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Advice About What To Buy When Getting Serious In PC Gaming

AnubisNMVAnubisNMV Member CommonPosts: 3
This is for me personally because I've been playing games like GW2 and WoW on a semi old computer. However I am ready to upgrade to a better laptop or switch to a desktop which I've heard are better overall. I want your guys advice about what to buy and why and from what websites. Obviously if someone else has a question about what to get it's totally fine but I'm making this mostly for me. 

Comments

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,708

    First tell us whether you want a laptop or desktop.

    If you go with a a desktop, you can get a lot more performance at the same price. So you should buy a desktop if you can, and laptop only if for some reason desktop is impossible for you.

    Then tell us something about your price range, and whether you want to have also new monitor, keyboard + mouse, and operating system license at that price range, or do you perhaps have old ones you could use? If we don't know whether you want to spend 500$ for a system that barely runs games or 1 000$ for a good system it's really hard to make useful recommendations.

     
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 12,321

    What are you using for gaming today and do you find the performance sufficient?
    How much money do you want to spend on the machine?

    Any prefered retailers?

  • imrobertjamesimrobertjames Member UncommonPosts: 19

    http://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/wiki/builds

     

    Go here - it has everything you need.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

  • AoriAori Member EpicPosts: 4,182

    Well what PC are you using, what future games are you looking forward too? What is your budget? What region do you live in? Can you put a PC together by yourself or at least follow instructions? 

    Price/performance a Desktop will dominate a laptop, there is no reason to go with a laptop if you want to game unless you travel extensively.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,147

    I guess there are different levels of serious.

    You could start out with a PC from Wal-Mart or Best Buy. I wouldn't recommend it, but plenty do start out that way (and then pretty quickly find out why it wasn't such a good idea). That would probably be the most basic level of entry. I also would consider it a waste of time and money, but some people learn better when they do it for themselves.

    There is the laptop/desktop question. A lot of people swear by their laptops - and for people which a laptop works well, kudos to them. In general, I just say that for two machines that cost the same amount of money - the desktop will be twice as fast, and last twice a long. That's just a thumbrule, it's not always entirely accurate, but it's pretty close most of the time. If you ~need~ a laptop, then there is no substitute, but if you don't absolutely need the portability, then why constrain yourself when you could get something twice as fast that lasts twice as long?

    Past those two initial considerations, there are really only two more that I would consider important.

    The first being - are you willing to build it yourself? There are no shortage of boutique builders (both online and brick and mortar) who will build a custom PC to your specifications, and charge you a markup of anywhere from 15-100%. I would say building it yourself isn't hard, but you do need to be willing to put up with the occasional DOA product that requires RMAing, and be persistent enough to figure out when something doesn't work what the problem is.

    The second being - do you want to enter the overclocking/enthusiast realm? This isn't something you need to jump into if you don't want to - a lot of people dip their toe in, and then get in after the fact. Some people do it out of necessity (they can't afford higher performing components, so they squeeze every ounce of performance out of what they can afford). Others are willing to throw no shortage of funds at it in order to chase personal (and in some cases, world) records. The nice thing about overclocking: most components have a margin of error that is anywhere from 15-75% that you can squeeze out if your willing to push it to the edge. It requires a lot of patience, trial and error, and the willingness to possibly blow stuff up (sometimes that's literal).

    Past all that - the only other thing you need to do is set a budget. THat can be anything from "I only have $500 in the bank, so that's it," to "I will say $800, but I could probably go up to $1000 if it's worth while," to "I could afford whatever, but I will say $2,000 right now and go from there". A decent entry-level gaming PC, with no peripherals or monitor to go with it (once you get those on your first PC, they can be reused on subsequent builds) - I would say would start at around $750 US once you have the computer/monitor/peripherals/etc. They sky is the limit from there, but you really see a steep diminishing return curve past about $1750 US.

  • manaekmanaek Member Posts: 33

    Building a PC by yourself is always the best choice. Only way to get most out of your budget.

    For the CPU, you want i5. AMD is not really good choice for MMOs because of usually bad multi-threading optimisation. i5 is the most reliable in terms of performance across all titles.

    You want 8 GB of RAM, preferably 16. Not a big deal, easy to add more ram, just make sure to buy MB with 4 RAM slots.

    1 TB hdd. SSD is a nice bonus, cuts loading screens. 500-600w PSU. Decent case, but no need to get anything fancy.

    GPU wise - AMD tend to offer slightly better performance for money in 100-300$ range. You wont something around 200$. MMOs are usually less graphically demanding, more dependant on CPU. You still need  a good card to run the prettier games, like AA or ESO. I would suggest nVidia over AMD - from personal experience, far more games have issues with AMD than with nVidia. GTX 960 is probably ideal choice, again given how MMOs rely less on GPU. GTX 970 if you have more money to spend. R9 280X or R9 290 if you still want to go AMD.

  • syntax42syntax42 Member UncommonPosts: 1,378
    Originally posted by manaek

    1 TB hdd. SSD is a nice bonus, cuts loading screens. 500-600w PSU. Decent case, but no need to get anything fancy.

    I consider a SSD mandatory for serious gaming builds if it fits in the budget.  At current SSD prices, a 120GB SSD costs about the same as a decent 1TB hard drive.  A 240GB SSD gives a lot more room for installing games at the price range of about $100.  The choice then comes down to if you need the storage space for hoarding files or if you would rather have performance of a SSD, assuming you can only afford one or the other. 

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,147


    Originally posted by syntax42
    Originally posted by manaek 1 TB hdd. SSD is a nice bonus, cuts loading screens. 500-600w PSU. Decent case, but no need to get anything fancy.
    I consider a SSD mandatory for serious gaming builds if it fits in the budget.  At current SSD prices, a 120GB SSD costs about the same as a decent 1TB hard drive.  A 240GB SSD gives a lot more room for installing games at the price range of about $100.  The choice then comes down to if you need the storage space for hoarding files or if you would rather have performance of a SSD, assuming you can only afford one or the other. 

    I fall into this camp - it's easy to add more space, it's hard to find a single upgrade with as much impact as an SSD.

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