Help me buy a custom gaming PC
March 26, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

What are some good, reliable, up-to-date websites that discuss buying and building a budget gaming PC?

I'm looking to spend $700 give or take to build my own gaming rig. I know there are multitudes of websites, monthly youtube videos, magazines, etc. that offer up their own solutions/suggestions/recipes for custom gaming rigs... but since there are so many of them i'm not sure where to find a truly reliable source. Are there any websites that really stick out in terms of this sort of thing? Forums, hardware reviews, articles etc. would be awesome.

posted by nurgle to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
For up to date info, I would check out the Tom's Hardware New Build Forum. There are regular discussions posted there for computer builds within particular price ranges, so I think it's a good source for guidance.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:00 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

This Lifehacker guide is also a handy resource for the building process itself.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2012

The "buildapc" subreddit, especially the information linked to in the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page (starting with "New Here?"), was absolutely invaluable to me when I built my computer last summer since I had lost track of what was "good" hardware.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reddit's BuildAPC group has all kinds of good info and suggestions.
posted by Aquaman at 2:02 PM on March 26, 2012

posted by Aquaman at 2:03 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just built my new system using Tech Report's March 2012 system guide and I am very pleased with the results.
posted by Lokheed at 2:03 PM on March 26, 2012

Definitely check out this chart ("Logical Increments PC buying Guide"). Don't skip the text boxes at the bottom. It's dense, but is a good starting point.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:08 PM on March 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
posted by nurgle at 2:23 PM on March 26, 2012

I found this price/performance CPU chart to be helpful.
posted by anaelith at 2:50 PM on March 26, 2012

The Ars Technica system guide (specifically the Budget Box.) The CPU forum is a little more up-to-date.
posted by kagredon at 3:05 PM on March 26, 2012

Tom's hardware also does a (monthly?/quarterly?) feature of what they consider the best gaming rigs at various price points. The latest one looks perfect for you.
posted by VTX at 3:21 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like mainly because of the charts they have. When I have a rough idea what hardware I'm going to use I go to, and other pages for additional research and reviews (wish those sites offered charts similar to Tom's). Always double check your specs for compatibility issues!

Then I use and Google Shopping to find the cheapest sources.
Most importantly I generally require a minimum of a 1000 positive reviews to consider a source. If a source has less and I'm still interested in purchasing from them I only do it if it's either a really cheap part that I can live with if I have to re-purchase it.

I ALWAYS read as many bad reviews as I can find for sources to get an idea about what types of problems one can expect. Bad reviews for good sources are often obvious in that people just seem to be unreasonable.

Anyhow, you can save yourself a LOT of money and pain by being thorough and patient. I have yet to have a bad experience sourcing the components for a system. Being smart about sourcing parts is almost as important as picking the parts in the first place.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:36 AM on March 27, 2012 does a great job of providing a range of performance options for the best price. I've used the recommendations there to build two pcs so far and just finished putting together the specs for a third!
posted by platinum at 2:06 AM on March 28, 2012

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