Gaming PC's

I used to know things about them, but my knowledge is over a decade old. I’m seeking the wisdom of T-Nation geeks.

Let’s say I want to spend around $700. Can I get a quality rig that will run modern games at a decent FPS, high-ish settings AND be a serviceable home PC?

Would I be getting anything beyond marketing hype if I were to drop the extra money on something like an Alienware compared to something of comparable specs from a site like ibuypower?

For a casual gamer, is there anything of notable value that I would be getting if I was spending closer to $1000?

The budget is strictly for the PC. I already have a decent monitor and other peripherals.

Any other suggestions are, of course, very welcome.

Help guide me to a good choice!

I built a rig for the boy last xmass for around 900 and change, thing kills it.

I’m sure it is totally outdated now, but everything but the chipset is upgradable still, and even then, we haven’t even overclocked it and he has zero lag with it.

Unless someone much more able to field this comes along I can give you a parts list, and you can go from there.

You could probably go on TigerDirect or a similiar site and basically be walked through it.

I’ve never built a gaming PC though.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I’m sure it is totally outdated now, but everything but the chipset is upgradable still, and even then, we haven’t even overclocked it and he has zero lag with it.
With computers they’re outdated as soon as you finish putting it together hahaha!

But still, if you make a pretty decent setup it’ll rock it for several years.

Always liked the ARSTechnica God box, Hotrod, and Budget box series. Latest guide:

First priority is a good graphics card and system memory

! all ya need

Definitely build your own to save money, and it’s fun. For $700 you can build one hell of a machine especially if you don’t need windows as well. It’s nothing that the two thousand dollar overclocking enthusiasts would get excited about, but it will definitely run modern games on high/ultra with good FPS.

There’s a wealth of information out there and forums in which enthusiasts are more than willing to help. Research and ask questions! I built my own just a few months ago and the process went like this:

  1. Set yourself on a budget (Started with $550ish ended up at $650 due to errors – had to repurchase my PSU and didn’t know I needed a new windows)
  2. Confirm the parts you will need. For me it was motherboard, case, graphics card, processor, new hard drive, RAM, power supply, and a new copy of Windows.
  3. Divide those into profitable/non-profitable price-performance groups, and a non-variable “set price” group as well. In this case, the graphics card and processor would be where I need to invest the most money and I would see the most performance increases. The motherboard/Case/RAM/hard drive are important, but will not impact performance as much. If you use windows there is only a set price so put that in your budget – you should not go cheap on the PSU so consider it a set price as well (what you need and how much you pay will depend on your set up).

In other words, we want to drive down the price of the motherboard, case, ram, and hard drive while investing as much in the graphics card and processor as we can.

  1. Scout graphic cards/processors and get a vague idea of what you want (Brand, socket etc) and if you are going to overclock.
  2. Look up your compatible motherboard and ram configurations, and then start looking for deals. Find within reason the cheapest board/ram/hdd/case you can and then try to find a good deal on your processor and graphics card.
  3. Confirm the power you will need, and see if a trusted and safe PSU will fit in the budget with your set up. If it doesn’t and you don’t want to go over, readjust your graphics card/processor combo, check the requirements once more (graphics cards can vary greatly on power draw) and try to fit the PSU in again.

Go to reddit’s buildapc and have them check it out! Viola. If you approach building your PC with the steps above it will really simplify the process and keep you on budget while building a good rig.

Also I highly recommend pcpartpicker dot com and going to toms hardware and checking out the quarterly builds they have for pcs at a certain budget.


Great stuff folks. Thanks for pointing me in some good directions.

I built one from the “Superb” tier at the link below a few months ago: