What is a good gaming computer?

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The topic says it all...I want a good gaming computer...what kind of computer should I get...and if I custom build one, what specs should it have? BTW don't talk about harddrives, 80gb is all I need, I don't feel I would need any more then that. But suggestions for other specs will be appreciated .
 
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Well, honestly, you should try to figure it out yourself. Go research some hardware and software and decide how much money you wish to spend, which you haven't specified. Gaming systems will be very diverse depending on what you want/how much $$ you have.

If you have any questions, specific or not, you can post here or reach me on AIM at BowToSmith.
 
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I haven't researched, but building it yourself is cheaper right? First question I have is how much is a good gaming rig and second I got $700-800.
 
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For 700-800, you can get an alright gaming computer, well atleast the core parts (I.E. everything in the case). And secondly, it is usually (read:pretty much always) cheaper.
 
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Im doing research to buy a new computer (well, replace the stuff that is outdated). As far as I figure, its a solid system. Cost: $1200 CDN or about $1000 US. The case is the only thing Im not sure of, I may want a better quality PSU. To fit your price range, you could chop the RAM in half or get an older video card. This is assuming you have things like a monitor, speakers, etc. already.

Asus Mobo - $210
GeForce 7800 GT - $460 (eVGA $400)
4x512MB DDR400 OCZ - $240
Case and 450W ATX PSU - $60
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ - $260
 
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frsrblch said:
Im doing research to buy a new computer (well, replace the stuff that is outdated). As far as I figure, its a solid system. Cost: $1200 CDN or about $1000 US. The case is the only thing Im not sure of, I may want a better quality PSU. To fit your price range, you could chop the RAM in half or get an older video card. This is assuming you have things like a monitor, speakers, etc. already.

Asus Mobo - $210
GeForce 7800 GT - $460 (eVGA $400)
4x512MB DDR400 OCZ - $240
Case and 450W ATX PSU - $60
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ - $260
Never use the PSU the case came with unless they are respectable, and even then, I wouldn't put it to much use.
 
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frsrblch said:
Im doing research to buy a new computer (well, replace the stuff that is outdated). As far as I figure, its a solid system. Cost: $1200 CDN or about $1000 US. The case is the only thing Im not sure of, I may want a better quality PSU. To fit your price range, you could chop the RAM in half or get an older video card. This is assuming you have things like a monitor, speakers, etc. already.

Asus Mobo - $210
GeForce 7800 GT - $460 (eVGA $400)
4x512MB DDR400 OCZ - $240
Case and 450W ATX PSU - $60
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ - $260
With 4x512 you have to run the memory at a higher comand rate. a 2x512 kit can be run at a 1t command rate, but I haven't seen any setups that can run a command rate of 1t with 4 modules (yet, this is just me getting a little to techie for you ;P). Even though asus boards are good, personally I'd try finding a DFI nforce4 based board (SL-DR expert). The eVGA 7800gt is a great card and they come factory overclocked. Plus, there warranty policy is good from what iv'e seen. You can oc it as much as you like and they will still cover warranty for it as long as there is no physical damage to the card itself.

@Bareny's Soul
I checked some prices on newegg that fit in with your budget of around $700-$800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103535 - AMD Athlon 3200+ Venice $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220060 - Patriot 1GB (2 x 512MB, 2-3-3-6) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail $95.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136152 - DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817153023 - Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430W Power Supply - Retail $39.99. Or Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 550W Power Supply - Retail (If you plan on running sli in the future, it's also been sli certified by nvidia) $89.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103931
eVGA 256-P2-N517-AX Geforce 7800GT (470/1100) 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130249
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200M0 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM $84 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144184

Even though you could make do with 80gb, you'll never know when the extra space may come in handy, and there may be a lot of new games that you want to paly that are going to be big. Could of made done with a ata drive, but then you have to span the bandwidth over the ide bus and share it with other stuff (yuck, and hdds are the slowest things in a pc) Total cost(s) with thermal take psu $823.97, with Antec 550w psu $873.97.

Take the hdd out of the price if you already plan to stick to your intention of using a 80gig drive (or would you be carrying that over from your current pc?). Couldn't find any 80gb SATA drives on newegg.
 
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Saiyan_Overlord said:
With 4x512 you have to run the memory at a higher comand rate. a 2x512 kit can be run at a 1t command rate, but I haven't seen any setups that can run a command rate of 1t with 4 modules (yet, this is just me getting a little to techie for you ;P). Even though asus boards are good, personally I'd try finding a DFI nforce4 based board (SL-DR expert). The eVGA 7800gt is a great card and they come factory overclocked. Plus, there warranty policy is good from what iv'e seen. You can oc it as much as you like and they will still cover warranty for it as long as there is no physical damage to the card itself.
I highly doubt that many people here will overclock their cards, so advice, while nice, isn't very necessary.

@Bareny's Soul
I checked some prices on newegg that fit in with your budget of around $700-$800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103535 - AMD Athlon 3200+ Venice $160
Looks fine, although, dual core is getting extremely tempting with all of these dual core patches + drivers.
<s>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220060 - Patriot 1GB (2 x 512MB, 2-3-3-6) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail $95.99</s>
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820231046
I'd suggest a single GB stick, as when the time comes, he can just pop in another and still use the timings... unless you want him to fall into that little trap? Think. And the dual channel memory doesn't offer the performance benefit many people say it does, maybe a few FPS here and there, but only in very RAM intensive scenes and/or synthetic benchmarks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136152 - DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $129.99
I had suggested this a few threads back, and I won't be changing that suggestion any time soon.
<s>Or Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 550W Power Supply - Retail (If you plan on running sli in the future, it's also been sli certified by nvidia) $89.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103931</s>
Aye, Antec = solid PSU manufacturers, but I'd save a few $$ and go with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817159026, which has proven to me how fantastic it is.
eVGA 256-P2-N517-AX Geforce 7800GT (470/1100) 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130249
Fine to me. Too bad eVGA's awesome mobo + 7800GT is over, as that saved literally ~$200.
<s>Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200M0 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM $84 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144184</s>
He doesn't want another hard drive, which means that he wants to spend less.
Could of made done with a ata drive, but then you have to span the bandwidth over the ide bus and share it with other stuff (yuck, and hdds are the slowest things in a pc)
You're not going to notice any problems with PCI bandwidth unless you're using all the slots.
 
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A hardrive is slow to say none the least, and in my eyes anythnig that can possibly make it even a tad faster is worth it. The 1gig sitcks do sound like a good option, however to run in dual channel (supposedly the amd memory controller love dual channel + low latency memory), You would by them in kits rather then by one stick now and one later, as things could possibly change (they could change the memory chips they use on the ram board or the ram board itself) that's why it's probably better to buy a kit from the same batch. I guess if you do take the hdd out of the price you can get a 2gb memory kit. I took another look at newegg and found these 2gb kits.
OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB, 2-3-2-5) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Dual Channel - Retail $239.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820227210
Patriot Signature 2GB (2 x 1GB, 3-4-4-8) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM System Memory - Retail $161.95 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820220079
mushkin High-Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB, 2-3-2-6) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model 991434 - Retail $228 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820146425
Dunno if any of those modules are BH5 chips, they are better as far as timings go then Samsung TCCD based memory chip modules. TCCD can be clocked higher then BH5, but timings are somewhat higher to my knowlege.

Dual core is a tempting option, but in his price range it couldn't really fit well for an overall setup. You could wait for Socket AM2 to be release (due Q2 of this year as far as I remember), witch will bring ddr2 support to the AMD side of the market. Socket 939 would become the value segment, and dual core chips on s939 could have a price fall when Socket AM2 comes out.

Hmm.. that psu you posted seems to have a few complaints to it's name from newegg customers, it died on one person. A benchmark I read recently showed the effect of timing and memory capacity in F.E.A.R and a few other games, and a 1gb kit was getting a better framerate then a 2gb kit (I'll try and chase that up for you smith). F.E.A.R seemed to of showed better performance in some ways with the lower timings.
 
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Whoa... you lost me somewhere a couple links, arguments and pints ago...

Would I be better off with 2x1GB RAM or 4x512MB? They were roughly the same price. Both are OCZ and have the same latency.
 
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frsrblch said:
Whoa... you lost me somewhere a couple links, arguments and pints ago...

Would I be better off with 2x1GB RAM or 4x512MB? They were roughly the same price. Both are OCZ and have the same latency.
Your'e better off with with 2x1GB sticks then you are at with 4x512mb. 4x512MB will run at a higher command rate then a 2x1GB setup. What OCZ memory product are you buyying buy the way (plat series, gold series, speed and timing ratings?).
 
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I was looking at theyre performance series PC3200, with a latency of 3-3-3-7 for the 2x1024MB as opposed to 2x the premier series PC3200 2x512MB, with a latency of 2.5-3-3-7. For 2 GB, both are $240... unless I find a deal on eBay, which has been known to happen.

The earliest I would be buying any of this would be the end of summer, so its not like its do-or-die time for a new computer.
 
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frsrblch said:
I was looking at theyre performance series PC3200, with a latency of 3-3-3-7 for the 2x1024MB as opposed to 2x the premier series PC3200 2x512MB, with a latency of 2.5-3-3-7. For 2 GB, both are $240... unless I find a deal on eBay, which has been known to happen.

The earliest I would be buying any of this would be the end of summer, so its not like its do-or-die time for a new computer.
I would wait for Socket AM2 platforms witch will be out sometime in Q2 of this year. Your current setup should be enough to see you through till then (My brother jsut got a 2.8c in a trade for his 2.6 533 p4, and he's using a 256bit radeon 9800, not I say 256bit because there were different varients of the 9800series lying around that used ethier a 128nit or 256bit bus, even the pros). He can run NFS:MS with everything turned up on 1024x768.

There are better 2gig kits out there, such as the ocz kit I posted earlier (If you can afford them, 2-3-2-5, witch are also $240 on newegg). But as said before it might just be better off if you wait for Socket AM2 witch will bring ddr2 support to AMD based setups. DDR2 is also cheaper then ddr atm, but samsung are reporting shortages on the chips, so the prices could very well soon rise to that of current DDR modules, witch are currently more expensive then some DDR2 offerings.
 
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Saiyan_Overlord said:
A hardrive is slow to say none the least, and in my eyes anythnig that can possibly make it even a tad faster is worth it.
The hard drive limits itself. Nothing in a current system will make it slower, really. It spins and reads data off of the discs in milliseconds, far slower than the nanoseconds RAM takes.
The 1gig sitcks do sound like a good option, however to run in dual channel (supposedly the amd memory controller love dual channel + low latency memory), You would by them in kits rather then by one stick now and one later, as things could possibly change (they could change the memory chips they use on the ram board or the ram board itself)
Yes, I know that it takes 2 sticks to run in dual channel, and I only suggested one as Dual Channel isn't as great as many people say it is. AMDs aren't bandwidth bottlenecked, oh no, they're latency bottlenecked. Also, if you buy the same stick later down the road, it'll go into dual channel easily. If you have two different speed sticks, the faster one will default to the slower one, which will most likely allow dual channel, once again, easily. Just make sure they both contain the same amount of memory.
Dual core is a tempting option, but in his price range it couldn't really fit well for an overall setup. You could wait for Socket AM2 to be release (due Q2 of this year as far as I remember), witch will bring ddr2 support to the AMD side of the market. Socket 939 would become the value segment, and dual core chips on s939 could have a price fall when Socket AM2 comes out.
Socket 939 will be discontinued probably once AM2 is out.
Hmm.. that psu you posted seems to have a few complaints to it's name from newegg customers, it died on one person.
Nothing is perfect, but I know from personal experience that that is a really great PSU.
A benchmark I read recently showerd the effect of timing and memoy capacity in F.E.A.R and a few other games, and a 1gb kit was getting a better framerate then a 2gb kit (I'll try and chase that up for you smith).
Maybe show a link? If I had to guess as to why that is, I have a few reasons: A) 2x 512 vs 4x 512 and on an AMD system = 2t timing for the 2048, which is comparable to a loss of ~30MHz. B) They used lower quality RAM for the 2GB because they couldn't find comparitable memory at the time.
F.E.A.R seemed to of showed better performance in some ways with the lower timings.
... of course? Do you expect F.E.A.R.'s FPS to go down with lower FPS? And judging by this little tad of your post, I'm guessing it was 4x 512.

I was looking at theyre performance series PC3200, with a latency of 3-3-3-7 for the 2x1024MB as opposed to 2x the premier series PC3200 2x512MB, with a latency of 2.5-3-3-7. For 2 GB, both are $240... unless I find a deal on eBay, which has been known to happen.

The earliest I would be buying any of this would be the end of summer, so its not like its do-or-die time for a new computer.
If they're both $240, go with the 2GBs of 3-3-3-7, most definitely.
There are better 2gig kits out there, such as the ocz kit I posted earlier (If you can afford them, 2-3-2-5, witch are also $240 on newegg). But as said before it might just be better off if you wait for Socket AM2 witch will bring ddr2 support to AMD based setups. DDR2 is also cheaper then ddr atm, but samsung are reporting shortages on the chips, so the prices could very well soon rise to that of current DDR modules, witch are currently more expensive then some DDR2 offerings.
AMD most likely won't be releasing Socket AM2 with DDR2 support until DDR2 can get affordable timings comparable to DDR1. If they don't wait, they'd just be shooting themselves in the foot.
 
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Oh, it's plenty. Notice I only suggested one 1GB stick for now? Well, when the time comes, you can just plop in another of the same specifications and you'll have 2GB without needing to sell your old 2x512MB pack.
 
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Barney's Soul said:
Is 1gig of ram good or is it not enough?
It's beter then having 512 that's for sure, and easier to live with yourself ;P.

@Smith - they plan to make 939 the value platform (i'm guessing ther'e gonna flood them with Semprons, witch should make some nice overclocks). For the same price as the 3-3-3-7 set, frsrblch can get 2-3-2-5 sticks from newegg for the same price.
 
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Saiyan_Overlord said:
It's beter then having 512 that's for sure, and easier to live with yourself ;P.

@Smith - they plan to make 939 the value platform (i'm guessing ther'e gonna flood them with Semprons, witch should make some nice overclocks). For the same price as the 3-3-3-7 set, frsrblch can get 2-3-2-5 sticks from newegg for the same price.
<s>What are you talking about...? I linked to a one GB stick of 2.5-3-3-6.</s> Oh, that. Then aye.
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mushkin High-Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB, 2-3-2-6) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model 991434 - Retail $228 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16820146425
 
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Newegg's prices are in USD, whereas my prices are in CDN (0.85 USD). The place I plan on buying from is also located in Edmonton, so theres no shipping.
 

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