Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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k ty
I really wish I could build my own PC, but I can't afford to buy more than 1 or 2 parts a month and by the time I got all the parts it will probably be December and i'm not that patient so I plan on upgrading my current PC and I don't know if the power supply I plan on getting will be compatible with it. Here are the details.

Dell Optiplex 740
Windows Vista 32-bit Operating System(I plan on upgrading it to Windows 7 64-bit)
Dell Optiplex 740 Motherboard TT708
2 GB 500MHz Ram(I plan on upgrading it to 2x2 800MHz, I would upgrade it to 8GB, but it says that the motherboard can only hold a 2GB Ram chip in one slot even though it's supposed to be upgrade-able to 8GB)
I plan on installing Nvdia Geforce GTX 550 Ti 1 GB from the integrated Geforce 6150LE
Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 700GB hard drive
Dell 305W Power Supply(I plan on upgrading it to SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W power supply) p.s. it is 80 plus bronze certified
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+ (2.4GHz)
ok i changed what i was going to do and followed your list and this is what i have ended up with. trying to build my first computer so is there anything im missing like wiring or more cooling power??

and i found a deal on corsair 650w power supply on another site which is why no power supply is listed
i just want to thank Kalganized and everyone else offering advice on this thread. With this thread as my sole guide, I purchased the parts for and built my new gaming pc yesterday, and everything went without a hitch. I bought:

Intel 15-3570k (clocked at 4.4 at the moment.)
Asrock z77 extreme 4
pc power and cooling mkIII 600 watt psu
EVGA 560ti
8gigs of crucial vengeance
OCZ vertex 4 ssd-128gig
seagate barracuda 1tb mechanical drive
LG 24 inch monitor
razer black widow keyboard

My laptop (ASUS g73) runs wow well, but this computer just obliterates it. With everything set to ultra except shadows, which are set to high, I was getting ~120 fps in stormwind. When I mounted up and flew, I would get about 75-90 fps. My Asus stays right at about 60fps, so there is a big improvement there. In addition, I loaded up diablo, and it is gorgeous as well.

Color me excited. I just wanted to share and offer my thanks.

Is the case a fat vertical standing mid-tower? Because otherwise, standard power supplies won't fit in that case.

If your case is not a fat vertical standing mid-tower, your best card is Radeon HD 7750, and you have no other alternatives.

BTW, the guide mentions that GTX 550 Ti is a bad card. Save $ and go with HD 6670 / HD 7750, or buy a HD 7770 for the same price as GTX 550 Ti.

Even if you upgrade the GPU, you will be held back massively by your ancient CPU. A decent Intel CPU + motherboard + RAM combo costs about $170 total, and a decent case $60, and decent power supply $60ish.


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Glad you love your new system. ;)
is there any way to cheapen this without loosing much performance?
GTX 560 may or may not. Average GTX 560 length is about 9.5~10.5 inches. You can measure it inside the case. Also, the condensers and other stuff aligned with the PCI-E 16x slot may interfere.

I would rather recommend you go with a Radeon HD 6670 (GDDR5) then buy a new Intel CPU + motherboard + RAM combo. You can continue to use the current Dell power supply for the time being with the 6670.

For example, this card:

What is your maximum budget?
under a $1000, anyway to cheapen this,but not lose too much performance
You can get a cheaper 1080p monitor
Re use existing mouse
Get a cheaper graphics card
Downgrade to i3-2120 CPU

Don't buy the 320GB drive; save up more for 500GB or 1TB
sorry, ok heres what i got

Tower:Corsair Obsidian Series 650D

Monitor:LG 22 inch 1080p

Motherboard:Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V Micro ATX

CPU:Intel Core i5-3450

Vid Card:Radeon 7770

Power Supply:Corsair 600w

8gb of RAM (Ripjaws Series )

1TB hard drive 7200RPM 32MB ( HGST brand )

Basic LG DVD/CD burner

Is there anything else i need like cables or extra wires and do i need to upgrade the fans and cooling or should it be enough
You should not need any extra stuff.
You don't need any extra fans either.

I'd consider getting a cheaper case and get a much stronger graphics card will that do for a case? this is my 1st build so i wasnt sure if the cheaper towers are as good as the pricer ones. which vid card would u recommend.
The case works. It's a good case. Just be aware that if you ever go with an overclockable CPU setup (like i5-3570k + z77 board) or any attempt to overclock the CPU, the case will have problems with tall CPU tower coolers.

I recommend Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560.
K well this is my first build so im not going worry about overclocking and extra stuff. Thnx for all your help
can a pci e 1x16 slot work with a pci e 2x16 card?
PCI-E slots are backwards compatible (in most cases), as long as it's 16x slot
For memory, it was recommended to go with 1.5-volt modules for stability. Is there a huge drawback with going with 1.65-volt modules? I know it's just memory, so the price difference is about $5, I was just curious.
1.65v, well, consumes more electricity, and that there is no overclocking headroom / may interfere with it (with certain setups).

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