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Published on February 4, 2011 By BigDogBigFeet In Personal Computing

Well my fortunes have finally turned for the better where I am now planning my next PC.  I've secured a reasonable full time job.

I'm looking for advice on how to get a great value on a good PC for Windows 7.  I'll be gaming and customizing so a good graphics card is a must as is having enough PC memory and speed for the next couple of years.

A few questions that came to mind is do I need Windows 7 Professional or is Windows 7 Home Premium adequate?  I will want to play my favorite current games suchs as Oblivion, GC2, SoSE, DemiGod, NWN2, X3 Reunion and TC, Civ 4, etc.  So does the version of Windows 7 matter?  I think I would like an ATI 6870 card is there a better choice?  Will a DirectX 11 card not play DirectX 9 games very well?

Finally, give me some recommended builds both pre-built and build it myself for comparrison.  I would like and AMD 6 core or 4 core for economy and also Phenom II.  I will consider I7 and I5 if they are cost and performance competitive.

Thanks all in advance.


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 04, 2011

Well my fortunes have finally turned for the better...I've secured a reasonable full time job.

YAY!    (I can't help you with the rest, but it makes me happy to know things are looking up for you).

on Feb 04, 2011

Well my fortunes have finally turned for the better where I am now planning my next PC. I've secured a reasonable full time job.

So happy to hear this BDBF! Jafo might just resize your avatar.

on Feb 04, 2011

thanks guys! I'm happy too!

on Feb 04, 2011

I have Windows 7 Ultimate and I'm running on just an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6ghz quad and 2GB ram. My video card is an old NVidia card with 512mb DDR2, and I can run just about anything. Not on top specs, but not badly either.

So in my opinion, just about any of those configurations sound good. My brother's always used AMD systems, but I've been on an MSI socket 775 for years so I just upgraded the CPU.

My next goal is to update the power supply so I can raise my video card to a GTX or something more capable.

Anything that will run DX11 will be able to roll back to run DX9 without issue. At least I've not run into any issues on any systems I've used in the past.

As far as that graphic card goes, there's differences between cards you can see by looking up their benchmark tests, but on the games you listed it should be just fine - But you may see how it ranks on some of the newest games that have come out, because you don't want to buy a new card and then find out that it won't handle the next two-three generations of games.

on Feb 04, 2011

I am not going to try to give you advice on the components, as you didn't mention what your budget was   As for the Windows 7 version, for what you are doing there is no real reason to get Ultimate. Home Premium should meet your needs.

on Feb 04, 2011

We went with a Compaq 64 bit when we had to replace the boys PC. It runs Windows 7 Ultimate. It was an amazing deal for the money. You might laugh, but we got it for under 300 at Staples. 4GB memory, 500GB HD. I had to shop around, but got him a NVidea Slim Line card for under a hundred. He plays WOW and STO on it with no problems. He could play them both before, but the performance improvement and the graphic improvement (which was phenomenal) have made it a great computer. It's extremely fast for everything and after 2 years, still performs like new.  The only issue we had was having to get TimeWarner to update the router so it would work with W7. Yrag had to help me with that some, cause even their newest one wasn't allowing the WOW server to get through. I'd put his PC up against anything that cost four times the money any day.

on Feb 04, 2011

Budget I'd like to stay $1k or less.

on Feb 04, 2011

PM me...

on Feb 04, 2011

I'm happy for you BDBF. Hopefully it'll start a trend and more of us will see better times or at least an improvement.

on Feb 04, 2011

as a long time system builder and bein a+ certified i can help with a new computer. pound for pound nothin is cheaper and more stable than a computer that u build gateway and dell are not good choices as there quality are not very good hp and compaq are very well built machines and support for both are out standing my best advise to u would be go to newegg.com there prices and selection are a+. once there at the site they sell do it your self computer kits not only that they sell everything u need to build one there customer service will even help u with picking the right parts just to give u an idea my work computer that i built was 765.00$ thats an amd am2+ pros 3.1gig dual core,4 gigs of geil gameing ram,asus crosshair gaming mobo,2 nvidia fx 280's in SLI,a 1tb harddrive,800watt,ocz powersupply,and a termaltake,armor plus gaming case,keep in mind that 7% off just showin u what u could get for under a 1000$ hope this helps any.good luck with ur new job and ur new system.

on Feb 04, 2011

I would recommend Windows 7 Home professional if your computer is going to be sitting at your house and you will be just gaming. If you are going to be using more than 3.5 GB of memory then get the 64-bit version of Windows (32 bit OS are physically limited to 3.5gb of memory use).

As for hardware I would recommend Newegg.com if you are going to build your own computer, Look for a nice board ( I prefer Gigabyte or ASUS) with a good rating and one that will not limit you on what you want to install. Try for at least 4GB of Ram  any less and you will not be satisfied. Try for a DDR3 compatible board also and that is the latest and greatest memory type right now. Also make sure that it is compatible with your CPU that you want to pick out.

For the CPU's AMD's are great for the price. If you have extra dough though look for a nice top o the line I7, they beat our AMD hexa-core CPU's but cost more. As for AMD CPU's go for the $199 PhenomII Hexa-core cpu and you will not be disappointed more than enough juice. If you want to spend less then pick up a black edition Phenom II quad-core and it should handle almost anything you throw at it. Just make sure they come with fans if your not into buying your own fans.

And for video cards, all the newest cards will play all the old games, (except for those random games that will have bugs with random cards). For card suggestions ATI and NVIDIA, the higher the number the better, and look at GPUREVIEW.COM. you can compare cards there all day long. But for ATI go no lower than x700 (ie 6700, 5700...) for playing games and NVIDIA no lower than x50 or x700 (for the older cards). Yes you can play the games with lower cards but just not as well.

And last and SSD (60gb or more) for boot and 1tb or more for file storage. Will make your computer fast as heck.

As for pre built, if you gots good money then look at your alienwares and maybe HP has one. But i would to well known names on prebuilt in case they screw something up.

Short recommendation:

Win 7 64-bit   4+ GB DRR3 ram    ASUS or Gigabyte MOBO   x700 or better GPU 

SSD hardrive for boot  And a big A** monitor!



on Feb 04, 2011
on Feb 04, 2011

If you need to do any of these 7 Pro

Run many Windows XP productivity programs in Windows XP Mode

Connect to company networks easily and more securely with Domain Join

In addition to full-system Backup and Restore found in all editions, you can back up to a home or business network.


If you need to do any of these 7 Ult. plus above

Help protect data on your PC and portable storage devices against loss or theft with BitLocker.

Work in the language of your choice and switch between any of 35 languages.


$1049  << link 

CyberPower Infinity 9000 

has an i7  I didn't read about it but it looks cool

on Feb 04, 2011
for link above
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912 Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Adjustable HDD Cage (Black Color)
Internal USB Extension Module: None
Neon Light Upgrade: None
Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
Noise Reduction Technology: None
CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-950 3.06 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1366
Venom Boost Fast And Efficient Factory Overclocking: No Overclocking
Cooling Fan: XtremeGear Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)
Motherboard: (3-Way SLI Support) MSI X58A-GD45 Intel X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX Triple-Channel DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 Audio, eSATA, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III, RAID, IEEE1394a, 3 Gen2 PCIe, 3 PCIe X1 & 1 PCI (All Venom OC Certified)
Motherboard Expansion Card: None
Memory: 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz Triple Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
Freebies: None
Video Card 2: None
Video Card 3: None
Dedicated PHYSX Card: None
Multiple Video Card Settings: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
Power Supply Upgrade: 500 Watts - Standard Case Power Supply
Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
Data Hard Drive: None
Hard Drive Cooling Fan: None
External Hard Drive (USB3.0/2.0/eSATA): None
USB Flash Drive: None
Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: None
3D Vision Glasses: None
LCD Monitor: None
2nd Monitor: None
3rd Monitor: None
Speakers: None
Network: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
Network Switch: None
Keyboard: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
Mouse: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
Mouse Pad: None
Gaming Gear: None
Extra Thermal Display: None
Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: None
External Wireless Network Card: None
Wireless 802.11 B/G/N Access Point: None
Bluetooth: None
Flash Media Reader/Writer: None
Video Camera: None
Headset: None
Printer: None
Cable: None
Power Protection: None
Surge Protector: None
IEEE1394 Card: None
USB Port: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
Floppy: None
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (64-bit Edition)
Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner: None
Office Suite: None
Games: None
Ultra Care Option: None
on Feb 04, 2011

Ya I checked that out.  I'm not so sure about liquid cooling.  The graphics card is weak.