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Thread: PC Recommendations

  1. PC Recommendations

    I'm sure this has been discussed a thousand times here, but the info gets outdated so fast I figured I should make a new thread.

    I'm starting to look around at new PCs but am overwhelmed by what I should even be looking at or what is considered good.
    I'd like to buy a pre-made machine so I don't have to mess with putting it together. I'd like to do some gaming on it in addition to the normal web/documents/iTunes crap. It doesn't need to be a powerhouse, but it would be nice if it can play a lot of games that are already out (Dragon Age, Star Craft 2) and perhaps some of the stuff that's coming out (Portal 2).
    I would prefer not dumping a ton of cash on this, but wouldn't mind seeing what the spread of prices could be.

    Any suggestions?

  2. gussy up a dell with 3-4GB of ram and a low-end quad core/high end dual core processor, and maybe a decent mid-range video card... it might run you 7-800 bucks if you just get the tower

    edit: the studio xps 8100 looks like the one you're looking for, play around with configuring that
    Last edited by cka; 11 Sep 2010 at 04:49 PM.

  3. Don't get a Dell. Ever. You will regret it eventually. They cut all kinds of little corners and you might not know what until something breaks, but you will find out. When you have to replace that 300 Watt power supply and you realize the tower won't fit a full size one, or when you realize there's no place to mount a second hard drive you will regret it.

    Buy a barebones system from a mom and pop or an online site, and then buy a video card, drives, and some RAM to pop in there. It'll save you the most time consuming and difficult part of building, but still give you the same benefits of custom building.

  4. Dells aren't that bad, but it's true that they have a tendency to use cheap motherboards and power supplies with non-standard form factors.
    Frog is pretty much right on the money, though.
    You can get something built that's equivalent to a 'name brand' PC for the same price, if not less, and end up with better components and a cleaner OS install.

  5. Geen doesn't sound like too much of a power user, though, so I don't think doing major surgery on his PC (new PSU/mobo/CPU) is a concern. And even if it was, by the time that surgery is needed, it's probably time to start from scratch anyway. A Dell seems fine for his purposes honestly.

    But even if it's not, there are plenty of smaller companies online building systems with more standardized parts. The thing is, customer service and support is really spotty with those, so do your research before you spend.

  6. Diff is right that service from place to place varies wildly. I've had good experience with 3Btech back when I still bought barebones kits.

    As for spec, cka is right. Get something that's clocked at 3-4Ghz, either a dual core or a quad core (Quad cores are not twice as powerful as dual cores, btw, and having a high clock dual core can be better than a lower clocked quad). Intel, of course.

    For a video card, spend like $100 on a GeForce GTS 250 or something like that. Should be plenty good for your gaming needs.

  7. my pentium 3 xps-t still runs great ten years later

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Frogacuda View Post
    Diff is right that service from place to place varies wildly. I've had good experience with 3Btech back when I still bought barebones kits.

    As for spec, cka is right. Get something that's clocked at 3-4Ghz, either a dual core or a quad core (Quad cores are not twice as powerful as dual cores, btw, and having a high clock dual core can be better than a lower clocked quad). Intel, of course.

    For a video card, spend like $100 on a GeForce GTS 250 or something like that. Should be plenty good for your gaming needs.
    A GTS 250 will run you about $140.

    I bought an HP computer with a Pentium Dual-Core E6300 (@2.8 GHZ), 8 gigs of RAM, 750gig HDD and 7.1 surround for $579. I replaced the factory power supply with a 600 watt unit and picked up a BFG GTS 250 Over-clocked for $139 (Also had a $20 mail-in rebate).

    I can run Crysis at 1360 x 768 with everything set on very high and 8 x AA, and it will run a solid 30+ fps. Not bad for a $750 rig.

    Office Max is selling a refurbished version of my computer for the same price I'd paid new.
    Last edited by gamevet; 11 Sep 2010 at 09:00 PM.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    A GTS 250 will run you about $140.
    Nope. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-479-_-Product

    Although, if you do want to spend that, these just hit the market and seem tempting:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130572

    But I haven't seen benchmarks yet.
    8 x AA
    Don't do this, btw. It's not really visibly distinguishable from 4xAA except in the hit it puts on your framerate. I know it's fun to crank everything up to max, but it doesn't necessarily make it look best to do that.
    Last edited by Frogacuda; 11 Sep 2010 at 09:06 PM.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by Frogacuda View Post
    Nope. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-479-_-Product

    Although, if you do want to spend that, these just hit the market and seem tempting:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130572
    The price must have dropped in the past couple of weeks, since the introduction of the GeForce 460. I've been thinking about getting this one!

    This site has charts for comparisons of CPU and Video cards and how they rank.



    Don't do this, btw. It's not really visibly distinguishable from 4xAA except in the hit it puts on your framerate. I know it's fun to crank everything up to max, but it doesn't necessarily make it look best to do that.
    I know. I was running it at 1920 x 1080, but I noticed my LCD upscaled it nicely from 1320 x 768 without a hit to the screen detail. I just like to mess around with the setting to see what I can get away with.
    Last edited by gamevet; 11 Sep 2010 at 09:38 PM.

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