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Diablo 3 Preparation: build new or upgrade?

Last response: in Video Games
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August 29, 2011 6:21:35 AM

Hello all,

This is my first post on Tom's Hardware, and potentially my first exploration into the Windows OS.

I'm currently using a 15" MacbookPro and want to have a suitable system for when Diablo 3 comes out. I am trying to decide if I should pump up the laptop with some more ram and a SSD, or to build a desktop.

As it sits:

2.8Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
4Gb 1066 ram
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT (256 & 512mb)

Proposed upgrades:

8gb ram ($70)
115gb SSD ($200)

The alternative is to build an intel based (i5-2500k) "budget" ($1000 + monitor/OS) build from some of the suggested builds in the system section. This would obviously be more costly, but I'd like to know if you guys think this is the only suitable solution.

The reason I'm even considering using the laptop for gaming is because the Diablo games don't seem to require the high end hardware that people are using for games like COD. It seems like the biggest advantage of the desktop would be graphics, but if the laptop could run Diablo 3 without any lag I'd be willing to put up with mediocre graphics (and save a grand).

I look forward to hearing your feedback

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August 30, 2011 6:47:56 PM
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That's a pretty fast dual core for a laptop, but the video card is old and slow and probably difficult/expensive to upgrade, you're better off building a new system, games won't use more that 4GB anyways and the SSD is only going to make launching the game/loading levels faster not improve in game performance.

My advise would be not to put any money into your laptop, just wait for the game to come out and see if you are comfortable with playing on the low graphical settings that your 9600 gt is going to require, if not then build a desktop. The low end gaming builds are plenty for Diablo 3, you won't need to spend 1000 bucks.
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August 31, 2011 11:35:50 AM

Diablo3 will not use much resources, you could probably spend 500-650 and play on high-ultra with great fps.
August 31, 2011 11:05:51 PM

Thanks for your replies.

If it's mostly a graphics issue I'm up against I might try to give the laptop a run before I build a new computer. If the Diablo beta is anything like the Starcraft beta I should be able to get a copy to test the laptop with... If I don't get a key I'll just have to spoil myself with a new computer to make myself feel better.

Would I not necessarily gain anything from building a 1k computer as opposed to a $500 build? I'm inclined not to skimp too much so I can be a little bit future-proof, but realistically Diablo 3 is my main usage for this computer, so if there is no noticeable advantage of spending more I'll probably go for the $500.
September 8, 2011 2:00:09 AM

Best answer selected by akdmx.
March 18, 2012 6:17:55 AM

Gman is correct. I have a 2005ish gateway with a phenom 8400 triple core, GEforce 6150SE, 4 gig of ram and I was being told my video card might be my only issue but that I could get a decent video card for less than $100 + needing a power supply. I was also told that my pc might beable to handle D3 w/o upgrading so i dunno I'll prob use some money my bro is giving me to upgrade it :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

there's my pos by today's standards :p  i'm pretty sure I got it to 4 gig but not positive lol
!