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Building first gaming pc. Need help picking the components.


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#1 aceatc

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:41 PM

I've finally decided to get a new computer since my last one is pretty much on its last leg. A buddy of mine built my first computer and that guy just went to school in another state so I have no one but myself to build. And, I have no experience in that, but how hard can it be?

I've never gotten into computer gaming, but from what I've seen from other people's builds I can get a decent gaming computer for the same price as I paid for my last computer which is fairly old.

So, what's the cheapest gaming build to play Farcry 2. Of the games that I want to play, this one looks to be the most demanding so I'll set the bar with this game.

Hard Drive Space : 3.5 GB (Multiple saves and user created maps will increase the amount of needed hard disk space.)

Processor : IntelŽ Core 2 Duo Family, AMDŽ64 X2 5200+, AMDŽ Phenom or better

RAM : 2 GB

Video Card : NVIDIAŽ 8600 GTS or better, ATIŽX1900 or better


I also live near a computer store. Are their gaming computers any good for the price?
http://www.nwcomp.net/


I don't have a budget that I could say right now, I'd just like to know what's the cheapest build I could make to play that game with the recommended specs.

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#2 xXAlphaXx

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:19 PM

Looking at the site you posted, they seem a little overpriced. Building computers is a much cheaper and effective alternative if you know what your doing.

If you don't that's why were here to help =P

A computer is made up of a few main components.

Motherboard
Processor
Memory/RAM
Power Supply
Hard Drive
DVD/CD Drive
Video Card
Sound Card
Case (Optional but recommended.)
And an operating system.


Now this is how I build computers, as when you do what you pick limits you to what you can do. So lets start by picking a case. Any of them will do, more air flow makes it cooler which makes it optimal for gaming.

Now once you get the case, check what form factor of motherboards it supports. Modern day motherboards are usually ATX.

Ok, now Processor. Check the socket type on your motherboard. Lets say were going with a modern Intel processor. Most socket types are LGA775, meaning only LGA 775 type processors will fit. Duo core processors funciton as two processors in one, and quad cores as 4 processors in one.

On to the Memory! Again check your board and see what type it supports. Modern day will be something like PC2700 DDR2 RAM.

Now, Video card! Check your board again to see how many PCI E x16 slots you have. Lets say you have two. You can purchase two of the same video cards and run a bridge between them and this combines the two.

Sound Cards. Check board for PCI X1 Slots. Grab one, slap it in, usually optional unless you are a audiophile because boards come with it built in but their not excellent.

Hard drives! Storage! Check your board, see what interfaces it supports. modern day is Sata, So if thats what it uses, get a sata hard drive.

Disk Drives! Again check board interfces. Lets say its another SATA, you should know what too do ;D

Ok. Now, Power Supply. These can be a little trickey. Make sure it has the right plugs for your board/cards/drives. Also make sure its a high enough wattage to support everything that you put in the system. Also make sure its the correct form factor for your case.

After all that, pop in your operating system of choice. It being a gaming rig, it will probably be Windows XP. Install it and your done! Don't forget to install drivers for all your hardware after wards so everything works.

NOTE: Make sure your board has a NIC card built in, if it does not you will have to purchase one of those too.
If I am helping you and I do not respond within 24 hours, please send me a PM. :)

#3 aceatc

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:09 PM

Thanks for all the info man.

To be honest though I don't know much about computers so even if you tell me to look at a certain part on a motherboard for a certain kind of thing I probably won't know where to look or even what's what.

Basically, I'm putting all faith in you guys to tell me what the best stuff is for what I ask for. Sorry to put that much work on you guys. I am trying to learn this stuff, but I can't learn all that computer stuff quick enough to make a confident computer purchase.

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:23 PM

Building a new PC can be fun and it will save you some money. How much are you willing to spend on a PC? You can get a very good gaming PC for 1000 to 1500 dollars. Many on this forum would be glad to help you come up with a parts list.

Edited by DJBPace07, 04 November 2008 - 11:19 PM.

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#5 aceatc

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:21 PM

Building a new PC can be fun and it will save you some money. How much are you willing to spend on a PC? You can get a very good gaming PC for 1000 to 1500 dollars.


I don't know what's good and what's bad with computer technology. Basically, I just want the cheapest build to play that game there I listed in my first post. I don't see a purpose for spending more money on something I won't use.

I wanna see what it will take to get to those specifications for that game. Once I know how much that will be, then I'll tell you what my budget is like.

Does that make any sense at all? :thumbsup:

#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:24 PM

Farcry 2 is based of the Crysis engine, you need a PC which can play that game at a decent framerate, a $1000 to $1500 system should do that just fine and leave room for newer games which might require more resources. In short, you'll need a PC with a dual or quad core processor, a very good graphics card, and plenty of RAM.

Edited by DJBPace07, 04 November 2008 - 11:26 PM.

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#7 aceatc

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:52 AM

I also have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse so I don't need to buy those.

Another guy told me I could build a pc to play farcry 2 for around $600. I don't know much about computers so maybe he's lieing or something, but yeah I'm not sure how much I need to spend. ARG!!

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:23 AM

You could indeed play Farcry for under $600 but the game would be slow. Also, for that cash, you may not get a PC that will last for several years.
Here's my choice of hardware. Keep in mind that I choose parts for a PC that should last a while

Motherboard - BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX - This motherboard is cheap, but it supports the most recent AMD CPU's, it also allows for plenty of memory. $99
CPU - AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz - It may not be as cutting edge as some of Intel's models, but it certainly is powerful. $169
Graphics card - VisionTek 900250 Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB - It is very expensive, but you get what you paid for. This is ATI's top graphics card, it is essentially two 4870's placed on one card (hence the X2). $509 (this includes a $40 instant discount from Newegg)
Sound card - ASUS Xonar D2 - You only need this if you listen to a ton of music or are interested in creating music. Otherwise, you should stick to the audio provided by the motherboard and save the cash. $179
Hard drive - Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB - You get a great deal of space to put things for a reasonable price. $64
Optical drive - LITE-ON DH-20A4P-04 - A simple optical drive that can burn and read CD's and DVD's, this is an OEM model so you don't get a nice box with everything included. Instead, you get just the drive only, saving you money. $22
Power supply - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W - Corsair power supplies are highly regarded among reviewers, both customers and professional websites. I have one and I must say I'm impressed. $119 (this includes a $60 instant discount from Newegg, there is also a $20 mail in rebate for this)
RAM - Two G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066's RAM kits - I suggest buying two of these. Programs will need more RAM in the future. Since RAM is cheap these days, you can purchase several GB's worth. $159 (each of these go for $109, but Newegg is offering a $30 discount)
Operating system - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - You will need a 64-bit operating system to use more than 4GB of RAM. $99
CPU cooler - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro - The processor I chose is inexpensive because AMD removed almost all the frills from the box. This included the cooler. On the positive side, this cooler is more powerful than the one they would provide. $26.99 (this includes a $3 instant discount from Newegg)
Case - HEC 69R5BB Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - This is a simple computer case. I chose a full tower because of the video card, most mid-towers do not have the depth to handle graphics cards over 10 inches long. $69 (this includes a $30 instant discount from Newegg)

Total cost $1523 with the sound card, you can remove it and save some cash.

This should get you going in Farcry 2. HardOCP did a feature on gameplay performance with Farcry 2 that you should see. Here's the link.

Edited by DJBPace07, 05 November 2008 - 01:24 AM.

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#9 Lucky23

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:23 AM

I have no experience in that, but how hard can it be?


Its actually pretty hard if you dont know anything about computers and there is a lot of little stuff that you can get stuck on. Best thing to do is start reading A LOT!
Centurion 5 Case~GA-P35-DS3L Rev2.0~E6550~EVGA 8800GS~3GB GSkill~Cooler Master 650 PRO~Seagate 320GB SATA II~ 2 ASUS 20X Burners~Sound Blaster Audigy SE~ZeroTherm CF900~Acer 22" P221W

#10 aceatc

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 02:07 AM

The person that gave me the $600 build idea made the build for playing the game at the recommended settings, not the minimum. Like I said, maybe he just lied or something. I can't tell you myself cause I don't know what's what in computer tech. ARG again!


Also, I won't need a computer that will last for years and years. I might be moving in 6 months (if so I won't have time to really play on the computer) and then the computer will probably be given to one of my family members or a friend.

Edited by aceatc, 05 November 2008 - 02:10 AM.


#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

If you buy a PC now, give it away in six months, then get a new one, that can become expensive. I suggest getting one when you are sure you're going to be hanging onto it for a while. You can certainly play the game at suggested settings, it may not be very fast though.

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#12 Ryan 3000

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 05:33 PM

Now, Video card! Check your board again to see how many PCI E x16 slots you have. Lets say you have two. You can purchase two of the same video cards and run a bridge between them and this combines the two.


I would recommend that you DO NOT use 2 video cards. A system with 2 video cards is called Crossfire (ATI) or SLI (nVidia). I go against this for many reasons:
-Two video cards can be more expensive than one
-SLI can be confusing to configure, and many games do not support it
-And then, you have to buy a motherboard for SPECIFICALLY SLI if you buy nVidia cards or Crossfire if you buy ATI cards. It can be a real hassle.

You said you wanted to play FarCry 2. That is a very demanding game. I would recommend an nVidia 9800GTX. You would be able to pull off FarCry2 with an 8800GT but it would be jerky. I would also recommend Fallout 3 if you're into RPG / shootemup games.

And as DJBPace has said, building a compy is hard work, especially if you haven't done it before. If you have an old one that you don't care about, I got my initial experience in PC building by disassembling an old PC until I could name all of the parts and know where the wires went. I recommend that, but only if you ABSOLUTELY don't care about it, it can be very easy to destroy. Be sure to unplug the thing and then press the power button to drain all power.

Edited by Ryan 3000, 05 November 2008 - 05:39 PM.

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land.

#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:31 PM

Of course two video cards are more expensive than one, unless you get one of those cards that have two GPU's in one package, such as the 4870 X2. SLI or Crossfire confusing? I don't think so, just connect a bridge between cards (it is included with the motherboard and is extremely easy to do, takes less than five seconds), then click enable SLI or Crossfire in your display screen in Windows and your set. You don't have to do more configuration after that, most games produced in the past five years or so support it, most automatically enable it if they can. As for the motherboard issue, it says right on the box which is supported and both card manufacturers have products that can give similar dual card performance, such as the 9800 GX2 and the 4870 X2, if you don't have a supported motherboard for SLI or Crossfire. The 9800 GTX is a very good card, but some newer games can choke on it in a non-SLI system. I have two 9800 GTX cards in SLI. In Fallout 3, if SLI is not turned on, the game can severely bog down in the Capital Wasteland, down to 20 frames per second. More so if I enable anti-aliasing.

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