What do I need to take into account when building a gaming computer? Is the AMD FX4100 a good gaming CPU? It's supposed to be a 3.6 GHz processor, 10 MB cache: I would have thought that was good enough for any game out there. Does it run properly with Windows 7? Edit Hi Tom - thanks for your answer. I am interested in having a look at that table you mentioned, but it seems you forgot to add a link.
Additionally, youll need to consider cooling as a priority and suprisingly enough, 3.6ghz clock speed doesnt really mean anything anymore, its all about heat management, how efficient the processor is, stuff like that. So you will find some processors will perform better in spite of having a lower clock speed.
I have linked a ranking table on how well all the processors you'll find in the market on performance. Many of which also have a price next to them so you can find a good deal!
I'd try to put as much money in to the processor, graphics card and cooling system as possible. If youre considering building your own PC, ensure the case is pretty good (I use the Antec 900 and it's been amazing!) for cooling needs and RAM is very cheap to upgrade, so get some decent stuff, but realise that youll be able to get some much nicer stuff later on for cheap (as it gets cheap fast).
If you're on a budget, it's best to save for a bit longer to get your gaming rig.
If anything, for cooling, I'd say go for the Noctua NH-D14 for cooling. It's in the top 5 best cooling options and it's far quieter than the other 4.
If you have a nice case and that heat sink I recommended, you'll be able to overclock your processor no problem (It is really easy to do).
EDIT: I'm so sorry! here is the link for you :)
Here is an article on Tom's Hardware about the two
They are around the same the difference is the FX-4170 is going to be able to overclock past the Intel's archetecture, but you will be spending extra cash on an after market CPU cooler
I would also recommend the card 69XX by Radeon if you are on a low budget
But the HD 7770 Vapor X by Sapphire is a great choice for a beginners card as well running at about $150.
The type of motherboard chipset (look for best performance - Z77 is good)
Make sure the socket type matches for both the processor and mobo (1155)
High amount of RAM (8-16gb is best - Also make sure its DDR3)
Decent hard drive space (500GB - 1TB)
High end graphics card (look for higher numbers eg. GB, speed - http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/)
Also use a good CPU cooler with thermal paste, extra fans in the case is a good bonus)
Might want to consider using an SSD card? Faster than normal hard drives.
Hope this helps
following cpus are good
965 phenom 1333mhz ram needed
fx 4170 1600mhz ram
fx 6300 1600mhz ram
these are decent cpu for gaming any higher and your electric bill may be a bit hairy
note these cpus are power hungry
i5 3350P is a good gaming mid range cheap i5 it has no onboard graphics which causes less of a headache disabling such things supports 1600mhz
all amd cpus have no onboard graphics
exept the apu
the 4100 isnt good its below the 365 phenom in gaming
now graphics cards
following graphics cards are good for gaming and in order of price
550ti nvidia 192 bit
560 se nvidia 192 bit
560 nvidia 256 bit
6870 1gb ddr5 256 bit
7850 2gb ddr5 256 bit
these are good budget cards but the gpu is very important in gaming it does more work then the cpu
so skip to a 560 256 bit if on a budget
the main reason 560 ti isnt mentioned it is over priced and the 7850 out performs and is cheaper
plays a vital role 8gb is standard for gaming either 1333mhz or 1600mhz
990x or 990fx are the best boards any lower then these models will give you a headache
as there chipsets are dodgy any far down
motherboard intel z77 is the best and should be used on any intel system
mainly for ivy bridge like the above i mentioned
sandy bridge will work on any motherboard
things to watch out for
some motherboards support only a certain ammount of cpus
some amds support a max of 95w
some support the full 125w
basicly the cheaper the board the less functions or compatibility it may have
hd is just used for storage
if you want a ssd go cheap get a 64gb and stick just the os on it
fx cpus have issues at the moment a new patch or fix is suppose to come out to sort this as the new architectural way it was designed windows 7 doesnt support it fully