HELP NEEDED ... ASAP, please ....

I am a mother trying to purchase a gaming computer for her son, preferrably for Christmas. He is in college, but iraces every chance he gets (when he probably SHOULD be studying :o - hahaha) ... But he keeps saying his graphics on his Gateway is not near good enough. I do not want anything elaborate - as he only plays iracing on the weekends, and occasionally during the week. He doesn\'t need anything expensive, but I would like for it to be decent. I would REALLY like to keep it around $500, but not sure that is possible. I have been on the Tiger Direct site - but I am TOTALLY computer illiterate when it comes to specs and stuff. Can someone PLEASE help me ASAP ... :)

Thank you very much! Shelley Burgess
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help needed asap
  1. hi shelley first edit and remove your e-mail from post message to avoid spam,then the link is what iracing need to be play so if you seen a system you want advice on post the link here someone will help.
  2. Thank you, Scout_03 ... my big problem is ... it is hard to choose a system when I have NO IDEA what the "lingo" for computers is ... I don't have a CLUE what I'm looking for ... :(
  3. Hi Shelly. Is there any way you could tell us the model number of his current Gateway computer? A model number would allow us to look up the specifications of his current computer and determine if a whole new computer is required or maybe just a new graphics card.

    -Wolf sends
  4. If he is saying his "Graphics are not near good enough", Most likely he just needs a new graphics card. If that is the case, the system requirements recommend a 7800gt. This is a really old card and if his graphics are bad, he must be using something old or intel integrated. You should get him this,
    This graphics card (Radeon 7850) will be a massive improvement in what he has and can run almost every game smoothly at high settings. This is all he really needs and its only $220. BUT!!!!!!!! Before you buy ANYTHING! find out the model number of the Gateway computer and give it to us so we can determine if the computer will improve with a graphics card or CPU and if the Power supply will work with it.
  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH Wolfshadw and jd_w98 ... He originally said the guys on TS he races with said a graphics card ... then they said prob since computer was 3 yrs old, he needed a new gaming computer ... but then he said that since he isn't a BIG gaming person - he didn't know if he should put that kind of $$$ into a new computer ... I cannot get the model # now b/c he is home from college and computer is there ... I asked him 3 wks ago for the model # and he blew me off - prob b/c he knows I know NOTHING about this stuff ... uggghhh ....
  6. OK ... another STUPID question .... is an i3 good enough to run iracing on? His buddies are telling him they run i7 - but they are the serious kind that have like 4 monitors hooked up at once and play tons of games ... all my son wants to play is iracing ... and I have no idea what i3 - i7 means or is .... :

    I teach school ... our computer tech is not real knowledgeable about gaming computers ... but he sent me this link and said he "thinks" this would be good for what my son wants to do, but not REAL sure .... Do you agree?

    He has asked me to ask here ... "Will the game 'stutter' while trying to run it?"
  7. CoreI3 and CoreI7 are types if Intel Central Processing Units or CPUs. If your son's friends were REALLY serious, they would know the CoreI7 processors are more in tune with business applications than gaming applications (There are also CoreI5 CPUs which is what they should be using). They're bragging about having spent more money than they needed to; nothing more.

    A Core I3 CPU when paired with the AMD Radeon HD7750 graphics card is certainly good enough to play his IRacing game without stuttering, but I'm having a hard time justifying the water cooling system that is included in the computer you linked.

    As a system builder there are some things that make me concerned about the computer you linked.

    1) It lists an Intel CoreI3 3220 processor at 3.1 GHz (processor speed) with water cooling. Water Cooling is generally use when a computer owner/seller over-clocks the CPU (essentially making the CPU perform faster). However, the Intel CoreI3 3220 processor natively runs at 3.3 GHz. So why does an advertised, watercooled CPU run slower than what the processor runs natively?

    2) An experienced system builder also knows that the most important component of any computer system is the power supply. The computer you linked only lists a 300 watt power supply. This could be any no-name piece of junk that will have you sending it back for repairs in a week.

    Again, these are issues that I see as a system builder. If the computer is up to specifications. then it'd be a great computer for your son and his IRacing game.

    -Wolf sends

    P.S. Even a three year old computer should still have enough processing power to handle his game. I still think just a graphics card and probably a power supply upgrade is all that's necessary, but without knowing the specs of the system, there's no way I can even make a suggestion.
  8. OK ... That is "kind of what" he was saying ... they were all telling him the i7, but he thinks they are just saying that because they are too into it - if that makes any sense. I just got the model # ... it is a Gateway i5: Model# DX4831. Has a Nvidia graphic card in it now ... So that link I sent you is downgrading, then, huh?

    I REALLY appreciate your help and expertise advise ... :)
  9. The i7 is a good processor but not needed for gaming. If you want an intel system the minimum I would go for is an i3, but i5 would be better. Also look at an AMD system sometimes they offer a good value also.
  10. Best answer
    Ok... I've done a bit of research and this is what I've come up with. I looked into the Gateway DX4831 and there are several different versions with several different processors. Since you mentioned the "Gateway I5" (meaning Core I5 processor), then I believe the system he actually has is this one. This definitely needs confirmation before any actions are taken!

    Pertinent specifications (for others looking in)
    Intel Core I5-650 processor
    8GB DDR3-1333 RAM
    NVidia GT310 Discrete Graphics.
    Unknown 300 watt PSU.

    I did make a mistake, however. The older versions of the Core I7 processors are ideal for gaming, but the newer versions are more for business applications. Regardless, if this is, in fact, the system your son has, his Core I5-650 processor is not going to be causing him any problems in his gaming.

    Again, if this is the system your son has, then your son already has a system that is nearly the same as the $630 TigerDirect system you linked. The only difference would be the graphics card. Both systems appear to have generic 300 watt power supplies, so one could assume that if the HD7750 graphics card will run in the TigerDirect system, then the HD7750 graphics card will run in your son's current system, but I would be prepared to spend some extra money on a new power supply, just in case.

    The GT310 Graphics card described in the video is certainly the most crippling factor for gaming in this system. The AMD Radeon HD7750 is generally going for ~$100 online and would be a huge improvement over his current card. A new quality power supply shouldn't run you more than another $75 (if needed).

    -Wolf sends

    Ok. I take it back. The Intel Core I3-3220 would be a slight improvement over the Core I5-650, but certainly not worth the cost.
  11. Best answer selected by shelleyb63.
  12. For the money I like this system.

    I also like the i3 system above, but the concern I would have, is the power supply as the other poster said is the fact it's only 300 watts. Everything else I think I'm ok with.
  13. Oops, missed out lol. If he's already got an i5, if you want to spend say 500 I might suggest a better power supply, and maybe like a Radeon 7850.
  14. Wolfshadw ...

    How do I find out the specifics of his computer? I KNOW it is an i5 ... and I KNOW the graphic card is a NVidia ... outside that - the stickers on it do not specify anything else ... How can I find out? Thanks ... Shelley
  15. OK ... I just found out that the computer specs you listed - is in fact what he has ... So can you please send me the links where I can purchase the graphics card and power supply. He said that most of the guys running iracing uses the liquid cooling system ... do you think that his cooling system will be able to handle the higher power supply?

    Again - you have been SO HELPFUL ... I appreciate your time and rapid responses. :)
  16. send him a pm message using the little green enveloppe under is name since you mark the post solve it will be easier for you to get in touch with him.
  17. Here are the links I would suggest. The graphics card is on par with the one included in the TigerDirect computer. The power supply (if needed) will easily handle most any graphics card your son could want to install. Of course, there are better graphic cards and more powerful power supplies, but it comes down to how much you want to spend and just how much graphic muscle your older CoreI5 processor can handle.

    Sapphire Radeon HD7750 - $99.99
    Corsair Builder Series CX500 500W - $59.99

    Each of these comes with a $10 rebate as well so you can save a little more. These upgrades won't give your son any bragging rights (other than how much his mother loves him), but it will put him more in the... ahem... driver's seat. :sol:

    -Wolf sends
  18. Here is the content of the e-mail I sent:

    I've already linked the upgrades you requested in the thread at Tom's Hardware. I'll try to answer your other questions here.

    1) Can these be purchased at Best Buy?
    - The power supply can be purchased online through Best Buy (Corsair Power supply). That specific graphics card cannot, but this one from ASUS (also online) should perform the same (ASUS HD7750). Unfortunately, there is no way I can tell what is available from your local Best Buy without knowing which Best Buy store you'd be shopping at. If you could provide me with the Zip Code of your preferred store, I can look at what they have in stock and make some suggestions.

    2) Will the extra heat from the graphics card eventually "kill" the system?
    - Technically, yes, but the graphics card does have it's own cooling fan and rear exhaust. It's not 100% efficient, but the system does have space for a rear case fan (below the power supply and above the graphics card) if there isn't one there already. If you look at the image here (rear image), item number 10 shows the location of the case fan (the fan would be inside the case). If there is a fan there now, your system shouldn't overheat at all. If there is not a case fan there, then you should definitely consider adding one. It looks accept either an 80mm or 92mm case fan. These generally run between $5 and $30. I have no idea if they're available from Best Buy or not, but it's not an immediate need.

    3) The game requires a "dual-core"?
    - Yes. This is referring to the central processing unit (CPU). Your son's computer has an Intel CoreI5-650 processor installed. This is a dual-core processor, so you're good to go there.

    4) Will the cooling system be able to handle the more powerful power supply?
    - Most power supplies come with their own cooling system fans. These fans should be more than enough to cool the power supply, itself as well as alleviate some heat from inside the case. Adding a case fan (as described above) should cover all the bases for all but the most powerful graphic cards.

    Again, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me either via e-mail or in the forum. I'll check in again around 9:00am CDT.

    -Wolf sends
  19. Wolfshadw ... Thank you SO MUCH for your explanations, guidance, and suggestions. I did use the link you provided and purchased the exact products you suggested. The dealer was reasonably priced - my only complaint is that I paid for 2 (business) day shipping and did not receive it until six business days after the order was placed ... but hey - you had no control over that - LOL .... I DO have one more question session for you ... (hopefully just one - hahaha)

    I took the graphic card and power supply to the computer tech that works at the school with me. He installed them (and I feel pretty confident he did so correctly - as he works on our school computers and replaces parts all the time) yesterday. My son went back to school today and he is currently "testing" the computer out on an irace. He says the screen freezes about every 10 seconds or so ... is this a glitch in the card, the wrong card, or just that his settings may not be correct? Or could it be something else? Is it possible that the computer itself is not able to handle the new graphics card and power supply? If you feel like you need to talk/chat/or text him personally so he can better explain it to you and you to him, then inbox me for our contact info, please ....

    Thanks again - Shelley (the desperate, illiterate tech mom} :pt1cable: :sol:

    PS - Computer not freezing - because he can still hear the motors of the cars on the race track ... just appears to be monitor.
  20. Though wolf answered all the other questions here. You might try to have your son enable a setting called v-sync. If he has an older monitor especially that is only 60 hz refresh rate, v-sync essentially tries to make sure the card is not feeding the monitor more frames per second than the monitor can handle. Also, if thing still continue, you may have your son turn down a few of the settings, like setting anti-aliasing etc to a little bit lower setting, if it is a case that the card is not fast enough for full settings, that should alleviate it. Though really that should not be as I looked over the requirements. What kind of internet connection is he using?
  21. I would agree with OhioU_Grad_06 in that it's more likely a settings issue than hardware. Have your son check his in game settings as per OhioU's suggestions. If that does not alleviate the problem, then I'd recommend he join us here in the Tom's Hardware Community (rather than giving out personal contact info). Send him a link to this thread so he can ask here, or he can create a new thread and ask the general community.

    -Wolf sends
  22. Thanks to both of you ... Since EVERYTHING you just said (pretty much) is "Greek" to me (and most likely will be to him), I am going to email this link to him. He is not a "big" gamer or even computer buff ... he just LOVES racing ... his dream is/was to become a NASCAR driver. He found out about the iracing "game" about three years ago, we bought what the program "then" stated would be the minimum requirements. He has built a repertoire of friends through the game, some from the NASCAR world, but these people are BIG gamers and very computer literate ... THUS my turning to your community. :) Being his mama and daddy are not wealthy - or even remotely close to being so - for now he has to rely on dirt track late model racing and iracing on the computer to fulfill his need for speed ... LOL .... ANY help y'all can give us/him is VERY much appreciated .... Thanks again for all the time you have dedicated to us. :) Shelley
  23. Might be one reason a lot of us are into custom PC's because we can start with a base system and build after a while you get stockpiles of parts that you can carry over until you can get enough for other parts.
  24. I was just reading another thread here and someone else was having trouble with freezes every 15 minutes the suggested fix was the power supply might be to blame so you might start there.
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