TechSpot

Building my first gaming rig

By EternalWarrior
Oct 6, 2008
  1. Hey all,

    After a moderate amount of research on what I need to build my own computer from scratch. The following was what I concluded would work for my desired intentions. Basically, I'd want the computer to be able to run World of Warcraft at 1680x1050 (highest my monitor supports) with all the graphics settings at their highest and still achieve a very high fps. Other than that, I'd want it to easily run DVD playback, Image editing (on Photoshop, Illustrator etc.), Office, and web browsing. I figured I would ask you guys on whether to go with XP Home, or Vista (have yet to see it, and only heard bad things). Like I said, I have never actually built my own PC, just fiddled with my families Gateway here and there. However, I am willing to read guides and step by step manuals in order to be able to build my own fully customed rig. I used newegg for all my shopping and the following is what I have in my wishlist. Let me know if you see anywhere that I have gone completely overboard, or was off on the compatibility, or underestimated anything. And also any recommendations are totally welcome and much appreciated. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!

    E.W.


    mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130136

    cpu - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103273

    case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144058
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156078
    or
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146050

    ram - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145214

    video card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130370

    sound card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102002

    HD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136040

    CD Drive x 2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820300608

    cpu cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106061

    power supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182032

    wireless card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041

    thermal compound - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

    80mm fans x 2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998102

    120mm fan - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998122


    oh and for the record, i know little to nothing about overclocking, and my basic research there tells me its defiantly not something for beginners so id rather not risk it till im more familiar and comfortable with the idea.
     
  2. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 903

    Do not get xp home, as it does not fully support multi-core CPUs. I personally like vista more than xp, but xp pro would work.
     
  3. z0phi3l

    z0phi3l TS Member Posts: 16

    With 4gb RAM go with Vista 64, use all that RAM plus the RAM on the Video Card.
     
  4. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634


    That is BS, the programs he runs has to support the processor a whole lot more than the OS, and xp home supports multi-core processors just as well as the pro.
     
  5. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 632

    There are more reasons than that to not use XP Home, permanently disabled networking features alone are enough for me to recommend anyone, especially gamers, to go to XP Pro at the absolute least.

    Don't bother with more than 3gb of RAM if your not going to a x64 platform though, it wont even be recognized.
     
  6. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 903

    sorry if what I said is wrong, but if you do a google search, you come up with plenty of results saying xp home does not support dual cores. Just search "xp home dual core support."
     
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 930   +106

    I find it odd that no one else has pointed this out to you, but the choice of an nVidia graphics card seems weird when your going AMD mobo and CPU, you should round out the package and go with a HD4870 it cost close to the same but you can add more when you feel like it, with the nVidia card your stuck with one and only one. For WoW especially you really don't need a top notch setup to run it with a high fps.
     
  8. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger TS Rookie Posts: 17

    vista 64 is a must.
    Get a faster hard drive for your Os drive and the one that you picked for apps.
    If you plan on overclocking at all get a Thermaltake Armor+ great case, plenty of room, removable mb tray and easy access to hard drives.

    AMD/ATI are the masters of the universe now. Pick one of their 4800 series. I have the 4870x2 and it is a great card and auxiliary space heater. You can get the 4870 or 4850 for cheap.

    Otherwise it looks like you have put together a decent set of parts. I usually spend around 2 weeks researching when I build new rigs (since 1995) so good luck and always think about how your computer will play games a year from now rather than just the games that are out now.

    Have Fun.

    Yours in Gamer Plasma,
    Star*Dagger
     
  9. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 743

    NZXT do nice cases, i like the one you have put in as an option.
    Personally i'd go intel core2duo, still the best chips by a way.
    Your mobo has 8 channel sound already and for a rig with that much hardware and processing power, you won't really need an external sound card.
     
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    You do not need that powerful a setup to do those things. Try this setup instead:

    Shipping is free on all items except the CPU cooler. A cheaper and fast enough system that will be better suited to your needs. You can use the onboard sound or go with the sound card you want. The DVD drives and the case are upto you, though I'd recommend the WD6400AAKS as a better HDD choice compared to your current one. Everything else is upto you.
     
  11. EternalWarrior

    EternalWarrior TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    well. after reading over your guys' comments and talking to a friend of mine i met recently with a high knowledge in computers. im looking @ the following now, changed to a full atx case, gonna go intel instead of amd, and looking @ a quad-core with the possibility of OC'ing in the future if i feel i wanna squeeze more out of it. Yes i know quad core has not been fully taken advantage of by software yet, but i forsee in the near future that many new games, apps, and programs will be able to take advantage of it. Also i chose this set-up because it feels very expandable and easy to upgrade on. Let me know what ya think.
    Thanks guys!

    oh and im pretty convinced ill go with a 64 bit OS, prob vista but maybe just xp-64. for similar reasons as the quad core (maybe not fully embraced yet, but will be in the near future)

    case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811144200

    mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131182

    CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

    CPU Cooler - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118223
    & http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200039

    Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817148027

    Video Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130376

    Ram - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145197

    HD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136296
    (to start with, ill prob add some 500gig 7200rpm drives later for movie, music and file storage but run my OS and apps off of the raptor)

    CD Drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135156

    anything else will just get thrown on later. (more HDD's, maybe another CD Drive, a multi-card media reader etc.)
     
     
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Go with this version of the Q6600 instead, since you're getting a CPU cooler anyways so it'd save you some cash. I'd also recommend this as a newer and better motherboard compared to the P5K Deluxe.

    Also, this is one of the best coolers out there at the moment and is far better than the Zalman cooler you've chosen, besides being cheaper. It doesn't come with a fan though, so I'd recommend getting this excellent fan. For the thermal paste, I recommend this one for best results while OCing.

    Consider changing the video card to an HD 4850, which is a better performer than the 9800GTX+ for much cheaper (the Sapphire HD 4850 can be had for $140 after a $20 rebate and free shipping) and with the P5K Deluxe (and the P5Q Pro I recommended above) having support for Crossfire, you can get another one later to increase performance.

    In addition, replace the PSU with this if you want to go Crossfire or this for a single-card system. The Apevia PSU is just plain rubbish.

    Moreover, consider this case as a slightly cheaper and better option than the Apevia case. It looks far cooler IMO and comes with seven case fans for some fantastic cooling and they're pretty silent too, from the reviews I've read.

    Lastly, I'd recommend Vista Ultimate\Home Premium x64 over Windows XP Pro x64.
     
  13. magichater

    magichater TS Rookie

    just my too bits worth personally not a big fan of Vista if you would prefer yourself to stick with XP then thry the 64 Bit edition [​IMG]
     
  14. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    stay away from XP 64 bit!!! u will have problems with much it, VISTA 64bit will be, is a good operating system.
     
  15. EternalWarrior

    EternalWarrior TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Hey guys. I really appreciate all your input.

    Though im still stuck on what OS to go with. (I'm not sure i want to deal with compatibility issues with 64 bit, even though I know everything will be switching to that sooner or later. Yet I also know running a 32 bit would mean only 3ish gigs of my Ram would be getting used. So I really dont know. still going back and forth, and even if i could say 64 for sure, i dont know whether to go Vista or XP 64. hahaha, decisions decisions decisions)

    as far as hardware goes though. im pretty set on the following, i've heard good things about most of these pieces and yes i realize a full atx would stay cooler but i dont really have the room for the 1200 on my desk. so ill keep my fingers crossed that the 900 will stay cool enough. and also ill prob get a aftermarket cpu cooler later. but for now, and from what I understand, the stock fan does fan as long as im not OCing (which i have to learn how to do before i can try).

    case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

    mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299

    CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

    Vid Card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121276

    psu - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341002

    ram - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

    HD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136296

    optical drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135156

    wifi card - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041
    (until i can a land line put into my room)
     
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Vista 64-bit doesn't really have too many compatibility issues with programs or hardware. XP Pro x64 does, so it'd be best to avoid it.

    Everything looks fine for your build. The OCZ PSU has a lot of ripple at high loads though, so make sure you don't use it for two HD 4870s if you do decide to go that way. Everything else looks fine though.
     
  17. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 743

    If you check my sig, i run 32-bit with 4gb of ram. Sure it only uses 3gb, but thats fine. However, you keep going on about future proofing it with 64-bit....then you go and ask 'XP or Vista?' XP is not the future dude. They've only just extended the support for it, and as mentioned vista 64-bit is smoother with less compatibility issues.

    Get geddit son! :)
     
  18. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    ^ that is very true, stay away from XP 64Bit.
     
  19. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger TS Rookie Posts: 17

    XP is a very bad bet, I am not a big fan of Vista but is is the current standard, and to play dx10 games you must have it, so there you are.

    S*D
     
  20. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 TS Rookie Posts: 152

  21. EternalWarrior

    EternalWarrior TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Yeah I get how I come off as an ***** by talking about thinking into the future yet wanting to run an OS of the past. In my research i just found many people praising xp64, though I hadn't even heard of it. I dont see a problem going vista, I just had heard bad things so wanted to get your guys' opinions. And now having received them the choice seems pretty obvious. Vista is def wining the debate. Ill prob install 32-Bit for now and after 64 Bit has been caught up to a little ill pay the $16 to microsoft to have a 64 bit dvd shipped. Thanks again for all your input guys. I am really appreciating it.
     
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