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[Help Wanted: Building a Gaming PC]

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September 19, 2009 7:12:03 AM

I'm new to the Tom's Hardware Forums, so I apologize if I broke any rules. Regardless, I'd like a PC, preferably a PC for gaming, but I don't know much about the "PC world", so help would be appreciated. With that being said, here is what I would like (I used the templet provided):

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
I don't know yet, since I'm currently jobless.

BUDGET RANGE:
I don't want to spend over $2,000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming, Internet, music, movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
www.newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm sorry if I'm being too vague, but whichever you believe is good, but something that's not too expensive.

OVERCLOCKING: Not sure what this means, but if it will be advantageous in the long run, then yes.

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
No monitor, as stated above.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I want the gaming PC to be affordable, yet have good quality. Also, I want the case to have good ventilation, and removable dust filters. I'm going to be playing World of Warcraft, so I don't think that I'll need a high-end PC, though I still want it to have good quality. I want Windows Vista Home Premium, 64-bit as the operating system. Finally, I want it to be pre-built, since I don't know how to build a PC, and don't have patience to build one. :p 

I hope that I was descriptive enough. I'm new, as I've said, so I hope I didn't break any rules. If there's anything that I've missed, or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to give feedback. :) 

More about : wanted building gaming

a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 7:25:55 AM

Come back when you have an idea of when you want build. A week before hand is usually the best bet.
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September 19, 2009 12:49:38 PM

Yeah, the market keeps changing with new hardware coming out almost every month now, so come back when you have a better idea of the purchase date.

BTW: 2000 dollars is a huge budget, you can easily get a high-end system for that and I'll help you select the components when you have a better idea of the purchase date.
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September 19, 2009 3:11:01 PM

Sorry for the late reply, guys. I'm feeling sick, so I probably won't be checking up on this as much as I would like. Regardless, ad this may be ironic, I finally have a job! With that being said, I should have a decent amount of money for a decent gaming rig i about 4-5 weeks. So that's my time frame.
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September 19, 2009 3:34:30 PM

Thank you for the reply, but I was hoping to get a response from Why_Me. :) 
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September 19, 2009 4:04:26 PM

I7 920
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 or Gigabyte UD5
6GB DDR3
5870
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September 19, 2009 4:05:29 PM

4-5 weeks?

Well then, let's get started:

CPU: core i5 750 (you can overclock it if you like, but it's already incredibly powerful at stock speeds.)
Graphics card: ATI HD 5870 will be out by next week (doesn't matter if it's one by Sapphire, XFX, EVGA, etc... all of them will kick ass)
Memory: 2x2GB DDR3 1333 memory by Corsair or OCZ (whichever is cheapest)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2
Case: Antec 900 or Coolermaster CM690 (whichever you like the most/is cheaper)
Hard drive: Seagate ST31000528AS 1Tb 32mb (I have it and it's quiet, fast and stays cool)
CPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2
Power supply: Corsair HX520W (yes, it will be more than enough, I can vouch for that, look at my sig)
And don't forget a DVD RW drive...

That should make for a very powerful gaming system (up to a resolution of 1920x1200) without being ridiculously expensive.

Yeah sure, other people will come here and tell you to get DDR3 2000 and 8GB of ram and crossfire this and SLI that and you'll need "at least" a 700W PSU or a motherboard that's twice as expensive as the one I listed, or that an i7 920 CPU is better (which it is, just not in games) but the truth is you won't even see 1 additional frame per second when you buy all that crap...
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September 19, 2009 4:09:54 PM

Thank you for the help, Gulli, but I don't know how to build a PC, so I would prefer a pre-built PC. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. :( 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 4:20:48 PM

aed71689 said:
Thank you for the help, Gulli, but I don't know how to build a PC, so I would prefer a pre-built PC. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. :( 

If you don't want to build a pc, that gateway isn't such a bad deal if you get a monitor with 1650 x 1050 resolution. If you do decide you wouldn't mind putting together your own pc (which I would highly recommend), it isn't difficult at all. Most of your time is spend on downloading MS updates. I can post a very nice i5 single card set up on here with monitor and better vid card and case for what that gateway is going for.
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September 19, 2009 4:25:27 PM

Sure, if you believe that it's better. I'll just try to find a how-to guide online. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 4:57:23 PM

That case has a front dust filter, the psu is sold out just about everywhere including newegg...but I found it at provantage. It's a modular red LED psu and it which matches the red LED's on the case. You can always change out the HD on this build for a larger one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $109.98
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-GP - Retail

http://www.provantage.com/ocz-technology-ocz550fty~7OCZ... $74.67
OCZ 550W FATAL1TY Series PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $294.98 Free Shipping*
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9348725&t... $159.99
BFG - NVIDIA GeForce 260 GTX OC MAXCORE 55 896MB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $149.98 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card)
ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

Total: $1,067.68 | $1,057.68 w/rebate
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September 19, 2009 5:04:15 PM

I'm not trying to question you, but is that build good?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:05:55 PM

aed71689 said:
I'm not trying to question you, but is that build good?


All my builds are good.
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September 19, 2009 5:08:04 PM

aed71689 said:
Sure, if you believe that it's better. I'll just try to find a how-to guide online. :) 


Yeah, try to read the guide on Tom's hardware, it's really simple to build a PC once you already have a list of parts and it will save you hundreds of dollars/euro's if you build it yourself.

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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:12:21 PM

Why_Me said:
All my builds are good.


It looks good but its worth mentioning thats a micro ATX board... I personally go regular ATX.

Not sure why people recommend a micro atx board all over the forums, how many of you guys actually run one? Lol
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:17:39 PM

Adroid said:
It looks good but its worth mentioning thats a micro ATX board... I personally go regular ATX.

Not sure why people recommend a micro atx board all over the forums, how many of you guys actually run one? Lol


The only tight squeeze on this board is the audio connector that's right next (under) the pci - e slot. Otherwise it's a decent board to work with. The UD3R would be a good choice for a full size board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... ombo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $324.98 Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
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September 19, 2009 5:18:39 PM

Why_Me said:
All my builds are good.


With that being said, which headset, mouse and keyboard would you recomend?

Why_Me said:
The only tight squeeze on this board is the audio connector that's right next (under) the pci - e slot. Otherwise it's a decent board to work with. The UD3R would be a good choice for a full size board.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... ombo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $324.98 Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail


So I should use that motherboard, then?
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September 19, 2009 5:18:46 PM

Adroid said:
It looks good but its worth mentioning thats a micro ATX board... I personally go regular ATX.

Not sure why people recommend a micro atx board all over the forums, how many of you guys actually run one? Lol


I've had one with a Q6600 and HD 4890 and it performed admirably, really, you won't be able to tell the difference.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:21:09 PM

aed71689 said:
With that being said, which headset, mouse and keyboard would you recomend?


I'm not the person to ask. I use an el cheapo logitech keyboard, $20 headset w/mic, and a logitech trac ball for right handers to game with....old habits die hard. :( 
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September 19, 2009 5:22:22 PM

aed71689 said:
With that being said, which headset, mouse and keyboard would you recomend?


Just get whatever fits you and I mean that literally: get a mouse that feels good in your hand with a gelpad mousepad (to lay your wrist on), a keyboard that feels nice and a headset that doesn't hurt your ears and choose whether you want a cordless mouse or not, there really isn't much more to it than that.
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September 19, 2009 5:24:29 PM

Why_Me said:
I'm not the person to ask. I use an el cheapo logitech keyboard, $20 headset w/mic, and a logitech trac ball for right handers to game with....old habits die hard. :( 


Haha, that works for me. Also, you mentioned a motherboard in an earlier post. Should I use that one instead of the one that you told me about?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:27:48 PM

aed71689 said:
Haha, that works for me. Also, you mentioned a motherboard in an earlier post. Should I use that one instead of the one that you told me about?


It wouldn't be a bad switch. That gives you a bit more room between the audio plug in and the pci -e slot. Otherwise you kinda have to bend that plug in a bit on that matx board.
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September 19, 2009 5:29:28 PM

I think that I'll go with the other motherboard. I'll assume that it's compatible with the build that you've selected for me. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:31:52 PM

aed71689 said:
I think that I'll go with the other motherboard. I'll assume that it's compatible with the build that you've selected for me. :) 


Yep it will work just fine. :) 
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September 19, 2009 5:33:58 PM

Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it. :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 9:59:24 PM

Well if you are gonna built it for the first time, you need to do some research. Yea its easy for guys like us that have done it more than once, but there are a few things you need to know. Here a couple tips off the top of my head.

1) CPU Install and heatsink install are the most critical, make sure you look at a picture of how to properly apply thermal paste to your particular CPU. If you don't know what I am talking about do not attempt it until you research it. Also buy some arctic silver 5 for the apply.
2) Make sure all fans are plugged in, especially CPU fan. Otherwise that is a really easy way to burn up your new computer.
3) When you install motherboard into case make sure to put a screw where each screw hole is in the mobo.. Do NOT put extra screw ends under the mobo, I learned the hard way if you have extra contact to underside of mobo sometimes it causes problems.
4) Most other parts are pretty fail safe, don't force anything into place, but put parts in firmly untill you hear a click for the ram and graphics card, etc. Hard drives and cd drive are pretty simple too, you will figure it out. Nice thing about the new SATA connectors is they are interchangeable.

Other than that buy a little bag of zip ties and try to route your cables where they aren't in your way, and zip tie them to the case so they do not obstruct air flow

Lastly do yourself a favor and buy a little wrist strap ground wire thing so you don't fry anything with electrostatic shock. Its worth the 5-10$.

And just my two bits.. Go for the Gigabyte UD3R mentioned above. My last two boards have been Gigabyte and they are easy to use, hard to break. Great overclocker too! Speaking of overclocking, if you overclock that i5 you will have a computer that will outperform almost anything mainstream for a fraction of the cost.

Enjoy.
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September 19, 2009 10:22:45 PM

Adroid said:
Well if you are gonna built it for the first time, you need to do some research. Yea its easy for guys like us that have done it more than once, but there are a few things you need to know. Here a couple tips off the top of my head.

1) CPU Install and heatsink install are the most critical, make sure you look at a picture of how to properly apply thermal paste to your particular CPU. If you don't know what I am talking about do not attempt it until you research it. Also buy some arctic silver 5 for the apply.
2) Make sure all fans are plugged in, especially CPU fan. Otherwise that is a really easy way to burn up your new computer.
3) When you install motherboard into case make sure to put a screw where each screw hole is in the mobo.. Do NOT put extra screw ends under the mobo, I learned the hard way if you have extra contact to underside of mobo sometimes it causes problems.
4) Most other parts are pretty fail safe, don't force anything into place, but put parts in firmly untill you hear a click for the ram and graphics card, etc. Hard drives and cd drive are pretty simple too, you will figure it out. Nice thing about the new SATA connectors is they are interchangeable.

Other than that buy a little bag of zip ties and try to route your cables where they aren't in your way, and zip tie them to the case so they do not obstruct air flow

Lastly do yourself a favor and buy a little wrist strap ground wire thing so you don't fry anything with electrostatic shock. Its worth the 5-10$.

And just my two bits.. Go for the Gigabyte UD3R mentioned above. My last two boards have been Gigabyte and they are easy to use, hard to break. Great overclocker too! Speaking of overclocking, if you overclock that i5 you will have a computer that will outperform almost anything mainstream for a fraction of the cost.

Enjoy.


You forgot those nasty tiny frontpanel cables that you have to connect to make the power button work...
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September 19, 2009 11:35:06 PM

Why_Me said:
That case has a front dust filter, the psu is sold out just about everywhere including newegg...but I found it at provantage. It's a modular red LED psu and it which matches the red LED's on the case. You can always change out the HD on this build for a larger one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $109.98
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Cooler Master Intel Core i5 compatible Hyper TX3 Socket 775/1156/AMD 130W 92mm "heatpipe direct contact" CPU Cooler RR-910-HTX3-GP - Retail

http://www.provantage.com/ocz-technology-ocz550fty~7OCZ... $74.67
OCZ 550W FATAL1TY Series PSU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $294.98 Free Shipping*
Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9348725&t... $159.99
BFG - NVIDIA GeForce 260 GTX OC MAXCORE 55 896MB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $149.98 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card)
ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

Total: $1,067.68 | $1,057.68 w/rebate

+1 Good build but I do have the following things to say:

1. The new ATI 5xxx cards will be out soon. So wait for that.

2. DO NOT buy now

3. With OPs budget he could get a SSD OR 2x normal HDDs in RAID. However, this will require more research on OPs part on setting up RAID.

4. Again, with OP's budget, I'd go with an X58 set up SIMPLY because there will be i9 (hexcore CPU) upgrade possible down the road.

5. I'd also get a EVGA or XFX card due to their warranty/quality/customer service.




@OP:

Since this is your first DIY: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1444

Important things to know/remember:

1. DO NOT forget the stand offs. This is one of the most common mistakes.

2. NEVER force the CPU into it's socket.

3. READ the manuals (aka RTFM).

4. Remember to use ESD precautions.

5. Double/Tripple check your work. Esp. with the USB headers. Plugging it in the wrong way can kill your USB headers/drives.

6. Take your time. You will learn to build PCs faster from experience. For example, my first build took ~3+hrs just to assemble. Now it just takes 20-30 minutes to assemble (~40-45+ minutes for a WCing build depending on the rad placement/mounting).

7. Make sure your mount your HSF correctly.

8. Have fun doing your build.
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