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What cost determines your build? - Page 4

post #31 of 32
A single game, one I had already played mind you, is what I got into PC gaming for. [Oblivion] I picked up a $2K laptop in 11/07 [it was a horrible pick], a $1600 Desktop in 05/08, a refurb replacement laptop for $752 in 05/09, a HD5970-new Corsair TX750-Case-Megahalem HSF in 11/09 and my latest laptop ASUS G73 for $1300 in 04/10.

*yeah... I'm kinda broke now*

I like gaming on laptops and because laptop are generally weaker than their desktop counterparts I have a good feel for where the low end of good performance is for just a pure gaming machine.

This would be my general approach to trying manage costs to fit the best gaming performance into a budget... which is what I will have to do from now on.

Stuff to cut corners on:

Case: You can find a few cases with good airflow for less than $60, so you shouldn't spend more here [or elsewhere in this section] until you fit other stuff into your budget.
RAM: 4GB of decent 1333/1600MHz C7 cost $50 or less. Faster than 1333MHz doesn't really affect performance. Lower timings, C7 or less is preferable.
CPU: I know putting the CPU in this category goes against a lot of people's thinkng, but what I mean is.. that as far CPUs go, the cheaper in the series you're looking at is most likely the best bang-4-the-buck because you can OC the performance back for free. These would currently be, just looking at quads:

Note: My current laptop CPU is marginally weaker than the lowest of the CPUs listed, which are approximated low->high.

Athlon X4 640
Phenom II X4 955 BE
Phenom II X6 1075T
i5 760
i7 950
i5 2500k

Heat Sink Fans: Plenty of good HSFs to be found for $30-$40, no need to spend more.


Part of the reason of trying to trim some costs is because you can put that money back into the budget for these things.


Things not to cut corners on:

PSU: Choose not to go with quality at your own risk. Recommended Seasonic or Corsair.
GPU: Games are all about graphic power. The HD6950 is my favorite for now because it usually unlocks to a HD6970. GTX460 1GB and HD6850 are the good budget cards at the moment.
Mobo: You don't need to go overboard on a mobo, but try to get the features you'd want. You'd preferably look for a mobo with decent overclocking capability. You'll also surely want SATA3 and USB3. To bad PCIE 3.0 isn't out yet. Having at least 2 PCIE, preferably 16x/16x is also useful for dual GPUs for graphics or for a dedicated Physx GPU.


The Rest:

SSD: Nice if you can afford it. Very limited storage for this gamer's normal use.
Hybrid HDD: Poor man SDD, still faster than a Raptor. I haven't seen one over 500GB though.
Good old HDD: Gets the job done. Cheap. Lots of storage space.
Optical Drive: DVD or Blu-Ray, your choice.
OS: W7x64
Mobile Gamer IV
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Mobile Gamer IV
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post #32 of 32
Well, possilby you profetionally play games like Crysis or Metro. You would need a $2,000 system to smothly run those games and see everything you need to see. Not to mention the crazy internet services, all the updates your going to have to do, and your power bill.
Edited by TechRex - 1/24/11 at 4:58am
Northern Warrior
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Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Win7 Home Premium 64-bit Samsung SyncMaster 2233sw Sigma Monster 750w 
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Modded Rosewill Challenger 
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Northern Warrior
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AMD Phenom II X6 1055T ASUS M4A89GTD PRO MSI GTX470 G.skill Eco 7-8-7-24 @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 Win7 Home Premium 64-bit Samsung SyncMaster 2233sw Sigma Monster 750w 
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Modded Rosewill Challenger 
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