Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Hi Kal, I have an integrated sound card. Recently it has gone bad. When I start the system there is almost no sound, after a while the system starts to pick up the game sound here and there.

It is very choppy and not clear at all. After maybe 30 minutes of playing it kind of gets to normal..but even then it is not clear like it used to be.

If I buy http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132020 would it solve my issue? If not what do you recommend. I only use my computer for WOW.

PS: I don't know anything about computers.


First, download latest drivers for your sound. It's highly likely it's a Realtek audio, but to be sure, can you download and run Speccy (by Piriform) and tell me?

Try using a headphone or another speakers directly from the sound output on the motherboard. It is possible your speakers have gone bad instead.

If issues persist, I would try reconnecting the speaker's audio cable connected to the sound card.

If issues still persist, yes, time for a new sound card. Before you buy one, you have to open up the side of your case, and look at the motherboard. Does it have any empty full PCI slot inside? A full PCI slot looks like this:

http://technozeus.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/800px-pci_und_pcie_slots.jpg

If it does, you can buy it and use it.

After you install the sound card, you must go into motherboard's BIOS (accessed usually by pressing DEL, F1, or F10 when you turn on your system), and disable the onboard sound. Otherwise, there may be conflicts.
24 Blood Elf Paladin
30
Audio
Sound Card
IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
Playback Devices
Speakers / HP (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)
SPDIF-Out (Rear) (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)
Headphones (RTC) (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC) (default)
Recording Devices
Line In (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC) (default)
Front Mic (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)
Rear Mic (IDT High Definition Audio CODEC)

I downloaded what you told me and this is what I see under audio.
Also, yes the picture looks like what I have. I should mention the problem is not with my speakers or headphone. I tried different ones and I have the same problem.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Not have heard of IDT.

Go for the sound card. Sounds like the sound hardware on the motherboard has gone kaput.
24 Blood Elf Paladin
30
Ok, thank you very much for the help.
90 Pandaren Hunter
18015
case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233
M.Board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157236
G.Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125357
power: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703035
processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077
ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167093
ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276
harddrive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148697
+ windows 7
total comes to about $952..... which is about $300-$400 more then i have to spend, so can i have some help trying to get the price down to my price range of about $500-$650 possibly $700. (im clearly very bad at trying to even stay in my price range even when you list out have the stuff for one in my price range) also games i plan on playing are WOW, diablo3, GW2, steam games such as CSS/TF2,
Also: Kalganized you sir are the best lol thanks for all your help thread deservers a sticky
85 Undead Warrior
3135
Hey Kal. Just wanted to say thanks for the guide. Picked up a Radeon HD 7750 and it's awesome. Upgraded from a Radeon X1650 lol
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Beachumx:

NewEgg has financing options with zero interest available (if paid back within 1 year with Newegg Preferred Account / 6 month with BillMeLater). You should take advantage of that option.

If you still want to save money:

Cut out the SSD. That alone will drop your price to affordable range.
I would then gut the graphics card next to next lower step.

Garrett:

Glad you like the new graphics card. :)
90 Pandaren Hunter
18015
alright, so if i drop the ssd, then change the gcard to

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161402

how will this effect my final outcome? and i assume ill be able to get an ssd when i have the money right ?
Edited by Beachumx on 4/17/2012 7:33 PM PDT
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
7770 can still deal with ultra (shadows high) settings, but anti-aliasing should not go beyond 2x, probably.

Yes, you can choose to add in SSD later if you want, but you will have to re-install OS and stuff in order for the OS to work correctly on the SSD -- unless if you will use SSD purely as a data drive where you throw games and stuff on it only, not OS.
90 Pandaren Hunter
18015
alright thanks for all the help, if i have anymore questions i know where to come
90 Blood Elf Paladin
9160
Nice thread but, I just have to say that if someone is going to spend any real bank on a comp don't use Biostar MBs. I and many others I know have got garbage boards from them. I know every company will ship duds from time to time but Biostar seems to do it a lot more often.
90 Blood Elf Mage
7355
04/18/2012 06:17 PMPosted by Debbiedowner
Nice thread but, I just have to say that if someone is going to spend any real bank on a comp don't use Biostar MBs. I and many others I know have got garbage boards from them. I know every company will ship duds from time to time but Biostar seems to do it a lot more often.
Mine worked for less than a day, then I RMA'd it to Newegg and bought an Asus.
That was a few months ago and I still have not heard back about my Biostar support ticket from day one.

FWIW the board was super cheap and had every feature I would ever want.. it worked awesome during the time before it decided that it was broken.
But when it comes down to it, the deal was literally too good to be true.
Edited by Plusfour on 4/18/2012 6:37 PM PDT
80 Dwarf Priest
700
Are SSD prices expected to drop anytime soon?
90 Human Death Knight
8995
Firstly, thank you Kalganized for taking the time for writing this comprehensive guide for the community. Looking good!

For my build, which you have also helped me flesh out by providing advice in another thread over a month ago, I will be deviating from your recommended list on a few items and I have three questions for you.

The first question is regarding SSDs. I've noticed that your recommendations don't include Mushkin Enhanced products and I'm considering one for my build. The unit in question is a Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe 240GB SSD which has received good reviews and seems amazingly priced. What are your thoughts on this unit:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226226

My second question is regarding a video card that I am considering. I agree with your list of recommendations and would normally consider any one of them for my build as long as it's not an nVidia because of presonal preferences. Unfortunately, I am building a themed case with a mid-size tower that won't have enough room for any of the longer video cards in your list. In fact, the maximum length video card that can fit in the case, so long as the rear connections are not at the back, is just under 10.5 inches. The card I am considering has received mostly good reviews, measures about 8.5 inches in length and is the most inexpensive 2GB card I have found to date. It sure looks like it should do the trick nicely. I'd appreciate your opinon on the XFX Radeon 6870 2GB:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150563

My last question is regarding the power supply that I am interested in purchasing for this build. The unit is an OCZ Fatal1ty 750W Modular Gaming 80Plus Bronze and I am considering it, again, to follow the case theme since it has built-in red LEDs. This model has received good reviews but OCZ is not on your list of recommended brands, so please let me know if it seems trustworthy enough:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341041

Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond, as well as for the kind service that you provide to the community on a daily basis. As I've said before, I think you should be an MVP up in here for all your outgoing efforts.
Edited by Kantis on 4/19/2012 9:32 AM PDT
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Dwarfbad:

It is dropping slowly, but no sudden drops are expected. With hard drive prices remaining high as it is, it is becoming more smart to buy an SSD and re-use existing hard drive.

Kantis:

Basically, I avoided recommending ANY SandForce-based drives except Intel 520, which uses custom firmware that avoids issues in other SandForce SSDs. If you don't mind it, then go for it. All SandForce 2k series of SSDs should give you a great performance, but it is well known depending on the firmware on the SandForce SSD, it may give you a problem.

All 6870s should be around that size. I would like to mention that 2GB VRAM on a 6870 is what I would consider unnecessary, as situations that calls for more than 1GB VRAM to be used on a graphics card will require you either: 1) Run multi-monitor setup, or 2) Run something like Skyrim with TONS of HD textures plastred all over -- AND that you are running 1080p with anti-aliasing. So, I would recommend that you buy ordinary 1GB VRAM based 6870 and save $.

As for the power supply, it's OK, but not the best quality (4 12v rails on a 750W... semi-modular too). If you must have the fancy built-in LEDs, then go for it. It's not a terrible power supply, but one I would not buy.
90 Human Death Knight
8995
Kantis:

Basically, I avoided recommending ANY SandForce-based drives except Intel 520, which uses custom firmware that avoids issues in other SandForce SSDs. If you don't mind it, then go for it. All SandForce 2k series of SSDs should give you a great performance, but it is well known depending on the firmware on the SandForce SSD, it may give you a problem.


Quite honestly, I'm not extremely familiar with SSDs and haven't read up on the SandForce enough to understand whether or not the Mushkin Enhanced SSD would potentially cause me trouble in the future. Do you mind checking the link and letting me know if you think that it might cause problems? I'd easily save $40 getting the Mushkin if you think it's safe enough but I have no problem spending the extra cash to get an SSD that won't turn into a coaster anytime soon.

Thanks again!
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
Each SandForce SSDs come with their own firmware, although largely limited to what SandForce releases for bug fixes.

Generally, you should not have an issue with Mushkin SSD, it's the small set of users using specific hardware / OS setup that may experience problem with it.
90 Human Paladin
0
Hey Kalganized, is the price difference between a GTX 560 and GTX 560 TI worth it?
90 Blood Elf Paladin
8895
No. It's better to just buy a GTX 570 instead. Price gap between 560 Ti and 570 is fairly small. Some of the 560 Ti models cost almost as much as 570 does.

You may also be able to score a used GTX 580 for $300 or so.
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