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So my girlfriend is looking to buy a new computer to update her several year old POS in order to play some new (if not heavily demanding) games such as the Sims 3 and Sims Medieval. Unfortunately, she's buying on a budget ($600 Canadian or under preferably) and neither of us are particularly comfortable with building her a rig, regardless of how super duper cheap it can be.
Look, I know, I see the build thread, I know it's like Lego and that as long as you have a credit card on hand for thermal pasting it's fun times, but she's currently looking at Future Shop for a system and I figured I'd at least ask you fine folks here before she jumps on them or I make an errant suggestions.
Anyway, this is the system she's looking at, which at an i3 core seems a bit anemic.
A quick bit of fiddling on Dell.ca built me this, an i5 core with 2 extra gigs of system RAM that goes $50 over budget before taxes.
Now, the FS model is running a ATI HD5450, whereas Dell loads up a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce G310, and a quick google search shows me that neither of these cards is going to set benchmark records for Crysis. However, if I'm not mistaken either should at least run the gaming level she's aiming for fairly well, and the rest of her PC usage seems to be mostly music/movies/streaming/etc.
A quick glance at tigredirect.ca isn't showing me anything that blows my socks off, and I think she'd prefer to go with a bigger name company in case she does need support of one kind or another.
So, any other suggestions? While a big name wouldn't hurt, if anyone knows of any particularly awesome and reputable stores in the Greater Toronto Area those might be worth investigating. Otherwise Future Shop or Dell might be the path we take, and while I've had good experiences with the latter, I figured it was worth inquiring before any triggers were pulled.