TechSpot

new to gaming PC's, need help buying

By mharoon
Jul 27, 2006
  1. I am very new to gaming PC's and the associated technology. I am thinking of buying one from Ibuypower.com. I have configured one for around 750$ without a monitor. Could somebody please let me know if I am throwing away money here :). Here are the specs.

    Case ( Raidmax Ninja-918 ATX Mid-tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
    Case Lighting ( None )
    Power Supply ( Standard Case Power Supply )
    Processor ( [939-pin] AMD® Athlon-64 3500+ CPU w/ Hyper Transport Technology )
    Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
    Motherboard ( eVGA nForce-4 SLI Chipset Dual DDR w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, Dual PCI-E MB )
    Memory ( 2048 MB [1024MB X2] DDR-400 PC3200 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand )
    Video Card ( Nvidia Geforce 7300LE 256MB Turbocache w/DVI + TV Out Video )
    Hard Drive ( [Special !!!] 200 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache] )
    2nd Hard Drive ( None )
    Raid Configuration ( None )
    CD/DVD Drive ( [** Special !!! ***] 16X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black )
    CD-RW/DVD-RW Drive ( None )
    Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
    Speaker System ( 600W PMPO 3 PCS Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
    Fax Modem ( Creative Labs V.92 56K Fax/Modem )
    Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
    Floppy Drive ( None )
    Monitor ( None )
    2nd Monitor ( None )
    Keyboard ( PS/2 104 Key Windows 98 Keyboard Beige )
    Mouse ( Logitech Optical Internet Mouse Black )
    Meter Display ( None )
    Flash Media Reader/Writer ( None )
    Operation System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
    Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner ( None )
    IEEE-1394 Fire Wire Card ( None )
    USB Flash Drive ( None )
    MP3 Player ( None )
    TV Tuner ( None )
    Video Camera ( None )
    Headset ( None )
    Power Protection ( None )
    Printer ( None )
    Printer Cable ( None )
    Wireless Network Adapter ( [Special !!!] Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps PCI Adapter )
    Warranty ( Warranty Service Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )


    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    Hi mharoon and welcome to techspot :)

    overall it looks like a decent system, but it won't be a good gaming computer. here's why

    1. VIDEO CARD - The main component that's holding it back is the video card. the 7300LE is a low end card that's basically made for media PC's. you'll need something heftier than that. I just bought a 7600GT and I'm quite pleased with it, but it's still only a mid range card. you may want to get something better, be we'll need to know your budget first

    something you may also want to consider is that DX10 cards will be out later this year (or early next year), and a few games will require a DX10 card to run. most games will still work on a DX9.0c card though

    2. PSU - you'll need a better PSU than the "standard case power supply". unless you buy something like an Antec case which already has a decent PSU in it, you should buy a 400w for single video card, or 500w for SLI (or crossfire). if you buy from a reputible brand like Antec, Enermax, or Fortron then you can get a decent quality PSU with sufficient and stable power without breaking the bank.

    3. RAM - it's not a requirement for gaming, but since you'll want to sqeeze as much performance as possible out of your rig, then you should consider getting higher end RAM instead of value series RAM. higher end RAM runs at tighter/faster timings.

    4. CPU & Motherboard - while there's nothing wrong either of them, if you want more future-proofing then you should go socket AM2 (because unfortunately 939 is being phased out)

    other that than it looks good to me :giddy:

    cheers :wave:
     
  3. mharoon

    mharoon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks

    Thanks for the important 'counselling'. I know that it would be better to build a system myself but I want to get an assembled system. ibuypower.com and cyberpowerpc.com have socket AM2 gaming pcs with a 200 $ mail-in-rebate on 999$ until tomorrow night. If you know of a better place, plz do let me know. How do the following systems look?

    CASE: X-BLADE Mid-Tower 450W W/ WINDOW & LCD Temperature Display + FAN CONTROL (BLACK COLOR)
    CPU: (Socket AM2) AMD Athlon™64 3500+ CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
    MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2)MSI K9N Neo-F nForce 550 Chipset DDR2/800 SATA-II RAID 16x PCI-Express MBoard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, &7.1Audio
    MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
    VIDEO CARD: SPECIAL!!! NVIDIA Geforce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
    VIDEO CARD 2: NONE
    LCD Monitor: NONE
    HARD DRIVE: 250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8M Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive -- Recommended
    Hard Drive 2: NONE
    Optical Drive: Sony DWQ-120A 16x Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
    Optical Drive 2: NONE
    SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO



    and




    Case ( Raidmax RX-9 ATX Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
    Power Supply ( Enermax EG565P 535 Watt Power Supply [SLI-Ready] )
    Processor ( [Socket-AM2] AMD Athlon™64 3500+ CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology )
    Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
    Motherboard ( GigaByte GA-M55SLI-S4 nForce4-SLI Chipset w/7.1 Audio, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394 Dual PCI-E MB )
    Memory ( 2048MB [1024MB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand )
    Video Card ( ==[New !!!]== Nvidia Geforce 7600GS 512MB w/DVI + TV Out Video )
    Hard Drive ( 300 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
    CD-RW/DVD-RW Drive ( Sony DW-G120 Dual Format/Double Layer 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black )
    Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
    Speaker System ( 600W PMPO 3 PCS Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
    Fax Modem ( Creative Labs V.92 56K Fax/Modem )
    Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
    Keyboard ( Combo: Multi-Media/Internet Keyboard + Optical Internet Mouse Black )
    USB 2.0 Accessories ( Build-in USB 2.0 Ports )
    Flash Media Reader/Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer Black )
    Operation System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
    Wireless Network Adapter ( [Special !!!] Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps PCI Adapter )



    Thanx for your patience.
     
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    I like the AM2 and MSI motherboard better. Power supply is better.

    Don't go buying it quick cause they have a one day sale! There is always a sale somewhere. And every week those same parts will be cheaper. By next month the system here will probably be cheaper at normal cost then todays sale cost. :)

    Corsair Value is still good RAM. In other words, it's not more prone to faults or errors. It's still reliable and everything, but it's just not tuned for the extra speeds. Do as you will.

    You can, of course, always upgrade parts later, but the hardest parts to upgrade are CPUs. Generally because you have to upgrade motherboards to do it, which usually requires a RAM upgrade as well. So at least get the newest CPU socket. Other then that, you can always upgrade.

    Keep a mind on warranties. And if you buy mail order, do you get all the original manuals and CDs? Do you get your XP CD?

    Put your money in the CPU, video card, RAM and power supply. Oh and a good MSI motherboard helps a ton as well :)

    Happy hunting!
     
  5. mharoon

    mharoon TS Rookie Topic Starter

    liquid cooling vs extra fans

    Thanks for all your help, I'm pretty much set on a system know, I am going with the

    Raidmax Ninja-918 ATX Mid-tower Case w/420W Power Supply

    NZXT PF-500 500 Watt Power Supply

    Socket-AM2] AMD Athlon™64 X2 3800+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology

    GigaByte GA-M55SLI-S4 nForce4-SLI Chipset w/7.1 Audio, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394 Dual PCI-E MB

    2048MB [1024MB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand

    and the 7600 GT video card.

    I am extending my budget a bit :)


    What colling system would be better?

    AMD ATHLON64 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS

    or

    CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit


    Note, I want it to be as quite as possible. Will one fan with the coolermaster be enough you think? Thanks.
     
  6. A2006

    A2006 TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Mhh well I would probably go with the liquid CPU cooling fan system and then just buy 2 case fans as they are pretty cheap right now.
    Depending on your case see how many case fans fit.
     
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    You can be as quiet as you want to, but it will cost you! Wahahahaha

    No, liquid will keep it cooler, and probably be quieter then stock fans. But then again, you could get a bunch of nearly silent aftermarket ball-bearing fans and be almost as well off.

    Your choice! Oh the joys of configuring your own system!
     
  8. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

    btw..i bought my first gaming computer from cyberpower and they are a pretty good company..good tech support..nice 3 year company warranty..and arent to overpriced..also if your interested they now offer intel core 2 duo cpu's
     
  9. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 1,058

    I would get the cheapiest core 2 duo as it is better then the 3800 x2 (I have 939 model almost the same).
     
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