Re:Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

Discussion in 'hardware' started by LenC, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I need some help purchasing a desktop PC for my son. I've searched some earlier threads, but they don't address our specific situation.

    My son loves gaming. I don't know if he fits the definition of "hard core", but it is certainly his primary hobby. He also has all the current game consoles. So he needs a new desktop, and we want to balance capabilities with our budget. One of these $5,000+ water cooled systems is way out our budget and frankly I don't think it would even be necessary given the kind of gaming he does. He's buying (retail or download) mainstream games and I can't imagine those games requiring such extraordinary capabilities.

    Our budget is somewhat flexible, but hopefully we can keep it under $1500. He doesn't need a monitor. He has a relatively new LG monitor (23in, LED IPS) so I assume that would be okay for gaming. What specifications should we be looking for? Is $1500 an appropriate price limit for mainstream gaming?

    Also, I've been poking around and came across 2 companies that build custom PCs (love the idea of getting a computer without bloatware):

    1) Puget. They seem to have a great reputation. Their prices also seem high relative to the HPs and Dells of the world.

    2) Cyberpc. Same comments as Puget, except their pricing seems "less high" than Puget.

    Any comments on either of these companies would be appreciated.

    Thanks everyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  2. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Are you into DIY?
    With $1500 you can build a PC equivalent to a $3000 or more retail PC. :D

    I'll explain it to you.

    Let's take a Puget Tower within your budget as an example.

    Puget Obsidian
    Base Specs:
    Motherboard - Asus P8Z77-M Pro (Intel Z77 MicroATX)
    CPU - Intel Core i5 3550
    RAM - Kingston 8GB DDR3 - 1600 (2x4GB)
    Graphics Card - "ON BOARD VIDEO"
    Hard Drive - 500GB WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM
    Optical Drive - Asus 24x DVD-RW SATA
    OS - Windows 7 Pro x64
    Case - Not Known
    PSU - Not Known

    Price: $1257.59


    Equivalent PC with all parts bought from Newegg (You can even get cheaper prices if you shop different hardware websites but to simplify this i'll use only Newegg)
    Motherboard - Asus P8Z77-M Pro (Intel Z77 MicroATX)
    $149.99
    CPU - Intel Core i5 3550
    $209.99
    RAM - Kingston 8GB DDR3 - 1600 (2x4GB)
    $46.99
    Graphics Card - "ON BOARD VIDEO"
    Hard Drive - 500GB WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM
    $74.99
    Optical Drive - Asus 24x DVD-RW SATA
    $18.99
    OS - Windows 7 Pro x64
    $139.99
    Case - COOLER MASTER Storm Scout
    $69.99
    PSU - COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-I3
    $39.99

    Price: $750.92

    You see the difference. :D
    I'm not saying that retail PC's are bad but if you can build one by yourself, you will definitely save TONS of money and get MORE for the same budget. :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  3. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Noob -

    Not a chance of me or my son building a computer - wish we could. I understand the economics.

    Thanks,
    Len

    P.S. As Dirty Harry once said..."a man's got to know his limitations"
     
  4. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    To be honest with you, building a PC is straightforward, kinda Plug N Play. :D
    IMO choosing the right hardware is more complicated than building a PC itself. :rolleyes:

    After looking at both websites, CyberPower PC's are definitely better hardware wise. Compared to Puget ones they are a LOOT more powerful when comparing systems of the same price. :D
    I can't comment in the quality but i guess it's okay since most parts are from well known enthusiasts brands. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  5. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    A few suggestions:

    If you can get in on these last call Olympic sales, there are some bargains.

    I would get a top i5 CPU rather than an i7. The video card is more important.

    Don't pay for overclocking. If there's one thing you (or your son) can learn to do on your own, it's that.

    Get a Corsair power supply. You don't have to get more than 750w, but they are great PSUs and this is one area where you don't want to skimp.

    Consider a SSD for the OS and applications, 60GB being plenty for that. Make sure he installs Steam to the hard drive though, unless he can get knowledgeable about NTFS junctions. The issue is that every Steam game has to be installed under the parent folder, and obviously he would fill up the SSD in no time. But with junctions, he could move a few games over.

    Mechanical keyboards are terrific, but pricey. :) This is something he can get later though, as you would have to learn about the different switch types first.

    I don't think you need a version of Windows higher than Home Premium. Most home users don't, and bear in mind that if you take advantage of the Windows 8 upgrade offer in a few months, you'd get the Pro version of that anyway. And of course, make sure the 64-bit version is checked.
     
  6. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    We are looking at some pre-configured desktops...

    http://bhpho.to/R4lquj

    These specs all seem pretty impressive, but they don't provide much information concerning audio capabilities. For example, here are the requirements for Battlefield 3...

    http://bf3blog.com/battlefield-3-system-requirements/

    Would these computers satisfy the "recommended audio requirement" for a DirectX compatible sound card?

    Thanks for your help,
    Len
     
  7. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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  8. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    That looks like a good option, but I would make a few changes:

    1. Go for a 1TB drive instead of 500GB. The price difference is well worth it. +$36 or +$60

    2. I would drop the CPU cooler down from the H20 to the Cooler Master 212. I don't think you need special cooling unless you will be heavily overclocking, and you can still do a moderate overclock with an air cooler. You probably don't need to overclock at all, actually, as that CPU will be plenty fast. -$57

    3. This goes along with #2. You can drop the overclocking option to "Standard Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Automatic Overclocking." -$49

    Everything else looks good. You could opt for a SSD, but you still need a HDD. It would end up costing $185 more if you get their smallest option (120GB) + the 1TB HDD. Maybe you should just get the HDD for now and then buy a SSD later if you want.
     
  9. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Never hear of this company before - so thank you. I checked out their website and their BBB rating - very impressive.This system does not have a separate audio card - neither do the computers I was originally looking at. Is the separate card necessary to satisfy the battlefield 3 requirements? (Maybe I'm just showing my age here. Are audio cards a thing of the past - is it now routinely integrated into the motherboard?)
     
  10. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Audio requirements are ********, you don't have to worry about it.
    Seriously, i've played all the latest games with my on board audio chip (Realtek) and it has never given me a problem. :D
    BTW, that HP looks pretty good and you get support from a big PC OEM. :thumb: :)
    Still you can save tons of money if you go DIY. :D:D
     
  11. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Noob -

    Can you build a rocketship? Well, I can't build a PC - I wish I could.:oops: Maybe someday - I'll add it to my bucket list.

    But thanks for the advice and feedback.

    Len
     
  12. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    As Noob wrote...forget about audio card. No, they are not a thing of the past, but today's audio chips are really good. The one with the board I suggested is Realtek. No worries. BTW(By The Way) :) That motherboard is not SLI compatible. Meaning it will hold only one video card. You might want to Google that. For most gamers I would say one good card is enough.
     
  13. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    I like the idea of purchasing from a company like Digital Storm. I like the custom build, no bloatware junk etc.

    The one thing I really don't like is having to ship the computer back to them for servicing if there is a problem. For example, if I buy a retail brand computer, I can get it serviced at an authorized dealer locally. This issue seems to override all the other benefits.

    Anyone have any thoughts on that?

    Anyone know of any quality companies like Digital Storm in the greater New York area?
     
  14. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Odds are very high that you know someone already, that you can trust, who can build you a system. You could buy the parts, and pay this person a nice little fee to assemble it. It would be easy to get info on which parts to buy, from many places.

    Honestly, once you know what brand is reputable, and what specs of hardware you need, assembling it is pretty easy. But I understand your position. Thats why I say you most likely know someone who does know how to assemble it.

    If you don't know how to install windows, I should imagine that you know someone to do that too.

    The only thing to be aware of is that the products you bought are actually in your new machine. This is true of any custom build though. Always inspect it. There has been many times I caught builders getting themselves a little upgrade by putting a lesser quality part in place. It usually applies to ram/cpu/hdd/video.

    You could save yourself a lot of money doing this, and also develop a relationship with "your geek" so when a problem develops he/she can take care of you. A lot of geeks like to do this, and giving them a nice little bit of cash, and listening to thier advice, keeps them happy to help you. Beats the heck out of having to mail the machine in for tech support or taking it to a shop where they don't really care as much.

    Food for thought anway.

    Sul.
     
  15. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Your choice. Personally, I would not be concerned. DS uses only top notch parts and builds very well. That said, of course the best parts can fail at times. Me, I would go for it. At any rate, good to have a geek friend for sure. I have never taken a computer to a repair shop and never would. Have seen too much.
     
  16. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Just pull the trigger for one of those systems and start fragging. :D :thumb:
     
  17. Rainwalker

    Rainwalker Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    and that says it all :)
     
  18. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Yep - just as soon as we figure out how to pay for this thing.:D

    Thanks everyone for great advice and feedback. I'll let you know what we decide. This computer could wind up costing almost as much as my first new car - a 1969 VW for $1995. Then again, this computer is probably more powerful.
     
  19. DVD+R

    DVD+R Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Personally I'd Opt for the i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz, this is an excellent CPU for gaming ,as it is Overclockable, I have it myself,and Overclocked the Turbo Ratio to 4.60GHz, as soon as the CPU recognizes that I am going to Game, it juices up the Power to 4.60GHz, and the performance boost is Astounding :eek:
     
  20. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Haven't done anything yet - but thanks
     
  21. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    OK I'm going to be using Amazon for my prices. Please try and build it yourself, it is OH SO EASY! trust me, you will learn a few things in the process.

    CPU: I7-2700K - main reason is you can push this close to 5GHZ, the newest Ivy Bridge chips have heating issues.
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i7-2700...?ie=UTF8&qid=1346665596&sr=8-1&keywords=2700K

    $303

    PSU: Corsair AX850 Gold PSU - Gold PSu with a 7 year warranty, will handle anything you can throw at it. Dual 680GTX's yes sir!
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Profe...F8&qid=1346665696&sr=1-2&keywords=corsair 850

    $188

    Graphics card: EVGA 680 GTX CLASSIFIED - Hands down a monster card, will last about 3+ years worth of gaming
    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-...346665909&sr=1-1&keywords=evga 680 classified

    $659


    Motherboard: - ASUS MAXIMUS V - Asus make the best motherboards in my opinion
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Motherb...qid=1346666007&sr=1-5&keywords=asus maximus v

    $359

    Cooler: Corsair Hydo H80 - watercooling made easy, not difficult to install and good performance
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Perfo...cs&ie=UTF8&qid=1346666132&sr=1-1&keywords=h80

    $86


    Hard drive: Sand-disk 240Gb SSD - I reccomend a SSD for pure performance
    http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extre...F8&qid=1346666210&sr=1-1&keywords=sandisk 240

    $168

    Case: Corsair Obsedian 650D - Great case
    http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Obsid...8&qid=1346666251&sr=1-1&keywords=corsair 650d

    $170

    That's your baremetal box, software + DVD-Blueray drive you can just pick one you like. The parts I listed are quality trust me on that.
     
  22. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    He's not into DIY. I already tried getting him to DIY. :D
     
  23. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    OH NO! well he should DIY it's easy & more economical.
     
  24. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Regardless of what he does, I'm pretty sure what you posted is a wee bit more than he wanted to spend. :)
     
  25. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Re: Help Purchasing PC for Gaming

    Hahahaha, he really went over the top with the GPU. :D
     
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