Wondering if these specs will be alright for a new gaming computer?

By DrekSilver · 27 replies
Feb 18, 2011
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  1. I'm basically a computer noob. I know more then the average person, but i'm not a tech wiz. From what i've gathered when looking for a gaming computer I should look at Ghz, RAM, processor cores, and the strength of the video card. I've been wanting to buy a really good gaming PC for a while now, and I think i've find one but i'm not sure. After reading a lot more into it though I started seeing things that made me unsure; "Wait L2 Cache is more important that Ghz? Intel Core 2 Duo is the way to go? Alienware is overrated?" Essentially after browsing this site I found myself with more questions than answers. So I made an account and decided to just ask, will these specs be ok (and by "ok" I mean very good) for a modern day gaming computer?

    Processor Type - AMD Phenom II 1055T
    Processor Speed - 2.80 GHz
    Processor Cores - 6
    RAM 8 GB - (4 x 2 GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM (Expandable to 16 GB)
    Hard Drive Capacity - 1.5 TB
    Hard Drive Speed (Revolutions Per Minute) - 5400 RPM
    Optical Drives - SuperMulti DVD Burner with LightScribe Technology
    Graphics - AMD Radeon HD 6570
    Pre-loaded Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit)
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Firstly, hello and welcome to TechSpot. :)

    Your pretty much spot on with your thoughts regarding gaming computers - Though with the CPUs you need to consider the number of cores (and threads), and the clock speed.

    The AMD Phenom 1055T is an outstanding CPU for overclocking, though its unlikely you'll realistically find games able to use all 6 cores - That said, more is better as far as I am concerned.

    That said, I don't like the hard disk. For a gaming computer you need to be having a 7,200RPM speed hard disk, or a SSD. You could also probably get a better GPU for the same money as well.

    Your best bet to be honest, is to let us know where your from, and your total budget, along with what you need (e.g. do you need a display, keyboard and mouse as well?) and we can then "build" you something thats perfect as a gaming computer.
  3. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Wow I wasn't aware this site offered the ability to build a computer from scratch, I thought it was just an open forum and source of information.

    Well, i'm in Ottawa, Canada and my budget is about $1000-1200 (CDN of course). At the moment all I need is the computer itself, I have an ok monitor (but i'll let you be the judge, it's an eMachines E203HV, don't know if your familiar) and in the way of mouse and keyboard i'm fine for the moment.

    Thanks for the quick reply mate :)
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164


    F1 2010


    Bad Company 2

  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    I'll have a stab at putting a system up for you...
    Not knowing your shopping habits, I've included Newegg Canada and what seems to be a local Ottawa retail/etailer (PC Cyber)- note no shipping costs in the PC Cyber prices.

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T ($185 inc ship from newegg, $179.77 from PC Cyber)

    Motherboard: Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 ($203 inc ship fr. newegg, $191.77 from PC Cyber)
    OR a lower specced Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 ($133.77 from PC Cyber)
    Memory (RAM): Corsair 4Gb (2x2Gb) DDR3-1600C8 ($65.48 fr. newegg) OR G.Skill 4Gb DDR3-1600C7 ($76.48 fr. newegg) OR Corsair 4Gb DDR3-1600C9 ($59.77 fr. PC Cyber)
    You also have the opportunity to double up (8Gb total) for some degree of future proofing.
    -All three kits are compatible with the motherboard. The first two kits would give you some overclocking headroom...if you plan on getting into that :slurp:
    If that is the case then you might want to look at buying an aftermarket CPU cooler such as this Zalman CNPS10X Performa ($48.50 fr. newegg) or this Corsair A50 ($42.73 not inc.$US15 mail-in rebate, also from newegg)

    Power supply: Corsair TX650W ($105 fr. newegg + $US20 mail-in rebate)
    Harddrive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb ($98.73 fr. newegg)
    Graphics card: Sapphire HD6950 2Gb ($280 not inc. $US20 mail-in rebate fr. newegg)
    XFX HD6870 OC 1Gb ($240 not including $US30 mail-in rebate fr. newegg)
    EDIT: Or the HD6950 1Gb card that Ritwik suggested in the post immediately above this-also a good choice
    (way to go Rit!)
    DVD drive: Lite-On DVD/CD drive OEM ($18 from newegg)

    Chassis...very subjective. Here are two very well regarded cases that may (or may not) be to your taste. They are excellent all-rounders (spec's/ease of use/features/cooling/price)
    CoolerMaster HAF 932 ($120 inc shipping from newegg)
    and it's smaller but still very capable brother
    CoolerMaster HAF 922 ($99 inc shipping, also from newegg).

    Operating System:Microsoft Windows 7 Home Ed. 64-bit OEM ($99.77 fr. PC Cyber)

    So, a little mix and match -(CPU, Harddrive, DVD drive, HAF 922 case, Win7 OS,PSU standard)
    HD6950 card + 4Gb RAM + 890FXA board = $1137.52+ $US40 rebate to collect
    HD6950 card + 8Gb RAM + 790XTA board = $1145 + $US40 rebate to collect
    HD6950 card + 4Gb RAM + 790XTA board = $1079.52 + $US40 rebate to collect

    substitute the HD6970 OC card and the totals are :
    HD6870 OC +4Gb RAM +890FXA board = $1085.52 + $US50 rebate to collect
    HD6870 OC +8Gb RAM +790XTA board = $1105 + $US50 rebate to collect
    HD6870 OC +4Gb RAM +790XTA board = $1039.52 + $US50 rebate to collect
    And of course, variations on the theme (adding in $21 for the full size HAF 932 case and $43 -minus the $15 rebate- for the Corsair CPU cooler as example)
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117


    I stand corrected > Kinda throws the whole "there is no point in 6 cores because nothing uses that many at the same time" argument we see on here all the time.

    Thanks Red. :D
  8. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    So in respone to Ritwik, if I purchase the case along with the 6 other parts you mentioned, I can piece them together to a somewhat easy degree? I've clearly never built a computer before, but that $844 price tag has piqued my interest.
  9. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Also before I go through with purchasing parts online, I was thinking to make sure that there's nothing at my local Future Shop that has what I need. I found another PC which is a quad-core but it has the RPM suggested.

    Processor Type - AMD Phenom II Quad Core 955
    Processor Speed - 3.2 GHz
    Processor Cores - 4
    RAM - 8 GB (4 x 2 GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM (Exp. To 16 GB)
    Hard Drive Capacity - 1 TB
    Hard Drive Speed (Revolutions Per Minute) - 7200 RPM
    Optical Drives - Super Multi LightScribe DVD Burner
    Graphics - AMD Radeon HD 6570
    Pre-loaded Operating System - Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit)
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Hi Drek,
    The (RPM) you are speaking of is just the standard rotational speed of HDD's , not a premier feature you should be considering in a gaming machine. The 6570 Graphics card listed in the OEM machine you have found is a very weak AMD 'Turks' card that took the place of the HD 5750. Its not a good gaming card by any standard. You don't have listed...(and they usually do not for a reason) the Power supply unit. 99% of the time pre-build machines come with a very low quality Power supply, and output wise will most likely not afford you any room to upgrade.
  11. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    For the original PC I posted about though, the one that had only 5400 RPM, if I won't be dealing with disk-based games would that make that much of a difference over a 7200 RPM PC? Most of the games i'll get are on Steam or MMOs.
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    With HDD's The standard speeds are 5400,7200, and the much more expensive 10,000 RPM. The actual difference you will experience in performance will be in load times ( it can make a bit of a difference in FPS while loading between scenes at times) but for the most part the loading of the game will be a bit slower. Most HDD's these days are 7200 RPM. The bigger issue is weather the low end 6570 Graphic card will be enough to run the resolution and graphic detail you want....and of course the quality of the PSU. I build gaming systems for a living, trust me on this...a cheap low quality PSU is not what you want.
  13. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Ok I think I understand what you're trying to say. My main concern really is the ease of putting it all together. When I have the 6 parts that Ritwik recommended will they easily go in the case that he suggested or will it be a lot of hassle?
  14. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    No hassle, that case is a good size mid-tower, you will have plenty of room to work with. Same goes for the system that DividebyZero listed as well.
    If your nervous about assembling a PC for the first time, dont be. Just take your time, double check everything three times. The folks on here will be happy to assist if you run into an issue.
    A couple of basic rules and good ideas to remember.

    1) invest in an anti-static wrist band, or make sure you touch a metal part of the chassis frequently to discharge ant static prior to handling components. ( its a good idea to not assemble your machine on carpeting)

    2) don't forget, and read a tutorial on the proper application of Thermal compound.
    The Heat-sink will come with a pre-applied 'thermal pad' and its junk. This is a good $10.00 investment
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    If you need an operating system, remember to purchase it (if you are going with the cheaper OEM option) with the components. Many etail/retail outlets will only sell the OS if purchased with a core computer component (CPU,Motherboard,RAM, Harddrive).
  16. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    I guess what I'm really trying to say is, how do I build my computer? xD I mean does the case come with the wires or something or what? Do I just place the parts into designated locations? I literally have no idea what to do as i've never had any experience with this sort of thing. Nothing at all. All I know at the moment is to buy those 7 parts, along with that thermal compound thing and an anti-static wrsitband. Also @dividebyzero, do you mean something like Windows 7 64-bit? Do I need to buy the disc for installing that as well?

    Thanks for the help so far guys, sorry if i'm bombarding you with my noobiness.
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    There are a number of tutorials on the net to help you along, like this for example
    Each component will come with a manual that will give you an illustrated view of how to install it. all the screws and cables you will need will come with the various components (the mother board will have most of them)

    It's really not as intimidating as it seems the first time....I think thats exactly what i said to half a dozen girls in high school, anyway, the key is to just take your time and recheck everything.
    I build custom Computers for a living so you can feel free to look me up if you run into a problem. You also want to pay attention to the post's of the guy above your last post. he knows more about the inner workings of computers than anyone on here.
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Check out this tutorial video. it should give you an idea of how it all goes together.
    First thing to note is that you will probably only need a screwdriver for assembly. You can use an anti-static wristband also-but in practice they can be cumbersome (depends on how you work). You can discharge static electricity just as easily by working in a static-free enviroment (keep cats/dogs away from the work area, avoid wearing nylon, working on a carpeted area) and installing the power supply into the case then attaching the power cord to the wall socket plug - LEAVE THE WALL SWITCH OFF- The cord now grounds the power supply and the case. Frequently touching a bare (unpainted) metal surface of the case/psu will be sufficient to discharge any static build-up. Avoid shuffling your feet or any other activity that could cause static build up.

    Everything you need to assemble the computer is contained within the boxes you get- all screws, cables, parts. You will also have a few parts left over for expanding the system later.

    You buy the operating system when you buy the other components if you buy the OEM (cheaper) version. Windows 7 Home Edition 64-bit would be the overwhelming choice. You will get an install disc that has a product activation key. Once the computer is put together, place the disc into the DVD/CD drive (unless you're not planning on installing one, in which case you will need to install from USB drive) - the rest of the process is automatic- you will be prompted at various stages of the install process to enter your preferences (geographic location, language etc.)- All relatively painless.

    EDIT: Ninja-ed by red!
    EDIT#2: Thanks for the glowing endorsement G. I feel like I should be linking our OP to components to build a multi (or a least single)-stage cascade!
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    How so? and which part? :p I'm confused!
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Just the speed that you posted. You beat me to the punch (or post).
    Maybe I should have used "sarnathed" !
  21. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Ya know Chef, that reminded me of something I was just working on....


    Figure (12-2) a) The interstage temperature (TM12) in °K is:
    (0.5 x I2) x (RM2 + RM1) + (KM1 x Th) + (KM2 x Tc)
    ________________________________________________________________I x (SM1 - SM2) + KM1 + KM2
    TM12 =

    b) Heat pumped (Qc) by the module in watts is:

    Qc = (SM2 x Tc x I) - (0.5 x I2 x RM2) - (KM2 x (TM12 -Tc))

    c) The input voltage (Vin) to the module in volts is:

    Vin = (SM2 x (TM12 -Tc) + (I x RM2) + (SM1 x (Th - TM12)) + (I x RM1)

    d) The electrical input power (Pin) to the module in watts is:

    Pin = Vin x I

    e) The heat rejected by the module (Qh) in watts is:

    Qh = (SM1 x Th x I) + (0.5 x I2 x RM1) - (KM1 x (Th - TM12)
    Qh = Qc - Pin........:D:haha:
  22. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    lol, alright I think I'm fine for now untill I order the parts :haha: One last question, well actually two. What does OEM mean, though I assume it means Operating System in a different sort of way? And also, going by the 7 parts Ritwik suggested (i'm going with those because of the cheaper price tag :p), that's all I need to order spare the thermal compound and (possibly) the anti-static wristband?

    Also, you meant DON'T work on a carpeted surface right?
  23. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    1) You will need an Optical drive as well, and I assume you are not counting Keyboard,monitor, card reader etc. If you plan on Overclocking, you will want/need a after-market heatsink/fan.
    2) Yes! LOL sorry, I did indeed mean DO NOT work on carpet...opps. :)
    3) OEM means 'Original Equipment Manufacturer and or manufacturing. (in this case it means you will get the component only, with no accessories. Most HDD's come this way.

    EDIT *** hey wait!, I said

    :p :)....I just took the long way around. I have been accused of being long winded don't ya know.
  24. DrekSilver

    DrekSilver TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Lol alright then, thanks for all the helps guys :)

    EDIT: Damn, what's a card reader, optical drive and heat/sink fan? And could you link me to a good product for these 3?
  25. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

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