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Looking for a new gaming computer

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August 4, 2009 9:58:55 AM

Hi, I am now looking for a new gaming computer that can play some of the games that I own (call of duty 4). I have been having trouble with my Ibuypower computer and I need a new computer company to go to. My power supply burnt out and a few months ago, a stick of ram died so I don't really want to go back with Ibuypower.

Now, would the core i7 be great over the core 2 quad? My Ibuypower computer is currently a core 2 duo and should I see that much speed increase if I purchased a core i7 computer right now?

Here is the first computers that I might be getting. http://www.realmcomputers.com/darkrealm

it has 12gb of ram and a core i7 920 with a gtx 260. is this good enough for games like call of duty and left 4 dead? or should i go with the gtx 275?

Here is the second one, http://www.widowpc.com/store/gaming-desktop-black-widow...


this one has a 10,000 hard drive with a radeon 4870.

Please tell me which one I should buy and if I should go with a gtx 275.

More about : gaming computer

August 4, 2009 1:07:52 PM

The 2nd system is obviously better. Faster HD, 1tb storage drive, xfire 4870s...

The 2nd system is better, but you're getting ripped off. It's about double the price. 4,250k LMAO....what a joke. You could build that yourself for probably 1/2 the price.

Give it a shot. If you think you got some skills, order the parts and build it. You'll save a ton compared to that crap^^
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August 4, 2009 3:09:31 PM

Well, the second one I configured was with the 4870 and not the xfire. I am not sure why the link shows xfire in it.

first has gtx 260, second has radeon 4870. i do not want x fire or crossfire.

Also, i will not be building my computer as I have had a bad experience just replacing parts inside of a computer. when I replaced parts, random blue screens came after about 10 minutes from when I started up my computer.
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August 4, 2009 5:46:38 PM

IC...so are they the same price then? or close to it? The 2nd option still have the 2 drives?

Even the most skilled techs have issues. Being able to diagnose and fix them is a part of the growing pains. But it's surely worth it IMO.

There's plenty of people on this site more than willing to help. You can save some $$ and pick every part of the system yourself instead of being given choices. It's your choice tho, just thought I'd throw that out there.
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August 6, 2009 12:29:25 AM

Iron - I don't like either of your choices, they seem very expensive for what you get. Further, if all you want to do is get good game play on the games you listed - you don't need to spend nearly as much.

Regarding the i7 CPU, if you are not significantly budget constrained, CPU intensive video applications are your first priority, or you want to minimize future issues, then stick with i7. But there are many non-i7 CPUs - from Intel and AMD - now available that support top game play with little limitation and likely have the head room to do so for several years. So you could get a faster video card now and upgrade it in a few years and still not have the CPU significantly affect play. Course you can buy top end video cards today for highly competitve play that have some minor CPU constraints. But at this level you are beyond the power of simple qualitative statement about general preferences and would need to study a lot more about the quantitative limits of both CPU and Video card - and their relative quantitative impact in different applications - to adequately address this.

Regarding the graphics card, have you looked at the THG guide for different budget ranges or the THG charts to compare performance on specific games (note that 30 fps is very playable and above about 50 fps you are lnot ikely to notice any difference - so a card with 150 fps is not any better than one with only 60 fps):

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...


Regarding the RAM - with the exception of video encoding and CAD and maybe MAJOR multitasking, no applications make use of more than 4 GB of RAM - and few more than 3 GBs. Just make sure your mobo has 4 or 6 (in the case of i7) slots and buy 2 x 2GB today (or 3 x 2GB for the i7 system) and leave the extra slots to add more when, and if, necessary.

You mgiht want to look at these builds and their related performance charts to get an idea of what size CPU, PSU, and Video cards you might want to achieve your goals (they are for home built systems but will help you size components for a store built one - and note the discussion about component selections):

THG $600 gaming system (with portable case @ $90)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-2-overclock,23...

0509 ExtremeTech $800 Killer Gaming PC
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2347620,00.a...

THG - 2 systems compared with links to both systems
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/system-builder-mara...

Anandtech System Buyers Guide $700 to $1700 with Value Midrange @ $738 and Performance Midrange @ $1206 (without O/S, speakers, keyboard, & mouse) (7/27/09)
http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=3610

The Best Bang for the Buck System ($1,700)
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2273762,00.a...


See this thread where I just gave some reasons for recommending CyberPower and Velocity Micro as vendors. You might want to look at their offerings. They provide quite a range of options to customize and often the opportunity to select good name brand componenets.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/53595-2-recommendatio...
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August 7, 2009 5:37:47 PM

Cyberpower? im not too sure about that. I have a Ibuypower thats giving me a whole bunch of problems and since they

own cyberpower, I would expect nothing better in terms of support or quality. sure they are cheap, but for what you get, it

is not worth it at all with their refurb parts and terrible service.

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August 23, 2009 1:29:08 PM

Iron - sorry for your experience with Ibuypower, but in this 2007 PC Magazine survery, Cyberpower was ranked higher than Dell, HP, Gatewa, and some other manufacturers, and that Velocity Micro was one of the "Readers' Choice" winners.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2182831,00.asp

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a b 4 Gaming
September 14, 2009 11:13:13 PM

I have bought a computer from ABS before which I was happy with overall, but after viewing their prices online I can't recommend them.

Honestly for your needs a i5 or i7system with a gtx 260 would give you great fps on CoD 4, you don't need the gtx 275... Unless you are running a crazy screen resolution. If you do your research, over 4 gigs of ram is a waste of money for gaming. Hundreds of extra dollars for 1-3 frames per second more - you won't even notice the difference.

As far as mainstream I would recommend Dell, but I personally hate anything mainstream, including Dell - Because they put all kinds of junk on your computer you didn't ask for running in the background that bogs down your machine.

Do you not know anyone who would help you build a decent box? To get a good machine you need to buy good name brand parts. It can be intimidating but it only take a few hours once you learn how. You could build a good system nowadays for less than 1000$ that would smoke anything off the shelves. A mild overclock done properly to get you to 3ghz is really all you need.

Otherwise buy something with a good warranty, and settle for less.

My system
q6600 @ 3.00 ghz
4gig corsair ddr2
550 corsair power supply
gtx 260 core 216
gigabyte p35 mobo
64 vista ultimate

I run CoD4 & 5 almost max settings smooth as butter. A i5 or i7 would rip those games to peices with a gtx 260.
Radeon putting out good cards now too - just make sure the games you play aren't the games your particular card chokes on.

Hope it helps... Find a buddy to help build you one. If you are willing to spend thousands you should be willing to burn up a 50$ part in the process to get a smoking system for 1000$.

Once you learn how its quite simple.
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September 21, 2009 4:18:45 PM

Hi iron s, I myself have bought 3 Dell PCs. They have all been good to me,but there exspensive and so far NOT upgradable. I to will soon be building my own rig a little scared ) but feeling better about it every day I come to Tom's Hardware and read up.
I have learned a lot about trouble shooting my Dells because tech support is confused most of the time.
From what I have read on the Tom's forums,there are a lot of exsperieced people here.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2009 10:37:22 PM

Yea take the plunge man! Once you learn how to build you will never go back!

There are some new system builder guides stickied on the forums. It may take you 2-3 hours, just get some screenshots of how to apply thermal paste to your particular CPU, and make sure you put that on properly. Also beware using standoffs for mobo screws - don't use more than you are suppose to... 1 per screwhole no more no less.

Everything else is pretty simple. Buy good parts, the forum guys are happy to help. You really have a wealth of computer knowledge available here.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 21, 2009 10:39:37 PM

geno777 said:
Hi iron s, I myself have bought 3 Dell PCs. They have all been good to me,but there exspensive and so far NOT upgradable. I to will soon be building my own rig a little scared ) but feeling better about it every day I come to Tom's Hardware and read up.
I have learned a lot about trouble shooting my Dells because tech support is confused most of the time.
From what I have read on the Tom's forums,there are a lot of exsperieced people here.


FYI you can upgrade some dells, usually takes a good graphics card and a PSU~ But if you are going thru the trouble to replace the power supply, might as well just build your own - thats one of the more difficult and time consuming tasks. Unless of course you want to pay the premium for a Dell built gaming PC
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September 22, 2009 3:54:31 PM

Adroid said:
Unless of course you want to pay the premium for a Dell built gaming PC


Unless of course you prefer spending days and days learning what the componets are and how to build a pc; then what components are required to meet your needs and budget; then what are the best parts and brands; then learning which are compatible, putting to gether a build list and posting it to THG; reviewing and responding to comments; ordering, receiving and checking the components, assemblying and testing the pc; and finally troubleshooting any issues to get it to work. And then if you do have a later problem, there is no unified customer service or single contact regarding issues or warranties.

Adroid said:
But if you are going thru the trouble to replace the power supply, might as well just build your own - thats one of the more difficult and time consuming tasks.


And lets be honest here. What is so difficult and time consuming about replacing a PSU? If you consider all aspects - such as component selection where getting the right PSU is one of the easiest selections - replacing a PSU is quite easy. You buy a 500w or 600w Corsair and just replace the old connections one by one. Piece of cake. And liklihood of compatibility and trouble shooting issues are almost zero. Compare that with the days spent for a newbie doing a BYO as noted above. Upgrading a Dell or other vendor build is a very reasonable option for many - if not most people.
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September 22, 2009 7:25:41 PM

Adroid said:
FYI you can upgrade some dells, usually takes a good graphics card and a PSU~ But if you are going thru the trouble to replace the power supply, might as well just build your own - thats one of the more difficult and time consuming tasks. Unless of course you want to pay the premium for a Dell built gaming PC



I have a 750w power supply.My bottle neck on upgading this XPS710 is the mb. I have been told the biggest prossesor I can use is a q6600. The FSB is maxed out at 1066 mhz. And 800mhz ram barley works in it.

Don't laugh ! But I spent over $3000 on this "thing". Thats why I am reading up on building my own rig.
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September 22, 2009 7:47:28 PM

372298,13,125538 said:
Unless of course you prefer spending days and days learning what the componets are and how to build a pc; then what components are required to meet your needs and budget; then what are the best parts and brands; then learning which are compatible, putting to gether a build list and posting it to THG; reviewing and responding to comments; ordering, receiving and checking the components, assemblying and testing the pc; and finally troubleshooting any issues to get it to work. And then if you do have a later problem, there is no unified customer service or single contact regarding issues or warranties.



quotemsg]


What you say here is very true. One of the biggest reasons I bought a Dell was for the waranty and support. But after paying hundreds of $$$ for exstended warranty and support,I still find that I have to troubleshoot my pc to fix it. That was not the case when we had north American support.

I alomost bought a new Dell 730x,but they removed it from the site do to not selling gamming PCs anymore.Plus no real upgrades.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 22, 2009 10:19:54 PM

rockyjohn said:
Unless of course you prefer spending days and days learning what the componets are and how to build a pc; then what components are required to meet your needs and budget; then what are the best parts and brands; then learning which are compatible, putting to gether a build list and posting it to THG; reviewing and responding to comments; ordering, receiving and checking the components, assemblying and testing the pc; and finally troubleshooting any issues to get it to work. And then if you do have a later problem, there is no unified customer service or single contact regarding issues or warranties.



And lets be honest here. What is so difficult and time consuming about replacing a PSU? If you consider all aspects - such as component selection where getting the right PSU is one of the easiest selections - replacing a PSU is quite easy. You buy a 500w or 600w Corsair and just replace the old connections one by one. Piece of cake. And liklihood of compatibility and trouble shooting issues are almost zero. Compare that with the days spent for a newbie doing a BYO as noted above. Upgrading a Dell or other vendor build is a very reasonable option for many - if not most people.


Rocky, I respect your opinion that it takes research building a system that requires compatability, although its not as big of an issue as it used to be. You make building a system seem very intimidating, and rightly so... the first time at least.

The privilege of building your own system is knowing you are getting good quality parts, and saving money at the same time.

For me, I always use a Gigabyte mobo, typically one that doesn't use SLI or Crossfire. I have found these to be largely idiot proof. They are pretty hard to destroy from my experience. Also Corsair power supplys are top notch.

From there, its good to view other people's system builds. A Cpu/heatsink ram combo that works together isn't hard to come by. Toms here has some great articles on low mid high range builds that do work together! You can just buy a system that someone else has predetermined to work.

If you have ever built a system, routing the PSU is the most time consuming individual part. You have to route all the cables and try to avoid making your case a mess. Especially if you overclock you want good airflow.

Setting the mobo, dropping the parts into place, and running the sata cables is relatively painless.. All that stuff fits in place only one way.

Given the mobo standoffs and installing heatsink on the CPU is the most critical, but doesn't take very long.

Even if you are not experienced the researching will take you longer than the actually building. And once you do a couple, you never go back (I guess I can speak only for myself but I would like to think others agree).

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September 23, 2009 3:32:48 PM

I have built my own and will never go back, too.

What I object to, though, are very misleading comments like the two above to which I responded.

It is also misleading when so many people talk about the cost advantages of BYO without any consideration for the labor time and opportunity costs involved - which can be substantial - both for research and design as well as building.

For a new builder who makes more than the minmum wage and does not otherwise follow performance data on the various components, BYO is acutally much more expensive than a store bought system after considering the labor cost. Computer hobbyists seem to forget that not everyone is like themselves.

In additon, the instructions available for building a new system are not that good - although some are now working on this forum to remedy that. As recently as a year ago, I searched the net and never found a decent single set of instructions so I bought the best book I could find - after checking Frys and Amazon - and it was still dated and left many blank spots to stress the new builder. It will be good if the instrucitons being prepared on this forum fill the void - but all you have to do is start reading some of them to see that the new builder following them will have to spend a lot of time reading and learning - especially on component selection.

Finally, we have seen many times the additonal stressful time spent by many newbies trying to troubleshoot issues on the forum - some of which are resolved quickly but some of which can take more time. I remember one situation - with the launch of the new P55 boards - that many were having problems and some people on this site were taking over a week to get them to boot successfully. But this seems to never be considered or any warning given to newbies as enthusiats proclaim the advantages of BYO and the silly waste of money on store bought systems.

I see nothing wrong with exhorting others to build their own, but it should be done in a more balanced way - warning of the costs and pitfalls not just touting it like a hukster.
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