Getting started building a computer.

By snacks ยท 23 replies
Jul 17, 2007
  1. I already have one thread going, but this is on a different topic:
    I'm new to things like building your own computer. I know a few things, but not enough to get started on one. So, what I need right now is how I should get started building a gaming PC. What parts I should start with, finding what parts are compatible, and choosing the reliable parts for a good price. I haven't taken much time to look around the site, so if anyone has some links to starting out, that would be appreciated also. Just ask if you need to know more specifics.
  2. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Please tell me where you live first.But this is the best way.
    Buying a Dell the worst.
    I just read your other post after i wrote the above.Dell is Hell.
  3. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    As I said, I did not buy the Dell, my parents bought it so we would have another computer for work. The computer has worked completely fine, it's just that it's not meant for games, which is why I'm building my own because I have become interested in games. And if you have to know, I'm in the Chicago area.
  4. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115

    Here's what I recommend For a budget Gaming PC

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6200 (I'd recommend a Core 2 Duo E6400, even though they are a little more expensive)

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3

    RAM: Minimum 1GB DDR 2 533MHz

    Power Supply: 400 Watt

    Hard Drive: 120GB Sata 2.0

    Graphics Card: I personally Like nVidia Graphics cards, and if you are just starting out as a gamer, I would suggest you start with a nVidia 256MB GeForce 7600GT. It's not a cutting edge card, but It's a good bang-for-buck Card. You'll be able to play doom 3, Call of Duty 2, half Life 2 or any of the other modern Games on this card very well.

    This is a machine that Will meet ALL minimum system requirements for 98% of modern games, and most recommended system requirements. It's a good setup for a budget Gamer.

    If you wanted to spend more money, and get a really good gaming Rig, I'd get the Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.4Ghz), Increase the memory to 2GB DDR2 667, and get a 320MB nVidia 8800GTS or above
  5. TheWatching

    TheWatching TS Rookie

    I prefer AMD for gaming machines.

    AMD has done a great job at taking over the gaming market.

    Their processors are cheaper...

    Is price an issue?

    AMD Athlon 64 Processors are very affordable now.
    But you can also go with a Dual Core. I do hear that Intel Dual Core is beating out AMD dual core in tests. But price is the issue there.

    So, whatever you do...start with the motherboard. Try going to and using their motherboard search. It will bring up lots of questions about what kind of slots, PCI, PCI-E, Dual SLI, AGP, RAM....many other things...too many to list here.

    But a few notes. PCI-Express is the way to go for video. An advanced board will have Dual SLI...which is 2 slots for PCI-Express cards to join them together for more video processing power. One PCI-Express 256MB or 512MB is sufficient to play most games.
    I would put 2 GB in RAM in it. GO with good RAM. Mushkin, Corsair, Micron.

    SO summary
    Find motherboard for:
    AMD Athlon 64 Bit Processor. 3500+ or higher
    PCI-Express Video card 256 - 512 MB (ATI preferred personally)
    2 GB DDR2 RAM sure to match up the RAM speed. 533, 667 MHz...depends on what your board can handle.

    Everything else is optional...
  6. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Ok Chicago is a major city

    I am in the (GTA) Toronto area.The reason i asked is to suggest you find a
    place that sells boxed components with all necessary manuals and discs.
    So Chicago should have this kind of computer components store.
    In my case i studied what i wanted,bought all starting with the case,
    motherboard cpu etc.And Asked the dealer for advice for my needs.
    The dealer then installed everything for free,includeing setting the bios.
    that the average builder doesn't know how to set.
    Then i installed Windows.
  7. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Thanks for the recommendations, but in what range does the price end up as? It'll probably be cheap enough for me, but it would help to know.
    And there might be stores in the area, but unless the price is better there, I'm just going to order most parts off newegg or any other reliable sites.
    Also, what version of Windows XP works best for gaming? I'll have to upgrade to Vista eventually, but XP is compatible with more games, and I don't think I'll be playing Crysis any time soon, and if I want Halo 2, I'll just buy an Xbox.
    I know at least 2 people who built their own computers, so even if there isn't a store to build it that isn't a problem.
  8. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7


    Theres no way for me to tell you the prices.You just have to shop around.
    Compare in person to newegg.It's much easier to get a quick exchange
    in person then sending it back to uselesegg.
    I get 30 days no ?'s asked.
    As far as gameing the video card and sound card are what makes a better
    game PC.And the best motherboard and cpu you can afford.3.0 or better.
    I'd estimate over $1000 US at least.
    But check out some of the games you like for Best requirements,
    not minimum.
    1 GB of best memory at least for your mbd.
    What do you have in mind for a monitor and i'll discuss that more.
    But get a DVI-D video card if you get an LCD DVI-D monitor.
    Some CRT's have DVI-D if you prefer them,
    but go DVI-D,not Analog video.
    This is an important choice for gamers and dvd movies.
    But i can outline a cheaper starting one to update 1 thing at a time later.
  9. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115


    Firstly, AMD Athlon 64 Processors are like 6 years old. I think what you meant was the AMD Athlon X2 Processors

    Secondly, AMD hasn't done a great job at all in the games market. Intel has whooped AMD's *** in price, and destroyed them in performance. This month, Intel will be halving their QUAD CORE processors, so you can get a Core 2 Quad 6600 (2.4Ghz) for $300 AUD ($266 American).. So a quad core for the price of AMD's best available dual core. Price is not an issue.

    Thirdly, you basically just repeated everything I said, except you recommended him an inferior processor, and you recommended him an inferior GPU Manufacturer. ATI have not had an answer for nVidia cards for the last 2 years atleast.
  10. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115

    Stay away from vista for a couple of years. Windows XP professional (SP2) is the best choice
  11. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    I think that you should research every computer that you can get the specs of. Become familiar with all of the parts in a P.C. Then check out all the different qualities, specs, and prices of each part involved. The picture would become smaller as you got a more familiar grasp of what's involved. Each part in a computer relies on the sum total of all the parts. It appears complex at first, but when you feel comfortable with all the knowledge that you are about to gain, you will see just what you want to put together. Good Luck.
  12. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115

    Wow... that really helped his question
  13. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    Re Chicago,I forgot about my contact there.He shops at,
    Best Buy.We have them here now.He recommends them.
    Remember and decide,but oem products are cheaper but more difficult
    to deal with later.A boxed package has everything and often includes
    Bonus Software or Games included.
  14. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    I already know a bit about graphics cards, and the only positive thing I've heard about ATI recently is how well they run Source, but that's because Valve is clearly biased towards them and makes no attempt to hide that.

    I'm not going to go with something cheap for the processors. I don't want to spend too much money, but I figure I might as well do about as much as I can for the most important parts.
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Give me a budget range and I'll be sure to whip up something for you. Newegg's prices are quite good and I'm sure you won't be disappointed when you buy from them. If you have any issues, I can recommend a build from TigerDirect too, but it won't be as cost-effective as the one from Newegg.
  16. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    I'm looking for about $700-$1000. I don't want cheap parts, but I don't want anything crazy. I want a computer that will allow me to play current games, but still be able to upgrade. I don't really know anything about computer parts, so I think I should build my own rather than having someone else do it for me.
    I'd rather have the only help being picking the parts and maybe a bit of the assembly, but I don't want someone else to assemble the whole thing for me.
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Well, here you go.

    Barebones PC

    MSI MBOX 945GM3-F Intel Socket T(LGA775) Intel Core 2 Duo / Pentium D / Pentium 4 Intel 945G 2 x 240Pin Intel GMA 950 Barebone - Retail


    Intel Core 2 Duo E6320 Conroe 1.86GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

    OCZ S.O.E 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    Video Card

    EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

    Hard Disk Drive

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    DVD Burner

    Pioneer Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 10X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-R 32X CD-RW 40X CD-ROM 2MB Cache E-IDE/ ATAPI DVD Burner - OEM

    Sound Card

    DIAMOND XtremeSound XS71 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

    Power Supply Unit

    FSP Group (Fortron Source) FX700-GLN ATX12V V2.2/EPS12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V CSA, IEC, UL, CE, TUV - Retail

    Grand Total = $991.43 wihout rebates and shipping. It's a solid system that's well within your budget and will last very long down the road. It's also quite cutting-edge and will give you a PC that can handle anything you throw at it. Assembling is also easy, you just have to plug all the cards into the motherboard along with the processor, which will need some care, attach the power supply to the casing and then put all the drives in and hook everything up to the power supply. After that, get the OS of your choice (I'd recommend Windows XP Professional with SP2) and install it, patch it, install all the drivers and that's it. Your PC is ready. For any help, feel free to ask for pointers. Oh, and before you start assembling the PC, make sure you're not on carpet and get an anti-static wristband from any local computer store. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  18. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115


    Nice job rage -thumbsup-
  19. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Any more opinions on what rage suggested?

    Unless our other computer came with an XP Professional install disk, I'll have to buy XP again, which is another $200, and I need a monitor, unless someone mentioned one and I didn't notice. I can easily afford all of this, my main problem is convincing my parents to let me spend this much money. >_>
  20. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    This is an excellent monitor and with the rebates, I think you'd end up with a grand total inside of $1000.
  21. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Is the sound card really necessary? It doesn't cost much but I don't really see a point to it unless the onboard sound is horrid.
    And I won't use the computer to burn CD's or DVD's, so is a DVD burner really necessary either?
    And would a table be alright to work on? It's our old dinner table so it should be big enough, and if it's heavy, I'm not going to be dumb enough to try to carry the tower by myself. Every room with enough space is carpeted.
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The only reason I thought you'd need a sound card is to free up CPU cycles that get used up by onboard sound chips. But since that CPU is a dual-core one, I guess that's a moot point. As for the DVD burner, try this instead, seeing that you would need at least a DVD-ROM in that PC wouldn't you?
  23. snacks

    snacks TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 147

    Might as well go with the burner, since I might need to burn something someday and it doesn't cost much anyway.
  24. sledgus

    sledgus TS Rookie Posts: 115

    Most of the new motherboards have a quality on board sound card anywayz
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