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Laptop or Desktop for gaming.....what do I need?

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Question Laptop or Desktop for gaming.....what do I need?

My teenager wants a Laptop or Desktop for games like World of Warcraft or Skyrim. On a limited budget ( hoping for $500 to $600) what do I need to look for with Ram, video/sound cards, memory etc?????

He says I won't find anything in this range......is he right?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Oh yeah....he mentioned something about an I5 processor.....
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
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Ivy Bridge maybe out of your price range but Sandy Bridge will be right there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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He's right unless it's used.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maineah View Post
He's right unless it's used.
Damn......so these games cannot be played on crap you buy from Best Buy or Walmart?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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you could probably find something on tigerdirect, ...esp. w/ the black friday deals they've got going..
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warputer View Post
Damn......so these games cannot be played on crap you buy from Best Buy or Walmart?
They could but not for 500 bucks.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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build a custom desktop and buy a 32inch monitore trust me its badass as all get out plus you customize the way you want and it wont come with all the preloaded bullshit
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:29 PM   #9
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but yea to your question if going with a store bought system your not going to find anything that can run games such as those for under that price range
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warputer View Post

He says I won't find anything in this range......is he right?
Believe so. Double your budget & your in the ballpark.

I have to 2 gaming laptops both cost in excess of $1,200.

My current was around $1300ish?

Here is some what idea of prices for gaming laptops.

Of course you'll pay more for ram,grafix card etc etct etc...


power notebookes.com

bestbuy.com

xoticpc.com
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:53 AM   #11
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at a minimum, you will need this http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cyberpower...-Wind/17811825 .find a cheapo use monitor on craigslist for 150 and you are all set
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #12
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Desktop would be better for gaming. I say this because you can upgrade the components inside as needed as games get more demanding. Depending on the gaming he wants to do, a decent CPU + GPU combo would be your budget right there. I don't think WoW and Skyrim are that demanding on GPU power though.

A decent combo might be this:
Intel Core i5-2500K Quad-Core, MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) P67 Motherboard, G.Skill DDR3 8GB Memory, Seagate 1.5TB HDD, Rosewill Gaming ATX Mid Tower Case w/650W PSU SuperCombo $478.99

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $219.99

A little over budget at $700, but not a bad place to start.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the input guys. At least I have an idea of what he's going to need.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:19 AM   #14
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I don't mean to high jack your thread OP.

What kind of computer do i need if I want to play strategy games like Starcraft II?
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #15
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Core i3 dual core or even i5 quad is plenty. I used to be AMD cause of price but since built my Sandy Bridge 2500K will never go back:




My main rig:
Intel i5 Sandy Bridge 2500K OC'd to 4.0 GHz on air
ASRock P67 Pro3
8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600
64GB Crucial M4 SSD boot drive
1TB Western Digital Caviar Black storage drive
MSI Twin Frozr II OC GTX560 Ti
XFX 750W PSU
Corsair 600T white
LG Blu-ray burner
Corsair A70 cooler w/ Zalman Shark push/pull fans
NZXT Mesh fan controller
Window 7 Professional 64-bit
Sound Blaster Audigy

And these are my backup rigs:
Intel i5-2400:


AMD Phenom II X4 945:


AMD Phenom II X4 945:

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsaechao View Post
Core i3 dual core or even i5 quad is plenty. I used to be AMD cause of price but since built my Sandy Bridge 2500K will never go back:
I replaced my Phenom II 965 with a I7-2600K. Much faster and runs cooler. First Intel chip since my Pentium 200MHz. I think the mainboard and CPU with Hyper 212 cooler cost me almost $600.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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Wow, there's a lot of testosterone pumping over this answer.

OP, the first thing I would put in perspective is that you have placed a price. $600 for a toy. That's a very generous donation. As a parent, your focus is on education and their personal improvement, with fun where it can be had.
If your teenager wants more, let them earn it. It's much like their first car - you want it reliable and able to get them to work and home. Let them add the extras for fun.

That said, let's put your donation to good educational use, and let the teen build the extras:

first, start with a desktop. This is still the cheapest, most powerful option. My 5-year-old desktop still tromps my 1-year-old notebook. My notebook cost over $1.2k and can eat its 8-cell battery in under 20 minutes if I push on it.

I would build my donation based on what it would take to build a basic machine, with a bit extra just to keep it reliable. Hop on newegg and start adding the following to your cart:

-Motherboard. Find an Intel board. They are typically rock solid and sometimes even high end.
-Processor (an i3 processor will be fine for most school tasks unless they are have expressed interest in graphics, software, or engineering)
-RAM (I've been out of the game on this, but i assume 8GB is fine)
-Operating System and Microsoft Office. Buy this through the school at a HEFTY discount.
-Hard drive. I get by with 500GB just fine, but it's your call. New Dells ship with 1TB. SSD drives are nice to haves.
-Really good budget cases can be had for $50 - $80. Some of the ones I bought were more of a joy than my big spendy cases.
-If the motherboard doesn't have on-board video, then look for a simple ATI or nVidia PCI 3.0 video card. HIS, eVGA, XFX, ATI, MSI are excellent choices. A good budget brand is Sapphire.
-Power Supply (you can use the calculator on newegg.com to figure out how big, but you may want to keep ~400W as a minimum). A good choice is Antec as a baseline.

Also if you have any tech savvy-ness (or a friend), I recommend having the teen put it together. It is an excellent learning experience and can open up a lot of great summer jobs that pay handsomely.

I was able to create a reliable machine that cost $533 (before software) on Newegg just now. The teen would need to put more money into the power supply and get a dedicated video card, possibly more CPU, but otherwise I've provided them with a healthy amount of the computer.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replica9000 View Post
Desktop would be better for gaming. I say this because you can upgrade the components inside as needed as games get more demanding. Depending on the gaming he wants to do, a decent CPU + GPU combo would be your budget right there. I don't think WoW and Skyrim are that demanding on GPU power though.

A decent combo might be this:
Intel Core i5-2500K Quad-Core, MSI P67A-GD80 (B3) P67 Motherboard, G.Skill DDR3 8GB Memory, Seagate 1.5TB HDD, Rosewill Gaming ATX Mid Tower Case w/650W PSU SuperCombo $478.99

EVGA 01G-P3-1561-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $219.99

A little over budget at $700, but not a bad place to start.
This.

Desktops will always offer better specs for the price. Two things to note: PC's with dedicated video cards will almost always out perform those of shared or integrated cards. A minimum of 1Gb of VRAM is required for "decent" graphics.
GPU is more important that CPU. Game performance almost always bottle-necks on graphics (GPU and/or VRAM).
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:37 AM   #19
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http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...uter,3364.html
Granted that is without a monitor/mouse/keyboard but it lists components and what you can expect performance wise from a $500 machine if you're willing to build it yourself which is not too terribly difficult.

Also, this does not figure in the price of an operating system which is something you need to consider when building a system yourself.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlancoTaco08 View Post
I don't mean to high jack your thread OP.

What kind of computer do i need if I want to play strategy games like Starcraft II?
SCII has some great graphic capability. And given its heavy RTS nature, it IS very demanding on GPU and the computer as a whole if you want to get out how the game is supposed to be played and seen. A good internet connection is also buku important for 1v1 - 4v4 matches.

I play SCII on a 3 year old laptop (specs below) and have my settings on medium or low. I tried high but it's too much. Ultra, or whatever the top teir is, forget about it.

AMD Phenom™ II Triple-Core Processor N830
Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
17.3" HD Widescreen Ultrabright™ LCD Display
4096MB DDR3 Dual-Channel 1066MHz Memory
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5650 Graphics
500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

But even at those settings, SCII looks great. If you do get a laptop do yourself a favor and get one of THESE and you'll also want a good mouse you can macro, like THIS.
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