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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, the age old question “what should I look for in a new computer?”, but with a few variations. The new CPU we buy will be used for three things. First (and foremost) gaming. I’ve been dealing with a 6 year old Computer for quite some time, and I am EXTREMELY anxious to get back into the PC gaming world, specifically with titles such as Oblivion, Half Life, Fear, Age of Empires III, etc.

Secondly, the new CPU will be used for uploading digital pictures and video, downloading music, and burning said audio and video to CD/DVD. Nothing Professional, mostly pictures and video of our son being 3 and making us laugh.

The only other thing we really will use it for is Internet use. We do not need a monitor, keyboard, anything else, just the CPU.

So, my question then is, for someone like me who is rather out of touch, is there really a solid benefit to building your own, as opposed to just going to Best Buy, buying a unit with a sweet processor, upgrade the RAM (2GB?) and video card (GeForce 7800GS?), and be on my way? Are the computers at Best Buy just crap by proper tech standards? I don’t know the first thing about motherboards, power supply, cooling systems, BRand quality, Intel vs. AMD, etc, etc, etc… But I have gathered from glancing through a few other forums that for gaming, it’s a three pronged attack- processor, RAM, and Video Card. Our budget is in the $1000 range, give or take.

Any advice would be awesome.

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to the TSG forums!!

honkeylips said:
So, my question then is, for someone like me who is rather out of touch, is there really a solid benefit to building your own, as opposed to just going to Best Buy, buying a unit with a sweet processor, upgrade the RAM (2GB?) and video card (GeForce 7800GS?), and be on my way?
I think all who visit these forums will agree with me on this:

There is no better way to get the best performing PC for your money than to build your own piece by piece. Off-the-shelf PC's will be either more expensive or cut corners on quality.

Newegg.com tends to have the best prices on components, unbeatable selection, and fast cheap shipping. Unfortunately they don't ship out of the US, so those of us in other countries have to find other sources. Tigerdirect.ca is what I use in Canada, and I find them to be excellent both in price and selection. :up:
 

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Here is what I would build if I only had $1000 to spend.

This computer right here
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersio...?WishListNumber=3789454&WishListTitle=For+you

Now its like $1040 but after all the rebates and shipping ext.. it will be pretty much a $1000Total.

missing a keyboard mouse leave that up to you.

And pls remember its not all just the video card that makes for good gaming but the CPU comes first then the video card. Largest CPU you can get with a decent video card. This setup will play any game out and 85% of them at max settings.
 

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Okay if you do not need a monitor do the folowing changes.
Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $218.99

BFG Tech BFGR79256GSOCE GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $179.99

Or

Open Box: ATI 100-437807 Radeon X1950PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - OEM $229.99

This is from Toms Hardware

Best PCI-E Card For ~$180: Tie
Geforce 7900 GS
Codename: G71, 90 nanometer technology
20 PixelShaders, 7 VertexShaders, 20 TextureUnits, 16 RasterOperatorUnits
256-bit memory bus
450 MHz core, 660 MHz DDR (1320 MHz Effective) Memory

This card is essentially an overclocked 7800 GT; sporting a 256-bit memory bus and decent clock speeds, it's a very good performer and a solid card for the money.

While the X1950 PRO is a stronger performer, it's also a bit more expensive. The 7900 GS also has a good overclocking reputation, unlike the X1950 PRO.

Radeon X1950 PRO
Codename: RV570, 90 nanometer technology
36 Pixel shaders, 8 Vertex shaders, 12 Texture units, 12 RasterOperatorUnits
256-bit external memory bus (512-bit internal ring bus)
575 MHz core, 690 MHz DDR (1280 MHz effective) Memory

The X1950 PRO is similar to the X1900 GT, the main difference being that it is not based on the X1900 XT, but rather a new, less power-hungry core. The card's main competition is the 7900 GS, which the X1950 PRO will beat in most benchmarks at stock speeds. However, the 7900 GS tends to be cheaper, and the X1950 PRO does not overclock well, so they are both good buys depending on how you plan to use them.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01...e_money/page3.html#best_pcie_card_for_180_tie
I personally would choose the BFG it will play anything at max, Save the extra $60 cause your not going to get that much performance gain for $60 more for the ATI. save the $60 and get the BFG
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice, thanks for the input. So, to ask a follow up question that I'm sure you guys get a lot, can I run Oblivion with this rig?

And, what exactly is "overclocking". If it's too complex to explain, don't worry about it.

Thanks again!
 

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can I run Oblivion with this rig?
Yes, with absolutely no problems. you will be able to run it and any game out there.

And, what exactly is "overclocking". If it's too complex to explain, don't worry about it.
Dangerous for a beginner to try out on his only computer. Something a beginner should do on a spare computer with older parts. Overclocking can easily burn up your computer parts.
Basically it making things go faster then what they are supposed to go. It creates a lot of extra heat so you must buy extra cooling equipment to try and keep motherboard, CPU and video card cool.

Don't try it on your only computer and your new hardware. Get experience only with old computer cause even the most experienced overclocks still burn things up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Many thanks, shusterjo. If you're ever in Wisconsin Rapids, and you need a place to hide from Johney law, you know, while the heat dies down, look me up!

"If I owned Wisconsin Rapids and Hell, I would rent out Wisconsin Rapids and live in Hell"
--My Wife
 

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Rich-M said:
Agreed forget over clocking, especially for a beginner, risks of damage too great and you are planning a nice investment here.
shusterjo, great job BTW on what you put together. I could not fault a thing.
Thank you,

Many thanks, shusterjo. If you're ever in Wisconsin Rapids, and you need a place to hide from Johney law, you know, while the heat dies down, look me up!

"If I owned Wisconsin Rapids and Hell, I would rent out Wisconsin Rapids and live in Hell"
--My Wife
LOL may need to take you up on that offer someday, you never know ;)
 
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