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Advice on custom gaming pc please

By Tom Hanks · 16 replies
Dec 3, 2007
  1. I have never built a pc before, let alone one for high end gaming. I'm looking to spend between $1000 - $1400 on this. Preferably the best for the lowest price. I don't need components with pretty specs that won't come into use for another 5 years either.

    Please don't harass me if I did something stupid, as I'm inexperienced in this and only seek your advice. This is what I have decided to buy so far; subject to change as enough of you deem fit.

    Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Price: $119.99

    Power supply:

    Thermaltake Toughpower W0116RU 750W Modularized w/14cm Fan Power Supply (Black)

    Price: $185.03
    Video Card:

    SAPPHIRE 100200L Radeon X1950GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

    Price: $128.99

    ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    Price: $174.99


    AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor

    Price: $159.99


    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 "Perpendicular Recording" ST3250820A 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM

    Price: $64.99

    G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    Price: $109.99

    DVD Burner:

    ASUS Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 14X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe

    Price: $39.99

    What do you think of this?

    Input appreciated :)

    (I had links to the items but it won't let me post them)
  2. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 483

    Overkill imho, but it should last for future-proofing.

    For your budget, i wouldn't buy anything less than something in the 8800 series, if you don't wanna be updating again for a while. The X1950GT is a great card, but quite a way below an 8800GT and not DX10 compatible.

    Personally, i'd go the sata route, purely for ease of cable management and general speed. Although not all sata drives are faster than Pata drives.
    I'd highly recommend the Samsung SpinPoint series, excellent drives, and silent.

    Don't forget your operating system buddy. :)
  3. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 232

    Great motherboard choice, I basically have that one except with out the wireless. I agree with k.jacko, you should look at the 8800 series cards. With such a high end machine you are putting together the card you picked doesn't suit it.

    You will not need 4 gigs of memory, besides a 32 bit OS is not going to see all the 4 gigs anyway so its no point of doing it. If you get a 64 bit then its your choice if you want that much or not. Really 2 gigs would probably be plenty.
  4. you use a 286

    you use a 286 TS Rookie Posts: 58

    try having stealth computers help u build one, they carge around $600
  5. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

  7. Bruce2

    Bruce2 TS Rookie

    I may try to save some money for something else by cutting expanse on the case.
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    The case is expensive because of its size and build quality and it also supports nine 120mm fans. By all means, get another case if you want but make sure it's big enough to hold all your parts and has support for at least 3-4 case fans.
  9. joyful_winner

    joyful_winner TS Rookie

    at least getting a Dx10 compatible video card and i suggest you change the brand and i think just 2G is enough
  10. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, back.

    I settled on all the parts mentioned above, though I took your advice on the 8800GT and bought that instead. I also am using a temporary 1 gb stick of RAM and went with a SATA HDD and DVD burner.

    I have received all my parts, assembled everything and powered it up. Unfortunately, I am having problems :(
    When I power it on, all the LED lights turn on, the fans start spinning, and everything looks as it should. But then I turn on the monitor and nothing appears at all, aside from a Power Standby message; the light stays green for a period, then eventually turns yellow orange. It is plugged into my video card.

    Nothing in the rear chassis panel appears to turn on though, the laser mouse stays off and the monitor won't turn on, nor can I use the speakers to hear the supposed 'beeping'.

    I followed the instructions in the motherboard manuals as well as I could, but I must have done something wrong. I hope someone can help me out. I can take some hi res pictures if it will be of any help.

    If I destroyed $400 of parts from some stupid mistake, I just may go insane.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,397   +37

    Remove the RAM and try to boot. The mobo should give you a beep if it's not dead. If not, then you'll probably need to return it. Also, look for any places where the mobo might be touching the chassis, since that might cause the problem.
  12. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I tried that. The motherboard shows the green light on the bottom though.

    The RAM side locks won't cover the center rivet things even though I applied pressure. Maybe that's it? I don't want to force it into a snapping lock if it might get damaged, but if I must, then I will.

    Would pics help?
  13. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks TS Rookie Topic Starter

  14. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 483

    ok, from your pics, you are using a vga > dvi connector as you have a crt monitor. Just double check the connection there. Maybe even swap from one dvi port to the other. The combined weight of the 2 connectors can often pull downwards, so make sure its not dislodged.

    Thing is mate, thats one hell of a messy cabin you got there. If you performed some cable management, you'll not only improve airflow, but we might actually be able to clearly see the mobo enough to offer further advice.

    Is it POSTing at all? If it doesn't complete post (because of your video problem), then i don't think the mouse or speakers will work as they are last in the queue to be 'activated' as it were.
    Check to see if your system speaker is connected correctly. The POST beep won't come from your attached desktop speakers.

    As for your ram, it should definiteyl seat correctly with the locks snapped in place. It doesn't rock slightly, like a seasaw in the slot at all does it?

    oh...have you tried putting the 8800 into the other PCIE-x16 slot (the blue one)? If there is enough room try it. Theoretically you can use either BLUE or BLACK pcie-x16 slot, but there may also be a bios setting whereby you select which slot you are using.
  15. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok well I cleaned up my power cable configuration, but unfortunately, my camera's batteries just went out.

    As for the speaker, there is a section of my ASUS Q-Connector with unoccupied pins listed, from top to bottom as --


    The problem is, I see no related 4 pin 1 row plug anywhere. Where is this supposed to be?

    That's probably it...

    Regarding the RAM. Theeere we go. Finally secured it. Thought I was going to destroy it in the process, but it looks fine....

    Hmm, ok. Now that that's done, I'll power it up again and see if I get anything. If not, I'll let you know.
  16. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 483

    bascially on the Q-Connector, yes its those 4 pins you mentioned, they are opposite the RESET SW pins (so they are on the top-right, or bottom-left of the connecter, depending on which way you look at it). if you put them in the wrong way round it won't damage anything so just plug it in.

    Have you tried the 8800 in the blue slot yet?
  17. Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, it all works now.

    Experienced a couple minor problems, probably unrelated to hardware. PC crashed when I tried to load the game Rome: Total War after installing it, saying it was a driver related error. Then Windows Service Pack 2 blue screened me in the middle of installation, screwing up many programs.

    But yeah, everything is under control now.
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