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Need help building a computer: absolute beginner

(29 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by johnguy
  • Latest reply from johnguy
  • Topic Viewed 1464 times

johnguy
Posts: 13

I want to make a pc that will play games well, but is not necessarily a gaming computer. Specifically I want to play Empire total war and its acw mod smoothly on high settings. I want to build rather than buy because its cheaper and I like to learn new things. I have read that to play on high settings you should have a quad core processor, so if that's true that's my only starting point. I also want it to play movies and music well, and be fairly fast. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated because even after lots of research I really don't know where to start. Price is the biggest issue so the cheaper the better. The only absolute is that it plays etw on high, and can do everything a standard computer can do, like at schools or libraries.

Thanks

Posted 2 years ago
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bobro
bobro
Posts: 384

well its not so much the number of cores on the CPU for running one thing fast, the more cores you have the things you can run at full speed but if your just running one thing then you have 3 cores waiting to do stuff...

That said i would suggest an i5 over an i3 because even if you dont need all these cores today you might tomorrow.

I would recommend 8GB of RAM, again it might be a smidge more than you need but will never hurt to have more, (also get good quality RAM not 'value' RAM)

if your gonna be storing loads of music and movies then a normal HDD would be better, again good quality not the cheapest... I doubt you would need an SSD for this kind of oporation and that will bump the price up.

im not much of a gamer so im not to up on Graphics cards but i spent about £70 on mine and its not struggled on a game yet (does struggle on some high end bench tests though (like the one that came with it?!?!))

the mobo is often where peopel scrimp out, and although i am a beliver in getting things on cards (dedicated audio card, dedicated LAN card etc...) you should put some good money into the mobo. Asus are good, and i love Gigabyte, they make it real easy to over clock (so will the i5) and mine has a duel bios so in theory i cant brick my PC if i muck up the BIOS (dont see how i could, i can overclock my CPU from a 3.1 to a 4.9 in 2 clicks and a reboot)
*also make sure it has loads of USB ports, these will always end up being in short supply.

get a nice sized case as it will make it easier to work in and ensure you have fans in the case and fit them correctly to allow good airflow (especialy if your overclocking (you might even need a bigger heatsink and fan on the CPU but my stock one is coping))

PSU, this is another thing people offten scrimp on, make sure you get a beefy one, i think mine is a 1000W and its modular so you only need to have the cables you need coming out of it.

good luck

Posted 2 years ago
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Zagreus
Zagreus
Posts: 446

Johnguy. Have a look here. http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/.....32485.html

Try this as well. http://www.tomshardware.com/re.....,3247.html

Daveh.

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Thanks for the answers, but it's clear to me that I need to learn more about computers before I can start choosing parts. I find that I don't know how to read the specs for the parts. It's like trying to read another language. I would know if the parts are compatible, and I don't know exactly what I need. I don't want to go overboard on expensive parts that I don't need, but I want to make sure the parts wont need to be upgraded in the near future. Any help with reading specs?

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Also, what is the difference between the processor and the ram, and how will it affect the game and overall computer performance? thanks again

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

http://www.strategyinformer.co.....ments.html You mentioned this game in your first post.

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Did you mean a dual or quad core i5 processor?

Posted 2 years ago
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Zagreus
Zagreus
Posts: 446

If you are a complete novice, i would suggest that you look to your local college for a computer course. In the meantime Google for the information and see how you get on.

Daveh.

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

A posting of your location (USA, UK) may eventually help too. For parts etc. Many here buy from Newegg.

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Im the the U.S.

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_hardware If you need to know the difference between the processor and ram here is some reading for you.

Posted 2 years ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

This book really helped me when I built my first PC a few years ago!

http://www.dummies.com/store/p.....96114.html
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Build-Yo.....or+Dummies

I got mine from my local library.

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

@johnguy, Another thought, you said in your first post a build would be cheaper ie. less expensive. That is not always true. Also, you will have no warranty with the exception of parts on a build.

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Do you think there is a less expensive way? As long as I have the ability to upgrade I can buy instead of build. What is the cheapest way, and do you have any suggestions?

Posted 2 years ago
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hArLtRoN
hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

Any computer you buy or build can be upgraded. Warlock does have a point about the warranty. I recently had to replace the hard drive in my build. Cost about $70. After two years that is the only hardware issue I have had.

Posted 2 years ago
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johnguy
Posts: 13

Does anybody have any suggestions for an inexpensive computer or bare bones computer that can run this game on high/medium settings? Need to know where to start

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

While we are just chatting here I am not a builder. There are builders on the HTG site. My personal opinion is you are not ready for that. bobro posted some information for you in an above post. did it go right over your head? Probably is my guess. Not putting you down in anyway but, you need to learn a lot if you want a good functioning computer that you have built on your own. Believe me if you decide to do that you will get help here. Again my opinion only, I think you should just buy a computer already built. You can update later.

http://www.pcworld.com/article....._1000.html This is outdated already from 8/11.

Posted 2 years ago
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warlock
warlock
Posts: 4100

Just thought of this. Maybe upgrade the computer you are on now. If it's yours that is.

Posted 2 years ago
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Zagreus
Zagreus
Posts: 446

Did you look at the second link i gave you? That could be a starting point.

Daveh.

Posted 2 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

johnguy,

The first question you MUST answer is:

What is the Maximum Budget you have for the Build ????

Rick P.

Posted 2 years ago
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