So You Want To Build Your Gaming Rig Cheap? $600 Budget?


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So, you have around $600 dollars to spend on a computer and would like it to be a decent gaming machine? When you aren't tech savy, or never fiddled with computer hardware, building your own machine seems out of the question. I would now like to inform you that building a computer is much easier than you think, and it can also save you a whole heap of money. Sure it may take a few well spent man hours, but not only will you have extra cash in your pocket but you will walk away refreshed knowing that it was yourself who did the work. What I will be explaining herein is the parts and procedures for building a gaming rig for around $600 dollars. All parts were found on and compared to an alienware of similar specifications the price is around $1,700.

        The parts above are all subject to your own taste, and compatibility. If you want a larger hard drive order a larger hard drive. The items I selected for my list were to keep the cost down and stay around medium gaming performance. If you were looking for hardcore gaming equipment you would not be needing a tutorial, am I right? This is a general tutorial for the building process of a computer and does not go into detail on the specific equipment, that is what the instruction manuals that come with the components are for. This is here so as to guide you in the correct process and order. So you don't fudge anything up.

        Lets say you purchased everything as I supplied here on this list. I will explain my choices and also help along the way of putting everything together. First off, you are going to need some tools. Don't worry everything you need should be easy to get without spending extra money. You will need two philips head screwdrivers(one small and one average size), a flathead screwdriver, tweezers, small plastic zipties, a table, and some patience. Make sure you have your table clear and all items and equipment are on top, or at least all of the smaller items. Don't wear any wolly, or static producing clothing.

        First off let us gather the Chassis, processor/artic silver, and the motherboard. I chose this chassis because it has overall good reviews, I also have a friend that personally used this one, and it is cost effective seeing as it comes with a power supply. Open the chassis side plate, and open the instructions to find the proper set-up for the motherboard screws. This is going to be an ATX motherboard size so apply the chassis hardware as specified for the ATX set-up. Once that is done you can open the motherboard packaging. Remember it is a good idea when handling computer equipment to either ground yourself using grounding bands to discharge static. I usually just use the chassis to discharge anything by just keeping part of my body touching it. Not the optimal solution but more cost effective than buying and carrying around a $30 static mat/band. Anyway, you will want the chassis on its side. Remove the motherboard and processor from their packaging. On the prcessor there will be a triangle and on the processor socket on the mother board there will be another triangle. You will first lift the lever on the motherboard socket and PLACE the processor gently into the socket and close the lever back down. Once that is done take a small cloth and dip it in alcohol to clean the top of the processor and remove any pre administered paste from the heatsink that came with the processor. then take the artic silver #5 and squirt a small amount onto the processor, about the size of the tip of your pinky finger. Do not rub the paste all over the processor, it is best to apply a small amount to the middle of the processor as it will spread when the heatsink is applied. Now take the heatsink and apply it to the processor according to the instructions that came with the motherboard. You may now plug the heatsink fan to the motherboard. Take the back/IO plate that came with the motherboard and apply that to the back of the chassis. Now that is done you can take the motherboard with the newly applied heatsink and insert it into the chassis making sure to have all screw holes aligned and not having any part of the chassis scraping the bottom of the motherboard. Make sure to fasten the board with the connectors toward the rear of the chassis inside the holes on the back/IO plate otherwise you will have to remove it and insert it again. Fasten the motherboard to the chassis utilising all screw holes possible. Make sure to have it secure but not so tight that you damage anything. Inside the chassis should be a group of small wires leading to the front of the machine, these are for the on/off, reset, usb, and various lights. You can find the instructions on how to plug these wires into your motherboard properly in the motherboard manual. You may want to use tweezers if you have large hands. As a final step here take the wires from any of the chassis fans and plug those into the various fan plug on the motherboard.

          Good thing for you is that the hard work is done. All that is left is plugging in and installing. You can start by fastening the hard drive to one of the lower racks, and the CD/DVD drive to one of the larger upper racks. From there you can take a SATA cable(small red and flat) and plug it from the hard drive to the motherboard. Then take an IDE cable(wide grey and flat) and plug that from the CD/DVD drive to the motherboard. Connect the appropriate power connectors from the power supply to the hard drive and DVD drive. Also plug the large multicoloured 24 pin motherboard power connector from the power supply to the motherboard beside the ram slots, along with the small 4 pin power cable that plugs in on the motherboard near the processor. You can take out the ram and insert them into the 1st and 2nd positions on the motherboard(this will be labelled in the instructions). Remove the graphics card from the package and insert it into the first PCI-Express slot on the motherboard(the long green slot in the middle of the board)make sure to remove the adjoining back plate on the chassis, then fasten it to the chassis with the screw that was removed. At this point everything should be hooked up corrctly, as long as you followed my instructions, while also referring to the more detailed instructions that was included with your hardware. To test this just plug it in to the wall socket, the keyboard/mouse, and monitor. Also make sure the power switch on the back of the chassis is ON,  and press the power button on the front of the chassis. You should be getting a BIOS screen, and a no operating system found screen. Since all of the went well then you can power down and unplug the computer. At this point it would be a good idea to make sure all the wires in the computer are secure, and pulled away from all fans. You can use the plastic zipties for this. Clean eveything up and set-up the computer wherever it is going to be in your house.

         This part is where the patience comes in, installing the operating system. I chose windows 7 why, because that is what you need to be gaming. Since you can no longer buy a new copy of windows XP, windows 7 is our new choice. Remove the disc from its packaging, turn on the computer, and immediately insert the disc into the DVD tray. Seeing as there is no operating system installed, the disc should be booting up. If not just refer to your motherboard instructions on how to change the boot order in your BIOS to CD/DVD first. Once the windows 7 installer pops up you will want to do a clean install onto the hard drive, and let it format the whole drive to NTFS. Now you can wait as it periodically asks you for information. Once installed you should be on your way to great fun. I mean installing your software and updating the drivers for your graphics card. If you have any questions about this, please leave them in the comments I will make sure to answer any problems you may have. Just remember refer, refer, refer. Use your resources, if you have a computer then have it on so you can google any problem you have. Use the instruction manuals that came with your hardware. When building a computer, it is mainly about matching slot to slot and socket to socket. Anything else you can call customer support, look on forums, or ask me. Tech people love to solve problems, so don't be afraid to ask.

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Because of the large variety of parts that can go into a computer built to play video games, gaming computers are typically custom-made, rather than pre-assembled, either by gaming and hardware enthusiasts or by companies such as Alienware, AVADirect, Gateway, V3 Gaming PC, LanSlide Gaming PCs, Origin PC and Gaming PC that specialize in producing custom gaming machines.

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