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Help a Failed Gamer out with some recommendations

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 20, 2012 10:08:21 PM

I have bad luck when it comes to computers, the last three in a row have been defects out of the box. First about a month ago I got a really great HP 17 quad core notebook, wasn't a gaming rig but it handled some games like portal and star wars battlerfront 2 easily on low. I returned it only because it had some defective speakers which I never planned to use anyway, as I have my own audiophile usb dac and amp rig. Anyway, I returned it and got an alienware m11x for $600, it was an i3, 320gb, Gt 540m 2gb. I wanted something cheap, small, low profile and that could play battlefront 2 online. The m11x came defective, a clear gpu issue as the screen would go static after a few minutes use to about a few hours later , this was the first time I had experienced ultra video graphics, as I had it hooked up to my new 32 inch lcd tv, it looked amazing. I returned it, thank god dell was very speedy with refunds and I had my money back in less than a week.

I then overboard in anger and bought i7, 12gb, dual HD 6950 2gb phantom case rig and felt I really should never have purchased it. I played Batman Arkham City on ultra, looked good, Portal 1 and 2, Bulletstorm, Battlefront, and Arkham City. I knew that the HD 6950 did not scale well in Batman City, performance on max res was terrible. Super Choppy, especially during the Grundy boss fight, I dipped down to 15fps or so and there was almost always a stutter during the entire gameplay experience. I'm returning this rig back to the seller for a full refund tomorrow.

I realized I don't want to game like this anymore and am fine with light to moderate gaming power, I hate to say it but I really fell in love with that M11x R3. I loved the design, the keyboard, the screen, everything! If I replaced the HDD with an SSD and had a faster processor, I'd be extremely happy. However, even that system was overkill. Gaming on the go is useless to me and I wanted something cheaper for home use only but with enough gaming power to handle some older games on max.

Sorry for the rant, I am just a bit stressed out over not finding happiness in the last few rigs I've had. As I say and played each of the newer games that came out recently, the batman games, Skyrim and a few other popular titles I couldnt shake the idea that I am just not a gamer anymore, but wow did I enjoy the speediness of this last gaming monster rig I had. The games would load up in 2 seconds flat sometimes and I could tab out instantly. Such speed is not possible in cheaper rigs under $500 or so, are they?
February 20, 2012 10:28:11 PM

I know where you are coming from, so I'm guessing you are looking for a system to play games for at or under $500?
Oh and the performance problem in Batman AC isn't due to the cards, it's the game. Using DX11 you get really bad stuttering. You would need to play under a lower DX code path under video settings to avoid the problems with that game.
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February 20, 2012 10:34:32 PM

I have no idea what I want haha :p 

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February 20, 2012 10:38:17 PM

p0rtal said:
I have no idea what I want haha :p 

Well if you are wanting a system to play games on but don't mind lower settings a bit here and there you should probably look into an i3/i5 sandy bridge with 4-8gb ram (ram is fairly cheap so springing for more doesn't hurt) and you can get one 6850 or 6870 to do all your gaming needs for a pretty good price.
If you want some recommendations on parts or help with something i'll do what i can :) 
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February 20, 2012 10:46:28 PM

I'd prefer to buy pre built or refurbished, I've no problems with open box or refurbs so if you can recommend something, please do!
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February 20, 2012 10:48:33 PM

do you want to build a rig or buy a rig?
do you want a laptop or a desktop?
what is you realistic budget?
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February 20, 2012 10:50:03 PM

p0rtal said:
I'd prefer to buy pre built or refurbished, I've no problems with open box or refurbs so if you can recommend something, please do!


Could you provide a budget and any preferences or things you may want or need?
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February 20, 2012 11:02:20 PM

Well, I did buy a spare HisQ HD 6950 2gb so if i were to get a desktop I would naturally just use that. I think an I3 or FX 4100 series is more than acceptable, I don't do much multitasking beyond a music program and whatever light to moderate gaming I do. It would be awesome if I could get a decent little rig that will support this video card so I dont have to eat the newegg restocking fee on it when I return it.

Maybe $400 or so is ideal
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February 20, 2012 11:26:29 PM

p0rtal said:
Well, I did buy a spare HisQ HD 6950 2gb so if i were to get a desktop I would naturally just use that. I think an I3 or FX 4100 series is more than acceptable, I don't do much multitasking beyond a music program and whatever light to moderate gaming I do. It would be awesome if I could get a decent little rig that will support this video card so I dont have to eat the newegg restocking fee on it when I return it.

Maybe $400 or so is ideal


Don't go the FX way. The i3 will out perform it in games and still be able to multitask well, in most cases the i3 can keep up with amd quad cores except in a few scenarios.

Building a PC isn't too hard if you don't mind going that route otherwise it's hard to find a prebuilt that can house a 6950 without shorting yourself on power and space to fit it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $128
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60
Total $280
Add in your GPU choice of case and whatever else you may need and you'd be good to go for a cheap single card gaming machine. You'll have a decent upgrade path if you want as well to get an i5/i7 later or a better gpu down the road.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if you absolutely need a pre-built you can go for this, and upgrade the psu to what i suggested and maybe get a larger case to house that gpu.
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February 21, 2012 1:01:32 AM

Are you still using that USB sound card?
If you are, it could be the cause of your problems(For your current rig)....

I dunno why people use those things as their main sound card... They are simply are not meant for high performance, especially gaming......
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February 21, 2012 1:06:14 AM

memadmax said:
Are you still using that USB sound card?
If you are, it could be the cause of your problems(For your current rig)....

I dunno why people use those things as their main sound card... They are simply are not meant for high performance, especially gaming......

I was pretty impressed with the Creative USB Sound Blaster GO! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 21, 2012 1:12:19 AM

boopoo,

please dont turn this into another the "8150 performs equally as well as the i5 2500k" thread.

That is not the point of this subject, If you want to post your build for the OP, (which he might not even want because he prefers pre-builts) then go ahead. I simply am tired of seeing threads get muddied by this particular point.

To the OP,

IF you go the build your own route, you may want to check out a microcenter if you have one near buy as they sell cpus and mobo combos for cheap.
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February 21, 2012 1:28:29 AM

Its not hush hush, I just do not like reading a bunch irrelevant information. Irrelevant for the OP and his subject. It is unrealistic to recommend that fx 8150 to the OP because:

1. his budget is around 400.00 and it is illogical and pointless to spend 250.00 on a CPU.
2. the 8150 performs equally at best (in gaming) to the i52500k which is priced less compared to the 8150.
3. Both cpus the 2500k and the fx 8150 seem to be not needed for the OP.

the fx 4100 or 6100 do not outperform the i3 for gaming, they may in other task but again that is beyond the point.

The point in this thread and in all threads (for the most part) is to help the OP and contribute something worthwhile. It is evident, with all due respect, that you have not.
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February 21, 2012 1:58:49 AM

thesnappyfingers said:
Its not hush hush, I just do not like reading a bunch irrelevant information. Irrelevant for the OP and his subject. It is unrealistic to recommend that fx 8150 to the OP because:

1. his budget is around 400.00 and it is illogical and pointless to spend 250.00 on a CPU.
2. the 8150 performs equally at best (in gaming) to the i52500k which is priced less compared to the 8150.
3. Both cpus the 2500k and the fx 8150 seem to be not needed for the OP.

the fx 4100 or 6100 do not outperform the i3 for gaming, they may in other task but again that is beyond the point.

The point in this thread and in all threads (for the most part) is to help the OP and contribute something worthwhile. It is evident, with all due respect, that you have not.


+1
Could not have said it better myself.
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February 21, 2012 4:09:02 AM

Hey pOrtal... reading your frustration and can feel your pain.

I would imagine that i7 6950 rig got horrible battery life and you probably couldn't game much away from a power outlet anyway.

Have you ever thought of just getting an xbox, ps3 or something and playing on that? All the games you've listed I've played on xbox and had a great time. Arkham City was a blast and I played that Grundy battle on a $100 xbox 360 without a hiccup. For the 400 spent on a video card ... you can have the whole system and games and still have some change left. I know this is a laptop forum but for simplicitys sake, a console is not a bad way to go and pretty reliable and conveniant.
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February 21, 2012 4:24:39 AM

ZanderFX said:
Hey pOrtal... reading your frustration and can feel your pain.

I would imagine that i7 6950 rig got horrible battery life and you probably couldn't game much away from a power outlet anyway.

Have you ever thought of just getting an xbox, ps3 or something and playing on that? All the games you've listed I've played on xbox and had a great time. Arkham City was a blast and I played that Grundy battle on a $100 xbox 360 without a hiccup. For the 400 spent on a video card ... you can have the whole system and games and still have some change left. I know this is a laptop forum but for simplicitys sake, a console is not a bad way to go and pretty reliable and conveniant.


The i7 rig was a desktop per the OP's first post, the laptop they had was an i3. I believe the OP is looking to have a normal budget-mainstream gaming pc rather than the top-high end build they had which they seem to be returning parts for with the exception of the 6950.

Yes a console is a cheap way to play games, i too have a ps3 and wii. The way I see the whole cost thing as far as PC vs Console is this, Most people have or need a PC as is, buying a high end video card for 200-300 is the added expensive for gaming vs just a regular PC. That 200-300 could be spent on a console yes, The positive side for the PC however is cost of games being on average cheaper, more options for games such as mods, in most cases better graphics, and a big advantage over the xbox 360 is not needing a membership to play online. You could say that playing on the console is more cost effective but that only really compares to when talking about PC enthusiasts who more often than not upgrade frequently for various reasons (mainly hobby, or because they need to for things consoles don't support such as eyefinity)
If you look at it this way, by the time you can no longer game on that high end video card, the consoles would have already had a refresh meaning a new console, or in turn, a new gpu. Seeing as people tend to upgrade their PC or get a new one in 5 years anyway it's pretty much in line with consoles and you can consolidate the cost into just one machine that does it all. I hope i made sense with my rambling :)  for some reason i just had the urge to explain my thoughts.
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February 21, 2012 5:47:22 AM

Quote:
The i7 rig was a desktop per the OP's first post, the laptop they had was an i3. I believe the OP is looking to have a normal budget-mainstream gaming pc rather than the top-high end build they had which they seem to be returning parts for with the exception of the 6950.


Oops my bad .... I thought he was saying he went out and bought one of those mega expensive laptops to replace the little alienware. Thanks for clarifying that.

I've always had a hard time rationalizing one of those mega expensive gaming laptops that are heavy and have no battery life. A desktop PC is so much cheaper, realiable, upgradable, and performs better.

I can agree with your reasoning of pc over console and admit pc is easily superior and perhaps more cost effective. I'm just lazy though and consoles are easy. You just pop the game in and go ... no compatibility problems, surprises etc... I keep a modest laptop around for the games that don't come on console ala... starcraft2 etc.

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February 21, 2012 5:54:53 AM

ZanderFX said:
Quote:
The i7 rig was a desktop per the OP's first post, the laptop they had was an i3. I believe the OP is looking to have a normal budget-mainstream gaming pc rather than the top-high end build they had which they seem to be returning parts for with the exception of the 6950.


Oops my bad .... I thought he was saying he went out and bought one of those mega expensive laptops to replace the little alienware. Thanks for clarifying that.

I've always had a hard time rationalizing one of those mega expensive gaming laptops that are heavy and have no battery life. A desktop PC is so much cheaper, realiable, upgradable, and performs better.

I can agree with your reasoning of pc over console and admit pc is easily superior and perhaps more cost effective. I'm just lazy though and consoles are easy. You just pop the game in and go ... no compatibility problems, surprises etc... I keep a modest laptop around for the games that don't come on console ala... starcraft2 etc.


I completely agree, popping in a game and going is pretty convenient, I do like steam however for PC as i don't have to leave my bed (wireless keyboard and mouse) to switch games. Just click and go :)  both have their strong points and ultimately consoles make gaming mainsteam to the masses since almost everyone has one. It just took off thanks to bad pricing of PC's back in the old days lol 2k rig for pong on PC?! hell yes lol
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February 21, 2012 6:01:53 AM

Absolutely no more bickering in this thread. If you wish to address the OPs needs with a build or a pre-built, do so. Do not debate CPUs further, do not address another's parts suggestions. Don't even claim that your build is superior in any way.

Parts lists or links to pre-builts, that's it. The OP can use google or read many of the other fine helpful threads here.
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February 21, 2012 6:28:33 AM

p0rtal said:
I have bad luck when it comes to computers, the last three in a row have been defects out of the box. First about a month ago I got a really great HP 17 quad core notebook, wasn't a gaming rig but it handled some games like portal and star wars battlerfront 2 easily on low. I returned it only because it had some defective speakers which I never planned to use anyway, as I have my own audiophile usb dac and amp rig. Anyway, I returned it and got an alienware m11x for $600, it was an i3, 320gb, Gt 540m 2gb. I wanted something cheap, small, low profile and that could play battlefront 2 online. The m11x came defective, a clear gpu issue as the screen would go static after a few minutes use to about a few hours later , this was the first time I had experienced ultra video graphics, as I had it hooked up to my new 32 inch lcd tv, it looked amazing. I returned it, thank god dell was very speedy with refunds and I had my money back in less than a week.

I then overboard in anger and bought i7, 12gb, dual HD 6950 2gb phantom case rig and felt I really should never have purchased it. I played Batman Arkham City on ultra, looked good, Portal 1 and 2, Bulletstorm, Battlefront, and Arkham City. I knew that the HD 6950 did not scale well in Batman City, performance on max res was terrible. Super Choppy, especially during the Grundy boss fight, I dipped down to 15fps or so and there was almost always a stutter during the entire gameplay experience. I'm returning this rig back to the seller for a full refund tomorrow.

I realized I don't want to game like this anymore and am fine with light to moderate gaming power, I hate to say it but I really fell in love with that M11x R3. I loved the design, the keyboard, the screen, everything! If I replaced the HDD with an SSD and had a faster processor, I'd be extremely happy. However, even that system was overkill. Gaming on the go is useless to me and I wanted something cheaper for home use only but with enough gaming power to handle some older games on max.

Sorry for the rant, I am just a bit stressed out over not finding happiness in the last few rigs I've had. As I say and played each of the newer games that came out recently, the batman games, Skyrim and a few other popular titles I couldnt shake the idea that I am just not a gamer anymore, but wow did I enjoy the speediness of this last gaming monster rig I had. The games would load up in 2 seconds flat sometimes and I could tab out instantly. Such speed is not possible in cheaper rigs under $500 or so, are they?

Remember get at leased a quad core dont even bother with any dual core no matter cause if you want instant multi tasking performance more cores are always the key to smooth and fast performance.
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February 21, 2012 7:38:40 PM

I am definitely only interested in an i3 rig, as I again did decide to keep my HisQ 6950 2gb so whatever rig I get should have a big enough case to house it with a sufficient psu. I see rigs like that for $350-400 all the time on newegg refurb or open box so its just a matter of time until I spot one that is something I can be okay with.

As for the USB dac sound card, they are vastly superior to anything internal with a standard audio jack at the same prices. As an audiophile I've reviewed and tested pretty much every major headphone and amplifier out there including all the latest dacs and ended up keeping the budget friendly Fiio E10 Usb Dac for its excellent performance and crisp sound. USB digital out will always beat analog left and right for purely OUTPUT PERFORMANCE, once it exits the computer in digital form. The best asus sound card, a high end sound blaster was no match for your pick of any USB dac of similar similar price, as the USB dacs are usually an amplifier as well and significantly outperform standard interface sound cards. Usb dacs are just superior in every single way and with my rig I much prefer it. I've owned all the expensive $500-2000 headphones and amplifiers and went back to the midrange $150-300 level gear. The cheap usb dacs like the Fiio E10 are simply amazing.

Anywho, I hear you on the console vs the pc thing. I am just not a gamer like that anymore and spending $300 on a ps3 and only using it for gaming seems a bit odd when it doesn't really have a community for the games I still play on the pc. Seems wiser for me to spend $400 on a half decent PC and not another Ps3. I had the ps3 and sold it to afford new headphones :p 

I was absolutely shocked beyond reason that no updates fixed the bugs in Arkham City after all this time. ( well damn we still haven't had any proper bug fixes for CoD MW2!!! and its like 3 games later rofl ) Crossfire performance on Dx11 was truly abysmal and I felt like I bought the monster desktop rig just to play those games, $1200 or so all for two games. I guess thats what work and stress does to a man haha! Never again :p 


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February 21, 2012 8:14:27 PM

Portal, I'm having a hard time understanding you :) 
It's not that my reading comprehension is poor, it's just that you seem to live in a different world. I'm not saying that in a critical way, exactly.

I just get the feeling that you will never be satisfied, with anything. I have no problems with that, but it makes it hard to help you... especially when it's not clear what you want.

You want a gaming rig that is hassle free, but it has to be customized.

Now you want refurbished stuff.

You have already had various solutions, and you didn't like any of them. I think if you built a computer you would even be less happy.

The more I read and re-read your posts, the more I think this is an impossible task.
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a b D Laptop
February 21, 2012 9:07:29 PM

Proximon said:
Portal, I'm having a hard time understanding you :) 
It's not that my reading comprehension is poor, it's just that you seem to live in a different world. I'm not saying that in a critical way, exactly.

I just get the feeling that you will never be satisfied, with anything. I have no problems with that, but it makes it hard to help you... especially when it's not clear what you want.

You want a gaming rig that is hassle free, but it has to be customized.

Now you want refurbished stuff.

You have already had various solutions, and you didn't like any of them. I think if you built a computer you would even be less happy.

The more I read and re-read your posts, the more I think this is an impossible task.


+1
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February 21, 2012 10:33:35 PM

Portal,

It is really difficult to find a pc that is cheap but has all parts that meet your criteria. for example, It is going to be tough to find a PC that is built or refurb that has the i3 cpu or other cpu in it with a decent power supply.

it is difficult to find a gaming computer with all of the good components sans the gpu.

Your best bet may be to find a local PC shop and ask them if they would be willing to assemble a pc for you if you compile all the components.
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