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Getting into PC Gaming

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a b 4 Gaming
December 23, 2011 5:34:00 AM

Since I will be building a gaming pc for the first time, I though, might as well into some PC Gaming. However, there is a catch: The only game system I have owned was the PS1, and the handheld Game Boy. How does one in my situation get in to gaming? It is likely very difficult for a complete newb to get into PC games. Nonetheless, I want to. How can I do that? It's been like 8 years.

Thanks heaps if you can help!!!

More about : gaming

December 23, 2011 6:14:48 AM

right depends on a few things really.

1st is do you know how to build a pc or do you have a friend who can build the PC for you ?

2nd what is your budget for building or build the PC ?

3rd where are you in the world so people can help you find the best deal in your given country ?

4th what games are you wanting to play ? FPS , MMO ? whats your style or gaming you do shooting or what ?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 23, 2011 11:20:44 AM

PC gaming is easy, you get a capable PC, get the game you want to play and... (drumroll) .. Start Gaming!

yes it's that simple...

if you're looking for competitive online gaming within some genre (which you failed to mention) then you might need to get some practice in first before you'd be able to play tug of war with others. Other than that there's really no requirement to PC gaming besides having a PC
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December 23, 2011 11:52:51 AM

AntiZig said:
PC gaming is easy, you get a capable PC, get the game you want to play and... (drumroll) .. Start Gaming!

yes it's that simple...


Not the most helpful response. ;) 

The fact you've gamed before on other platforms answers the first question...do you enjoy gaming? I'm going with a yes for that. Second question...do you think you'll enjoy gaming at a desk?

We will need an idea of your budget, any existing computer equipment you have (namely, a monitor, as it tells us what screen resolution you'll play at) and the types of games you want to play (at afore-mentioned resolution, hence allowing the community to recommend appropriate equipment). Oh, and tell us where you are in the world...we're multi-national here. :) 

Building a PC at first pass seems daunting, but it's actually incredibly simple. Take your time, follow a build guide and don't force anything into place. If it doesn't fit, it probably shouldn't be going there! It is easier to get a console, but the current generation is long in the tooth, and if you like to get a bit more out of your games (mods and community-generated additions) then a PC is for you. The satisfaction of seeing a game run smoothly on max settings on a rig you built yourself is pretty darn good. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
December 23, 2011 1:59:10 PM

Your first step is getting yourself a gaming PC. We could look at upgrading your current PC if you give us specs. A gaming PC is really, for the most part, a decent PC with an upgraded video card, and power supply to handle it. That is really it. An easy alternative to building a whole PC yourself is to buy a decent desktop and then add a video card/power supply combo. I've sent several people down this route if a full build is just to much for them or they are not comfortable with it. When I say a decent desktop it does need to meet certain specs. For the most part you need a real tower that has room for the video card and new power supply. It also has to have pretty recent components. Most gaming rigs last about 3 years before needing upgraded or replaced. I usually upgrade my PC every 3 years with video card replacements every one or two. I would ask someone knowledgeable in this before making a purchase to ensure the pc can take the upgrade. Off the top of my head here is a good direction for you. This is just an idea it will revolve around your budget. This time of year bring ALOT of deals for PC stuff and games. So spend time looking.

PC: Lenovo i5 desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply upgrade: OCZ 600W modular power supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card: Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $857.96 w/ shipping - $45 MIR = $812.96
That's a good price for a decent beginner gaming rig. You also get the Leno

Next you have to determine what games you are into. A good way to find out what you like is to pick up some older titles and play through them. Steam is a GREAT service that you can buy games through a digitally download them to your PC. This of it as iTunes for PC gaming. The holidays are a great time to get deals within that last 2 days I picked up 4 titles I have been meaning to play. It's a good way to get your feet wet without spending alot on games. Another suggestion of mine is to play the campaigns and single player games, or portions of games. Multiplayer online might get pretty frustrating for a new to PC gamer person. Start with single player and get your WASD controls nailed down.

Portal 2 - $7.49
Metro 2033 - $4.99
Mass Effect - $4.99
Mass Effect 2 - $4.99
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December 24, 2011 4:49:38 PM

jay2tall said:
Start with single player and get your WASD controls nailed down.

I second this..One of the most important requirements of being a PC gamer.. :sol: 
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a b 4 Gaming
December 25, 2011 6:28:35 AM

Yep, I asked New Build the question and have my final build: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Not in that list:

i5-2500k for $180
ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard for $120
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a b 4 Gaming
December 26, 2011 4:20:55 AM

Any one?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 26, 2011 5:02:31 AM

de5_Roy said:
open a thread in the new build section:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum-31-322.html
use this form:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
read the giudelines.
edit: your newegg build looks okay. i'd suggest a bigger, 22", 1080p monitor, a good z68 motherboard to oc the 2500k...
again, you'll get more help in the systems section.


azeem40 said:
Yep, I asked New Build the question and have my final build: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

Not in that list:

i5-2500k for $180
ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard for $120



I asked the System's New Build section and I tweaked some of the suggestions which are in that wishlist. So, any ideas on what games I should get into using that build?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 26, 2011 5:51:25 AM

Just head straight to the server and play. There are plenty of new people out there so you won't be last all the time and you will manage to pick up a style and on par with other player fast enough.

Try Team Fortress 2 and get used to the WASD control for FPS.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 26, 2011 6:41:06 AM

Thanks.
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December 27, 2011 12:31:52 AM

Pyree said:
Just head straight to the server and play. There are plenty of new people out there so you won't be last all the time and you will manage to pick up a style and on par with other player fast enough.

Try Team Fortress 2 and get used to the WASD control for FPS.


Can't agree more. TF2 is an excellent first PC shooter. Speaking from experience. After 300 hours of TF2, sometimes, I can't help but return to my "roots".
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December 28, 2011 7:38:20 PM

Okay, PC gaming is definitely the way to go if you want to get into gaming.

I think you are making an excellent choice.

I have 3 main rules I think that you should stick with...

1. Intel over AMD - Intel smokes AMD, never go with an AMD CPU.
2. Nvidia over AMD - for someone starting out, go with an Nvidia GPU. More user friendly and fewer driver issues. Once you get a little more knowledge, you can start to consider AMD GPU's.
3. Don't skimp on your PSU - the PSU may seem obsolete, but is second only to the motherboard in hardest components to upgrade. It is the one piece of hardware that will see you through several builds.

Once you get your rig built, start with a good first person shooter. It is the best genre to get you acclimated with the mouse and keyboard. Practice, practice, practice.

Install Steam. They update your games for you, offer great deals, and have a great gaming community. Steam is very user friendly.

Stay off of online competition until you get your bearings. PC gamers are professionals, and you should practice offline for a good solid month before venturing online.

Good luck, and great choice!
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a b 4 Gaming
December 29, 2011 4:16:44 AM

Thanks. I already stated my build as I've said and posted before.
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December 29, 2011 5:21:56 AM

That's a great build you have there, should run many current games on high settings.

I agree with others on downloading TF2 and getting used to controls. This will help you immensely in online shooters, as they all share very similar controls. WASD to move, mouse to aim, scroll wheel to switch items/weapons, etc.

Once you play against the computer on TF2, you can head into the online, and try out your skills against other players. Don't be worried if you don't do the best at first, just keep trying and practicing.

Some of my favorite games are: TF2. Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, and World of Warcraft. All are shooters save for World of Warcraft, so if you get good at one you will be noticeably better at other shooter as well.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 29, 2011 7:45:41 PM

Thanks for all the help! More tips and tricks on PC Gaming are appreciated, but you guys have been such a big help already! :) 

Once the computer parts arrive and I get around to building the PC and test out some games, I will definitely come back here and post the results of my labor! :) 
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December 30, 2011 3:32:17 AM

Are you sure this is your first build?

All of your choices are stellar. Chosen like a pro.

Great job, and enjoy.
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December 30, 2011 5:21:40 AM

one thing i would advise is bumping up from that radeon 6870. its a decent card (have it myself) but if you want to play games a year from now on high-ish settings, you might want to consider a gtx 570, 580 or a radeon 6970.
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December 30, 2011 6:29:24 AM

paradoxeternal said:
one thing i would advise is bumping up from that radeon 6870. its a decent card (have it myself) but if you want to play games a year from now on high-ish settings, you might want to consider a gtx 570, 580 or a radeon 6970.


That is really the only thing that I didn't really like about his build. Everything else is great.

I think people new to PC gaming should go with Nvidia - less issues. Once you get the hang of things, I would only ever recommend AMD for the serious PC gamer.

I think for him the 580 would be the best choice. The 6970 is really not that big a jump up from the 6870 in my opinion. The 6970 really shines in crossfire - to me, that is what the 6970 is made for.

When I had one 6970, in Crysis maxed in 1080p, I got about 40fps on average. With my 6970X2, I get about 85+fps on average. That is an improvement of over 100% just from adding an extra card. With one card clocked at 920/1440, now two cards both clocked at 900/1400. That is just amazing.

I might recommend him going with the 6870X2, however. I would recommend a 6870X2 over a single 6970 any day.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 30, 2011 9:16:40 PM

I COULD consider bumping up my budget, but I already went from $1000 max to $1200 max. Currently, after switching out some components, my build sits at ~$1170.

Any comments on that?
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December 31, 2011 4:31:25 AM

azeem40 said:
I COULD consider bumping up my budget, but I already went from $1000 max to $1200 max. Currently, after switching out some components, my build sits at ~$1170.

Any comments on that?


Hmm...That is a pretty big budget. If you play your cards right, there is no reason why you can't get the 580.

Yeah, I have some thoughts on that.

You ready?

Don't get an SSD.

Why in the hell would you want to do that? Faster load times? Come on, man!

Get the SSD later. For now, put the power where it counts.

And pass on the Hyper 212. You ain't going to be doing no overclocking, at least not if you're smart. You just got into PC gaming. Wanna fry your CPU?

Those two useless items (well, useless for you) are going to set you back about $130. Take that money, and put it on your GPU. Then you will have enough for a 6970, and be well on your way to 580 territory (which should be your goal).

Also, that HDD is a waste of about $30. To hell with the Seagate Barracuda. It's just a name brand 7200RPM HDD - pass on it. Go with the Hitachi 7200RPM HDD. There's ya' another $30, right there. You are getting closer!
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a b 4 Gaming
December 31, 2011 5:07:10 AM

How would getting an SSD later work? I'd have to backup all files (I'm pretty sure the games I would play will be a lot of space and I don't have an eHDD), and completely reinstall the OS, right?

I am now more confused. So many things New Build didn't say that you have said... It seems like I will have to start from scratch according to you.

EDIT: Also, I am dead-set on OCing, so I will be doing that. I COULD bump up my budget to $1500 so I could Crossfire/SLI. Also, just because I am a rookie builder doesn't mean I am totally clueless that I'll fry any components. I doubt I will anyway since I am very careful when putting parts together.
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December 31, 2011 7:38:28 AM

azeem40 said:
How would getting an SSD later work? I'd have to backup all files (I'm pretty sure the games I would play will be a lot of space and I don't have an eHDD), and completely reinstall the OS, right?

I am now more confused. So many things New Build didn't say that you have said... It seems like I will have to start from scratch according to you.

EDIT: Also, I am dead-set on OCing, so I will be doing that. I COULD bump up my budget to $1500 so I could Crossfire/SLI. Also, just because I am a rookie builder doesn't mean I am totally clueless that I'll fry any components. I doubt I will anyway since I am very careful when putting parts together.


The i5 2500k at stock speeds is more than sufficient for a single card - especially the one you picked. In my opinion, there is no point in overclocking your Sandy Bridge when your GPU is the 6870. That would be like increasing a chihuahua's food bowl from 200lbs of meat to 250lbs of meat. The little dog just ain't going to eat that much.

I am not trying to insult you or undermine you - I am being honest with you. You are new to PC gaming, hold off on the overclocking until you have a real need for it.

As for the SSD, it is not really needed at this point. If you have a limited budget, then I suggest passing on it in favor of components that will actually improve your gaming experience - like the GPU. If you are worried about backing up your files, then there are many other less expensive options that you can go with. I have a Hitachi 7200RPM 1TB HDD that cost me $50. That is all I use and all I'll ever use. I have 73 games installed from Steam...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/71025255@N06/6605587053/in...

This is how much space I have left...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/71025255@N06/6605587853/in...

There are also pictures of my rig that you can scan through and look at.

As you can see, my PC is meant for one thing...gaming. That is what it is built for, and that is all I'll ever use it for. As such, I have all the space in the world with a single HDD.

If you are worried about backing up your files, get a second cheap HDD. Two SATA Drives, with one being used for backups. Get you a cheap 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and another cheap 500GB HDD for your backups. You can get both combined for the price of that Barracuda. Then, drop the SSD, and you would immediately have enough for a 6970.

You should be shooting for the 580. However, if you are planning on a dual-card configuration in the near future as you have alluded that you might, then you should go with the 6970. Much better scaling makes the 6970X2 a much better value than the 580SLi.

But for now, put the power where it counts.
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December 31, 2011 4:39:52 PM

PCgamer81 said:
Okay, PC gaming is definitely the way to go if you want to get into gaming.

I think you are making an excellent choice.

I have 3 main rules I think that you should stick with...

1. Intel over AMD - Intel smokes AMD, never go with an AMD CPU.
2. Nvidia over AMD - for someone starting out, go with an Nvidia GPU. More user friendly and fewer driver issues. Once you get a little more knowledge, you can start to consider AMD GPU's.
3. Don't skimp on your PSU - the PSU may seem obsolete, but is second only to the motherboard in hardest components to upgrade. It is the one piece of hardware that will see you through several builds.

Once you get your rig built, start with a good first person shooter. It is the best genre to get you acclimated with the mouse and keyboard. Practice, practice, practice.

Install Steam. They update your games for you, offer great deals, and have a great gaming community. Steam is very user friendly.

Stay off of online competition until you get your bearings. PC gamers are professionals, and you should practice offline for a good solid month before venturing online.

Good luck, and great choice!

im def with these rules alltho fo my first build im going crossfired with 2 6970s or a 7970. will have to seee the real benchmarks on the 9TH !
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a b 4 Gaming
December 31, 2011 6:01:31 PM

PCgamer81 said:
The i5 2500k at stock speeds is more than sufficient for a single card - especially the one you picked. In my opinion, there is no point in overclocking your Sandy Bridge when your GPU is the 6870. That would be like increasing a chihuahua's food bowl from 200lbs of meat to 250lbs of meat. The little dog just ain't going to eat that much.

I am not trying to insult you or undermine you - I am being honest with you. You are new to PC gaming, hold off on the overclocking until you have a real need for it.

As for the SSD, it is not really needed at this point. If you have a limited budget, then I suggest passing on it in favor of components that will actually improve your gaming experience - like the GPU. If you are worried about backing up your files, then there are many other less expensive options that you can go with. I have a Hitachi 7200RPM 1TB HDD that cost me $50. That is all I use and all I'll ever use. I have 73 games installed from Steam...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/71025255@N06/6605587053/in...

This is how much space I have left...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/71025255@N06/6605587853/in...

There are also pictures of my rig that you can scan through and look at.

As you can see, my PC is meant for one thing...gaming. That is what it is built for, and that is all I'll ever use it for. As such, I have all the space in the world with a single HDD.

If you are worried about backing up your files, get a second cheap HDD. Two SATA Drives, with one being used for backups. Get you a cheap 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and another cheap 500GB HDD for your backups. You can get both combined for the price of that Barracuda. Then, drop the SSD, and you would immediately have enough for a 6970.

You should be shooting for the 580. However, if you are planning on a dual-card configuration in the near future as you have alluded that you might, then you should go with the 6970. Much better scaling makes the 6970X2 a much better value than the 580SLi.

But for now, put the power where it counts.

So keep the i5-2500k but OC later? How later?

Thanks for your help and sorry for doubts. :p 

EDIT: I have upped my budget to $1500 and posted a new topic in the New Build forum, so be sure to check it out and suggest parts there! Thanks!
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January 1, 2012 8:38:13 PM

why do i keep getting told someones posting here but when i come to look nothings changed
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January 1, 2012 9:32:40 PM

robthatguyx said:
why do i keep getting told someones posting here but when i come to look nothings changed


Maybe because I provided a link to this page from his new thread, and that thread has been updated many times...I don't know...


http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/331445-31-gaming-1500...
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a b 4 Gaming
January 2, 2012 2:46:02 AM

Anyone know how much load my rig can handle? Also, can anyone give me an example of how much multitasking 8 GB of RAM gives me?
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January 2, 2012 3:23:52 AM

8 gigs is more than enough for gaming in most cases more than enough for anything unless your doing massive photo editing
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a b 4 Gaming
January 3, 2012 12:21:40 PM

"How much load your rig can handle?" - this is a question posed under bad understand of what you're asking.

Your PC can handle 100% load on your hardware, the effective use of that 100% load is dependent on hardware in question. In other words, your question carries no meaning to real-life applications.

As far as multitasking, I remember seeing an article long ago back during winxp time that stated something like if you have 2gb ram you can easily handle 15 apps at the same time. Since then you got win7 which is significantly different OS than XP. On top of that multitasking measured via RAM is relative to how much RAM each of your applications will utilize. If you got big players like Photoshop, CAD and MM Flash open at the same time, that might be the most multitasking you'd be able to get on 8Gb of RAM, but even then it depends largely on the size of the files you're working on.
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January 3, 2012 1:09:25 PM

AntiZig said:
"How much load your rig can handle?" - this is a question posed under bad understand of what you're asking.

Your PC can handle 100% load on your hardware, the effective use of that 100% load is dependent on hardware in question. In other words, your question carries no meaning to real-life applications.

As far as multitasking, I remember seeing an article long ago back during winxp time that stated something like if you have 2gb ram you can easily handle 15 apps at the same time. Since then you got win7 which is significantly different OS than XP. On top of that multitasking measured via RAM is relative to how much RAM each of your applications will utilize. If you got big players like Photoshop, CAD and MM Flash open at the same time, that might be the most multitasking you'd be able to get on 8Gb of RAM, but even then it depends largely on the size of the files you're working on.


Yepper.

I have 16GB of budget DDR3 and I do photoshop, digital editing, movie-maker, several tabs and windows and 3 different web browsers sometimes all going at once. And if I don't remember to go into task manager and kill non-essential apps and executables when I boot, I run out of memory very fast. I guess that is why some people have 32GB and even 64GB of RAM.

As far as games are concerned, hell, I could probably run a dozen if it was possible. No problem there at all.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 4, 2012 6:29:10 PM

Best answer selected by azeem40.
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