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Advice on building a custom gaming machine

Posted on 2003-03-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hey guys. This could be a long question, so brace yourself :P

I'm looking for some advice on building a custom machine, for use mostly with high end gaming. I'm looking to spend around $700 max, but of course I want to do everything as cheap as possible. Looking for tips, advice, and hopefully specific product recommendations.

I was thinking in terms of starting with some type of barebones kit, and upgrading from there. I'm looking for a basic desktop system, excluding extras that I won't use. I'd like to keep in mind the potential for upgrades in the future, don't want a 'dead end' set-up.

'Ballpark' outline of what I want. Think reliable hardware, best prices.

-around 2.0ghz Processor (leaning towards AMD)
-looking to start with about 512MB DDR SDRAM
-motherboard (no clue)
-would like to include CD-RW burner, nothing fancy
-high-end video card, like GeForce 4 or FX?
-20-40GB hard-drive should be more than enough
-floppy drive, nothing fancy
-CD-ROM, nothing fancy (possibly could use the burner?)
-plan on getting cable modem
-basic sound card, nothing fancy
-have Windows98SE on current machine, will probably use that

P.S. Can I put regular SDRAM in the DDR SDRAM expansion slots, or does it have to be DDR?

Thanks in advance.




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Question by:chatelainj
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Mal-Tech earned 400 total points
ID: 8082243
How's this?

MAXTOP CSX-917K 7-bay 350W Power Supply Mid Tower PC CASE $29.00
Lite On 52x24x52 CDRW Model LTR-52246S $50.00
MITSUMI D359M3 FDD 1.44MB 3.5INCH $8.00
WESTERN DIGITAL-WD400JB 40GB 7200RPM 8Mb cache HDD  $80.00
MSI KT333 Model KT3V Mainboard $70.00
(2)KINGSTON KVR333X64C25/256 PC2700 256MB $32.50ea.
CoolerMaster HHC-001 Copper Heatsink/fan $26.00
AMD XP 2400 $137.00
MSI Geforce4 Ti4200-TD8X64 64MB 128bit TV-OUT DVI $142.00
Creative Labs SB LIVE 5.1 audio $33.00
CyberDrive 56x CDROM $21.00
YS-Tech 80m 48cfm case fans (2) $6.00ea.

Subtotal:$667.00
Shipping: (I'm in NY, it will prolly not be that different for you) $42.14
Total: $709.14

Oops! Add $6.00 for a tube of Artic Silver thermal grease.

All at http://www.newegg.com
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Author Comment

by:chatelainj
ID: 8082421
Sounds like about what I'm looking for. Are you sure that all this stuff is compatable?

Thanks for the suggestion :)
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Author Comment

by:chatelainj
ID: 8082567
Hey Mal-Tech, can I e-mail you? If yes, but you'd rather not give your address out, shoot me an e-mail at <email removed by AlbertaBeef>.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:Gibsito
ID: 8082900
Just wanted to add that no, you cannot use SDRAM in DDR slots, however some motherboards come with both flavors of slots (you have to use one or the other, can't use both).
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Expert Comment

by:Covenant
ID: 8087049
Looks like a nice spec Mal-Tech, but I would seriously NOT buy a SBLive for use on a Win98 system if this is the guy's first ever build - it could cause all sorts of IRQ headaches, esp on a VIA system.


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Expert Comment

by:Mal-Tech
ID: 8090024
Hm, I never had any problems and I had it on 3 98 systems before I switched to XP Pro. But's it's something to consider, of course.
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Expert Comment

by:rrhunt28
ID: 8090033
BTW, check out www.pricewatch.com, they provide listings of tons of shops that sell all kinds of stuff cheap,  and newegg is listed there as well.
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Expert Comment

by:arjun84
ID: 8179039
I think it is beter to get a hard drive larger then 40Gb. I am currently using 40Gb disk but only about 4Gb is left on it. I am a heavy gamer and have about 11 games installed on my comp. Some of them are:

Unreal 2
Unreal Tournament 2003
Unreal Tournament
Age of Mythologies
Star Wars: Galactic BattleGround
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Need for Speed HP2
AOE and AOK

and I also have about 2-3 movies on my hard disk and about 1GB of MP3 files. 20GB is way too less! The minimum offered in most of the systems nowadays is 40GB. My advice would be get a 60Gb drive. That will be better. What do you think guys?
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by:rrhunt28
ID: 8181057
Hard drives keep getting cheaper and cheaper, I would look for an 80 or 100 on sale, it will not cost you much more than the 60 typically.
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