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Need help starting to build Sims gaming computer

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Sims
  • Gaming
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
July 8, 2011 2:48:37 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Late August/Early September

Budget Range: Looking to spend under 1000$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Sims 2 and 3, Casual games), Multitasking, movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg (the only websit I really know of)

Country of Origin: Tennessee, USA

Parts Preferences: I have only ever used Intel but a friend of mine suggested Asus*.

Overclocking: I have no idea*

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1024x768, 1280x1024

Additional Comments: I would like for it to be as quiet as possible. I would also like for it to last at least until Sims 4 if that's even possible.

* I have never built my own PC before. So I'm not really sure where to start. I've tried reading up on some of the topic here and through google but I keep getting stuck on the confusion that is the CPU/PSU.

I was told by a friend and at a Sims 3 forum I visit that building a computer would be less expensive in the long run because Sims 3 isn't really serious gaming. I basically want a computer that will run my game smoothly and look nice.

I really wanted a gaming laptop or pre built computer but was told:
a) laptops are not good for gaming
b) it would be more expensive to buy a laptop/pre-built pc

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

More about : starting build sims gaming computer

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
July 8, 2011 4:45:08 PM

Hi! First, let me say that your friend is right about both of those things. Laptops aren't the best for gaming due to the fact that they don't support the higher end graphics cards. Although for your gaming purposes, a laptop is sufficient (Get one with a Llano processor). And IT IS more expensive to buy a prebuilt system.

So lets get down to business. We'll use the AMD Phenom II x4 955BE processor because it gets the job done and it's cheap. It also allows you to Overclock later when you want.

Here would be my specs for you:

CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955BE $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphics: Radeon HD 6850 $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo: ASRock M3A770DE $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK $36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WR $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB $39
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Heatsink+Fan: Stock $0
DVD-ROM: LITE-ON DVD Burner $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor: Acer G215HVAbd $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total: $624 or $628 (depending on the case)

And since you have never built your own computer before, you can watch this 3 videos made by NewEgg showing you how:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
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July 8, 2011 6:27:17 PM

That is a very good price range! Now will the computer continue to run my sims 3 and Sims 2 for a few years? I'm not too worried about Microsoft Word & everything as I'll be using my laptop for that stuff.

Also you said a laptop would be ok for this? I saw a laptop at best buy (once again pre built) that had an Intel Core i7 processor and the guy pretty much told me it would do everything I wanted it to do faster. (Sims 3, school work, internet browsing)But not the life of the computer. I've been researching it and heard from a few people it's still not good for gaming. Although I'm not doing heavy gaming.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 8, 2011 6:50:38 PM

First, I don't really know about the SIMS game franchise, but I assume it isn't too graphics intensive like Battlefield or CoD, so it should last a few years if its just for Sims 3. Second, don't get the intel laptop, yes intel's processors are better but AMD just came out with the Llano processor for the laptop, get that. Demo Llano vs i7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqBk0uHrxII&feature=rela...
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July 8, 2011 7:01:24 PM

Roaringdragon has a good build for you there, but for the sims you could easily get away with a cheaper card, like the Sapphire HD 5770. You can max out the settings on current sims games and probably future ones too. Lets face it, sims isn't exactly hardcore gaming.

Laptops are little tricky, first off you HAVE to get one with a discrete graphics card (or a Llano based computer). I'd say the minimum card to play those games maxed out would be the 315, I have a friend with an asus laptop that has that card, plays sims well, its not very good for say crysis, but you're not doing that.

What is the laptop you're looking at?
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July 8, 2011 7:31:33 PM

ragenalien said:
Roaringdragon has a good build for you there, but for the sims you could easily get away with a cheaper card, like the Sapphire HD 5770. You can max out the settings on current sims games and probably future ones too. Lets face it, sims isn't exactly hardcore gaming.

Laptops are little tricky, first off you HAVE to get one with a discrete graphics card (or a Llano based computer). I'd say the minimum card to play those games maxed out would be the 315, I have a friend with an asus laptop that has that card, plays sims well, its not very good for say crysis, but you're not doing that.

What is the laptop you're looking at?


Sorry I think I meant to say i3 processor. I was looking at getting a sony this time. I don't like compaq and the one I'm on now is a Toshiba Satellite A505-S6965. This is the computer I was looking at (I would get a free xbox 360 with the purchase being a student and all ;)  ) I play the sims well on my laptop that I have now but it gets SO hot and I've heard that it could easily mess up my computer playing the sims 3 for so long on a laptop.

I want parts that are easily upgradable or will last for a while. Still go cheaper card?

r0aringdrag0n: Oh Sims 3 is nothing compared to hardcore gaming. Sorry if I've offended any of the serious gamers! But thank you so much for the build you gave me I'm going to save it and give it to the guy that I'm actually going to have build the thing. =) Also I'll look into the Llano.

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July 8, 2011 7:58:26 PM

Erm, theres a SLIGHT chance I'm wrong but you can only get the xbox 360 if you buy a dell computer and are a student. Don't bother with Llano for a desktop, its a very low end processor and really only suitable for laptops. That toshiba isn't bad...but it isn't very good either for that price. You can get a MUCH better dell xps for cheaper.

For graphics card I recommend you not go below the AMD 5570 or the equivalent Nvidia, anything less wont get as good of performance and wont last long as new games come out.

How big of a laptop are you looking at?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 8, 2011 8:11:51 PM

we can make a desktop comp for $500-600 so you STILL can buy a x-box 360 and be around the same price range as the laptop...only the desktop will be WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more kick @** than the Laptop
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July 8, 2011 8:25:18 PM

The one I have now has a 16'' screen and it's supposed to weigh around 6 or 7 lbs. It feels like a ton. Also I've only had this computer for a year (I paid nearly 1k for it when I bought it) and I pretty much hate it for what I bought it for. That's what I get for listening to the people at Best Buy. I was hoping to go a little smaller but now that I think about it that might not be best because I want to actually be able to see my games. I basically bought this computer to replace my desktop for those times I just wanted to lay on my bed and surf. (I currently am overloaded on technology. I probably should have said this at first. I'm looking to replace my current laptop and my netbook with one computer.)

Basically I've gotten one of my choices. I want either a really good laptop that will last for a while (the last 2/3 years I have left of undergrad) or a little desktop good enough to play the sims 3 for a while (roaringdragon gave me that!). I've just recently read that the laptop wasn't a good option so now I'm leaning toward building one since I was probably going to spend about 700-900 dollars on a laptop anyway. (Oh and it's any laptop over 599 I think that qualifies for the free xbox thing :)  )

Thanks for helping me work through the most confusing part of this process! :D 

ETA: I'm thinking that's a better idea Roaringdragon! =) Just had to give the laptop idea a go!
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July 8, 2011 8:49:40 PM

Best answer selected by SouthernK.
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July 8, 2011 8:54:46 PM

Alright, I think I've got a good idea of what you need now. I'm assuming as a non enthusiast you probably haven't looked at these kinds of things, but check out the Alienware m11x. Either the r2 version or the newer more expensive r3. They are NICE. But they're only an oversized netbook you say? No, they have the hardware of larger gaming laptops in a small portable package. What I like is that they have a DVI port and an HDMI port so you can connect it to a larger hdtv or computer monitor.

Problem solved right :)  ? You now have a less expensive laptop that can go anywhere and wont bog you down (its only 4lbs), has great battery life (over 7hrs), runs between 599 and 999 for the basic models (r2 & r3 respectively). You can hook it up to any kind of output for larger screen gaming (its about $130 for a nice 22 inch monitor from newegg or tigerdirect).

I will agree though that a desktop is going to give you more performance. But I don't think you need a whole lot of that, especially if the most intensive thing your going is playing Sims.

Oh and i checked it out, going through dell you can still get the xbox :)  hope this helps.
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July 8, 2011 8:59:29 PM

It did help! Now I have two concrete things from which to make a decision.
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