Looking to get a decent gaming pc on a $600-$700 budget

Hi, I'm new to this forum, I just stumbled upon it while attempting to research a gaming PC. I have next to no technical knowledge of the inner workings of these things so I am extremely hesitant to build my own. I was hoping some of you may have some insight into a prebuilt machine I could get for $600- $700.
I don't need anything insane, just something that might be able to play some of my current games like Left 4 Dead without lagging. My current computer is an NV 78 laptop... specs pretty sad.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo t6600 @2.2ghz
Memory: 4,096 mb
''Video Card: Mobile Intel 4 series express chipset family at 1695 mb (not even dedicated)
I could probably pick up two rocks, bang them together and get better performance, so anything would be an upgrade, but I would appreciate some help getting the most bang for my buck. Something I could upgrade later would also be good. Thanks in advance, any help is greatly appreciated.
7 answers Last reply
More about looking decent gaming budget
  1. This pre-built will game nicely at 1920x1080 with a slight reduction in eye candy settings. If you are gaming at 1680x1050 or lower, it should max out most games. Compared to what you are used to now, you'll think you died and went to gamer's heaven.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227457

    If you want to select your own: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100019096%20600030537%204021&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=RATING&PageSize=20

    Can you buy from Newegg where you are at?
  2. I'm in Wisconsin, I hope I can buy from newegg lol. Was actually shopping around there for a bit.
    I was looking at this one;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883258020

    but the one you linked seems to be better for a negligible price bump. I'm pretty clueless though, I can't be sure.

    Thanks for the reply, I'll look into this one for sure.
  3. The one you linked to is OK, but the GT 640 graphics card is quite a bit inferior to the HD 7770 for gaming:
    http://www.hwcompare.com/12821/geforce-gt-640-ddr3-vs-radeon-hd-7770/

    The i5-3570 processor is much better at everything including gaming than the FX-6100:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html

    The Avatar does have more memory. But, You will almost never require a full 8GB of memory, let alone 16GB.
    The Avatar has gigabit 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN Speed, where the ibuypower only has 10/100. Probably won't notice it though.

    For the budget you set, and not wanting to build your own, I would still recommend the ibuypower over the avatar.
  4. Thanks for the recommendation, it's much appreciated. Thanks for the link to this hardware compare website too, it will simplify my research a lot. Some of the other sites I found were pretty esoteric, this one is pretty straightforward.
    Thanks again, your advice has been a lot more accurate than anyone else I've talked to. Someone actually told me the gt 640 was the superior card, probably just looked at the memory and assumed it was better. Not sure about why the one with less memory is the superior card, but it is what it is.
  5. I can't think of any reason a weaker card would be "superior". You're probably right; the person was just going by quantity of VRAM. The reason the lesser VRAM of the HD 7770 doesn't matter, is because gaming at resolutions of 1080p and below the extra VRAM is seldom if ever needed. Usually the 2GB cards are for larger displays including multiple displays. That's not to say there isn't the rare game or two out there that have outstanding texture graphics and make use of more than 1GB VRAM. But the GT 640 wouldn't have the horsepower to drive a 1080p display at those texture settings anyway. What resolution is your display?

    Btw, here is Tom's Hardware's Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart to go along with the Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html
    They are updated regularly.
  6. I'm still running on a laptop at the moment, so I'm looking to purchase a monitor when I get my new pc. I'm more than likely going to get something pretty cheap for the time being and upgrade later. I was thinking this for now:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009436


    The main thing for me now is to actually be competitive in multiplayer games like left 4 dead, which really won't take much. Right now I feel like the money I'm spending on internet is wasted on my current set up. This new one is really going to be a rig for only a year or so, I'm going to be saving up around $50 a week and throw in my tax returns from next year to get a real beast... which will probably be overkill.
  7. Well, good luck. And remember that with monitors, like most everything else, you get what you pay for. If gaming is your main interest in the PC, remember that sharp detailed graphics is mostly about the graphic card. When you get the monitor, be sure to use the DVI cable and not the VGA. It will give you a slightly better display and less problems.

    Assuming both of the pre-builts we are talking about were assembled with equal care, the i5-3750/HD 7770 will be the superior gamer. At 1600x900 resolution (your new monitor), you should be able to max out settings in most games.
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