possible to get a good gaming computer for around $1,000?

I have a budget of about $1,000 for a new computer. I was going to just get one at best buy and put a decent graphics card in and buy a 19" widescreen LCD monitor, however I don't really like any of the ones they have there. I don't usually run new cutting-edge games. Right now i'm just playing a game that requires 32mb video card, 64mb recommended, however it is sluggish. My computer is about 5 years old and i've replaced many parts; it was a store bought one as well. I can assemble a computer but i'm not very good at picking which components are compatible with the motherboard, etc. or what the differences are in the newer technologies (DDR2? XT, GT). Any help is greatly appreciated.
52 answers Last reply
More about possible good gaming computer
  1. will you need keyboard, mouse, speakers?
  2. I'm not including them in my budget because they wont' cost much. I have a mouse already that I like. I will just buy a so-so keyboard. As far as speakers I will just get something cheap and basic. My hearing sucks as is and I probably wouldn't get anything different from standard cheap speakers or something high end.
  3. Im not gonna bother adding it up, but see how you go with these....

    CPU: Intel 6300
    Mobo: anything that will OC well... Asus p5B deluxe is good but $$$
    Ram: 1-2Gb DDR2 667Mhz should be ok, 800 if u wanna oc a lot
    Case/psu: whatever/~500w
    GPU: your choice, cant complain abt the 1950XT
    HDD: sata woteva size

    Also look @ a cpu HFS (heatsink + fan) like a good zalman or something, if u oc it will cool better and run quiet. Most shops will also assemble for a little $, its worth it IMO.

    Hav fun
  4. I'd suggest this video card

    And maybe an Abit AB9 for a good OCing cheap mobo.

    Also I'd get a Centurion 5 case they're only like $50 on newegg and sometimes have like 20 dollar mail in rebate, these are fantastic budget cases that tons of people love including myself. great airflow, solid case.

    ps. Don't let anyone talk you into a $200 powersupply :D
  5. Your recommending a 945p chipset motherboard ? Eurgh...

    Go for the Gigabyte S3 965P or similar.
  6. Thanks. Any reason the power supply is $114? I found much cheaper ones for more power


    I'm not too savvy about motherboards so i'm guessing by gigabyte s3 you meant one of these?


    I still need a monitor. I prefer a 19" widescreen. Actually I don't prefer a widescreen, it's just that most things nowdays seem to take advantage of the extra space, so I will to. Any brand better than another? I don't want to spend more than $100-200 on a monitor if possible
  7. Yes, you want the 965-S3, not the 945.

    If I may offer a different perspective for a minute here.......

    From what you describe of your situation, you need a faster computer (modern) that can handle some decent gaming, but nothing too extravagant. However, if you're going to build, you should try to make it last awhile, which means that some components should be better quality, while others won't need to be. Plus you're on a somewhat tighter budget. So the suggestions to get some Deluxe motherboard are rather foolish in my opinion....you don't NEED that sort of thing, it's a waste of your money. What you need is something in a base model Core2Duo CPU, a decent hard drive, a basic stable motherboard, decent RAM, and a respectable but not expensive video card.

    It sounds like you're not a hardcore overclocker nor willing to become one, so don't waste your money. Most people around here are enthusiasts, but not everyone is. So a WISE move would be for you to get a good all-around system and not blow your budget on unnecessary parts.

    So, for $1,000....do you need a monitor, etc? Or just a tower? What exactly......and then you'll get some great suggestions.

    OH, and to answer your question about the power supply: yes there are cheaper ones. But skimping out on a power supply to save $50 will be the worst move you ever made in your build. It's far easier to save money on other parts without compromising your system. A bad PSU can trash your system.....spend the extra bit of $$ and get a decent one, or you'll be kicking yourself later.
  8. Thanks. No i'm do not overclock. Or a hardcore enthusiast. I just want something that plays the games of today and ill be good enough for a couple of years. I am assuming i'll get another system in 2-3 years. I do need a new monitor and i've budgeted $100-200 for one. I usually run things in 1024x768 resolution, however I think i'll get a widescreen LCD. Maybe a 19 inch. Maybe even a 17 inch. I really do not need the biggest monitor available. Right now i'm using a 15 inch LCD eMachines monitor. The colors, etc. suck, but it isn't as gigantic as the CRT I had.

    So basically this is what I will use the computer for:

    games, some but not much photo editing (basic stuff w/family pictures), office software, web browsing, etc., and some video editing. Not a whole lot of video editing, so about any newer processor will be fine. I'm use to the things running for hours on the rare occasion that I do use it.

    I need at least 2gb of ram. Right now I have my desktop, a 1.3ghz athlon, that's i've replaced parts in over the past few years and a laptop. I have a wireless setup at home and i'm thinking of just getting a wireless card for the new desktop since they aren't that much.

    In any event my $1,000 budget covers the tower and monitor, however I can get the monitor seperate from the $1,000, I just gave myself that budget based on what I was going to get at best buy. I was going to get this:


    I was going to get it w/o the monitor (somewhat cheaper) and buy a seerate 19" widescreen monitor (I have no idea how to tell which ones are good because in the store they have them adjusted really badly). I was also gonna put this card in it:


    They were out of the desktop when I went there on Sunday so I decided to look into buying the parts and building one and so far I think it's about 1/2 and 1/2 each way, with the building coming out on top.
  9. OUCH, don't get the 7300 bud, might as well flush your money down the toilet there.

    Ok, if you're comfortable building your own system, you can do alot better than the Best Buy package for your budget. So your best bet is to keep the price down on certain components that don't need to be high end. Here's a quick list, no pricing.....search around and find the best purchase for your list:

    -C2D 4300 or 6300
    -cheaper 945 or 965 motherboard, Biostar or MSI brand will work
    -2 gigs cheap 667 RAM (PQI, A-Data, or G.Skill will work fine)
    -250 gig Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 hard drive
    -Samsung SH-S182 DVD Writer (quieter than most)
    -500-500w power supply, FSP or Hiper brand will work fine for you
    -7600GT graphics card (this will handle anything you need and is a steal at the current prices)
    -Coolermaster Centurion case (or anything else that strikes your fancy, but make sure it has spots for 120mm fan intake and exhaust)
    -120mm case fans (1 intake, 1 exhaust if doesn't come with the case)
    -19" LCD monitor, whatever fits your budget (Acer or LG should do fine)

    Also, consider a BACKUP HARD DRIVE for you data. Either use the one you have or get an external one, or get another internal one. Seriously. If you use this system for what you describe, if you lose your data you're screwed. Backup drive....your best friend ;)
  10. for $50 more I can get the 7600GS at best buy for $149. Would that be ok in the best buy system?
  11. Quote:
    for $50 more I can get the 7600GS at best buy for $149. Would that be ok in the best buy system?

    Caution when you buy a Desktop at a local retailer because you will need to buy a new power supply. Most video cards require 400W + while those desktops only come with the bare minimum of about 350W or so. If you are going to be spare parts like you have asked for advice i would get the PNY 7900GS which is a raelly good card and it will last you a long time. I payed $150 for it at best buy about 2 months ago and right now it is at 180$ from 230$.
  12. Also just incase you didn't know you can buy parts online as well at cheaper prices then most retailers. I just gave a search for a 7600 gs as you stated before and you can get it for 100 dollars including shipping (evga brand)...or 116 for an asus version. those are both 256 mb versions however...a 512 version starts at 130. all these prices include shipping..

    I always buy my parts online since I know I'm going to save some cash..Plus I get to read all the specifications and ask online if I'm making a good/bad choice with the combination of parts. If you don't mind waiting for parts to be shipped then I think online would be a better choice since you can skim some money off the price from retailers. you can use pricewatch.com if you want..It's what I use to buy computer parts...but Newegg.com is also a excellent place. I normally use newegg to check the price on parts I'm going to purchase then check how much I can shave off of it at pricewatch if any. Then I make my decisions about what I want to buy. I normally dump around 3-4 grand into each computer I build every 2-5 years so it does save quite a lot of cash compared to retailers.

    Well I guess that about wraps up my input..lol.

    so far looking at the info you can build a pretty decent computer for a grand...But honestly the only thing I'm worried about is a monitor...I never have purchased an lcd flatpanel before but I remember a few years back that low budget ones were quite bad for gaming and color....I haven't kept up with the times on lcd displays but hopefully that's changed so you can get a decent flat panel in the 100-200 range...If you have any questions regarding anything just ask ^_^...I won't be much help on the monitor though..lol
  13. I am telling you, Go for the x1950xt, you won't be dissapointed I Promise. It will completely dessomate the 7600gt. (28fps compared to 70fps in halflife2 with max settings for example.) If you're buildng a gaming system, cut any corners you can to get a nicer video card, that will affect your gaming performance more than anything else.

    Here is the x1950xt, I think you'd love it ($215 after MIR)

    Also, here is a x1950pro for $175 ($155 after MIR) it won't stand up to the 1950xt, but will kill a 7600 gs for about the same price (you pointed out $150 at bestbuy)

    Sample benchies from THG VGA Charts.

    HL2 Max
    x1900xt- 70fps
    x1950pro- 54.5 fps
    7600gt- 28 fps
    7600gs- 17 fps

    Oblivion 1280x1024
    x1900xt- 93fps
    x1950pro- 76 fps
    7600gt- 50 fps
    7600gs- 36 fps

    Edit: those benchies are for the x1900xt, so the x1950xt should be slightly higher
  14. Considering the budget you are proposing, you may want to consider one of these deals:

    Viewsonic 19" widescreen for $155 after a $40 rebate:


    has decent specs and good ratings from the newegg posters. Only has D-Sub connector though. If you want DVI there is a highly rated Sceptre for $194 (incl s&h) at newegg:


    or a Samsung for $180 (incl. s&h) after a $20 rebate at Buy.com:


    As to the case, if you are not after something flashy, Fry's has an Ultra mid tower for free after a $40 rebate:


    I used it for a budget build for my sister and it is a decent case ... no sharp edges, both sides come off for easy installation of the drives and it has front usb/firewire. I did get the rebate after about 6 weeks. You will have to buy case fan(s) separately, but I think that is a good thing as you can pick quiet ones.

    As to the PSU, the Ultra 500w PSU at Fry's is also free after a $40 rebate:


    This is the same PSU I have in my system and it works fine. You also get a lifetime warranty once you register it. I did get the rebate after the usual 6 weeks.
  15. Thanks to everyone that's replied so far. Learning a lot of stuff, but honestly it's starting to confuse the hell out of me! Mostly with the motherboards. Some people say get this, some say get that. I've looked in the forums for some builds also and it isn't a whole lot clearer. I don't play games like half-life or any first person shooters, mainly because I never liked them much. Someone said get a 495, someone said get a gigabyte s3. I have no idea what the difference is, could you explain?

  16. ....
  17. The Gigabyte 965P-S3 is a very well-reviewed motherboard at all Tech forums, pretty much everywhere. It is definitely one of the preferred boards at that price/feature point. Many people have it (or the DS3 which is the SAME except has capacitors built with better quality material, to last longer. But it's the SAME mobo). It is tried and true, and has proven itself to be a very good board. It also overclocks very well (not the best, but very well) for its price, and its BIOS is very easy for beginners to understand. It's not finicky any longer with RAM or whatever.

    So all in all, the S3 is a highly regarded motherboard, at a very good price. You really can't go wrong with it.

    There are cheaper boards, and ones that overclock better, and ones that have more features......but they cost more, or are more unstable, or whatever. So for your best investment of money, the S3 is about as good as you can get, especially considering the price.

    As with most things, however, there are personal and factual data that might be offered for other products. For example, someone might recommend the ASUS P5B-E as an alternative. And yes, it is a good suggestion. But some people have complained about that board, or said it was picky about certain things. But it also tends to score slightly higher in benchmarks. And if you get the P5B-E you'll probably do fine, and alot of people have.

    I've personally owned ASUS and Gigabyte, and I definitely prefer the Gigabyte for the reasons stated above. It is the safest choice for the best price, with the best features and stability. It's really that simple.

    But as I said, there are other mobos that can be suggested, and they're not WRONG. They are just different, or have nuances that might make a difference to certain people.

    But you would be hard-pressed to find someone here that won't agree with the S3.

    Hope that helps clear it up.
  18. Ok i'm finishing up my shopping list for newegg.com. Please look it over and tell me if I need to change anything. I made some comments. I've also been looking in the forum for other builds but they're all just as confusing as this one to me, so i'll stick with what i'm given here.

    Enermax 550W single +12v with 12v@36A

    E6400 LGA 775
    ( Will I notice much difference if I go with the slightly cheaper E6300? )

    Kingston 2GB DDR2 667

    NEC burner

    GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    ( replaced the 945 because of suggestions )

    LIAN LI PC-60USB Silver ATX
    ** would either of these be just as good?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119068 **

    Hard Drive
    I didn't know which one to get

    Graphics Card
    This is the one area that seems to have the most debate. The $250 for a graphics card is just too much right now I think. So do I go x1950pro or 7600gs/gt ?

    Other stuff

    120mm case fans (1 intake, 1 exhaust if doesn't come with the case)
    *** I didn't know what to get there either, just any? ***

    -19" LCD monitor, whatever fits your budget (Acer or LG should do fine)
    *** Still looking into that ***

    -Samsung SH-S182 DVD Writer (quieter than most)
    *** Did not see that on newegg. Should I search elsewhere or just go with the NEC burner above? ***
  19. @ Lionhardt:

    Are you always so helpful and thoughtful in your responses?? Go somewhere else, nobody appreciates your useless comments (not to mention your racial slurs elsewhere).

  20. Good list you got there so far!

    Get the SATA Seagate, NOT the IDE. Get whatever size you need/afford. 250 or 320 gig is the best price point right now.

    Get the 7600GT. For the performance, it's a steal. Highly recommended, very good price.

    Case fans......get 120mm fans that aren't too loud. Preferably less than 35 dba loud. Coolermaster, Silverstone have ones that are either speed-adjustable or not too loud, that's a good starting point. If you want quiet and adjustable, the Antec Tri-Cool 120mm are good too.
  21. HD: Seagate Barracudas are the best, just don't get the ATA100, get the SATA one with 320GB (or 250GB) and 16MB of cache, that's downright the best HD there is for its price right now.

    CPU: E6300 + CPU cooler + overclocking = very fast CPU, that's the way you get the most performance out of your money. Though if you're not into overclocking, then E6400 is slightly faster than E6300, so basically you get what you pay for. I'd take either E6300 or E6600 but not the intermediate.

    PSU: All you need is THIS as long as you don't run into the craziness of SLI. This is a really high quality power supply that's enough for a typical modern system like yours and won't fail.

    If you don't like jumping on every new game with flashy effects a 7600GT will serve you well until your next upgrade. Though if the X1950Pro is not much more expensive, I'd go with it because it's really a more powerful card. And power is nice to have. :twisted:
  22. Interesting......that's not what Gigabyte's tech people said.
  23. Get the x1950 pro, it will run circles around the 7600gt. It doesn't matter that you don't play those games, its just showing you the performance difference.

    You say this is a gaming system. You can DOUBLE its performance in games by just spending $70 more on a x1950pro over the 7600gt. I don't know why you wouldn't...
  24. Yea, depends how much $$ he can save on the other parts and swing the budget. If he's willing, that's surely a great option. I was assuming he would be tighter on budget....err on the side of caution ;) But if he can do it, then for sure.
  25. Yes you can. I built an AMD64 4000 based system a year ago for around $1800 that you could build for proabbly about half that today. It may noy\t have the uber performance of a QX6700 with dual 8800GTX's but its still more than adequate to play most stuff well.

    An Intel or AMD chip for <$200 will perfom really well - hell the FX60 which was over $1000 a year ago is now ~$400. This is still a fast chip - just no longer the fastest.

    Understand that at the high end you can pay twice the price to get a 5% performance gain. THG highlighed this in the srticle where they used an AMD64 3700 with e dencent graphics a\card adn it still worked well.

    Long and short - you don't have to spend a bundle to have great gaming

    Nuff said
  26. for a case, if you are willing to spend the money, this lian li is a really good case (good airflow, great construction)

    Hard drive, i agree with the seagate, here it is:

    The FSP 450W psu is perfect for the money, great recommendation.

    again, if it's in your budget i would recommend the cheapest x1950pro or gt.
    if not, the cheapest 7600gt or x1650xt.

    CPU- cheapest core 2 duo, they're all fast.

    RAM- ddr2 800 is recommended. g.skill brand is cheap and highly regarded.

    Monitor- this is a fantastic deal for a 19" widescreen format

    Well i hope you have a good build.

    PS: inform us of your purchasing decision before you click on submit order.
  27. Quote:

    Awesome setup. Little more than the target amount, but she will serve you well for a long time to come.
  28. My mistake.
  29. Is there a promo code, because when I did the cart with your setup at newegg, it came to $1,198.72
  30. Ummm jsut a question if this is a completly group up build will you need a copy of windows? That is one of the most overlooked parts of a new build and it can hurt your budget when its that tight. Id just hate to see you buy all that hard ware and have a pretty paperweight.
  31. I already have a copy of windows xp.
  32. i redid it, and it came out to
    Grand Total: $1,099.94

    Do you get charged for taxes?
  33. Quote:
    i redid it, and it came out to
    Grand Total: $1,099.94

    Do you get charged for taxes?

    Yeah. I'm in TN and the sales tax is 8.25%, maybe even slightly higher by now.

    subtotal: $1,067.91
    tax: $98.78
    shipping: $32.03
    total: $1,198.72
  34. Yeah! you'll have the same PSU as me!!!

    You can cut a little by getting this case instead, it's a great case really... ugh... I'm not being much informative on this but... just trust me it is ok?

    E6300 >> E4xx, great overclocker, just 10$ more really so this should be a no-brainer.
  35. e6300
    x1950 pro
    windows xp (unless u want a buggy pc with vista)
    2gb corsair value ram
    hanns g 19 inch widescreen
    thermaltake toughpower 470 watt psu
    samsung 18x dvd writer
    gigabyte s3 mobo (not ds3)
    seagate 7200.10 250gb
    Coolermaster Cavalier to3 case

    im building with those exact parts in a couple of weeks and t comes around to like 1050 with shipping (if u buy some on zipzoomfly and some on newegg)
  36. 4300 is 1.8ghz the 6300 is 1.86 ghz. I am not into overclocking. They are nearly identical and one comes with a free game. I hate FPS's, but still. Why would I pay $10 more for the 6300? I am already over what I wanted to spend, but I keep telling myself it's for the greater good
  37. Well, if you're not into overclocking then that's fine. But the 6300 gives you double the L2 cache for $10 more...good deal there.

    Seriously bud, if you are worried about $10 blowing your budget, then you have bigger issues here. $10 on $1000 system is 0.1% of the total cost. If 0.1% is gonna kill you, then you should rethink your specs to begin with.

    Or else order one less pizza this month, and you'll make up the difference there ;)
  38. Quote:
    Well, if you're not into overclocking then that's fine. But the 6300 gives you double the L2 cache for $10 more...good deal there.

    Seriously bud, if you are worried about $10 blowing your budget, then you have bigger issues here. $10 on $1000 system is 0.1% of the total cost. If 0.1% is gonna kill you, then you should rethink your specs to begin with.

    Or else order one less pizza this month, and you'll make up the difference there ;)

    I can spare the $10, it's just I see no other tech specs diff. The level 2 cache is the same per the website
  39. It really depends on the place you buy from and the items you want in it. I always use Newegg.com and a very nice and fully upgradeable system is very easily under the $1000 mark you are shooting for. I do not like, suggest, or work with Intel ever, I only use AMD so this set-up is based on an AMD X2 system.

    LITE-ON 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write White IDE Model LH-18A1P-184 - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827106041

    ASPIRE X-Gear ATXB5KLW-YL Yellow Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX 420W power supply for AMD/Intel Power Supply - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811144044

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Item #: N82E16822144417

    Hanns·G JW-199DPB Black 19" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
    Item #: N82E16824254001

    GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128029

    EVGA 512-P2-N447-LX GeForce 7300GT 512MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814130024

    SpecResearch MKS-301(USB) Black USB Standard MultiMedia KB + Mouse + Speaker 3-in-1 Combo Mouse Included - Retail
    Item #: N82E16823157023

    pqi TURBO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PQI26400-2GDB - Retail

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+(65W) Windsor 2.0GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADO3800CUBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103733

    Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116056
    Return Policy: Software Return Policy

    SONY Hats with Sony logo - Retail
    Item #: N82E16800994001

    Grand Total: $975.58 and this includes shipping!

    You never said if you needed an operating system, but I added Windows Xp to the order and your still under 1k. Not to mention the rebates on these items get you back around $60 bucks. And yes, there is always room for improvement.

    Good luck
  40. Don't forget shipping and/or tax depending on where you get your parts. My $1000 build last Christmas had $76.95 after adding up tax and shipping from newegg (which was actually pretty cheap). If you want to stay within the budget, plan beforehand how much you want to spend on each part. With that budget, I could only afford 1 Gig of RAM, an $80 mobo, and Centurion 5, and an E6600 for $215 (which was a steal!)
  41. switching processors could be a good idea also (to the 6300).
    and to overcome the increase in cost you could change the case to a cheaper one:
    and maybe even possibly swithcing PSUs, (to this one)
    and get even more considerable savings.
    Heck, it even becomes cheaper than the initial install.

    But it's up to you. Just keep us posted.
  42. I got my gaming rig for about $700

    $135 - AMD Athlon X2 3800+ @ 2.35
    $92 - ASUS M2N Motherboard
    $145 - XFX 7900GS Graphics Card
    $130 - Corsair XMS 1GB DDR2 675 Memory
    $20 - Seagate 160GB SATA 3GB/s Hard Drive
    $40 - Antec Super Lan Boy Case
    $50 - Cooler Master 600 Watt Power Supply

    $612 Total

    Of course I didn't pay full price for everything.


    40$ rebate on graphics card
    60$ rebate on power supply
    90$ rebate on hard drive
    50$ discount on case

    It is possible to get a computer for cheap that can run games on full settings and have excellent non-lag/glitch experiences.
  43. yes you can. as a matter of fact if it was MY comp i would probably go for AMD. i think they are better price/performance wise in the budget sector. and AMD compatible motherboards also seem to cost less for same/similar feature sets. So at the bottom line you end up paying less, well, until you start overclocking, there core 2 duo really shows off.
  44. c2d may be more useful for number crunching things like video editing. But as soon as you get to graphics, the speed of the processor isn't really the issue if its an x2 or C2D, its more about the graphics card. Hence why I skimped on the processor and went basically all out on the graphics.

    Also AMD is slightly better for gaming since Intel does not use the 3DNOW instruction set, not to mention the memory controller for AMD is actually on the processor. Intel's memory controllers are on the motherboard resulting in higher motherboard prices.

    This is also why AMD's main two markets are gamers and server owners. The better memory controller on the Opteron combined with the lower power consumption make it great for datacenters.
  45. I went ahead and place the order I had above but with the E6300. Total came to like $1,211 but I think it may be worth it. Only slightly over budget; $1,000 for computer and $200 for monitor.
  46. 10$ is actually 1% of 1000$, not 0.1% :wink:
  47. Quote:
    Well, if you're not into overclocking then that's fine. But the 6300 gives you double the L2 cache for $10 more...good deal there.

    Seriously bud, if you are worried about $10 blowing your budget, then you have bigger issues here. $10 on $1000 system is 0.1% of the total cost. If 0.1% is gonna kill you, then you should rethink your specs to begin with.

    Or else order one less pizza this month, and you'll make up the difference there ;)

    I can spare the $10, it's just I see no other tech specs diff. The level 2 cache is the same per the website
    The difference is the core, Conroe is the newer version. Will it make a difference to you, I am not sure.
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