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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,691
# 9
11-10-2012, 01:48 AM
Intel i3 dual core if you're just gaming, or an i5 quad core for lots of multitasking as well (plus in the future, more games may be multithreaded).

8 gigs of quality RAM. 4 does most things now, but yay for future-proofing.

Motherboard by ASUS or Gigabyte. There are a number of quality companies (as well as some real junk ones), but these two are the best. I prefer Gigabyte personally, but thats because I've had some customer-service issues with ASUS in the past. A basic but feature laden model (though not the fancy-stuff top end one) should be around $150, less if on sale.

Graphics card, think $200-$300. Above that gets pretty awesome but a little silly, and in that range you can get either the GeForce 660 (or 660 Ti), or the Radeon 7870 (or 7950), all of which are very solid gamer cards without going overboard.

Power supply, get a reputable brand in the 500w-600w range. There are dozens of power supply companies, maybe 10 are worthwhile, with the rest being unstable, inefficient, short lifespan junk. There's also a couple really expensive kinds that are neat but not worth the price. Figure $50-$75.

Add on a half-decent case (Cooler Master makes a lot of good ones for around $50), an optical drive, a hard drive, a network card if you need wireless, and a copy of Windows if you don't have the disc for your old laptop, and you've got a solid gaming rig for under $1000.