#1 Posted by Generic_username (680 posts) -

So, I've come to the realization that most of the games I'm interested in are coming out on PC. At the moment, all I've got is a relatively cheap laptop for school that can barely keep the framerate up on Terraria or Rogue Legacy. It's basically unusable for gaming, and from what I've read around the internet, a laptop isn't really something I can upgrade.

I need something better if i want to play anything. The thing is, I have no idea where to start, and money is a big issue. I'm looking to be able to run games at all, I'm not really looking for a performance powerhouse or anything. If I can get a decent framerate at low settings, I can deal with that.

I was just wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for something that I'm looking for? When I search online, most of the results that turn up in search end up being "cheap for a high end machine." I'm looking for a lower-end machine, something that I can upgrade later when I've got money to spend.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

#2 Edited by joshwent (2628 posts) -

@generic_username: If you could tell us your general budget, if you'd still want a laptop or is a desktop okay, and some of the games you want to be able to run smoothly, we could give you more specific advice.

#3 Edited by SexyToad (2939 posts) -

@generic_username: How much of an issue is money? What would you feel comfortable paying?

#4 Posted by AlexGBRO (333 posts) -

hmm what games are interested in playing ??

#6 Edited by MonetaryDread (2290 posts) -

When it comes to a gaming PC:

  • Build yourself, it is less expensive than buying prebuilt.
  • Invest the majority of your cash in a good video card. This will improve performance more than anything else.
  • It should have 8gig of ram, any less and you will lose performance, any more and you most-likely won't use it.
  • If you are price conscious, look at an AMD cpu. Intel has faster parts, but you can build AMD without spending $500 on a CPU+Mainboard combo.
  • The hardest part of building a PC is matching a CPU to a mainboard. Each CPU has what is called a "Socket," just match the socket of the CPU to the mainboard and you should be alright. Stores like Newegg have the ability to filter mainboards by socket type.
  • If you have a nice set of headphones, look at a sound card (most soundcards have a headphone amp installed, plus the ability to fake surround sound). If you are using speakers or shitty headphones (Sub-$100) then onboard audio is just fine.
  • Remember accessories. It is easy to see people talking about their badass $600 PC but most of those people are talking about the tower. For some reason most people do not add in the price of a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, mouse pad, etc... into their PC cost.
  • Buy a nice Mouse and Keyboard. This is how you are going to be interacting with your PC, it really makes a difference.
#7 Posted by GlutenBob (183 posts) -

you could wait till the steam machines come out and buy Valves official low end one. Atleast you will know that those prebuilts are gonna be catered for gaming. I dont think they will overprice it like Alienware does.

Its much more gratifying to build, but I really like Mini-AtX cases such as the btfenix prodigy and Valves steam machine prototypes.

As someone mentioned the main thing is to match CPU socket type to the mobo, and figure out if your mobo has dual stream RAM or what. Either way it isn't that hard. Leave your budget here and ppl can help you.

I would help, but I myself am not up to speed on PC parts. The one I built was in 2010.

#8 Posted by ch3burashka (5472 posts) -
#9 Posted by believer258 (12593 posts) -

People will need to know what you're interested in playing and how much you can spend.

#10 Posted by Generic_username (680 posts) -

I'm likely not interested in most of the brand new, big-budget stuff, I mostly plan on using it for stuff I get during a Steam sale (which granted, is sometimes bigger stuff.)

As far as budget, this would be something I'd have to save up money for (with a very low-paying job), so I don't have a specific budget, but cheaper is better.

Also, thanks for all the help I've gotten so far. I really appreciate it.

#11 Edited by MB (13758 posts) -

Besides the savings, building your own computer is a ton of fun, you'll learn something, and if something goes wrong with it or you want to upgrade later on you'll have a huge advantage. For what you're describing, I bet you could get away with spending around $600-$800 for everything, possibly even less.

#12 Edited by Generic_username (680 posts) -

600$ sounds manageable. After spending some more time looking stuff up, I now have an idea of what to shoot for. Thanks, guys!

#13 Posted by BaysideJr (31 posts) -

I work in IT and have no problem building my PCs but I would recommend looking into vendors such as DogHouse Systems or Origin. Not only do you get a great computer you also get support and a warranty. I would see how much the savings really are for a prebuilt vs building one yourself. I haven't done the comparison in a long time since It's easy enough for me to build my own pc but everyone who is saying it is cheaper at least give an estimate of the savings. With a boutique vendor i think its easier to compare since i'm pretty sure the exact parts are listed unlike say a Dell where you have no clue the exact motherboard or power supply etc... they are using.

#14 Edited by Andorski (5452 posts) -

I came across a great $500 build on a Youtube channel I subscribe too. Since your budget is $600, you have some spare cash to improve one of the components. If you are going for better performance, you can step up the GPU. Given that the build only goes with a 1TB HDD, I personally would up the storage.

Good luck and have fun. Also, here is a quick and easy-to-understand guide on how to build a PC (done by the same guy who made the $500 build).

#15 Posted by BaysideJr (31 posts) -