SEARCH

The How-To Geek Forums Have Migrated to Discourse

How-To Geek Forums / Build Your Own PC

(Solved) - Need help building a budgeted gaming system (amateur)

(31 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Kenny536
  • Latest reply from Kenny536
  • Topic Viewed 2533 times

Kenny536
Posts: 27

Hello - I created this thread because I need guidance on building a gaming desktop. I don't have much experience with this - so far all my experience is replacing a video card and putting in some thermal paste.

My goal is to make a great GAMING PC for my little brother for about 600-800$ - i want to try to not go over 700 but i also want to get the most out of my money. I am using websites such as google, newegg( especially the reviews!), toms hardware, pricewatch, and tigerdirect. I won't get state of the art technology with that budget, but I still want it to last a good number of years with the latest games. I live in and will be buying from the USA.

Keep in mind that since i have never built a computer so I'm not really sure too sure what I'm doing. I figured that i would order all the parts and then just try to put it together.

So far, the parts that I think I need are:

Motherboard
Processor
Video Card
RAM
Monitor
Computer Case
Hard Drive
Keyboard
Mouse
Speakers
CD/DVD Burner

Please let me know if there is anything else I need. The fan comes with the motherboard right? Will I need some sort of external cooling also?

I have researched the priciest components so far (CPU, motherboard, video card). Please let me know what you think of my decisions and if you have recommendations. Is everything compatible with eachother? I'm trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. Based on my research, I have come to the conclusion that Intel > AMD at this current moment.

I haven't decided if I am going to overclock this (partly because I'm not sure how to). But let's just assume I will.

Processor - this is what I have researched the most so far and I am fairly confident in my choice - but let me know if you disagree.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0Ghz 1333FSB 6MB L2

http://www.futurepowerpc.com/s.....8;REFID=PW

Motherboard - I'm not very knowledgeable with the specs for motherboards, I have narrowed it down to the eight motherboards you see below (based on the reviews at newegg).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813188026
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813128347
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131232
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131299
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131344
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813128359
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813128358

Keep in mind that I have not checked these motherboards on Pricewatch - so there may be a 5-10$ cheaper elsewhere.

As for CPU/Motherboard combos, I've looked for a good deal on one of those but what I am finding is that they offer a really great processor and a very crappy non-gaming motherboard.

Video Card - I have already purchased this one for 20$ (after rebate) and based on the reviews its pretty good for gaming - my reasoning was that since it is only 20$, worst case scenario is I will just get a better one later on incase this one isn't good enough.

EVGA 256-P2-N761-TR GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6814130394

RAM - Haven't researched this much yet - is there a certain minimum amount of RAM I need to make it compatible with my motherboard and processor? I don't want the minimum amount though - I want a good amount to ensure it is a great gaming desktop. What is the typical amount of RAM to accomplish this?

Hard Drive - Haven't researched this much yet - is there a certain minimum amount of hard drive space I need to make it compatible with my motherboard and processor? I don't want the minimum amount though - I want a good amount to ensure it is a great gaming desktop. What is the typical amount of HD space to accomplish this?

Monitor - Haven't researched this much yet.

The rest of things like the keyboard and speakers I don't think is that big of a deal, that I can do on my own but the main components is what I need help with.

Also - here a couple of combos from some users on Newegg. Haven't looked at these very carefully yet.

-EVGA 512-P3-N980-AR GeForce 9800 GT Hybrid
-GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB
-G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
-LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model
-Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
-Rosewill RCX-Z300 92mm Ball CPU Cooler
-RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power **this box was not the best choice**
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit

1.This mobo Gigabyte EP45
2.Intel E8500 C2D...OCed@3.9Ghz/1644mhz FSB
3.GTX260(MSI)Oced 702/2406/1467 GPU(just 1)
4.DDR2 1000@822mhz 5-4-4-12 1:1 (gskill)2x2=4gb
5.X-Fi gamer's edition audio
6.(optional) Asus PhysiX card-takes load off GPU
7. 750watt 4x12v rail PS(Zalman)or better
8. Antec 300 or 900 (depending on your budget)case
9. 22"lcd or bigger with 2ms 10000:1 (LG)or samsung
10. any of the THX Logitec speakers are good! Z series

Let me know if I forgot to mention anything. I would appreciate it if you would please let me know what you think, thanks a lot.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Kenny536, hello there! You have found an excellent resource in Tom's Hardware, but you should do some more research there. They have lots of great articles on builds, especially the Builder Marathon series. Here's a recent one that's right up your alley -- the $625 gaming PC:
http://www.tomshardware.com/re.....,2082.html

If you read through this article and others like it, it will help you understand what parts you need, what trade-offs have to be made when trying to balance budget and gaming, and which companies and components are favored and why. Also, there at Tom's Hardware you can look for information on individual components and comparisons of motherboards, graphics cards, and so much more.

There have also been a number of builds in this "Build Your Own PC" forum. Take a look through some of these other threads to look at other builds, see the feedback folks have gotten, and get a feel for prices. BTW, how much was the total price on those 2 user builds at Newegg? I doubt that the second one is in your budget range.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
SSSammy
Posts: 40

Hey Kenny
Heres some builds you may want to look at (Price is excluding the screen, keyboard, and speakers, though he does make suggestions for all 3 down at the bottom of the article) Build1 $500 Build2 $550 Build3 $650
these build parts are similar to the link from scottw. The intel e5200 is known for its great overclocking ability, so if you figure out how to oc then its a great way to save money.

Sadly for your price limit you will have to take a minimum on some things such as ram at 800 mhz and the cpu. Well, they're not exactly minimum but mid-to-low for todays standards in gaming. The same can be said about the videocard you bought. Its so-so for todays standards, you'll probably be able to play at low, and sometimes recommended settings this is assuming your brother wants to play new games. older games (early 2007 and before) however theres nothing to worry about.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Here is where I am at so far:

CPU - e8400 WolfDale

Motherboard - GIGABYTE UD3R

Video Card - researching

I was going to shop for desktop components one at a time and although the video card is still my main priority, I am reading these NewEgg emails and there are promotional discounts that expire on the 18th, and some on the 21st. Based on what I have bought so far (CPU and motherboard) and what I am trying to accomplish, please let me know what you think of these discounts and if you recommend any product.

Please don't get the idea that I am not researching or that I am being lazy - I am simply doing this because the promotions will expire before I get to researching the products. I realize this is a lot to ask all at once but if you could even just give feedback on one of the components I'll appreciate it. Also, feel free to suggest something that is not a promotion, I am not simply going to buy it because there is a discount, I still want to get the biggest bang for my buck.

I cannot link to the deal page because it's in my e-mail.

All the prices below are after promocode and rebate:

Video Cards:

EVGA GeForce 9800 GT PCI Express 2.0 x16 512MB GDDR3 Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-14130397

89.99

------------------

EVGA GeForce 9500 GT PCI Express 2.0 x16 512MB GDDR3 Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-14130383

44.99

-------------

ASUS EAH4830/HTDP/512MD3 Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
640 Stream Processors ready

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-14121289

94.99

------------

MSI GeForce 8800 GTS PCI Express x16 320MB GDDR3 Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-14127328

79.99

------------------------------

Power Supply - I need at least 600W right? How much of a performance increase will I saw if I do more than 600W?

Thermaltake Purepower W0121RU 600W ATX12V V2.0 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-17153077

44.99

-----------------

Corsair 750 Watt ATX12V/ EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-17139006

89.99

------------------

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-17341010

39.99

-----------------

Rosewill 630 Watt ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91 Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-17182149

59.99

----------------

I definitely want to buy a power supply in the next couple days because there is a 20% sale right now for all PSUs in the following link: http://www.newegg.com/Store/Ca.....EB1A-_-PSU

Let me know which one you think is the best deal for me.

----------------------------

Monitors :

ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-24236050

159.99

-----------------

Acer X193W+BD Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2000:1 (ACM) - Retail
High resolution 19” monitor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-24009127

129.99

------------------

SAMSUNG 2233bw High Glossy Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20000:1(1000:1) - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-24001306

179.99

Basically each monitor is 10$ off with the promo code. I haven't researched monitors heavily yet but I just wanted to know if these were good deals since they will expire soon.

--------------------------

RAM

- for memory I need the 4GB RAM correct? Most of the promotions are only for 2GB RAM so I will not bother posting them.

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-20231209

44.99

-----------------

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-20231166

49.99

---------------

Hard-Drives - I have no idea why the prices vary so much when the memory space is the same. The 1TB and 400 GB HDs are the same price - why is that?

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-22148288

59.99

--------------

Seagate Momentus 5400.6 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-22148371

99.99

--------------

Western Digital Elements Portable 400GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-22136340

99.99

------------------

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EACS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-22136151

99.99

--------------------

DVD Burners - I assume this includes CD drives inside them - right?

Lite-On IDE 22X DVD+/-R DVD Burner with LightScribe

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-27106269

24.99

----------

Sony NEC Optiarc IDE 20X DVD+/-R DVD Burner OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/....._-27118011

19.99

-------------------

Cases

http://promotions.newegg.com/r....._-Rosewill

There's a lot of cases there. The one on top looks cool.. I like the blue lights - but is it good for airflow?

Also, there are some case combo deals with CPUs here:

http://promotions.newegg.com/a.....IntelAntec

The first two on that link are the ones that apply to me since I am buying the e8400 CPU.

-------------------------

Thanks a lot.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Kenny536,
If you wait until after the holidays, think you will get even more bang for your bucks.
Read article and links in discussion.
Hard times usually mean really great prices for Builders.
http://www.computerworld.com/a.....rce=NLT_PM
http://www.howtogeek.com/forum.....replies=20
Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
SSSammy
Posts: 40

Hey Kenny
Before you read my suggestions read this thread, i helped another poster make a $800-1000 build, its a great gaming build. Heres my suggestions

Videocard - i suggest the 4830, but if you plan to sli/crossfire(this means putting in another of the same card into your comp to double the power, usually the cheapest way to upgrade later on) in the future then get the 9800 however getting the 9800 means you'd have to change your motherboard IF want to sli/crossfire.
However i REALLY suggest you get a Radeon 4850 or GTX 260 which is $50 more than the cards you chose but much better for todays games especially with a 22 inch screen.

PSU- extra power doesnt give you better performance though it leaves room for upgrading later on. For your build 600w is fine if you want to leave room for upgrade then get 700w.

Screen - dont know about that stuff

Ram- i would get the second one since it has higher timings, but since 1066 isnt normal timing settings for RAM you'd have to set them manually in bios, if you dont want to deal with that then get the first one which is a standard 800.

Harddrive - 1 of the harddrives you chose is for a laptop, and another is an external drive, both you dont need. I dont see the rpm speed for the 1tb hdd which makes me assume its slow so i would get the 1st one u chose.

For the case i suggest the Antec 900

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Here is where I am right now:

CPU - e8400

MOBO - UD3R

Video Card - 9800GT

PSU - OCZ StealthStream 600W

RAM - GSKILL 4GB 1066

CASE - Antec 900 (comboed with the CPU)

This totals to 520$ after rebate.

What is left? I think just the monitor, hard drive, keyboard and DVD drive. I have a mouse and I get the OS for free from a student organization at school (I am getting Vista 64-bit).

The biggest thing left is the monitor and I think it is very important since that is what I'm going to be staring at. I am thinking about going with this one since it's a big 22" screen : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] ing&=0&=10

However, there is one thing that bothers me. You are saying that basically I should pay 50$ more and get the 4850 video card or the geforce 260 because the 9800 GT is not sufficient for a 22" monitor - it may not handle the detailed resolutions on high for some games - Should I be concerned about this? I was looking forward to the 22" screen but if the 9800 GT cannot handle it then I guess I will settle for the 20".

Thanks.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
SSSammy
Posts: 40

you buy 22" to play games at 1680 by 1050. The 9800 can probably play SOME newer games at mid to high settings at that resolution namely those that are using older game enginess eg Left4Dead which uses the older half-life 2 engine. You'll find however other newer games that use newer engines such as crysis:warhead, farcry, oblivion will probably slow down at 1680 by 1050, you'll probably be able to get mid to low settings but to get all high settings you would probably have to lower the screen resolution which negates the need to have a 22".
But if you plan to upgrade in the future and thus, later on, be able to play at such a resolution then a 22" inch is fine, HOWEVER if you're looking to save money right now then i would bump that down to a 20"

Hope that helps

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Looking only at the 20" Samsung monitors at Newegg, they all have a native resolution of 1680x1050 as well. So, that spec alone does not disqualify a 22" monitor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....toreType=0

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Alright – I’m done ordering everything (except the speakers). Let me know how I did!
Here is the final order:
CPU: e8400 WolfDale

Motherboard: GIGABYTE UD3R

Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 4830 (I decided to change this from the 9800 GT – some people say they are the same, some say the 4830 is slightly better, so I went with the 4830).

RAM: G.Skill 4GB(2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1066

Power Supply: OCZ StealthStream 600W

Monitor: SAMSUNG 2233bw High Glossy Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 GB

DVD: LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe

Case: Antec 900 (great case, the blue looks sweet!)

Keyboard: Saitek Black USB Wired Standard Eclipse (this has illuminated blue keys – matches the case!).

Mouse: Logitech MX518 – I already had this.

OS: Vista 64-bit - I got this for free from a student organization that I am in.

The total for all this (minus the last two which I already had) turned out to be 830$ after all promo codes, discounts, and rebates.

Did I spend my money well? What do you guys think?

Thanks to everyone who has helped me – I’ve learned a lot! Now it’s time to build lol – this will not be fun.

Am I missing anything else? I don’t need a cooler unless I decide to overclock – right?
The only other thing I need that I can think of are speakers. Is there anything you guys recommend that isn’t too expensive? Here are the two that I was looking at:
Logitech X-240 25 Watts 2.1 Speaker – Retail
40.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6836121010

or

LOGISYS Computer SP6000-BK 32Watts 2.1 SOHO MULTIMEDIA SPEAKER SYSTEM
23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6836157002

I don’t know which one I should get. The Logitech one is great because it’s Logitech… plus the black speakers will match my case… but its 40.99 … on the other hand the other one has great reviews and is supposed to great for gaming but it’s some weird company called LOGISYS.. and the speakers look nice but they are more silver than black and they won’t match my case at all… but they’re only 23.99.

The crappy part is that either speaker will cost me an extra 15$ for shipping … all the stuff I’ve bought so far conveniently had free shipping. Not sure what to do – any other alternatives? Or maybe I should just stick with the monitor speakers? And then maybe just use a headset from the monitor speakers when I game? Or is that not a good idea?

Thanks!

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Wow I am really mad right now - I spent like 12 hours reading so many websites and manuals and stuff and I think I finally figured out where everything goes.. so I plug the power supply cord in to the wall and flip the switch and try to turn on the computer and what happens? nothing..

I think the PSU is defective or something... sometimes when I'm flipping the switch and I lean in real close I hear a slight hissing sound, not sure if its the PSU or the motherboard, but I'm guessing the PSU.

I dont know if its just because I am new at this.. but I really think I plugged in everything where it belongs.. this really sucks

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

I think I may have found the problem - as I was taking everything out of my case - when I unplugged the MAIN power supply wire that goes from my PSU to my mobo (the 20+4) wire... the 4 wire was fine .. and so was 19 out of the 20 holes on the wire of my PSU - but one hole was empty ... do you think this is the reason for the lack of power??

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

The missing pin is #10 (+12V) ... that sounds important.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

EDIT : Nvm, I wasn't looking at the pin alignment close enough and I had it backwards, the missing pin is #17 - which is GND - so that should not matter right?

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Help!

I made some progress.

Here is what I did.

I followed this guide exactly - http://www.pcmech.com/forum/sh.....p?t=132409

and it didn't work - then I decided to follow the guide exactly AND plug the power switch from my case onto the MOBO - this lit up the mobo, i heard the fans spinning and everything was great! it stayed on for about 5 seconds, shut off, and then did it all over again a few seconds later.. it was a cycle. I'm not sure what this means but I think I have made some progress - what should I do from here?

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

I think the problem is something related with the CPU. I unplugged the PSU cables (CPU1 and CPU2) so that there is no power to the CPU and I also unplugged the CPU fan. I then turned on the computer and now the power stays on. I left it on for about 30 seconds on two separate occasions without any interruption in power. I did not leave it on for more than 30 seconds because I'm not sure if it is safe to do so without having power to the CPU and the CPU fan not being on. Is that safe? Does this mean that the problem is CPU-related?

Here is what the situation is:

I have the everything out of the case.. the mobo is on top of the box it came in .. I have the PSU connected to the mobo, I have the case power switch and the other front panel cords connected to the mobo, one of the case fans connected to the PSU.. the CPU is on the mobo with the heatsink installed. I also have one stick of RAM in there.

That's it.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

It still may be power supply because every time the power turns off the PSU still makes that hissing sound.. i have the PSU separated from the mobo now so I know for sure that hissing sound is the PSU. Maybe it just does not have enough power to stay on? Although I'm unsure why it stays on continuously when I unplug the CPU power. Maybe because it is defective it does not have enough juice to continually power the CPU and mobo? This would explain why I had absolutely no power when I had everything connected like the hard drive and the DVD drive. The PSU couldn't handle it all. So maybe it is the PSU. I already ordered a new, different PSU from NewEgg (Corsair), they gave me free next day shipping so it is scheduled to be here Friday, but may probably get here on Monday because of the holidays. They are going to refund me on this OCZ.

But if it's not the PSU then what? I tell NewEgg that the mobo may be defected as well? If that doesn't fix it I call NewEgg again and say the CPU is defective?

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

Yeah - so it was the motherboard that was defected.

The new PSU came from newegg this afternoon - same result.

I drove to tigerdirect and bought a new motherboard, and now it's staying on! I'm glad that's over... hopefully I don't run into anymore problems. Thanks for your help.

I do have one more question though - the motherboard I bought from tiger direct was this one: Asus P5Q Green Motherboard - Intel P45, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, S/PDIF, Gigabit LAN, Firewire, USB 2.0, SATA, RAID

for 129.99 + 12$ tax... the P5Q-E was not in stock.

So my question is - is this motherboard fine? Because if it is not - what I could do is just use this one and tell Newegg to refund my defected motherboard and buy a new one from newegg and after it arrives in 2-3 days, I'll return this one to TigerDirect. Should I do that or this mobo fine? Here is the link to it.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/app.....CatId=3790

Thanks.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Kenny536,
Have been watching this topic for about a week.
The Build is outdated.
Please see my above post in this thread.
You will soon have enough tied up in returns, taxes, travel plus extra shipping that you could have purchased a P6 with 1366 CPU and Future Proofed your Build.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131357
As for what you do now, that is up to you and your budget.
Kindest Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 
Kenny536
Posts: 27

I have another problem.

I hooked everything up and the computer runs fine - but the first thing I do is run BIOS right? I cannot get to it.

According to my mobo manual - I just power it up and hold DEL.

I don't know why I can't get to it, it can be for one of three reasons:

1. The USB function is not working on the motherboard - the keyboard I bought is an illuminated one, so it turns blue when it is powered, but when I plug it into the USB, it doesn't turn blue - when I plug it into my laptop, it works perfectly fine. However, on my new build, if I plug in the USB halfway, at just the right amount, then it will illuminate.

2. Am I setting up the monitor wrong? From what I understand, I do not plug in the analog cord right? Only the digital? The monitor seems fine, the light is on and on the top left corner it keeps saying "Digital" and then "Analog" and keeps cycling through like that.

I don't know if the problem is that I cannot access BIOS because of my keyboard.. OR that I actually AM entering BIOS but I cannot see it because I am doing something wrong with my monitor.

I have no idea how I access BIOS.. i tried holding down DEL but it did not work. I tried using a PS2 keyboard also (although I think it is broken because none of the lights turn on).

Posted 5 years ago
Top
 



Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.