After our interview with Dave Georgeson of the EverQuest franchise (including Landmark) and follow-up on the beta's availability, we've started the process of playing Landmark for content purposes.

The first bit of related content, as is usually the case for us, is a mid-range gaming PC build that's spec'd for EverQuest Next: Landmark at near-max (high) settings. You could certainly build a cheaper AMD system (keep eyes open for that), but this one will get you running EQNL at high (or thereabouts) settings and still provide room for high graphics output with more demanding titles. If you're interested in Titanfall, you'll be happy to hear that this machine will also easily run Titanfall on max settings, as we benchmarked over here.

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This budget gaming PC isn't meant to be overclocked. The parts were selected specifically to reduce initial cost and get users playing games quickly with minimal tweaking; if you're more enthusiastic in your hardware endeavors and would like overclocking as an option, check out our overclocking primer and other PC builds. Jumping to the DIY PC parts list after EverQuest Next: Landmark's system requirements!

 

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

With the new year, it's time for a new low-budget gaming PC build. With our coverage of CES 2014 in the books, it's time to reflect on what we discovered there and move on to provide you with the best builds available for your budget.

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This sub-$500 Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build attempts to demonstrate how little you have to spend to get a quality gaming PC -- now featuring a Kaveri APU. My initial purpose was to do a Steam Machine-style build, but seeing how the new SteamOS is still in beta, and the Steam Controller is not readily available, I decided to temporarily cut those two pieces. This is a great starter build for anyone looking to enter the world of PC gaming and offers plenty room for future upgrades.

We decided to go with a Kaveri gaming PC build list for this one, implementing fast RAM and a very stylish case from Corsair. Here's the list:

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

This reference guide is aimed to get you up-and-running swiftly with building your own computer. We've posted several articles about the general process, even pre-configured PC build lists for your ease, but this will be the first step-by-step "build a PC" guide (including a video PC building tutorial).

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We've got a 15-minute video guide that gives a brief-but-comprehensive walkthrough of the system installation process. That's embedded immediately below. If you need further tips & advice or would like to check out our other pre- and post-build resources, those are also in the written part of the guide.

In this "how to build a gaming PC" tutorial, we'll walk through the process of grounding yourself (ESD-free), installing the CPU, RAM, power supply, storage, video card, and all the cabling (and other components), as well as basic testing options.

This guide is split into pre-build, assembly, and post-build sections. Keep in mind that we have already written articles on many of these topics, so the sections may be truncated and linked elsewhere for full depth.

Published in Hardware Guides

Christmas is right around the corner, so we've decided to do a budget build that you could ask Santa to build for you. This build is a step up from the recent $508 Cheap Bastard's Xmas Gaming build we did for those of you on an ultra-strict budget, and at $727, you get a lot more power for a bit more cash. This build is powered by an eight-core CPU and an AMD R9 270 GPU; it's a great combo for gamers who play games more demanding on the video card than what was offered with the above mentioned build. You should have no problem playing most (if not all) games out there at mid to highest settings.

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This $727 budget gaming PC build offers a DIY option for high-end gaming at a mid-range price. Let's get to the goodies you hope to find under your Xmas tree this year.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

It's been a while since a true revival of our Cheap Bastard series of gaming PC builds. We recently posted a low-end League of Legends PC for $425 that can be assembled very quickly, but it was really spec'd just for low-end games. We had a recent forum request for a cheap PC build capable of Twitch streaming, YouTube video editing, and gaming for around $500. That's what this gaming PC tries to do. This Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build has no frills -- it just gets the job done, namely gaming on high settings, lightweight video rendering, and Twitch streaming for around $500.

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If you need help learning how to build the system, hit us up on the forums or keep an eye out for our impending guide!

Let's get started! 

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

It's been a while since we've done an ultra-budget gaming PC build, and never have we done one for so little. At just over $400, we've got a PC that's perfect for the casual gamer -- someone who plays games like League of Legends, Path of Exile, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, or FORCED. For less than the MSRP of the highly-anticipated console that is launching later this month, you not only get a PC, but a modest gaming system as well.

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This Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build stands at less than $500, making a great DIY gaming computer for League of Legends, Path of Exile, Skyrim, and DOTA 2 players. With the powerful A10 APU and Zalman Z9 case, this PC not only looks ready to go into battle, but ready for you to summon your champion and decimate whomever crosses your lane.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

We previously posted a series of case modding intro videos that were targeted at helping system builders break into case modding. The truth is, of course, that really getting in deep requires time and tools (and other expenses), so it's often easier to start with something else -- like installing aftermarket lighting kits.

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This quick post-build guide aims to highlight some of the basic add-ons for gaming PCs after they've been built; these are items that can be installed with a screwdriver or a bit of manual work, but won't require more advanced case modding initiatives. You'll find product examples of each component type below.

Published in Hardware Guides

Halloween is upon us, and since most of our readers are too old to trick or treat, we decided to bring the treats to you. We put together a Halloween-themed build that uses an orange and black scheme, but is still very capable of playing most games at medium-to-high settings.

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Theme builds are a fun way to stand out from the usual black-and-blue configuration, so if you're looking to build a new system with a Halloween theme or just love orange and black, this is the build for you. Plenty of alternatives and upgrade options are also listed below.

With this $647 budget gaming computer build, you'll be able to play most modern games on mid-to-high settings and have a couple upgrade options open; for anyone looking for a first-time PC build (or a refresher), this one's a great starting point.

 

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

With Battlefield 4's beta officially opened to those who pre-ordered the game, it's time to start looking into rig configurations to best take advantage of the game's high-end visuals.

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Battlefield has historically pushed PC hardware significantly harder than most other games simultaneously hitting the market. When it comes to games like Crysis and Battlefield, we see the biggest differentiator lying in the game engine: Frostbite and CryEngine both support heavy multithreading (CryEngine natively supports 8 active threads), offload to GPU hardware for real-time physics processing (PhysX), and drive intensive tessellation / volumetric particle effects through the GPU.

Published in Gaming Upgrade Kit

For whatever reason, this weekend sees the arrival of several undeniably solid deals on gaming hardware -- including video card sales, PSU discounts, and misc. system building supplies. If you're working on a new build or need a quick upgrade, it's worth paying attention to some of the items we found this weekend. Let's jump straight into it.

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Published in Sales
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