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Building a Gaming Computer

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February 12, 2010 6:35:13 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month or so.

BUDGET RANGE: anywhere between 500 and 700 dollars


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: World of Warcraft, Music, Web Surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, Video Card, and Operating System



PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: No preference.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: WoW dosen't support it, so it's not necessary.



MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dual screening 1280x1024 monitors.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is the first PC I've attempted to build, bit I am familiar with parts, I have changed RAM, Video Cards, and PSU's before, and i'm going to transplant my nvidia geforce 9800 GT (1 GB) from the computer i'm using (A standard Dell Dimension E520, except with 3 GB of ram, that video card, and an upgraded PSU) which has a shitty Pentium D processor, which is awful for games.

I'm having some trouble finding a decent deal on a MOBO/CPU that is a good value. Which of these is a better deal, and if there is something marginally better that dosen't cost a right arm then tell me.

Quad Core- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

i5- http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

I'm open to suggestions, I have other parts picked out as well.
Related resources
February 12, 2010 7:00:11 PM

MadAdmiral said:
You'll find better deals on Newegg....

Here's what I'd build:

CPU: X4 955 $166
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $85 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB DDR3 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Antec TruePower 550W Combo for $100 after rebates
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $20

Total: $541 after rebates.


Im used to Intel, is AMD a better brand? Also, could you give me links to what you showed me, it actually seems like a damn good build since the processor is a quad core 3.2 GHz opposed to a 2.66 GHz for less money.
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February 12, 2010 7:01:19 PM

You're fine for WoW. But eventually, you should get an HD 5770 ($150). That's more than enough power for playing WoW on max settings.
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 12, 2010 7:01:54 PM

AMD is a better price/performance. Intel is a lot more expensive. Added the links to the post above.
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February 12, 2010 7:02:20 PM

andyt94 said:
Im used to Intel, is AMD a better brand? Also, could you give me links to what you showed me, it actually seems like a damn good build since the processor is a quad core 3.2 GHz opposed to a 2.66 GHz for less money.

Well, Clock speed is decpetive, since the Intel Cpu is realy the faster CPU. The AMD is a good choice also, as it is 40$ sheaper and can alomost keep up with the intel.
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February 12, 2010 7:11:35 PM

MadAdmiral said:
AMD is a better price/performance. Intel is a lot more expensive. Added the links to the post above.

Apparantly the RAM is problematic with AMD systems, could you link me something better?
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February 12, 2010 7:13:51 PM

It's not problematic, you just need to doublecheck the settings in the BIOS.

But here you go: Corsair XMS3 1600 mhz CL 7 for $120.
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February 12, 2010 7:20:38 PM

MadAdmiral said:
It's not problematic, you just need to doublecheck the settings in the BIOS.

But here you go: Corsair XMS3 1600 mhz CL 7 for $120.

What's sad is, this build seems far superior to what i've been researching haha. So these parts are compatible and should run WoW at 40+ FPS most of the time (Don't care about dal)? It seems likely I might buy everything that you just linked me lol.
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 12, 2010 7:43:54 PM

That depends on the GPU. Once you stick in the HD 5770 (another $150), I can confidently say that it will. I don't really know if the 9800 GT you'll be using will do that.

Considering that with the 5770, you'd still be under budget, I would get the parts above now, and see what happens with the GPU you have. If you're not getting good FPS, pick up the 5770. That'll put you at $686 for the entire build.
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February 12, 2010 7:50:09 PM

yeah the exact model of it. Its a PNY nvidia GeForce 9800 GT, 1 GB. They are both 1 GB video cards so shouldn't they be comparable? Also, the RAM dosen't seem compatible unless i'm missing something. It says specifically:
Memory Standard DDR3 1866(OC)/1333/1066 MHz
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February 12, 2010 7:56:09 PM

I believe it's more than just about the memory on the card.
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February 12, 2010 7:58:34 PM

I mean its the right amount of pins, but I always thought the memory had to be the same as well IE: not being able to put RAM that is 1600 MHz in a motherboard that says specifically Memory Standard DDR3 1866(OC)/1333/1066 MHz .
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February 12, 2010 8:38:00 PM

Hi, the best thing would be for you to try with your current video card first, there's no need to buy everything at once. If you're not happy with the performance, then you can uppgrade it.

Wow is not a demanding game so you should be fine with a 9800gt.

I really like MadAdmirals build, that is a good choice.

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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 12, 2010 10:37:30 PM

The memory is compatible. The motherboard lists the default speeds and the maximum speed the RAM can be overclocked to.
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February 13, 2010 11:44:49 AM

I'm going to go ahead and get the X4 965 instead since its only 20 dollars more and has a 3.4 GHz processor opposed to a 3.2 GHz one.
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February 13, 2010 1:49:56 PM

Are you not going to overclock? If you are, save the $20. You can reach that clock speed on stock cooling with 955...
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February 13, 2010 2:43:48 PM

well then technically I could reach even higher clock speeds with the stock cooling on the other one couldn't I :p 
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 13, 2010 3:10:55 PM

You could, but they're the same chip, so the maximum clock speed is the same...
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February 13, 2010 3:50:37 PM

Honestly i'm a scrub at overclocking, I only know how to overclock graphics cards at the moment lol. Does it really make that much of a difference to overclock? (sorry if i'm being scrubby lol)
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February 13, 2010 5:09:02 PM

Yes, as long as you make sure it's stable and it stays cool enough. It's turning a cheaper chip into a more expensive one by making it faster.
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February 13, 2010 7:57:16 PM

Overclocking is easy, but honestly, the difference between the 955 and the 965 at stock speeds for the uses you have specified is next to nothing - I seriously doubt you would notice any difference at all even if you tried.

You would do better to spend that $20 somewhere else - some beer, for example. :) 

Seriously, though - if you would decide on a new video card, spend that extra $20 there instead.
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February 13, 2010 7:59:11 PM

alright then i'll take your word for it.
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February 19, 2010 11:12:05 PM

So i'm installing XP on it and its being really slow right now. Do I have to set the ram to 1333 MHz or something? and if so how?
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February 20, 2010 5:12:05 PM

Instaling XP Pro is a multihour task, depending on the size of the hard drive. ( Formatting). I've done it on dozens of systems. The best way is to get let it load, and check on it once every half hour to hit "Ok" or selesct options.
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