Please help me decide between 2 prebuilt

Hello, first post. I am about to buy a new budget gaming pc. I thought about trying to build one on my own, but decided against it because of my experience. I would, however, like to get a pretty good pc that is upgradeable so I can learn slowly...eventually building my own from scratch.

Anyways, can someone please give me a hand and explain the major differences between these 2 computers:

$560usd+$20 shipping
Processor:AMD Phenom II X4 925 (2.8GHz)
Processor Main Features:64 bit Quad-Core Processor
Cache Per Processor:4 x 512KB L2 Cache
Memory:4GB (2GB x 2) DDR3 1333
Hard Drive:1TB SATA II
Optical Drive 1:24X DL DVD+/-RW Drive
Graphics:ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB


$570usd+$40 shipping
Processor:AMD Athlon II X2 240(2.8GHz)
Processor Main Features:64 bit Dual Core Processor
Cache Per Processor:2MB L2 Cache
Memory:4GB DDR3 1333
Hard Drive:500GB SATA II
Optical Drive 1:24X DL DVD+/-RW Drive
Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GT240 1GB

The DUAL core is $10 more (actually $30 more with s/h) than the QUAD. I really do not know much about processors, what am I missing here?

ALSO, if anyone knows of any similarly priced (below $600) deals elsewhere please point me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance for any opinions/advice. Just found this community and it seems great! Looking forward to learning and posting here in the future.
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  1. Hello erocdrummer;

    What resolution do you game on?

    Once reason the Athlon II X2 240 might be more expensive is the bigger 700W PSU vs 480W in the X4 925 system.

    Part of the reason these systems are under $600 are the less than $50 video cards. Not a pleasant idea for a gaming focused system.

    Depending on your gaming resolution you'd probably end up taking out the video card and replacing it almost right away.

    With that in mind...what would your total budget be? Base machine, plus the upgraded video card?
  2. Well, Im not looking for anything too crazy as far as gaming goes. I dont need super high res on everything, would just like to enjoy some current games (starcraft 2, wow, etc.) on playable settings.

    Im not sure not sure exactly what resolution I can run, but it will either be plugged into my 23" LG monitor or my 21.5" Asus that I just bought, both are currently using VGA connections.

    I wouldnt mind spending an extra $150-$200 down the road a few months to upgrade the video card. Right now my main concern is getting a stable and decent platform that I can upgrade over the next few years. Is that pretty much all I would need to upgrade to make it pretty decent for gaming? I the bigger PSU (yet only dual core vs quad core) worth the extra $30 total? 480W can run a decent system right?

    I bought a used "custom" computer a few months ago off craigslist from someone and didnt do much research, thinking I would just upgrade slowly. After researching, I realized if I upgraded one thing, then I would HAVE to upgrade something else, and something else, and so on. Im just trying to avoid that this time around.

    As for RIGHT NOW, I dont want to go over $600....but like I said I dont mind dumping more money into it in the short term.
  3. erocdrummer said:
    I dont need super high res on everything, would just like to enjoy some current games (starcraft 2, wow, etc.) on playable settings.
    I think you mean super high graphics. Resolution is the number of pixels on your monitor.
    A 23" monitor might have 1920x1080 (Full HD) resolution. A new 21.5" might also have 1920x1080

    Starcraft 2 isn't very demanding on the video card like some games. You should be OK on medium graphics and you can probably get high graphics decent running if you switch the monitor resolution to 1600x900.
    StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty GPU & CPU Performance

    As for CPU dual vs quad both Starcraft 2 and WoW:Cataclysm will run about the same. There will be other games, and future games that will run better on the quad core CPU.

    480W PSU from iBuypower will be a basic 'house brand' budget model and this will limit your video card upgrade choices. You'd run the risk of having to upgrade the PSU to support a graphics card that will run a graphics intense game on a 1920x1080 monitor on high or ultra graphics settings. If you stick with the middle tier of graphics card like a HD 6870 you can probably squeak by with that PSU.
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