Right now I am have an older PC with an AMD 3200+ (2.0 Ghz), 2gb Ram, Nvidia 6800 GT, 500W OCZ Power Supply (Was running SLI before not anymore) on an ASUS A8N-SLI MB.
I also have a late 2009 Macbook Pro (aluminum body, 2.53ghz, 9600gt, 4gb Ram). I mostly play WOW and SC2 and TF2 on my macbook, but performance isn't great, even on WOW.
I just recently bought a 23" ASUS MS238H LED Monitor, which I was going to just run off my Mac, but as I'm thinking about it more, I'd like to upgrade my computer. I'd like to be at least able to run Cataclysm at max settings when it comes out in December. So my options are this:
Upgrade my old PC:
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Order New Pre-Built (Ibuypower.com.. I don't know, im just looking at options)
AMD Phenom II AM3 DDR3 Configurator Case ( NZXT Gamma Gaming Case - Blue )
Case Lighting ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
Processor ( [== Quad Core ==] AMD Athlon™ II X4 640 Quad-Core CPU )
Processor Cooling ( Liquid CPU Cooling System [AMD] - [Free Upgrade] Standard 120mm Fan )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand )
Video Card ( ATI Radeon HD 5770 - 1GB - Single Card )
Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by ATI or NVIDIA )
Motherboard ( [CrossFire] ASUS M4A87TD EVO -- AMD 870 w/ 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16 )
Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
Power Supply ( 600 Watt -- Standard )
Primary Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
Data Hard Drive ( None )
Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
2nd Optical Drive ( None )
Flash Media Reader/Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Black )
Meter Display ( None )
Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
Operating System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard - Black )
Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse - Black )
Monitor ( None )
2nd Monitor ( None )
Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
Power Protection ( None )
Headset ( None )
Video Camera ( None )
Warranty ( Standard Warranty Service - Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )
Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )
Sub Total: $742.00
The last option is to just keep my Macbook Pro. The only upgrade I can do to the MBP is upgrade the ram to 8gb, but i dont know if that will help. Or just be happy with WOW on decent settings on my new 23" monitor..
I guess I could price out the same computer as iBuyPower on newegg or amazon, I don't know if it will come in cheaper or not..?
I would consider holding off for now, if you can reasonably game on the macbook, as there are new processors and graphics cards just around the corner. (Q4 2010 & Q1 2011)
As far as building a new PC, you generally can either:
a) beat the prices of pre-built companies with same quality components by building from newgg, etc.
b) beat the quality of pre-built companies for about the same price.