Every other Saturday, Mathieu from Hardware Revolution goes through his e-mail inbox and previous comments and answers five to ten of the best questions left by you, the readers, on computer hardware topics and many other things.

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Let’s get started!

Hi, I want a gaming pc but i have just USD $1000 what is the best I can get with that much money?

$1000 is plenty enough to have a good gaming PC these days. If $1000 is for the system only, then the $1000 gaming PC is the best you can have right now: http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gaming-pc/1000/

If the $1000 includes shipping, taxes, monitor and OS, you are then better off with the $700 Gaming PC, Windows Home Premium and a good 19-22″ monitor. The $700 Gaming PC was updated today by me, featuring a CPU from AMD that was just released this week! http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gaming-pc/700/

You can also see all the gaming PC designs that I offer simply by visiting the Gaming PC page: http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gaming-pc/

How about a no-holds-barred Core i7 and a close equivalent in AMD.  Not many of us are going to be able to build that kind of machine, but like the latest hot car, we can all google it.

I don’t see the point of doing that. Let me explain myself here: The price difference between the two platform is too high.

The most basic Core i7 platform, with a Crossfire or SLI motherboard, 6GB of DDR3 1600 MHz and the Core i7 starts at $600, just for these three parts.

A comparable platform on AMD side runs in the $400 price range, a 33% or $200 difference.

The Intel platform is likely to outperform the AMD platform in the vast majority of tests due to more powerful Core i7 and the faster RAM. My point is, everyone knows that already.

A good point that I have already proven with the $1000 gaming PC though, is that by using the slightly slower AMD platform and saving a lot of money, you can then afford much better video cards and end up with a more powerful gaming PC for $1000 in the end.

Hello! I have finally made the decision to get a gaming computer, and have decided to build my own, prebuilt being too expensive. Budget being no more than 800. I don’t know too much about computers, so it’s hard for me to judge what will be good for my needs. This will be purely a gaming computer, I won’t be using it for anything else. One game I am looking forward to is Arma 2, I’m not sure if you are familiar with it so here are the recommended specs:

CPU: Intel Core 2.8 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or faster
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon 4850 with Shader Model 3 and 512
MB VRAM or faster
OS: Windows XP or Vista

The problem is that with games the official recommended specs are never enough. I feel like if I can handle this game, I will be able to handle most of the other games I want to play. Well that’s pretty much all the guidance I can give you for what I am looking for haha. Also, I have a few cases around the house so you don’t need to include one. Thank you so much for the help, hopefully my request isn’t too much and is actually doable. Again, thank you.

Congratulations on choosing to build your own computer, a very wise choice! Usually, my guideline with computers is to get the most performance possible at a given price, without cutting corners on quality obviously.

For gaming computers best parts, I recommend that you take a look at the Gaming PC ( http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gaming-pc/ ) page on my blog, where I state every part of every Gaming PC designs that I offer. You can click on a particular gaming PC that interest you too get more details.

Considering that you already have a case and the minimum requirements of the game that are pretty high as a matter of a fact,
the $700 Gaming PC ( http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/gaming-pc/700/ ) should be perfect for your needs.

Without the case (-$60), and the OS(+$100 with Vista Home Premium), the price should come to $740, if you add shipping, that should come under $800.

I’m looking to upgrade my current computer to enable me to do some light-medium gaming and hopefully for better performance when watching streaming online video. I have 17″ monitor which I run at 1440×900 resolution.  I have 4GB DDR2 RAM – 2 cards at 667MHz and 2 at 800MHz.  My processor is a Intel Core2 Duo E4500 @ 2.20GHz and my OS is 32-bit Vista.

I’m trying to figure out what would be the best video card for my needs.  I’m looking to spend between $100 – $140.  I would be interested in knowing the best to get at 512mb and what would be the most inexpensive 1GB that would suite my needs.  I realize that there are probably some 512 cards out there that are actually better than some low end 1GB cards.

I suppose I would rather spend a little more and not have to just upgrade again in a year.  I’d like the ability to play new games – example: a game that I might like to play would be Bioshock 2 – if that helps any.  Any info or suggestion you could give would be appreciated.

If you have no intention of overclocking, the Nvidia Geforce GTS 250 512MB at $110 (http://bit.ly/Rgf4p) would be your best choice in your price range and in the 512MB cards. That card would allow you to play pretty much all games you want right now at full details.

If you do intend on overclocking, then the Radeon 4770 512MB at $100 (http://bit.ly/13V981) is my recommendation, as it’s based on the new 40nm process and has a lot of overclocking headroom, allowing it to outperform the Radeon 4850 and Geforce GTS 250 at overclocked speeds.

However, you are correct when you say that you are better off spending a bit more to get a far more powerful card so you don’t have to upgrade soon.

Starting at $170, the Geforce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB will allow you to play for at least a year, if not more, without upgrading. You may want to spend a little more and get one with one or two free games included, or factory overclocked. Here are three of the most interesting ones:
$170, Free Call of Duty: World at War game, regular speed: http://bit.ly/GwAxC
$200, Free COD5 and Farcry2 game, regular speed: http://bit.ly/WGOSA
$200, Free FarCry2 game and heavily overclocked: http://bit.ly/BfNtu

If you choose to pick a Geforce GTX 260 other than these three, make sure that it’s a Core 216 edition, which comes with 216 shader processors, instead of 192 on the older versions that are still for sale.

Finally, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you check out the The Best Video Card for your money: June 2009 article that I published a few days ago: http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-video-card-june-2009/

One card that I have been looking at which I could probably get for about $130 is the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD4850 1GB. Is that good choice?

The Radeon 4850 1GB is a poor choice, for a simple reason. That particular model won’t benefit from over 512MB of RAM, it’s simply not powerful enough to run at resolutions/settings that would require so much memory. You’re much better off with a $105 model, like I point out in The Best Video Card for your money: June 2009 article.

You’re better save ~$40 more and get a card that will be much more powerful. We are talking about a good 30% improvement on average with the Geforce GTX 260 Core 216.

Thank you everyone for your questions, I hope that my answers and this post was useful to you.
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