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Thread: Wanting to build a computer with a $900 limit, but I'm hardward illiterate T.T

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default Wanting to build a computer with a $900 limit, but I'm hardward illiterate T.T

    Well, I'm getting sick of running World of Warcraft on my $200 Emachines P.O.S. so I wanna upgrade. I'm not worried about having a computer that can turn water into wine, but something that makes the graphics look nice and rus everything nice and fluently. So far I know I want 1) At least 1gig of RAM 2) 160-200gigs of space (People tell me Western Digital and Seagate are the brands to look for) 3) Probably a wireless card, they seem pretty expensive so I'm curious if there are some cheap ones (And will wireless work well coming from a DSL modem upstairs or should I just opt for a cable internet subscription?). My limit is roughly $900, I have a tad more but that's to hopefully cover any tax involved. Any help on the matter is mighty appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Wanting to build a computer with a $900 limit, but I'm hardward illiterate T.T

    Assuming you're in the U.S., I'd recommend you shop entirely at

    For your RAM, you have a few choices. You can get two indentical 512MB sticks of PC3200 RAM, with a package like this being preferable. You can spend a little more and get a single 1GB stick, such as this one, but performance will be a little worse. Finally, you can go all-out and get dual 1GB sticks. Those are unecessary for WoW, but other games and future games make use of it. It certainly makes loading times and multitasking feel better, too.

    Seagate and Western Digital are indeed the brands of choice. Go for a SATA drive in either size (I'd say go for 200GB because they have a better GB/dollar ration). If it doesn't increase the price, go for a "SATA II" or "SATA 3.0GB/S" drive.

    My personal opinion is the wireless should be avoided for most serious online gaming, but then I rarely do online gaming outside of Battlefield 2. Before Battlefield 2, it was Battlefield Vietnam, CSS, and UT2004. The only non-FPS I ever played much online was Warcraft III. Basically, if WoW is your primary game, you're probably fine. I don't understand your Internet question and how its related. Cable and DSL tend to be identical as far as bandwidth goes, depending on either the population and wealth of your area or the distance to the DSL ISP. Outside of bandwidth, they are identical for practical purposes, making the choice totally irrelevent to the wireless situation, unless I'm missing something big here. As far as what wireless card you should get, I've had the best experience with Netgear. I've used Zonet, Trendnet, Linksys, SpeedStream, and X-Micro as well. Linksys is the only one I've ever had problems with. You should either get a PCI card or a USB device. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but I'd say USB is better if you don't have to have the signal going too far away. If you're in a tough situation as far as connectivity goes, a PCI card with a long, adjustable antenna is the way to go, and that may involve buying cheap equipment elsewhere. You'll want an 802.11g card with WPA support. Go for WPA2, if you can, as it performs a little better. Make sure the router also supports wireless G and WPA. Again, my best experiences are with Netgear, but there are other, cheaper brands that may get the job done. Regardless of whether or not you go with wireless, I won't be taking that price into consideration as far as your budget goes.

    Getting back to the system, I'd recommend a Chaintech nForce 4 Ultra motherboard because it has all the features you'll ever need, is reliable, performs well, and - most importantly - is cheap as hell.

    For your power supply you're going to want something in the area of 480W, from a good company, with a 24-pin power connector. This is cheap and should do the trick.

    For the video card, which is easily the most important piece of hardware for gaming, I'm thinking a 6800GS will be perfect for you. Maybe you can consider something more powerful, but past that point the price jumps get bigger.

    For your case, it really depends a lot on what you like (unless you don't care about aesthetic value, in which case I'm sure I can make a great choice for you), and what it costs. IMO $50 is the most you should ever spend on a case, and I avoid going over $30. For cooling purposes, you're probably fine, but it's preferable that it has room for two 80mm fans in the back (or one larger fan), and either room for several front fans, several side fans, or a CPU duct. The CPU duct is preferable for cooling, but unless you'll be overclocking it's uncessary.

    Finally, for your processor, you'll want whatever you can afford. It needs to be socket 939 and retail. You should be looking at something between a 3200 and 3700.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 11-16-2005 at 06:25 AM.

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