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Gaming PC: Buy or Build Advice for newbie?

Hi! I've never had a gaming pc before and, with my old computer dying, thought it was time to get one!

I'm not really tech-smart, would prefer to buy prefab, but could try my hand at building a gaming desktop if armed with a good guide (and if the quality would be vastly better this way). I have a strict budget of under $1000, want a desktop that can play games without lag/overheating issues, and that can reliably last for years. To give an idea of what kinda specs I'm looking for, I want something that can play games like The Sims 3 (ran horribly on my last pc) with expansions, Sims 4, the Witcher series, and other RPGs like BioWare's catalogue. I'd love it if it could play these games without overheating or suffering lag. Doesn't need high quality detail, medium settings would be enough for me (would this be an i5 core or above?) It'd be nice if it could handle running iTunes and writing CDs as well (last pc's drive burnt out in a year). Decent amount of memory/RAM would also be ideal since I don't like using the cloud to store anything.

I really didn't know where to ask this, so I appreciate any help you guys can give me! I'd like to have a new pc within the next 6 months or so, so if there's a model suiting my needs and budget on the horizon, please let me know! I live in the states if that helps with store recommendations and whatnot. While I would love something in the $600 range, I don't want to sacrifice performance or longevity if $1000 can get me the closest to my ideal setup.

Thank you for any help you can provide me, I'm really grateful!

-Anna
Reply to autumntides
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about gaming buy build advice newbie
  1. Best answer
    If you're willing to build

    No compromises $1000 build:
    Tons of storage, added an extra fan for better cooling, will be able to run everything on max with 60fps
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($196.88 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($151.88 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB Mini Video Card ($269.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master - N200 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($32.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($34.90 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.69 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Noctua - NF-R8 redux-1800 PWM 31.4 CFM 80mm Fan ($9.95 @ Amazon)
    Total: $989.74
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-09-13 19:40 EDT-0400

    $600 budget build
    Still has lots of storage, although it is slower than the $1000 build will be able to run most games at fairly high settings for 60fps same extra case fan for cooling

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($104.88 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Patriot - Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB GAMING Video Card ($194.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master - N200 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($32.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($34.90 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.69 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Noctua - NF-R8 redux-1800 PWM 31.4 CFM 80mm Fan ($9.95 @ Amazon)
    Total: $603.86
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-09-13 19:50 EDT-0400
    Reply to blankcr8
  2. Awesome, thanks for the answer! I'll start looking up guides on how to build a pc. Quick question, would this build allow for USB ports? And would any kind of monitor work, or should I keep an eye out for a specific one? Same for keyboard and mouse? Thanks again, I'm sorry for asking what I imagine are probably stupid questions :)
    Reply to autumntides
  3. with usb ports there two sets of them. one set is the front case ports. those numbers are set by the case vendor can be none to 4 or more. most new cases have two and headphone and mic now on the front of the case. all new mb come with a set of usb port on the rear of the mb. whe nyou look at mb online it will show and tell the number of ports. newer mb now dont have usb 2.0 ports most now have 4 usb 3.0 and two or more usb 3.1 ports. on monitors the old old units are vga (small blue port on them..walk away from them. newer gaming pc will have hdmi or display port on them. the better units will have both and older dvi. try not to buy unit with one port output only. if the port goes bad and the monitor out of warranty it just end up as a paper weight. hdmi and dispaly port are needed for 4k games. with keyboards and mouse go wireless. all you do with them is change batteries once in a while. if you have a big store like micro center near you go and tuch..feal keyboards. some newer ones are micro small. some are mid and there larger led gaming keyboards. the cheap one have letters stuck to the keys...ofver time the most used keys wear off. also try on wireless head sets. not all fit good or sound nice. headset let you play without bugging house hold with boom and screams. at 2am. with gaming rig keep it away from desk in case of drink spillage...dont want drink to fall into the case.
    Reply to smorizio
  4. This case has 3 usb ports on the front and the motherboard has 7 (although 1 is USB type c which isn't compatible with normal usb). Both of the builds have connectors for dvi HDMI and display port. I personally prefer a wired keyboard and mouse, but that's up to you.
    Reply to blankcr8
  5. blankcr8 said:
    If you're willing to build

    No compromises $1000 build:
    Tons of storage, added an extra fan for better cooling, will be able to run everything on max with 60fps
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz 6-Core Processor ($196.88 @ OutletPC)
    Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.49 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($151.88 @ OutletPC)
    Storage: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Zotac - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB Mini Video Card ($269.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Cooler Master - N200 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($32.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic - 520W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($34.90 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.69 @ OutletPC)
    Case Fan: Noctua - NF-R8 redux-1800 PWM 31.4 CFM 80mm Fan ($9.95 @ Amazon)
    Total: $989.74
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-09-13 19:40 EDT-0400


    Hi! I am planning to build a $1000 PC and I think yours is the best answer to my question. I am a newbie at this so I can't really determine PC parts. I was wondering what monitor would be best to buy along with this setup? Also how much price difference would it be if I go GTX 1070/1080 and also in performance?

    EDIT:
    1. What if I wanted to have a mid tower case to increase airflow?
    2. Also what is the difference between the mini motherboard and the standard size motherboard?
    3. What if everything is on standard and not mini - would this increase price/performance?

    Thank you!
    Reply to kylefonz
  6. The best monitor for this setup would be a 1080p 60/75hz. You could get a 144hz, you just wouldn't be able to use it in most games.

    It would be an extra $150-200 for a 1070 and an extra $250-300 for a 1080 currently. You would also want either a higher refresh rate monitor with these or maybe even a 1440p/60 for the 1080. The 1070 is 30-40% faster than a 1060 and a 1080 is 70-80% faster than the 1060.

    A mid tower case would not significantly improve airflow. There actually aren't that many differences from this motherboard to full size one. You just can't run sli on it (which I wouldn't recommend anyway). If everything was on a fullsize motherboard the price to performance wouldn't change at all, except for the fact full size motherboards are usually about $10 more.
    Reply to blankcr8
  7. blankcr8 said:
    The best monitor for this setup would be a 1080p 60/75hz. You could get a 144hz, you just wouldn't be able to use it in most games.

    It would be an extra $150-200 for a 1070 and an extra $250-300 for a 1080 currently. You would also want either a higher refresh rate monitor with these or maybe even a 1440p/60 for the 1080. The 1070 is 30-40% faster than a 1060 and a 1080 is 70-80% faster than the 1060.

    A mid tower case would not significantly improve airflow. There actually aren't that many differences from this motherboard to full size one. You just can't run sli on it (which I wouldn't recommend anyway). If everything was on a fullsize motherboard the price to performance wouldn't change at all, except for the fact full size motherboards are usually about $10 more.


    Awesome, thank you! :)
    Reply to kylefonz
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