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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-13, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default To buy or build a gaming rig?

I want a hella good computer that is made for gaming. I can buy one with no problem "once I get the money", but making one would make it better but the problem is I have no idea where to even start. I no nothing about what Pentium 2 core 2300 flim flam to get. or what kind of Nvidia stuff. is there a place I can go to learn how to build a PC?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-13, 10:19 PM
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Honestly I say just have one of the popular online sites like Cyberpower do it for you. This will make sure your components all mesh properly and you don't fry your investment.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-13, 02:02 PM
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I've built a couple of gaming PCs. It's surprisingly simple, so long as you're fairly confident/competent with a screwdriver, other than a bit of patience and a little bravery it really doesn't require much more of you. For the process of actually building one, I bought my self a 'How to build a PC' magazine about 7/8 years ago and it was still a good guide when it came to building my current PC about 3 months ago. So get yourself one of those magazines, the info might be available for free elsewhere but having a hard copy to hand for reference is very reassuring.

As for choosing components, take your time, spend at least a month going to various websites asking for details and opinions. It's like tying together a dozen strands and can seem overwhelming when you first start but it's worth the effort. Do your research. It's easy to get lost in all sorts of details and online opinions, so take some time to get a couple of viewpoints on something.

A good rule of thumb is to pick the best processor in your price range. The big differences between processors come with each new generation, not within a generation so just get yourself the best you can afford, cause you're likely to be sticking with it. NB unless you're doing heavy graphics design work don't bother with a quad core, a dual core is plenty for gaming and it'll save you a bit of cash.

Then you need to pick a compatible motherboard, and a case they'll fit in. With two main camps, Intel and AMD processors they are different and have their own compatible motherboards (eg an intel chip won't fit an AMD board) and it's also possible to overspend on a motherboard, a mid range one will see you right. With respect to cases, a lot of this is standardized, so it's mainly down to personal taste.

Graphics cards, as you're thinking of bulding a gaming PC you're gonna want to spend a good chunk of your money on this. Beware, there are fanboys out there when it comes to graphics so go to respectable review sites to find out what's right for you. I'd say a ratio of about 2:1 on price compared to your processor will give you a really good starting point (so eg 100 processor = 200 graphics card) however, do remember that this component is relatively easy to replace/upgrade (if a little expensive) so you might want to consider that when making your list.

RAM is one of the cheapest components, do a little reseach into 1333 and 1666 (bus speeds I believe?) but generally the higher the number the better, and again, very much so with RAM, it's usually just a matter of sticking 20 worth in extra at a later date. 4gb is a good start and 8 gb is honestly plenty, a very easy upgrade at a later date.

Storage. 1tb, fairly cheap brand. Standard hard drives are reliable and fairly cheap nowadays.

Power unit. PSU is kinda important, once you've made the descisions on the other components you should add up their power requirements and (baring in mind future upgrades) choose the appropriate unit for you.

Operating system. Don't forget to leave room in your budget for windows (if you want it, there are other, free options but i don't have experience with those so won't comment). Although it might seem like a bit of a hidden cost, having your own copy does have it's benefits, mainly allowing you to do a complete system wipe and install. This gets your PC back working the way it was as it came out of the box. Get the 64 bit versions if you're going 4gb or more of ram, 32 bits will only recognise 3gb of ram.

Optional extras you might want to consider are extra cooling for your processor, although Intel (not sure about AMD) processors come with a stock fan that's fine for a first build. Extra cooling for your case, check your motherboard and how many fans it can power, and your case and how many fans it has room for. These cooling options can be done fairly cheap at a later date. With storage you might want to consider an SSD drive, about 4 times more expensive, all it does is make you frustrated with how slow other computers are in comparison, an epic addition (from the year 3013), though choose carefully as some have reliability issues. Thermal paste for your processor is pretty much a must, it just helps keep it cool.

By no means a complete guide, these are just some pointers. Most importantly, take your time when considering components, ask for advice and get that advice from multiple sources when possible. First port of call is the 'How to build a PC' magazine.

EDIT: Oh yeah, optical drive. DVD writer will do

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Last edited by King Gary; 02-13-13 at 02:43 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-13, 02:24 PM
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A good starting point is can you say how much you were looking to spend on the prebuilt rig? We may be able to give some recommendations or even possible builds. Also what sort of games do you tend to play as you may be able to build one that plays everything you own well for cheaper then a rig. Off the top of my head the following components are required:

Case
PSU (look for 700W minimum, if possible modular, this gives you upgrade space)
DVD drive
Hard drive (roughly about 1TB is plenty)
Motherboard (AMD/Intel chipset *match to processor)
Processor (AMD/Intel *match to motherboard)
Graphics card (Nvidia/AMD, personnal choice Nvidia is better suited at the moment but AMD is close and usually cheaper)
RAM (min 4GB look for as high a speed as you can get 1333/1666/2000 etc it will clock to the max speed your motherboard can support)
CPU heatsink & fan (usually forgotten, plays a big role in maintaining the PC at ideal temps, not required immediately if the CPU comes with one but is very much recommended)
Case fans (does exactly as it says on the tin, keeps the case cool so everything inside is at optimum temp, this can get expensive ie water cooling...)
Operating system ( Windows 7 64bit, dont go near Win 8 if you can help it, i personally hate it, but course thats my opinion)
Sound card (7.1 preferably gives great expandability however the motherboard will likely have a 5.1 card in it, this option is for people who like top quality sound, aka music aficionados)

Try having a look at the component prices and build one in your mind/on paper and see how it matches up. I would normally look at ebuyers.com
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-13, 03:31 PM
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Agree with all of Caz post except if you want to save bit of cash and improve performance do not go for a singular 1tb drive.

Get a good 120gb SSD or high performance 3.5" drive to put your OS on and maybe one or 2 games you will be playing a lot. Then get another internal drive, does not have to be high spec, to store all your other games/programs etc. This does not have to be massive, 250-500gb should be enough. You can always uninstall/reinstall games as you wish to the second drive without wearing it down.

The performance difference with the SSD as your OS and main games drive will be very noticeable.

Below is spec of my last gaming rig (2010/11). I no longer game and have since butchered it and used the parts for a HTPC (These you DO need the storage for).

Intel Core i7 965 3.20 GHz
Asus P6T6 WS Revo - 12 GB DDR3
100 GB SSD
500 GB Western Digital HD
2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
Antec 900 Case - Antec Truepower Quattro 1000 PSU
1 x 23in, 3 x 22in Monitors
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Last edited by Durant; 02-13-13 at 03:33 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-13, 04:26 PM
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Default To buy or build a gaming rig?

Holy cow thats a good base for a rig, that CPU can easily sit at 4.6Ghz, because ive set my mates to it. However dont try 4.8Ghz it goes nuclear...

Also the reason i said about just the 1TB HDD and not SSD's is that from personal experience i cannot get one to last, they all die within 6 months or like my latest replacement 3 weeks.... Also, my 1TB is full of games, steam makes it so easy to spend money that its full plus i like my music and do video/gfx work so need the room currently have 80GB free ...

Last edited by carazeith; 02-13-13 at 04:30 PM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-13, 07:22 AM
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@king Gary, while your right about a dual core being good enough for gameing, more and more new games are starting to require a quad core to get a good gaming experiance, also games like Mechwarrior online are optimised for quads, and run a tad slow on dual cores

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-13, 07:45 AM
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my laptop needs a serious graphics upgrade... but i cant get rid of it due to all the programs i have which are untransferable... does anyone know how to upgrade graphics to something more gamesworthy? its a HP intel core i7-2670QM cpu@2.20GHz
installed memory 8.00GB
64 bit... what else do you need to know?

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-13, 07:50 AM
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The problem there is that its in a laptop, unless yours is a modular dedicated gfx card you cant do anything with it and they arent exactly cheap. Have you tried updating the software for it? That can help sometimes. But thats all i can say im afraid.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-13, 07:55 AM
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how would i update it?

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