So I’ve been backed up on work and haven’t been able to churn out my analysis of each area of the computer like I wanted too. Since I’ve been setting up different builds for friends who are going to build a gaming pc, I decided to just put together my recommendation list.
This is a “mid-range” gaming pc under 500$ to build. That is, I’ve chosen the parts to be the least expensive for the most amount of usage. This sort of system could last you several years without any tweaks or upgrades. It costs a little bit more upfront, but again – you probably won’t need to make any changes to keep playing the games that are going to be coming out over the next few years. I, of course, can’t guarantee any of those statements, but this is the system I would build for myself if I were to build a new computer right now – though my four-year-old system is still doing just fine…I might upgrade the video card for Diablo 3…but I won’t spend more than $150 on it, and that’s after 4 years of use.
This setup is not including Monitor, keyboard or mouse – there are too many options for each of these for me to say ‘Thats the one you should get.’
I have included links to both Amazon and Newegg – these are the places I prefer to purchase computer parts. I have both sets of links because the prices tend to fluctuate, and getting whichever is cheaper from either place works just fine.
The Critical Components – these are difficult to interchange without falling into another category.
Amazon: Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R CPU Cooler Red LED OR Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1 >> I prefer the Zalman based off better-cooling ratings, and I’ve used Zalman in the past with the best experiences of all other coolers I’ve used. I also prefer their mounting system (it uses a back plate on the back side of the motherboard, but there is no chance of your heatsink dismounting this way – which I have had with a backplate mounting HS).
Non-Critical Components – these components can be interchanged based on your own taste.
Amazon: Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card >> I am only familiar with the X-FI cards, but they are fantastic – just make sure you have a quality speaker or headphone set before spending the money.
Amazon: Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case External 3 X 5.25; Internal 6 X 3.5 2*Usb2.0 ORAntec Nine Hundred Steel ATX Ultimate Gamer PC Case (Black) >> With a couple expensive suggestions, I simply think that Antec makes the best quality cases out there.
SSD: SSD don’t really fit into a value-based gaming pc build – simply because the hard drive itself has little effect on gaming performance (and the price is high). You would only see an improvement in games which load information frequently from the hard drive (you would see quicker load times between zones in World of Warcraft for example). This particular SSD is the best out there right now. It is also wicked expensive at $530+. However, I think the performance that you get from this drive, plus the future potential means that this SSD would last you for YEARS. Check out the link I just posted on my Facebook.
Just remember, when you are ready to build a gaming PC, think value, think longevity. Keep in mind the warranties that come with your parts – these will save you if you have a problem (hey, its a computer). Pick manufacturers that are highly rated and reviewed by other people. Go by those ideas, and whatever computer gaming build that you chose will do you well in the long run.