Gaming computer

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Guild McCommunist, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    So as some of you may or may not know, I'm no computer wiz. I know my basics and stuff but when it comes to tech I'm pretty lost in the wild.

    I've been using a relatively old PC for, well, everything for a while and I think it's time I got a new one.

    First off, while I know building a computer is the best solution, I really don't want to bother. It's something I'll probably look into when I'm older and have more disposable income but at this time, I want to buy a whole computer and have it work out of the box.

    Second off, I don't need god-tier specs. I'm just looking for something that could probably play TF2 or L4D2 on highest specs without a problem. Maybe a few other PC games. Nothing like Crysis levels.

    I'm gonna set my budget at probably $600 tops, I know it's not the biggest budget but my income is few and far between, and if I spend years saving for this thing then odds are I'll go "fuck it" and buy something else. Hell there's a new set of Magic cards and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 staring me down.

    I don't think I need a screen. My TV has the correct inputs and it's a pretty decent 26" TV. I'll just hook up a wireless mouse/keyboard to the PC and hook the PC to the TV and add it to my mess of wires where my PS2/Xbox 360/Wii/DVD player sits.

    I don't know a whole lot about processors and graphics cards and stuff like that, I'm not real nitpicky on brandnames. Just as long as it runs the shit I want it to run.

    Also, should come with a decent sized hard drive. I've been pretty fine with the 250GB one on my current computer although bigger is better. I'll probably just install games on it and maybe do some homework. I'll say like 500GB is good, although bigger is better.

    tl;dr list:

    Needs:
    - Enough power to run relatively recent PC games (TF2, L4D2, Fallout 3/New Vegas, DA:O, etc)
    - Prebuilt (I'm not interested in learning how to build at this point)
    - From the US (meaning only ships from the continental US)
    - $600 tops (I'd prefer it in the
     
  2. Frederica Bernkastel

    Frederica Bernkastel WebPerf and PWA advocate; @antoligy on Twitter

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    Hinamizawa
    Here, I know you're not interested in building your own computer (it's so easy that even a chimp could do it, literally just slotting together parts in a certain order) but this should help with picking a computer out (whether building, or buying).
    It's pretty much a crash course in PC hardware.
    10K Modems Beware; this WILL make you sweat
    Just a few minor amendment: Nehalem intel CPUs are still good (the other core i's) and you may find some for cheaper.
     
  3. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Thanks Ant, that's a really good guide. Checking the computer I was looking at against that and it seems like a decent deal.
     
  4. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    Hey Guild, yeah, you'll be fine with any of these computer setups, I think to be honest. The Entry-Good options seem like good bargains. They all feature Black Edition AMD computers with unlocked multipliers; meaning they overclock really well if you want some extra performance later down the road. Anything modern with a decent GPU is going to have no trouble at all with games like TF2, L4D2, etc. As you point out they're not particularly intensive games.

    About your TV-Screen, depending on what resolution you want to play things at; that's where things get a little tricky; if you want to maximize the resolution on the 26'' monitor then you might need to lower settings depending on which build or game you're trying to play. Hard drive prices have really come down as well, a 1TB drive (usually 5200 RPM) is about $100 give or take; on the other hand, there's a Western Digital external (2TB drive) that's been staring me down as well. I'd really go w/ Antology ont his one and just chime in & say that it'll be quite hard enough to find a pre-built computer at your price-range with a dedicated graphics card (which makes a pretty big difference); why don't you show us what you're looking at, Guild?
     
  5. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I probably won't use max resolution, just whatever balances out well for me. If I can play a game with max resolution and high settings then that's awesome, if not I can lower the resolution and get higher performance.

    Saw this one on Newegg and it looked decent. General complaint seems to be that the graphics card isn't awesome but if it's really that bad, I can probably get a new one.
     
  6. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    I don't recommend using a TV as your screen for anything other than in-game display.

    TVs suck. They're blurry. They're shit. Atrocious. Craptastic. The reason people don't realize this is because you're not sitting 2 feet away from it reading small text like you do on a monitor....

    Just so you're aware, HD refers to the resolution. 720P HD is a 1280x720 resolution. Yes, this means that computers have been using HD displays since windows-fucking-95. That's how crappy TVs are compared to monitors.

    TVs are going to look fine for playing PC games, but when it comes to actual use of it (say, for forums, or work) it's most likely going to look like shit.
     
  7. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Hm, I can probably nab a monitor off someone, I'm sure my dad has a few sitting around.

    What if I just put the TV at like standard monitor distance and burned my eyes out?
     
  8. Slyakin

    Slyakin See ya suckers

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    You'd... burn your eyes out?

    But seriously, get a dedicated computer monitor. Honestly, the extra money can go a LONG way.
     
  9. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    Doing some research now, the 5450 is basically a re-branded 4350. A review I'm reading says that it can actually function power just from the motherboards PCI Express Bus alone; if you can you might want to swap for a stronger graphics card in the future. Power Supply says 500 Watts, best use this thread to ask around to that effect; TechSpot also said that it's the same length as the 5670.

    3.1 Dual Core is okay, Originality usually chimes in and points out that most functions tend to lean towards Intel computers, so performance takes a 30% hit or so for going the AMD route, but it's still a pretty powerful dual core processor.

    There are plenty of horror stories on Newegg Reviews as well, of these sorts of pre-built systems getting damaged in transit or having loose parts. To be honest, Guild, the hardest part of building a new computer is probably just figuring out which cables go where; and with a little help that's completely resolved.

    To be honest; I'd look at these combo deals:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleD...st=Combo.578093
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDet...st=Combo.606353
    Throw in a HDD of your choice and/or a cheap DVD drive. (I don't really think of them as necessary)(just boot install an OS from a USB).
     
  10. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Somehow you make me sound like a nagger. Anyway, for less than $500, I would only recommend a AMD CPU anyway despite them being obviously weaker than Intel chips. AMD make cheap CPUs, and if you're not going to push the budget, then cheap CPUs are good. It's a good thing that gaming is GPU orientated these days anyway.

    To that, look at this. 1TB Spinpoint F3 7200RPM, $65. 500GB version, $50. It's usually the 1.5TB or bigger drives that are only 5200RPM, whilst 1TB and below are usually 7200RPM.

    To add to the above post, here's a DVD Drive for $17.

    EDIT: @DarkWay, you've earned yourself two internets and a cookie. Once you take the plunge (financially), you'll also earn a pat on the back and bragging rights.
     
  11. DarkWay

    DarkWay tsubasa hiroge

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    My Computer build (once I have the money for it) is now :3 nearing £1000 xD up from the original £730 I was going to spend, but tbh I don't mind as the perfomance boost is worth it. Unlike yourself I'm building my PC reason being, it'll be better value for money in the long run.
     
  12. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I know everyone's saying to build it but I honestly don't want the hassle. I'd rather just having something that'll work out of the box. I'm a klutz and I don't feel like hassling with building on at this time. When the time comes I'll build one, but that time is not now.

    If I were to buy something like the computer I posted, what games would it be able to run perfectly and what games would it be able to run adequately (meaning full speed but maybe medium settings).

    EDIT: As for the monitor, I'll see how it looks initially with my TV and if it isn't great, I can hook it up to another monitor and use that. I'm sure my dad has a monitor lying around or I'll just hook it up to the monitor I'm using now.

    And Law, awesome, that's what I was looking for. What about Unreal Engine 3 games? Like Borderlands, Arkham Asylum, etc?
     
  13. Law

    Law rip ninjacat that zarcon made me

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    Mine looks fine.

    Sitting two feet away from it reading small text.

    edit:
    the 5450 will probably run TF2 on high settings no problem. It should be fine for Source engine games and you can always swap it out later if you want to play something more intensive.
     
  14. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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  15. Frederica Bernkastel

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    The 5450 is the kind of card that you'd use in a low-spec, low-power HD media center, not the type you'd use for gaming.
    If you've ever gotta go cheap, aim for a high-end 4XXX card.

    Also, I'd like to second Rydian's comment about not using a TV for general computing - there are significantly more ppi in computer monitors than in TVs, so greater resolutions are naturally better.
     
  16. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    So if I was to buy the computer I listed and swap out the graphics card, what would be a good substitute?
     
  17. Frederica Bernkastel

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    Well the issue with swapping it for another GPU is that we don't know how large the power supply that comes with your PC is, the 5450 uses rougly 150 watts on idle and 160 watts at load, so I'm going to assume that anything that uses under 200 watts at load is a safe bet.
    Anything that uses
     
  18. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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