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Prebuilt System with Future Upgradability

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September 8, 2012 8:37:13 PM

Hello everyone, I am looking for some input on a purchase of a new, prebuilt, gaming system. The games I play don't demand any extreme hardware (Starcraft II , Torchlight 2, various Steam games) and I am pretty content with medium and lower settings graphics. My main concerns are long-term performance (no lag!) and distant-future upgradability. I've been browsing websites like TigerDirect and Newegg and I've found quite a few systems that meet and exceed system requirements for the listed games that fall within my budget of $600.

Along with any suggestions on systems I'd also appreciate input on the following:

I am seeing a lot of really bad reviews from iBUYPOWER and CYBERPOWERPC systems about systems dying within a few months, not working properly on arrival, parts not assembled correctly etc. This really worries me about buying from them. It seems they have some of the best systems for the price, but should I be worried about these companies?

What is going to limit my future upgradability? Should I be looking at case specifcations?

What is your opinion on AMD vs Intel ? I've been told that for a game like Starcraft II, a processor is what will reflect performance, so this part is important to me.

Graphics settings are not a huge concern to me, I'm fine with medium and lower settings with great performance, and I don't play any intense graphics game like Battlefield or Crysis. I've set my budget and I understand that this aspect of a gaming PC comes with spending. Some systems I have found do not include a NVIDIA or ATI graphics card, how much of a problem will this be for performance running the listed games? I am currently on a laptop with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 which is over 4 years old with lots of mileage. I'd hate to accidentally downgrade by buying a system with an integrated graphics card.


Thank you very much for reading and for any help. Feel free to ask me to be more specific if necessary, I'll be dropping back in frequently.
February 14, 2014 5:38:39 PM

This doesn't help much but if you want a reliable prebuilt PC, may I suggest CybertronPC? Infact there is one that fits right in your budget! :D 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00GFG1B1A?vs=1

They use brand name parts and they put time and care into their PCs. My friend has this PC and he is pretty happy with it.

As for not needing a graphics card? They use something called integrated graphics, depending on the CPU you could possibly get great graphics. Unfortunitly the PC I am reccomending does not have the best GPU so I would suggest later down the line upgrading it, but it won't be an issue if your games are at low. Intact my friend runs Borderlands 2 at high settings just fine.

Hope this helped. Also one more note, if you purchase the system off their site you could change up the components.

*UPDATE!*
Cyberpowerpc and IbuypowerPC usually recieve bad reviews is because they use off brand PSUs and motherboards, which are unreliable. Most of them die out rather quickly. They skin out to save money and they also don't take much care in cable management.
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February 15, 2014 1:54:26 AM

You probably won't find a lot of people here who have recommendations for specific pre-built systems as this community is pretty big into building them yourselves. It's very cost effective and easy.

If you're ok with lower graphic settings for now and want to buy pre-built, then I would look at/for the following:
-Get a decent CPU. I find it's always worth getting a decent CPU. CPU architecture changes at a fast enough pace that a while down the road there will be new mobo requirements for newer CPU's.
-MOBO, make sure it has the features you want. There is a good chance you'll end up with an off brand mobo. Could be fine, but might not be. More of an issue if you want to overclock I think.
-PSU, often PSU's are not major brands inside pre-builts. You may get one that works great or you may not. I'm not very knowledgeable about PSU's so I'm not sure what to look for.
-Video card. To me, this is lower on the list in your case. Just look fro reviews to make sure it will run the games you want right now if you are planning on upgrading in a while anyways.
-Case. If you get a smaller case you may have trouble fitting in a longer GPU.

Good luck with your search!
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