Hi guys (sorry if this is in the wrong section of the forum), after learning on these forums that I can't/it's not worth improving my laptop for playing games I have decided to save for a gaming PC.
I would preferably like to find prebuilt computers as I have no knowledge of how to build one myself. I would primarily like to use it for playing MMO's (such as lord of the rings online, guild wars 2, star wars the old republic) and strategy games (shogun 2 total war). I would prefer if I could play these games on max settings with decent FPS because currently I play lord of the rings online on my laptop at roughly 30FPS on very low graphics settings
As of yet I do not have a definitive budget as I will just save until I reach as much as the computer costs if necessary (although I do not currently have a job (looking) and am at college). Any links or advice would be appreciated, thanks.
let me be the first to encourage you to try to build your own. It's NOT difficult the most complicated tool is a screwdriver) and can save you $200-500 over a prebuilt system.
Budget is the primary concern: You could get a system as low as $600 (when including things like monitor, Operating system, keyboard, mouse, and speakers -- the main tower would be about $350-400) that will play games fairly well, or you can go all out for $2000 or more.
IMO, when you want a prebuilt system, your start getting ripped-up at around the 800$ mark; any system under that amount you might have trouble to save enough money to be worth the trouble and over that you will probably save at least 100$ by building it yourself.
As for the choice of components, there is a full section in the forum dedicated to custom-built and people will be glad to help you choose something that fits your needs and budget. The actual assembly is rather easy, I walked my 16 years old brother through it about a month ago.
I started my system off that way actually and got it EXTREMELY cheap as a pre-build with add-ins.
Exactly how I did it: Bought a refurbished Dell Inspiron 530s (Core 2 Duo E5200, 2.5GHz, 2GB DDR 800 RAM), then bought a GTS 250 1GB Superclocked, 580W power supply, and a new case (Rosewill challenger) and a Logitech X540 sound system.
The PC came with a monitor for only $20, (17" Dell 1709SWc).
All in all I "half" built the system first time around. For $480 I got a PC that could play any MMO and many strategy games. Now it could even do Bulletstorm at 1440x900 resolution, but only barely..
So if you're looking for extreme gaming, this type of deal isn't the way to go.. But a standard desktop with an added power supply and GPU goes a long way in online gaming of low quality.
-Edit: I have since changed everything out except the HDD and DVD drive from the original build.. but that's because I game on it more now, I used to just play a little here and there but as time went on started getting into the more high end games so wanted a better system.
its not a bad system (its comparable to the only I built in 2008, see my sig). But you'll probly want to get a more powerful system eventually.
Oh yeah I've changed out nearly everything, it's a custom build now. But I'm just saying I wanted exactly what he wants, a little MMO and strategy gaming with daily use; and for that purpose it surpassed my needs.
But yeah since getting into it more (which happened as a result of playing at all) I've realized I needed more.
So my advice to you is to build your own. As I wanted only a "decent" rig at first, but having a better one made me want an even better one.. And so you should probably get a nice all-purpose gaming computer the first time around so you don't buy wasted components by replacing them for upgrades in a month or so.