Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How much to spend on a decent gaming machine?

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 25, 2010 8:48:28 AM

Hi,
I am soon going to be building my first PC (hopefully) but since I am a newbie when it comes to most things hardware related (I'm more of a software guy), I don't really know how much to spend. I am hoping to build a PC that can run new games for a year or two at least (even on low settings if need be). Therefore, my question is if someone could give me a general price range of what this will cost and maybe if someone feels really generous how much to spend for each component (ie $200 for the CPU,ect.). Any help will be much appreciated. Let me know if you need more info or anything. Thanks in advance.
December 25, 2010 8:50:59 AM

Hmm you have to elaborate on what resolution/settings u typically play on or if u have no idea a min/max budget inclusive of LCD to work with Also just 24/7 and games u dun really have to go crazy over priced platform and a decent GPU would serve u well

The Game Rundown: Finding CPU/GPU Bottlenecks, Part 2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/game-performance-bo...
Quote:
Conclusion: A Trend Toward 3+ Cores

The average optimal number of CPU cores suggested by the test results is 2.75, showing a clear trend towards at least three CPU cores.The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games.


This has to be the 1st time i commend a SBM build but the $500 SMB this month is preety much what i would slap up for bang for buck gaming rig but i would make use of combos, discounts and special promos of course hehe

System Builder Marathon, December 2010: $500 PC
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-overcloc...
December 25, 2010 9:45:59 AM

Well I honestly can't say what settings I play on very often because my computer I have right now is a laptop from 2005 that can't really run *** so I don't game that much on it. I was going to get into gaming with this new computer and I want it to be running relevant games for some time. I hope that I can at least be playing brand new games (like one that just come out) for as long as possible. I guess my budget would be max $1500 but I don't really want to skimp all that much either. I just don't know where I should be springing for better stuff or where I can skimp. I will look into that link though. Thanks.
Related resources
December 25, 2010 10:08:38 AM

With Sandy Bridge just around the corner, it'd be a good idea to wait 2 or 3 months before purchasing any parts. For a first build, though, you might want to limit your budget to $1000.

So for a typical rig, you'll likely spend:
- $100-200 on a CPU (i5-760 and PII 955 are the sweet spots atm)
- $90-150 on a mobo (should afford you USB3, SATA3, and two PCIe slots @ x16/x8)
- ~$100 on 8GB DDR3 RAM (this is my own suggestion; you'd be okay with 4GB @ ~$50)
- $100-300 on GPU(s) (depends on your games, monitor res, and budget)
- $50-90 on a 500-850W PSU
- $50-100 on a case
- $50-80 on an HDD
- $20 on an ODD

Other parts that may take a sizeable chunk of your budget: an SSD, a Blu-ray drive, a heatsink, etc.
Are you including peripherals in that budget, or is it tower-only? What's the native res on your current monitor? Hopefully you'll be running 1680x1050 or higher.
December 25, 2010 10:17:07 AM

I was planning to spend $1500 on the whole thing, minus OS (still not sure if OEM is a good idea).I don't have anything I can re-use including a monitor. I'm not really sure if I will use overclocking so is there any way I can skimp on something (like a heatsink)?
Thanks for the breakdown, it's going to be useful. Also for a newb, how big of a impact will sandy bridge actually be?
December 25, 2010 10:27:18 AM

That sounds good; you can comfortably fit your peripherals in a $500 budget. The "other parts" I listed are optional, and you can always drop them in later if you choose to.
Sandy Bridge is rather significant whether you're a newb or not; even if you disregard it as an option for your rig, it'll shift prices on current CPUs (and mobos) a bit. CES is only two weeks away and definitely worth the wait.
December 25, 2010 10:37:40 AM

Yeah I totally didn't think of the price drop on the other products. I'm in Japan right now and I won't even be building the rig until late jan-early feb so I much be able to get stuff on the cheap. Also just a general newb question, which would be better/easier for a first build that is going to last a while, AMD or Intel (like you said, i5 760 or PII 955, I will be going for cheap stuff for sure). Thanks again for your help.
December 25, 2010 11:20:30 AM

Darn! I thought you might be a fellow insomniac. But who really goes on Tom's forums at 5am, Christmas Day? =_=

Longevity of a rig really depends on how you feel about upgrades. I say this because the i5-760 and the 955 have 4C/4T, and basically, LGA1156 is maxes out at 4C/8T, while AM3 maxes out at 6C/6T. The upgrade from i5 Lynnfield to i7 Lynnfield doesn't seem worthwhile to me. On the other hand, an upgrade from Deneb to Thuban might be reasonable (... unless you start with a Thuban, which isn't a bad idea with the 1055T selling for $180). However, I do feel comfortable saying that AMD platforms don't go EOL as quickly as Intel platforms.
Granted, LGA 1155 appears to be limited to 4C/8T as well, but SB architecture is a different story, and SB is obv newer.
On that note, I believe SB and Fusion will both be utilizing DDR3 (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so upgrading CPU+mobo is another potential upgrade path to consider.

tl;dr - AMD platforms last marginally longer; rather insignificant, particularly in the case of LGA 1156 vs AM3.

Just re-read your question - if you meant just i5-760 vs PII 955, no upgrades involved, I'd say the i5 would remain viable for a bit longer.
December 25, 2010 11:38:52 AM

Well thanks for all your help. Like you said, it's not easy getting people to answer your questions at 5 am on Christmas. I will wait a little while then post a new build thread and hopefully people can give me some tips with that. Thanks again.
December 25, 2010 2:09:30 PM

blackjellognomes said:
With Sandy Bridge just around the corner, it'd be a good idea to wait 2 or 3 months before purchasing any parts. For a first build, though, you might want to limit your budget to $1000.

So for a typical rig, you'll likely spend:
- $100-200 on a CPU (i5-760 and PII 955 are the sweet spots atm)
- $90-150 on a mobo (should afford you USB3, SATA3, and two PCIe slots @ x16/x8)
- ~$100 on 8GB DDR3 RAM (this is my own suggestion; you'd be okay with 4GB @ ~$50)
- $100-300 on GPU(s) (depends on your games, monitor res, and budget)
- $50-90 on a 500-850W PSU
- $50-100 on a case
- $50-80 on an HDD
- $20 on an ODD

Other parts that may take a sizeable chunk of your budget: an SSD, a Blu-ray drive, a heatsink, etc.
Are you including peripherals in that budget, or is it tower-only? What's the native res on your current monitor? Hopefully you'll be running 1680x1050 or higher.


what is so special about sandy bridge is it going to be better than the i7-950 and i5-760?
December 25, 2010 2:09:52 PM

sorry lagged and double posted
December 25, 2010 8:27:24 PM

hellzscream said:
what is so special about sandy bridge is it going to be better than the i7-950 and i5-760?

See for yourself: i5-2600K vs i7-875K
i5-2500K and 2300 vs i5-760
Anand's general review
The new tech will also be on newer platforms, so LGA 1156 will EOL within ~2 years. SB procs will also be more efficient than current Lynnfield procs and thus significantly more efficient than Bloomfield. The only incentive to go LGA 1156 is (possibly) for lower prices (while LGA 1366 will probably lack even this advantage).
December 25, 2010 8:58:03 PM

Right now, you can build a gaming rig below $600 that will handle most games extremely well, most of them on medium-max settings at resolutions of 1680x1050-1920x1980. This is assuming the only parts in the price are the computer case and everything inside it, nothing else.
December 26, 2010 9:27:36 AM

Yep since TS stated fine with low settings the $500 SBM seems a decent 1920 x 1080 gamer even lol
!