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Need help building a new gaming PC - Please

Last response: in Systems
June 5, 2008 2:52:02 AM

Hi All

After reading these forums for a while, i've decided there is no time like the present to make my first post. :) 

I am in need of some desperate help regarding building a new PC mainly for gaming as my current PC is getting on a bit now. Below are the specs of my current PC.

Pentium 4 3.6GHz
Asus P5LD2 Deluxe Motherboard
2GB DDR2 RAM (just some value stuff)
4 x 320GB Sata 2 WD HDDs
Leadtek 7800GTX 256MB Video Card
Samsung 244T 24" LCD Monitor Res - 1920 * 1600 is native I think (My Fav Computer Part at the moment. I'm still in awe even after a year almost)

Anyway, as you can see it's a bit old now and ok for some games but not much good for the majority of the newer games.

I really need to do an upgrade and I have tried so hard researching different parts and stuff but can never decide on anything. I'm not interested in Overclocking as I wouldn't know where to start and I'm afraid that if I tried, it would most likely lead to the death of many computer parts.

Ok, so basically what I need help with are some recommendations on what would be best for the following parts to maximize my gaming experience. I'm being left behind and I need to catch up. I'm willing to spend up to $2000 (Australian that is) on the following parts. Basically I want to be able to play the latest games if possible at my monitors resolution or therebouts with high settings and smooth gameplay. I don't know how this whole SLI thing works and don't matter if I have it or not, just whatever offers the best gaming experience.

I'm willing to wait a couple of weeks for the new graphics cards if that's the smarter thing to do. Any help would greatly be appreciated. You guys seem to know what you are talking about so I trust your advice as I have been lagging a bit behind with computer technology recently. I will also put my ideas on what I was looking at for the following parts also. Thanks.

CPU - Preferrably Intel. I was looking at maybe the Dual Core E8500
Motherboard - I have no idea. I'm not interested in RAID. I'm going to stick a TB drive in there.
RAM - Again, I have no idea. The quicker the better I guess. Max 4GB.
Video Card - Again not sure. SLI or not, I don't know. Maybe a 9800GX2 single card or one of the newer cards coming out. Is brand important also?
Case - Looks not important. Just easy to get around.
PSU - Wouldn't have a clue.

I'm not looking to overclock anything. Just stock. Please help. Thanks again. If I need to spend a little extra, then that's cool. I can maybe spare an extra $500 AU or so.


More about : building gaming

June 5, 2008 2:59:56 AM

Hm. I don't know of any AU computer sites off the top of my head, but I can answer a few questions.

Stick to DDR2 with your RAM. Get DDR2-800 modules, as they are the current bang for your buck sweet spot. I personally think that brand doesn't matter much with your RAM.

Brand doesn't really matter with graphics cards. They determine the warranty, and in select cases a step-up program. I wouldn't pay a large premium for a brand.
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June 5, 2008 3:22:02 AM

Hi, where abouts in Australia are you?
Shopbot searches quite a few sites for prices... all in AUD. I think all the sites they list post AUST wide

If your in perth alot of the computer stores have an online section...
I recommend:
Austin computers
They pricematch (or at least use to), do online stuff (perth metro only)
PLE computers
They are a bit strict on their returns policy, but will test hardware you buy from them if you have problems. (real intel/Nvidia fanboys though).
MCG Tech
Fairly cheap, really stingy on returns, won't refund unless you have a problem and there is nothing in that model in stock. No racism intended, but only about 20% of their staff seem fluent in english. They are open on Sundays as well (big deal in WA, no sunday trading without special permits). If you bring them a list of parts you want (assuming they aren't too busy) they tend to make good reccomendations based on you intentions.

June 5, 2008 3:39:27 AM

just a couple sugestions, corsair 550vx for power supply, cas4 ddr2 800 4gig ram, wait for new cards to come out for graphics, but not the gx2, case is really your choice i like nzxt lexa, others like antec 900, or p180, centurion 5 is cheaper and fine
June 5, 2008 4:36:01 AM

hey mate, another aussie here, if ur in QLD mate, hit up (they're also in NSW now too) dead cheap and good service etc. Im going to get my computer via them in about a month or so, im looking at a 3.0 core 2 duo, asus miximus formula mobo, 2 EAH3870 video cards in Crossfire, 4gb DDR2 RAM-6400 as the basis and the rest ill work out from there. I am getting a Liam Li case due to the sound proofing that is standard in it though. does that help mate?
June 5, 2008 3:21:10 PM

Yeah that all helps.

It's not so much where I can buy the stuff from, it's more the type of parts to get. I just don't know enough about them to know which ones to get to build a great gaming system. I'm looking to spend about $2500AUD or $2000 US. I know some great places to get good parts at cheap prices, it's just that I don't know what parts to get for that kind of price.
June 6, 2008 7:50:08 AM

Where in Auastralia are you?
Its sorta big you know... There are regional price differences.
June 6, 2008 8:58:45 AM goes:

CPU: Intel E8400

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L

RAM: 2GB DDR2 800 Crucial Ballastix/Corsair/Gskill

GPU: 8800GTS 512mb

Hard Drive: 500GB Seagate 7200.11

PSU: Corsair 550vx

You won't notice any difference betweenthe E8500 and E8400. .... The E8400 is considerably cheaper and is the most popular gaming CPU in the world. Go for it.

That mobo is the very best non SLI mobo out there.

That PSU is high quality and 550W is more than enough for your build.

The new Radeon 4870 and 4850 are just a month if you can wait, get them...else get the 8800GTS GPU.

All those RAM brands are high quality...get whichever is cheapest.

That HD is the fastest 500GB drive out there. You also get the WD6400AAKS 640GB drive which is as fast for a few $$ more.
June 7, 2008 3:44:43 AM

That's the sort of info I'm after. Thanks. As far as the video card goes, I'm just gonna wait for the new cards and then splash out on a nice one.

I've been thinking about it and just have a couple of more questions.

I'm having a hard time deciding if I should go quad core or dual core. I won't be overclocking or going SLI as I'd rather not accidently break something. I also have absolutely no intention to use RAID either. I just want to put in a couple of hard drives that operate as single normal drives. Is the motherboard I have listed further below ok for this or do I have to use RAID?

I'm wondering which is the better CPU out of the below 2. Forget about price, I'm just after which one would perform better in games. I mainly play FPS and RTS games. I've never played a MMORPG and don't think I ever will. Anyway, which is better in terms of speed and performance and will I require a 64bit OS such as VISTA64 to use them to their full potential.

Intel E8400; or
Intel Q9550.

Also, from using your specs above I'm kinda looking at the following setup. The cost is not so important but more performance and compatibility with the newer graphics cards coming out. Please tell me if it would be any good or not, both for standard computing and games:

Intel Core2 Duo E8400 or Q9550 (will the stock Heatsink & Fan be ok if not overclocking?)
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 Motherboard (mainly for PCIe 2.0)
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Reaper HPC 2x2GB
Corsair TX-750 750W Power Supply (not sure if this will be overkill even with the newer graphics cards coming out)
Case - Have no idea yet. Any suggestions? I'm mainly after a quiet PC.

So, lets say all you do with your PC is play games and absolutely nothing else and were offered at no cost the Intel E8400 or Q9550, which one would you go for? All you care about is good your games are gonna perform.

Thanks guys for all your help.

By the way, I'm in Sydney a little outside the city.

June 7, 2008 3:49:15 AM

antec p182 is a quiet sleek case, q9550 is better but much more expensive and stock fan is fine without overclocking lately ocz ram hasn't been so great maybe look into a different brand they all have fairly good ram it is more a matter of price
June 7, 2008 3:56:20 AM

What would be good ram to use. Any suggestions. I'm after 4GB. If I went corsair, which would be the best to use. There are so many its so confusing.

I like the case. It doesn't get too crowded inside it does it? I don't care about the look of the case, it's more the sound, and room inside and cooling obviously needs be good enough.