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Thread: Looking For Insight & Tiips On Building a Gaming Rig

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    Default Looking For Insight & Tiips On Building a Gaming Rig

    Hello,

    I'm new to emuparadise forums, and this is my first post. I'm looking to get some information gathered on building a gaming rig at a relatively frugal price... and I mean cheap. I really only have one desire, and that is to play counter strike smoothly. So, here I am asking you for help. I'm pretty familiar and adept with computers, but I have never gotten around to building my own rig. I find that hardware specs, and the variety of products out there to be overwhelming. So, where should we begin?

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    I'll assume you have the same definition of Cheap as I do, total build under $100. I'm assuming by "counter strike" you mean the original released in 2000, I'm not familiar, but that year likely means windows xp, which would make it easy, and cheap. Before deciding on a pc look at the manufactures website for the drivers, often several operating systems are supported, not just the one on the OEM Licence Sticker. You do not want to get 90% through an install and not be able to load a driver, lack of or rather rejected lan drivers has been a nightmare to me in the past.

    I usually begin with examining 10 or more retired towers/compacts brought to me and my spare parts collection, this allows initial cost to be cheap, and even junk computers can be made acceptable for common use by adding ram and a few expansion cards which could be upgraded later if desired or needed. (my front room playback pc was a sidewalk special I threw spare ram and a video card in, it made a nice "smart" dvd player.
    Alternately laptops with broken screens sell cheaply on ebay, plug in to a monitor and it is a very space efficient compact, much better then a clam-shell pc. laptops, even my win98 laptop have vga outs, newer laptops also/instead have hdmi outputs. I have seen half mini pci ram cards or hd graphics cards for under $20 from the ebay scrap dealers. Some laptops like the dell d series I have have 2-3 half mini mini-pci express slots. Asus half-mini cards that allowed dual band wifi and bluetooth 4.0 were $5 last I checked. An express slot or pcmcia card slot can allow for connecting a pci or pcie card to a laptop for video or sound. Many laptops had expansion bays that may also grant a pci or pci-e slot. As long as the laptop has a charge cable it doesn't matter if it has a battery unless you need to upgrade the bios. Just run off the wall power, dead or missing batteries also make laptops cheap.

    If the game was released in 2000, anything from 2010 is likely equivalent to a "good" pc the game is expecting, give it video and sound upgrades, it'll probably be fine.
    laptops are more limited in upgradability, and drivers yet smaller and more energy efficient. Towers tend to be cheap and easy, but a group of them can take over the room.
    Classic gaming, Reduce Reuse Recycle.

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    Thanks for the reply scrapjack. I guess I should be a little more specific. I played a lot of CSource back in my day, and I'm looking to get back into it (curious about CS:Go). I'm looking to build a PC rig that can handle these games without much tinkering. Yes, like you even $100 bucks is hard to throw out all at once. So, I figured this would be a long term project. I would like to focus on one component at a time. However, I really like your salvage ideas. I'm constantly dreaming of how I could get people to give me their used/broken electronics all the time. As you said, less tech savvy folks tend to throw things away that may not be entirely broken or at least there are parts to spare (RAM, hard drive, screen, battery, motherboard, etc).

    So, how about this. Lets start by trying to find an appropriate and cheap PC case. I'm currently speculating on a Mid maybe even a Mini PC tower. Lets see if you can help me find something decent that is on the dirt cheap side ($20 or less). If you find something that is out of the budget, but a relatively good price I'd be curious to see what you find as well. Feel free to post links.

    Thanks!

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    If you're looking for free stuff then there are some obvious sources that don't really require much in the way of personal contacts.

    If there is kerbside hard waste collection in your area then check what stuff people put out... desktop PC's, TV's etc.
    If there is a decent size Salvation Army store (or something similar) nearby (usually the main one as it will act as distribution centre for the other smaller locals) then do some volunteer work and you can get free stuff if the manager is cool about you salvaging stuff they throw away (in my experience desktops are rare but you do see laptops).
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadlegion View Post
    If there is kerbside hard waste collection in your area then check what stuff people put out... desktop PC's, TV's etc.
    Oh how I wish we had one of those here, free gauges and dials for my dream franken-lab, and plenty of electronics to learn trouble shooting techniques, and practice.


    If your asking for advice going the salvage route it'd be helpful to know what types of spare parts you already have. decent psu with sata perhaps? pci or pci-e AGP, sound or video cards, any suitable for half height? A stack of 500mb or better ddr(_) ram cards perhaps, I've upgraded so many PCs for myself and family I have piles of 256mb cards I'll never use...unless some ddr homebrew ramdisk. ISA cards are dinosaurs and belong in museums, or maybe Apple 2 era nostalgia rigs.

    Google says the first counterstrike was "Half-Life: Counter Strike" (CS) you did not correct me so I guess that was what you meant. Apparently it was released for windows 98 and win 2k. There is a version 1.6 update that claims to be able to install it on windows 7 so if compatibility was that good, nearly anything should do the trick.

    The first link has the system requirements for CS, and claims to be able to test if a pc is compatible, but considering minimum is pentium 3 with 96mb of ram, I'd recommend just trying to install it if you have any windows XP PCs laying around.

    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) according to steam, is win xp-7, intel core duo, 2 gb ram, but needs a graphics card capable of Pixel Shader 3.0, not sure other than google how to check that. I don't recal ever needing to check pixel Shader for any of my windows 98 games, though most were Sega Saturn ports, perhaps why they hate compatibility mode.

    the Dell Optiplex 760 seems to fit the requirements at least up to shader, not sure on that. There are drivers from dell for xp-win7. pci and pci-e slots, though desktops and smaller are half height only, if you want to put the top back on that is. You can also order this model in the Small Form Factor off Ebay for $45 including shipping. Second link at bottom. The ebay link comes with 2 gb ddr2 ram, can be upgraded to 8, so maybe windows xp 64bit although since you'd plan on compatibility mode I'd probably stick with 4 gb ram and 32bit xp. Last I looked for win98 towers the shipping started around $40. Anyway, has all the old d-sub ports except gameport, Esata, firewire, display port, DVI, S-vid, looks to be a better stock desktop then most of the towers I get a hold of, install your OS then games and your probably done.




    By the way, I would avoid clam shells, the first one I got I thought was a really cool design, until I tried moving cables and closing it again, they seem to have died out anyway.

    CS requirements
    http://www.game-debate.com/games/ind...unter%20Strike

    refurbished "retired" dell Optiplex 760 small form factor ebay
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Optiple...3D282403357237

    dell 760 specs
    http://www.dell.com/us/dfb/p/optiplex-760/pd
    dell 760 drivers
    http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/...ivers/advanced
    Last edited by scrapjack; 18th-May-2017 at 01:33. Reason: spellcheck

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    Ohhh, ok I get the point now. I see what you're saying scrapjack. Infact, I don't know why I didn't think of this myself. Sometimes I need things spelled out for me, haha.
    You are saying that getting a household PC (not necessarily tailored for gaming) and beefing it up is the cheapest way to go (assuming it has a free PCI port for the graphics card). This would save you from having to potentialy purchase a valid license for windows, and allow you to upgrade the components of the PC at your leisure. I kick myself because there have been a few times where a PC has been offered up to me, and I was like "nahhh". However, I think I can get my hands on a box from a family member.

    I checked out that optiplex. We use to tinker around with those in some of my classes in school. They have a good amount of space in them.

    About curbside pickups, I did not think about this but will have to keep my eye open when driving around town.

    Any recommendations on graphics cards?

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    nullist are you intending on getting a used gpu or brand new?If I may ask.

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    Proposed, Game Machine Fifa Online H81M-P33 G1840 500G

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    Yes, that was my point, for older software system requirements can be easy to reach. Bleeding edge turns rusty and dull with time.
    Quote Originally Posted by nullist View Post
    Any recommendations on graphics cards?
    Again without knowing whether you'd be looking at AGP, PCI or PCI-E, perhaps... I have an old xp gaming tower I was given once had something I hadn't seen before, a SLI bridge, and the first message when reinstalling the os was asking why the second monitor was missing. SLI Was basically two twin video cards daisy chained together only some motherboards support this. If your looking at a motherboard that does support that, I'd think that could change suggestions. I doubt it was very common, but some people seem to like dismantling their gaming rigs to build new ones every other year, maybe you can get a deal if you still want to go the piece by piece designed for gaming route.

    I've been meaning to find out what the best AGP graphics card might be as I am building a pc with one of those slots and that is all they are good for, a graphics card or a fan. If your pc has one then my question is relevant here. It might be worth looking into, it would at least free up a pci slot if needed. The Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) was supposed to replace PCI bit it found an early grave. I'ts not that uncommon with mid to late model xp computers, in other words xp computers made from just before vista to end of xp service life. Perhaps cheaper more powerful pci cards exist, however I don't know.

    I'm realizing some games do need a certain Shader version compatible through the graphics card, is there a certain level you think is minimum? I think recommendations change depending on slots availiable, and drivers, have you decided on the os you intend to run?

    sorry if I'm rambly, My mind is somewhat burnt from getting sick during finals week

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