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Cheap/Good Gaming PC?

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  • New Build
  • Gaming
  • Games
  • Systems
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August 3, 2012 4:27:10 AM

I'm looking to build a gaming PC. Something that can play new and upcoming games at mid to high graphics, but is really fast. Not necessarily the best, but if I could do the higher settings for a reasonable price that would be great.

Budget would be $1000 but preferably less.

Usage would include playing one game at a time, and probably not much more. I can use my laptop for web browsing while gaming if I need to. The games I would be most interested in would be Minecraft, the upcoming War Z, the HD remakes of Oddworld, The Sims, and maybe some Second Life. I'll probably get into more games once I have a PC to play them on.

Basically as far as building a PC, I have 0 experience. All I really know about the specs of a computer are that RAM is good and for games I need to think about a processor and a graphics card.

I figured this would be a good place to ask about these things so someone could look at it as a project and I can learn some things.

I have access to a student copy of Windows 7, so no worries on an OS.

Also I would appreciate recommendations for everything, right down to fans and towers and whatnot. I'd like the best for my money, not tacking on $50 here and there for something I won't notice. Any help would be appreciated.

More about : cheap good gaming

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August 3, 2012 6:30:43 AM

it can always be a daunting thing to start building a pc, but i must shake your hand for seeking advice first

im guessing you have no plans to overclock, so i think the i3 2120 would be a good choice... good gaming performance, and can always be upgraded to an i5 or i7 CPU down the road
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

i must apologize for using tigerdirect, but newegg now redirects to different websites now

im going to assume you have no parts at the moment

next part should be the motherboard, http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... here is what i reccomend for a motherboard, or somthing similar, LGA 1155 micro ATX

ram is pretty cheap at the moment http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

power supply, never go for a unreputable brand, such as diablotek, coolmax, alpine (uk), and (some) cooler master... and more http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... a power supply may be cheap, but it very well damage other components on it's way out

graphics card, pretty much necessary for any reasonable gaming :p 
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... pretty good card overall

case:CM 690 II advanced http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item... although it has a few issues, it's an overall well built case, and i give it 5/5

do you have a mouse and keyboard... and monitor?
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...

that comes out to around 930$... and will be good for a while yet
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August 3, 2012 7:03:43 AM

Haha! To be honest I totally forgot about a mouse, keyboard, and monitor because I'm so accustomed to my laptop, having used it exclusively for almost a year while at college.

I have a 2.3 GHz i5 in my machine now and it runs real hot trying to play Minecraft or... actually most games, even ROMs, and converting video file formats. The one you posted is a 3.3 i3, so may I ask what the difference is between the i3 and i5? Is GHz a huge factor?

Also about RAM, with it that cheap would it be better to shove some more in there? At what point are you wasting money on RAM you don't need?

Also, is there a cheaper graphics card that would "get me there?" I'm not sure how to determine the power by looking at the specs, but I'm not looking for highest settings. HD is perfect for me, but a little above the medium settings will do. If this is what's necessary I'll just have to save up for a bit longer in order to do it right.

Other than that, I'll be scoping things, but I won't even be ready for this for a few more months at the earliest. I will definitely be building one at some point so all of this information is helpful and appreciated.
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August 3, 2012 7:13:13 AM

I would like to touch on the misnomer that is "upgrade down the line". When one is building on budget it is dependant upon prevailing circumstances that make buying out of a bigger budget impractical, so if a person is building on a 1k budget upgrading down the line is a fallacy that never prevails, ultimately down the line can be anything up to 3 years or longer and while a concurrent chip will offer that kind of life span, by that time it is EOL and the then contemporary chips are not only cheaper but faster making this whole buy now upgrade later theory a bit of a comforter but thats all it is.

As for budget:

INTEL:

i3 2100/i5 2400
H61 chipset motherboard (cheap and easy to pack up and put aside when you want a more flashy motherboard and will also cost like $80 for a good H61 board.
DDR3 1333 2x4GB RAM is RAM.
A good 500w PSU, Seasonic have a nice 520w unit that is affordable and offers Seasonic acredited performance.
GPU side the HD 6850 still romper stomps its way past a GTX 560 and is cheaper, but if the budget facilitates bumping up to a HD 7850 then you are set for good gaming experiences.

AMD:

If you can pick up one of them walk in 990fx + FX combos then go for it, it saves a ton of cash and is the only reason to go to FX due to price considerations what with Piledriver nearly out, otherwise a hardy ol Phenom II x4 965BE or x6 1090T will do the trick.
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August 3, 2012 7:25:42 AM

Thanks for your input as well.

I'm really not looking for a buy now upgrade later (when I have the money). Because of college and work I've become more of a casual gamer, so I would rather have a machine sitting there ready that can play the games I want at pretty good settings. I don't usually go crazy for brand new games. I would say I buy maybe 2 or 3 a year. The only time I really plan on upgrading will be when my stuff no longer supports the new games I pick up.

If you're tellin me this stuff is going to be useless in 3 years, I'll just keep saving my money until I can build a monster. Or stay with consoles... I just like gaming on my MacBook (which I had to buy because it was required for my major (yay student loans)) and there is next to no support for games on it, so I thought a gaming PC could take the place of my consoles as well as offer me a wider library than my MacBook will.
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August 3, 2012 7:30:31 AM

If you want to build to last look at a i5 3450 and Z77, throw on a HD 7850/7870 or the tba GTX 660's and you will have a system that will give you great performance for a long time.
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August 3, 2012 8:29:59 AM

sarinaide said:

AMD:

If you can pick up one of them walk in 990fx + FX combos then go for it, it saves a ton of cash and is the only reason to go to FX due to price considerations what with Piledriver nearly out, otherwise a hardy ol Phenom II x4 965BE or x6 1090T will do the trick.


i wouldnt bother with FX, the I3 chips should drop in price as well (hopefully) when the ivy I3's come out
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August 3, 2012 8:34:57 AM

Jimmee said:
Thanks for your input as well.

I'm really not looking for a buy now upgrade later (when I have the money). Because of college and work I've become more of a casual gamer, so I would rather have a machine sitting there ready that can play the games I want at pretty good settings. I don't usually go crazy for brand new games. I would say I buy maybe 2 or 3 a year. The only time I really plan on upgrading will be when my stuff no longer supports the new games I pick up.

If you're tellin me this stuff is going to be useless in 3 years, I'll just keep saving my money until I can build a monster. Or stay with consoles... I just like gaming on my MacBook (which I had to buy because it was required for my major (yay student loans)) and there is next to no support for games on it, so I thought a gaming PC could take the place of my consoles as well as offer me a wider library than my MacBook will.


steam usually supports mac

and i would for sure recommend pc's over consoles, after playing enough PC games, i look at console games and go "bleh"

my family's HD 4850 has lasted a few years now, and is still in faithful service.. and that came out in may 2008
it really depends on you, if your dead set on high settings (which you don't appear to be) then your gonna be throwing away hundreds of dollars every year
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August 3, 2012 8:44:41 AM

On the same token the Piledriver chips are due out relatively soon. The conundrum is 1] Change platform to Intel and pay a lot or 2] Upgrade CPU and Mobo in due course for considerably less.
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August 3, 2012 8:44:44 AM

^he dosen't have an AMD motherboard, so it's pretty much the same
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August 3, 2012 8:48:16 AM

Ah I was confusing with the other thread on AM3+, my bad. But anyways it will depend on the users needs I prefer not to advise someone to pick up a i3 rather spend a little extra and get a i5.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 11:15:44 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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August 13, 2012 4:24:00 AM

Best answer selected by Jimmee.
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