Best gaming PC? Budget and High-End.


May 18, 2003
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Hey guys.

I'm on a tight budget and I'm looking to get a new gaming computer for HL2. I can afford about $1750 and I don't need a monitor, speakers, keyboard, or mouse (I have a MX500 + Steelpad baby!) I'm looking to buy a professionally built/optimized for gaming PC. To let the price down a little bit, I'm going with an AMD machine. Here are the companies I've been looking at:

Alienware $2000+
Very nice systems but also very expensive. Alienware does a good job of optimizing systems.

Falcon Northwest $2200+
I've heard good things about these but they are also more expensive than an Alienware. The pre-built systems lack power.

Cyberpower Inc $1500+
These guys don't look all that bad. They do use mid to high-end parts, but I don't know anything about how they optimize their systems, or even if they optimize them at all. It would help if someone would tell me more about them.

Vicious PC $1350+
Now this is interesting. These guys won the CGW Ultimate Gaming PC awards over such powerhouses as Alienware. Their systems are also very cheap. The only concern I have with these guys is that on their customization page, they don't tell you what brands of parts they are using. This concerns me.

Post your rants and raves about different gaming systems here. Let the war for the ultimate (budget) gaming PC begin!
I may be a bit biased, as I myself am going for Alienware (and many people would probably tell you to look elsewhere), but, if you're looking for a good long-term PC, then go for Alienware. Everything is top notch, their support is unparalleled (I have a friend who bought Alienware, and their customer support is great), and the wiring (which is very important if you choose to upgrade later) is fabulous. Their cases also have a 420-Watt power source, as opposed to the typical 300-Watt. This ensures better performance and stability. From what I've heard, all those companies are top notch, just some don't have those little 'extras' you can get that make it worthwhile. But in the end, any of those would be great choices.

Alrighty, this is what a store I know of could do:

AMD XP 3200
Ram: 2x 512mb Samsung PC3200
Maxtor 160gb Ultra ATA 133 7200rpm 8mb cache HD
Asus A7N8x Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800 PRO 128mb Bulk
SB Audigy2 6.1
Alienware case (The old style)
Windows XP Home


Or if you replace the XP 3200 with a 3000 you'll be fitting nicely inside your pricerange. (Although I don't know what tax and shipping will be)

w/ xp 3000: 1679

The only downside to ordering from a mom and pop shop like this is that you don't get all the extra software, like Office 2003 or whatever. We could easily load OpenOffice or any other alternative you could think of on there but our budget isn't quite as large as Alienwares so we can't really give away 300 dollar software. =) If you're interested just reply here and I'll give you some contact information. -Noodly

today, just for kicks... i put together a machine under 1000, everything considered.. ie shipping, tax. and this is what it ended up being. -
tried to stick to two/three sites - to cut back on shipping costs and just to add simplicity to buying.. as well as not putting your credit card on the web a limited number of times.. heh. .. and TIGHT BUDGET!??! 1750!?!... bastard.

hl2 machine –


MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR nForce2


GEIL DDR RAM 512MB PC-3200 Value 400MHz Ultra

WesternDigital 120GB 7200rpm hd

ANTEC SOHO File ServerTower w/400w ps

MSI (MS-8152) 52X IDE CD-ROM

MSI MS-8352A 52x24x52 IDE CD-RW


in summary... newegg and googlegear haven't screwed me over yet, however you could probably find a few items for cheaper if you wanted to by from a lesser known/less user approved site.
yes..yes.. the sony disk drive is a little loud, and upgrade to a 9800 pro if you want to break 1000 by a bit... if not.. go ahead and buy two of these and give one to me for helping. 8)

total: $885.48
w/ tax: 938.61
w/ shipping( depending ): 975.00

gl. zach.
Building your own system is always the way to go. Most of the parts come with a 3 year warranty, so if anything is wrong hardware wise they will fix it. I noticed you mentioned the 420 W power supply, Well, you can get one of those for $20 at a store next to my house, I say upgrade to about a 500W for ~$80 at any store. What Xelnein posted is very nice. You should look into biulding your own, much cheaper, and a lot of the time, better. As for software, just download it :dozey: What i did and im sitting here with Microsoft Office XP Pro, and im not short $450:cheers:
Yeah, and what the hell is with that $1750 TIGHT budget shit?! Thats not "tight" You bastard, I could biuld 2 machines that ran HL2 perfectly for just over that. I guess im just a poor sun'a bitch that makes $7/h.
True. Making your own is always the way to go, assuming:
1) You know what you're doing
2) You have the time
Perhaps the reason why he posted the companies was that he didn't have time or want the hassle. If not though, I'd say make your own as well.

Yup, building your own system is definately the smartest way to go, but if you don't squat about computers then I guess just buy one. heh.

Miasma, you might also wanna check out Voodoo PC. VoodooPC and Falcon Northwest are good ones, go for either.
whatever you do, don't go for the AMD 3200+.
P4's 3.06ghz is much better according to all benchmarks.
not to mention the AMD costs more (!!!)
Actually the AMD costs less: if its not a 3200+. Don't worry, I've read all the benchmarks and am going for the P4 3.0ghz 800fsb.

Apparently I have more cast than I though because it seems my mom wants to chip in for some reason. **** it, I'm just buying an Alienware.

Thanks guys, and no I know alot about computers and hardware, but not alot about installing :dozey:
well.. yeah AMD costs less.

only the 3.20+ version costs more than P4's 3.06ghz.
AMD typically costs less...however, I think the 3000+ wasn't all that great, after looking at benchmarks. The 3200+ was really what the 3000+ should've been (no way in hell the 3000+ outperforms any 3GHz processor).

I use AMD because i dont have $1750 to throw around :eek:
If you're gonna get a P4 3GHz, it would be a smart move to wait 'till October, there'll be a price cut. I know it's a month after HL2's release, so impatience will get you. This is a good way to see if you have the patience of a Jedi :dork:

if yuo ahve that kind of money, i'd reccomend Falcon Northwest all the way. if you cna manage to get a Exotix

i love them...

i hate dell

Vert said it perfectly with the AMD's however i believe iv read the wording (or damn near close to it) somewhere else :) . Anywho i agree with most of the guys, wait till athlon 64 is released(sometime near september) and other amd prices will drop as well. I have already build 3 computers in my mind since may and each one gets new upgrades. i will buy in mid september most likely.:dozey:
you can choose your own components... and build it your self (wich is much cheaper than paying others to do it):rolling: for example:
amd 3000+(8x agp), 200gb hd(8mb buffer), audiggy2 platinum, radeon 9800pro, 5.1 speaker system, cd-rw (52x24x52), dvd(16x48),2xddr 512mb and a god damn hd cooler to!!:thumbs:
it totald up to about $1900... hmm... thats...very I want to uppgrade!!;(
and if that isn't good enuff to run hl2 then... i dont know what will...:E
Im just gonna save up some $ now and wait till sep to buy

EDIT: <--- 69 posts :dozey:
EDIT2: Shit i posted again, now its 70:eek: