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Share Your Gaming Build Here! Your Views Are Needed!

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January 30, 2007 12:06:55 PM

Hello everyone, like most other newcomers to building thier own gaming systems I find it difficult and confusing choosing components for the perfect build. From what i've read over the last few weeks, Intels Core 2 Duo is the best platform to go for everything else appears to be preference.

So I ask the experts and other knowledgeable folks here to share your thoughts on the perfect gaming system, now I know we all have different ideas of perfect thats why i'm hoping for many replys.

I think most of us would agree that the key attributes to us "newbs" would be Longetivity, Upgradability and Price/Performance. The forum is full of people like me searching for the perfect gaming build so hopfully if this thread takes off it will be helpful to all newcomers.

It will be interesting to see which components get the most recommendations! ;) 

Thank you in advance! From the many, many posts i have read here this is a knowledgeable and helpful community and i hope that will show here. So what would you put in the guts of a chassi for the perfect gaming machine? Low - Med and Highend?
January 30, 2007 2:34:15 PM

While I don't consider myself a noob, I've been reading and interacting on these forums for a few months now to learn what I need to do to put together my system. I've learned what good components and techniques are through some prior knowledge, but more from reading a number of threads and articles and seeing common hardware listed in each. Ultimately, the perfect system is what fits your requirements/constraints for a PC: the attributes you mentioned above, but also budget, what you you want to do with hardware, what you will be using the PC for, and any brand-biases you may have. Thus, my opinion is there is no formula to create a bill of materials for the perfect gaming machine.
January 30, 2007 3:00:40 PM

Quote:
Thus, my opinion is there is no formula to create a bill of materials for the perfect gaming machine.

yeah, i gotta agree.

its not a science. doesnt take a genius, just common sense!
Related resources
January 30, 2007 3:05:13 PM

Honestly, no matter which platform you decide (Intel/AMD) or (nVidia/AMD[ATI]) you can build a great upper-mid range gaming machine for $1200 or less...including monitor. It seems that, for now, Intel and nVidia have the upper hand performance-wise, but there will always be arguments on who is better, or 'you better watch out...such and such has 'X' coming out soon...' It's all preference and wallet size. If you have any specific questions about specific hardware, please ask. Such a general question will lead everyone to posting a huge response with their preference of machines. Getting specific hardware recommendations is much more useful than just getting a "this is what I would get" response. And, as usual, good luck with the build. Purchase of the hardware is just the beginning...
January 30, 2007 3:37:52 PM

Research and more Research. I'm finishing up my build right now. Here's what I did.

1. Set a budget
2. Research the best current components that I can get for my budget
3. Look for reviews once that is set
4. Look for the best price and purchase

Don't get sucked into the 'something better will be out next month, or next quarter'. You will never build if you do that.

A few general suggestions:

If you go AMD, get a system that supports their newer socket AM2.
If you go Intel, get a system that will support quad-core.

This will allow you to do processor / memory upgrades in the future and hopefully extend the life of your system.

Video cards are probably the worst portion of building a new system. What is top of the line today will be dirt in a few years. Find the best bang you can get for the buck and stick with it. I myself splurged a bit and got a 8800GTS in hopes that the DX10 compatibility will stretch the longevity a bit longer than going with a DX9 card.

Finally, cooling. Don't skimp on it. The hotter your machine runs, the more you cut into it's life expectancy. Keep it cool and it'll love you.

Hope that helps. FYI, this is what I decided to go with:

Intel Xeon 3060
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS
ASUS Striker Extreme (Only because I found it for cheap..compared to list price)
Crucial Ballistix memory 2GB
OCZ GamerXStreme 700W PSU
Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU Cooler
DVD/RW Drive
2 - 300GB Seagate SATA Drives.


Best of luck with your setup and enjoy! Figuring out what to use is over half the fun!
January 30, 2007 3:39:34 PM

yes I have a C2D processor at the moment running 3400mhz and while I like it I have to be honest my Opteron overclocked to FX62 levels was pretty damned fast and it was more responsive in heavy multitasking than my C2D platform.

that said the C2D offers better performance if benchmarks are to be believed and while I like my C2D platform I was really happy with my Opty/FX62 box as well.

literally the above poster is correct going AMD or Intel isn't a mistake at this point, if you have the budget then go Intel but C2D's are still pricy even the bottom model while some AMD X2's are pretty inexpensive and really dominate their segment.

I can't tell you which CPU or platform to buy but generic reccomendations are reasonable.

buy a full blown CPU and not a Sempron or Celeron go minimum Athlon X2 preferably C2D you decide what your budget is for the CPU.

don't bother with SLI or Crossfire motherboards unless they are priced withing $5.00 of the regular motherboards on the market NOTE if you need the additional USB ports or Esata ports or some extended features limited to SLI or Crossfire boards to go ahead otherwise they are a waste

2gb's of Ram MINIMUM!!!! I can't over express this you sacrifice processor speed and motherboard extravegance to keep 2gb's of ram in your budget end of that story!

try to get minimum a Seagate 7200.10 series hard drive the .09's have some firmware problems and are noticeably slower... if you have the room in your budget consider a 74gb raptor but only if you have the budget.

sacrifice CPU speed for graphics all fully equipped Athlon X2's and or C2D's are pretty damned fast and will not bottleneck the vast majority of video cards save possibly in rare instances the 8800GTX other than that budget for a better video card minimum X1900 GT or better from both Nvidia or ATI.

I don't reccomend anyone buy any Nvidia 79xx series video cards anymore, they are good video cards but Nvidia has dropped driver improving support on the entire series limiting to compatibility with newer driver revisions while they focus all of their resources on getting 88xx series cards to perform better.

here's my current build.

E6600 conroe overclocked to 3400mhz
Gigabyte DS3
2 X 1024 G.Skill ram 4-4-4-12 currently at 945 mhz stable at 972mhz same timings.
X1900 XTX 512mb
2 X 74gb Raptors (bought 2nd because I already had the first)
integrated sound (add in is a waste and while I had an Audigy 2 shit Creative quality it puked and was pulled)
2 X LG DVD+- RW drives.
Raidmax Sagitta case
Silverstone Zeus 850watt PSU (replaced 600watt Seasonic which replaced 500watt Seasonic all powersupplys could run this system I just like the Silverstone)
Polarflo/swifteck/blackice II water cooling kit modded to suit blocks on CPU/GPU/NB
January 30, 2007 3:51:06 PM

I've just built this....I have to update my signature.....

EVGA 680i MB
QX6700 Core 2 Extreme at 3.4 GHz
Zalman 9500 cooler
2 BFG 8800 GTX in SLI
Corsair 6400 2G, 4 Cas Dominator
150 Gig Raptor
Antec 900 Case
1K Silverstone PSU
LG 18x DVD Burner

It rocks.
January 30, 2007 3:56:05 PM

Here is my generic good price/performance gaming PC. Made this a few weeks ago so some prices may have changed a bit.

Any Centurion Coolermaster case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.asp?Brand=133...

Antec Trio 650W $110 after Mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Abit AB9 Mobo $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

X1950XT $225 after mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

2GB G.Skill 800 4-4-3-5 $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Seagate 7200.10 160GB $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Core 2 Duo E6400 $223
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Any DVD burner you choose $30-40

Total: $1150
January 30, 2007 4:57:49 PM

For the most part, I'd say it's all about $$$. After building my machine (listed in my signature), the only do-over I'd consider is the mobo. As near as I can tell, Asus has already discontinued this model and though I haven't had any problems yet, I'm mighty suspicious. My opinion may change drastically when I start OC'ing.

I'd be more interested in bang-for-buck... after all, if 'buck' doesn't concern you, you can get a whole lotta 'bang'.
January 30, 2007 5:14:00 PM

Quote:
For the most part, I'd say it's all about $$$. After building my machine (listed in my signature), the only do-over I'd consider is the mobo. As near as I can tell, Asus has already discontinued this model and though I haven't had any problems yet, I'm mighty suspicious. My opinion may change drastically when I start OC'ing.

I'd be more interested in bang-for-buck... after all, if 'buck' doesn't concern you, you can get a whole lotta 'bang'.


Judging from your build you were much more worried about 'bang' than 'buck'
;) 
January 30, 2007 5:50:13 PM

Bleh... Look at my signature for computer specs.

As far as my build goes, I somewhat regret the power supply as well as the graphics card. Why? I wanted a quiet system. Everything is quiet except the fan in the PSU. But OCZ has a nice 3 year warranty that I do not wish to void (even though I have yet had a bad PSU in my last 10 years of computing). Graphics card... well, don't get me wrong, I love it a lot, but with ATI releasing DX10 cards soon, I sort of wish I had waited... at least for the X1950s... that or gotten a nVidia 7600 series card. After buying all the new parts (signature plus 19" WS Samsung SyncMaster 940BW and Logitech G15 and G5) totaled to around $2000. I probably could have saved on some of the stuff had I been more patient. But that's the problem with technology. It doesn't wait for you. Also, I could have sworn that new cards came out every 6 months... ATI X1900s came out in January and I didn't build my computer till the end of August (was waiting for Conroe and it was somewhat worth it... AMD still boots faster regardless that both have the same software on them).

Over all, like some others have said... do lots and lots of research! Don't be fooled... things always look better on paper.

Good luck to others who are in the process or about to be in the process of building a new computer.
January 30, 2007 6:00:21 PM

My Sig...

After contemplating M$ Vista... I have chose not to Install it.

Therefore I saved my money and purchased Half the RAM I innitially planned on buying... as well as only one 8800GTX.

Epic Games has dragged their arses once again and may push back the launch of my favorite title to October / November... thus relieving the "need" for Dual SLI 8800's.

My list did not come by easily and the decision to go with a quad core was dificult due to its pricetag, but at some point you get tired of compromising in either direction and just say F&%^kit.

I truely built a performance rig by todays standards, and I urge anyone that wants to upgrade to purchase immediately after the decision has been made you will get one. Stretching out the purchase will only piss you off because you did not wait another day, or week, or month, or quarter...

Take the plunge

Penryn pops its head up after June... leave the forums, erase your Newegg, ZipZoomFly bookmarks, and come back then. THG will have you drooling over Penryns in no time.
January 31, 2007 10:42:10 AM

Quote:
For the most part, I'd say it's all about $$$. After building my machine (listed in my signature), the only do-over I'd consider is the mobo. As near as I can tell, Asus has already discontinued this model and though I haven't had any problems yet, I'm mighty suspicious. My opinion may change drastically when I start OC'ing.

I'd be more interested in bang-for-buck... after all, if 'buck' doesn't concern you, you can get a whole lotta 'bang'.


Judging from your build you were much more worried about 'bang' than 'buck'
;) 

Awright... there may be 'some' truth to your comment :D  I decided to spend the extra cash now while I had it and get something with a little more life expectancy.
January 31, 2007 11:18:18 AM

Great Posts Guys I have to say after reading this thread i'm a little closer to my choice gaming rig, although I am toying with the idea of going for an AMD CPU from a price/performance stand point.

Thank you for taking the time to Share/Help those of us less tech savvy! ;) 
January 31, 2007 11:46:14 AM

Just to add more big questions that i'm sure factor in to everyones gaming build:

#1 - How will GHz effect the newer games coming out in 2007 for example will a E4300 be up to the task of running oblivion?

#2 - If you weren't planning on over clocking what is the lowest GHz C2D you would aim for for longetivity?
January 31, 2007 11:59:40 AM

Quote:
Just to add more big questions that i'm sure factor in to everyones gaming build:

#1 - How will GHz effect the newer games coming out in 2007 for example will a E4300 be up to the task of running oblivion?

#2 - If you weren't planning on over clocking what is the lowest GHz C2D you would aim for for longetivity?


#1 - AMD already showed a few years ago that gigahertz doesn't affect performance. Nowadays, it's all about the architecture. I'm sure a E4300 could run Oblivion just fine.

#2 - Probably would just go up to the 333 MHz on the FSB. That would be a 25% overclock for the the E6x00 series. However, the C2Ds don't really need to be overclocked as they perform very well as they are now. And a 25% shouldn't add on too much heat either, therefore, they'll last a good while =)
January 31, 2007 12:23:47 PM

Great Thanks! So we don't expect games to come out with minimum CPU specs of 2.5GHz for atleast a few years?
January 31, 2007 12:28:44 PM

I don't think so, but I could be wrong. However, you could start seeing software that requires a dual core processor :?
January 31, 2007 5:07:48 PM

Quote:
minimum CPU specs
minimum CPU specs and Mhz have nothing in common, likely from this point forward model designations will rule, Mhz specifications were used by software companies during the days when mhz was immediately scalable and comparable to performance.

those days are gone at least in regards to making village reccomendations....... you'll likely see reccomendations on boxes that go alogn the lines of minimum X2 3800+ and or E4300......they will have to tailor to model designations as the Mhz war from a marketing standpoint is no longer a usefull tool.
January 31, 2007 5:24:49 PM

The only problem with selling software with specific hardware requirements, such as a CPU, is that most people who buy (not build) thier PCs may have no idea what their chip is. Finding out what gfx core they own is somewhat of a mystery to the average joe-user, let alone knowing what exact processor they are running. The public has to almost be treated as though no one has a clue to what they are looking at so that everyone would be able to buy the product they needed. Its a hard decision to make, I think that at least providing some [recommended] hardware specs gives people ballpark ideas of what they can and cannot do. Listing a bunch of model numbers might be somewhat confusing...
January 31, 2007 9:31:38 PM

My AMD rig - (Little Sweetness) Which I'm trying to sell
AMD 3000+ Venice OC'ed to 2.4 ghz
2x 512 DDR400 ram
BFG 7600GT 256mb
Rosewill case
Audigy 2

My Intel rig - (Jailbait) Not for sale
Intel Core2Duo E6400 @ 3.0 ghz
2x 1gb DDR667 performance ram
ATI 1950XT 256mb
Centurio 5 case
Audigy 2 Platinum
19" Widescreen Hanns-G 5ms monitor
Logitech Z5300e speaker system (speakers and monitor ARE for sale)

As far as budgets... Although AMD is my favorite brand and I love my little sweetness, right now Intel is on top. If you have anything higher than a $700 budget for a tower you should squeeze in a C2D set up.

It can easily be done with an E4300 and a cheap P5 or DS3 motherboard.

I'd rather have a crappy 7600GT and a C2D 4300 than an AMD lolX2 and a 8800GTS.

While video-card determines frame-rates, a processor can easily bottleneck your video-card.
!