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Total noob, need help!

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September 28, 2008 8:52:46 PM

Hi, im a noob who needs to build a good gaming computer for around $700. I dont know much about computers so i really need help.

my goal is to get a computer capable of playing upcoming games like Empire: Total War, and other graphically intensive games like Crysis or Oblivion. I dont need a new monitor or a keyboard or a mouse or stuff like that, im basically looking for 4 or 5 main components

Motherboard: no idea what i need here

Ram: again, no idea what specifically i need but i guess it should be 2 gigs

Processor: no idea what i need but i would like a core 2 duo, one thats good but not outrageously expensive. around $200 would be ideal

video card: i have a slight idea what i want because i heard that the Nvidia 9800 GTX is a good bang for my buck at around $200

Power Supply: this may not be necessary i dont know, my power supply is old and noisy but maybe it doesnt have enough juice to run these components. if you suggest a power supply, the cheaper the better because i know some of them can get expensive

That is bacically all i need i think, please any and all suggestions are welcome

More about : total noob

September 28, 2008 9:27:15 PM

Here's what i picked out so far, tell me if this is good or suggest better components for around the same price

Video Card: EVGA 512-P3-N874-AR e-GeForce 9800 GTX + Superclocked 512 MB DDR3 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card--Lifetime Warranty http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-512-P3-N874-AR-Superclocked-... $230

Motherboard: Intel BOXDQ965GFEKR Core 2 Duo 1000Baset Ready Socket 775 MicroATX Motherboard http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOXDQ965GFEKR-1000Baset-Mic... $120

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Dual-Core Processor, 3.16 GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB, LGA775 http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Dual-Core-Processor-1333MHz... $204


Ram: Corsair XMS3 DHX 2X1GB Kit PC3-10666 1333MHz DDR3 (TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX) http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-2X1GB-PC3-10666-1333MHz-T... $160


I didnt pick out a power supply because i dont even know what to look for. How do you like these components? will they be able to run graphically intensive games at high settings? looking for input
September 28, 2008 9:36:15 PM

There are plenty of articles about this, but here's a quick and dirty list, you pic the companies and parts:

P45 motherboard - $100-$150 or so
E8400/E8500 CPU - $160-180 (if you are going cheap, check out the E7200, only $100)
2x2GB DDR2 800 RAM - low latency (Cas 4 or 5 and 1.8 v) (only ~ $50)
4850 for your GPU - great bang for the buck for around $150
Get a quality PSU - probably around 500w-600w (Corsair, PC power and cooling, OCZ, Antec) (less than $120)
Western Digital 640 GB HDD - 2 platters - great performance and value. ($80)

Come back with a list of components and we'll take another look.

Good luck. We'll help again soon.
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September 28, 2008 9:44:26 PM

i already made a list of components, check the post above yours ;) 

hmm, ok so you suggest for me to switch out the motherboard i picked for a p45 one, and you also suggest to get DDR2 ram instead of DDR3 ram? are you certain about that? isnt DDR3 more current and powerful?
September 28, 2008 9:53:23 PM

rzzza said:
i already made a list of components, check the post above yours ;) 

hmm, ok so you suggest for me to switch out the motherboard i picked for a p45 one, and you also suggest to get DDR2 ram instead of DDR3 ram? are you certain about that? isnt DDR3 more current and powerful?


Yes, p45 perform far better than q965, for less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ddr3 is worthless. They give no performance boost under realistic conditions, only in synthetic benchmarks.

9800gtx+ for $230 is not a good deal. Performance as follows:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19

9800gx2 is only $280 for factory oced version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want more future proofing, consider a quad instead of dual.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dual vs quad gaming performance, at similar clock speeds.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...
September 28, 2008 10:01:03 PM

interesting, so i will scratch out the GTX and will buy a GX2 instead

as for DDR3 vs DDR2, im confused, the GX2 video card says its for DDR3 and the p45 motherboard im gonna buy says its for DDR3, will i be able to use i if i only have DDR2 ram?
September 28, 2008 10:04:21 PM

rzzza said:
interesting, so i will scratch out the GTX and will buy a GX2 instead

as for DDR3 vs DDR2, im confused, the GX2 video card says its for DDR3 and the p45 motherboard im gonna buy says its for DDR3, will i be able to use i if i only have DDR2 ram?


The 1gb ddr3 is video ram on the card itself. You can use whatever system ram you want.
September 28, 2008 10:09:53 PM

DDR2 is the only way to go for system RAM right now. DDR3 will be used at some point in the future (Nehalem this Fall/Winter for sure), but is so expensive it is not worth it now.

The DDR3 is on the card, not for the system (just like the 4870 has DDR5).

The GX2 is a good card (like 2 9800 GTX SLIed on one card).
September 28, 2008 10:23:30 PM

ok, i will take your advice, this will allow me to spend more on the video card and less on the ram so in the end it'll balance out and i should stay in my budget range

I will buy the 9800 gx2, i will buy the 2x2 DDR2 ram, i will buy a p45 motherboard in the $100-150 range, and i will stick with the core 2 duo e8500 since you guys didnt tell me to change that.

and with this set up do you think i will be able to run high end games like Empire Total War, Oblivion and Crysis at high settings?
September 28, 2008 10:31:27 PM

rzzza said:
ok, i will take your advice, this will allow me to spend more on the video card and less on the ram so in the end it'll balance out and i should stay in my budget range

I will buy the 9800 gx2, i will buy the 2x2 DDR2 ram, i will buy a p45 motherboard in the $100-150 range, and i will stick with the core 2 duo e8500 since you guys didnt tell me to change that.

and with this set up do you think i will be able to run high end games like Empire Total War, Oblivion and Crysis at high settings?


Yes, you'll be able to run those at High.

Consider a q6600 quad instead of e8500. It overclocks well and quads are more futureproof for future multithreaded applications.
September 29, 2008 12:22:54 AM

Yes, more games will be multi-threaded, but there is no such thing as "future-proofing." Certainly quads and more cores are the future, but the E8500 will be good for games now and for awhile into the future. The Q6600 is a great chip and does overclock well. That choice will be up to you.
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