Good gaming rig asked by noob

By Theme57 · 10 replies
Sep 18, 2012
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  1. Ok, so to start out I have little experience with PC's and no knowledge on building them. My xbox just broke down and I am thinking about an alternate system to play on. I have WII and PS3 (which my sister hogs) but due to the amount of time and money spent on DLC (which I dont really play now) I dont want to go to another console to just have another issue come up. I have an old 2003 Dell I have used since 2006 and want to a PC that can play games such as Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim and possibly emulators without lag (I dont care much for the looks per say as long as it doesnt lag, but it would be nice especially with Skyrim). I have an N64 emulator that can barely play Resident Evil 2 for more then 5 minutes and Pokemon Stadium for about 15 minutes before having an issue. I am inexperienced with emulators, but know that they have PS2, N64, DS and some of the older handheld consoles.

    So what kind of rig would I need? Could I order it online without assembling it myself due to inexperience? How much would the cost be of both and anything else I should know? I understand PC's arent cheap compared to the consoles, but I am sick of the constant issues with the 360 and PS3
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Where do you live? You can build a PC which plays those games at medium/high settings for around £500/$800.
  3. Theme57

    Theme57 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In the US and what would you recommend if I am going to build one? I have an old Dell B110
  4. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    It depends on how much time you are willing to spend learning and doing research. If you are like most people, you have a life to live and it doesn't leave much time for new major projects like building a gaming PC from scratch. I could recommend a list of parts, but you will need more knowledge before you can screw them all together and hope for a decent gaming machine. I can however show you the parts that make up my rig and give you a starting point. It's nothing fancy at all, but manages to play Dirt 3 on highest settings with 60 fps minimum on my 23" 1920 x 1080 Acer widescreen. With a better video card, it could play anything you throw at it on high settings.

    Mainboard - Asus P8Z77-V
    CPU - Intel i5-3570K (OC to 4.3 GHz)
    RAM - 2x4 GB Kingston HyperX 1600 (OC to 1866)
    Case - Corsair Carbide 400R
    PSU - Ultra X4 750 (full modular, 80 Plus Bronze)
    GPU - EVGA GTX 550 Ti Superclocked + Intel HD 4000 (VirtuMVP)
    CPU Cooler - Corsair H-100 (240mm sealed liquid cooler)
    Fans - 8 x 120mm
    HDD - 1 x 500 GB WDC Blue, 1 x 400 GB Hitachi DeskStar, 2 x 2TB WDC Green
    ODD - LG M-Disc Super Multi
    Audio - on board Realtek ALC892 / optical SPDIF
    Speakers - 5 x Boston Micro90X, 2 x Boston subs, Sony 100w/ch surround amp
    Monitor - Acer S231HL (23" LCD)
    KB & Mouse - Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000
    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

    I've got about $1100 in the build (not counting operating system, monitor, KB, mouse, speakers, and amp). The only weak point is the $125 video card - budget at least $300 for a better one.
    The easy (and less expensive) route is to buy a complete system, such as this one;
    It's cheaper because the case, power supply, RAM, hard drive,and B75 motherboard are all about the cheapest money can buy, and because they buy parts in quantity. The lower build quality will be apparent. However, it will play your games, for as long as it lasts, and it will have a warranty and support from the builder.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    Yea at this point his video card should be better then the 550TI but everything else is solid...I would look at ^his build.

    And buying a prebuilt is NOT cheaper.
    slh28 likes this.
  6. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Emulators are usually very CPU heavy and from my experience they work far better on Intel processors than AMD ones. hood's PC is a good starting point, but I'd suggest getting a better GPU than a 550Ti, upgrading to 8GB RAM and ditching to H100.
  7. Theme57

    Theme57 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here is my list so far. I plan on playing Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim and Arma2 including some retro emulators such as Project64. I want this rig to be less then 600usd and was wondering if there was anything you guys thought would be better to change. I have an optical drive I can take from my current dell and I think we have Windows somewhere in a flash drive. Do I need windows 7 to play these games or just Steam? I dont need a monitor or keyboard or mouse. I have a Samsung 32in TV that I use as a monitor.

    Cooling Fan:
    Video Card:
    Power Supply:

    Right now it seems like this will come to over 600usd. I wanted a good processor and video card so that games wont lag and will be a good fps. I will likely play at the medium setting mostly, but may use high as well for games like skyrim, maybe even max. My dad knows computers moderately well and could help me with installing everything correctly.
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    A 6850 is a pretty good card for what you want, although playing skyrim on max is a far longshot, im thinking medium/high. (IDK about the others)
  9. Theme57

    Theme57 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Then likely I will be playing at medium, do you think there is anything I could change to lower the amount of cost I am at this point? I could use another processor, but dont want lag ha ha.
  10. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    You could go for an FX series processor. very similar gaming performance apparently (especially for low/mid range cards like yours) and range from 35 bucks to a hundred bucks cheaper. youd have to change your mobo as well...
    maybe something like this:
    or this:

    then your mobo would be this:
    that chops off alot, and maybe even some you could add to a better video card...
    but dont take my word for it, wait until other people comment on the FX series for your particular uses.
  11. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    The 3450 is a good choice, it will last you for a lot longer than if you went for an FX now. Might cost a bit more upfront but I'm willing to bet it will still be fine running games 3-4 years in the future. Also there's no excuse not to get 8GB of RAM, it's only like $10 more than 4GB.

    Overall that looks like a good build, if you really want to save some cash then you can go for a cheaper case or leave the CPU cooler and just use the stock HSF since the 3450 is non-overclockable anyway. But I'd leave it as it is and add some more RAM.

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