Centaurus PC guide to building custom gaming computers

Centaurus Computers Custom Gaming Computer buying guide. Check to see
what hardware parts are better for your budget and games. What do you need to
play all your favorite games and dominate on the virtual battlefield!

Getting all the
right components to play your favorite games and fit in your budget – it may be
hard to do but not impossible with this guide. There are a lot of options and hardware
to choose from, but we will give you all the info you need so you’ll not get
lost!

 

 Before we
get started, you will have to answer a few questions:

1. What is your budget, how much are you willing to spend?

2. What games are you going to play – Shooters, Strategies, RPG, Flight
Simulators?

3. What is the size of the monitor you’ve got, is it 17-19”, 20-22” or 24” and above?

 

 Now you are
ready to make a first step in selecting the right computer for yourself!

Budget – that is the ultimate limiting point of your purchase. Don’t
have more than $700? Then you are limited to a very basic gaming capabilities
and lower resolutions, may be enough to play WoW. Can you shell out around
$1000? You can get descent machine to play any game with at least medium
settings on 20-22”
monitor, usually many pgrades possible in this cathegory. Do you have $2K to
spare? You will be able to run any game on any monitor with highest settings,
because that is enough for top processors and videocards. $3000 will buy you an
assurance that you will not need any upgrades next 2-4 years to be on top of
the gaming! With this amount of money you would get the best CPU, dual
videocards, excellent overclock and more.

 

Games
You Play
 – if it’s going to be only
“World of Warcraft” – you can spend about $999 and be sure that it will be
enough to play it with high settings on any monitor. If you want to be able to
run Shooters like Crysis or Far Cry 2 on High or Highest – be prepared to spend
$1500 and up, of course you can play those games on $1k machine with Medium
settings, but it’s up to you. Generally 3D Shooters require more power
from your computer, same as flight simulators. Strategies and online RPG
usually need less. But it greatly varies from game to game. Check minimum and
recommended system requirements than multiply them by 2 and that would be good
for you.

 

Monitor – if you are limited to 17” or 19” monitor, you will play in low-medium resolutions
and do not need to spend too much on PC. If you have 20” or 22” monitor then you will want
to play at 1680×1050 resolution, and it will put some stress on your computer,
make sure that you select at least GT 240 video card to be comfortable at this
resolution. If you have 24”
monitor or bigger, then you will need some serious firepower inside your PC,
look for high-end video cards like Nvidia GTS 250 or ATI 5850, get CrossFire or
SLI to be able to crank all settings to HIGHEST.

Most important
choices are: CPU and Video Card. These two components have most influence
on your gaming experience. Make sure that both monitor and videocard have
same input/output ports, like most popular DVi or newer DisplayPort or HDMI.

CPU – If you want to spend less than one thousand dollars than you
should look at AMD Athlon II and Intel Dual Core processors, they have good
value in lower segment, cheaper ones are AMD Athlon II X2 and X4 or
Intel E6500 or i3 530 that will give up to 50% more performance closer to $1K,
If you want to spend around $1K – look at Phenom X3 or X4 or similar,
Intel i5, all can be overclocked over 3.0Ghz without sweat if you have good CPU
cooler, and at that frequency it “kicks some ass” for the money it costs. For
budgets over $1000-$1500 check out Intel i5 Quad – excellent Quad
Core that can be also overclocked over 3.0Ghz with good cooler, more and more
games are optimized for quads, so you will see the difference! New Intel Core
i7 might be expensive but they offer the best performance on the market right
now!

Video
Card
 – be careful there, serious
gamers do not look at GeForce 210 or ATI 4650 cards – they are good for low
budget, but you will see HUGE performance increase if you get at least ATI
5670 or 9800GT. If you want high resolution then check out more expensive video
cards – GTS 250 and ATI 5750 and 5770! For higher end better pick ATI
5850 or 5870, these two will let you set HIGH settings in all games! For most
demanding gamers – CrossFire and SLI systems to play like a pro!

 

CPU
Cooler
 – do not underestimate it!!!!! If
you select stock cooler you will get high temperatures, lots of noise and no
overclock (Free speed boost). Do you think that spending extra $30 on a good
cooler is too much to drop temps about 15’C for more stable operation, not hear
any noise and jump-start your CPU to 3.6Ghz instead of stock 2.8Ghz? That is
way too much value to not to upgrade CPU cooler. Money you spend here give the
most feedback for every 1$.

 

Power
Supply
 – Very important if you planning on
upgrading video card or any other components. PSU that are selected by default
with all our models are sufficient for them with default options. If you
upgrade video card you should select better power supply to accommodate
increased power requirements. For example GT 240 or Radeon 5670 will work with
standard PSU, but adding second card in SLI or CrossFire will require at least
600W SLI ready PSU. Please refer to the PSU help page link next to the PSU
options. You will not make mistake by getting better power supply, your
computer will always benefit from more reliable and consistent power it needs
inder heavy loads when you play games!

 

Memory –  important component that goes right after CPU and Cooler
and Video Card. Basically, as long as you get at least 4Gb DDR2-800 you are
good to go. You will see incremental performance increases if you upgrade
to DDR3 memory. Newer DDR3 memory with frequencies from 1333Mhz to
1800Mhz will help on high end machines and will not be a bottleneck. 6Gb RAM is
a standard for i7 / X58 systems.

 

Motherboard – pretty simple, more money you spend here more features you are
going to get as well as some speed bump. For example AMD 790x will have
FireWire but AMD 770 might not. Intel X58 have 3 PCi-e slots for video cards,
but H55 will have only one or 2 PCI-e 16x/8x for videocards. Some motherboards
come with integrated video, while others are designed for discrete videocards
only.

 

Hard
Drive
 – most gamers do not need more than
500Gb or 640Gb SATA2 HDD. Some will even be good with just 320Gb. But if you
want significant storage – get 750Gb or more. 

WD Raptor and VelociRaptors have faster spinning speed (10000RPM vs regular
7200RPM) and therefore work 25% or more faster. SSD technology is still in the
developments phase and does not offer much benefit over VelociRaptor drives and
they tend to be overly expensive.

Fans, Cooling
& Fans – Heat is the worst computer’s enemy and all these upgrades
help reduce heat by moving air more effectively inside of case and out of it,
cooling important components like CPU, Video Card, Motherboard and memory.
Cheap upgrades that can make huge difference. Plus better cabling will look
cool if you have clear side window!

 

Case – if you care only about it’s look, then get what ever you like. If you
are concerned with cooling capabilities, then select Antec 300, Antec 900,
Thermaltake, CM Scout. If you don’t want to hear any noise from your PC check
these cases: Antec P180/P183, Antec 300, Cooler Master Centurion, Thermaltake
Element. When you spend more on the case you get more features, better quality
and better cooling.

 

Windows
7
 – most expected operating system of
the past considering its poor performance, Windows 7 is everything that
everybody wants – fast, reliable, easy to use, compatible with most of the old
software and hardware. It is actually the only OS available on our website at
the moment as all others had been phased out really fast with Windows 7
introduction. Sorry we don’t carry Windows Xp any moreBusiness Management Articles, it came to “the end of
life” along with Vista.