Gaming computer for complete noob

I am a complete noob is search of a lot of help. I have someone who will build a computer for me but I need the parts. I'm mainly going to play Diablo 3. I would like an upgradeable machine and at least a terabyte HD. I don't have a monitor either. The pc itself I'd like to keep between 6-8 hundred. The monitor I'm not sure about but I don't need anything too crazy. Thanks in advance to those who reply.
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    The minimum requirements to run Diablo III. Some features and visual effects may not be available on hardware configurations meeting only the minimum requirements.

    PC Platform
    ■OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX® 9.0c
    ■Processor: Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 4400+
    ■Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon X1950 Pro or better
    ■HD Space: 12 GB available HD space
    ■Memory: 1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista® and Windows® 7 users)
    ■Drive: DVD-ROM drive
    ■Internet: Broadband Internet connection. Be advised that some wireless connections do not meet the minimums required to be a true Broadband Internet connection. Wireless results may vary.
    ■Display: 1024x768 minimum display resolution

    Mac Platform
    ■OS: Mac® OS X 10.6.8 or newer | Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo
    ■Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 2600 or better
    ■HD Space: 12 GB available HD space
    ■Memory: 2 GB RAM
    ■Drive: DVD-ROM drive
    ■Internet: Broadband Internet connection. Be advised that some wireless connections do not meet the minimums required to be a true Broadband Internet connection. Wireless results may vary.
    ■Display: 1024x768 minimum display resolution


    The recommended requirements for Diablo III allows players to enjoy the product as intended by its designers.

    PC Platform
    ■OS: Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs)
    ■Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz
    ■Memory: 2 GB RAM
    ■Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon HD 4870 or better

    Mac Platform
    ■OS: Mac® OS X 10.7 or newer
    ■Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo
    ■Memory: 2 GB RAM
    ■Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better

    This will at least get you started in the right direction.
  2. Ok I appreciate the info. What would you build in that price range?
  3. Hmm, lets see. How about we start kind of in the middle, then you can adjust the price to your liking. You could go with:





    Power Supply:

    Total: $647.99

    So, with the above build, you can always go a little cheaper, or a little more expensive. Personally, I always try to spend just a little bit extra on my harddware as long as it's reasonable (e.g. an extra $50-$100 for a graphics card, maybe an extra $30 for a motherboard, or an extra $50 for a processor), but that's just me.
  4. In that price range, I would forget about a 2500k, its out of the question. When you're on a budget for a gaming computer, you're better off cutting a corner on the CPU and going heavier on the video card:

    I would do something like this, its nothing super extreme, but its very respectable. The 550 TI is an entry level graphics card, and you'd be in essence sacrificing better gaming performance for the sake of a better CPU, which really doesn't wash with modern gaming.

    Phenom II 965- $120

    Motherboard- Asrock 970- $80

    RAM- 2x4GB kit- $47

    PSU- Corsair CX500 -$60

    Video card- Radeon 6870 $170

    I would start with this as a foundation, and work out some more details, like your monitor and hard drive. Tell me what you think and we can go from there.
  5. I appreciate your guys feedback. One thing I've read is that the intel processors are better in terms of bang for your buck, does this hold true in your guys opinions? Also i literally know nothing about motherboards, whats the difference between the two? Do either support future upgrades? It is important to me to have the ability to upgrade, memory, processor, vid card in the future. Especially since I'm not building a top of the line machine and with how quickly technology progresses. Is there a difference between brands of memory? I think I'm set on getting 8 gig's, just not sure about the differences between ram. The power supply i hear is important, i'd like plenty of power and reliability. What is enough power and what brands do you find to have the best reliability? I have read that the video card is most important but i also know it can be one of the more spendy items, whats a good compromise? I guess i don't have to run games at the highest settings but something that lasts me a while would be nice. I realize there are a lot of questions and maybe I'm asking for too much within this budget. Tell me how it is, It won't bother me.
  6. -There is no dispute that Intel CPUs are better, as you can see the 2500k is nearly twice the price of the Phenom II 965, I don't know about you, but I damn sure would expect it to be. Having said that, the Phenom II 965 is not incapable of delivering good gaming performance for the reason I mentioned above (your video card counts a lot more) I say it a lot, but I own both the system in my signiture as well as a system with an i5-2400 with a GTX 460 video card, that and the build in my signature perform the same with no noticeable difference in games.

    For example, Battlefield 3 which is considered to be a "CPU intensive" game despite being so clearly all of these CPUs with a GTX 580 card perform almost the same with little variation:

    Diablo 3 is less demanding on a system than BF3 both in terms of CPU and graphics.

    As far as future upgrades. Neither do. Next year Intel will be using new CPUs with a new socket, and AMD ... well.. The system I recommended uses a newer generation motherboard, but the Phenom IIs work on them. The current AMD generation of CPUs are the Bulldozers, aka FX, Phenom IIs are more consistent in performance, ergo a better choice despite being prior generation.

    The difference between the motherboard I recommended and the one the other fellow recommended in terms of features are pretty similar with the exception of one being an AMD and the other being an Intel board.

    The difference between RAM generally is not huge, its hard to screw RAM up, as long as you stick to the basic brands like Corsair, Crucial, Gskill, Kingston, PNY, Samsung, you'd be hard pressed to find a difference in quality.

    The power supply is very important, and a common mistake made to buy quality components and power them with a generic power supply. As far as PSU brands, I'm a Corsair fan. The power supply I recommended to you is perfectly adequate for the system I recommended.

    The Radeon 6870 card is towards the upper end of mid-level performance. Its a pretty decent card, and very comfortably rivals the performance of the more expensive Nvidia GTX 560 TI. And yes, it should handle most games on the market today at very high settings.
  7. You can use this as a guide but personally, I don't agree with it in its entirety.,3120.html

    A couple points about it:
    1. The price points of the CPUs compared are out of date, and incomplete. For example, the 965 isn't included in the price list. The Phenom II 980 is represented, its very easy to get a 965 overclocked to 980 settings, effectively giving you a 160 dollar CPU's performance for $120. (The 965 and 980 are identical chips except for a setting you can change in your BIOS in about 2 seconds)

    2. Also, I've benchmarked Metro 2033 myself and had substantially better results than that article reported. So at least 1 of the 6 games they benchmarked is off.
  8. Ok thanks. How does an i3 stack up against the phenom 2 u recommend? If i were to go forward with that setup, what case, hard drive and other things do i need? The 6770 is 120 and the 6850 is 150, what would i be sacrificing if i got one of those?
  9. The i3 and Phenom II 965 at 3.7GHZ performs identically. Thats another thing I disagree with about that article, they act like 5 Frames per second is a big deal, it simply isn't when you're talking over 40FPS.

    Personally, I would take the Phenom II over the i3 simply for the fact that the i3 is a dual core and the Phenom II is a quad. My policy is, the i5 is the best choice, but Intel has a pretty big price gap between their quad core i5s and their dual core i3s and the Phenom IIs fall in the middle..

    Right now theres only a couple games on the market that use more than 2 cores, but this could change at any time. But its your decision, you're the one that has to be happy with your investment.

    As far as going forward....

    Decent case-

    Hard Drive-

    DVD Burner-

  10. The 6770 would be a considerable step down from the 6870 I wouldn't even consider it, they're totally difference worlds. The 6850 is only slightly worse than the 6870, which is appropriately on par considering their difference in price.

    You can use this to give you general ideas.. Although this comes with an Astrix because they lack specific information how they made these determinations.. "A pirate's code is more guidelines than laws"
  11. So I went to micro center for some more help and the guys there put this together based upon what I told him.

    Phenom 965 $89.99
    Asus M5A97 AM3+ ATX $44.99
    Crucial 8gb 1600mhz $39.99
    HD 6850 card $159.99
    OCZ 600W modxstream power supply $74.99
    WD 1 TB hard drive $99.99
    LG DVD burner $15.99
    Diablot EVO arc mid tower case $39.99.

    After tax I'm at $607.12. Does this look good?
  12. They hooked up up with a 965 Black edition for 90 bucks? Holy hell.. Yea, thats not bad at all. I would have held out for a 6870, but the 6850 isn't anything to sneeze at either. Yea I'd say at 607 you got your self a damn good build.
  13. I guess I don't know if its a black edition or not. Big deal?
  14. If its a Phenom II 965 yes its a black edition. The implication of being a black edition means its unlocked, hence you can overclock it. If you haven't already bought the system, ideally you want the 965 with "c3 stepping", verify that with Microcenter.
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