Question: Build from scratch or buy and upgrade


A few months back I was planning on building a budget gaming PC but was laid off and had to abandon my plans. I am still stuck with my very old Sony Vaio and it is to the point where I can't stand it anymore. I really only play World of Warcraft, but would like to play Diablo 3 when it is released (as well as the WoW expansion coming next year). I just really want something that will allow me to play with no lag and have the effects turned up. My 2004 Vaio with it's GeForce MX 440 and 1 gig of ram isn't cutting it anymore lol.

SO! My question is, at this stage would it be better to try to put another budget gaming build together (I've never built a computer) or buy something and upgrade the PSU and graphics card at some point? The reason I ask is that I saw someone suggest that to another poster a couple of weeks ago as he needed to get an OS (like I will need) and at his price point buying and upgrading certain things was probably better. I don't need a monitor, mouse, keyboard or speakers.

I noticed this on Best Buy and was wondering if this would be something decent I could upgrade over time or for that price would I get something better by building my own.

Any help or advice is welcome. :)
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about question build scratch upgrade
  1. From newegg:

    Intel e5200 - $64

    Gigabyte GA-G31-ES2L - $53

    G.Skill 2x2gb ddr2 800 CL5 - $51

    OCZ modXstreamPro 600W - $75(and a -$25 mail-in rebate)

    Sapphire Radeon 4850 - $95

    WD Caviar Blue 500GB - $55

    Total of around $395 without OS, but that will run circles around that Gateway, plus its not a Gateway :)

    Also its just a quick suggestion and you can probably find better priced parts if you look for them. What CPU does your pc have? Upgrade might be sensible solution too if all you do is play WOW.
  2. yeah, that gateway only has a radeon 3200 integrated graphics. Any discrete graphics card is a huge improvement. since you don't need the mouse, keyboard, and speakers, you would be basically throwing away money. If you're going to look for a base system to upgrade, I'd start with looking at what you can order at Newegg. The best option is to build from scratch, but will take you the most time and be more difficult.
  3. It would help if we had a bit more information. Please fill out this guide and post your answers:

    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (example: tomorrow -- the closer the better)

    BUDGET RANGE: (example: US$500-750)

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (example: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (examples: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (examples:,, -- this is to help others see available options and prices)

    PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (example: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case)

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  4. It would be nice if you feel out the stick kufan gave you, im sure you can build a pc better than that gateway which wont have much upgrade path at all...diablo 3 will probably need better graphics than that 3200..
  5. Well I wasn't actually asking for a build (although it is appreciated) and that is why I didn't use the standard form. I was just wondering if starting from scratch would be better than purchasing that one I linked and upgrading the PSU and graphics card. I guess I was just looking for opinions on that model (minus PSU and graphics) for the price. It seems like from what MaDMagik says I would be better off spending the money and building something for what I would get from that Gateway for the price they are asking.
  6. Quote:
    I was just wondering if starting from scratch would be better than purchasing that one I linked and upgrading the PSU and graphics card

    Yes mainly because you'l be able to OC.
  7. Best answer
    If you were going to buy psu+gfx for that gateway I advise you to build one yourself even more now. Bang for buck, quality of components, perfomance and overclocking - things you wont get from a gateway PC :)
  8. Thank you very much all!
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