Building a gaming PC 1/04/07 HELP!

OK guys, I've always been a console gamer because it's such a pain in the butt to PC game. I can't take it any longer not getting to play some of the big PC games anymore and I want to play World of Warcraft on my HD TV through the component hookup (at 1080i max) and 5.1 sound through my home system or I'll buy some headphones. So I decided I want to build a gaming PC just to put in the living room.

I want it to be as low cost as possible but run WOW nicely so newegg.com seem like the best site to use. I'm thinking about picking up a shuttle and building from their but really I have no idea whats the best route to take. HELP!!! I know it's a pain to list all the parts but that's what I really need. A list of mid range parts that will end up running WOW for me with no problems.

Everyone has to start somewhere and this looks like the start for me.

whats your budget, and at what res do you want to run WoW?

pol wrote:

whats your budget, and at what res do you want to run WoW?

Well, he said 1080i but finding a videocard that will output that and whether or not WoW even supports it is kind of a big question.

Does your TV do 720p? It's essentially the same visualwise as 1080i and it's a resolution that's almost guaranteed to work. It also doesn't require much hardware wise to do compared to resolutions most mid to high end PC gamers used. 1280x720 is nothing compared to 1680x1050 or 1900x1200

And yes, a budget on how much you'd like to spend on this thing would help a lot too.

Ok, How about 500 bucks. I just want something to get started with and I'll add to it later. 720p would work just fine.
On CyberPower.com there is a Aleinware PC for 465.00 dollars.
Its a AMD 64 PCI-E
$465.00
(before all applicable rebates)
CASE: Hot New! X-Cruiser Mid-Tower 420W Case W/ WINDOW, MultiMeter Display & Control (Silver Color)
CPU: (Socket AM2) AMD Athlon™64 3800+ CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2)MSI K9N4 SLI-F nForce 500 SLI Chipset DDR2/800 SATA-II RAID MBoard w/ Dual 16x PCI-Express
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)512MB PC6400 DDR2/800 Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 7100 GS Graphics with TurboCache supporting 256MB 16X PCI Express VIDEO CARD
VIDEO CARD 2: NONE
LCD Monitor: NONE
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (160GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Data Hard Drive: NONE
Optical Drive: (Special Price) 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: NONE
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO

I have no idea what I should get. Theres to many choices....

I wouldn't give Cyberpower five dollars. I think the general opinion around the boards is right on with that too.

The videocard in that is at the absolute bottom of the Geforce 7 series. It is, more or less, a Geforce 6200 w/Turbocache. That means it shares memory with your system.

You might be able to run WoW in 1280x720, but then again you might not. I couldn't find a single review or set of benchmarks for any 7100 cards.

Oh, and it's not an Alienware if it's on Cyberpower.com.... The cases may look similar to something in the alienware lineup.. but it is not an Alienware computer.

On the other hand.. I imagine we might be able to piece together something for around $500 that would play WoW fairly well at your required resolution. But if you want to "add to it in the future" it might be a little more difficult.

Ok Thin J, how about you tell me where to buy a case that I can up grade later with. Then list the parts I should buy and I'll love you forever:) If you think I should spend more to get my money's worth, I could peice it together over the next two months. Thanks for helping out the newbie.

Braehole wrote:

Ok Thin J, how about you tell me where to buy a case that I can up grade later with.

It's not really the case that's a problem so much as it is a motherboard choice. The best way to stay close to your budget is to go Socket 939, but then you're on a dead platform with a very definite limit on your upgrade path.

It's possible to manage $500 for an AM2 system but you end up with lesser overall parts as far as performance.

It's a trade off.

Oh! And is a copy of windows part of your $500 budget? If it is then I don't know if I can put anything I'm comfortable recommending together in there. If you're willing to save a little longer and spend a little more to get a better rig right out of the gate.. then tack on a couple hundred bucks more and we're golden.

I'll play with newegg a bit tomorrow while I'm killing time at work and see what I can do. I'm sure Guru'll be in to smack around my recommendations

Hey Brae, this is a bit of a more trimmed up system. I know the video card is a bit overpowered for WoW but I'm resonably certain that this system could give games like FEAR or Oblivion a fair shake. Just something to think about.

1 SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black IDE $32.99

1 COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$49.99

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM $94.99

1 eVGA 256-P2-N554-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
$139.99

1 mushkin 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model
$121.49

1 Intel BOXDP965LTCK LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$106.99

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail
$193.00

1 Microsoft Windows XP Pro SP2b 1pk w/Upgrade Coupon for Vista - OEM
$139.99

Subtotal: $879.43

This looks like it could add up fast. Thin J just do the best you can with what you will be comfortable recommending together. If you think I need to spend 1000.00 bucks to have a system that I will be happy with, then that's what I will build.Yes I need a copy of windows and I'm sure some other things. I'll talk to the wife and use some Tax Return money if I can't find the money before that.

Thanks Reaper for your input. It funny because I put together almost the same set up when I was playing around on newegg.

It could be a month or two before this thing is done so I would love anyone's idea's that would take the time to give them.

Now I know you PC gamers are crazy. You guys spend money like it's growing on tree's but I have to start some where.

Quick note before I leave for work: That rig would kick WoW's ass all over the internet.

Just saying. I'll be in with more detailed comments sometime later today, maybe even during my work hours. We'll see.

Thin_J wrote:

Quick note before I leave for work: That rig would kick WoW's ass all over the internet.

Just saying. I'll be in with more detailed comments sometime later today, maybe even during my work hours. We'll see.

WoW says,
OS: Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4); Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
Processor: Intel Pentium3 800MHz or AMD Athlon 800MHz
"Memory:
1GB RAM is recommended
Video:
Recommended: 64MB VRAM 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability, such as an NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 class card or above. "

That seems way lower then what I was looking at so please cut the cost if I can go cheaper and up grade later.

you could save a bit a money by going with a Intel based 965 or 975 board without SLI.. and getting the 6300 Intel Proc.. certainly for WoW that along with a 7600GT Videocard will be plenty beefy to run it with all bells and whistles at 720P.

There is even a ATI based X1600 Card that has an HDMI port to ease connections with Plasma's etc..its around $150 I believe.. Sapphire makes it.

I think the only areas you are going to really save any money are the areas Gameguru mentioned. I would think a more budget friendly non-SLI intel board in a combo like this would save you a few $$.

http://www.pc-infinity.com/mm5/merch...
(6300 on an Asus Non-SLI board for $288 shipped, though I don't know anything about this merchant and am only mentioning them because they were the cheapest on pricewatch.com)

You could also save on your Case + 500W power supply if you find one with the power supply already included, for example:
http://www.supergooddeal.com/Product...
About $40

You could also take a chance on a barebones case with a 430W power supply, with the same CPU and motherboard listed above like this:
http://www.pcdirectsource.com/Item.c...
For $294 shipped

The problem with going with budget Power Supplies is that a budget 500W power supply may not put out the same kinds of power that a 350W Antec may, or you might get lucky and get one that does the job for cheap (like I did).

Then you would just need to add a video card like the 7600GT or the ATI Gameguru mentioned, and the other things that Reaper mentioned and you would have a system for a little cheaper.

Well, he said 1080i

edit: covered already

I only know enough about this to be sure that its confusing....so I just figured I'd ask.

So.. I wasn't able to get to a computer for more than thirty seconds all day long and I'm kind of rushed right now too.

For the moment though... Guru is (of course...) 100% correct on the mobo/processor combo. Save some money and don't bother with SLI. It's a pretty extravagant feature and isn't really worthwhile for someone who's looking for the kind of system you are. And the cheapest of the Core 2 processors is still the best low end budget buy around. It'll outperform a large portion of AMD's current lineup and it will do it for a good deal less money.

I'll do the math here in a little while.

Thanks guys:)
Maybe I won't have to sell my house after all to buy everything.

I talked my wife into letting me spend $800.00 bucks so Tell me what the best set up I can put together with that guys.

Thin J those look like great deals that Tobyus was looking at. I think I want a bigger power supply though right?

For the system you're talking about you don't really need much of a power supply. A 500 or 550watt job would be nice to have in case you upgrade or add a couple of things, but for the hardware you're likely to end up ordering right off it wouldn't be necessary. A good quality 450w supply would likely work just fine.

And I like to avoid PSU's that come with cases unless it's actually a specific power supply that's normally sold seperately. Makes it easier to do some research on whether or not it's junk

Should I go with AMD or Intel? I want to spend under 900.00 and would love some feedback on which way to go. If someone could look on newegg and help me with a set up, I would be greatfull.

I personally would go with an Intel Duo Core at this stage in the game. It should be do-able with a 6400.

Ok I know I want from newegg......

-a case with a sliding shelf for the mother board- around $100-

-Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor $220.00-

-Motherboard is my biggest problem trying to pick one-
I dont understand yet what I'm getting or not getting with different boards.

-Foxconn GeForce 7600GT FV-N76TM2D2 Video Card - $112
or
-eVGA GeForce 7600GT 256-P2-N615-TX Video Card - $109
These cards seem like one I will buy but I haven't looked up the ATI based X1600 Sapphire card with the HDMI output, TheGameguru was talking about.
I looked up the nVidia chip comparison and ATI and it looks like I should go by the Pixels per clock to choose maybe?
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/132
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/131
With this table it seems like the best bang for your buck is the SAPPHIRE Radeon X1900GT for $155

-Then a sound card that will sound good on my 7.1 home setup.
Will I notice a difference between the $30 dollar card,or the 50 or maybe the $80?

-The power supply I'm thinking about 500w-550w?-
Will this be enough power for now?

PS wise you should be fine if you get a quality one.

For motherboards, do a search on Google for Socket 775 Motherboard review. Or go to either HardOCP.com or TomsHardware.com. Although these two are not the only hardware reviewers out there (hardly) but they are *pretty* unbiased and usually have very good links to other sites with reviews of what your looking for.

I just pieced together a new system and I got the eVGA mobo. Yes it is nVidia and I specifically chose it for SLI, but overall it seems a very good, very stable board none-the-less. But I dont think you are trying to piece something like that together and I havent looked at the lower end 775 boards. There are basically 3 big names I stick by. Abit, Asus and Gigabyte for motherboards. There are also MSI, Micro... and so many others. Ive owned them all but Ive researched them all too before I bought.

For a sound card, I think you can get a SoundBlaster X-Fi xtreme music for pretty cheap unless you get a motherboard that has a decent on-board audio chip.

For the power supply, you should be good w/ 500W unless you plan on throwing in 4 harddrives, SLI, 20 fans, 18 LED tubes lol. A couple years ago I had a VapoChill case and tons of addons (computer parts, not LEDs or such) and it ran fine w/ a 550W PSU. The VapoChill had a refrigerator unit in it so I could overclock my machine... so it drew quite a bit of power and ran just fine on the 550W.

The biggest part about putting your own computer together (at least for me) is the research. You get to learn so much and then piece it all together. Fun stuff!

PAR

I'm not sure what others have experienced with Sapphire cards, but mine hasn't been the most positive. I've owned two of their cards and had nothing but problems with both. One was completely dead after only a year, and the other constantly locked up the system it was on. I began to suspect that there was a reason their prices were lower than other ATI partner's video cards.

Also, and I don't think this can be emphasized enough, get a quality power supply. You'd be surprised how many problems are caused by cheap power supplies. Like par said, 500 watt should be more than enough if you're not planning on going SLI.

I'm not sure what others have experienced with Sapphire cards, but mine hasn't been the most positive. I've owned two of their cards and had nothing but problems with both. One was completely dead after only a year, and the other constantly locked up the system it was on. I began to suspect that there was a reason their prices were lower than other ATI partner's video cards.

Sapphire makes ATI cards for ATI (other than the AIW series though that may have even changed) Dont worry.. its all luck of the draw.. Sapphire doesn't produce their cards any differently than every single other graphics card vendor.

par wrote:

The biggest part about putting your own computer together (at least for me) is the research. You get to learn so much and then piece it all together. Fun stuff!

PAR

I'm having a blast learning what the hell everything is worth and good for. Today I will learn what that SLI thing you guys keep talking about. I'm guessing it's split video cards or something....but yes this is great fun to do. If SLI is the way to go, then maybe I'll spend even more. The only problem I'm having is the more I learn, the more I want to spend.
I'm trying to justify over 1000 bucks now, so I can get nicer parts. Does anyone know of a in your lap keyboard and mouse setup? I want to use this computer from the couch.
Everyone has been great helping me figure out what to buy and not buy. I would like to know what you guys have for a gaming computer configuration.
O and for the sound card, now I'm trying to pick up the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum 70SB035000003 7.1 Channels PCI for 87.00 after 100.00 dollar mail in rebate. It's getting crazy all the cool parts that I'm finding out there.

I think I'll go with the Rosewill RP550-2 ATX 2.01 550W Power Supply for $55 bucks.

Braehole wrote:

I think I'll go with the Rosewill RP550-2 ATX 2.01 550W Power Supply for $55 bucks.

Apologies if I've skimmed, but Newegg has it for $65. Did you find it somewhere cheaper?

I used the 'Reaper Special' last year to build my current rig. It still plays the newest stuff.

Some one should update that book and then possibly make that a sticky since that's one of the most often asked questions...

Edit: Let me just say, 100$ for a 320GB hard drive? I can lose more data than I ever hope to be able back up.

Yoyoson wrote:
Braehole wrote:

I think I'll go with the Rosewill RP550-2 ATX 2.01 550W Power Supply for $55 bucks.

Apologies if I've skimmed, but Newegg has it for $65. Did you find it somewhere cheaper?

It was 10 bucks off last night on newegg, Maybe it was just for the day.

My biggest problem right now is trying to find a mother board. I was looking at SLI boards but dont really understand how they work. I'll keep reading up on them this week.

Braehole wrote:
Yoyoson wrote:
Braehole wrote:

I think I'll go with the Rosewill RP550-2 ATX 2.01 550W Power Supply for $55 bucks.

Apologies if I've skimmed, but Newegg has it for $65. Did you find it somewhere cheaper?

It was 10 bucks off last night on newegg, Maybe it was just for the day.

My biggest problem right now is trying to find a mother board. I was looking at SLI boards but dont really understand how they work. I'll keep reading up on them this week.

KEEP AWAY! I RMA'd that same exact PSU 3 times and each fried within a week. You're better off going with a Thermaltake or Cooler Master

[edit] I have this one, but I grabbed it on special a couple months back.

Ok I'm coming back to earth and this is my set up.

https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/MySavedWishDetail.asp?ID=3801994

Tell me what you guys think. Should I not go with the ECS NFORCE 570 SLIT-A (V5.1) LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI ATX Intel Motherboard ?

There are some big mail in rebates there so I should stay under 1000.00 bucks for everything. If you would change something please let me know.