Gaming PC, $500 budget, future options

pii233

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Jul 12, 2016
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I don't have the latest information on hardware and what's good since I stopped using desktops a few years ago. I might need a desktop again in the future for expansion and customisability. I'm sure you've heard this one before, a gaming PC within a tight budget. But I've only recently started to be interested in computer components again, and a lot has changed. I don't know anything.

Prefer nVidia or ATI for graphics. Matrox's offerings make my mouth drool, but I don't think I'll be able to afford them. Also OpenGL and DirectX.

Purchase date: ~6 months. What are some good upcoming components that I should look out for, if you can't recommend a specific product? As I said, it has been a while since I followed news on hardware components.

Budget: $500 for parts.

System Usage: 3D games. Specifically Counter-Strike, (Will I need a bigger budget to run Global Offensive? I realise this is hard to achieve in such a tight budget) word processing software and image editing (Photoshop).

Monitor: Is it worth it to get one of those new 'flat-panel' monitors? I heard bad things such as low response time and refresh rates. But it's out of the question. I probably can't afford a graphics card that can output DVI anyway. I already have a perfectly fine 15 inch CRT that's been serving me fine for a while.

OS: I would like it to be at least capable of running Windows 95, with provision for many future operating systems. DOS is too complicated and inconvenient for me.

Overclocking: Maybe. I don't want to break my chip though.

Monitor resolution: Varies. My current computer can barely do graphics applications at 640x480, but I want to use the full potential of my monitor (1280x1024). Is this too much to ask for $500, though?

Additional:I would like the motherboard chipset manufacturer to match the manufacturer of the CPU (exception being nVidia nForce). I've wasted so many hours trying to fix VIA and SiS chipset problems on past PCs.
I would like a discrete sound card. In my experience integrated sound cards are problematic and have terrible quality.
I need a 3D graphics accelerator in order to play games.
I don't need ISA ports. Frankly, I can't comprehend why manufacturers put them on motherboards anymore. I would rather have another PCI slot or two in that space.
A dual processor slot would be good but not necessary. I'm not sure if it'll fit within budget.
I would like to have a RAID controller and Ultra DMA/133 disk transfer speeds, but again, only if that fits within budget.
I don't need a modem card. I have broadband!!! :D
I would like the case and motherboard to be of ATX format to allow future upgrades, and to eliminate the complicated hassles of AT power wiring and manual shutdown. It seems ATX is quickly becoming the 'standard'. Recently I replaced a friend's destroyed motherboard with an ATX motherboard, and all of my friends' custom built computers use ATX motherboards.
Floppy drive. A MUST have.
Joystick port, for 3D games.
PS/2 port. IBM Model M is the best keyboard ever. I'm seeing fewer desktops being sold with mechanical keyboards. Even IBM isn't anymore. Why????
At least two USB 2.0 Hi-Speed ports. I've got a few 1GB SD cards, and transferring files on them takes ages.

Why I am upgrading: Expandability. Ports. Customisability. Everything these days uses USB, and my laptop doesn't have enough ports. My old desktop seems to be struggling with programs. I am constantly running out of memory and crashing. None of the games I installed run at all. I guess it's inevitable that I upgrade.

Thanks for reading!
 

n0ns3ns3

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May 25, 2016
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You know that trolling is against forum rules ? ;)
Though I appreciate that someone actually posting funny thing instead of "my brain is bottlenecking the bios on my ram"
 

pii233

Commendable
Jul 12, 2016
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True to your name, you speak nonsense.
I'm being serious. I'm not trolling. That's all I can say.
 

DSzymborski

Judicious
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Nov 19, 2010
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What gives away the game is that the chronology of his knowledge has too much variance. Sometimes he's only unaware of things as of 1990, sometimes 1995, and sometimes a mere decade ago.

The DOS thing is also a pretty good clue that this isn't someone using a PC from 1992 and wants to upgrade. If you've been running a PC not capable of Windows 95 for 20 years, you're necessarily going to be familiar with DOS. Windows 3.1 did not banish DOS from our use.

Points for effort, though, even with some flaws.
 

pii233

Commendable
Jul 12, 2016
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I have really been living under a rock in regards to computer hardware.
I knew someone with more knowledge of past computers would point out those 'inconsistencies'. But I didn't say anywhere that my current PC can't run Windows 95. I just said I need one that can run that or better. I also have a modern laptop with a 3200MHz i5 and 8GB RAM. Also, someone could still be running something like a Slot 1 Pentium II computer (1997) with an ISA sound card, USB 1.1, an AGP graphics card and Windows 95/98/Me etc even ten years ago, it's not unheard of, and the anarchronism is possible to my knowledge/memory. Not everyone is a 'power user'. Some people still use Pentium 4 computers to this day. The PS/2 port was mentioned because I noticed some recent motherboards had only one PS/2 combo port, and some had none.
Let's check dates:
ATX: around 1995
UDMA 133: This is the 'past decade' you were talking about. However, PCI expansion cards could add this capability to older systems.
Last motherboards with ISA ports were built for the Pentium 4 as far as I know, although PCI was popularised in the mid-90s.
PS/2: 1987. This one probably concerned you as well.

But that's besides the point. The question asked is still valid. A gaming PC under 500 dollars to play Counter-Strike. The rest is background information. Whatever works today.

Some people still do use CRTs, believe it or not. The venerable Trinitron FW900, for example, is certainly undeserving of being dumped on the side of the road. Or the ViewSonic G810. Both can display 1600x1200 or more and have refresh rates in excess of 100Hz that cannot be matched by most consumer LCDs. Other than those beasts, someone like your grandmother is still probably likely to have a crappy 15 inch CRT monitor, if their children have forgotten about them, or they are arbitarily unwilling to get new technology. I can't believe that someone would actually discredit this post based on the CRT monitor. Or it must be that whatever country the guy who said that from is much more technologically up to date than here. It seems I've been living under a huge rock, it really does.

Besides that, I'm glad to see someone who is actually knowledgeable about computer hardware history beyond i7 9999Ks and R9 299s and the latest whatever.
 

pii233

Commendable
Jul 12, 2016
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Wow! This seems pretty good to me, though I wouldn't know much since it's been a while since I built a desktop. I'll try to get something similar or as close to this. I found some decent PCI-E sound cards online for cheap, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Also, are there any new releases of CPUs from Intel/AMD in the next few months? It may be a while before I am actually able to buy a desktop PC.

Thanks for answering!
 

CV_Taihou

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Dec 3, 2015
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AMD Zen series CPU's should be out by the end of the year, but I'm not familiar with the product lineup yet. You also won't really need a sound card as the inbuilt system is good enough in 99% of situations. They're only worth it now if you are doing a bunch of high end audio work like recording etc.
 

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