I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of PC gaming but I don't know where to start. I've been idly poking around in the PC sections of other gaming sites and I have to say, I don't think a lot of PC heads realise how off-putting they sound to outsiders. It tends to go like this:
Total noob's first gaming PC? Plus bonus rant!
Dual Core or Quad Core Processor (Preferably Intel)
Nvidia 8800, or 9 series graphics card / ATI 4 series graphics card
At least 2Gb of RAM
A PCI-E motherboard with whatever suits your needs [Ex/ SLI or Crossfire support (allows you to use more than 1 graphics card)]
5.1 or 7.1 speakers for a good theatrical sound experience
Relatively new Sound Card
A really good gaming computer wont cost you much more than $1000-1500.
You can look on www.tigerdirect.com www.newegg.com for parts if you are interested in building a PC. Computers that are already build are easier for beginners but then you need to consider that the company will add close to another $500-1000 to the cost.
Dell, Alienware, and Falcon Northwest are good companies for gaming computers but they are more expensive than if you made your own. (Falcon Northwest seems to be the most pricey).
"I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of PC gaming but I don't know where to start. I've been idly poking around in the PC sections of other gaming sites and I have to say, I don't think a lot of PC heads realise how off-putting they sound to outsiders. It tends to go like this:Assembling a computer really isn't as hard as it seems- custom modified rigs are, of course, harder, but entry level systems are something you can easily get together in a day. The hardest part is making sure you have some interwebs available to download all of the correct and most recent drivers for your components. The first computer I assembled myself was this one I'm posting on right now.Innocent, hopeful beginner: "I'm thinking of getting into PC gaming. I've been looking at this Dell blah blah. Do you think-"Everyone: "Don't be a moron! Build your own rig! Pre-builts are for old ladies! You're not an old lady, are you? ARE YOU?"I know, I know. Technically, building a PC is just snapping pieces together, but then, technically, performing a heart and lung transplant is just moving meat around. It's not a prospect that a below-average Joe like myself would relish. Don't get me wrong, I love reading about the high-end rigs that serious experts put together (and I like using the word "rig"), but I'm never going to have the nerve to try it myself. I've only ever used a hermetically-sealed Mac, so installing a new graphics card would be an adventure for me ...Anyway: would anyone care to recommend a reasonably priced beginner's gaming PC? Something that will make me forget there's such a thing as an Xbox 360 but won't break the bank (say <$2000)? So long as it was made by someone else and then put in a nice box, I don't have any other criteria to go by.A much longer post than I intended - sorry for that and thanks in advance."
The whole Dell argument is kind of like a Playstation 3/Xbox 360 argument. Dell has been known to be a little shady when they assemble their machines, but the overwhelming majority of Dell's customers are more of the computer illiterate so to speak, so take what you hear with a grain of salt.
If you'd rather avoid building your own machine, there are plenty of sites that specialize in gaming machines other than Dell, including Alienware (who's name has been tarnished a little bit, seeing as Dell bought them awhile back), Falcon Northwest, ibuypower, and many more (just google it). If you want to get a bunch of options, pick up an issue of PC gamer and just visit the pages of all of the various companies advertising there- I mean they're targetting YOU. *Edit* Vlad makes a good point- if you really aren't making it yourself, you'll be paying a premium to have someone else assemble it for you. Likewise, if your budget is seriously sub-2000 dollars, you'll easily be able to afford 4GB of ram. And if you're shopping for motherboards, the 790FX line from ATI (read the stuff underneath this edit) is affordable and very nice. The comparable line from intel is the 780i series of motherboards I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong). ATI/AMD is definitely the cheaper of two routes right now. Intel/Nvidia will definitely be pushing performance though- albeit the power of the 4870HD vs the 280 GTX is debateable.
Computer jargon will probably seem dense and will probably fly over your head at first, but in the end it is matching part A to slot B and knowing what's a good brand and what's not (subject to preference as much as popular opinion). And with 2,000 dollars as your budget, you'll definitely be able to pull something together that'll tear games to pieces. Newegg is your friend. Intel and Nvidia have the bank-breaking bruiser components on the market right now, but if you're looking for affordability and performance, I'd recommend AMD's Phenom X4 series and the 4870HD video card line from ATI. Of course, this is also subject to preference and many a flame war, so find what works for you- read benchmarks and do your homework.
You can get a great gaming rig for less than 1k easily, let alone 2k.
I'd get an Intel Core 2 Duo or Quad, running at around 3ghz (Dual) or 2,4-2,6 ghz (quad). A great affordable video card is the Geforce 8800GT. A compatible motherboard from a decent brand like Abit or Asus shouldn't cost too much either.
And yeah, assembling isn't too hard, but you can also pay a little extra and have it assembled for you, usually, if you're ordering your stuff from the same place. If you choose to assemble yourself, definitely have someone around who knows this stuff or a tutorial or something, it isn't too hard but if it's your first time you might get confused. Don't be afraid to ask questions, I didn't even know about sockets (connector between motherboard and processor) when I assembled my first PC.
Wow, this place is ferocious! So many responses so quickly. Thanks all. I'll look at all of those sites and buy some mags this very tomorrow.
People really blow the price of PC gaming WAY out of proportion. With the advice I've seen given over the internet though and brands like Alienware, I guess it's not surprising.
The biggest piece of advice I can give to you is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK and only listen to the people on forums to give you a general direction, not the end-all be all source of info. There's no way people have tried all the hardware out there so you might as well bypass them and look directly at the benchmarks they're looking at and such. Magazines are good.
And building your own computer isn't bad at all and really does save you quite a bit. I built a system that can play all the latest stuff at the beginning for around $600 after rebates (not including the periphreals like keyboard/mouse/monitor, also q6600, 2 gb ram, 9600gt before anyone asks). The only scary part is putting in the CPU (especially with intel's latest socket, CRUNCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH like your computer's breaking when you lock it in place!) I can understand not wanting to build your own though. There are online stores that'll let you pick out the parts and will assemble it for you though, I hear.
"Wow, this place is ferocious! So many responses so quickly. Thanks all. I'll look at all of those sites and buy some mags this very tomorrow.your choice bro. hell i had hadn't even open up a computer before I built mine. i read a book called "p.c building for dummies" and a month later, my computer.I think I'm hearing that the reason everyone pushes the build-your-own idea is that it's better value for money. But that isn't my number one priority. I'm not out to waste cash, obviously, but I'm more interested in not electrocuting myself or setting fire to the house/cat/wife. Maybe I could get into building a PC further down the line but, as I say, I've never even owned a non-Mac computer, let alone built one. It's really not an option for me.Vinnie_PT - funnily enough, the Dell XPS 630 was a line I was looking at (for no good reason I can point to). But didn't I read somewhere that the XPSes were being phased out to avoid competing with the Alienware brand? Not that that would make much difference, I suppose, once the thing was on my desk ...Thanks again everyone - thanks especially for the friendly tone."
don't worry about shocking yourself. as long as the psu is switched off that's not gonna happen. just don't work on a carpet.
Look at sites such as Cyberpowerinc or ABS computers, those are good and you can customize everything you'd like. You can get a good cheap gaming pc with a Core 2 Duo processor, 2 gbs of ram, 250gb hard drive, and an ATI Hd4870 i would say between $1000-$1500 even cheaper.
But as they say, building your pc is the best way to go. Just get a book or online guide to direct you through every step. You'll learn a lot and appreciate your comp that much more.
If you can brush your teeth in the morning, make toast, and spread peanut butter on a peice of bread you have the motor skills required to build a PC. Even then , I don't recommend just diving into it. (Even though I learned how to build a PC when I was like 6 with Lincoln logs). You should probably ask a store like Bestbuy's Geek Squad to assemble it for you. Prebuitl rigs are super overpriced, and even though theres a nominal fee with Geek Squad, you'd still end up saving a hueg ammount of money by having them build a PC with your specs.
Was going to say the same as EntwineX. Where I live in Scotland there's a few good white box builders. Just write down the specs of a couple of high end PCs off the web (noting the cost seperately) and take the specs to them if you have any near you, tell them it has to be geared towards gaming and ask if there's anything they'd recommend changing or updating for newer (component wise).
Shop around if you can to compare advice given to you as much as to compare cost, some shady characters out there so go home and research their advice! Sorry but I have an untrusting nature sometimes :-)
"I didn't know that (that I could choose the parts myself and have someone else build it). I'll look into it. Thanks everyone."That's pretty much what most computer vendors like Dell, Alienware, Falcon, etc do. You tell them what specs you want, and they build it. Of course, your choices are a little limited and depending on the dealer, you may have more or less options. If you want an easier run through, go with Dell, Alienware or any of the big name main-stream names like Gateway, etc.
theres nothing i can say that hasn't already been said already, but usual places like newegg, cyberpower, ibuypower, alienware, falcon north-west (tho those aren't cheap and really only would want one of those if your into customization stuff as their the best) in my opinion anyway.
You can find and/or build a PC and a good one really cheap these days, got 1-2k to spare on a pc and you'll be getting yourself a nice top end machine, especially if you build it yourself.... newegg as someone mentioned above really is your friend.... no matter what some of these threads say, PC gaming is awsome and you really wont be disapointed..... there are games on the pc that you just simply cant play on anything else, certainly not with the same gaming experience anyway...
"Just go to your local computer store and have them build one to your budget, they usually dont charge too much. It all depends on the store I supose. "Yeah, that's what I've been doing for the last 15 years except for some minor upgrades where I just bought the part for. I like this method mostly because they'll guide you in what you want for whatever you need it for, there is a local place to go to if your computer does break and it gives you a shop to go to if, in 2-3 years, you want an upgrade for a piece of hardware; you already are a customer and so can usually get decent discounts on that fact.
alienware is amazing , you can get a very good reliable PC from them that will last a long time BUT you will be paying a very high premium for it.
Im posting on a 2005 alienware and i can STILL run some of the top games ( even though some of the graphics are turned down abit )
If you are willing to spend the money for absolutely NO hassle of putting stuff together, get an alienware!
PM me if you want more info on it.
I wouldnt try building a PC when you have no idea how despite what people on the internet may say.
*braces himself for a barrage of noob comments*
Please Log In to post.
This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.
Comment and Save
Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.