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Need Help Getting Started with PC Gaming

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February 6, 2013 4:02:36 AM

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for my ignorance, I'm very new to this. I have a lot to questions so I hope I cover them all. I have recently decided that I am going to build a PC gaming rig, do to news I've heard about the restrictions and limitations of the next console generation. I'm looking to replace my console and all the gaming I do on it entirely.

PC games I currently play include Guild Wars 2, Minecraft, Garry’s Mod and some others, but I want to start buying (and playing) the types of games I play on my Xbox. I play a lot of RPGs including Skyrim, and the Mass Effect and Fallout series. I also play some FPS. My plan is to build a PC rather then buy the next-gen console, so I would like my PC to at least be as good as what is to come, but money is always the issue.

As of right now I am a full time college student and am definitely on a budget. I would like to build a very capable gaming PC for as cheap as possible (I know those 2 things might not fit in the same sentence.) I’m not naïve, I have a realistic estimate of what this will cost. I’d like to play most games on at least medium to high settings; I would like an improvement over my console. I don’t need the newest, greatest, cutting edge technology, if I can achieve what a want without the newest model parts and save money that works for me. I don’t need to play BF3 on ultra. I’m not trying to impress anyone or have the best rig on the block, just game.

I’d like advice on what parts and models to buy to get the most bang for my buck and where to get them. I know of Newegg and I have a Microcenter nearby that I plan on utilizing, I just don’t know what to look for and get easily overwhelmed when looking at all the letters and numbers in GPU names and such. I don’t know whether to go AMD or Intel, I see Intel in the more expensive builds but is it worth it? Do I need it? Is it a good idea to plan on hooking my PC up to my HDTV sometimes? Do I need a more powerful computer to do that?

I’ve seen all the lists online of “The best PC gaming build for under $____” but I have no idea why to buy each part on the list. Why I’m buying this CPU over this one or this part over that one. I need some personal input to justify and rationalize my purchases.

Also… future I games I want to play include ESO and the new SimCity and whatever is next from BioWare.


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February 6, 2013 4:07:28 AM

This is impossible without a dollar figure. All of the "this is better than that but not better than this" stuff is based on trying to get the best bang for the buck.
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February 6, 2013 4:19:46 AM

How much would i have to spend to get the results I want?
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February 6, 2013 4:24:12 AM

With no monitor/OS/keyboard/mouse/speakers, $600-$700 can get you med-high settings at1080p. $800-$100 will get you Max settings at 1080p and more longevity.
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February 6, 2013 4:28:03 AM

thehiddenlotus said:
I don’t know whether to go AMD or Intel, I see Intel in the more expensive builds but is it worth it? Do I need it? Is it a good idea to plan on hooking my PC up to my HDTV sometimes? Do I need a more powerful computer to do that?

I’ve seen all the lists online of “The best PC gaming build for under $____” but I have no idea why to buy each part on the list. Why I’m buying this CPU over this one or this part over that one. I need some personal input to justify and rationalize my purchases.
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Intel is more expensive and it's not worth to you!
Hooking PC to HDTV is perfectly fine, no need more powerful computer.
The title “The best PC gaming build for under $____” or "Best built of q4 2012" of Tomshardware or something like that is where they try to get best performance out of a price range and evaluate the performance per dollar. Following those listing parts in the article is a great way to build a computer. :p 
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February 6, 2013 4:34:16 AM

What can i build in the $600-700 range that will be most easily upgraded later into that higher range? What parts are going to make the most difference? And what is the difference in hardware between the $600-700 range and the $800-900?
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February 6, 2013 4:36:12 AM

So I should go with AMD?
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February 6, 2013 4:46:21 AM

Anything can be easily upgraded! You just have to stick to amd or intel.

CPU and GPU will make most diffidence. SSD can also make difference. Crappy power supply makes difference too, negatively :D 

More expensive it is, more fps you get
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February 6, 2013 8:25:12 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $574.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 05:24 EST-0500)

As much as LeoMatrix means well, you shouldn't listen to everything he says.
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February 6, 2013 11:28:33 AM

cutebeans said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $574.49
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-06 05:24 EST-0500)

As much as LeoMatrix means well, you shouldn't listen to everything he says.


Will this get me the performance I want? I was thinking i would have to spend a little more than this but this is looking really awesome. If I were to spend a little more where should the money go? The power supply looks smaller then a lot of the other builds I've seen, is it enough? sorry for all my questions, thanks in advance
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February 6, 2013 11:57:09 AM

That's a great build. With purchase of cpu at microcenter, you get motherboard discount. I saw one board only $10 (went there yesterday to get a mouse pad and 840 pro :sol:  ). Spend extra $ on a radeon 7870 and an ssd for OS. 500w is enough but you ccan get a bigger one for future upgrades. I think you don't really need the cd drive, could save you a few bucks :D 
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February 6, 2013 8:51:50 PM

They don't have the ASRock 970 PRO3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard at Microcenter, but they do have deals on cpu/mobo bundles. Could I get a better mother board with that cpu for the same price or less with a bundle? I just don't know which one to pick.
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February 6, 2013 10:59:22 PM

Yeah, don't worry. You can as long as it's AM3+.
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February 6, 2013 11:17:13 PM

Hi, Get the MSI one. :) 
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February 6, 2013 11:18:39 PM

What is your real budget? I can make you a cheaper one but of course it's not as good as the first one but its' still good :) .
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February 6, 2013 11:43:32 PM

I really like the first build (especially the price point) what settings do think that build can play most games at?
Also how much difference does the motherboard make?
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February 6, 2013 11:48:46 PM

Hi, please do get the MSI one. The others are pretty old.

I'm sure all games at High and give or take some at Ultra.
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February 7, 2013 3:47:00 AM

The Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case is out of stock any other suggestions on low priced quality cases?
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February 7, 2013 3:49:20 AM

Hello, get NZXT Source 220 or NZXT Source Elite 210.

Whatever fits your fancy. :) 
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February 7, 2013 5:08:31 AM

Best answer selected by thehiddenlotus.
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