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Best Gaming Rig For An Amateur?

lancelot76lancelot76 Member Posts: 119

Currently I have a 5 1/2 year old Alienware Aurora which is about to die from old age:

Athlon 64 3500 CPU, ASUS A8N-SLI N-FORCE 4 SLI MB, an Nvidia GeForce 7900 GPU, 2GB RAM.

Yep. A dead duck.

Quiz had mentioned that if you want to pay someone else to put your rig together, it will cost more. I will have maybe $1300 to spend on my next computer this December. I won't have the time to build my own (2 young children) but thought maybe going with something like Cyberpower, Digital Storm or even Gateway's FX would yield a decent result. (In an ideal world I suppose I would just buy Falcon Northwest, but they eat $1300 for breakfast.)

I will be doing gaming but not extremely intense or for long periods of time (again, 2 young children.) I need something that can handle games like GW2 next year and the current generation of games, but that won't require heavy maintenance or tweaking. In other words, something that will last without me having to spend 40 hours a week surfing for solutions when something self destructs.

Don't need dual GPUs, RAID, pretty blue neon tubing, or $3000 worth of liquid cooling (although I admit I am going to try to get a liquid cooled CPU if nothing else.) And I'm guessing at least 8GB DDR3 (at any MhZ) should be a minimum requirement. I have a 17 inch LCD monitor with plain old 4:3 ratio (which works fine and I have no plans to replace it.) I already have a Microsoft Sidewinder keyboard and a mouse I like, along with speakers. So in other words, don't need peripherals that I can think of.

So, having said all that: any suggestions on where to start? Even a pointer like "go to Digital Storm's site" etc. would be greatly appreciated. :-) Many thanks for any replies!



  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,637

    Suppose the company sends you a case with everything inside it assembled for you.  But it also sends you a keyboard, mouse, speakers, surge protector, and power cables, and you have to put those together yourself to set up the computer.  Could you do it?  If so, then consider that piecing together the stuff inside the case isn't really any harder than piecing together the stuff outside of it, so you could build your own if so inclined.

    Cyber Power PC and iBuyPower seem to sell the cheapest gaming computers.  But they'll offer low base prices with cheap junk parts and the option to upgrade to something better, so you have to be careful about what you buy from them.  The big problem is that they don't offer any high quality, low wattage power supplies, so your choices are cheap junk (not recommended) or overkill (too expensive).  AVA Direct seems to offer the most versatility in picking components, as they'll basically let you pick whatever you want and they'll build it for you.  Their markup doesn't seem too bad, either; it's maybe 10%-20% over the cost of building it yourself.  I've never dealt with any of those companies, though.

  • dredokdredok Member Posts: 14

    If you are willing to put the computer together yourself I would suggest taking a look at toms hardware system builder marathon. heres a link to the $1000 build.


    If you really don't want to put it together yourself check out eBay. there are some really good system builders there selling nice gaming rigs for decent prices.


    PS: if you know what parts you want to use in your computer there are techs out there that will build it for you for a small fee. i like to know exactly what is in my computer so i know they are all quality parts. sometimes computer companies will use cheaper parts to save them money but still charge you for premium parts.
  • lancelot76lancelot76 Member Posts: 119

    Thanks everyone. I'll keep your advice in mind. :-)

  • swing848swing848 Member UncommonPosts: 292

    I assume that you can install software, you mentioned games.

    Installing Windows 7 on a new hard drive is a little different, yet easy to accomplish.

    What resolution do you run your 17 inch  screen?  Low resolutions while gaming require less CPU and  video card computations, which means you do not need a powerful video card.

    Because your current computer is "dead" do you want the computer built now?

    After you answer these questions we can guide you to the components you need.

    Are there any "mom and pop" computer shops where you live?  If so, ask if they will build you a computer with the list of components you need or would they build it if you supplied the hardware, if so, how much would they charge for the build.

    Ask about warranties, many "mom and pop" companies guarrantee work and components for a year.  If you supply the parts your warranty will come from the factory.  Note about warranties, if you purchase an Intel OEM CPU it comes with NO warranty, buy the "boxed" CPU which does have a warranty.


    EDIT:  Spelling error fixed, if you see others, please excuse them.

    Intel Core i7 7700K, MB is Gigabyte Z270X-UD5
    SSD x2, 4TB WD Black HHD, 32GB RAM, MSI GTX 980 Ti Lightning LE video card

  • swing848swing848 Member UncommonPosts: 292

    I know that you have not had time to reply to my previous post, however, this may interest you.

    I do not know what your screen resolution is yet.  If it is low enough [such as 1280x768] an AMD HD 5770 video card will work.

    Micro Center is selling this computer for $899.  You could call them and ask how much it would cost if they removed the HD 5750 and installed an HD 5770 or HD 5850, or if they could build that computer with the HD 5770 or HD 5850 video card.

    Intel Core i7 7700K, MB is Gigabyte Z270X-UD5
    SSD x2, 4TB WD Black HHD, 32GB RAM, MSI GTX 980 Ti Lightning LE video card

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