, Corsair and Silverstone.

    I would suggest a small Solid State Drive for the operating system and whatever games you plan on playing. Put all your other stuff on a regular hard drive.

    You've got my number I believe if you are looking at things and have questions feel free to give me a call and I will hopefully be able to help you out.
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    Look at Maximum PC's most recent publication. They have an amazing $2k computer build that will last you for several years, with room for upgrades in the future.

    An SSD is the way to go, but you don't have to go small anymore. You can get a 120GB SSD for only $124 nowadays! ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227706 ). Bigger is better, since that means you don't have to worry about moving temp folder locations, program locations, etc.
    Last edited by ryanjoachim; 05-25-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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    Thanks!

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    You're crazy to spend $2k on a dedicated mediocre gaming rig. If you want new, lower your budget to $1300 tops. I'm confident you can get what you want and than some for that price.

    Three things you need for a gaming machine:

    1. RAM - Run 8GB min. Buy a good known brand who makes great memory. (e.g. - Kingston, Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin (My pick), etc...)
    2. CPU - You don't need a top model CPU, but something that will multitask well. I run a i5-750 with a very mild overclock and I have yet to have a bottle neck. A good i5 equivalent or base i7 will give you all you want and more if you desire.
    3. GPU - Spend the money on a GOOD graphics card. You will get maximum performance from using two high quality cards but if looking for a one all solution, try the new GTX 5/66X series cards from nVidia or 58/68/78XX and higher series ATI cards.

    I run dual ATI 6970's in crossfire. It's absolutely overkill and to be honest, I don't need that. But I spent the money so I wouldn't have to worry for years to come. Contrary to what people may say, an SSD will only marginally improve LOAD times for games. Yes they are faster, but are they necessary? No. I use my Intel SSD for my OS and programs and a 500GB Western Digital Black drive for ALL my games. I have no speed complaints.

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    It depends on the game, Drenis. For online-based games no, you won't see much increase at all.
    For PC-based games (FPS like Bioshock, Crysis, etc) you WILL see a noticeable increase in load times through the game.
    That's been my experience at least, of course everyone has their own view of the benefits.

    I agree that you don't at all need to spend $2k on a PC in order to have a great gaming machine, but there are benefits to doing so.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrNightly View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanjoachim View Post
    It depends on the game, Drenis. For online-based games no, you won't see much increase at all.
    For PC-based games (FPS like Bioshock, Crysis, etc) you WILL see a noticeable increase in load times through the game.
    That's been my experience at least, of course everyone has their own view of the benefits.

    I agree that you don't at all need to spend $2k on a PC in order to have a great gaming machine, but there are benefits to doing so.
    It really depends on the person I guess. I've had everything run off my SSD and now this configuration and I prefer it this way because it suits my style of how often and the type of games I play and the speed I lost I don't even notice any more. As they say, YMMV.

    However, cheaping out on GPU(s) will net you nothing whether you have a SSD or not when it comes to big games as you suggested. A 500GB WD Black drive is great as a game only drive. It's about 1/4 full at the moment. Don't have all games installed but its my recommendation based on what the OP seemed to imply they might want.

    Edit: If you have the cash for a big SSD drive and want it, giv'r. I remember spending $400 for my 160GB Intel X-25m G2 drive shipped. And that was the cheapest next to the $599 retail price at the time. Ahh technology...

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    I second the suggestion of the i7. Even a basic dual-core i7 will be awesome. I also agree with the suggestion to use Corsair PSU's. They are very well built and I've had nothing but good experiences with them. As far as RAM goes, it kind of depends whether you intend to overclock or not. If not, you really don't need to spend a lot of dough on the high end stuff. Just stick with a good brand name, such as Corsair, Crucial/Micron, Kingston or Samsung.

    I also highly recommend going with an SSD, especially for your OS drive. You can probably get away with a smaller one if you primarily use it as the OS drive, but there is a catch to that. The higher capacity ones will be faster than the lower capacity ones in the same series. This is due to the fact that they can take advantage of more parallel writes/reads on the drives with more memory chips. Personally, I would stay away from the Sandforce drives, such as the Vertex3 mentioned above. There have been a lot of firmware issues over the course of Sandforce's existence (including recently with their newer controllers), and they still have the most issues with speed degradation of used drives versus a clean drive. That said, here are my suggestions:

    1) Intel, but only the ones that don't use Sandforce. I know that the 330 and 520 use Sandforce controllers, but there may be others. Intel SSD's with Intel controllers have proven themselves to be very reliable. I currently own a 120GB X25M, and two 40GB 320 drives, they are all great.

    2) Samsung - Earlier Samsung drives didn't fare particularly well in performance, but they were always incredibly reliable. However, the 830 series has changed that; they are incredibly fast, and they have also proven themselves to be reliable. In addition, they are priced very competitively. Check Amazon, as that is where I recently got my 256GB 830 from. Also, the interesting thing about the Samsung SSD's is that they are a purely Samsung top-to-bottom. They are entirely designed and manufactured by Samsung; this includes the custom 3-core ARM-based processor to the flash memory. As far as I know, no other SSD brand does this.

    3) Plextor, specifically the M3 Pro. They are very good performers, and use a great Marvell chipset. However, you will pay a fairly hefty premium for these drives.

  12. #12

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    I bought a pre-built rig with windows 7 loaded from ibuypower.com. It was cheaper than if I had bought the parts and windows from newegg. You can totally customize your rig. Only downside is it took a month to get to me. Other than that very happy with it. Liquid cooled i5 (don't need i7 - research it). 2 gig evga gtx 560 Ti card. 120 gig solid state HD for windows and 1 TB HD for data.
    Last edited by Jetmaker737; 05-25-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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    I only run Corsair PSU's. The product is top notch and warranty is impressive.

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    Drenis, you hit all the points that I came to regarding what I actually need compared to overkill.

    What do you guys think of this rig? http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea..._2000?page=0,2

    I think I could buy some of the parts for even cheaper than what they have listed. I'm going to aim close to the $1k mark.

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    Building a gaming rig is super easy nowadays. Really the only thing you need to be concerned about is the graphics card and the amount RAM; anything other than that is just gravy. Even low-end budget machines can be pretty decent gaming machines with the addition of an expensive graphics card. That's just the level of performance that's available today. If you want to add SSD or RAID or water cooling or if you want to overclock, that's up to you, but none of that is really necessary for a decent gaming PC.

    If you look at the high-end gaming PC on Tom's Hardware, you'll notice that they blew most of their budget on dual video cards and an SSD. That was $1,200 right there just for those components, and it was completely unnecessary, especially with the games you plan to play.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/system-c...dation-58.html

    Other than that it's really what I would consider a rather tame build. But that is my point. You could do with a single Radeon HD6870 and do without the SSD, saving over $1,000 and still have a killer gaming rig.

    I'd definitely spend a little more on a better case, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    Drenis, you hit all the points that I came to regarding what I actually need compared to overkill.

    What do you guys think of this rig? http://www.maximumpc.com/article/fea..._2000?page=0,2

    I think I could buy some of the parts for even cheaper than what they have listed. I'm going to aim close to the $1k mark.
    The posted build is quite good actually. This is what I would change with it:

    1. RAM - Don't like Patriot memory. Therefore, I recommend another brand as suggested in this thread. I really like Mushkin memory.

    2. SSD - I am not a fan nor do I recommend OCZ SSD's. I'm a Intel guy. Reliability and speed that's been hiccup free.

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    Just bought 4 of these for a client. Have used these guys many times with very good results. they ship in 3 business days.


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    Their interface allows you to mod the configuration and build a new auction where you can click buy-it-now. It's very cool and easy to use.
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    Just out of curiosity, what do plan on feeding this tower with?

    A Logitech 2.1 speaker set up, and a 22" monitor....or a 40"+ LED tv, Pioneer AVR, and surround speakers, like the Polk Blackstones, and a DSWPRO 660wi?
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    If you want to be competitive in PC FPS's, ditch the TV and AVR. Low latency monitor and an integrated amp(W4S mINT) or high end PC speakers are the way to go.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    If you want to be competitive in PC FPS's, ditch the TV and AVR. Low latency monitor and an integrated amp(W4S mINT) or high end PC speakers are the way to go.
    I like headphones for gaming with virtual surround sound.

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    If gaming is your only perogative, look at an AMD build
    I know i'm a minority but AMD has never let me down, price can't be beat and for the performance that you are looking for is a no brainer....to me at least. Upgrading in the future is easy noticing AMD doesn't change socket types every 3-4 minutes.

    Now if you were video editing, photoshopping, rending our the wazoo, sure i'd say Mac or high end i7's.

    Just an opinion...AMD haters back off!
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    I used to be a big AMD fan...until they couldn't keep up anymore. :P
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by SolidSqual View Post
    I like headphones for gaming with virtual surround sound.
    Haven't tried virtual surround cans yet, Hifiman HE-6's are a blast for gaming.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    I use an Astro MixAmp and a Sennheiser PC360 Gaming Headsetp. The effect is amazing.

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    Thanks, I'll look into them.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Thanks, I'll look into them.
    Yeah, you know actually I've had more moments where the surround sound effect has saved my ass or shocked me because of the extremely realistic sound placement. It's a better effect than most true 5.1 setups IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbiron View Post
    Just an opinion...AMD haters back off!
    Are there still AMD/Intel haters? I thought this whole chipmaker fanboy crap died out a decade ago, when people realized it didn't really matter. You probably have an opinion on Nvidia vs. ATI too, don't you?

    I buy whoever is offering the most bang for the buck at the time, without regard to whose name is stamped on it. Socket argument is moot--if you need a new CPU it's probably time to upgrade your entire PC anyway. I've had machines with AMD chips, Intel chips, and even a few with Cyrix and Evergreen chips. They were all still working when I stopped using them.

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    I will say if you go and on the CPU go ati on the GPU. As they are the same company they play very nice together lol
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    ATI cards work just fine with Nvidia Nforce chipsets and vice versa. If they didn't it would be an epic scandal.

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