Question Help me build a gaming PC

Urzuz108

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Nov 26, 2015
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Hi all,

I am trying to build a new gaming PC. I know nothing about computers and was looking for some help in getting the most bang for my buck.

I was thinking about getting an Alienware since there is a sale going on and I know that Dell is a reputable company.

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/cty/pdp/spd/alienware-aurora-r8-desktop?~ck=mn

I don't have a firm price max, but I was thinking something in the range of $1500. Obviously I know to get the best performance I would just choose the most expensive components, but I feel like I don't have a good sense for the marginal benefit I will get from each upgrade. What is a good amount of RAM? Graphics card? Should I get an i5, 7, or 9? Any help would be great.

I have a monitor, mouse, and keyboard already.

Thanks all for your help!
 
I would suggest you build it yourself. It's not too difficult and there are plenty of tutorials and videos to show you how. It would be cheaper and you can get better parts.

I was trying to configure the Alienware, but they just want too much for things like SSD. I wouldn't spend my money on it. Check out this custom build you could do if you build it yourself.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor ($264.89 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Scythe - Ninja 5 43.03 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - Z390 Extreme4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($154.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($98.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung - 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($77.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.78 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB Black Video Card ($499.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT - H500i (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($96.52 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - PRIME Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1502.61
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-04-23 21:40 EDT-0400
 
Do you happen to know what model of monitor you have, or what its resolution and refresh rate might be? Also, if you have a computer now, what are your current system's specs, so we have an idea of what you are upgrading from?

In general, the graphics card will make more of a difference to performance than the CPU. I certainly wouldn't bother with an i9 for a gaming system, as its performance will generally be indistinguishable from that of an i7, or even a 6-core i5 in most current games. AMD's Ryzen can also be a good option, particularly if it allows you to dedicate more money toward graphics hardware instead.

The graphics card will depend on what resolution and refresh rate you plan to be gaming at, and whether you want to run games at maximum graphics quality settings, or if you are willing to turn them down a bit for smoother performance.

For RAM, 16GB is currently a good amount for a gaming system, as many newer games can benefit from having access to more than 8GB. Moving up to 32GB isn't likely to have any effect on performance in current games, but might potentially have some benefit in games getting released a few years down the line. RAM is a typically a pretty easy upgrade though, so it might not be worth buying more than is currently needed.

As for going through a company like Dell, it's an option if you really don't think you could put together a system yourself. In general, you should be able to get more performance for your money building yourself though, along with more control over what components are going into the system. And most of the upgrade options in the system configuration for those Alienware systems are way overpriced. Why does it cost $50 to go from a 1TB hard drive to a 2TB one? In reality, there's typically only about a $15 price difference between them. And why do they charge an extra $120 to move from a 1660 Ti to a 2060, when those cards are only priced about $70 apart? The prices just seem marked up a lot over what these components actually cost.
 
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Apr 25, 2019
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I rememebr how my brother built his PC to paly the latest games with the highest characteristics. I think it's better to visit a store adn speak to the consultatnwho can recommend you something and maybe they already has something to show you in process. One thing I can say without hesitation is that it will cost a lot for you.
 
I rememebr how my brother built his PC to paly the latest games with the highest characteristics. I think it's better to visit a store adn speak to the consultatnwho can recommend you something and maybe they already has something to show you in process. One thing I can say without hesitation is that it will cost a lot for you.
Bad advice. Not only will you pay more, but you will also get less hardware and less quality hardware. The only thing you will get more of is bloatware on your operating system.
 

Skpstr

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Oct 9, 2013
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I would suggest you build it yourself. It's not too difficult and there are plenty of tutorials and videos to show you how. It would be cheaper and you can get better parts.
This is excellent advice. It's how I started, and I just finished my 3rd build. All 3 have gone flawlessly.

It's honestly pretty intuitive, the only YouTube video I watched was about mounting the cooler to the CPU, so I used the right amount of paste. Pretty much everything else won't fit anywhere it isn't supposed to go. Then it's a straight up Windows install, then mobo and GPU drivers.

Don't be put off by the number of posts with issues. Assuming you aren't overclocking or anything, for every person posting a problem, there's probably ten who had no issues.

And any time you're unsure of something, just stop what you're doing and come here for advice.

Just make sure you get a roomy case.
 
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Urzuz108

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Nov 26, 2015
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This is excellent advice. It's how I started, and I just finished my 3rd build. All 3 have gone flawlessly.

It's honestly pretty intuitive, the only YouTube video I watched was about mounting the cooler to the CPU, so I used the right amount of paste. Pretty much everything else won't fit anywhere it isn't supposed to go. Then it's a straight up Windows install, then mobo and GPU drivers.

Don't be put off by the number of posts with issues. Assuming you aren't overclocking or anything, for every person posting a problem, there's probably ten who had no issues.

And any time you're unsure of something, just stop what you're doing and come here for advice.

Just make sure you get a roomy case.
Thank you for your response!!

I know what you are saying about it being fairly intuitive...I saw my friend build my previous PC and it did look easy. That being said, I would really feel more comfortable having someone else do it for me, and luckily money isn't too much of a factor for me. Do you have any suggestions in terms of hardware for prebuilt Alienwares? https://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/6361382/type/dlg/sid/tomshardware-1086116320272694652/https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/cty/pdp/spd/alienware-aurora-r8-desktop?~ck=mn

Thanks!
 

Skpstr

Honorable
Oct 9, 2013
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10,685
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Thank you for your response!!

I know what you are saying about it being fairly intuitive...I saw my friend build my previous PC and it did look easy. That being said, I would really feel more comfortable having someone else do it for me, and luckily money isn't too much of a factor for me. Do you have any suggestions in terms of hardware for prebuilt Alienwares? https://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/6361382/type/dlg/sid/tomshardware-1086116320272694652/https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/cty/pdp/spd/alienware-aurora-r8-desktop?~ck=mn

Thanks!
Sadly, no. I don't know a lot about PCs to begin with, and nothing about prebuilts. I used to drool over Alienware ads lol. But with limited budgets, I soon realised that if I wanted more than a toaster, I'd have to get my hands dirty.

The first build I did, I purposely bought lesser components than I could afford, because I was nervous, and figured I'd screw something up and have to replace it. I kind of did the same for the second, because I thought I just got lucky with the first one.

Basically, this site is the only reason I gained the confidence to slightly exceed the larger budget I had this third time.
 

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