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500 - 600 Prebuilt Gaming PC

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June 4, 2014 3:05:11 PM

I'm on a 500 - 600 dollar budget and am wanting to find the best Pre-built gaming Pc for my buck.
I'm not interested into putting the rig together, I would much rather just find a computer from sites as in Ibuypower or Cyberpower or even Alienware *shivers* and ext. Reasons for this, I would like to purchase the rig with whatever payment plan these sites offer and again, would just like the computer to show up at my house ready to be used. The problem, I don't know which computers they offer would be best.

I would like to use it strictly for gaming, a little video and photo editing, and general use. HDMI would be a super plus.

Suggestions would be very much appreciated!!

Thanks dudes!

More about : 500 600 prebuilt gaming

June 4, 2014 4:38:19 PM

UHmmmm you REALLY need to reevaluate this. There is NO 'pre-built gaming PC' for just 500-600, period. The video card alone on a Gaming PC is over $349 (AMD R9 or Nvidia 760 bare minimum for WatchDogs, BF5, COD:AW etc.). So unless you can DOUBLE your budget (gaming rigs are near or around $1000) and be prepared to deal with updating drivers on your own, dealing with incompatibilities, running Malware scans every week, ensuring your Antivirus is up to date, Updating Windows when it doesn't tell you the optional patches need to be done, open the case every month to dust it out, etc. for the next 3 years then in year 3 replace the video card, then in year 5 replace the entire PC.

Based on what you said, your more the Console type, which just wants to 'turn it on' and use it which would be in your price range and grab a simple Walmart i3 PC (laptop even) for $249 for 'general use'. PS3/Xnbox 360 are only $149 and are still playing current titles.
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June 4, 2014 4:58:51 PM

hey :) 

I agree with some of what Tom wrote. You either invest time or money into a system. A prebuilt will usually cost between 20-30% more compared to building it yourself. So if you only have $600, then I suggest you build it yourself and have a quality system instead of a prebuilt one with a terrible PSU and Mobo as they cut corners everywhere possible. You would need at least $1000 to get some decent parts and even then I'm 100% sure your PSU will be garbage and you will need to get a new one eventually.

Check out this site if you want to learn a bit more about building one yourself
http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/
It is not nearly as hard as you think and the skills you learn along the way will benefit you the rest of your life :) 

One thing I can say is that a prebuilt is guaranteed to have problems ( at least at the $600 range) but if you build it yourself there is far less chance of things going wrong. I have built 4-5 pcs in 3 years and yeah some driver or bios issues but nothing too serious. My friends however have to buy new walmart PCs every year or 2...

If building a computer doesn't sound fun or interesting to you, then I would agree to get a console instead because every $600 prebuilt PC will be really bad. It's the sad reality of it :( 

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June 4, 2014 10:54:16 PM

jaraldo said:
hey :) 

I agree with some of what Tom wrote. You either invest time or money into a system. A prebuilt will usually cost between 20-30% more compared to building it yourself. So if you only have $600, then I suggest you build it yourself and have a quality system instead of a prebuilt one with a terrible PSU and Mobo as they cut corners everywhere possible. You would need at least $1000 to get some decent parts and even then I'm 100% sure your PSU will be garbage and you will need to get a new one eventually.

Check out this site if you want to learn a bit more about building one yourself
http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/
It is not nearly as hard as you think and the skills you learn along the way will benefit you the rest of your life :) 

One thing I can say is that a prebuilt is guaranteed to have problems ( at least at the $600 range) but if you build it yourself there is far less chance of things going wrong. I have built 4-5 pcs in 3 years and yeah some driver or bios issues but nothing too serious. My friends however have to buy new walmart PCs every year or 2...

If building a computer doesn't sound fun or interesting to you, then I would agree to get a console instead because every $600 prebuilt PC will be really bad. It's the sad reality of it :( 



Yea my family actually attempted to build a rig about 10 or so years ago and we failed miserably which is why I'm 90% put off on doing it again. I would consider it if I could purchase all the parts through a monthly payment plan of some sort.

Thanks for the useful advice
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June 4, 2014 10:56:40 PM

Tom Tancredi said:
UHmmmm you REALLY need to reevaluate this. There is NO 'pre-built gaming PC' for just 500-600, period. The video card alone on a Gaming PC is over $349 (AMD R9 or Nvidia 760 bare minimum for WatchDogs, BF5, COD:AW etc.). So unless you can DOUBLE your budget (gaming rigs are near or around $1000) and be prepared to deal with updating drivers on your own, dealing with incompatibilities, running Malware scans every week, ensuring your Antivirus is up to date, Updating Windows when it doesn't tell you the optional patches need to be done, open the case every month to dust it out, etc. for the next 3 years then in year 3 replace the video card, then in year 5 replace the entire PC.

Based on what you said, your more the Console type, which just wants to 'turn it on' and use it which would be in your price range and grab a simple Walmart i3 PC (laptop even) for $249 for 'general use'. PS3/Xnbox 360 are only $149 and are still playing current titles.


jaraldo said:
hey :) 

I agree with some of what Tom wrote. You either invest time or money into a system. A prebuilt will usually cost between 20-30% more compared to building it yourself. So if you only have $600, then I suggest you build it yourself and have a quality system instead of a prebuilt one with a terrible PSU and Mobo as they cut corners everywhere possible. You would need at least $1000 to get some decent parts and even then I'm 100% sure your PSU will be garbage and you will need to get a new one eventually.

Check out this site if you want to learn a bit more about building one yourself
http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/
It is not nearly as hard as you think and the skills you learn along the way will benefit you the rest of your life :) 

One thing I can say is that a prebuilt is guaranteed to have problems ( at least at the $600 range) but if you build it yourself there is far less chance of things going wrong. I have built 4-5 pcs in 3 years and yeah some driver or bios issues but nothing too serious. My friends however have to buy new walmart PCs every year or 2...

If building a computer doesn't sound fun or interesting to you, then I would agree to get a console instead because every $600 prebuilt PC will be really bad. It's the sad reality of it :( 



Yeaa.. no
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June 4, 2014 11:21:42 PM

No problem :) 

Another option would be to ask for help on a $500-600 build
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/353572-31-build-upgra...
(so we can help make one that fits your needs)

Then, if you had a friend or someone you knew to put it together for you and install the Operating system and do the install driver/updates. If someone knows what they are doing, it takes 1h to put things together and have the OS installed.

As for the upkeeping tasks that Tom mentioned, that's entirely up to you. 2 things you should learn how to do are back up your computer and how to restore it. This way no matter what happens your info is safe and there isn't much too worry about. Using CCleaner/highjackthis are the main tools that I use for my computer. I only run an antivirus scan once in awhile and as long as you aren't on weird sites or torrenting, you really shouldn't need to do it to often.

Lastly, like I mentioned before, some basic computer knowledge is an amazing thing to learn and since you will be around them your whole life it's a great asset. I've had friends who throw out computers because they are "too slow" but I ask for them and after a quick reformat and some setting changes (adding a SSD sometimes ;) ) they can run pretty fast again! Technology/computers are not so profoundly complicating as people make them out to be, all it takes is some time and patience; just like everything :p 
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June 4, 2014 11:32:10 PM

I would say jaraldo is a bit wrong on prebuilt as the choices the OP is suggesting, and think he is actually railing against the 'off the shelf' Walmart/BestBuy/etc. cheapo prebuilts then as suggested by the OP (Ibuypower or Cyberpower or even Alienware). Your under warranty with a prebuilt, that it will work AS delivered specifically that way, nothing more. If it doesn't work as it should 'out of the box' then they will fix it for free. If you screw up as your 'building your own' you are SOL and you need to go buy the parts all over again and try again that you 'broke'.

While jaraldo is a hobbiest/enthusiast, I know (especially by the OP post) that most 'Joe/Jane NoTechie' that post here just want a straight answer, and building your own PC isn't one.
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June 5, 2014 12:11:35 AM

Yeah I thought that route to, but I also hear about people buying prebuilts and when there is a problem getting shafted with the shipping bill (50-$100) while getting the labor for free. Then you can have the problem of them not fixing it completely and then weeks of waiting to get your computer back. Prebuilt/Custom both have their downfalls I admit.

I will agree that even cyberpower PCs are far better than the walmart ones and there is more security in buying that way.

There really aren't too many ways to break a computer building it if you have some common sense and read a guide though. My first build took me 5h to put together...worrying every part I connected would blow it up lol (It didn't thankfully!)

Anyways, I understand where you are coming from. I don't really enjoy people coming on a tech forum of DYIers asking for "best prebuilt for $xxx" not giving a crap if it will last a year as long as it plays their favorite game on ultra settings. I firmly believe in trying to have some basic knowledge in everything. (or at least anything you use/do in a day)

The reason that I tried to give him some encouragement to build his own PC is that I try to remember that someone else will be reading this thread in the future and hopefully they might try to attempt a build of their own. I'd rather hope someone takes a shot at it and fail than having this world of overpriced Apple/Alienware junk while seeing the cheap garbage walmart/Cyberpower PC everywhere and no one having a clue how any of it actually works or what makes it good or bad...but I'm a bit of an optimist :p 
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June 5, 2014 1:17:58 AM

jaraldo said:
I don't really enjoy people coming on a tech forum of DYIers asking for "best prebuilt for $xxx" not giving a crap if it will last a year as long as it plays their favorite game on ultra settings.


Actually Tom's Forums isn't your general DYIers techie discussion forum believe it or not. You don't see posts going on and on in 'techie' about this issue or that issue to discuss, as say for example (in my case) TechInferno Alienware forum I used extensively for my m17xR2, Tom's Forum audience is normally 'newbies' or 'tech illiterate' just looking for a free, quick, and "I don't need to wait on 1800.... to answer" from the 'experts'. We (like myself and many of the mods) have the credentials of professional experiance, not just 'homebrew geeks' whom like to DIY, to provide answers to that 'target audience' and is why I frame my words as such.

I agree people can and SHOULD use the tools, but honestly if people were so reliable that way then why is RTFM one of the first and most used acronyms? LOL. Plus the OP (know your audience) laid out "ould just like the computer to show up at my house ready to be used" which tells me he isn't a DIY, he is a common consumer 'light switch' type (or this case potentially console type) which it 'just works' and does not need to do a single thing.

I would say I HIGHLY advise NOT have active AV, this is high risk, and most of all the percentage of infection comes from Malware. Which is a manual process to scan and should be done often. NEVER advocate 'torrenting' unless your speaking of a legitimate use for it (99% is illegal and thus is a NO NO on Tom's Hardware) which except for the Linux Distros I am not aware of anyone using it for a legitimate purpose.
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