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Building a gaming computer....help?

By scoobydunk
Oct 5, 2005
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  1. I want to build a good gaming computer for around $800....i just don't know what to buy, and what really matters.

    I'd like to be able to play all the newest and upcomming games at the highest performance settings....

    I know sometimes less is good....please some pointing in the right direction???
  2. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,763

  3. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    $800 won't buy you a PC with the capability to "play all the newest games at the highest settings". You should be able to play them though with what vegasgmc suggested. Do you need a monitor too?
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    If you want to build one(as opposed to get a prebuilt/barebone).
    Here'd be my suggestion, it's geared more towards performance(as in not a fancy case, etc, but has fast hardware).

    Motherboard.
    Chaintech vnf4/ultra $83
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813152049

    Cpu
    Amd athlon 64 939 3000+ $146
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103537

    Ram
    Corsair value select $93
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145440

    Video
    Ati x800gto $179
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814142052


    Hard drive
    Seagate 8mb cache 80gb sata $68
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148040

    Dvd-rw
    Nec 3540 $40
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152047


    Case $42 (throw it's psu away though, use one like below).
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811154048


    Power supply
    Vantec 460w $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103465

    Os
    Xp home $93
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102151


    Total for tower: ~$819 shipped.

    You'd still need key, mouse, monitor, speakers, etc for a complete system.
  5. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Good job VNF4. That's not a bad system for $800
  6. scoobydunk

    scoobydunk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I dont need a monitor, speakers, mouse or keyboard...but i was doing a little research and decided to push my limit to around $1000...what do you think? This is my first ground up build, but I think alll of these componants will work together...I'd also like to run Win XP

    ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813131517

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103533

    POWERCOLOR R43A-ND3 Radeon X800 256MB 256-bit GDDR1 PCI Express x16 Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16814131416

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JS 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16822144414

    CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16820145440

    THERMALTAKE CL-P0075 80 x 80 x 20 mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16835106055

    RAIDMAX RX-450KW ATX12V 450W Power Supply 100 - 120/200 - 240Vac TUV, UL, CSA, CE, FCC, CB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817152018

    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS SB0350 8 (7.1) Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16829102178

    RAIDMAX Elite ATX-208 Beige 0.7mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16811156011

    Roughly $900
  7. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Skip the soundblaster, it has problems working with the A8N SLI Del. anyways (The A8N has 7.1 sound onboard) and upgrade the video card to an SLI capable unit since this is an SLI board. The Leadtek 6800 TDH is listed as SLI capable on the Nvidia site and is just about $50 more, which just happens to be the cost of the Soundblaster. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814122207

    I'd recommend you get the A8N SLI Premium. It is a better product that has all the Deluxe kinks worked out (I have a deluxe) It's only $160 now and well worth it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131540

    Also, and more important than the card suggestion, get the PSU that vnF4 suggested or someting similar. DO NOT get that Raidmax. Watts are only half the equation, you need decent amps too and the Raidmax only provides 14 amps on the 12v rail. The Vantec provides 30 amps. I wouldn't put a PSU that provides less than 24 amps on the 12v rail in a PC. That Raidmax will give you trouble.
  8. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 376

    I have a deluxe board and the sound blaster card, no problems yet with it :) but i dono.. also the board does have onboard 7.1 which is cool too.

    I would also suggest getting the Premium board. I bought my deluxe about 3 months ago and before then i never new that it had some problems. one such problem is that the chipset fan fails quite often on a lot of these boards, and for me, whenever i turn on my computer, i am worried that the fan wont start and i will have to find a new replacement fan.. If i knew then what i know now about all the problems, i would not have bought the board :(. just be safe and go with the premium. its a great board too.

    and if you want a seriously powerful power supply, check out the PC Power and Cooling 510 Express. I wont lie IT IS EXPENSIVE but its damn good.. serious power from that PSU! :grinthumb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817703001
  9. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    pkroks-
    If the soundblaster is working now then you are fine. Sometimes there is a conflict. I have never figured out exactly the combination of parts that causes the conflict in the systems of the dozens of folks I have helped with the A8N SLI Deluxe in another forum but it is immediate, doesn't creep in after a few weeks so you are good to go. ALso, Asus will ship you a new chipset fan with just a phone call and answer a few questions. No RMA or anything. You may have the new fan installed already, though, since your board is only 3 months old. If the chipset fan RPM's are around 5,000 then it is the new one. Around 8,000 RPM means the old one. I have heard of only one chipset fan failure with the new fan so it seems to have solved that problem.
  10. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 376

    hell yeah! that is so awsome! my chipset fan speed is normally around 5800rpm! thats so f***ing cool! thank you so much! :grinthumb :):):) i was so worried because i live in Zambia Africa and it would be hard and long to wait for a shipment of a replacement fan! thanks so much on that! still will monitor it though! oh yeah! ;)
  11. scoobydunk

    scoobydunk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    WOw i didnt know the board comes with 7.1 sound! I don't need a card for right now then. I have some Klipsch speakers that make anything sound good. Where can I find spec on the power supply? I can't seem to find them anywhere, and the video card you told me about needs at least 350w. By the way thanks for that info, it saved me some money AND upgraded my video card and mobo. That Premium was actually $5 less! Also, how does my hard drive and memory look? Got any tips with first startup that i might need to know?
     
  12. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Great, you shouldn't have to worry about it. Mine is at 5500. The old one's averaged 8600RPM's and screamed like banshees.
  13. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    I'm curious as to why you went with the x800 vs the x800gto I listed.
    The x800 gto is faster(400 core vs 392, and 980 memory vs 700 memory), has vivo, and also is $10 cheaper.

    And definitely don't use a raidmax psu.
    Here is how you check what the specs are, find the picture of the specs and look in the 12v column(or if it's dual rail, 12v1 and 12v2, add them together).
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowI...AX RX-450KW ATX12V 450W Power Supply - Retail
    Here're some better ones that are fairly cheap.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103459
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103465
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817189004

    You don't need a heatsink/fan if you get the retail 3500+, it comes with a heatsink and fan. Although some people like to get better coolers...
    If you are getting a new heatsink though, consider this, or the pure copper version.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835118112

    I think this case looks better, but that's a matter of taste I guess.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811154017

    You are missing a optical drive(like a dvd burner), and windows xp in your above parts list.
  14. crono

    crono TS Rookie

    ooh you remind me of me about 6 months ago, i built mine buy saveing up for each part as the time came i started with case and motherboard then built up the more pacient you are the better the resulting pc and remember you can always upgrade the graphics easily so dont worry if you dont buy the best card on the market first time aound. dont be mistaken into buying lower than average parts and a massive graphics card as soon you need to update your whole pc buy a good chassis and a reasonable card then upgrade when you have the funds. worked for me ... :D
  15. scoobydunk

    scoobydunk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Awesome...i appreciate all the help and have ordered my parts....New Egg charged me twice though and overdrew my checking account!! Whats up with that! I called and they fixed everything no problem, great customer service. Anyone got any tips for first startup? Any hints i need to know about bios setup?
  16. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 464

    Just take it slow and easy. Count out the standoffs and verify that they are in the right spot and all holes line up. Don't overtighten the mobo to the standoffs, just snug. You can put just the RAM CPU/HSF and video card in and boot up to make sure you can get into BIOS and that the basic system is operational. If something doesn't fit don't force it. Wear a ESD strap. They are available down at Radio Shack or a similar place and will protect your parts from staic discharge. I'd download and burn to CD all the latest drivers and make a bootable floppy with the latest mobo BIOS.

    Most of all have fun.
  17. scoobydunk

    scoobydunk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Merc...i appreciate all the help.
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