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Help for a new builder

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September 7, 2008 9:00:40 PM

Well I'm a new at this sort of thing, and I'm looking to make a gaming computer for about $1000, to $2000 dollars. I've looked into some stuff, and figured out I'm pretty much lost with what seems to be a lot of parts that seem to be exactly the same, any good help with a system?

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a b 4 Gaming
September 7, 2008 11:31:09 PM

You can make an easy start of it by looking over some suggest builds over @ TechReport: TR's back-to-school system guide
Beyond that it's just a matter of looking other forum posts and seeing the recommendations and discussions made there by people looking to build gaming systems in the price range similar to yours. You'll notice lots of opinions - don't let that bother you - there is no single "perfect system".
If you want to learn even more you'll be spending some time reading reviews at some of the tech review websites like;
Anandtech - ExtremeTech - TechReport - THG

When you have a list of parts you feel good about you can post your system list here and ask for opinions and alternatives.
September 7, 2008 11:43:11 PM

Good build ~$1500 i think:
P5Q Deluxe mobo
Q9550 cpu
4 gigs of 800/1000/1066 ram
Nvidia 9800GX2 (older but has a great $/performance now)
WD 640AAKS
Antec 900/1200 (if u want full tower)
Thermaltake 850 (or other good PSU make sure it has an 8 pin for GX2)
Cpu cooler- Xigmatek 1283, Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, Thermalright 120 Extreme (only if ull lap it)

Its a good build and can be fined tuned to ur needs
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
September 7, 2008 11:48:39 PM

Look over the recommendations by lunyone as a good recommendation for a $1000 base system. Add a keyboard, mouse, speakers and nice monitor and you have a great $1500 gaming PC.
a b 4 Gaming
September 7, 2008 11:50:47 PM

The most important component for gaming is the VGA card. Get the best one that you feel comfortable buying. The GTX280 is a fine choice, and will be able to play anything out there very well. It should cost about $400. Some go higher because they are factory overclocked to the tune of about 10%. That premium does not seem worth it to me. Others are more expensive because they have factory installed water cooling. Also not worth it to me.
The 4870X2 is the new card on the block. In general, it is more capable than the GTX280, but it comes at a premium price of about $550. Is it worth it to you?
Remember, that these cutting edge cards will be somewhat dated in a year.

At the level of the E8500 or Q6600, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu.
At that level, overclocking is good for bragging, but it will not net you as much increase
in FPS as a better vga card will. Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X is an exception. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years.

Net: E8500 for the increased clock speed.

Most oem coolers will do the job, and keep the noise low. Xigmatek os very popular, and priced well http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Do get the oppptional backplate to avoid thise tricky push pin mounts.

There is no need for a premium priced motherboard unless you are planning on dual vga cards. You should be able to get a Nice P35 or P45 motherboard from Asus or Gigabyte for <$100.

Is there a need for two cd/dvd drives? A dvd burner will do everything. Samsung makes a quiet one.

I happen to like fast hard drives, and the raptor is good. The velociraptor is even better, but it DOES make a difference. I like the strategy of a fast small system drive and a slower large drive for storage and backups.

You can save a bit on the case by using the Antec three hundred . http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It cools as well as the 900, and is a bit smaller. No "bling" though.

Don't skimp on the quality of the Power supply. The PC P&C silencer610 is a great deal at $79.95 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For ram, get 4gb in a 2x2gb matched kit. It preserves your option to upgrade to 8gb, and it is easier to overclock with just 2 sticks.
DDR2-800 from a quality vendor is fine. Faster is not much worth it. Think 1-2% inframe rates vs. synthetic benchmarks.

Vista home premium-64 is good. Do you qualify for an academic license?

---good luck---

September 8, 2008 12:41:52 AM

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021&Tpk=Antec%20nine%20hundred

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAZER RZ01-00150100 Black 5 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Optical 1800 dpi DeathAdder High Precision Gaming Mouse - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAZER Lycosa RZ03-00180100 Black 104 Normal Keys 7 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG 2253BW Black 22" 2ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 DC 8000:1 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total about $1600.

You can leave it like that, switch the HD 4870 for an HD 4870 X2, or just drop a second HD 4870 down the road.
September 8, 2008 3:03:09 AM

emp said:
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021&Tpk=Antec%20nine%20hundred

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAZER RZ01-00150100 Black 5 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Optical 1800 dpi DeathAdder High Precision Gaming Mouse - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAZER Lycosa RZ03-00180100 Black 104 Normal Keys 7 Function Keys USB Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG 2253BW Black 22" 2ms(GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 DC 8000:1 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total about $1600.

You can leave it like that, switch the HD 4870 for an HD 4870 X2, or just drop a second HD 4870 down the road.

+1


I like your inclusion of accessories, but would hesitate to recommend an $80 keyboard. The Death Adder is the best mouse I have ever owned(out of MX518, G5, and Diamondback)
September 8, 2008 3:13:41 AM

Yeah missed a headset, didn't want to throw in one too expensive, since I'm careful about audio. I like the Lycosa :)  but I'd also recommend the Saitek Eclipse/Eclipse II if the Lycosa feels too expensive.
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