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Overwhelmed with Gaming Video Card/Processor choices

Last response: in Video Games
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February 10, 2010 11:43:47 PM

Hey guys,

My 8 year old computer kicked the bucket, and so I find myself immersed in all the new tech in computer video cards and processors these days that I've pretty much ignored until now. Been trying to buy a computer in the $600-$800 range from the likes of Dell and HP and can't find quite what I want/can afford in graphic cards/CPU's and when I do find a system I like, I come here and find the video card isn't good for gaming. :(  So after reading a ton of stuff on graphic cards/CPU's including here, I find myself wondering what the hell I should get. :) 

My flavor of gaming is of the RPG sort, both MMO (like City of Heroes and hopefully soon Star Trek Online) and regular, though I play other kinds of games too. But not a hardcore gamer so don't need a system that can handle high resolution or dual-cards or anything like that. Just looking for a card and cpu that will put me in good steed for the next 8 years. That can be a card/CPU for my budget or not if there's something you believe in.

Also any recommendations on good companies to get a system from would be great. Thanks for the help.

Dan
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2010 4:09:45 PM

Buying through Dell isn't going to necessarily get you the gaming rig you want. Look around Toms Hardware and other sites and they usually have articles on building your own gaming rig from low to medium to outrageous.

Build a $700 gaming rig: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/system-Builder-Gami...

Build a $1300 enthusiast rig: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-own-pc,2503.h...

Build a $2500 ultimate rig: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-new-pc,2497.h...

That's your best bet. Buying a pre-built gaming rig could cost you more based on who you go with.
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February 11, 2010 5:05:18 PM

I bought a Dell 435mt last tax season for $1k, paid an extra $100 for a 22" 1080p lcd, plus tax (local Best buy). Total was about $1200.

Has i7 2.66 4GB of low latency Samsung DDR3, ATI 4850 512MB, 640GB WD HD that does ~100MB/sec on large unfragmented files, has a fully HW accelerated Intel 1gbit NIC that does offloading for everything from UDP to TCP to IPv4 to IPv6, and a Realtek 24bit 96db 192khz 7.1 sound card with optical in/out and I hear absolutely no static/electrical sounds using headphones.

Full system, with OS. I thought it was a good deal. This was one year ago for $1200 w/ tax.

I just bought and installed a TP-750 PSU into and going to get whichever $450-500 vidcard is best, come the end of March.

Do your homework, a Piece-of-crap pre-built Dell can give you a cheap starter platform that you can upgrade over time.

I assume my New $120PSU and soon to be new DX11 vidcard will last a while and next year I plan on upgrading some other parts. The best part of this is it leaves me with spares.
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February 11, 2010 5:48:51 PM

Thanks guys for the info and advice. Isamuelson, I should have mentioned in my original post that I'm not interested in building my own. I have a techie brother who would like to do it, but he's never done one before, and I just want to have tech support and a warranty from an established company.

Kewlx25, I was originally looking at Dell, but in reading through their forums, it seems like the tech support/customer service is at its lowest level ever, and I had a poor experience with a customer service guy already without even buying from them. I still may end up going that way or HP, but hoping there's a prebuilt company with better service.

Keep the info and help going guys, appreciate it all.
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a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2010 6:03:26 PM

thomkal said:
Thanks guys for the info and advice. Isamuelson, I should have mentioned in my original post that I'm not interested in building my own. I have a techie brother who would like to do it, but he's never done one before, and I just want to have tech support and a warranty from an established company.

Kewlx25, I was originally looking at Dell, but in reading through their forums, it seems like the tech support/customer service is at its lowest level ever, and I had a poor experience with a customer service guy already without even buying from them. I still may end up going that way or HP, but hoping there's a prebuilt company with better service.

Keep the info and help going guys, appreciate it all.


No problem. You just have to be careful with some pre-built machines. I know HP used to put in motherboards that would ONLY work from them or their PSUs weren't standard like they are today. Also, sometimes they have limited expansion PCI slots, etc, so you have to be careful when you purchase this pre-fabbed machines, especially if you're looking into upgrading them with better hardware, such as video cards, sound cards, disk drives, etc.

I don't think they use proprietary connectors anymore, but I remember when I bought a Tandy 286 way back in 92. I couldn't add my own hard drive or floppy drive because they powered the drives THROUGH the data cable. And, when adding things like video cards and such, they didn't make it easy to disable the onboard sound and video. Ever since then, I've built my own.
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February 11, 2010 6:58:24 PM

Quote:
You just have to be careful with some pre-built machines. I know HP used to put in motherboards that would ONLY work from them or their PSUs


I can't over-emphasize what this guy said. You HAVE to do reviews to make sure these pre-built systems are compatible with standards.

I got lucky and all of my parts are standards compliant.
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February 17, 2010 10:59:25 PM

Best answer selected by Thomkal.
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February 27, 2010 2:53:39 PM

Okay an update here, still looking for a computer and found this one at NewEgg:



Saw this computer at NewEgg, and wondered how it stacked up for gaming (not hardcore, MMORPG and regular RPG's mostly)now and for the future, future expandability and the quality of the components? Basically looking for a computer under $1000 that will be good for a while before I need to change anything on it.

Thanks for the help/advice.
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a b U Graphics card
February 27, 2010 2:59:00 PM

thomkal said:
Okay an update here, still looking for a computer and found this one at NewEgg:



Saw this computer at NewEgg, and wondered how it stacked up for gaming (not hardcore, MMORPG and regular RPG's mostly)now and for the future, future expandability and the quality of the components? Basically looking for a computer under $1000 that will be good for a while before I need to change anything on it.

Thanks for the help/advice.

that a good deal

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March 2, 2010 12:22:36 AM

appreciate the tip of the hat Obsidian. Anyone else want to chime in?
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March 2, 2010 2:00:04 AM

I just bought a new computer from this store:

http://stores.ebay.com/ETC-COMPUTER

They have a great variety of computers, and you can even customize what you want.

I just bought one for just under $500 and should work well with most games. You could always buy something around $500-600 and use the extra cash to upgrade a video card or something
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