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Buying a gaming pc help!

By Petersnoboard93 ·
I'm trying to build a gaming pc on dell. I thought about building one myself but decided against it. So my question is, will this pc I build be a strong gaming pc, what should i upgrade? Thanks

Components
-Intel ? Core?2 Duo Processor E6400 (2.13GHz, 1066 FSB)

-Genuine Windows Vista? Home Premium

-19 inch E197FP Analog Flat Panel

-2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs

-320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache?

-16x DVD+/-RW Drive

-Intel? Graphics Media Accelerator X3000

-Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

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plenty of sites

by CG IT In reply to $$$

overclocker cafe is a good site for gaming.

http://www.overclockercafe.com/

gamespot has articles on next generation games that use DirectX 10.

Thats really what you want to research, the game developers and what's in store in the future, then plan accordingly.

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GO CUSTOM!

by mark In reply to plenty of sites

You will never get the best Motherboard or graphics card or fastest memory from a DELL.
I might be Bias because I build these systems for a living Buut you will not be able to tweak alot of things on the MB let allone get the full power of what it is capable of from DELL. The sell average systems for the AVERAGE user. The are usually not as upgradable down the road when you need just alittle more power for that New game you just have to have!!
If you whant some more advise write mark@tek-plus.org.

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Home build vs Specialist builder...

by george.hickey In reply to $$$

Hi,

I built myself a decent gaming rig last year for around the money you're talking about - it is the most cost effective way to go, especially given that component costs are about 25-33% less than what you get them for over here in Europe.

If you want to build yourself one, there are other posts here with good guidelines- personally, I would go for at least 2GB of branded RAM, Athlon64 2.4GHz or above, Nvidia 7950GT with 256MB onboard VRAM or better, 2 SATA disks in a stripe (RAID-0) with a third storage disk if you can afford it, a sound card (Soundblaster) and a flat panel with a 5ms response time or less.

On the other hand, you have a whole load of specialist builders who start at below your price range:
http://www.ibuypower.com/
http://www.vigorgamingpc.com/
http://www.abs.com/app/ult_compare.asp
http://www.aeoncraft.com/
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/
http://www.buyxg.com/
http://www.widowpc.com/

..to well over your price range:
http://www.alienware.com/
http://www.falcon-nw.com/
http://www.voodoopc.com/

I have not bought anything from any of them except Alienware (cracking pieces of kit - just a bit expensive) so I can't vouch for them but all of them look good on paper. I'd do a bit of research into them - see what kind of support they offer and see if you can customise a machine the way you want it.

Good luck with it and happy gaming!
G.

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It is a quandry

by dreux.grever In reply to $$$

Honestly, $1500 isn't really enough money to build what most people consider to be a strong gaming pc. So it all depends on your gaming habits (do you play Vanguard, which needs a Cray to run well) or something a little less graphic intensive. Also, do you mind running games at lower graphic settings.

If your budget is really that limited, get 2 gb of memory (4 is better if any money is left over at the end), some sort of Nvidia 7900 or 7950 video card with 256 mb of memory, I'd go with smaller, but faster hard drives if I could (10,000 rpms) but if you plan on burning lots of video or music the drive you've selected is a good choice.

I this this sort of rig can be bought or built for about your price range and will give you acceptable performance for most of todays games.

Most of the advice I'm seeing in this thread is from the really hard core machine builders..and you'd need 4-5k to build the machine, let alone buy it.

Might as well buy a water-cooled Dell in that case. (OK, those are 6500)

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$1500 is not enough

by devesh In reply to It is a quandry

Very well put Dreux. $1500 is most definitely not enough, and compromising on the video will be the downfall of any gaming PC

I personally use an overclock 7950GT, the 8800 is still not value for money. However, I would disagree with you on the 256 Video memory. Even a basic game like Flight Simulator X, sucks up all 512MB of video RAM.

On the Hard Disk front, I find, with 2GB DRAM and the 512 VRAM, I can get away with 7200rpm SATA drives. The game takes a minute or so extra to load, but I can live with that. I have just a puny 200GB drive, and I am happy as a clam, even though I have Quake4, FSX, Call of Duty, Hitman, .... god only knows how many games loaded, along with about 40GB of Music, and another 10GB of photos. No video though.

I saw some good gaming systems at Tiger that can be brought up to spec for about $2000 - $2250.

No point spending $1500 and have yourself wishing for a new computer in 6 months. :))

Regards

Devesh

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Read 'Guide' Above

by rbardy In reply to $$$

Take a look at that link under 'Guide'. It has some really good info and some excellent informtion. It's not always as easy as recommending one part over another. Sometimes you need to understand the 'why' before you can spend the extra money on something. Some people love 10,000 rpm HDDs... others can't justify the price... so it comes down to what you really can afford. That guide does a good job of explaining and pricing for you.

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Gaming on a tight budget...

by support In reply to $$$

Having built my last system, and doing the research for building my next one (with gaming in mind), your budget is going to put some serious kinks in your "Gaming PC". The guys telling you max memory, are not exactly looking towards the right thing. As one posted, 3GB is about all you are going to be able to utilize, the rest is wasted memory and money. Look more towards the best processor you can afford... Intel seems to have the best processor on the market, even in light of the latest AMD attempt to even things up a bit. Think about a pair of 200 GB HD's, instead of one monster size drive. Don't be afraid to remove games once you finish playing them... no need to leave them on your HD, taking up space! Graphics, Sound Cards and Speakers, are essential to having a great gaming system. Look at the 8000 series Nvidia cards as they offer best graphics rendering at this time, and there is a pretty good selection - price range to choose from. Of course you can spend as much as half your budget on the top graphics card alone, but if eye-candy is the things you desire, then you have to shell out the bucks. Serious gamers will spend almost your whole budget on graphics cards alone! Next, SoundBlaster X-Fi ExtremeGamer, should do good for you, unless you are expecting to setup a home recording studio, which you would then consider their, Fatal1ty model card, but you'll pay $100 more for it. And as some of the other posters have said, make sure you have enjoy juice for all your hardware. A 750 watt power supply is the minimum you should look at, and I would favor 800 - 900 watt power supplies (it is always better to have more power than need then not enough!) Surround-Sound Speakers are a must as well. I prefer the 5.1,6.1 or even 7.1 setups Creative Labs Gigaworks and Klipsch are great choices, but maybe out of your price range. Logitech and Altec Lansing make decent speakers, at pretty affordable prices. However you have to decide if you are going for visual or audio, with your budget, as you will likely have to settle for budget offering on one or the other. However on important thing to remember: Minimum Requirements of almost all the PC Games look at Processor, Memory, Graphics capability. The best way to find out what you need to concentrate on is go look at the Minimum Requirements and the "Recommended System" on the game(s) you intend to play on your computer. If you can pull it off, go recommended system, but again, you $1500 budget is ham-stringing you a bit, but you should be able to put together a system that can get you by for a couple of years. Most serious gamers will spend $3000+ on their systems, with top end Gaming PC from Alienware reaching almost $8000. For $1500, you are going to have to do some serious studying on the which Processor/Memory/Graphics/Sound combination will get you the most bang for your buck, but remember, research and study is the key to success here! Don't get in a hurry to spend that money... take a month or so, to check out the Game(s)you want to play's requirements then work towards matching your system configuration to that.

Good Luck and Happy Gaming!

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Power, cooling, and upgradeability of your rig

by jw_dev In reply to Don't cheat on power

I have owned a Dell XPS 400 since they released them back in October 2005. I just built a new machine to replace it, and I did so for the following reasons:

1) Lack of space for better graphics cards (most high end cards for gaming run close to 10 inches in length nowadays)

2) Lack of a good stock PSU (only 375 watts in the XPS 400), and difficulty upgradeing (check forums, lots of people have issues upgrading PSU's when it comes to Dell because they tend to use BTX instead of ATX). If you want a gaming machine that is going to run a good graphics card, you will need a bigger power supply. You don't sound like you're going to run SLI (2 cards at once), so if you're going to maintain just 1 card then a 500 or 550 watt PSU would probably suit you just fine.

3) Cooling. If you're buying an XPS machine it's closer to a gaming rig than other Dell lineups, however, if you really want to have a "gaming" machine that plays all the latest and greatest stuff, you WILL need a better graphics card and if we're talking Geforce 8800 whether it be the cheaper GTS version or the GTX, cooling is something Dell doesn't offer many options on. Those cards run very hot (GTX will get up to around 70 degrees celcius at least without 3rd party cooling)

Also, you have to look at what resolutions you want to play your games at. If you want higher resolutions than 1280x1024, new games coming out are going to slow you down with a 512 MB card. The Geforce 8800 GTS 640MB card is a great buy for the money. Higher res = need more video ram. Games are also leaning more towards using heavy use of shaders and moving away from high polygon counts as in the past, so video ram is becoming more of a necessity.

As far as graphics cards go in general, I would wait a few months - ATI is going to release a new line of high end cards that will force Nvidia to roll out something better than the Geforce 8800 GTX, which will drive prices down on those cards. I would pick up a GTX once prices drop because the card is a monster and it isn't going to remain in the 500-600 dollar arena for much longer.

I would personally re-evaluate your decision to not build your own machine because once again, Dell uses BTX cases and motherboards, which are NOT standard. Also, Dell tends to use chipsets that are pretty much junk for their motherboards. If you ever wanted to upgrade your processor and keep using your Dell, you are forced to keep using the motherboard.

Also, now is a great time to build on your own because Intel just slashed prices big time on their Core2Duo chips that pretty much have put them right on par with prices of AMD and Core2Duo simply outperforms AMD right now.

I'm sure I have more rambling thoughts in my head but hopefully some of this was useful.

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Nonsense, 750W PSU is a ripoff

by georgeou In reply to Don't cheat on power

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877_11-6161342.html

Using a quality low-noise 330W PSU. 430W PSU is plenty overkill for the biggest single PCI-E Video Card rig you can buy.

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You need a better video card

by JamesRL In reply to Buying a gaming pc help!

Basically many modern games demand one of two video chipsets - ATI or nVidia. Many won't install with an Intel or SiS or other video chipset.

You don't have to spend $500 on a video card. The price performance ratio really isn't there.

If you are buying now, I would recommend a card that supports Vista's HDCP; Midrange cards that support this include the Radeon 1600 Pro, 1650 XT , or nVidia 7900/8500/8600 cards - check the individual manufacturer's specs though.

James

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