Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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we can't allow this to fall off the first page. i don't know why it's not stickied yet....

well, now that i've actually browsed through it i kinda see, but it's a dumb rule.


@Kalganized: I would like to buy GTX560 or GTX560Ti but not sure which brand is good for overclock.
for GTX560 :
-Asus PCI-e GeForce GTX560 OC DCII 1GB (166.80 euros)
-Asus PCI-e GeForce GTX560 TOP DCII 1GB (183.20 euros)
or GTX560Ti :
-MSI PCI-e GeForce GTX560 Ti Twin Frozr II OC 1GB(209.90 euros)

which one is really worthy base on quality within the price? i dont mind if i have to buy the twin frozr if it boost the benchmark. or it is better to buy GTX560 if they only have slightly difference. honestly price difference is more than 40 euros it's quite hurt me :(
Hey Kal, I was eyeing your "Best Build for good gaming without spending big $" since it's within my price range (800, need an OS so about 700 for parts). I know you said it should play WoW at 40+ FPS but I'm wondering how well it should play D2 and GW2 since those are two games I plan to play as well in the future? Also I'm wondering if there's any tweaks that can be made with that in mind (assuming any can be made to tailor it slightly better to what I plan to do)?

CPU: Pentium G630 or i3-2120
Motherboard: Either ASRock H61M/U3S3, or Biostar H61MGC
RAM: Any 2 x 2GB RAM (or 2 x 4GB RAM) while keeping my notes (DDR3-1333, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon 6870 or GeForce 560
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W
SSD: Optional
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: Either HEC case listed above, or HAF 912 case

Thanks for any help, this is going to be my first pc I've ever built and I'm totally new at this, so I hope you guys will forgive my noobness ^.^;

Overclocking is hit and miss. Even some of those "overclocking oriented cards" don't overclock too well depending on your luck, despite others doing much better with the same brand of the card.

That said, both DC II and TwinFrozr II should do well, although I'm bit biased toward TwinFrozr II.

560 Ti is a step ahead of 560. However, unless you want as much FPS as possible, there is no need to buy an 560 Ti. A standard 560 would suit you just fine.


D3 should run even better. GW2, I don't know yet since I've never played the game to find out. Supposedly, it's well-optimized and would run well on a weaker hardware, then I would assume it would run with high FPS with high settings effortlessly on a mid-range computer.

I would take the i3 CPU, ASRock motherboard. Graphics card and case is up to you.

D3 should run even better. GW2, I don't know yet since I've never played the game to find out. Supposedly, it's well-optimized and would run well on a weaker hardware, then I would assume it would run with high FPS with high settings effortlessly on a mid-range computer.

I would take the i3 CPU, ASRock motherboard. Graphics card and case is up to you.

Thanks so much Kal, I think I'll be going with your suggestions. I can't wait to get the parts in, put it all together and try it out. Thanks again! ^^
It is recommended that you recycle some parts from your old computer when able:

Hard disk, DVD drive should be recycled if able. This will cut significant portion of price off your total price.

RAM can be recycled if it is DDR3-1333 at least.

Power supply can also be recycled if it's a name brand with 80 Plus certification with 500W minimum.
hey kal, whats your opinion on pc's from digital storm?

I ordered a pc from cyberpower a few weeks ago and was getting bsod errors on startup, so i shipped it back and am in the process of getting my money back. So now i need to look elsewhere for a pc. I have no experience building a pc nor do I really want to. My budget would probably max around $1500.

Games I play are just WoW and D3/GW2 in the future.

Thanks man :D

DigitalStorm isn't too bad, but their computers cost way too much. Their entry Intel lineup costs $1500 minimum (although it does come with pretty good hardware), it's still too expensive, and it's worse than my "overkill" build.
Kal, I have Intel i7 930 (Bloomfield) with X58 architecture. You should really add these and similiar models to the below list.

For CPU, if you have these CPUs, you do not have to upgrade yet. Otherwise, it's time for an upgrade -- you would replace CPU, RAM (if RAM is not DDR3. If DDR3, reuse), and motherboard:

* Intel:
- Third generation Intel Haswell i-series CPU
- Third generation Intel Haswell-based Pentiums / Celerons
- Second-and-half generation Intel Ivy Bridge i-series CPU, such as i5-3570k, i7-3770k
- Second-and-half generation Intel Ivy Bridge-based Pentiums / Celerons
- Second-generation Intel Sandy Bridge i-series CPU, such as i3-2120, i5-2500k, i7-2600k
- Second-generation Intel Sandy Bridge-based Pentiums / Celerons
- First-and-half generation Intel Westmere i-series CPU, such as i3-560, i5-680, i7-970
- First-generation Intel Nehalem i-series CPU, such as i5-760, i7-960
Bloomfield is actually part of overall Nehalem architecture series, so I did not mention individual 'codenames' given to different segments of Nehalem series.

Same goes for Sandy Bridge-E.
Hey kal not to bug you again but i had a new question for you. And was hoping to get your opinion on these. I was all set to go and start ordering everything but when I got on newegg to look through everything I noticed they released the new z77 boards which looked like they had a couple interesting feature's. So after some looking and debating I decided on But after a little more looking and deciding I liked everything but the added wi-fi that would never get used thought about ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS. Now not being smart enough to stop looking and a little more goofing around I found The last one has game first to control the network and allow the game's to use most of the bandwidth. The other two have network Icontrol which seem's like to me would be able to do the same. The other two notable thing's is the first having fan xpert2 and the second having a realtek on board lan compared to the other two have intel onboard lan which from what I read seem's to be the best. So my question is knowing that I'm positively going with an asus board which one would you recommend?
If I had to choose from between those two, I'd go with Maximus board. The main draw of the other board, the Wi-fi part, is easily provided by something that doesn't cost more than $20.
I just got this to replace a Realtek onboard lan with driver issues.
Works awesome on Windows Update drivers (came in an OEM-style box with no CD). Even without the promo they had last week, 29.99 is still one of the cheapest Intel LAN cards. Quicker than my wireless and the Realtek (when it worked)

Of course the ROG board has neat-sounding features, the point of it is getting you to buy it. It's an OCing board. I had an old ROG board and almost bought a Crosshair V, but in all honesty the only feature I would make use of is ROG-Connect - and that is inherently something most people would only use once.
Never used it, but "Game First" can't be any better than any other kind of QOS or flow control, pretty sure I'd end up disabling it. Although a decent fan controller would be better than any, the software with the Maximus will do the same thing xpert will do(FanXpert will run on it also, but I think it's been replaced). Asus software does neat things but is usually rather flaky if you can even get it to install. (given I also just hate things that claim to know how I want them to be set)

Lots of motherboards have UEFI bios or something like it now and most new ASUS boards have the DIGI+/TurboV EVO stuff - those should be the only things that would actually make that one better than any other board.
In a positive news today, it is said:

1. Ivy Bridge release date may be April 23rd (as it was originally scheduled).

2. Ivy Bridge's pricing has been... surprise, reduced. i7-3770k will cost $313, while i5-3570k will cost $212. Both are cheaper than the initial release price of i7-2600k / i5-2500k.
That kinda why I was curious about the third board listed there unless I accidently listed the same one twice. Seem's like that board had alot of the same feature's or close to the same feature's as the other 2 except a few less sata port's and without the wifi stuff I will never use. But i can't seem to tell if I'm over looking something that may be important.
The three board's listed should have been
ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Intel Motherboard
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS . Which seem's the same minus wifi and with the realtek lan and minus a few sata's
plus about 50 dollars cheaper. And the last being ASUS Maximus V Gene LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard. So at this point I think my question is do any of you see anything majorly important missing from the first one to the second one? And then from the second to the third?
No. None of them are missing anything major. All the bonus stuff are just icing on the cake. Unless you have to have a certain feature it is offering, they are more or less the same.
Only if you are going to buy an i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU.
Compared to i3, there will be some increase in CPU-bound scenarios (raids / cities). Probably about 10 more FPS?

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