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Added a post about my gaming PC.

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1 parent 03fd3e0 commit a01b50f1539bb7c2a229cbd7b10b057acf572701 @mjm committed Jul 31, 2012
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+layout: post
+title: "Building a Budget Gaming PC"
+date: 2012-07-29 17:33
+comments: true
+categories: Hardware Gaming
+In my time in college, my gaming preferences have changed and developed. I came into college as mostly a console gamer, a Nintendo guy specifically, and I wasn't particularly serious about it. As time has gone on, I've moved more towards playing games on my computer and, especially recently, have gotten way more into it. For instance, I bought twenty-two new games in the Steam summer sale.
+There's a few things that make PC gaming a nicer choice than console gaming in general:
+* **It's cheaper**. Perhaps not when a game is freshly released, but once a game has been out for a while, it's easier to find it cheap for the PC than the console. Sites like [CheapShark][] make it easy to find deals from various sources.
+* **Games look better**. Generally, if you've got a fairly decent PC, games are going to be able to show better graphics than a console is capable of displaying. The more you're willing to invest in the computer, the better the results, and the difference can be staggering.
+Of course, this gaming interest is a bit at odds with my choice in computer platform: I'm a Mac guy, if you didn't know. I've got a pretty solid iMac at my desk, so I can generally play things pretty well for now, but it's only getting worse as new things are released. Obviously, being an all-in-one system, there's no possibility of upgrading its graphics performance without replacing it. Out of the question.
+Most games also require me to run Windows to play them, so I'm often rebooting to switch between playing games and doing anything else. Since my Mac also functions as a media server, it means all of those files are inaccessible when I switch to play games. And the delay between reboots causes a bit of a procrastination problem ("I could be productive, but I'm already in Windows, might as well keep gaming").
+For these reasons, I decided to shell out a little bit of money to build a PC dedicated to gaming so I no longer have to choose between operating systems. I decided to keep the machine relatively cheap for the time being, but the nice thing about building a PC this way is that when I decide I want more performance, I can simply upgrade specific parts instead of replacing the entire computer. Here's what I put together:
+[PCPartPicker part list]( / [Price breakdown by merchant]( / [Benchmarks](
+**CPU** | [Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor]( | $89.99
+**Motherboard** | [ASRock H61M-GE Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard]( | $62.99
+**Memory** | [Kingston 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory]( | $21.99
+**Hard Drive** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive]( | $69.99
+**Video Card** | [Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card]( | $164.98
+**Case** | [Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case]( | $64.98
+**Power Supply** | [Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply]( | $63.98
+**Optical Drive** | [Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer]( | $16.99
+ | | **Total**
+ | Prices include shipping and discounts when available. | $555.89
+I did a decent amount of research when choosing these parts, most of it stemming from [/r/buildapc][bapc] and [Tom's Hardware][th]. My target price was $500, which I did exceed slightly, but I think it was worth it. The case is [stellar][case] for the price, and while the processor is by no means great, for its price it's decent gaming CPU. I'm optimistic about the 6870 as the graphics card, as it's got the [best performance per dollar][pp] of any card near its performance, and at some point I'll be able to upgrade to a GTX 670 or similar and see a noticeable difference.
+I think I did a pretty good job of finding the parts that gave me the best bang for my buck. The parts should arrive Wednesday, so we'll soon see just how well I chose. Hopefully, everything arrives safely and I don't mess anything up while assembling things.

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