Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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Kalganized I have a few questions I'd like to ask you before I buy this comp I customized, do you have an email address?
Kalganized, could u tell me any of these DIY combos capable of a decent FPS(20-30 or so) in a 25 man LFR? I know they dont come with a graphics card and would need a different PSU. Also not lookin for high setting, just focusing on FPS

Mostly looking at this combo:
So Kalgan, it appears after a little over 3 weeks of using my new computer, I get home from vacation sunday night and it starts having issues.

Either itll load windows very slow, get stuck on the windows loading screen and not load at all, or it wont even load windows and will ask me for a boot drive.

Any idea of whats going on?
Does anyone have experience with the fan/heatsink that comes with the intel i5-2400? Reviews are saying it doesn't attach very securely and I'm looking to see if I should invest in an aftermarket one.

For your budget, it is recommended to avoid the 17" screen as GPUs in these laptops will not run games smoothly in native resolution used by 17" laptops.

As per guide, look for an Intel i5 or i7 (Sandy/Ivy Bridge laptops) with minimum GT 540M or above.


Don't really want to say my email address here. Let me know when you will be on WoW and I will get on and contact you.


Yes, but the money you spend on buying a new graphics card and PSU will make it more expensive than any of the example builds I have in my guide. DIY combos require you to build your own too anyway, so there's no much point to getting them.


I'd first try and see if the hard disk is going bad. If you have an alternative hard drive, test it out.


The stock fan is good enough. The method to attach these are bit on an annoying side, and not following the instructions thoroughly will result in "not attaching firmly".

I'd first try and see if the hard disk is going bad. If you have an alternative hard drive, test it out

Have a bad feeling it might be that, after the 30 days no less

If i get the extended waranty still offered on new egg for the 10 bucks for a year can I still return it?
Contact the manufacturer directly; their warranty is longer than what NewEgg offers
Apologize for the wall o' info ahead of time. Is there a way I can shave off $50 or so off this build and not sacrifice a lot of performance? I looked at cheaper motherboards (from your thread) but a lot had some really bad reviews. I'm sure you can give me a little better insight, though.

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$2.00 Instant


COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119233
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant


Western Digital Caviar Green WDBAAY0010HNC-NRSN 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136776
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$16.00 Instant


TP-LINK TL-WN822N Mini USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter
Item #: N82E16833704053
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$14.00 Instant


SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (100314-3L )
Item #: N82E16814102948
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card


AMD Gift - Dirt3 Game Coupon - OEM
Item #: N82E16800995114
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$49.99 Saving


Antec EarthWatts Series EA-750 Green 750W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active ...
Item #: N82E16817371051
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate


Rosewill RTK-001 Premium Anti-Static Wrist Strap
Item #: N82E16899261001
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy


Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Item #: N82E16820104173
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy


ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Item #: N82E16813131837
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$5.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card


Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 ...
Item #: N82E16819115074
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy


TOTAL: $854.90
(Not including monitor/win7)
Get a cheaper power supply (if you won't CrossFireX, 500W is sufficient (ensure 80 Plus Bronze).

You do not need to get an anti-static wrist strap, but you can keep it.

ASUS boards are expensive. Go with the cheaper recommended ones.

HyperX tend to be bit more expensive than the competition.

i5-2300 will save you few more $
Okay took your suggestions and swapped out those parts. Now we're looking at:




Left the processor alone bringing my total to $750 plus $20 for shipping (woot) Do I need to purchase any other parts (cables/screws/etc) or does everything come with the parts I put on the list? Like the motherboard stand offs, mountings crews, all that. I have cords to connect my monitor already.
The RAM is DDR3-1333, although that isn't such a huge deal with Sandy Bridge, oh well.

Otherwise, it looks good. You don't have to purchase anything extra. All those screws and stuff will come with the case / motherboard.
What would better RAM be?

Scratch that, checked the list at the beginning. Thanks for the help! If I run into any snares building I'll be sure to come back here.
Thank you so much for this buying guide! I've been a dedicated Mac person for a long time, but given money, and the desire to WoW a little on a laptop, I've been looking elsewhere.

From my days in building my own gaming desktops, I'm really interested in getting a nice Sager model.

My only question. Does anyone know if there's been resolution with the whole Optimus issues/problems? If not ... will it be a good bet they'll update the drivers and get the whole issue sorted out?

Thank you!!
Optimus continues to occasionally have problems. It's a general problem across all switchable graphics enabled laptops. Future drivers may fix it, or it may not.

To ensure that problem never happens, you'll have to spend $ on a GPU that does not have switchable graphics support -- although GPU itself supports it, higher-end laptops almost never come with Optimus support.

IE) All the laptops that I've seen with GTX 560M / 660M / 670M does not have Optimus support.
Compatibility question.

has a PCI Express 2.1 slot but the motherboard has a PCI Express 3.0 and a PCI Express x1

Are those going to be a problem or will the card/motherb connect fine? Also, the specs say theres only one system fan header. Will I still be able to connect the exhaust fan in the back as well as the fan on the front of the case? (both included)

Someone posted a remark about the Coolmaster HAF 912 case, "Pegs for micro-ATX motherboards don't have a place on the right side of the board." Is this something I need to worry about seeing as I'm getting a micro-atx motherboard?

I apologize ahead of time for the tedious questioning, just making sure everything is going to work before I invest.
Hey. I am new to WoW and was wondering if this is a good build. It is going to be my first build but I am familiar with parts. Here is what I put together. Do you think it is a good build? Also, what kind of FPS would I get with this machine? Here it is:

Case: ($109.99)
Case Fans: x3 ($33.57)
CPU: OC'ed to ~4.2 GHz ($229.99)
CPU Cooler: ($49.99)
Motherboard: ($134.99)
RAM: ($43.99)
GPU: ($539.99)
PSU: ($109.99)
SSD: ($329.99)
HDD: ($119.99)
TC: ($6.99)
OS: ($179.99)
Monitor: x2 ($639.98)
Keyboard: ($129.99)
Mouse: ($59.99)

Total: $2720 (Before Rebates, Tax, and Shipping + Handling)

PCI-E slots are backward/forward compatible; cards marked "PCI-E 3.0" will work with PCI-E 2.1 slots. Likewise, PCI-E 2.1 graphics cards will work fine on PCI-E 3.0 slots.

Yes, the case fans usually come with 4-pin fat molex connectors as well as system fan headers, so you can choose which.

No, not too much. Just have to be little careful when plugging in the 24-pin ATX power cable / RAM, etc.


There is no need to buy additional case fans. Phantom has good enough amount of them as it is.

You can be just fine with cheaper Hyper 212+ / EVO CPU cooler.

I would recommend GTX 670 instead of GTX 680, unless you play extremely demanding 3D games like Battlefield 3 at ultra settings.

750W power supply is overkill unless if you will SLi. 600W is maximum I recommend for a single GPU setup, with 500W being good enough for a GTX 670.

Generally, you don't need a thermal compound; one that comes with the CPU cooler is generally sufficient.

Buy the OEM version of Windows 7 to save $.

There are a lot of overkill components, but I assume you buy them because you know what you are doing.
Oh well I bought the case fans because I wanted to make my case have a black and red design, so I thought it would be perfect. Also, the fans are quieter than the case fans (from what I've been told). Secondly, I was going to OC my CPU so I thought I would need a better cooler. I also got the 750W PSU because of the OC'ed CPU. Same thing with the TC. Thanks for the Windows 7 advice. I never knew about that. Lastly, about the GPU, I bought the GTX 680 because of the performance. The GTX 670 has really bad reviews too, so I just went with the 680. Anyways, will a GTX 670 be able to run Youtube videos on other screen while playing WoW with every setting maxed and on the other? If so, then which GPU should I get? Here are the options:

P.S. If you don't like these cards, feel free to recommend me one.
Is the only game you play WoW? What else you play? Because honestly, for WoW, a $200 graphics card is more than sufficient to see it run very well with ultra settings.

OC CPU/GPU does not require THAT much more power.

GTX 670 is universally considered very good graphics chipset.
Well I am going to be playing hundreds of games. Every type of game. For example, Skyrim, LoL, WoW, SC II, CoD, BF3, GTA IV, Crysis, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, and MANY more.

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