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New Gaming-PC Build Advice and Opinions

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needsata    3
Posted (edited)

Goals with Build:

 

1.     Play most any game at 1080p (base-line) resolution; I don’t plan on upgrading to a 4K monitor soon unless I can find a reasonably priced one at a decent size. I currently work/play on a 27” all-in-one HP computer and have grown quite partial to that size screen.

2.     Decent, steady frame rates.

3.     All at maximum standard settings for most games out today, i.e. un-modded.

 

Secondary Information:

 

1.     I am liking the looks of several of the RTS games coming out, a genre I have stepped away from since I “left” PC-gaming for the last 4-5 years. So you can take this into account when considering the hardware choices if it make a difference CPU-side, or elsewhere.

2.     I’m really “genre-less” in my old age when it comes to games nowadays, I play whatever I find interesting, but I do have my favs.

·         Civilization series

·         RTS games, C&C, LOTR: BFMEII: ROTWK (did I get it right?)

·         Recent fan of Starcraft & Diablo

·         FPS games, S.T.A.L.K.E.R (never had a beefy-enough rig to run those well).

·         Fallout series

·         Company of Heroes

·         Elder Scrolls

·         Total War games

·         City-builder/Strategy games, Anno: 2070, Sim-City 2000 (J) and on..

·         Bioshock

·         Space games (Star Citizen looks great if it ever releases)

3.     Don’t INTEND on doing much with “mods,” but you never know, I may delve back in at some point. Trying to keep my gaming simple and hassle-free.

 

Conditions/Limitations of Build:

 

1.     Price, technically not really a limiting factor, but don’t be mistaken: I am going for best bang for my buck, which is why am building my own PC to begin with. I have no intention of throwing money away.

  • Let's keep it below 1000, I do like the idea of a great machine at 6-700.

2.     Not concerned with aesthetics on this build, LEDs, fancy case design, et cetera.

3.     Would like it to be very expandable in terms of additional video-cards if that remains a viable solution in today’s world of gaming rigs… remember I am 4-5 years removed from everything PC. I have read articles suggesting that single-card solutions are the all-around best route.

a.     This whole bit-coin mining video-card thing is beyond my comprehension and even my desire to comprehend, but I realize it may be affecting pricing of hardware.

4.     VR is certainly a low-priority, but I would not dislike having that option available to me at some point.

5.     Sound-quality has generally been secondary to me as well, I have used included-in-the-box speakers with computers for as long as I can remember, but am not opposed to a higher quality experience.

 

At present I am utilizing this site: elitegamingcomputers.com

There are so many good references out there, it is difficult to choose and this one was simple to navigate, easy to understand and quite accommodating. But nothing compares to getting guidance from the men/women in the trenches, which is why I am here.

 

My Capability:

 

·         I am no longer versed with, nor was I terribly so in the past, dual/multi card setups.

·         I have built several PCs in my day, two or three for gaming/work.

·         I work with computers regularly and as such I regularly diagnose and contend with software/hardware issues as they arise. Most are within my ability to resolve with the help of the internets.

·         No experience over-clocking, no desire to learn (too much on my plate already).

 

UPDATES:

 

600 - 1,000 USD

 

I will need a monitor and am open to suggestions, but I am NOT considering that as part of the build-price.

 

As far as manufacturer preference/allegiance, I weakly submit that I have leaned toward Intel, just because I kept up with their offerings a little better. I am open on the video card entirely. 

 

Thank you everyone in advance for helping a “retired” PC-gamer back into the fold.

 

O.

 

Edited by needsata
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Mindovermaster    857

What "is" your budget? You never said any price. Give us a price range you are willing to spend.

 

Also, do you have a preference, at all to Intel/AMD CPU's and NVIDIA/AMD GPU's?

 

So you need a system plus monitor, then?

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needsata    3
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

What "is" your budget? You never said any price. Give us a price range you are willing to spend.

 

Also, do you have a preference, at all to Intel/AMD CPU's and NVIDIA/AMD GPU's?

 

So you need a system plus monitor, then?

"Conditions/Limitations of Build:

 

1.     Price, technically not really a limiting factor, but don’t be mistaken: I am going for best bang for my buck, which is why am building my own PC to begin with. I have no intention of throwing money away.

Let's keep it below 1000, I do like the idea of a great machine at 6-700."

 

So 600 - 1000 USD.

 

I will need a monitor and am open to suggestions, but I am not considering that as part of the build-price.

 

As far as manufacturer preference/allegiance, I weakly submit that I have leaned toward Intel, just because I kept up with their offerings a little better. I am open on the video card entirely. 

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Mindovermaster    857

OK, that will cut your budget a little bit, then. MOST good builds are over 1k.

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needsata    3
2 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

OK, that will cut your budget a little bit, then. MOST good builds are over 1k.

The resources I have been looking at so far have made me fairly confident you can get decent gaming out of a 700 dollar PC (sans monitor, optical drive, et cetera).

 

Don't think so?

 

It doesn't need to be a 120 fps, 8K, quad-screen, VR beast.

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needsata    3

I am looking more and more at pricing vs capabilities and while I would like a magical 700 dollar gaming unicorn, I am willing to hit the 1250 mark I think. It will need to be well-justified though.

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+ctebah    2,652
4 minutes ago, needsata said:

I am looking more and more at pricing vs capabilities and while I would like a magical 700 dollar gaming unicorn, I am willing to hit the 1250 mark I think. It will need to be well-justified though.

Have you played around with pcpartpicker?

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needsata    3
1 minute ago, ctebah said:

Have you played around with pcpartpicker?

I have posted a similar topic over there, but no I haven't messed with their utilities at all yet. I figured I rely on the veterans around forums first. I am not OPPOSED to even buying a packaged gaming PC, it'd probably be fine, you get one warranty to cover everything, but I anywho, we will see what people come up with.

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+ctebah    2,652
22 minutes ago, needsata said:

The resources I have been looking at so far have made me fairly confident you can get decent gaming out of a 700 dollar PC (sans monitor, optical drive, et cetera).

 

Don't think so?

 

It doesn't need to be a 120 fps, 8K, quad-screen, VR beast.

https://pcpartpicker.com/builds/#X=51544,78579

 

This is a link to the site which is very helpful for what you're asking.  I've selected the price between $515 and $785, but you can play around some more.  

 

Having listed what games you play, I'd say something like a GTX 1050Ti would be good enough graphic card.  Also, I would invest in a decent computer case and you'll never have to buy another one.  Nothing too expensive with windows, etc, but something that will last.  Fractal Design R5 was one of the best cases around and it's very upgradeable down the road.

1 minute ago, needsata said:

I have posted a similar topic over there, but no I haven't messed with their utilities at all yet. I figured I rely on the veterans around forums first. I am not OPPOSED to even buying a packaged gaming PC, it'd probably be fine, you get one warranty to cover everything, but I anywho, we will see what people come up with.

I would also invest in a decent size power supply, something around 650-750w.  This way your case and power supply will last for years whereas you can upgrade your CPU, motherboard, graphic card and the rest of the system easily.  

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+ctebah    2,652

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/WH24bj

 

Here is my recommendation.  It comes to $782.  Now, you also have to remember that getting these parts from different websites may drive up the price of shipping.  I would try and find most of the items on one website that offers free shipping.  If necessary, look to buy the case locally, as computer cases weight more than the rest of the parts.  

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needsata    3
2 minutes ago, ctebah said:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/WH24bj

 

Here is my recommendation.  It comes to $782.  Now, you also have to remember that getting these parts from different websites may drive up the price of shipping.  I would try and find most of the items on one website that offers free shipping.  If necessary, look to buy the case locally, as computer cases weight more than the rest of the parts.  

Thanks, I will look over your recommendations.

 

O. 

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+ctebah    2,652
4 minutes ago, needsata said:

Thanks, I will look over your recommendations.

 

O. 

No worries.  Newegg is a great site to get the entire system built.  Not sure if they charge for shipping or not.  Amazon is another one to get most of the items and you should be able to get free shipping.

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needsata    3
On 8/16/2017 at 9:15 PM, ctebah said:

No worries.  Newegg is a great site to get the entire system built.  Not sure if they charge for shipping or not.  Amazon is another one to get most of the items and you should be able to get free shipping.

Thoughts on pre-built offerings, Alienware et cetera.

 

I am liking the idea of an all in one warranted device.

 

 

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Mindovermaster    857

Alienware is a BIG rip-off. You can build your own system for WAY less.

 

All-in-ones usually don't have good graphics, and not upgradable by much, if at all.

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needsata    3

I definitely think you can go cheaper with a self-build, but I think it is a stretch to say you can't good visuals from many of the pre-built options out there. Even expandability.  Maybe we are looking at different models.

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needsata    3
Posted (edited)

Ever do a part for part comparison on one? Minus the proprietary components? Try and match an Alienware model with parts grabbed from all sorts of sellers to beat their price by a big margin but match or surpass their performance?

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Nerd Rage    307

I've steered people who don't like the idea of building their own PCs to https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/category/gaming-pcs/

 

There are many sites like that out there that will let you customize everything and get exactly what you want.  They do come with a markup more often than not, but they occasionally have some pretty nice bundles

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+T3X4S    4,270

needsata - you need to listen to the advice people are giving in here and forget about your pre-conceived notions. 

If people tell you to piece mail a system out on pcpartpicker - go check it out.  It is a great site.
You mention prebuilt.  For your limited budget, you could get a prebuilt.  But the hardware inside will not be (1) as powerful (2) are reliable.
You mention warranty - think about the standard 1 yr warranty you get (because @ your budget you cant afford to get a real warranty)
Your standard 1yr warranty means that when you mediocre quality hardware craps out on you - you will have to send it off (the whole system) - for weeks.... then they will fix it (and you can pray to whatever deity you pray to that it will come back fixed (and they didnt wipe your entire HDD)).  Because that prebuilt will have a crappy PSU, mediocre RAM, crappy/loud fans, loads of bloatware, will run like crap, and is put together by people who couldnt care less (if it isnt automated)
 It will also come with a plethora of items you will never use, dont care for, didnt ask for, and you paid for it....
*Alienware is great for 14 year olds who want a cool looking case, crazy lights, parents dropped $2500 on it, and you want to namedrop (but your friend down the street who builds his own will laugh at you everytime he sees it) ;)

If you add $2500 to your budget - you can get a prebuilt with great QC, reliable parts - and for another $300 you can get a 3 yr warranty that if it breaks down - someone will come to your house and repair it within 24-48 hours....


OR


You can build your own, maximize your purchasing power, buy high quality components with much less chance of failure (but if a single piece does crap out on you - you can send in that piece - not the whole unit.)
The other great factor of building your own, you can make sure every screw, every wire, every card, every fan, every component was installed perfectly. 
You are more familiar with your system, because you hand-picked every piece.
You wont have tons of bloatware, it will run faster (you can also OC if you feel that bug bite you)
And you get to pick how your money is spent:
An emphasis on data reliability (high end HDD/SDD)
An emphasis on raw CPU power for number crunching, 
An emphasis on grfx for gaming
An emphasis on RAM if you're doing grfx editing
Or maybe you just want something to browse the internet, social media, stream movies - but spend $400 on an amazing case that matches your furniture.

The point is - you decide how your budget is spent.

Of course, you could always rob a liquor store, drop $14,000 on some Orion PC , or Digital Storm - :D
 

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needsata    3
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, T3X4S said:

needsata - you need to listen to the advice people are giving in here and forget about your pre-conceived notions. 

The point is - you decide how your budget is spent.

I'v actually finally increased my budget to 2800 allowed. I cannot edit the original post further.

 

I am considering ALL options and would still prefer to save money where I can, so what I need is good, sound advice with justification to go with it. Not an encyclopedia's worth per se, but an argument for or against something.

 

So for pre-built, I would be looking for, best bang for the buck, best warranty, reputation in terms of quality of manufacture, issues, et cetera. Personal experiences and so on.

 

Then

 

Cross that with the self-build option, show me something that could realistically compete with and/or exceed some example on one of these pre-built sites while beating their prices (which I believe is totally doable).

 

Even as long as I've been out of the PC game, I do know that you aren't necessarily getting some garbage system when you buy pre-built. Most are the same components that are recommended here, albeit up-charged and with their own particular services/offerings/warranties et cetera.

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needsata    3
6 hours ago, Nerd Rage said:

I've steered people who don't like the idea of building their own PCs to https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/category/gaming-pcs/

 

There are many sites like that out there that will let you customize everything and get exactly what you want.  They do come with a markup more often than not, but they occasionally have some pretty nice bundles

I've heard some negative reviews from on cyberpower, you have any experience with them? Quality?

 

Thanks

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needsata    3

For the sake of argument, if you WERE to go with a pre-built option:

 

CyberPower

Alienware

Ibuypower

Other

 

I'd appreciate ya'l taking a look at their current offerings AND DEALS and tell me what ya'l think. I know, I know it's cheaper to buy parts on your own, but I just want to explore this possibility until I am satisfied that it isn't a good option.

Maybe there is SOME model out right now that one of these places has for a decent price that keener eyes than mine can detect.

Max budget 2800, shooting for much less, 14-1700.

 

Thanks for ya'ls input.

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Mindovermaster    857

Can I tell you something? A pre-built is gunna be crap. Take it, or leave it...

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Circaflex    2,781
31 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

Can I tell you something? A pre-built is gunna be crap. Take it, or leave it...

That is your opinion, and to be honest, you are grossly misinformed. Pre-built units are no longer the crap they used to be, there are companies that specialize in pre-built gaming rigs. Nothing wrong with a pre-built and to be honest, unless you really want to tinker, I think a pre-built is the better choice. Warranty support is so much easier, going to one company (the one that built it) compared to ripping it apart and testing each piece to see which one has gone bad, then dealing with that company.

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Mindovermaster    857
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Circaflex said:

That is your opinion, and to be honest, you are grossly misinformed. Pre-built units are no longer the crap they used to be, there are companies that specialize in pre-built gaming rigs. Nothing wrong with a pre-built and to be honest, unless you really want to tinker, I think a pre-built is the better choice. Warranty support is so much easier, going to one company (the one that built it) compared to ripping it apart and testing each piece to see which one has gone bad, then dealing with that company.

Why didn't you quote @T3X4S ? He's saying about the same thing...

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needsata    3

So, after having to spend time I'm sure thousands of others have already spent on informing themselves about things I am questioning in this thread, I am pretty sure I will eliminate Alienware as a potential seller.

 

Overpriced even among the other pre-built offerings seems to be pretty fair with no real advantage they seem to offer.

 

Now I am looking to the other sellers.

 

I appreciate any feedback people are willing to give and even more appreciative of feedback that argues the questions I am asking, either for or against with real concrete justification for said argument.

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