New budget gaming system

brentybrenty

Team Member
edited February 2011 in Lounge
Build? Buy? Yikes.
So, my MacBook Pro isn't as great as it used to be for playing World of Warcraft since Cataclysm came out, and the character creation process in Eve Online just makes both of us want to cry. Between this and my need for a reliable machine for PC-only hardware and software and the fact that my tax refund is imminent, I figure the time is right for a purchase. But, wow, do I feel overwhelmed! I used to build systems all the time, but it's been a while, so I'm hoping to get some input from the good folks in the community here.

I'm definitely open to purchasing a pre-made system, but from my cursory excursions into retail land (Dell, Newegg, Doghouse, etc.) I realize that my requirements may be better met assembling a system myself. Here are some thoughts:

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[*]I'm leaning toward a quad-core AMD/ATI-based PC, since I've been using my primarily Intel/Nvidia-based Mac for the past few years. Why not? :P

[*]I'll be using an HDTV as my display, so 1920x1080 will pretty much be my resolution at all times.

[*]I've been looking at the Radeon 6950 1GB and the XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition. Both of these seem like they are probably more than I need, but the previous model cards do not seem to be significantly cheaper... :(

[*]I'd prefer a case that's not hideous, well-cooled, and easy to work in with room for expandability. (What I'd really like is one of those Mac Pro cases! Mmm.) But eSATA should work great for adding storage, in any case.

[*]Somehow, I would like all of this to be as cheap and quiet as possible. I know -- if wishes were horses...

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I'm pretty flexible on most of this though. For example, if I find a good enough deal on a lower-end graphics card that will last me a year or so, I can always upgrade to a better one if necessary. Newegg has the 5550 for 40$ after rebate, but from what I can tell that may be too underpowered. It's so hard to discern the sweet spot...

Has anyone else built their system recently?

Comments

  • khadkhad Social Choreographer

    Team Member
    What I'd really like is one of those Mac Pro cases!

    Have you thought about just getting a Mac Pro and not running OS X on it? It might be cost prohibitive, and maybe you were really looking forward to building a system again. I can't imagine having time for that anymore. :-)
  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited February 2011
    khad wrote:

    Have you thought about just getting a Mac Pro and not running OS X on it? It might be cost prohibitive, and maybe you were really looking forward to building a system again. I can't imagine having time for that anymore. :-)


    Aww, you're killing me...

    Besides it being rather cost-prohibitive, I would still feel like a jerk every time I had to borrow a friend's machine to run SpinRite. Also, from what I understand, GPU options are much more limited when it comes to Macs, both due to driver support and compatibility with EFI. And the most up-to-date graphics card available as a build-to-order option from Apple is the 1GB 5870...for 180$ extra.

    That said, I would love to have a Mac Pro some day; I just don't think this will be any time soon. I will still be using my trusty MacBook Pro with OS X (sweet, sweet OS X!) 80% of the time; and if I can manage it, I will absolutely be running Eve and WoW in Linux. :P
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