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insertwackynamehere

Requesting advice from PC gamers

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Back in the early to mid 2000s, I was super into keeping up with PC rigs and specs etc. However I went to college, switched to MacBooks and now program and work entirely on Macs. I’ve fallen out of the PC world entirely.

 

I really want to play Doom 2016 and have been avoiding spoilers for 2 years now, but I couldn’t justify buying a PC for it alone and I’m not much of a gamer these days, just Civ and classic Doom which I can play on my iMac.

 

Now I want to start looking into PCs again, but I don’t even know where to start. I want something that’s a small form factor and not covered in lights because I live in an apartment and it would be in my bedroom. I also would like it to be “Oculus ready” as that is one of the only other things I feel excited about re-entering the PC gamer world for.

 

I’m comfortable putting it together myself but I’d rather not unless the savings would be ridiculous. I can assemble PCs (at least I used to 12 years ago :D) but I’d rather it just show up and work fully assembled.

 

Is this something I can do for under $1000, preferably in the $600 range?

 

I see Alienware has a small form factor gaming machine and they are a Dell subsidiary too now. I remember Dell and Alienware had good reputations besides being seen as overpriced. Is this still true? They are offering the machine for ~$650 it looks like. It has the GTX960/4gb which seems to be bare minimum for Doom2k16 and Oculus. Is that too weak of a card?

 

I guess I’m just very far removed from where to even begin when building or buying a PC these days. I know tech stuff well enough but I’m out of the loop and don’t know vendors or what the word on the street is about which graphics cards are best/worst/most overpriced etc.

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Posted (edited)

I think I spent $350 (without a monitor) on my last PC. Store bought Dell 3+ years ago and it plays Doom 4 just fine and smooth.

Edited by geo

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That's what I like to hear 😄 I see that there is an XPS that is currently marked down to $500 that seems more than okay and I didn't even shop around the site to see if I could go lower. Maybe I'm overthinking this, since I don't actually want a "gaming PC" just a PC that can play games.

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I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop in 2016 on sale brand new for about $700. It only has 4gbs memory and 500gbs hard drive. but it does play my games pretty well. Don't own Doom 4 tho. Don't know if this helps you out. Good luck toyou! :D

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I have an HP Notebook, but it uses Intel, so you'll probably want to steer away from them if you want to play Doom (2016), because Intel graphics chips suuuuck. I can't play later versions of GZDoom because of it.

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I have a "cheap" AMD 8 core system with a 4gb gtx960, along with 16gb DDR3 ram and a 1tb hdd ( not an SSD ) and win10. Payed right at 900 for it a couple years ago. I played doom4 at 1920x1080 all settings maxed. Ran really nice. This is an actual video card though, not sure if an integrated version of this chipset would run as well.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, grouchbag said:

I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop in 2016 on sale brand new for about $700. It only has 4gbs memory and 500gbs hard drive. but it does play my games pretty well. Don't own Doom 4 tho. Don't know if this helps you out. Good luck toyou! 😄

I think 3 years ago I bought a Dell laptop I'm currently talking to you on... $1,400 manages to run Skyrim and other PS3 quality games at the best settings, but can't run some of the simplest indie games at 60 fps. Seems stuck at 50 fps. Must be a monitor refresh rate. Its perhaps my most hated laptop... fan broke, had to open it up and fixed it... but before that, the screen started getting screwy and remains screwy. Depending on the tilt of the screen it will just blink out or turn grey. Sometimes its like 4 screens on 1 screen.

 

Wi-Fi seems to be fried, but I bought an external one. It can't hold a charge more than an hour after it was good for 8 hours. Oh and someone thought it was a good idea to combine the mouse buttons with the touch pad. While the laptop looks like its specifically designed to take a beating, it seems to be made with weak parts or something.

 

Of course everything died just after the 1 year warranty. By far my least lasting laptop and I've bought $300 - $400 laptops.

Edited by geo

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That's strange, my HP cost me 330 dollars after taxes and that was in January of '16, I'm pretty sure, and it's suffered quite the wear and tear in that time and survived it no worse for wear save a few scratches on the top. It would never be able to run any modern games (Skyrim would be right out), but it's stood the test of time against me pretty well, so I'm inclined to keep on with it.

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I know a pretty good computer under 1000$ and it has a 600$ model and a 800$ model. The Acer aspire 5 600$ model you get a 

Screen Size15.6 inches

Max Screen Resolution1920 x 1080

Processor1.6 GHz Intel Core i5

RAM8 GB

Hard Drive256 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Graphics CoprocessorNVIDIA Geforce MX150

Chipset BrandNVIDIA

Card DescriptionDedicated

Graphics Card Ram Size2 GB

Number of USB 2.0 Ports2

Number of USB 3.0 Ports2

Average Battery Life (in hours)7 hours.

Obviously its at its weakest point so you would have to overclock it a bit. The 800$ model just is a processor change bumping it up to the newest i7. (You would have to over clock it

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Equinox24 said:

Average Battery Life (in hours)7 hours.

 

16 minutes ago, Equinox24 said:

Obviously its at its weakest point so you would have to overclock it a bit.

Absolutely never overclock laptops, and do not tell people to. They are not designed for that in the slightest, and you can cause significant damage to the components, including rather importantly the battery.

(Also you'll be hard pressed to find a BIOS that even lets you, so its rather a moot point anyway.)

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If you are getting into VR, I wouldn't skimp on the specs. It can be pretty demanding. You can certainly do it on a lower end card, but the results won't be as impressive. As an example, I have a side rig with a 1050ti in it. The Rift works, but it's pretty lackluster compared to using it with my main system that has a RX 580 in it (8gb). I've read around and it's generally recommended to have at least a GTX 1060 (6gb) or a RX 580 to do VR well. You'll want a decent CPU as well, as again, VR can be quite demanding. DOOM will definitely play well on less, but you'll want something good for VR.

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2 hours ago, geo said:

I think 3 years ago I bought a Dell laptop I'm currently talking to you on... $1,400 manages to run Skyrim and other PS3 quality games at the best settings, but can't run some of the simplest indie games at 60 fps. Seems stuck at 50 fps. Must be a monitor refresh rate. Its perhaps my most hated laptop... fan broke, had to open it up and fixed it... but before that, the screen started getting screwy and remains screwy. Depending on the tilt of the screen it will just blink out or turn grey. Sometimes its like 4 screens on 1 screen.

 

Wi-Fi seems to be fried, but I bought an external one. Oh and someone thought it was a good idea to combine the mouse buttons with the touch pad. While the laptop looks like its specifically designed to take a beating, it seems to be made with weak parts or something. 

Guess I'm lucky then. I do agree Dell isn't the best, but I had to take what was available at the time. I refused to buy any laptop unless it came in an unopened box. Mine still looks almost new, I'm very careful with it. One thing I have noticed, when closed, the top still isn't that stable.  All I use it for is playing games, and as for forums, mainly Doom related stuff, Gog games. Don't allow anyone to touch it at all. Except me of course. It doesnt heat up too much, have a fan to keep it cool. The main thing Idon't like is Cortana. That annoying thing is disabled.

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If you're going to get a pc, build it.  Do not buy it.  That Alienware in your post is a rip off for that price.  My first Alienware is what got me into pc building because once it broke, I realized how badly I got screwed by the price.  The thing with pc's is if you're going to build one, figure out the maximum you can spend and spend it.  You'll get a way better deal for a thousand bucks building it yourself than buying a name, and it's going to last you much longer than a pre-built pc.  Newegg will give you a credit card if you have good credit.  That's how I build PCs, I just figure the cost, buy everything with card then just pay it off.  It's good to have for emergency repairs, too.

 

Also, if you want cpu power for VR go with Intel.  This is something I just learned with a new build.  I've been an AMD dude my whole life, but got tired of crap FPS on games my pc should be able to handle without a sweat in the last build with an 8-core overclocked.  Went with 6-core Intel and the difference is night and day.  Intel is more expensive, but it's certainly fucking worth it.  You can overclock the CPUs so much better with much less heat issues and almost zero problems.  It's actually crazy.  Be sure to look for OC ready parts as well, even if you don't OC they'll be capable of handling more abuse—that's just my theory researching parts, anyway.

Edited by Flesh420

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12 hours ago, Flesh420 said:

Also, if you want cpu power for VR go with Intel.  This is something I just learned with a new build.  I've been an AMD dude my whole life, but got tired of crap FPS on games my pc should be able to handle without a sweat in the last build with an 8-core overclocked.

 

Just out of curiosity, what CPU are you referring to specifically? I ask because AMD's Ryzen CPUs are excellent and are on a much more similar playing field as Intel's stuff, particularly when you get down to price. If you are referring to AMD's FX line, then yeah, I don't blame you.

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Don't skimp on power supply brand, that's one of the more important components in a desktop, if not one of the most important. Brands that are familiar, like Corsair (which I use), Thermaltake and Cooler Master. Fully modular for best positioning inside the case as well.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2018 at 9:29 PM, amackert said:

 

Just out of curiosity, what CPU are you referring to specifically? I ask because AMD's Ryzen CPUs are excellent and are on a much more similar playing field as Intel's stuff, particularly when you get down to price. If you are referring to AMD's FX line, then yeah, I don't blame you.

Yea my 8 core was an FX, but I've always had problems with any AMD or ATI.

Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core 3.7 GHz these days.  I can OC this bitch to 5GHZ no problems.  I still have hope in AMD simply because of their support for open source GFX drivers.  But doubt I'll be going back in the next 15 years.

 

Edited by Flesh420

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Dells are usually built rather nicely. Their support is not what it used to be (used to be excellent, then they started outsourcing.) They used to drop ship me replacement parts, now they ask 20 questions, and want to "connect to your PC to diagnose", and/or have you "reinstall Windows." Hell, last time I gave them the diagnostic error code from their pre-installed diagnostic software, and they still wanted me to plug my PC into an internet connection...no thanks.

 

Regarding gaming PC vs. non-gaming PC: A good gaming PC should be good at just about everything - to play games well, everything has to be pretty good and fast.

 

I used to build them too. There's a real danger in that nowadays: To make all of the components run at optimal spec, you need to match the CPU, memory, and motherboard, as the motherboards have chipsets designed specifically for the features of certain CPUs and memory architectures. Sure, you can get just about anything to run, but if there's a mismatch, certain components will run with default settings vs. optimal settings. And you'll never know it.

 

So, my advice is to either immerse yourself into a big learning curve with a lot of research, or have it built for you, by people that keep up with the latest and greatest. Also, check reputable comparison sites to get the most bang for your buck. Good luck.

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2 hours ago, Flesh420 said:

Yea my 8 core was an FX, but I've always had problems with any AMD or ATI.

Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core 3.7 GHz these days.  I can OC this bitch to 5GHZ no problems.  I still have hope in AMD simply because of their support for open source GFX drivers.  But doubt I'll be going back in the next 15 years.

 

 

Cool, I was just wondering. I do have a side FX rig a friend gave me and it's proven to be not the most stable thing out there. And while the clock speeds are decent (it's something like 4ghz out of the box, pre-overclocked), the whole platform is just significantly behind the times. I will say, I did own a Phenom II rig close to a decade ago now and it was pretty solid, but even Intel's stuff was definitely stronger. I was going to go with a modern I7 myself for a new build a little over a year ago, but then AMD dropped their Ryzen line and I ended up going with that due to it coming out higher in benchmarks for content creation (I render a lot of videos and stream frequently). It's been rock solid and I've been happy with it.

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