Building a gaming pc

Discussion in 'Games' started by JzzTrump22, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I'm thinking about building a pc just for gaming. Where would i go about looking for individual parts? I'm talking like an online store, something that i could build online just to see how much it would cost. Sort of like the way you can customize macs when you order online.
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    #2 is the best place to look around for the lowest possible prices. There are some stores that have consistently fairly low prices, such as nothing quite as easy as Apple's customizable store though.
  3. AnewMac macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2004
    The Northern Plains of OK!
    Many different routes

    You can try Alienware, they specialize in gaming pcs.

    Alienware Website

    or you can go to Price Watch for individual parts that may save you money in the long run.


    Hope this helps

    Edit:Chaszmyr beat me to it
  4. JzzTrump22 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I know alienware does, but i don't have that much money, i want to spend as little as possible.
  5. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    #5 if you don't live in cali or NJ or Tennessee. they charge sales tax in those states, but everywhere else they don't...But it's the best store for computer stuff that there is. You'll see. If you order 3 items from newegg and 3 from zzf, you'll see what I mean. Most of the time newegg upgrades your shipping to 2nd day without charging you (or even telling you they did it)...I've gotten things from there with free shipping and had them arrive literally the next day. They have prices that are in general lower than most places...if something costs 200 dollars at the bottom of a pricewatch list from some tiny company you've never heard of, it will be within 10 dollars at newegg 99% of the time. The service you get is worth any difference in price if there ever is one. (sometimes newegg is the cheapest place for something)...I've never had them backorder anything or anything like that.

    My personal experience is as follows: I've built 5 PCs in the last 2 years. The first one I built on the tightest budget (my own) and I think I bought components from 8 separate online stores and did a HUGE amount of homework and bargain hunting...I ordered 2 parts for that computer from newegg. They came 2 days later...some of the things I ordered took almost 3 weeks to show up. I built a machine for a friend 1 month later, basically the exact same setup that I had, because he liked mine so much. It cost me 70 dollars more to build the exact same thing...except this time I bought EVERYTHING from newegg. It came in 2 shipments, one 2 days after ordering, and the other the 3rd business day (ordered on a wednesday morning, had machine fully built and tested by monday night).

    I've learned my lesson. Unless it's much more expensive at Newegg, or you're looking for something they don't have in stock or don't offer, there's not much point in shopping elsewhere. I even ordered all of my G5 upgrades (RAM, hard drives, monitor, etc) through newegg.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions.
  6. neonart macrumors 65816


    Sep 4, 2002
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    I'm with ben. is a pleasure to deal with. You order, they have it, you get it fast. All this at a great price.

    I too have upgraded most of my Macs with items from newegg. HD, DVD-R, & RAM on my G5, HD and RAM on my Powerbook, and other items on other Macs.

    Currently I'm thinking of upgrading my wife's PC and I'll be looking for stuff at newegg then too. has also been good for me. Not as surgically precise as newegg, but very good. The often have REALLY crazy deals.
  7. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I throw in another vote for NewEgg. They're fantastic.
  8. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    All I can say is stay away from intel and nVidia, AMD and ATI are your friends.

    intel/nVidia = overpriced, overclocked, overheating crap.
    AMD/ATI = lower clocked, best bang for the buck.

    Buy a "made by ATI" videocard, not a "powered by ATI". In both cases you'll get a genuine ATI GPU, but a "made by ATI" card will last you longer. I've had my Radeon 9600XT for more than a year, no problems whatsoever. Clean VGA signals too.
  9. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2003
    Definitely go with AMD if you can. I have heard Sapphire ATI cards are pretty good. I have a eVGA 6800 GT. While it is very powerful, it is kind of loud. If X800 Pros weren't out of stock at the time, I would've got one instead just due to noise.

    Newegg is the best place to buy stuff. You might find parts ~$10 cheaper at stores found in Pricewatch, but none of them will match the quality of service of Newegg.
  10. JzzTrump22 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Thanks for all the help guys. Newegg was probably going to be my first place to go to because i know their service is top notch. I've ordered from there many times and recieved all my items no more than 3 days later.
    Thanks for all the tips too, i will definatly do what you guys are saying as far as parts go.
  11. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I found to have better deals than when I was looking at building a PC (of course, I ultimately ended up not building a PC). I would also recommend, but I remember them being very overpriced. And on rare occasions, Best Buy and CompUSA might have a decent deal on certain hardware, so it doesn't hurt to check them out either.

    And make sure to read reviews on hardware. Usually a quick Google search should be enough.
  12. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    My friend is going to use TigerDirect when he builds his new PC. Their prices seem pretty competitive, but I can't guarantee quality or anything, as I've never used them. Something worth checking out though.
  13. JzzTrump22 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Thanks for the help. I was just wondering if anyone would care to post exact parts they find would work good. Any parts, just to give me an idea what to look for or get. Theres just so many parts to choose from, so i really don't know where to begin, especially with motherboards.
  14. millar876 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2004
    Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
    here is my gaming pc rig

    AMD Athalon XP3200 (400mhz Bus) @ 2.21GHZ with AMD stock fan
    1024MB gineric DDR400 Ram (comfigured as dual chanel i.e. 2x512MB chips)
    Maxtor 7200 rpm ATA100 HDD c/w 2MB cache
    NFII Ultra Infinity mobo w sata, usb2, firewire,nForce @ chipset
    Winfast A400GT THD graphisc card (nVidia GeForce 6800GT w 256MB GDDR3 @1GHZ (418MHz overclocked)and using Omega high quality drivers)
    and a DVD+-R/RW 4x drive rescued from a freecom FX-50 external DVDR drive
    Sound blaster Audiology Live 5.1 Sound Card
    Mercure PAL/NTSC TV tuner card
    400W power supply

    the thing cooks, ive got doom 3 running at a steady 60fps (capped) on ULTRA and it never dips below 40fps. Halflife 2 runs fantastic (1280x1024 8xAA 8xAF everything else maxed, no fps count yet cos i havnt figured out how to get it) and LOTR - battle for middle earth runs smooth. The only trouble i had with that game is on MinasTirith during the evil campaign, both armies were at command limit and then the dead guys apeared with aragorn and legolas, it was a bit jerky for a few seconds but cleared quickly. 3D Mark 03 score arround 10500 -11200 (dependant on what mood the thing is in)

    I baught all my PC stuff from a local dealer (Case & 400W PSU £25, RAM £48 per stick, CPU £80, HDD£30, Graphics card £280, sound card £20, TV card £20 misc Cables £10) and although i could have got a cheaper graphics card and still be happy im glad i forked out the extra.

    so thats what i did for a gaming PC, good luck with yours.
  15. JzzTrump22 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Thanks Millar! But how much would that be in American Dollars?...roughly...
  16. millar876 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2004
    Kilmarnock, Scotland UK
    i dont know, just a guess but id say with current uk-vs-us mac prices id say one for one £-$ but i can only guess, just check your local parts dealer or online mail order vendor.
  17. daveL macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2003
    There are plenty of currency conversion sites on the Web.
  18. sirius1722 macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Seattle-area, WA
    Just a couple questions to help us better answer your question:

    -What's your budget? What's the price range you're willing to spend?
    -Are you building from scratch? Or are you using parts from an older PC?
    -In case no one mentioned it, if you don't already have a copy, make sure you have a full version of Windows (preferably XP).
  19. JzzTrump22 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I am trying to build a solid gaming machine for as little as possible. That doesn't mean i want to get the best parts available because that would cost an insane amount of money. I want to be able to run games like WoW and FPS games without a problem. Everytime i tried runninggames in XP, half of them would not work. That included Civ 3 and Ghost Recon. I never had a problem gaming with Windows 98.
  20. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    You can use the built in conversion tool in Go to Convert>Currency.

    As for newegg, I highly recommend it. I've bought numerous things from there and had them the 2nd or 3rd day.... Bought pen drive, hard drives, USB/Ethernet/IDE cables, DVD-R drive, RAM, optical media, CPUs, video cards, speakers, power supplies and fans.
  21. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    That's pretty funny since alot of 'Built by ATi' cards are outsourced to Sapphire.
  22. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    first off, I have always been an ATI fan, but I can tell you from experience that the current generation of ATI cards do not represent any real "Value" except in the ultra-expensive category.

    The best mid-priced (within 30 dollars of 200 dollars) card is beyond a question of a doubt the 6600 GT. If you want to build an AGP-based system, you can do that with a 6600 GT, although the AGP versions are harder to find than the PCI E versions. If you're wanting to "future-proof" the machine, which is probably a good idea at this point, you might want to get the PCI E version. XFX has a very nice 6600 GT with 2 DVI ports instead of 1 VGA/1 DVI. It should be just under 200 dollars for the PCI E version.

    As for motherboards, you might want to look at the upcoming ATI motherboards...I'm hearing good things. Either way, if you are getting PCI E you will also want to get a 90nm Athlon 94 processor. Go with Socket 939 chips because they are the near-future and will run cooler (can be clocked higher) than the first generation A64 chips.

    I'm waiting for BTX, personally, but I also am not in the market for another computer until this time next year, probably.

    Hard drives, you of course want SATA...I recommend 2 smaller hard drives instead of 1 bigger one. You can set up a SATA 0 array and have 1 virtual 320 GB hard drive if you buy 2 160 GB hard drives. And you'll save money over buying a single 300 GB model...not to mention RAID 0 arrays are 20-30% faster than a single drive when using good 8mb buffer 7200 RPM drives.

    If you're bringing your own parts to the mix, what are they?

    Some things aren't worth carrying over...and some things aren't worth buying again.

    If you have a 52x CD-RW, then there's no point in replacing it unless you want to burn DVDs. however, there is no point in buying a 52x CD-RW if you don't already have one, because a 16X dual-layer DVD±RW costs something like 70 dollars these days...and why would you buy a separate CD-RW drive if one drive can do it all? I used to have a CD_RW and a DVD-ROM but tossed them both when I needed a DVD burner. I guess there is something to be said for having 2 open drives, but I found myself always just using one drive unless I NEEDED to use the other one. today's prices I would recommend buying 1GB of PC3200 (or 3700 if you want to overclock) from a reliable brand name with good, low timings.

    I would recommend without question a 6600 GT 128 because that card OWNs everything else under 300 dollars. If you want to spend more money on a graphics card, you could go with an X800 (regular) or a 6800 (regular). Both are a little faster than the 6600 GT and cost a more, but if you're interested in "unlocking pipelines" you can get lucky with one of those cards and have a 6800 GT or an X800 Pro on your hands.

    Processor-wise I would go with an Athlon 64 939-based 3000+ or 3200+.

    From what I've read, buying a faster A64 that isn't an FX isn't worth the added cost, and the FX chips are overpriced for the (considerable, i'll admit) performance boost that you get.
  23. Macamus Prime macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    This thread is kind of old, but PC Gamer compiles PC gaming recipes (Entry, Mid & Dream) each month. Pick up an issue and check them out.

    I recommend you buy the parts from New Egg and Comp USA. Comp USA has blow out prices sometimes. Check their sites.
  24. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    To get FPS in HL2, open the console and type "cl_showfps 1" without the quotes.
  25. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Or you could just go to and get it in a more up-to-date fashion (and without buying a magazine).

    Anand's price guides are usually more thorough, too...

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