Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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You can if you want, but it should generally be not necessary.

The case should have an 'accessory box' which has more brackets.
Hey Kalganized, I know its not hardware per say, but could you recommend a good joystick? Looking to getting another one with Mechwarrior Online comming out.
Kal, another question, does Intel HD4K not support 1920x1080 resolution? I'm having what I'd guess is over-scan using VGA, although I do have an HDMI cable I'm using in my Xbox that I could use although it says Xbox360 only which I think is BS and marketing.

Sorry, joysticks are not my domain. In the old days, Microsoft built great joysticks, but I don't think they make any now.


Intel HD 4K does support that resolution.
07/06/2012 09:54 PMPosted by Kalganized
In the realm of consumer computer hardware, whether it will go bad or not is usually totally RNG. Even the most expensive ASUS board you buy might be a dud, and yes, it does happen.

Yeah I have seen some of the poor ratings people have given on some Asus MBs. I am probably just a sucker for the bells and whistles. Yes, any component can give up the magic smoke.

Anyway I might use your guide for a buddy who has an old machine that I just had to put a second AGP video card in. He has to play wow with everything at lowest settings. He can't afford much. I keep telling him that the crappiest off the shelf dell right now is better than his machine and that I can build him a better machine for the same money. But he hasn't taken me up on it yet.
Consider connecting the mouse to the front USB ports
Yes, there are extension cords for PS/2 mouse.

Kalganized, I recently ran into a bit of a hiccup during my build. Got everything set up and everything seems to be working except the ram is not posting in dual-channel mode and I keep getting a dr debug error code 55 (memory not installed). I tried different ram modules and got the same error. I tried every configuration possible and still go tthe same error. Could this be a faulty ram slot on my motherboard? I got the mobo at microcenter with the cpu combo, so I want to make sure what the problem is before I try to exchange it for the same mobo.

System specs are:

CPU: Intel i5 3750k
MOBO: Asrock z77 Extreme4
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws x 8gb
SSD: Corsair Force GT 240gb
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1tb
Optical: Asus 24x dvd burner
PSU: OCZ ZX 1000w
GPU: MSI GTX 680 Lightning
Case: NZXT Phantom full tower
Different RAM modules as in you tried using another proven-to-be-working DDR3 modules?

Did you try one slot at a time?
Different RAM modules as in you tried using another proven-to-be-working DDR3 modules?

Did you try one slot at a time?

Yea. Tried one at a time, different slots, same error 55.
I'll say that the RAM slots are faulty. Get it replaced.
07/09/2012 10:08 PMPosted by Kalganized
I'll say that the RAM slots are faulty. Get it replaced.

Now, the RAM I'm using for this build is not on the motherboards memory compatibility list, but I've researched others using the same RAM on the same MOBO, that wouldn't be a problem right?

EDIT: Nevermind, G.Skill website says that it is compatible. Looks like I'll be returning the mobo tomorrow.
just wanted to say i'm really considering buying the laptop now. Thanks for your help Kalganized!
Np, Shana. ;)

Graphics card recommendations have changed due to the price changes.

Of notable changes:
Radeon HD 6770 had a price hike. Due to this, it's no longer recommended unless you can find one for cheap ($100 or less).

Radeon HD 7870 had a price drop to $300 level.

First, thank you for the guide and for your time responding to the various questions. Second, I have an upgrade question which I would like to get your opinion on.

I currently have:

Monitor: 720p, 1600x900 (2 years old)
Video: 9800GT
CPU: Intel E5200
RAM: 2GB DDR (maybe DDR2?)
PSU: 430W

I have a limited budget, and I know I need to upgrade basically everything. I plan to upgrade the CPU, MB, RAM (and PSU if needed) now. Then upgrade the case, HD, OS (Windows 7) and video card at the end of the year (xmas money). I don't plan on upgrading the monitor, it is fine for my needs.

I only play WoW (about 4-6 hours per week) and do Excel/VBA work on my computer. So, for the CPU, since I only play WoW on "Fair" video settings at 1600x900 resolution, is the G630 enough or should I go with the i-2120?

Thanks in advance.

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