Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

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Fel
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Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Fel » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:23 pm

I'm going to be in the market for a new desktop system in the next month or so, once I save up enough money.

But, I haven't even LOOKED at anything technical in about five years, so instead of spending days reading websites and magazines, I'll just be lazy and come here and ask those in the know.

My budget is about $1,000 American for this desktop, and I want it to be capable of running virtually any program. Since I do play the occasional game, that means that it does need to have at least a video card capable of, say, playing the most modern game to come off the assembly line. It doesn't have to run at 100fps in ultra mode with 50 billion actions happening on the screen at once, but it does need to be able to deal with "cutting edge" graphics, and the rest of the box has to be able to actually run the game.

I am a man that likes more RAM than he needs, as well. I've been down the whole RAM resource issue road one too many times. HD space, meh, I've seen Terrabyte HDDs, so I doubt that's gonna be an issue.

Also, given I've heard some bad things about Windows 8, should I demand Windows 7 be installed instead?

So, what should I be looking for in a cost-efficient desktop that can still get the job done?

Suggest away.
Just another guy from the shallow end of the gene pool.

casper2222
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by casper2222 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:34 pm

if u were to look at the alien ware website u can select everything yourself what u want in your computer they even overclock them to max performance

http://alienware.com/

although their main advertisement is for gaming i find theirs also quite good for other stuff

Darksparkru2
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Darksparkru2 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:21 pm

From what I have ever been able to tell and if you have the patience, it is much more cost efficient to buy the parts and build your own computer. newegg.com is one of the best sites for this, and if you google it you can find advice on what exactly to buy. While alienware does make decent computers, they are extremely overpriced for what they have. You pay a lot for the brand name. I know you can buy a mid range gaming computer (screen and operating system not included) for around 400$-500$ if you buy the parts separately.

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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by arargh » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:26 pm

Personally, I wouldn't have anything to do with win 7 or 8.
Can't stand the user interface.
Can't find most settings to change them when needed.
AND, I have a sneaky suspicion that 7 & 8 keep doing things behind my back.
Somebody spent WAY too much time on making it look cute, while I prefer functionally.

I use 98SE for software development, and XP Pro SP3 for a desktop (it came on the system when I bought it)

And I still use NT4 for a data server - same hardware system for over ten years and nary a hiccup. Did upgrade the drives a few years back.

As for Alienware, after a quick look at their site, all the systems seem to be CUTE looking, and I prefer old fashioned rectangular boxes with 90 degree corners (rounded a bit is OK). with flat tops, flat sides and front.

Arargh

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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Weresmilodon » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:48 pm

Well, it really depends, Fel.

First off, are out to buy a finished computer, have someone build one for you, or build it yourself? What you get for the money can vary wildly depending on this.
"I'm a male. Males are supposed to act tough."
Tarrin, Chapter 29, The Questing Game.

Grommley
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Grommley » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:24 pm

Weresmilodon is right about it making a difference if you want prebuilt, or to build it yourself.

As for Windows 7 or 8, that is really up to you in the end. I am running Windows 8 on an old Q6600 with 8GB RAM and I have no problems with it at all. My brother on the other hand, can't enter a room with a computer running Windows of any version without it crashing on him. Working in the industry, I can say that I personally have not noticed a huge difference between i5 or i7 machines. There is a difference dropping to i3 though. Granted, this is primarily in business machines and not gaming machines. Given that I am running an old Quad core and can run most of the current games though, I think you are pretty safe with most of what is current. All I had to do was upgrade my video... and I only went to an NVidia GT640.

I suggest looking at the mid to high i5's or mid i7's for a processor (I have no idea what the AMD equivalents are and haven't considered them for a long time). At least 8GB RAM minimum, though I haven't seen a lot of need for more the 12GB... yet. Video card, get the best one that fits in your budget. What I found when looking for my card was that my GT640 almost matched a GT460. So if the price is better, it might be better to go with a bit lower end card of the newer versions. ie. get into the 700 series but lower end, just make sure it at least meets what you could get from a slightly higher 600 series. Note that I have only referred to NVidia here also. That is a personal preference since I had some bad experiences with ATI cards and drivers... And you are right about drive space. If you want fast, get an SSD for your OS drive and supplement that with a large data drive. And don't go too small on the OS drive (128GB or 256GB at least). This keeps it big enough to install the basics and still run well and you can target your games, downloads, and other items to the larger data drive.

I don't recommend most brand computers as gaming systems since you will be paying for the name at least somewhat where you could put that money to a better component somewhere. Build it yourself if you have the time and ambition (and the basic know how). I can't point you to specifics, or I would. I spend too much time staring at servers to keep up with desktop hardware now.

Good luck on your new computer!

casper2222
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by casper2222 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:30 pm

an self built computer is actually more costly than one that a finished but a finished u risk the chance of gaining inadequate parts
Spoiler: show
this has happened to me
while having one built for u is also quite pricey but u can get the overclock stuff on your hardware so....(this can be done by yourself but is risky) so u see every choice has benefits/downsides

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Aseglave
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Aseglave » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:13 am

I would agree with the comment earlier about Alienwarez. They used to be some of the best gaming machines but were bought out by Dell a while back and the price to power ratio is no longer in your favor. One of the big sites, and machines that I've drooled over, is ibuypower.com. They have some very nice machines and a number of them are under 1000. This is assuming you have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I personally prefer to build my own though. You can save a lot of money if you don't go buying parts that have lots of glowy lights that a lot of prebuilds will include. I'm much more a function over form kind of person. Quick specs suggestions without breaking the bank are a higher end Intel i5 with board (maybe an i7 if it fits the budget), 16gb ram, nvidia 660 GTX Superclocked. Just got the 660 myself and it cost 200 plus came with the new Splinter Cell and ran Deus Ex on maxed out specs with no pauses or stutters. No idea on the FPS since I don't really clock those. Throw in a power supply and a case, and you can probably come in around 700 or 800. If you can reuse your case and power supply and you'll get it even lower. I'd suggest nothing lower than a 600W power supply.

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Aseglave
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Aseglave » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:15 am

Also, I run Windows 7 but I'd say go with what you like. If you build it yourself, you can load whatever. Windows 8 I hear has some very good optimization and runs very well but it'll be a while till I go with it.

ettoren
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by ettoren » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:16 am

I'd say go to ibuypower.com Take a look at the Chimera 4-FX, bump the Ram up to 8gb, select the Geforce GTX 650 and then switch to Windows 7 (unless you want 8....) and it totals out right around yer 1k Mark. The Erebus GT-FX1 is a decent looking setup as well

wyrmking
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by wyrmking » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:28 am

Windows 7 is not bad though I would avoid Windows 8. Windows 8 initially didn't even have a start button, they had to add it and add other features, enough so it is now Windows 8.1.

Only Windows 7 and Windows XP SP3 are worth running on your home PC.

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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by andy_t_roo » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:49 am

In my professional opinion (i spent the last months working tech support for a small business) one of the best investments you can make with a computer atm is a SSD.
The capacity doesn't matter too much, but make sure you've enough enough for windows, applications, and any active data (probably 128, if not 256). I put 512GB into my recent work-laptop, and i've found many things to be quite a bit more responsive.

(i don't think you are likely to be playing with 10GB databases though ...) I also put 12gb of ram into this machine, but still see "out of memory" errors from time to time.

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Zor
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Zor » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:11 pm

An SSD is a good upgrade., but you still need to watch the size and company you buy from.
In general the bigger drives should last longer then the smaller ones. They end up writing less times to each block because there is more blocks to write on.

There is still a number of bad SSD makers, have to make sure you get a good one, and set your computer to the right mode.

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Fel
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by Fel » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:38 pm

I saw this computer at Sam's Club: http://www.samsclub.com/sams/h8-1417c-p ... 7910132.ip

I've never bought a main brand name computer before...but this one interested me. Would this be a good buy?

Oh, and by the way, today I bought a 27" Samsung monitor, upgrading from an old 19" non-widescreen one.

Might I say:

Oh. My. GOD.
Just another guy from the shallow end of the gene pool.

ettoren
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Re: Okay, resident techheads, advice time.

Post by ettoren » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:59 pm

Not a bad computer, If I'm buying a brand name computer I tend to stick to HP/Compaq. The one I currently use is a Compaq, my GF's is an HP. we've had these for over 5 years now with no complaints and only needed minor upgrades (vid cards). Our computers prior to these were also HP/Compaq's.

One thing to keep in mind with a "Brand Box" computer is the power supply. Seeing as you have stated you are a gamer, the Geforce 630 is not a bad Video card, it will get you Mid Range Graphics settings on most games when coupled up with a Solid processor and memory. My Preferred would be the 650 considering cost vs performance. (without cost consideration I would go with a Geforce Titan.) (a 720 is not better than the 650, it's just a generation newer but has less horsepower) The typically lackluster power supplies installed on Brand Box computers is usually just enough to power what they supply Stock. If you want to be able to upgrade to a more powerful Video Card in the future you may also have to upgrade the Power supply.

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