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$1000 Gaming Computer (Building Virgin)

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December 27, 2008 5:50:39 PM

I am looking to create a purely gaming PC for around $1000, the budget is flexible and can go upwards to $1300 (The cheaper, the better).

My goal is to be able to run Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead at high setting with a resolution of 1680x1050 without a trace of stuttering, if possible.

My knowledge of computer hardware is limited and I found the research overwhelming so I'm looking for some help.



First, I already have Windows XP but have no idea if I should upgrade to Vista or not, I would be willing to extend the budget if it is worthwhile.

Now to the crux of it, any suggestions for PSU, GPU and all that good stuff would be appreciated.

Also, any recommendations for a no frills mouse and keyboard?

If any more information is needed, just let me know.

Thanks.
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2008 6:16:53 PM
a b 4 Gaming
December 27, 2008 6:21:57 PM

This seems to be the sweet spot for value

Intel C2D e8400 , e8500
Inel P45 chipset motherboard . Asus , Gigabyte
4 [ 2 x2 ] Gig of 800Mhz RAM
WD 640 gig black HDD [ seagate 7200.11's have too many problems , samsung F1's are good ]

ATI 4870 1 gig gfx card or nVidia gtx 260 216

A good case and power supply . Read reviews . I like antec and sliverstone cases . Corsair and Seasonic psu's 650 watts is plenty .Dont buy cheap on these. They are important .

I would stick with XP for now . Vista is resource hungry and runs slower . There will be some minor detail in games you cant turn on [ Direct X 10 ] but it doesnt make much difference .
XP wont see all 4 gig of RAM but ignore that for the time being and upgrade to the new windows 7 64 bit in a year or so when it is released .
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December 28, 2008 4:42:01 AM

joeone said:
I am looking to create a purely gaming PC for around $1000, the budget is flexible and can go upwards to $1300 (The cheaper, the better).
My goal is to be able to run Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead at high setting with a resolution of 1680x1050 without a trace of stuttering, if possible.
My knowledge of computer hardware is limited and I found the research overwhelming so I'm looking for some help.
First, I already have Windows XP but have no idea if I should upgrade to Vista or not, I would be willing to extend the budget if it is worthwhile.
Now to the crux of it, any suggestions for PSU, GPU and all that good stuff would be appreciated.
Also, any recommendations for a no frills mouse and keyboard?
If any more information is needed, just let me know.
Thanks.
This system will do what you ask:

Gaming System for New-Builder w/22" Monitor 12/27/08:

NZXT TEMPEST CS-NT-TEM-B ATX Mid Tower $100-30+ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case asthetics vary, just make sure there's room for the videocard.

PC Power & Cooling S75CF Red 750W $110-40+0
Blue add $20, Black add $30 (just for color!)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 P45 ATX $120-15+ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston KVR800D2N5K2/2G (2 x 1GB) DDR2-800 $24+0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 $160+0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100243TXSR Radeon 4870 512MB GDDR5 Toxic Edition $230-20+ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WD Black WD6401AALS 640GB 32MB $80+0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X SATA DVD Burner OEM SH-S223F $25+0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Targus AKB14USZ Black 104 Keys PS/2 Standard Keyboard $17+ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech G5 USB Laser 2000-dpi Mouse $47+0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This all comes out to $913, or $808 after rebates, Plus shipping
which I would guess at $40 or less for the 4 items.

Under $1k provides some room for changing/improving/upgrading.
You WILL get responses telling you to change the memory.
As a "virgin builder" please resist these pleas.
This system should POST, Boot and Run as assembled just fine.
The mouse is hardly a basic model, but you will be very happy you bought it.
December 28, 2008 5:57:59 AM

^
Good stuff up there. Though I might swap out that 4870 for a regular 1 Gb edition. And the memory.

Are you a virgin builder or are you barely computer literate? Very different things. It's very likely you will mess something up in the build - I **** up bad on my first build. You should have customer support on quick dial.
December 28, 2008 6:02:20 AM

Go for the evga 55nm gtx 260 core 216, and overclock that bad boy to 700mhz+. You'll get GTX 280 performance, for nearly $100 less.
December 28, 2008 12:49:26 PM

I like winXP more then Vista due to resourche requirements for VISTA...

However, that said, Vista has better support and options for Direct X 10 and onwards, which for gaming is a Must. so it is a tricky choise.

Personally, I would stick to the winXP you have because of budget, and upgrade to VISTA only in the comming 12 months, when the Direct X 10 and Vista become more and more required for good Gamining experience.
December 28, 2008 7:01:53 PM

Looks like I'm going to be sticking with XP for now and I can just upgrade to Vista when needed.

@optional22: This is my first build but I wouldn't say I'm computer illiterate, I assume I'll run into some hiccups though.

Thanks everyone for your input thus far. I'm leaning towards Newf's build so far but any extra comments are appreciated!

a b 4 Gaming
December 28, 2008 7:37:10 PM

I only have two major problems with newfs build, one of which he predicted.

The motherboard is not crossfire capable. Seems a shame to provide enough power for a second card, and then not leave the option open. Perhaps he meant to link the UD3P:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As to the 2X1GB Kingston memory, this is just wrong. Kingston is a great company and they make very compatible memory, yes.

-You buy two 1GB sticks now and when you want to upgrade (and you will soon) you will have to populate all 4 slots. This is almost always a challenge on P45 boards. Your other option will be to toss the sticks you bought and replace them with a 2X2 set, however since the switch is coming to DDR3, DDR2 prices may have come up by then.

-Just because your XP 32-bit will only be able to use somewhere between 2.8-3.6GB of your 4GB, is no reason not to have it now.

-There are plenty of 2x2 kits that operate at the JEDEC standard 1.8V and so are very compatible.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is very nice RAM at a great price.


December 29, 2008 7:20:02 PM

Just wanted to say that I built my first comp last week. Much easier than I anticipated. The main thing is just to make sure all the little things match up. Make sure you get SATA mobo and get SATA optical drives/hard drives. Make sure your PSU has the proper power connectors for mobo and GPU(although you should prob get adapters that will work anyways). Everything else is basically just plug and play.

If your getting a good GPU you may want to install it early on in the build. I waited to do it last (no idea why) and it became a real hassle because of all the cords in the way. - buy some zip ties.

I would upgrade to vista 64 bit. Except for the onslaught of "are you sure" messages its a really nice upgrade.

Have to agree with the RAM too. Id go 2x2. You can get 4GB 2x2 for ~$50. There is really no reason not to IMO.

As far as mouse and keyboard ive also been a real cheapo there before. I went ahead and got the G15 keyboard and G5 mouse from logitech. Wow what a difference. I don't think you'll be disappointed later on if you spend some cash upfront there.
December 30, 2008 2:47:04 AM

Just put my order in on my new computer from NewEgg!

I used mostly Newf's build with a crossfire capable motherboard and 2x2 gigs of ram.

This way I have plenty of room for improvement with another graphics card, more RAM and possibly a 64 bit OS.

Thanks everyone for your help, hopefully the actual building process will go smoothly!
December 30, 2008 6:07:40 PM

Can you give us an idea what the final list was (which other mainboard and which RAM) and the final price of your build.

And if you have installed it, maybe run a benchmark and give us your oppinion on your new system.
January 9, 2009 6:25:06 PM

I am typing this from my new, home-built computer!

The motherboard I'm using is the one Proximon suggested:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128358

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

In the end it ran me about $900 pre-rebate.

I don't know if there's a universal benchmark but I'm getting a consistent capped 60 FPS in Left 4 Dead on the highest settings. Overall, I'm very happy with how it went and the final product. This is exactly the goal I set out for and it is now accomplished. Thanks everyone for your help!
!