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Old 03-31-2009, 03:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Hi there. I am looking for a little help building a gaming computer for my son's birthday which is coming up in a month. He has told me that he wants to be able to play newer games like Total War and other heavy graphics games, and I would like to put together a good system for him to do so (our current computer is painfully outdated). The thing is that I havnt the slightest clue when it comes to building computers and all of the tutorials and such that I have come across have only confused me further. Any help that you could give me would be greatly appreciated and I ask that you remain patient with me as I try to stumble my way through this.

Here are the specifics of what I am looking for from what I have figured out:

- I have roughly a 1000$ CAD budget for this project (though going over by a few hundred is acceptable)
- From what I do understand from the tutorials, I am more interested in an AMD system than an Intel system (apparantly they are a bit more reliable for gaming computers?)
- I already have a decent Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and speaker system.

As far as I am aware, I need:

- CPU/Processor ::
- Motherboard ::
- Computer Memory ::
- Hard Drive ::
- Video Card ::
- Computer Case ::

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me, and I apologize for the inconvenience. I am just severely out of my element here.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

You've come to the right place...welcome!

You are right about the parts with only a few needed additions. That would be a power supply (sometimes provided with the case), an optical drive, and an operating system.


DVD Burner: Newegg.ca - LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVDR DVD Burner with LightScribe - CD / DVD Burners
Case: Newegg.ca - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
CPU: Newegg.ca - AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops
Hard Drive: Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
Motherboard: Newegg.ca - ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 DDR3 AMD 790GX ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
Memory: Newegg.ca - G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
Power Supply: Newegg.ca - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
Video Card: Newegg.ca - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
Operating System: Newegg.ca - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - Operating Systems

These items put you at $1,137.16 (CAD) + shipping. This computer should be good for playing the newer games at decent settings. Since you are requesting AMD those are the parts I have gone with. AMD isn't necessarily any better than Intel (in fact Intel has been the better solution since the Core 2 Duo was introduced) but they are great builds nonetheless.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Synergy's build looks pretty good. Will you be needing a new monitor/keyboard/mouse for this computer?

And dang, is that really all he can get for $1100 CAD? CAD prices must be quite a bit higher than US... but I guess that is usually the case.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Personally I would go with 4GB of ram.

Maybe drop down to a X3 or intel mobo and intel e7300 if cost is to high.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

I'm gonna tweak synergy's build a bit here, get it closer to the budget.

Newegg.ca - AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Processors - Desktops
Newegg.ca - BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
Newegg.ca - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.ca - LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVDR DVD Burner with LightScribe - CD / DVD Burners
Newegg.ca - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
Newegg.ca - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
Newegg.ca - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - Operating Systems

Total: $1,013.91 CAD (plus shipping). Then you get 30 bucks in MIRs.

The x3 720 is an amazing little processor, and it actually outperforms the x4 810 in gaming situations. It can also be overclocked pretty easily, since the motherboard actually has automatic overclocking presets, which will be fine even at stock cooling as long as it doesn't go too high.

Also, you don't need a AM3 board to run an AM3 processor, nor do you need DDR3. The performance gains you will see from DDR3 are minimal, and not worth it unless you are forced to get it, like with an i7 build. This way, you also get twice the memory, which will be very useful in Vista and for gaming. The kit I mentioned is one of the best kits out there right now.

If you don't like the case, you can change it up, but keep the PSU, never use a PSU that comes with a case unless it's a VERY reputable brand...even then it's iffy. Also, the combo deal on that video card practically makes that 640gb drive free, taking off 55 bucks.

Trust me when I say he won't be disappointed with this build.

EDIT: Forgot to link the PSU, it was in the cart though, so same cost.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Nice one hikaricloud. No need for an x4 and ddr3 ram if you do not need it. I did just buy the antec 300 case for my old build and I must say for a mid tower it is very nice. It is a bit tight but I have always owned full towers.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Yeah, I like the look of it, but I like full towers myself. :P

DDR3 in anything but an i7 build is a waste right now...especially since there is only dual channel support with AM3, as opposed to the triple channel in i7. It's just basically overpriced RAM in AMD builds, if you ask me.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Hey...don't touch my system! :P j/k

Nice tweaks

That Biostar board is great. I'm looking at the micro ATX version for my HTPC build.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

I know the Biostar board is great, I own it. It's amazing.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Clueless dad seeks help on a gaming build

Why not go for a i7 build? I also have a $1000 budget and got

cpu: i7 920
mb: gigabye x58 ud3r
ram: 3gb of g-skill ram ddr3
hd: 640gb wd
case: antec 300
v card: hd 4850
ps: ~80 left in budget for this

Im gonna use ncix with price matching to get it
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