|17 posts found|
8/25/10 7:37:46 PM#1
Hello, i have an old alienware pc from around 2000. I'm not sure the specs in the computer, but I know that it's too out date to upgrade.
So what I want to do is start from scratch. Maybe the power supply will still work , but besides that I only have the case.
I wanted some advice/suggestions on parts. This will be my first time building a PC and I really don't want to spend too much. I've been working all summer break and have a good amount of money saved up , but i would like to keep the price under 600
My goal for this PC build is to be able to play Starcraft 2 on medium to high/ play FFXIV on any setting really just being able to play is fine ( I will be playing on my PS3 when released) and not have to upgrade too much for diablo 3 when it is released
I appreciate your help and time.
8/25/10 7:50:19 PM#2
<p>Also I would like to be able to do some music recording on this computer. Which means I would like to have a pretty decent sound card to record on audacity </p>
8/25/10 8:34:05 PM#3
If you can't at least keep an old monitor, then a modest gaming system with a discrete sound card for $600 just isn't happening.
Don't try to keep your old power supply, as the shift of newer CPUs and GPUs to almost exclusively use the +12 V rail means that your old power supply couldn't handle a modern system even when it was new, let alone today. It won't have the SATA or PCI Express connectors that you need, either.
I'm going to assume that you're fine with rebates and can assemble parts yourself, as if not, there's just no chance of what you're asking. So here you go: a cheap, no frills system that at least uses modern parts and will allow upgrades later.
Video card: $50 after rebate
Motherboard/CPU combo: $116
Case/power supply combo: $85, including shipping
If you upgrade to more powerful parts later, you'll need to buy some case fans, too.
Optical drive: $19
Hard drive: $45
Operating system: $100
That comes to $485, including shipping. If you need a discrete sound card and some peripherals, there's room room in your budget, so long as those peripherals don't include a monitor. I have no idea what sound card to get, as for gaming purposes, most people just get integrated sound.
If you don't need a monitor and have some room left for upgrades, you could replace the dual core processor by a quad core with this motherboard/CPU combo instead of the one above for only $33 more:
If you want a faster hard drive, rather than the above one that is going to be painfully slow, then try this, for an extra $15 over the above hard drive:
If you want a better video card, then try this one, for $35 more than the one above after rebate:
If you've got room for some upgraded parts, I'd go hard drive first, then video card, then processor. The capacity of the hard drive isn't the reason I'd upgrade it first; the speed is.
Actually, if you do get a better CPU and/or video card, it might be a good idea to add an extra case fan or two, as well.
8/25/10 8:41:26 PM#4
Wow thanks I'm looking into those parts now. I do have a moniter to use and I am willing to pay more for parts , but I'm more of a console gamer then PC. I love RTS and MMO's though lol, go figure.
Would these parts be able to play SC2 on medium or high? Thanks for your time dude!
8/25/10 8:45:26 PM#5
Also, Could I use my old alienware case or am I better off getting a new one. I forgot to ask will this build also be able to run FFXIV?
8/25/10 8:46:28 PM#6
Not a big budget and do you have any preference for AMD or Intel? I would suggest using a hybrid motherboard with an onboard radeon, then you can buy 1 video card and have a crossfire setup. It will save you some money and you will need a motherboard regardless.
AMD suggestion: (around $560, no CD/DVD or operating system or case and theres $40 in rebates)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152042 700 watt Power supply
It can probably be tweaked a bit with some different parts like swapping the hybrid for a straight up motherboard and 2 cards, but if your alienware power supply is not at least 600 watt, you will want the one I suggested.
*edit* Yes, you should be able to keep your alienware case. Case designs have not changed much in the last 10 years honestly, unless its one of those micro towers.
8/25/10 8:59:07 PM#7
Also thank you, Will these builds be able to play the games I listed such as SC2,FFXIV?
My knowledge of PC's isn't the greatest and the sound card thing isn't a big deal ethier. My main reason for wanting to make a gaming PC is that my laptop i've been using can't handle SC2 and I'm a big fan of the series. I also really enjoy FFXI and it was my frist mmorpg, with that said i will be playing FFXIV. These two games are my two main focuses.
8/25/10 9:06:33 PM#8
The build I posted was designed to meet your gaming needs. You wont be breaking any benchmark records, but it's a solid machine for the price range. SC2 has some pretty intense graphics thats why I suggested the crossfire or hybrid corssfire or even SLI if geforce is your preference. ( I personally think you get more bang for your buck with radeons in the current generation)
8/25/10 9:19:36 PM#9
Originally posted by keitholi
On a $600 budget, it doesn't matter if he prefers Intel. He's getting AMD whether he likes it or not.
There's a $30 difference between the 750 GB and 1 GB versions of a Caviar Black hard drive. Few people need more than 750 GB, and there probably isn't much of a speed difference, so I wouldn't go over the 750 GB version.
The point of the 880G chipset is the integrated graphics. There's no sense in paying extra for that over an 870 chipset if you're not going to use the integrated graphics.
The video card is more expensive than either of the ones I picked out, but it is faster. All of the video cards linked so far are old generation tech that they're trying to get rid of. Nvidia made way too many old generation parts, and now needs to get rid of them. Incidentally, the Radeon HD 4870 needs two 6-pin PCI Express connectors, while the power supply I linked to only has one. It can still handle the video card, but you'll need a 2x molex -> 6-pin adapter, as comes with the card.
I wouldn't get that power supply. Don't go for high nominal wattages with low quality. It's better to get high quality with lower nominal wattages that are still enough to handle the system. The one you picked is 80 PLUS certified, so it isn't really that bad, but it's probably not that good, either. If Raidmax won't send their power supplies to review sites, the reason probably isn't that they're really good and want to keep it a secret.
It's not worth paying an extra $20 on memory to get 0.05 V lower with otherwise the same specs.
As for whether you can keep the old case, the answer is maybe. 10 years is a long time, but the ATX standard was around then, too. If the motherboard already in the case is ATX, then a new ATX motherboard would surely fit. Still, the case/power supply combo that I linked to isn't much more expensive than a power supply alone would be.
On the other hand, processors and video cards put out vastly more heat than they did a decade ago, and a ten year old case might not be designed to handle it. See how many case fans the old case has, and how much room there is to add more. The case I linked above only comes with one fan, but it has spots where you can put four more fans and get plenty of airflow.
8/25/10 9:19:37 PM#10
I don't have a preference for cards. My only preference is the price and performance for the price
8/25/10 9:31:31 PM#11
I forgot to mention I will want this machine to be able to handle Civ 5 too
8/25/10 9:53:17 PM#12
Originally posted by Bemon-Lament
As with the other games, it depends on what you mean by that. If you mean, will it run and be playable so long as you turn graphical settings down a ways, then yes, easily. If you mean, will it deliver a stable 60 frames per second on max settings, then no, that's way out of your budget.
8/27/10 3:24:34 PM#13
Originally posted by Quizzical
The reason I selected the drive I did was because of the 64 meg cache and 6 Gb/s transfer rate. I did not spend a lot of time, but it was certainly one of the cheapest with that performance. As far as using the onboard graphics, its a crossfire X hybrid board, which means you can plug any other type of radeon in it and get a crossfire with the onboard video.
I also did not put a lot of time into the power supply since he isnt sure whether he was going to use the one he has ( I have to imagine it being as old as it is that he can't) and I thought raidmax was a good name. I could be wrong on this one for sure.
I realize that patriot is a really good price for their RAM, but I have personally never bought it or used it. I have had good luck with G skill, which is a cheap price also, but only had a couple bad sticks in all of the ram I have purchased. Outside of that, I never use anything but kingston or corsaire in my own PC's and for a few dollars more, the corsaire brand is VERY solid. Maybe one bad stick in the last 10 years of buying.
Your point about the airflow in the case I definitely overlooked. The heat that these newer parts give off is quite a bit more than the stuff he is probably running and I hazard a guess that he does'nt have anything larger than an 80mm fan in his current one. I have used this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103011 For the last couple builds, since the price is'nt that bad and the 2 X 250mm fans on the side mount directly over the video card (with a full ATX board), providing very nice cooling, especially with SLI or Crossfire rigs.
8/27/10 3:44:37 PM#14
Originally posted by keitholi
Extra hard drive cache helps a little, but not very much. Hard drives are an intrinsically slow technology, as you have to wait for the drive to spin to the right spot before it can do anything. Cache tries to cover this up a little bit, and helps quite a bit for random writes, but really just can't do very much for read speeds, which are the huge bottleneck.
The 6 Gb/s figure you cite means it's a SATA 3 drive rather than SATA 2. That means that the connection from the hard drive to the chipset can theoretically transfer data at up to 600 MB/s, rather than a cap of 300 MB/s. The read/write drives on the hard drive can only transfer data at around 100 MB/s, so SATA 2 isn't a meaningful bottleneck.
You do realize that G.Skill, Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, and so forth don't actually manufacture memory chips, I hope. Rather, they buy the chips from Elpida, Hynix, Micron, and so forth, and then package them and sell them to consumers. Crucial/Micron is the only major memory company that makes their own chips, assembles them into memory modules, and then sells them to the general public under their own brand name, using the name Crucial for some purposes and Micron for others. Regardless, if G.Skill buys memory chips from Elpida, and Corsair buys the memory chips of the same bin from Elpida, you're getting the same memory chips whether you buy the module from G.Skill or Corsair.
Some of the companies that sell memory modules are more aggressive in their binning and claimed stock speeds than others, so maybe you have a little more overclocking headroom, or at worst, have to ease up on the memory timings a bit and can't read the claimed speeds. But the difference between running memory at CAS 8 versus CAS 9 surely isn't worth $20 on a $600 budget.
Hard Core Member
8/27/10 4:13:10 PM#15
Originally posted by Bemon-Lament
Well lets see here.
You can either keep the case from the old computer or get a new one, but you will need a new PSU.
CPU and motherboard: Intel I 5 is pretty good for it's money, it runs well in benchtests and does not run very high in temeperature. ASUS makes solid motherboards even though a Gigabyte or MSI is acceptable too. And get a board with 4 memory slots or you'll be sorry later..
Memory. 8gb is great if you can afford it, otherwise go for 4gb now and get 4 later. Corsair, Kingston and Samsung makes great ram.
GFX card. Buying a crappy now and upgrading later is not a good idea, just a waste of cash.
I recommend a 460 GTX but a 5850 works fine too. The GFX card is the most important thing for a gaming computer.
Any harddrive is really fine. Seagate or Western digital is best however. You can always get more later.
This will give you a really fine computer capable of running any game for 904 bucks + possibly the case if you don't want to reuse the old one. You could shave off a 100 bucks by getting 4 GB ram instead and getting the last 4 later.
You will also have to get an OS, Windows 7 64 bits is the best in this case, 32 bits wont work since it can't use all the memory you need. Vista 64 bits works if you have a friend who have upgraded and can give you his old OS, just update it too SP2 or it is total junk. 7 is better however but it never hurts to see if someone have an extra Vista lying around, saves money.
Edit: Reuse the DVD player from the old one or get a cheap one.
8/27/10 6:19:09 PM#16
Originally posted by Loke666
No, no, no. You have to respect the budget, not just pick whatever parts you want and end up spending over $1000 excluding peripherals when the budget only allows $600. And you can probably do a lot better than that on a $1000 budget, too.
For starters, it's a nice enough power supply, but not $90 worth of nice enough. 550 W is overkill for a $600 budget machine, but even if not, then why get that one when you can get this one instead?
It's better quality, and cheaper, too. It's a rated difference of 12 W on the +12 V rails, which isn't much.
I really don't see the point of getting that motherboard. It's woefully light on features for something that expensive. Sure, the build quality will be good, but you can get something good enough for cheaper. The P55 platform is the wrong thing to look at for a $600 budget, anyway, though.
The memory choice is completely ridiculous. On a $2000 budget, maybe you think about getting more than 4 GB for a gaming machine. Maybe. On a $600 budget, you don't, or at least you shouldn't. Even if you want 8 GB, it's much better to get it as two modules of 4 GB each than four modules of 2 GB each, like this:
And even if you do want a kit of four 2 GB modules of 1333 MHz DDR3 memory, did you really have to go pick the single most expensive such kit that New Egg has?
The video card is a decent enough value for the money, but way outside the specified price range.
Reusing an old DVD player likely isn't an option. A ten year old computer likely won't have one, and even if it does, it certainly won't be SATA, which is the modern standard. Besides, you can pick up a CD/DVD combo drive for $20 or so.
8/27/10 6:26:51 PM#17
IMO, the best advice coming on this forum about builds is from Catamount and from Quizzical. They don't always see eye-to-eye but their advice is solid, well thought out and they pay attention to the particular constrainsts of each OP. I have found that they know their technology as well and won't steer you into products that wont cooperate.
Gaming since Avalon Hill was making board games.
Played SWG, EVE, Fallen Earth, LOTRO, Rift, Vanguard, WoW, SWTOR, TSW, Tera