Help building a gaming computer

So hello everyone, this is my first post :)!
I want to build myself a gaming computer. I have zero experience with building computers, so I need some help with choosing parts and what not.
If anyone could also direct me to a guide, it would be appreciated!
Also, I just want to clarify that I have no parts at all, I will be building this from scratch.

Approximate Purchase Date: For Boxing Day hopefully.

Budget Range: As cheap as possible, but no more than $600 please!

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing the net, music

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preferred website.

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: nVidia graphics card (as I hear ATI graphics cards have bad drivers)

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Sorry, I don't know what this means.

Monitor Resolution: 1280 X 960

Additional Comments: I just want a good gaming PC with at least a 1GB graphics card, i5 Intel processor (i7 if it fits in the price range), 500GB HDD (I don't need 1 TB, I currently have 226GB and I still have 100GB free), Windows 7, and 4-6GB of RAM.
14 answers Last reply
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  1. you really should update your monitor. that is a really bad resolution. till you decide on that its pretty pointless to recommend anything.
  2. ATI cards don't have bad drivers at all and at this price range you are going to want to get a 6870- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131378
    Another point is if you want an intel system with an i5 you will want to slightly bump up your price to give you an extra $100
  3. cbrunnem said:
    you really should update your monitor. that is a really bad resolution. till you decide on that its pretty pointless to recommend anything.


    Does the resolution matter when choosing a graphics card or something?
  4. andrewcarr said:
    ATI cards don't have bad drivers at all and at this price range you are going to want to get a 6870- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131378
    Another point is if you want an intel system with an i5 you will want to slightly bump up your price to give you an extra $100


    Alright! Thanks a lot. I will keep this graphics card in mind. I really want to keep this computer as cheap as possible though, as my dad will be paying for it. I'm still debating on a price though. I may buy the i5 or I may not. Thanks again, though.
  5. DustyMouse said:
    Does the resolution matter when choosing a graphics card or something?



    basically any dedicated gpu can max anything out at that resolution. and at that resolution you wouldnt be able to really see the beauty of modern games. consider atleast budgeting a new 1080p monitor into the build atleast in the future.

    most people would rather have a high resolution then high graphics settings. for instance go to youtube and find an 1080p clip then turn it all the way to like 240 resolution. sports clips are good for this, you will find that most detail you cant see so it wouldnt matter how high the graphics settings are if the monitor cant portray them.
  6. Sorry I forgot the case
    case- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233
    case 2- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811322016
    case 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147145
    All of these are good only thing it comes to is personal preference and the style you like. The system I chose will be able to add a second GPU for CF in the future and the PSU is slightly more expensive because of this. You could down grade the PSU and Motherboard to save some money but then if you want to upgrade you have to replace the GPU not just add a second.
  7. andrewcarr said:
    Sorry I forgot the case
    case- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233
    case 2- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811322016
    case 3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147145
    All of these are good only thing it comes to is personal preference and the style you like. The system I chose will be able to add a second GPU for CF in the future and the PSU is slightly more expensive because of this. You could down grade the PSU and Motherboard to save some money but then if you want to upgrade you have to replace the GPU not just add a second.


    Again, thanks a lot! My last question is: are the parts you suggested earlier compatible with each other? And if I were to downgrade the PSU, what power would you suggest? (Would 700 watts be enough to power this bad boy?). Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
  8. The reason I chose that PSU is that it supports Crossfire in the future you can get a cheaper PSU and Motherboard if you don't ever plan on upgrading in the future. You could get this PSU if you don't want to CF your system.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017
    I wouldn't recommend stepping down to the PSU only because you don't have the capability to upgrade in the future. For the price difference of $15 I just don't think it is worth it.
  9. andrewcarr said:
    The reason I chose that PSU is that it supports Crossfire in the future you can get a cheaper PSU and Motherboard if you don't ever plan on upgrading in the future. You could get this PSU if you don't want to CF your system.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017
    I wouldn't recommend stepping down to the PSU only because you don't have the capability to upgrade in the future. For the price difference of $15 I just don't think it is worth it.


    Alright, then I guess I'll stick with the PSU you suggested earlier. Thank you so much for all your help!
    Oh and also, would you suggest buying an after market cooling fan? I've been doing some research and I saw this one:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065
    It has great ratings, so I thought I might ask you.
  10. Yes I would get that or this one I recommend both of them.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233082
    If you overclock in the future that will help but if you don't overclock I don't see much of a need for an aftermarket cooler. Although it is nice to have just to keep the temps down. If I was getting one I would actually buy the Xigmatech but that's just my personal opinion.
    One last option would be this
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    giving it a better fan and better heat conducting surface
  11. andrewcarr said:
    Yes I would get that or this one I recommend both of them.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233082
    If you overclock in the future that will help but if you don't overclock I don't see much of a need for an aftermarket cooler. Although it is nice to have just to keep the temps down. If I was getting one I would actually buy the Xigmatech but that's just my personal opinion.
    One last option would be this
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099
    giving it a better fan and better heat conducting surface


    Ok thanks, I will consider buying that cooler. Sorry, but I have more questions :D.
    I saw this processor:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103911
    It's a lot cheaper than the i5 and has great ratings as well. They both have 3.3 GHz, and the AMD Athlon is a triple core. But I heard you can unlock the fourth core, so would getting the AMD Athlon be a better choice if I want to save some money and still run games at a medium-high setting? And will this processor be compatible with the motherboard you suggested earlier?
    There is also this processor:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103996&Tpk=AMD%20fx-4100
    It is 3.6Ghz, and people talk about overclocking it to 4.5Ghz+, and that it runs BF3, Skyrim, etc on high graphics. Would this be a better choice than the i5?
    (I'm terribly sorry for bombarding you with questions, but I really am new to building computers, and this will be the first computer I'm building, so I want to make sure everything will work together.)
  12. No there is no way that any AMD can beat an i5 the reason is the performance per core as stated in this comparison where all processors are set at 3.0 GHz and then run through tests.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/processor-architecture-benchmark,2974.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/processor-architecture-benchmark,2974-11.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/processor-architecture-benchmark,2974-15.html
    Second here is even more proof even the top model of the FX series is worse than the i5.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bulldozer-990fx,3043.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bulldozer-990fx,3043-24.html
    Lastly the 1200 system they built is even held back by the FX 6 core processor overclocked to 4.5 GHz
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossfire-ssd,3098.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-fx-6100-overclock-benchmark,3099.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-fx-6100-overclock-benchmark,3099-5.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-overclock-crossfire-ssd,3098-10.html
    If you want to stick to the $600 you can get those but if I was building a gaming computer I wouldn't go less than the parts I have previously showed you.
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