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  • Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

    The gaming rig I've had for some time now is starting to act like it may be dying, plus it's just antiquated and slow. So I've been dreaming of a newer maching for awhile and it looks like the stars finally aligning for me to go for it. Looks like Uncle Sam will be giving me some of my money back on Monday, and most importantly, my wife has given her stamp of approval on the purchase. LOL.

    At this time, I'm playing Tribes Ascend and Flight Simulator X mostly. But I would LOVE to be able to join in the fun with BF3 too if possible. I am not looking to run BF3 at massive resolution and maximum settings, just would like to be able to run it smoothly on decent settings.

    It's been years since I bought a PC, so I'm out of the loop on what my money can get me, and whether I'm better off buying a pre-built PC or building one myself (which I've never done before).

    I need to keep the budget as close to $500 as possible.

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!
    |TG-55| Infantry Division - Former Captain



  • #2
    Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

    Good luck Big...

    Why don' t list your current components. The way to stretch your dollars is to figure out what you can keep and what you have to upgrade for sure. For instance your case, keyboard, mouse and hard drives might be used in a new machine depending on their status now. Using some of your old stuff where appropriate will make your budget go a long way.

    I did a new build during the Summer of 2009 and already the CPU and Motherboard are discountinued with the mfg's moving on to newer technology. I had some extra cash at the time and splurged a bit but am glad I did.

    my build included the following components

    ASUS P6X58XD Premium Edition
    I7 960 CPU
    EVGA GT480
    6 Gbs Corsair Dominator RAM @ 1600
    Coolermaster Cosmos Case
    OCZ Vertex 2 SSD 100 GB


    Will you build this yourself? These days if you can set up a stereo you should be able to assemble a new computer and your $$ will buy more if you do it yourself.

    Good luck
    sigpic
    |TG-1st|Grunt
    ARMA Admin (retired)
    Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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    • #3
      Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

      I got a PC for about €400-€500 that ran every game on medium or low when I was on a budget

      Motherboard: : Gigabyte GA-MA74GMT-S2 ** €300
      Processor : AMD Phenom II x4 965 ** €300
      RAM : 4GB DDR3 ** €300
      Graphics : nVidia Geforce GT 240 (PNY Edition) €100 (4 years ago)
      PSU : 500 Watt (No Brand, came with case which was €80)

      The case was a nobrand also, so I can't find the exact one
      It looked similar to this though, http://best-b2b.com/Products/927/959...es_493260.html

      ** = Part of a bundle.
      "War is not about what's right, It's about what's left"
      "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing Innocent people"
      "If we don't end war, War will end us"

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      • #4
        Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

        Check out Tom's Hardware site. It has five builds on it and you could pick up some good advice on components.

        http://www.tomshardware.com/
        The Old Guy
        kin3
        sigpic


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        • #5
          Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

          Oh ya...forgot the PSU.

          Corsair HX 750 Modular PSU.

          Don't skimp on the PSU. It is a key component and I mean this more in terms of manufacturer than overall power wattage. There is a thread somewhere in this hardware form that discusses recommended PSU's and I picked this one based on that thread. While it's tempting to save money and go cheaper with a lesser known brand it may lead to problems down the road sooner than you'd like.
          sigpic
          |TG-1st|Grunt
          ARMA Admin (retired)
          Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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          • #6
            Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

            Thanks guys. I just started to scratch the surface over at Toms Hardware yesterday, but didn't have lot of time to really get into their builds.

            Good advice on the PSU. I've been seeing the same recommendations all over different forums the last few days, advising to stick with a major manufacturer like Corsair.

            Currently I'm running a pre-built Gateway that I bought years ago. There is not much, if anything, in it that I would want to keep beyond maybe (only MAYBE) the video card. Ideally, I'd like to keep this one together and let my kids use it until it completely goes up in smoke, so I would need to buy a new keyboard too. I've got several spare mouses...meeses....mice.

            A. I don't know what the motherboard is
            B. Processor is AMD Athlon 4200+ (2.2Ghz) dual core
            C. 2 GB ram
            D. Nvidia 8600GTS vid card (I do have my old card, so if worst came to worst, I could pull this out)
            E. Onboard Realtek sound

            I have done enough monkeying around inside my PCs that I don't think I'd have any trouble building a new one. I've replaced memory sticks and video cards, added a USB PCI-e card when my ports died, added wireless cards, changed out power supplies, removed/replaced hard drives, re-installed a heat sink that fell off (on motherboard if I remember correctly) etc.. So I have just enough experience to probably really do some damage on a new build. hehe
            |TG-55| Infantry Division - Former Captain


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            • #7
              Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

              Okay, so I checked out a $600 build over at Tom's Hardware, using it as a guideline for pricing components.

              Here is what I came up with so far at Newegg. My biggest question marks come down to compatibility of components, finding components that will give me the most bang for my buck, etc.. Here goes:

              Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103996
              Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130637
              Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820161487
              Graphics Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130625
              Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822236080
              DVD drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827151244
              Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139027
              Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147112 (On cases, I'm not sure what the difference is between Mid, MicroATX, Mini tower, etc. as far as space for components)

              Total Price: $543.92 + tax = $584.17 + $24.51 shipping = $608.68 - $40.00 mail in rebates = $568.68

              Of course, I just noticed that both mail-in rebates expire this weekend, and I more than likely will not have my tax refund until Monday. Grrr.

              Anywhere that I could save money, motherboard, processor, etc. and get similar performance would be great!
              |TG-55| Infantry Division - Former Captain


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              • #8
                Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                Big--Newegg has a preferred account program that lets you pay later and there is also another buy now pay later option as well. You might be able to do one of those and get going immediately.


                Also...the case you chose is micro ATX ...that is the smallest one made...Your Mother board is ATX...which I think is the usual standard. ATX motherboard may not fit in the micro ATX case.

                Look under specs for each component and you'll find the info listed there. I believe you could put a micro atx board into an atx case but not the other way around...not enough space.

                @ other readers...can someone else verify this as well??
                sigpic
                |TG-1st|Grunt
                ARMA Admin (retired)
                Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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                • #9
                  Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                  BigMC if you want I can give you an ebay link of a seller which does pretty cheap computers (At my Euro price, dollars are more than euro).
                  "War is not about what's right, It's about what's left"
                  "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing Innocent people"
                  "If we don't end war, War will end us"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                    Need window operating system? Windows 7 or Vista are needed for BF3.
                    |TG-12th| Namebot

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                      Thanks for all of the help and suggestions everyone!

                      So after all of my scheming, planning, investigating, hunting, building, etc., I was still having trouble putting anything together for less than $650-$700. So my wife asked me the other day, "Have you even just tried looking at Best Buy?"

                      Uhm......no.



                      So I went and looked. And they had a special going on a Gateway that fit the bill for what I wanted!
                      Intel i5 quad core @3.0Ghz (which says it boosts to 3.3Ghz when needed, but not sure how that works)
                      8GB DDR3 ram (expandable to 16GB)
                      1 TB hard drive
                      Windows 7 Home Premium

                      The only thing lacking is a dedicated video card. For now, I've put my 512MB 9600GT in, until I find a good deal on a better card.

                      So far, this is doing exactly what I wanted it to do. I've loaded up most of my existing games, and it's performing better than expected with the old video card.

                      Flight Simulator X: I used to have to run with at very minimal settings, because it's such a resource hog. I am now running it nearly maxed out, and getting the 20.0FPS I have it locked at! I had no idea they put that many buildings and trees in there! It almost looks as good as the real world now!

                      Tribes Ascend: I was running this at very low settings, and still getting hiccups and texture issues sometimes. Plus, I thought it was running pretty smooth, until I played on the new PC. Now I am running it fully maxed out, and it is FAR smoother than it was on my old machine. Hell, I've doubled my kills in almost every single round on the new PC!!!

                      F1 2010: Same story....was on minimal settings, now I can run it completely maxed out and it's smooth as glass!!

                      According to the BF3 requirements, all of my exceed the minimum requirements, and meet the recommended requirements, with the exception of the video card. I could probably play it now, on pretty low settings. I think at this point, I'll hold off til I upgrade the GPU and give it a try.

                      Thanks again everyone!
                      |TG-55| Infantry Division - Former Captain


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                      • #12
                        Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                        I think with the budget you had you made a good decision, have fun.
                        |TG-12th| Namebot

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                        • #13
                          Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                          Nice purchase! Always fun to compare how games run on a new PC versus an old one.
                          "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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                          • #14
                            Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                            Originally posted by BigMcLarge View Post
                            Intel i5 quad core @3.0Ghz (which says it boosts to 3.3Ghz when needed, but not sure how that works)
                            I think this might be referring to Intel turbo boost technology, it will slightly overclock the processor when needed and works with Intel speedstep for power.

                            Glad your enjoying your new PC.

                            You should be able to get a good GPU for about 160 bucks or less if you shop around.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Looking for a new gaming PC....on a budget

                              Re-download that intel turbo boost and it will give you up to 4.3 Ghz now. although I dont know if that is only for the i5-2500k. Was that the one you bought?

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