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Do I need to build a "gaming" computer?
#1
So, I'm very new to this whole idea of PC "gaming" (I hate that word, really I do but I can't find a better alternative). My experience with PC games is basically the sims (the original) and a few minutes of the sims 2. I do all of my game playing on consoles and handhelds. I don't really want to get into the "real" PC gaming scene. I don't want to play Crysis, Batman, The Witcher,Fallout, Skyrim, whatever-the-hell else is big right now. I'm more interested in the lower-somewhat mid level games, like The Sims (2, possibly 3 or 4 someday) Rollercoaster Tycoon and the like. Maybe the Civilization games, I remember the older ones from a while ago and always kind of liked them.

But apparently, this whole thing of PC gaming is a little more complex than saying: Hey, go buy a PS3 to play X game. Now it's more of: "Oh, I need this graphics card if I want this...but it needs to fit this motherboard which I don't have, which means I need to swap this for that, but then THIS isn't compatible anymore so..." well maybe it's not that dramatic but you know, it's different than getting a console.

So anytime I look into build a PC VS buy a PC, it always go down the route of never buy a PC as soon as you attach the word "gaming" to it. Which to me is confusing, because I'm not looking for something that high end. I don't want 4K, not really too concerned about 1080 (I mean seriously, if the original sims is a priority then we're obviously not talking about something all that impressive). However, I don't want to put down 500 dollars on something and realize, well shit I can't play X because this is too weak. But then again, I don't want to spend 1200 and think, well shit, I REALLY didn't need to get this much for what I actually wanted.

So, what to do? Should I just consider building something or have pre-built desktop computers come along enough where buying something prebuilt isn't as taboo as it used to be? Are there sites that show specs of all the different games, so I can get a feel for what I need and look into my options that way?

Any help is appreciated. I'm alone lost and scared (maybe just lost but, it sounds better being dramatic).
#2
Hoping that @Axle212 sees this and gets in touch. The short answer is that gamers do indeed hook up their computers to deal with thte needs of games. Good luck and may your bank account not suffer too badly.
I bid NO Trump!
#3
normally the specs for the games are on the back of the box or if your looking online they should be somewhere on the page of the game you're looking at. it sounds like you don't need anything to crazy I played a couple Sims games on my $400 laptop and it works fine.
[Image: tumblr_n60lwfr0nK1tvauwuo2_250.gif]
Life sucks then you die 
#4
I find that a lot of problems with older games on newer PCs and newer operating systems is that they simply aren't compatible unless they've been updated by sellers like Steam (thank god for Steam). I'm not a massive PC player either, I usually use it to play games that I can't get on console (Total War).

If you need sites that give specs for different games try Steam, they have a wide selection of games, new and old. Failing that you could try GoG.com which has a few games that Steam doesn't. I don't think you really need a high end PC for the games you're talking about, you could easily buy a cheap pre-built gaming PC, just be sure to get one that matches the specs you need.
#5
Unless you plan to play Battlefield 4 on ultra graphics with 120 fps, you really don't need to optimize that much.

Additionally, you can upgrade parts of your pc later on, if you suddenly feel like the performance can't keep up. If you make sure you get a newish motherboard (so future upgrades fit) it's pretty easy.
$500 isn't a good budget for a gaming pc, but you don't need gaming pc specs to play the games you listed. Do you have any idea where you would want to buy the pc from? Can you link me their website?
Gay by nature. Proud by choice.
#6
[MENTION=22914]Cobalt[/MENTION] What kind of games are you playing? You mentioned the original Sims...you could probably play that fine with any new "general purpose" computer for the most part. If we're getting into games that are more modern or just newer...something like Warframe then yeah you might want to buy or build a gaming computer. Then that's where things get kind of foggy. Generally speaking adding a good graphics card will enable you to play games, then there are things like flight simulators (like X-Plane) which reccommend having over 20 GB or RAM, while it isn't the case for something like Warframe...

I honestly don't do much gaming at all but [MENTION=19807]SilverBullet[/MENTION] does and he's no slouch on computers either Tongue

Just depending on your budget and the sort of games you're wanting to play and so forth will dictate what you will want to buy. If you prefer the easy route you could buy something like Alienware, which are fine just that you would get more bang for your buck buying the components and putting it together yourself but not everyone wants to build their own computer and I certainly wouldn't suggest that if you have never built one in the past.

But lets start with the games, expectations and perhaps a budget....
Chickity China, the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'


[Image: 848398.png]
#7
Yes I agree with asle above, before you decide which computer to buy or build, you need to know what kind of games you are going to play.

Research the games that you are planning to play or interested, look at their requirements first and decide how good a computer you need for them.
#8
There is also a good website where you can type the name of the game to see whether or not your computer can run it or not. May not tell you if you're going to get 60 fps or not but should give you an idea on what you might want to upgrade.

http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri
Chickity China, the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'


[Image: 848398.png]
#9
I always tell people a computer is an investment. I usually spend about 120$ on a power supply, this will ensure your components are adequately fed, if your paying your own power bill gold+ standard is a must. This power supply should be usable for many years across rigs. I also tell people to buy a mostly metal full tower case. HafX or so is a good case, easy to work with, tones of room for ease of access and it will keep your components cool and increase their life expectancy this will be about 150$ and can be used across rigs. DDR4 is a new ram standard so I would invest in a intel board right now, amd zen is coming soon though, your ram can be used probably in your next build. Optical drives and such are re usable as well. The point I make is once you get to it its a good idea to invest into your first rig, when you go for an upgrade often times the only component you need to replace is JUST the graphics card. This saves you money long term, worst case scenario you replace the motherboard/cpu but realistically a GOOD cpu will practically never be your bottleneck. Unless your video editing, running complex or long math simulations or something. I would also invest into a M.2 SSD samsung 950 pro's are awesome!

I built the pc im on in 2009, I got a german made cherry switched mechanical keyboard that could be used as a weapon in a pinch, klipsch speakers, overclocked I7 first gen 920 that is @ 4.2 opposed to factory 2.67 everything runs on an Seasonic 1200 watt (overkill) PSU. Im telling you this so you can get my point. And running my rig against benchmarks of modern processors it still wins 80+% of the time. Buy quality stuff, last you long time, saves money and heartache.

to more directly answer your question, you can build a decent rig for about 800, you can build a rig that will last and have many crossover components for about 1100. You can purchase a premade pc that will have no expansion room and need everything replaced in short order that will play most/all the games you want for maybe 600-700.

realistically the games you mentioned could probably be ran on an APU and you could build the rig dirt cheap, but you will limit your machines capabilities in doing soo. If you go with the 200$ 480 gpu by amd that should get ANYTHING you want done.

if I were you, get a socket 1151 i5
haf x case
850 - 1000 watt (overkill it, psu's run more efficienty around 50% load) not to mention the power is there when needed. corsair or seasonic are my go to's for my personal rigs
1151 socket board with M.2
32 gigs ddr 4 ram
samsung 950 m.2 256g primary drive
2-4tb secondary (these are good to raid 1 or 0 or 1+0 depending)
a couple optical drives to read and burn at the same time
arctic silver 5 thermal compound is a standard but many new ones are out that are "better"
amd 480 or if your willing to shell a bit more out I preffer NVidea due to drivers, amd stuff is also causes mobos to shut off drawing too much power from them opposed to directly from the psu.
go with the 1060.

good namebrands to look for
Asus, Gigabyte, Corsair, Samsung, Seasonic, GSkill, Intel <--quality stuff usually

it was long opinionated etc, but hope it gives you an idea Smile
it was also incomplete but perhaps pushes you into the right direction Wink
"When you think all is forsaken,
Listen to me now
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light
" ~Disturbed
#10
SilverBullet Wrote:I always tell people a computer is an investment. I usually spend about 120$ on a power supply, this will ensure your components are adequately fed, if your paying your own power bill gold+ standard is a must. This power supply should be usable for many years across rigs. I also tell people to buy a mostly metal full tower case. HafX or so is a good case, easy to work with, tones of room for ease of access and it will keep your components cool and increase their life expectancy this will be about 150$ and can be used across rigs. DDR4 is a new ram standard so I would invest in a intel board right now, amd zen is coming soon though, your ram can be used probably in your next build. Optical drives and such are re usable as well. The point I make is once you get to it its a good idea to invest into your first rig, when you go for an upgrade often times the only component you need to replace is JUST the graphics card. This saves you money long term, worst case scenario you replace the motherboard/cpu but realistically a GOOD cpu will practically never be your bottleneck. Unless your video editing, running complex or long math simulations or something. I would also invest into a M.2 SSD samsung 950 pro's are awesome!

I built the pc im on in 2009, I got a german made cherry switched mechanical keyboard that could be used as a weapon in a pinch, klipsch speakers, overclocked I7 first gen 920 that is @ 4.2 opposed to factory 2.67 everything runs on an Seasonic 1200 watt (overkill) PSU. Im telling you this so you can get my point. And running my rig against benchmarks of modern processors it still wins 80+% of the time. Buy quality stuff, last you long time, saves money and heartache.

to more directly answer your question, you can build a decent rig for about 800, you can build a rig that will last and have many crossover components for about 1100. You can purchase a premade pc that will have no expansion room and need everything replaced in short order that will play most/all the games you want for maybe 600-700.

realistically the games you mentioned could probably be ran on an APU and you could build the rig dirt cheap, but you will limit your machines capabilities in doing soo. If you go with the 200$ 480 gpu by amd that should get ANYTHING you want done.

if I were you, get a socket 1151 i5
haf x case
850 - 1000 watt (overkill it, psu's run more efficienty around 50% load) not to mention the power is there when needed. corsair or seasonic are my go to's for my personal rigs
1151 socket board with M.2
32 gigs ddr 4 ram
samsung 950 m.2 256g primary drive
2-4tb secondary (these are good to raid 1 or 0 or 1+0 depending)
a couple optical drives to read and burn at the same time
arctic silver 5 thermal compound is a standard but many new ones are out that are "better"
amd 480 or if your willing to shell a bit more out I preffer NVidea due to drivers, amd stuff is also causes mobos to shut off drawing too much power from them opposed to directly from the psu.
go with the 1060.

good namebrands to look for
Asus, Gigabyte, Corsair, Samsung, Seasonic, GSkill, Intel <--quality stuff usually

it was long opinionated etc, but hope it gives you an idea Smile
it was also incomplete but perhaps pushes you into the right direction Wink

As much as the spec here listed future proofs Cobalt if he wants to play more powerful games in the future he really needs to decide if he really needs that specification with the rig that you've listed above otherwise it could land him with an expensive rig that he's not taking advantage of. Realistically if he were to build a machine for only the purposes that he has stated in the first post then he can save by going with a spec that is lower then the one you've listed and still have the power to run the style of games he wants without taking a hit in performance since those games aren't massively specked in terms of the PCs that can be built today. My 6 year old machine can run all of those games without a hitch and it was never a powerhouse when it was built.


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