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A Question for PC Gaming Experts
Posted: 29 November 2012 06:44 PM
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KarmaRot - 29 November 2012 09:38 AM

I would just like to add that this is a comprehensive thread for PC’s. Many different price points listed.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=493301

e: also hope links to other forums is alright, I’ll gladly remove it if not.

In this instance, I’d say it’s okay.

I’ve literally built thousands of computers over the last 20 years. At the first shop I worked for in WV we would order Ultra cases and then all the parts and assemble them in the shop. Over the years I continued doing that and owned a store in NC where we would build custom machines for gamers and even had some in-shop gaming events.

Remember the Celeron 300 overclock trick? I had one of those.

I used to love to build them but after so many, I’m kind of burnt out on it.

Now this thread has brought me back a little bit and sparked a new interest - my home gaming rig is the first Intel Quad Core Extreme with an Intel MB. It’s about 4 years old and the GTX8800 can still play modern games - it did surprisingly well with Skyrim whoever a GTX550ti made it a much better experience.

So now, I think I might want to build a new machine - I was kind of waiting for mine to die, but it’s been rock solid other than the HD’s; I had a RAID 0 with 2 150Gb drives and they both died within 2 weeks!!! I just have 2 non-RAID SATA drives now.

I went a while without paying attention to the newest gaming hardware - what the latest and greatest were… I was startled to find consumer grade gaming cards up to $1000!!!! It’s actually incredibly diverse these days and the options are nearly endless. I think the hardest thing to pick out is a case!

I enjoy chatting about this stuff and don’t mind talking more if you folks want to keep the thread going. I might even chronicle a new machine build - but I don’t want to endorse any manufacturers and such - I’m unbiased and objective when it comes to computer hardware even though I did say what parts I used above.

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Posted: 29 November 2012 09:08 PM
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Sounds good to me, the GTX8800 was so solid I had waited for it to die and perform poorly for so long, it eventually out waited me and went out with my old PC when I upgraded. As far as cases go, I usually always buy the biggest possible one I can get my hands on. I absolutely hate having to worm my way in there to get to those plugs, and have the lingering fear of snapping a capacitor with the flick of my wrist.

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Posted: 29 November 2012 09:22 PM
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That Kid in High School Whose Parents Were Out of Town a Lot
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Just wanted to chime in and throw my own two cents on the table.

I’ve always found that it’s extremely rewarding to build your own gaming PC if you really want a machine that’ll handle the latest games without any hiccups. The thing with building your own PC is that it *can* be more expensive than buying a pre-made one; however, with enough research and patience, I managed to build my gaming machine for significantly cheaper than any manufacturer would dream of selling it to me for. The drawback there, of course, is that I waited agonizing amounts of time for things to go on sale, and if I’d simply opted to buy a readymade computer I wouldn’t have needed to wait at all. But then, for the budget I had available (not that much), there’s no way in hell I would’ve gotten a pre-built PC half as good as the one I made myself.

In short, building your own PC often results in a better machine (and sometimes for less money, with enough research and patience), but it can easily mean more waiting. Building your own machine can also easily lead to more headaches.

The last thing I’d like to mention is that I would absolutely avoid “high end gaming brands” of computers. Alienware in particular comes to mind. Sure, they may sell a fine product, but they’re going to charge you a huge markup just for the privilege of a fancy LED-covered case that looks a tiny bit like an alien. Many of these “gaming branded” PCs are the same way; they come with great hardware, but they force you into buying giant LED arrays, custom cooling solutions, and other hardware that often really isn’t worth the money.

In conclusion, if you want to really experience the latest games with the best possible graphics and sound, the best way to go (in my opinion) is building your own system if you’re at all comfortable doing so. I built a gaming PC for about $1200 two years ago, and that computer (lovingly named Compwnter) still plays absolutely anything I throw at it without ever dropping below 60FPS (which is right around where you want to be). It’s starting to show its age after two years - but the great thing about building it myself is that I can just as easily take out any parts that are aging and replace them with new parts, thereby adding another couple years to Compwnter’s lifespan.

Wow, this post got to be a lot longer than I intended - I hope some of this rant has proved helpful. Feel free to ask me any questions you may happen to have; I’ve been building computers for people since I was 12, and I love helping people with these types of things.

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Posted: 30 November 2012 03:08 PM
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KarmaRot - 29 November 2012 09:08 PM

Sounds good to me, the GTX8800 was so solid I had waited for it to die and perform poorly for so long, it eventually out waited me and went out with my old PC when I upgraded. As far as cases go, I usually always buy the biggest possible one I can get my hands on. I absolutely hate having to worm my way in there to get to those plugs, and have the lingering fear of snapping a capacitor with the flick of my wrist.

8800’s were tanks! I bought the Thermaltake Armor case with the same thinking you have - SPACE! Yeah, I used to buy server/workstation cases for my own machines just so there’d be the wiggle room.

I have barely even looked but the cases these days are amazing! I just looked at one that might have been a Transformer or maybe a small Shogun Warrior? Anyway, awesome case choices nowadays.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 04:22 PM
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This is to some degree the “dirty secret” of the - let’s say - past 3-4 years? Your “old” PC can run recent games perfectly fine, in most cases? The long life cycle of XBox360(!) is the main reason, why there was no need to ‘upgrade’?

Granted DX11 and higher resolutions need upgrade. But how many games supported DX10/10.1/11? (I used to run a list on Giantbomb.com on video games supporting DX11 for 2 years, next to Wikipedia entries, before I deleted it recently).

Unless, you had “specific needs” as a sim-fan, or Arma2, etc., as a consumer - a dualcore-CPU and a good powerful graphic card on a 32-bit OS would fit all your needs?

I was amazed when Crysis 1 came out, how suddenly people I trusted before, turned out to be “PC-illiterates”. They claimed, everyone needed the most powerful PC’s, when the game would run fine in high settings on a mid-level rig, if you knew what you were buying?

These days - after the steep learning curve for game devs and the switch to more concurrent code + Windows runtime dotnetting & scheduling threads better - more games are running more efficient on multi-core CPUs and GPUs. Hence, upgrades make sense. Games are catching up with the hardware. Not just the ‘un-optimized’ ones.

But certainly, there are two kinds of people - those with time and those with money? If you have both and know your Celeron’s and AMD’s (anyone remember unlocking the Duron/Athlon with the simple graphit pencil trick?), you will always want to make your custom PC. It really is satisfying to ‘know’ what runs in your machine & to know, you made that happen - irrational, but a good feeling. It’s like you’d feel, building your own car or house?

Btw, there have been benchmark tests about SSD’s and video games. A German gaming & hardware website tested games & the initial loading times are about 20-50% faster in cases (Anno 2070, Dirt3, Metro 2033, Shogun 2, BF3 etc) - but also often dependent on your CPU speed. I am sorry, but I cannot find that article online.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 12:19 PM
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SCREW BUILDING MY OWN PC - I have seen the light -

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/385376/valves-steam-box-early-specs-and-what-we-know-so-far/

I Want it….

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