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Help Suggesting Parts for Gaming Computer!


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#1 theFuture

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 06:50 PM

I am looking to buy a desktop gaming computer. I don't know much about parts, I was told to look for one on alienware.com but form what I have read they are overpriced, so I decided to ask the pros what I should get.
I have a computer store where I live so I can tell them what parts I want, I was thinking that would be my best option.

**I am only looking to buy the "Tower"**
Budget : $1400-$1600
Purpose : Gaming/Movies (Fast Processor/Great Graphic Card)

~I'm looking for parts suggestions I would buy around that budget.~
I would appreciate suggestions on everything in the tower. Including Optical Drive, Power Supply and so forth.

I know $1600 won't buy a great gaming tower, but the one I have now is:
AMD Athlon
1.09GHz, 512 MB of Ram
I don't know what processor, motherboard or graphic card it has, but it was built in 2001 so its pretty much obsolete.


If you guys know the cheapest way to get this tower besides my local computer store let me know.
Their web sight --> http://www.southgatecomputers.com/

I thank you for taking your time to help me out. Have a great day.;)

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 10:06 PM

If you build your computer, you will save more money. Alienware PC's are essentially Dell computers with a nice case. If you want a boutique builder (these are PC builders who focus on service, quality, and high speed PC's but you pay a higher price) I suggest Maingear, I bought a PC from them and are impressed. You could also try Puget Systems but shipping from Washington state is expensive. Since you have a shop near you that can build the PC for you using your own parts list instead of their pre-selected list, buying locally could work just be careful they don't overcharge you. I looked at their components list and it seems a little lacking and overpriced to me. Since you want to stay below $1600, you won't get the latest and greatest PC, but you can still get a powerful one. All of my suggestions come from Newegg.com.

Here's my list:

Computer Case
HEC 69R5BB Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $69.99
This is a full tower case, meaning it is large but it has plenty of room for expansion and allows for the largest graphics cards. It is a little plain to look at, but remember, it is what is inside that counts.

Optical Drive
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DH-20A4P-04 - OEM - $21.99
It works and it is cheap.

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $64.99
A good hard drive that is a decent size.

CPU
AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail - $169.00
Since you're on a budget, AMD processors fill in nicely with value and speed.

Motherboard
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - $99.99
This is a motherboard that supports your CPU and gets good ratings.

CPU Cooler
ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail - $54.99
This a quality CPU cooler, I have one and it works well. This will keep your CPU nice and cool.

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - $169.98 (for 8 GB)
You will need two of these to reach the 8 GB maximum your motherboard supports.

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $119.99
I've used this power supply and really liked it. It always seems to get high ratings.

Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM - $99.99
You will need a 64-bit operating system to use all 8 GB of RAM.

Video Card
GIGABYTE GV-R487X2-2GH-B Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - $529.99
This is a top-of-the-line card, the best ATI offers. Since you're gaming, the power this thing has will certainly help. It competes and, in many cases, is more powerful than NVidia's Geforce GTX 280.

Sound Card - Optional, your motherboard has a sound card built in. Get this if you listen to a great deal of music or if you create music.
ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Ultra Fidelity Sound Card with Complete Dolby/DTS Sound Technologies - Retail - $179.99
I have this and can really tell the difference. The Dolby Headphone and surround technologies are awesome in movies.

Total cost with the sound card, minus shipping - $1,580.89

Edited by DJBPace07, 20 October 2008 - 10:08 PM.

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#3 theFuture

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 10:53 AM

Thanks a lot DJBPace07
you have been a great help :thumbsup:

#4 dpunisher

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 12:48 PM

Just my changes. If I was going with a rig specifically for gaming I would go dual core Intel, and overclock accordingly. The motherboard will support Core2 processors till the end of the cycle.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128359

Processor should go 4+ghz without complaint:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115037

I don't know if I would invest in a sound card at this stage. The 4870 will output sound through the HDMI, the onboard will output optical and coax. If you are unhappy with the sound as is, then drop the money on a good soundcard later. 8 gigs is overkill for memory for your intended purposes, but it is cheap now.

Just an opinion.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#5 theFuture

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 02:32 PM

Just my changes. If I was going with a rig specifically for gaming I would go dual core Intel, and overclock accordingly. The motherboard will support Core2 processors till the end of the cycle.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128359

Processor should go 4+ghz without complaint:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115037

I don't know if I would invest in a sound card at this stage. The 4870 will output sound through the HDMI, the onboard will output optical and coax. If you are unhappy with the sound as is, then drop the money on a good soundcard later. 8 gigs is overkill for memory for your intended purposes, but it is cheap now.

Just an opinion.


I was thinking the same things, i am not going to buy a sound card so that leaves me with some spending money and I think the processor could be better compared to whats on the market.
DJBPace suggested:
AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail = $169.00

and you suggested:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail = $164.99

Is Core 2 Duo better then Quad-Core? Whats the difference? From prices I think Quad-Core is better.
Same price although 3.0GHz is better then 2.5GHz :-/

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 03:43 PM

Given that your previous PC lasted about seven years, I based my decisions on not only price and value but also longevity. The Phenom processor is quad core. Some games, such as Crysis and Fallout 3, use all four cores in some fashion. In the future, more will use the cores. Also, the Black Edition processors have unlocked multipliers making them easier to overclock which is great for future proofing. Intel's Core 2 technology refers to the core design, there's Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad. The Core 2 technology is more advanced than AMD but you will be paying a premium for it. Increasing a processor's speed on the E8400 to 4.0 GHz is risky and should not be attempted unless you're an experienced enthusiast with some serious cooling. The 45nm processors are picky when it comes to voltages and heat making them a little more difficult to OC, however the 45nm design does allow it to run cooler. 8 GB is a huge amount of RAM for today's apps, but in the future you might need it. Again, the sound card is totally optional you should only get it if you listen to a great deal of music, make music, or watch movies on your PC. The onboard sound, in most cases, is more than sufficient if you're willing to live without some of the features a dedicated sound card has.

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#7 dpunisher

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 04:13 PM

Well you did want suggestions for a gaming system. Processor speed and cache are the prime considerations when gaming. Present games (UT3 and Supreme Commander excepted) use either one or two cores. For the vast majority of games out there, quad cores mean zip. A 3ghz dual will be faster than a 2.5ghz quad. Keep in mind as well cache is important to games. Prime example is how the newer Core2 processors are faster in games even with the same clockspeed. The only major difference (besides process size) is a larger cache.

If you have applications that can multithread up to 4 cpus then go for a quad. If you don't, then it is a bit of a waste for a "gaming rig".

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#8 theFuture

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 06:27 PM

Thanks a lot guys, I think I have made my mind.

#9 dpunisher

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 09:26 PM

Some games, such as Crysis and Fallout 3, use all four cores in some fashion.


Did they ever get a multi core patch ready for Crysis? I finished up the game about the time the 1.1 patch came out and "quad core support" was always talked about in 1.2.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 October 2008 - 10:31 PM

Crysis wasn't really designed for quad core processing. For some reason, Crytek decided to release a game that had an engine which didn't use all cores. It uses two cores, though, that isn't very important since Crysis uses the GPU far more heavily than the CPU. Given the complexity of CryEngine 2, one would have expected this since the engine itself can be multithreaded and utilize 64-bit instruction sets and memory. The larger the code, the more difficult it is to use more threads. A larger cache does give the CPU a bit more of a kick, but it is not a significant one especially in rendering. If you keep this PC for seven years, like you did your last one and don't plan to upgrade the processor during that time, a quad core would be better for the long term.

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