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Mid Level Gaming Computers
Best Gaming System Specifications for Your Budget
You can build mid level gaming computers that compare to the best gaming computers by using good components. Build gaming pc for performance and play on the best gaming system you can afford (and that you can build).
Mid-level gaming computers will give you a great gaming machine. I stay away from cutting edge components here, and stick with solid proven components that perform well.
This build would also work for video rendering and animation, although it won't be quite as fast as the high end machine. The processor is what will drive your video rendering, so you could easily substitute a Quad-Core processor in here.
Build The Best Gaming System for You:
Let's start with a nice CPU that's great for gaming computers. I'm going with a Core 2 Duo E7200 from Intel, just so we have some money to spare a bit later, as you'll see. The Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 at 3.0GHz is a great processor for the price. At 1333MHz on the front side bus, it'll play nicely with your system.
For a motherboard, we just need to make sure to get one that supports that chip. Not hard to do. But we want to make sure we get a few bells and whistles, especially if you plan to overclock your system. The Asus P5K Deluxe fits nicely into gaming computers. It's a great overclocking board, and has the connections you need.
To keep things speedy, we'll make sure to not skimp on the RAM. I'm recommending the Patriot DDR2 800 RAM. With 4GB, it'll keep gaming computers running smooth. If you are planning to run a 64 bit operating system, then grab yourself 2 of these kits and run 8GB. Can't beat that.
Next up is a graphics card, the heart of all gaming computers. To keep the prices down, I decided not to go with SLI, although if you decided to, the motherboard will support it, so all you'd need to do is pick up another card.
What would a gaming computer be without a couple graphics cards to make it all look pretty. The choice is clear, you have to go with the EVGA GeForce 280 GTX. This card sports 1GB GDDR3 memory, and runs on PCI-E 2.0 with a core clock of 620MHz.
Something to keep in mind though, if you are going for SLI, you can save a bit of money and go with the Nvidia 8800 GTX with 768MB, currently they are around $200 or so cheaper.
If you go for the EVGA Nvidia 8800 GTX there are often good deals to be found online.
We'll need a couple hard drives for this system. The first one is for current applications, games, and the operating system. The Western Digital Raptor X is top of the line, and at 150GB and 10,000 RPM, it'll give all gaming computers the speed to keep the information flowing.
The second hard drive we'll use for backup and storage, so we don't need a screamer like the Raptor. The Samsung SpinPoint T HD501LF at 500GB and 7,200 RPM will do the job nicely. It's a great price for 500GB as well.
We definitely don't want to skimp on the power supply in this system. Gaming computers need something that'll handle power hungery components, with the possibility of a second graphics card. If you are going for the 9800GX2 in SLI, we'll need something even bigger. So I have two here, the 750W Silverstone DA750, made for dual video cards, and the CoolerMaster Real Power Pro 1000W (price range: 269.99 - $299.99).
Note: If you are not planning on SLI, then you won't need quite so much power. Check out the Zalman ZM600 600W power supply. It has the modular design which is very nice for gaming computers, and will put out plenty of power for a high end video card.
We'll need a nice case for all this, and I have the perfect one. The Antec P182 is a sweet case. Plenty of room to run cables behind everything, tool-less design, and excellent airflow make this a great case for gaming computers.
Need to have a DVD drive to burn those movies and install all the software. I am staying away from Blu-ray here, as in my opinion, it's just not worth the price yet. LightScribe has come down in price, so may as well have that on the drive. I like the Lite-On SATA DVD +- R model. Nice speed with LightScribe.
To view your gaming glory in widescreen, go with the Samsung 2253BW 22" Widescreen monitor. This will give you plenty of desktop space, and games will look great at 1680x1050.
Finally, if you plan to overclock your system, then you'll want a better heat sink than is provided with the CPU. The Thermaltake CL-P0114 is a monster of a cooler and it will definitely take your temperatures down when overclocking, and most gaming computers are overclocked to eke out every ounce of power.
Here's the summary of what building the best gaming computer for your needs will cost. I have used approximate prices, you may be able to find better deals:
Note: All prices shown do not reflect mail in rebates or store rebates, as they change so often. When you are looking to purchase, check around for available rebates, discounts, and sales. I will try to keep these prices up-to-date but, due to fast-changing and competitive markets, they may not be 100% accurate.
Mods: Or How To Save Some $$$
One Final Note: Prices on computer components are changing all the time. As you build gaming pc, always shop multiple sites to find the best price.
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