New To PC Gaming with questions on how to build a Desktop? Please Help

Hello everyone on Tomshardware! :hello:

I recently posted a question on yahoo on which prebuilt computers were the best. The majority of answers I got
was to build one myself and recommended me to this forum as the community here is very helpful. :)

As the title states I'm new to PC gaming. I've been running all my games thus far on a Macbook Pro with Bootcamp. It is
alright but not really cutting it anymore. :sweat:

So now I'm leaning on the side of building one myself. But I have absolutely no idea what I need or how to put it together. I'm a little
scared at building one for myself for if something goes wrong... It wouldn't have a warranty through say Alienware or some other prebuilt manufacturer. Any pros and cons on this? Do they charge you an arm and a leg if I have a computer store build it for me?

I'm looking to run games like Crysis 2 and Total War Shogun 2 when they are released later this month. Games that I have now are Civilization 5 (low settings), and Dead Space 2 (high settings but doesn't look better then the PS3 version). I was originally looking into a laptop since I don't have a lot of room for a desktop and that I usually find it to be more comfortable to play games sitting in the recliner/bed. But heard they were bad? Sorry that my post is so long but there is a lot I don't know and I hope the community here can really answer my questions in detail as I'm a newbie (did look at tutorials but hardware was usually outdated and I'm not sure what "will" run these games in high- very high settings if possible). I'm looking to keep it at 1 k if not just a bit above that of course always lower is great if possible. I know of a local CompUSA. Would they have everything I need there? And do they price match from other websites?

I would like the option to connect the desktop to a tv via HDMI? As well as any stories (good and bad) ones can offer on various manufacturers and homebuilt disasters (if any) for tips not to do ect.

I really appreciate all that view and answer!!! THANK YOU! :D
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  1. For starters, it is easy to build your own system and is a great learning experience. After learning how to build my own and realizing how much big companies overcharge you for cheap parts, I'll never buy another from one again.

    The individual parts have warranties, which are no different than if you bought your system from a big corporation like Dell or HP. No company warranties software either.

    Computer shops can build it for you, but might charge an arm, a leg, your first born and your mother's 3rd grade teacher. You also have no idea if they will damage your parts while building it. (*cough* Geek Squad *cough*)

    There are a ton of guides and videos online to help you install every component.

    Barebone kits sometimes offer outdated parts, but are still good if you don't feel like hunting down all the parts yourself. I have no clue what your budget is, but I'll assume you have a $600 budget and need Windows. Try this:

    You can get a lesser graphics card to save money.

    As for Windows:

    Happy gaming!
  2. I agree with linuxhero27. Although I barely know what a CPU is, I have built 3 systems and am on my 4th now. Up until this last one, I have not had any problems. is a wonderful source for the components and this forum will help with the choosing between your options. Just check out what is available and come back with specific questions. My first one was a "barebones" kit. It worked very well. However, since you are interested in gaming you might not want to take that option. I addition, if you do look at a barebones kit, make absolutely sure that you investigate each and every component. The second time I tried using a barebones kit, I had to return the whole thing because the case was just totally inadequate for my needs.

    I know they've help me a lot! YouTube is a great source for "how to" videos. If you are anything like me, you learn better when you see something done rather than just reading about how to do it.

    Have fun!
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