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Gaming Computer

Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 12:39
by JQuill
So I'm generally much more of a console gamer, however I've built up a decent amount of Amazon credit and decided to at least take a quick glance at any gaming desktops available within that budget. I've come across 2 of them, but I'm mostly a noob when it comes to these things so I'm looking for a bit of expertise to inform any decision I make.

The main questions I'm hoping for answers to are...

Which of the 2 is better? Keep in mind with shipping included, the first is a good $35 cheaper.

What kind of gaming is each capable of? I figure given the price they aren't going to be running the latest games at max settings, but are we talking barely able to run anything, able to run some more recent games at lower settings, and given I'm close to getting sucked back in, how would each fare running WoW?

Assuming I do purchase 1, what would be the first things I should look to upgrade in coming months?

These are the 2 I've been looking at...

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 13:26
by ch3m1kal
Honestly both of those are next to useless for gaming.
You're looking at around notebook level performance with either.
However there is good news.
From what I see, your budget is around $400 and for that there are plenty of good computers to be had.

I would suggest checking out this list:

The configs are pretty solid for the price, if at all possible I would recommend stretching a bit and getting the $500 one, it's quite a bit better than the $400. But either one will do fine for most gaming.
The $500 rig will run pretty much any modern game in 1080p with all the settings cranked to max.

If for some reason you're super uncomfortable with putting the thing together yourself (it's really not hard, and there are tons of guides, basically everything is designed to fit together in only one way unless you're a round peg in a square hole kind of person), I'm sure you have at least one friend who's done something like this before.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 21:07
by JQuill
Yeah I kind of figured if I wanted anything remotely decent at the price point I'd probably have to build it myself. So after some research I came across this YouTube video for a custom build that is within this budget (even including an OS). I don't want to blindly trust everything about it, but does this look like a reasonable build? How does it stack up to the $300 build from that article?

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 23:21
by ch3m1kal
The config you linked is pretty decent and should be fine as long as you're not looking to max out Crysis 3 or something.
The main difference between it and the one from elitegamig is that the former comes with a dedicated graphics card, while the latter includes a better CPU. As long as you're not looking to really do anything other than gaming, then better GPU is always the right choice.

Also note that the price tag does not in fact include a copy of Windows. It comes out to $312 without it. Then again Windows delivery trucks are notoriously poorly built and copies of it keep falling off the back, so that shouldn't really be a concern.

Meanwhile I found another decent build, complete with step-by-step guide, just in case you'd like some more options.,3920.html

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 14 Sep 2014, 23:56
by JQuill
Yeah I figure I'll do more research before making any decision, but I'm almost assuredly going to build one myself, either something like the one I linked or maybe waiting a month or so and increasing the budget a bit.

Thanks for the help, glad I asked and didn't hastily pull the trigger on one of the lousy pre-built ones.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 17 Sep 2014, 05:26
by The E
Here's a site I find quite handy to make hardware decisions.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 17 Sep 2014, 12:34
by JQuill
The E wrote:Here's a site I find quite handy to make hardware decisions.

Thanks for the link. The WoW specific guide was especially good to read. The build I'm currently looking at seems like it fits somewhere in the minimum to entry range, which is basically what I was hoping for given the limited budget.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 21 Sep 2014, 13:38
by the amativeness
I'm also planning on building my own PC in the future, and the tips in this vid are very good to keep in mind:

Get a decent CPU (doesn't have to be great), but go ALL OUT on an SSD and a good Graphics Card.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 22 Sep 2014, 14:32
by JQuill
I did go through with buying one similar to the earlier build I linked (the custom one not the pre-built ones). There were a few hiccups putting it together, but I got there and so far it's been working great. I've only really loaded up WoW so far, but I've been able to run that very well at close to max settings.

Thanks all who offered a reply and help :mrgreen:

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 01:47
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
How difficult is assembling a PC?
If I have friends who might be willing to assist me with it, is it best that I let them help rather than go: "I DO IT ALLL BY MY OOWWWWWWNNNNNN"?

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 04:53
by Dutch guy
Its helpful to have someone with experience help if you've never done it before imho.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 05:06
by My pseudonym is Ix
Little story of my first PC build to advise Merry: I spent ages doing my research, deciding on my build, all that jazz. Then, set myself up a nice clean work area and started to put it together, grounding myself about once every five seconds (I got kinda paranoid about it). Mobo, power supply, CPU, all went in without a hitch. Then came the moment of truth: I plugged it in, paused for appropriate dramatic effect, and turned it on.

Nothing happened.

A power light on the board flickered for the briefest moment, but then went out almost immediately. I started to panic ever so slightly. A lot of my components were second hand, did they actually work properly? Had I not grounded myself enough & caused some static discharge? Had I connected something up wrong?

In the end, I invited a friend over to take a look, the guts of my machine laid bare. He took one look at it, reached over, wiggled a wire connecting the power supply to the motherboard, and suddenly bam- working PC.

Long story short: you most definitely can do it by yourself, but having someone to watch over you during the process might save you rather a lot of time.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 06:53
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
Trouble is, the first choice friend of mine is about to enter his radiotherapy and is embarking on his third year of his computing science degree.
So I have no idea if he'd even have to time to assist me in addition to being up for it.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 07:58
by ch3m1kal
Honestly putting a PC together really is pretty easy and generally issue free, as long as you take your time with it and just make sure everything is fitted together properly.

Heck you don't really need to worry about grounding yourself, as long as you're not wearing a wool sweater or something. Not that it's not still a good idea, but I've never personally had an issue with that in like 15 years of building computers.

One thing that I find helps a lot when building a new rig from scratch is to just assemble the whole thing on a desk, without the case, and turn it on. That way you can make sure it actually boots up correctly without having to poke around a cramped case interior.
That way, least you know for sure that all the parts work together, and if for whatever reason it fails to boot after it's put in the case, then you know it's an assembly error rather than faulty hardware.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 07:59
by Jamfalcon
Merrymaker_Mortalis wrote:Trouble is, the first choice friend of mine is about to enter his radiotherapy and is embarking on his third year of his computing science degree.
So I have no idea if he'd even have to time to assist me in addition to being up for it.

While this isn't to say he definitely would with a situation like that, someone who has a fair bit of experience could help you get it done within a couple hours at most.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 23 Sep 2014, 13:50
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
I'll play by ear. I plan to buy the parts in Januaryish when I get my second installment of my learning grant.
I guess since it's something I need help with in theming of his course, it might appeal? Playing by ear anyway.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 04 Oct 2014, 08:40
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
I have a new question.

I have two options:

Buy a PC/Build a PC for up to £500/~$798 in Novemberish
Buy a PC/Build a PC for up to £1000/~$1596 in Febuaryish

What's the difference in "value for money" between a £500 max system and a £1000 max system.

I want to use the PC for: Gaming, Video Editing and Image Editing.

(The laptop I am using is really depressing me. Or maybe I am just feeling sad in general at the moment, and my laptop's slow speed is making me feel worse)

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 04 Oct 2014, 09:02
by My pseudonym is Ix
£500 is just about the peak of the price/performance curve if you're working with new parts- a £1000 PC will be better to be sure, but for 90% of your gaming needs it won't make a scrap of difference. I recommend for a guide of both parts and an idea of the performance of various price points. However, I can't comment on how this translates from gaming to video editing.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 04 Oct 2014, 10:27
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
I think video editing is dependant on RAM really. Processing power is what's holding me back on my laptop.
I'll check out

I suppose, if I can build a great PC for £500, the next £500 can be invested in upgrading any relevant bits or put towards some other object entirely.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 06 Oct 2014, 17:15
by CancerBottle
I've given up trying to evaluate people's builds individually and just point people to You really can't get better than their suggestions. The site runners update the recommendations frequently and they're very active in the comments. Pseudonym is definitely correct that you start hitting diminishing returns once you go over $800 USD (£500). An $800 build will let you run pretty much everything, though not always on maximum settings, for at least five years. Upgrade your graphics card, and your build will go further than that.

I built the rig I'm using now back in 2007, and I'm just now at the point where my CPU (AMD Athlon dual core 6400) has fallen out of recommended and into the minimum specs for new games. I've only upgraded my graphics card twice in the seven years since.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 07 Oct 2014, 01:40
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
Really, I am happy with upgrading components when they're required.

The build I seek is something that is "good" now, but allows me to adapt and upgrade bits when it's needed.

Frustraightingly, I also need a monitor...

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 07 Oct 2014, 06:06
by Necabo
It all depends on your needs,
most important thing is to check the compatabilities:
-what is the max RAM on the motherboard and which bus speeds does it take
-which processors fit the MOBO
-need space? dont skimp on the TB storage
-what do I need from my GPU, dont spend to much on one which is way overpowered for your needs, spend that on CPU or RAM.

Most important of all --> spend those extra few bucks for the better quality stuff, like with most stuff it'll last longer.
I am still running the PC I build 7 years ago, not very high end anymore, but it works pretty well and I only had to change my GPU because it was fried.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 07 Oct 2014, 06:32
by Metcarfre
These sorts of builds (saying "$800" is the sweet spot etc) don't include buying a monitor/keyboard/mouse or Windows, do they?

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 07 Oct 2014, 08:24
by Merrymaker_Mortalis
My problem with computers is that there's a lot I don't know or understand about computers.
There's a lot of brands of things (which is why logicalincrements is a God send) but also terminology that goes over my head.

I don't know how much space I need. 223GB wasn't enough for me.
First two questions are things that will have to be answered when I am actively buying parts. I feel like I need to be walked through this as I am buying the bits.
I don't know what GPU is. Needs would be RAM and GFX and probably any unglamourous vital stuff.

Re: Gaming Computer

Posted: 07 Oct 2014, 08:32
by ch3m1kal
GPU means Graphics Processing Unit. That's your graphics card.

Well technically the term specifically referrers to the processor in your graphics card, but in normal use the terms GPU and graphics card are interchangeable.

As for space, it's hard to buy drives that are smaller than 1TB these days. Ideally you'd want a 2-3TB drive for your por... err "stuff" and a 120GB SSD for your operating system.

As for peripherals, fairly decent ones can be bought for reasonably cheap and are the easiest thing to upgrade when the time comes.