Please report all spam threads, posts and suspicious members. We receive spam notifications and will take immediate action!
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Looking to build a gaming computer on a starving student bud




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    21

    Default

    I'm about to start college this fall and am taking this summer as an opportunity to build my own computer and possibly save some money. I have experience taking apart everything but the mobo, and at installing drives/whatnot, but I have never actually built a PC from scratch.

    So, my question is, besides what parts should I buy, what compatibility issues do I need to keep in mind when choosing parts? Like, will certain models of the Pentium 4 processor not work with certain Intel mobo models? Do I really need an Intel-powered machine?

    The only parts that I know for sure that I want are a GeForce4 ti4200 video card and and a Soundblaster Audigy 5.1 soundcard.
    But I was kinda hoping to get the cost down to about $1200 (not including monitor and printer). If I spend extra money on video/sound, is it ok to cut corners in other areas, and if so which ones?

    Sorry to post without lurking for very long...I found threads similar to my problem, but none that answer my exact question(s).

    Thanks!
    Tracey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    366

    Default

    Judging by the usage of words in your post, i assume you mean US dollars. You want to build one from scratch, here is what you need

    CD drive (burner or DVD or both)
    HDD
    Floppy Drive (not really needed)
    Motherboard
    Ram
    Case
    Power Supply
    Monitor
    CPU chip
    Keyboard
    Mouse
    Modem & or network card
    Video Card
    Sound Card


    Now here are my recommendations

    I like any soltek mainboard, and epox boards are also good. PC2700 seems to be the way to go, Case and PSU depend on what you need. You would want atleast a 17" mon, a nice athlon XP chip cos P4 isnt good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    4,825

    Default

    The choice as to whether you want an Intel based machine or an AMD based one is really a personal thing. Some folks will tell you that one is better than the other, but in thruth, they both have strong and weak points. AMD systems tend to be a little cheaper, but Intel currently holds the speed crown. In the end, it's your call.

    Since you're looking at building a machine that will be centered around gaming, you'll be looking at performance components for the most part. I wouldn't cut too many corners since you'd be creating problem areas and bottlenecks if you do. But here's some things to consider...

    - Whether you decide on Intel or AMD, make sure to use a system based around DDR memory. There really is a noticeable difference between the two. Since cost is a factor, I am not recommending an Intel/RDRAM combo as they tend to be quite pricey.

    - If you go Intel, get a motherboard based on the i845D or higher chipset. They are quite stable and have performance numbers that are awe inspiring. If you decide to go the AMD route, then go ahead and get something based on the KT333 chipset. This is the current standard in AMD motherboards and will give you support for future processors as well.

    - I imagine that you'll be running WindowsXP as the OS? If so, then get about 512MB of memory. This has been shown to be the Sweet Spot when it comes to how much memory to install. And make sure to get yourself some decent memory as well. Even if you have no intentions of overclocking, it will allow you to run the system at faster latency settings, which again enhances performance.

    - If you decide to cut costs by getting a cheap case, then make sure that it has adequate cooling. If it doesn't, then mod the case and add it. This is so important in today's systems, and more so in the performance systems that are common. A good place to start is to have two intake fans placed low in the system (preferably around the front of the case) and two exhaust fans toward the top (preferably around the rear of the system). This will provide a natural flow of air and give you fewer hot spots within the case.

    - Unless you just want the ability to say that you have a PLEXTOR CD/burner, you can save a few bucks on models from Lite-On. They have shown themselves to be worthy contenders and are reasonably priced to boot.

    Good luck and make sure to let us know how everything turns out. :)
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    366

    Default

    Darthanion, intel holds the speed crown but not on a starving students budget. ieL the XP 1800+ is comparable to an intel P4 @ 1.8GHZ but is way cheaper, and either matches or outperforms it. Intel has the fastest chip currently out (2.53GHZ) but the AMD athlon is a much better choice on a low budget ie: you will be getting more performance for every dollar you spend

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Thanks for the help, guys! The advice has been very useful. After a long day of research, I've come up with these specs:

    case: Antec SX-635
    mobo: SY-KT333 Dragon Ultra AMD Athlon
    CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2100+
    memory: 512MB PC2100 DDR-SDRAM DIMM
    graphics card: Xtasy GeForce4 Ti4200 AGP 64MB DDR 2D/3D w/ TV Out
    floppy drive: Samsung 1.44Mb 3.5 floppy drive
    hard drive: 120GB IBM DeskStar 7200rpm
    CD-RW drive: Lite-On 24/10/40 IDE CD-RW
    DVD drive: 16x Toshiba SD-M1612 DVD-ROM
    monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 753 DF 17"
    sound card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer
    speakers: Creative Labs Cambridge SoundWorks MegaWorks 510D
    modem: Actiontec 56k PCI Pro Modem
    keyboard: Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro
    mouse: Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
    OS: Windows XP Home

    It comes to a total of $1500 US dollars, not counting Windows XP, but that's my fault for being greedy and tacking on the expensive speakers. Do all these parts work together, or are there blaring compatibility issues that I've overlooked?

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    215

    Default

    I wouldnt get that mobo. Last time i looked it was about AUD$100 more than the Epox 8K3A+, which is the best overclocking and performance mobo, just lacking a few features :(

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,092

    Default

    Also if you are gonna spend the money on a KT333 motherboard, you will want ram rated at PC 2700 DDR. This is faster than the PC 2100 that you listed.
    Have you hugged a Midget today?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    New England Highlands, Australia
    Posts
    21,907

    Default

    Both Nick and JM have good points and I agree with them. :smokin:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Ok. That made sense. I replaced the 2100 RAM with the 2700. But if I get the EPox motherboard, do I need extra cooling?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    4,825

    Default

    euphoriafish,
    You will always want good cooling for your system. The case you chose has some 80mm slots for fans... fill them all! The processor will always do better with better cooling on place. While a lot of folks like the Volcano 7+ (and rightly so for that matter), there are a number of good alternatived that are more reasonably priced. Make sire to get copper and a good quality fan in the mix for the best results. It will also aid in the future when you decide to overclock it.

    Ehhe Yebeb,
    While I don't advocate Intel systems, neither do I do that for an AMD based one. My comments stand as posted before... both have advantages and disadvantages. And while the top of the line P4 will cost you an arm, a leg and the promise of your first born, there are a lot of processors that fall into a "Good Buy" category. One that comes rapidly to mind is the P4 1.6A processor which has had much luck posting stable speeds of well over 2.0GHz. Check out the prices for these little gems and you'll see that you CAN own an Intel based system on a budget. I was simply giving information of both sides of the coin since everyone isn't as biased as some of us old-timers. ;)
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
    My Toys

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •