Hi, I'm looking to build a gaming PC with as little money as possible, something where I can play games (WoW, Skyrim, Dead Island, etc) on high settings. I've got a case and other external essentials, but I don't know where to begin with picking out the guts. This'll be my first build (an experienced friend will be helping me put it together so I don't screw it up) and my knowledge of what's compatible with what is limited, making the shopping process kind of overwhelming. If anyone has suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
Approximate Purchase Date: Most likely within the next few weeks, especially if I can snag some Black Friday deals.
Budget Range: $500 to $700, and the lower the better. I'm willing to make sacrifices as long as everything works; it doesn't need to be spectacular.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, gaming, gaming. And also gaming.
Parts Not Required: Case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Parts Preferences: At least a 500GB hard drive, wireless adapter, and I want to try to avoid adding much/any additional bling as I already have a tremendously blingy case. No brightly glowing power supply, etc.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: The case I have is gigantic, so space shouldn't be an issue. Quietness would be nice, but it's not a huge priority.
Thanks! That'd be almost perfect, but it's getting a little pricey for me once a copy of Windows 7 is tacked on. Possibly using motherboard/processor/memory with a few additions and substituting a cheaper video card... would this all work together? And with the processor being the biggest money drain at $170, could I swing a cheaper one?
A few bin bumps in the BIOS and it should run stable at at least 3.2Ghz if not greater. It'll give you more consistent performance across all workloads, and, there always is that chance you could unlock it into X4. For a little more, the 955 is a good option.
Motherboard wise, I really think going up to a 990X or 990FX board would be a good idea. It'll add the option of CrossFire or SLI somewhere down the road. I've been using a set of Radeon 4870's for years now, and have never noticed the microstuttering phenomenon. And I'm definitely a stickler for visual fidelity.
But yeah, just my $0.02 as a fairly experienced builder. I really think the Phenom is just better in the current software climate where optimizations for AMD's new architecture still need to be established. I'm really hoping Piledriver will be more significant. Anyway, I've got a X3 720 in my brother's rig and while I wasn't able to unlock the 4th core, I was able to get a consistent, stable overclock at 3.4ghz.
AM3+ motherboard from Asrock with Native USB & SATA & eSATA III, high quality materials (all solid caps), support for 8X / 8X Crossfire and support for up to 140W TDP CPUs. That means you can upgrade to FX CPUs and why not maybe Pilledrivers
All of that for 673$. Another option, If you don't need that much power from GPU, is step down to 6870, find a more value HDD from another store and get a small SSD for OS and basic apps. You should still be within your budget
Good advice from X. Video cards drive most modern games. Do some research, a video card, just because it has a bigger number on it's model doesn't mean better. A GTX 560 is no better than a GTX 460
AMD and Nvidia aren't comparable on just spec rate alone. You need to look at 'RealWorld" performance for your needs.
Thanks for all the input so far. If I wasn't so anxious to get this thing going, I'd wait a couple more pay periods and get all of the suggested beefiness. I'm trying to take all of this into consideration and see how much I can achieve on the lower end of my budget.
Just to clarify on how low I'm willing to go (and have been going): I've been using my girlfriend's computer ever since mine died a year ago, and even though it's aging and was extremely cheap, it still runs most new games on high (a couple recommend medium), so my goal is to improve on that at least a little, get something that'll get the job done, and then maybe go back and improve it more when I've got more extra cash to burn through.
The bottom line is that having my own computer again which I won't have to wait for "my turn" to use is going to be awesome regardless of how well it performs.