Newb to system building $1500 budget for gaming rig Please Help!


First off heres my current system my friend built for me 2 years ago before he went off to a real college outta state.
Case: Sonata II
Graphics card: GEFORCE 7600 GT 256mb
CPU: AMD Athlon 3500+ 2.2ghz
HD: 320gb
Ram: 2gb

Here's the thing I want a new computer, I dont want to be shafted by hp or dell or whomever for sub par parts and bloatware and a plastic case. The problem I have no clue how to put a computer together, other than how to put in dimms and cpus from my job at hp putting together blade servers. Think small servers that you can crank out on an assembly line in 10-15 min not much to it.

But I'll be brave and try and put one together myself with the manuals and maybe advice from you guys lol.... seriously...

K here goes ive got $1500 to spend on parts to put together a gaming computer. No experience putting together gaming rigs but im willing to research take advice and learn the hard way.

Games i'll be playing well i plan to put the upcoming Warhammer: Age of Reckoning mmo on it, Halo 1 & 2 Maybe AOC, and ive always wanted to see what crysis is like on max settings. I dont own crysis but i've seen friends play it and it looks freakin sweet. Plus its usually the bench mark game from what ive heard, that makes or breaks a gaming pc to see if its up to par.

Heres the theme Big metal case good airflow preferably black lotsa room for parts inside(Size and weight arn't an issue ive got a big desk with lotsa room on top), Intel core 2 duo 3ghz I dont need a quad and i think 3ghz will do fine, it'll need vista home premium... yeah i wish there was another way but i want more ram lol thats about 100 bucks so lets say 1400 now.

4 gigs of ram i love ram ram is your friend. MOBO? Video card? but remember crysis on High/max Dont think ill need a sound card cause i play with my headphones on anyhow to keep noise down. Atm i have a 17" acer monitor so i dont need a monitor unless you absolutely insist. Harddrive hmm 500gb-1tb I love music and i love anime but ill settle for 320 gb if your cutting corners for better other stuff.

Also as far as the PSU and Heatsink and what tools i'll need. Ya im pretty clueless there too so i'll take all advice you'll throw at me.

Thanx for enduring that long ass post i hope yall can help me out, cause i want a nice computer. All ive ever had were sub par laptops on sale that i'd buy every year and a half, and this thing my friend built me from newegg. I'd like to have something that can play the new games on high detail instead of having to make due with lag and low/med settings.
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  1. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Total about $1320.

    + a Screwdriver and some screws (I think the Antec nine hundred comes with enough, I can't remember if mine did). If you already know how to put memory and CPUs on a board, then all you need to know is how to put a video card in, how to tighten a few screws, and connect the correct power plugs. Pretty basic stuff once you know what you're doing.

    EDIT: You could also get a new screen while you're at it. Something as awesome as this:

    SAMSUNG 2053BW High-gloss Black 20" 5ms (2ms GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 8000:1(1000:1) - Retail
  2. CPU - E8500 $190 Selling for only $20 more than the E8400, best cost/performance intel core2 duo atm
    Motherboard -X48 2 full bandwidth sockets for eventual crossfire when you get a 24"-28" monitor, supports 1600FSB Asus Rampage formula $290
    Ram - 2x2x2x2 Mushkin DDR2 800 1.8v $160
    PSU - PC Power and Cooling 750w $110 for eventual crossfire
    Case - Coolermaster 690 $85
    GPU- HD4870 Visiontek $260
    Hard drive - Western Digital 640 GB SATA $85
    DVD burner- Liteon retail (for software) $29
    OS - Vista home prem 64 $100
    About $1300 before shipping, didn't check for combo deals
  3. Hmm he'd be wasting an extra $100 for an X48 motherboard that offers nothing more than what the DFI X38-T2R does (except for dual gigabit ethernet).
  4. my recommendation would be dont bother with the vista and use the xp you have instead unless youre gonna sell it. in fact, id say keep the hard drive as storage and add a new faster one if you really want (like an SSD for the OS and apps or a WD raptor), keep the case, if the power supply is a decent one at 400-500+ watts it may suffice, and the RAM if DDR2 and you wont be overclocking, may also suffice (and having 3-4gb as RAM as far as I know in XP really doesn't pay off. you can safe yourself some money by reusing the same parts that are still fine and wont really hurt your performance. get a decent cpu of course, a good mobo (dont shaft yourself there), and a smart good choice with the vid cards. read the review on this website for best vid cards. 8800 gt's in SLI are a killer for ~$220 too. anyway, just a thought. i wouldnt want you spending all that money on what will not amount to a huge upgrade. and if you find yourself bottle-necked with your RAM for example or realize you need a more powerful psu to support a quad-core and sli/crossfire setup if you go that way, then you can always swap it out later.
  5. In all honesty another reason im trying to build another pc, is cause the first one is starting to act funny. Loud fan, idk might just be the high settin g of the fan, and some times the computer keeps beeping and doesnt turn on, so i turn it off and on and it works fine.

    So i want to build from the ground up. And cause its currently too slow to play any of the new games that are coming out. I was thinking about giving it to my sister who has no computer, or my father whose using a 5 yo dell laptop. Either of them would have more time to play with it to figure out whats wrong with it then me. I work mornings full time and have night classes a few nights a week for cisco. But thu fri no classes and sat sun i have off so thats when i game between studying.

    So i dont mind shelling out the cash, its still cheaper then a vendor with more reliable parts for the most part.
  6. dirtmountain said:
    CPU - E8500 $190 Selling for only $20 more than the E8400, best cost/performance intel core2 duo atm
    Motherboard -X48 2 full bandwidth sockets for eventual crossfire when you get a 24"-28" monitor, supports 1600FSB Asus Rampage formula $290
    Ram - 2x2x2x2 Mushkin DDR2 800 1.8v $160
    PSU - PC Power and Cooling 750w $110 for eventual crossfire
    Case - Coolermaster 690 $85
    GPU- HD4870 Visiontek $260
    Hard drive - Western Digital 640 GB SATA $85
    DVD burner- Liteon retail (for software) $29
    OS - Vista home prem 64 $100
    About $1300 before shipping, didn't check for combo deals

    Hmm this looks about right But can someone suggest a good NVIDIA card. I a few of my friends and people in my class like nVIDIA so there must be a reason for it heh.

    Minus the video card he suggested, the total at newegg is $1102 o.O Like I said before i'd like a nice card that can play crysis on high/max settings cause thats one of the games i want to play on this pc.

    Also what else will i need besides the list above? Like heat sink, thermal paste? ESD strap, dont know what else, see if you can help me out with what else I'll need. Thanx for the support and advice thus far, I hope this build works out nicely.
  7. NVidia GPU...

    280 or for less $$$ 260.

    ATI 4870 and 4870x2 are the "hot" top dogs right now.

    If you go the NVidia route and SLI, you will need an NVidia chipset MOBO, which I hear (no personal experience) are buggy.

    Dirtmountain's build is quite solid. If you want to save a small amount of $$$ Asus P5E Deluxe basically same MOBO (X48) with just a few less bells and whistles.
  8. hmm so about the only difference is less usb ports and no extra gigabit ethernet port for $220 vs $290. So that 70 bucks more i have, also I don't know if i'll need 8 gb of ram like dirtmountain suggested I think 4 will be plenty.

    So that'll be another $90 buck so $160 bucks more towards something else. Hmm maybe I should get another monitor thats bigger then a 17" acer. Ok I guess i will get dirtmountains suggested
    GPU- HD4870 Visiontek $260
    Which would put me at $1202

    See what kinda big monitor you guys can scrounge up with $300 Thanks again
  9. 4870 are gonna want at least 22" LCD to fully use the GPU.

    22" in your $$$ range
  10. Now for the nitty gritty um does anyone know if it came with a heatsink? Honestly i dont know if it did, if not What kind of heat sink. Also what else will i need to put this together, remember this is my first computer im building for myself. I want to make sure i have all the tools and parts, before i begin and find out i cant put it together.

    Nytemare nice suggestion on the 22" samsung that puts this build right under $1500 well before tax if any and shipping costs of course. Also where would i go to get the bios, or whatever else is needed to get this up and running once its assembled?
  11. Some computer stores will assemble hardware for as little as $40


    Dirt mountain has a good build. Very similar to my system.

    My previous motherboard blew up 3 months before the 4870 came out. I couldn't wait so I now have 2 3870's in crossfire.

    For $70 more you can go with a DDR3 board and 4 gigs of 10666 DDR3 ram

    P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi@n w/ DualDDR3 1333, 7.1 Audio, Dual GB Lan, WiFi-AP @n, 1394, Dual PCI-E x16 CrossFire
    Extreme Performance Viper Series DDR3 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-10666 Low Latency Dual Channel Kit

    I would also recommend a better case.

    Antec 900 is a good choice. For those not on a tight budget... the Antec P190 is awesome. Only drawback of the P190 is that you will be limited when buying a heatsink. the 200mm fan is pointing right at the heatsink and it is fat.

    my build is

    E8400 overclocked to 3.6 Heatsink???? some low profile thing... not what I wanted.
    Asus P5E3 Deluxe DDR3 board
    Patriot Extreme Performance Viper Series DDR3 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-10666
    P190 case
    Too many hard drives to list... Media center!!!!! 4.2TB all together including externals.
    2 3870's in crossfire ( overclocked a little)
    Samsung 25.5 T260 1920 x1080

    My unit plays Crisis on high ( until the game nears the end..... then I have to turn it down to medium). Anyone who has finished the game will know what I am talking about.

    Make sure that you don't let someone talk you down to a lower power supply. A smaller PSU will just have to be replaced later when you go crossfire.

    I hope that I was helpful.

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