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Thinking about building a gaming computer


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#1
ahuffman

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Hi,

Up until 2 days ago, I was all set for my first build. I had all of my parts picked out and was ready to order, when my $1200 budget suddenly exploded to $2500. My first question is whether it is still worth it to build my computer with this budget, or should I start looking at buying a custom gaming pc?

So far I was looking at this set up:

Asus A8N SLI premium mobo
Athlon 64 X2 4400+ cpu
BFG Geforce 7800GTX OC
OCZ 2 GB Dual channel platinum memory
Creative Audigy 4 pro
Thermaltake armor black case
Entermax 535 watt SLI psu

I am not sure yet about the other parts, but any help will be greatly appreciated.
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#2
Metalive

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You were expecting that setup to be under $1500...?

That would be an excellent PC if you can afford it. I'm not exactly sure what you are asking though... do you mean buying something like an Alienware? It would cost you another grand or more to get the same setup.

Edited by Metalive, 20 July 2005 - 06:33 PM.

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#3
ahuffman

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Yeah, I know that would not be under 1500, I just put this list together in the past 2 days. Yeah I was looking at alienware and monarch for a custom gaming pc. I would just like to know whether I could build this system for under 2500 and if it would make more sense to build it rather than buying it. I am a real noob when it comes to computer hardware, so I would also appreciate some help making parts selections for my computer.

Edited by ahuffman, 20 July 2005 - 06:43 PM.

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#4
Metalive

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You can look up the parts on www.newegg.com and add them to your wishlist to get a final price. I'm much too lazy to do it for you though.

And it would make a whole lot more sense to build rather than buy from a company like Alienware. Unless you enjoy throwing money away. Alienware will mess you over like an Enron stockholder.

It's likely you will save at least a thousand dollars by building. That's how overpriced those places are.
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#5
ahuffman

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Thanks for the help. I thought that building was probably cheaper, but I just wanted to make sure. I need to do some more research on the parts before I make my final selections. This is just a rough list, thus please make suggestions if you have any, you guys know a lot more about this than I do.
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#6
ahuffman

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Here is a list of the parts that I am looking at so far:

Asus A8N SLI premium mobo
Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo cpu
BFG Geforce 7800GTX OC
OCZ 2 GB Dual channel platinum memory
Creative Audigy 4 pro
Thermaltake armor black case
Entermax 535 watt SLI psu
Sony floppy drive
Western Digital Caviar Sata II 250 gb hd
Thermaltake venus 12 heatsink
Liteon dvd-rom drive
Liteon dvd-rw dual layer drive
Windows XP pro


Does anyone know where to find sata II cables? I cannot seem to find one on newegg.

Edited by ahuffman, 21 July 2005 - 01:16 AM.

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#7
KGH

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First, that would be a brilliant system.

You can probably save yourself some money by sticking with one paired 2 x 512mb RAM kit. Unless you are planning on doing video editing, you probably won't need the extra gig and may experience some performance reductions with 2gig.

You could also reduce your overall cost by going for an Audigy 2, unless the 4 has specific features that you are after.

As for build v buy, there's no doubt you will save a significant amount doing it yourself.

Anandtech have a review of SATA 150 vs SATA 300 (ie SATA II), which indicates there is, at the moment, very little, if any, performance advantage to SATA II. Maybe check it out. Might save you some money. Also, if you are going to be using the machine primarily for gaming, I think the Seagate Barracuda's provided best load times on Doom 3, HL2 etc.
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#8
warriorscot

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HD if you like it stick with it SATA cables will be included with the mobo along with most any cable you should need. I probably wouldnt bother with SLI its hard and expensive to do, you arent likely to put another card in the system so get a normal nf4 board save some money and get an extra pci express 1x or 4x slot.
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#9
Metalive

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You can probably save yourself some money by sticking with one paired 2 x 512mb RAM kit.  Unless you are planning on doing video editing, you probably won't need the extra gig and may experience some performance reductions with 2gig.

View Post


I might have to disagree. 2 gigs would be great if you are planning on gaming as well, which it looks like you might be. In fact the first wave of next gen titles coming out in a few months, like "F.E.A.R.", are calling for a gig of RAM as a minimum system requirement. 2 gigs will be becoming the norm next year I believe.

I picked a bad time to build my rig, right at the end of this technology cycle... Looks like I will be doing some upgrading... I'm hoping the price on the FX55's will be dropping soon I'd love to overclock one to an FX57...
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#10
ahuffman

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. A lot of the stuff that you mentioned I was not sure about whether I needed anyways. Looking at the audigy 4 again, I don't seem to really need the extra features included in it. So what would be your recommendation on the best audigy 2 for the price. I would really like to get 2 gb of ram, I want to be able to play battlefield 2 on high settings without slowing it down to a crawl, so I thought that this much ram would definately help. Although I am not sure if I need that expensive of ram, I would not mind downgrading the ram to a cheaper model if this one is not going to help that much in performance. Also, could anyone recommend a different mobo, I have only been looking at SLI mobo's. Thanks again for all your help.
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#11
Metalive

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I can run BF2 on high with my PC at optimal (50+) FPS. That system would have no problem. With 2 gigs of RAM, you should see your load times really zoom by though.
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#12
KGH

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I haven't noticed much of a difference in load times with BF2 between 1gig and 2gig. But, if you've got the money, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have 2 gig. You can always play around with your configuration to determine what is optimal.

I guess the major drawback will come if you use 2 x 1gig sticks. The latency timings will not be as low. Using 4 x 512mb and occupying all DIMM slots occasionally causes instability and downclocks the memory speed.

As Metalive said, it probably won't be long before games can fully utilise 2gigs, so perhaps go with 2.

How much was the Audigy 4 you were looking at? The 2ZS or 2ZS Gamer (comes with a good software bundle) are probably going to do an excellent job.
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#13
ahuffman

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The audigy 4 pro was $279.99 and the audigy 2 zs is only $94, which is a huge savings without much of a improvement for what I am going to be using it for.
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#14
KGH

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Where are you buying from?

The 2ZS is $71 on Newegg.
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#15
ahuffman

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I must have been looking at the retail box price. Is there any advantage to buying retail vs oem with sound cards?
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