General Question

hungerforpizza's avatar

Making a game computer, need suggestions?

Asked by hungerforpizza (247 points ) August 10th, 2009

Alright guys, i’m making a gaming computer. It is surprisingly channleging to pick out all the parts, so i was going to tell you guys what i have so far and see what suggestions you have! For the ram, http://www.valueram.com/datasheets/KHX8500D2_2G.pdf and i planned on getting 3 of those, so that’s 6gb. For the video card, i planned on gettting a NVIDIA GeForce 9400 GT 1GB DDR2 PCI Express Graphics Card. My budget is aroung 800 dollars, so i can’t getting anything to crazy awesome. I’m having a very hard time on picking the processor, sound card and mother board.

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30 Answers

Ivan's avatar

Check out this site, it should help you out quite a bit.

hungerforpizza's avatar

That’s very helpful Ivan, thanks

ragingloli's avatar

if you want a gaming computer don’t settle for the cheaper graphic card models. get a 9800 gt
6gb of ram are useless if your OS does not support (get a 64 bit OS) it or if you have no applications that use it. You will be fine with 4, even 2 gbyte of RAM.
what is also important is the cpu. get a quad core, preferrably intel. make sure your motherboard supports it.
make also sure that your power supply unit provides enough power. don’t go below 500 W, and make sure that it has the necessary plugs for your graphic cards’s power socket.
for the sound card, most mainboards come with sound on board, and the quality is absolutely sufficient unless you want to produce music.

PerryDolia's avatar

Here’s a link to a site that has some free software to calculate your power supply needs link

InspecterJones's avatar

My Next Desktop

The processor can be overclocked to 3.6GHz pretty easily with a decent heatsink. The card is pretty awesome for the money.

This config will let you play just about everything without issue, maybe not on the highest res and settings for some, but the point is that its in your budget and will kick ass for at least a couple of years. After that point just upgrade the graphics card and you’re good to go for another year or two. The processor also supports VT, not all of them do these days (even though they should), which is great if you start getting into virtualization.

I was kind of in your situation and was quite clueless, took me quite a while to educate myself so feel free to steal my config to save yourself some headaches, I won’t mind one bit.

If I don’t get a Great Answer for this, you guys can all go screw yourselves

ragingloli's avatar

@InspecterJones
i find dual core too underpowered for a gaming pc.

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli If its for gaming it needs to be dual core, most games dont have support for quadcores and cant properly utilize them. Its widely known and accepted that dualcore is the way to go for gaming.

Oh and its plenty powerfull enough for gaming, especially on a budget.,

hungerforpizza's avatar

Thanks inspecterjones, it will be interesting to look at your config

hungerforpizza's avatar

This might sound silly, but how about all the wires? Do they mostly come with the components or do i need to purchase them separately?

InspecterJones's avatar

@hungerforpizza Generally the case and motherboard and everything else will come with wires, you’ll probably end up having a bunch left over.

InspecterJones's avatar

@hungerforpizza Also you’ll need a decent CPU Heatsink to get yourself over 4GHz as well as some of this. It is always advisable to NOT use the thermal paste that comes with anything. You’ll lower temps by a lot if you use arctic silver.

Depending on the case you get, you might also wanna invest in some extra fans, especially if overclocking.

ragingloli's avatar

@InspecterJones
if he wants to use it for current high end games and future games, which do/will fully support quadcores, a quadcore is a must. also even current games run faster (even if just slightly) on 4 cores than on 2.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@ragingloli is the processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-Processors++Desktops-Intel_-19115017 good?
@InspecterJones if im not going over 4Ghz do i need a decent heatsink and paste?

ragingloli's avatar

you did not have a cpu in your list.

hungerforpizza's avatar

@ragingloli sorry i misspoke. I edited the response.

Thanks for all the help! Sorry to be such a bother :P

ragingloli's avatar

@hungerforpizza it is a quad core yes. but iirc you can’t overclock this specific model.
but the advantage over a dual core is that you get the same performance from it without overclocking as from an overclocked dual core.
it also means it draws less power and produces less heat than an overclocked duo, meaning you can save money on heat sinks and fans.

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli Price is a factor here, and the E8400 can be Oc’d past 4Ghz for under $170 bucks, there is no way you will get performance even close to that with a quadcore. The less wasted elsewhere the more that can go to graphics. I just don’t see any quad core matching up to the E8400 at 4Ghz for $170. Cause lets not kid ourselves here, this post is about whats best for the money.

@hungerforpizza If you’re not OC’ing then you are gonna need to spend a lot more money to match performance and there’s just no reason not to. If you’re really not gonna, you might as well just buy a dell and just buy a better power supply and graphics card

ragingloli's avatar

over clocking produces more heat, and more heat lowers the life time of the cpu and you need cooling you will not get for just 30 quid, plus current and future games that will support 4 cores will run significantly faster on a quad core processor than on a dual core, even with overclocking (like Supreme Commander, where the CPU becomes the bottleneck) (not to mention that the q9550 can be overcloked as well).
when you build a pc, especially for gaming, you can’t just think of current games, but also for future games. He will not want to have a system that is outdated in a year.

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli I take some if it back, This has them both overclocked and puts em more or less on par with each other, however E8400 is still cheaper and easier to overclock, it runs cooler and I think will still be the easier choice for someone new to the whole thing. As far as cooling, you can get pretty good heatsinks for not much money and I would advise not using stock heatsinks in either case.

These things are more or less on par with each other and I’m going with the standard responce of “for gaming go with E8400, for editing, encoding and everything else go Q6600”.

ragingloli's avatar

for future gaming, he will still fare better with the quadcore.
i would not want to invest in a system that may be able to run current games fluidly, but will buckle under the load of games that come out in a year, forcing me to upgrade the cpu again. I would save money going for the quad in the first place instead of buying a dual and then buying a quad when i have to upgrade it.

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t know, I guess that all depends on just how quickly you think that games will find dependence on quad cores to function well. The development time for games these days is so long that the games being made for quad cores wont be out for years and by that point it won’t matter how many cores you have cause your cpu will be obsolete anyways. I see a $500 – $1000 system to have a life of 2–3 years without upgrades, the E8400 will perform admirably in that time frame.

In theory, yes, he should get a quad core, but then according to that same theory he should just get an i5/i7.

ragingloli's avatar

Take for example, Supreme Commander, which came out in 2007, two years ago. the graphics are actually not that good, but the cpu requirements are huge.
It fully supports quad core and it needs to, with up to a 2000 separate units on screen simultaneously, and every projectile flight path and impact calculated, which means battle is simulated, not predecided like in other strategy games. The result is that the game is very CPU intensive, and it will run significantly faster on a quad than on a dual core.
This is also true for Supreme Commander 2, which is already in the works.

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli Right, that’s the game used as the example, but I just don’t see games coming out in the lifetime of this pc really pushing it past the breaking point when compared to the Q6600. Dual or quad I think they will both drop steadily and if that’s the case you might as well save $30. Plus, let me say again that the E8400 overclocks very easily compared to the Q6600, which squeezes more performance out of your dollar.

ragingloli's avatar

the question is, is he really willing to not be able to fully enjoy some of the really great games just for saving 30 quid?
I know i wouldn’t

InspecterJones's avatar

@ragingloli That’s not really the only point of contention and its not like it wouldn’t be able to play something, in a year or two they’re both gonna be taxed quite a bit by most modern games. You would also have to invest a lot more money to be able to OC the Q6600 and if you don’t know what you’re doing it would be hard.

Either way, I think the question here is if he plans to overclock.

If the answer is that he doesn’t, then I would just recommend waiting till dell has a sale and buying a box there and just sticking in a better power supply and graphics card.

InspecterJones's avatar

If you decide to go with a quad core, I would buck down some extra cash and buy the Q9550, it’s only a $20 difference between the Q6600 but will run much faster.

hungerforpizza's avatar

Is that one good for overclocking?

InspecterJones's avatar

It will overrclock a bit and it is significantly faster then the Q6600. The Q6600 also doesn’t support VT, but I don’t know how important that is to you. The Q9550 is faster then both, but you’re also talking about a $50 price dif here, there’s always something faster to get for more money.

I would still go for the E8400 and just upgrade in a couple of years to a quad extreme or something, which should be pretty damn cheap by then.

Also, just to let you know, buying into the 775 socket (C2D C2Q) is a dead end, cause the newer i7/i5/i3 processors are using a different socket. The price to enter that is much much higher though so this should last you for a while.

I’m a big fan of spending less now and just doing steady upgrades over the years, you’ll get much better performance for your dollar that way. That $50 will buy you a lot more performance down the line then now.

Then again, it’s only $50, so if you got it, spend it.

martijn86's avatar

Suggestions:

Don’t spend too much, you won’t need it.
Don’t overclock, little real life performance boost there, increased risk.
Make sure data throughput is inline between CPU->MB->RAM.
Make sure features are supported in all devices. (Like the new direct communication with the CPU to the RAM. If your CPU and MB support it but the RAM doesn’t, it’s a waste!)
Don’t look for a lot of memory, look for the faster more stable.
Don’t buy everything really fast and put a large HDD in, you’ll run faster when you save on the overall system and use the extra money to install an SSD RAID-0.

I used to think, ok I’ll get this now and in a year or so I’ll do a minor update. Ye-a.. new pci express standard, memory sets of 3, new socket.. so I couldn’t unless I upgraded everything.

pikipupiba's avatar

Go with AMD, there BEST processor is only $250 on new egg. Link

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