I plan to sell a Gateway MX7118 laptop (a good and sturdy notebook despite slow 5400 RPM hard drive but obviously terrible for graphic intensive PC games) and purchase the PC components to build a custom gaming PC just to play Company of Heroes, Bioshock and Medal of Honor: Airborne.
I have researched by looking at the items and writing down the products to research on the Net.
Here is my plan to build a PC using the following components purchased at CompUSA (except where noted):
BFG nVidia nForce 651i Ultra motherboard (~$150)
Intel Core Duo 2 2.0 gHz Socket 775 CPU (~$140)
Corsair Xtreme Performance TwinX (~$80.00 special before/on 8/31; $110 retail)
Seagate 320 GB HD w/ 16 MB cache 7200 RPM (~$110)
BFG nVidia GeForce 8600 GT OC 512 MB video card, PCI-express 16x (~$150 special " "; $230 retail)
CoolMaster Elite 330 ATX Mid-tower case (~$25 special; $50 retail, no power supply)
I'm considering SoundBlaster X-Fi but it have to be either XtremeGamer ($100) or Fatal1ty Pro Series ($150).
Is there a difference that makes Fatal1ty worth a bang for the buck compared to XtremeGamer? I will be wearing a headphone.
If I take up the special limited discount offer for some of the marked components before or on 8/31, the total will be $655 + tax, which is about as good as a brand new PS3 80GB.
I will be purchasing the keyboard and mouse with a pad at Best Buy. These may be Saitek Eclipse Illuminated Gaming Keyboard or Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard and Razer Copperhead Mouse or Logitech MX Revolution Mouse with maybe a Razer eXactMat. I might connect PC to a CRT monitor at home but considering buying a 20" or 18" inch flat/LCD monitor. Suggest brand for a good price for video & gaming experience?
I hope these are good enough specs for building a budget gaming PC. I'm a casual gamer who have never played a PC game since at least DOOM II in the mid-nineties
Don't get the 8600GT, it sucks at DX10 and isn't particularly good at DX9, you're currently better off either stretching slightly to an 8800 GTS or sticking with a high end DX9 card like an X1950 or 7950
I also wouldn't bother with a seperate sound card, most mobo sound is very good these days
you're buying high spec (e.g. overclocking) memory, but not listed an aftermarket cooler, I'd suggest something like a tuniq tower 120, if you're not going to over clock then you only can lower the spec on your memory as well
Third the vote for a x1950pro (~$120) or a 7900gs (~140). Ditch the 8600gt idea. Looks nice on paper, but as stated before, doesn't do well on real world games. Sure it will play less taxing games well, but on Bioshock, it can have issues.
Do you have something on CompUSA because if you shop around you can prob build that pc a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. I know newegg has the CPU cheaper, and you can get a 500GB HDD for about $100 there. the 8800GTS 320 is very good.
A quick note, I don't have a plan to purchase Windows Vista just to have the advantage of DX10. I read Vista is a mediocre OS, so I'll stick to XP SP2.
I hope there will be a complete reverse engineering program (it's still in development stage) to install DX10 on XP without having to purchase Vista just to play latest computer games with DX10 in full effect.
I'll keep looking for a good gaming video card - it appears CompUSA is sold out of 7950 edition.