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What To Look For

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November 5, 2010 4:45:28 AM

New to the hardware world and recently built a comp, but, in my eagerness, created numerous issues. Because of the possibility of having to replace broken parts and for future upgrades, i would like to know what i should be looking for in the specs of

CPU
Motherboard
RAM
Graphics Card
PSU

for a gaming computer. Right now i am not looking for specific parts; just some important qualities i should look for

PS: if this is the in the wrong section let me know and ill re-post in the proper place

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a b B Homebuilt system
November 5, 2010 6:30:55 AM

You need to choose your screen resolution before choosing the parts for tower.

Games will likely use 2-3 cores for the lifetime of today's build, so think twice about investing money in multi-threaded or 6-core processors.

If you're not OCing, there's not a lot to be gained by buying memory faster than 1333 CL9. Or spending more money than kits from G.Skill or Mushkin cost. OTOH, 1333 CL7 memory from the same vendors is often a very inexpensive upgrade. 4GB dual channel or 6GB triple channel memory is enough. OTOH, I personally recommend 8GB dual channel if you are playing WoW or similar games to ensure maximum memory is available to WoW while you use two vid cards, Ventrilo, add-ons, browser, etc.

If you haven't seen a specific review from a qualified reviewer, stick with Asus or Gigabyte for your mobo. Unless you are OCing, there's little to be gained by buying an expensive mobo from those vendors. OTOH, do make sure it can xfire/SLI, both or whichever you need, at x16-x16, x16-x8 or at least x8-x8.

Do not buy a psu that has not been well received by a qualified reviewer. If you must buy blind, buy a Corsair or a Seasonic. If you believe that psu efficiency is solely an economic issue, do not spend money on Silver or Gold rating. The payback isn't there. If you believe its an environmental issue, then go with your conscience.

Cases are fun to buy, LEDs can be cool or ugly, but big fans move more air with less noise than smaller fans. And if your case is under your table or desk, who is going to see it?

I believe nVidia driver development outpaces AMD's efforts. And that a single vid card's heat is a significant issue; 2xvid card heat is 2xsignificant. Form your own opinion on these two topics. If you are not buying the fastest card available, those two issues may be more important than saving or spending more or less for comparable AMD/nVidia cards. IOW, I'd pay $20 more for a card that gave 5% less performance but threw off noticably less heat and noise. YMMV.

Don't buy now if you can avoid it - wait for Sandy Bridge.
November 5, 2010 4:43:34 PM

thank you very much. ur post is very helpful. who is Sandy Bridge tho?
!