Ok, I might be getting a new gaming computer for Christmas and I woudn't mind trying to build it myself. I have no idea where to start. My budget is £500. Everything has to be 100% legal :p What's the best computer I could do for that (that runs Win XP)? Cheers! :)
500 pounds..... Should get you a fine computer. But what do you want to do with it exactly? (like I dont know *giggles*)
Get something between a workstation and a high-end gaming system and you will sit on roses for a long time (without the thorns) :D
Overally try to build following configuration: RAM memory - 1024 or even better 2048 (makes a big difference in Bf2 so FH2 too) of DDR PC-3200; Crossair's? CPU - 2 GHz, I suggest AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with Venice core Graphics card - 128 MB VRAM, 8 rendering units, 400 MHz GPU clock and 1000 MHz memory clock would fit fine; I suggest nVidia, Gainwards 6600 GT would be good (the GS GLH models) sound card - Creative Extremem Filencity, there is no big matter wich model will you choose, all are good Mother Board - Gigabyte's new GA-K8N series are good Speakers - 7.1, Creative got good ones Now there are several models of these components that offer similar power, now choose wich ones can be cheaper or wich things you don't need.
Duke of HollandBut what do you want to do with it exactly? (like I dont know *giggles*)
My recommendations; others may differ, but these are just what I've had good experiences with.
-Antec case (whatever the successor to the P160 is). Don't skimp on this; make sure it's a high quality case and don't get one that's any bigger than you need. Large aluminum sides act like snare drums.... -As many arctic fans as you can pack into it (should be at least 2x120mm) -min 1 gig memory, I haven't noticed much difference in speeds between different kinds of sdram -Athlon 64, min. 3500+, shouldn't be that much these days (I have a Winchester, YMMV.) -disk is cheap, get sata--regarding manufacturers, ask 5 people and you'll get 5 different opinions; tomshardware.com is a good place to draw your own confusions -Asus MoBo--I really like my A8N-SLI--tip about asus boards: make sure it's a reasonably mature bios rev; once again, tomshardware is a good place to look. I had horrible experiences with an A8V-E -No opinions on GFX cards; I've always had nvidias from various manufacturers. Just get as much as you can afford; I generally buy the second-to-latest hardware rev, as prices for whatever's latest tend to rise pretty heavily -PSU: I like my arctic. Make sure you have _tons_ of spare power. I have a 480W. My latest mistake was checking the PSU last when I kept having crashes. A 450W with my Athlon 64+ 3500/2GB/80GB HDD/Nvidia 6800 wasn't enough, go figure. -If you want quiet, look at quietpc.com for fans and accessories. If you want to muck around, papst makes great quality fans. -Sound: I have a Soundblaster Audigy 5.1--makes a massive difference. Don't use onboard sound if you can avoid it.
Good luck, I absolutely loathe putting PCs together.
package deals are your friend. just shop around :D
£500 isn't much to spend on a PC to be used for gaming, but £550 will get you this system from OCUK which is decent. "Titan" AMD Athlon 64 3200+ System - AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice CPU - AMD approved cooler - Gigabyte K8NF-9 nForce4 PCI-Express Motherboard - GeIL 1GB (2x512MB) DDR Value PC3200 CAS2.5 Dual Channel Kit - 160GB Western Digital 8mb cache SATA-2 Hard Drive - XFX GeForce 6600 GT Extreme Gamer Edition 128MB DDR3 PCI-Express Graphics Card - Sony Black 52x/52x/32x/16x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive - Onboard 6 Channel Audio - Black Floppy Drive - Antec SLK3700BQE Black Quiet Midi Tower Case - Antec 350W SmartPower ATX Power Supply If you did build one yourself then you could probobly get slightly better components but for the money thats a nice PC. My next built just after x-mas will be: AMD64 4000+ 2GB G.Skill CAS 2 PC3200 ATI X1800XT 512MB DFI CrossFire Board 1 more 74GB raptor for RAID 0 That will come to just under £900 and if I was to buy it as a full system from an e-tailor it would probobly cost ~ £1,600 but i've already got a 74gb Raptor HDD, 120GB SATA HDD, Audigy 2 ZS, DVD-RW Drive, 19" TFT, Windows XP, speakers and keyboard & mouse so I don't need to buy everything. If you can save anything from your current system such as HDD, DVD-RW, monitor, Windows XP , keyboard & mouse or speakers it makes upgrading quite abit cheaper and you can spend more money on making it really beefy.
If you could I'd hold out for a 256Mb variant video card. I also agree more than 1Gb of ram if you intend to game for any length of time over the next couple years.
My suggestion for a cheap pc, salvage what you can, case, hd's, sound cards, you get my point. Replace only the essentials like cpu,mobo,ram,vid card.
I bought a system about a year ago and next upgrade will just be swapping out mobo & cpu, eventually vid card as well and that's it.
MG42ManiacMy next built just after x-mas will be:AMD64 4000+ 2GB G.Skill CAS 2 PC3200 ATI X1800XT 512MB
If you are about to spend more money on CPU I would suggest choosing AMD Athlon 64 FX, this processor has 2500 MHz but yet is the best for games but best only in games. 2 GB of RAM is realy nececary if you want to run Bf2 and FH on highest settings without any problems. But why are you buying that video card? I mean, I have GeForce 6600 GT Gainward Ultra/1960 XP GS GLH with 128 Mb of VRAM and I never had any problems in games because of it, the only I had with F.E.A.R. and Bf2 were solved by second GB of RAM. Also nVidia has better cards but this would require changeing mobo and I don't know if you like them.:p
pvt. AllenIf you are about to spend more money on CPU I would suggest choosing AMD Athlon 64 FX, this processor has 2500 MHz but yet is the best for games but best only in games. 2 GB of RAM is realy nececary if you want to run Bf2 and FH on highest settings without any problems. But why are you buying that video card? I mean, I have GeForce 6600 GT Gainward Ultra/1960 XP GS GLH with 128 Mb of VRAM and I never had any problems in games because of it, the only I had with F.E.A.R. and Bf2 were solved by second GB of RAM. Also nVidia has better cards but this would require changeing mobo and I don't know if you like them.:p
I currently have the following: AMD64 3000+ 1GB CAS2 PC3200 ATI X800XL 256MB PCI-E
The AMD64 FX you are refering to are the FX55 ( 2.6Ghz @ £450) and the FX57 (2.8Ghz @ £730). The AMD64 4000+ is clocked at 2.4Ghz and has 1MB L2 Cache and is priced at £250, I really do not think an extra 200Mhz is worth the extra £200 let alone the extra 400MHz for £480. When I get the G skill RAM which is some of the best RAM money can buy I could easily OC my 4000+ to FX57 speeds if I wish and save £480. I figured the jump from a 3000+ to a 4000+ would yeild decent performance boosts.
On the subject on graphics card because of my new 19" TFT monitor I now run all my games on 1280 x 1024 and on new games my X800XL only just cuts it at max settings with 4xaa & 8xaf. The solution is to upgrade my video card to the best I can. (without spending stupidly high amountf of money - 7800GTX 512MB @ £550). The X1800XT is priced at £350 and is faster than the 7800GTX 256mb but slower than the 7800GTX 512MB but a whole £200 cheaper than the 7800GTX 512MB making it a good purchase in my eyes. True some cards like the 7800GT would probobly do me totally fine but I'm going all out on this upgrade.
I'm going to 2GB RAM as i'm not planning to do any major upgrades again till after X-mas 2006 so its got to last me awhile and some games are already taking advantage of 2GB RAM.
There is a bigger difference beteween AMD Athlon 64 (San Diego core) and Athlons FX than just clock MHz ammount. First FX has more stable and overclocking capable core called ClawHammer. FX-55 has 2600 MHz processor clock, the artery's clock is 400 with 1000 MHz HT. Also FX has a higher core voltage - 1.5. For the end it has CPU cover and Cool&Quiet technology, but it's not the most important thing. I'm not trying to convince you to buy that thing since it's not too cheap. But it's not just about clock ratio. And I compared here the FX-55 not 57 model.