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[Recommend on] Computers

ArkanArkan Registered User
So I turned 21 today. Among other things, I got 400$ and access to a savings account containing 1600$. That, plus a 100$ best buy gift card I had lying around, plus the fact that the computer I currently have suuuuuuucks, makes me want to get a new computer. But I'm not really sure what to look for, so I figured I'd asked THE INTERNET! for advice.

Some criteria:

I am not looking for a hyper-exensive ubercomputer... I'm not looking to run Crysis at max settings or anything (is that joke dead yet?). The highest-end thing I might run possibly ever would probably be Warhammer Online. The rest of the games I run regularly aren't that advanced (source/orange box engine games and WoW are the only ones that tax the one I'm on now, which is a 3-year old laptop). Something above and beyond that would be nice, but I really don't want to go super-expensive - 600-800$ is the range I want to be in. I'm hopefully going to a 4-year college this fall and want as much of the money available for that.

I'd also like something that would last a while - good warranty, easy to upgrade the parts, stuff that isn't failure-prone, etc.

So... any suggestions?

(side note: this was copied from G&T. I don't mind buying prebuilt computers and in fact it might be slightly preferrable because I don't know how a warranty would work on a built one - the only reason my current computer has lasted so long is because I got an awesome 3-year warranty on it, so if possible I'd like to get that again - but if the price difference between self-built and pre-built is big enough I'd consider it)

Arkan on
Big, honkin' pile of WoW characters
I think it's hard for someone not to rage at mario kart, while shouting "Fuck you Donkey Kong. Whose dick did you suck to get all those red shells?"

Posts

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I know you're new here, but there's a giant stickied thread at the top of this forum pertaining to just this subject.

    Look around before posting please.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • Edgler VessEdgler Vess Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Edit: Nevermind, Wrong thread.

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  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    So how does this make you feel Esh?

    Maybe everyone has you on ignore.

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    So how does this make you feel Esh?

    Maybe everyone has you on ignore.

    I'm assuming this is in reference to something pre-edit on the OPs part?

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Yeah Edgler Vess ruined my fun.

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Yeah Edgler Vess ruined my fun.

    Now I'm curious! What'd he say?

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Esh wrote: »
    Yeah Edgler Vess ruined my fun.

    Now I'm curious! What'd he say?

    Just asked for advice on his build. In the post right after you pointed to the sticky.

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  • ArkanArkan Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Squabbling aside, I posted this seperately because I'm not necessarily looking to build a damn computer.

    Big, honkin' pile of WoW characters
    I think it's hard for someone not to rage at mario kart, while shouting "Fuck you Donkey Kong. Whose dick did you suck to get all those red shells?"
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I say just get a Dell then. In my experience they're pretty reliable, and they have a huge array of options on their site that will suit so you should be able to find something with any price you're comfortable with.

    Just make sure when you make a selection, do some googling. Many forums have dedicated Dell threads and you can find a lot of information about the machines this way. Some of their smaller units, for example, cannot accept double height video cards. You'll want to know this before buying the machine and trying to jack in an nvidia rageomatic ati 88000 monster card in there.

  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Arkan wrote: »
    Squabbling aside, I posted this seperately because I'm not necessarily looking to build a damn computer.

    Yeah, it was just funny to see someone actually ask for advice on building a computer right after Esh posted that. The funny is far, far gone now.

    Still you might want to check out the op in the build thread. It wouldn't be hard to build a computer that met your requirements for under $500 but that would be with no monitor or even OS.

    There was a G&T thread a while back about buying pre-builts but there wasn't much success in anyone proposing a go-to vendor as far as I know. Places like Dell seem very, very opposed to you adding a ATI 4850 to one of their normal computers' configurations and the gaming computers are normally overpriced.

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  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    they dont like it, but you can still do it. if you chat with a sales tech they will eventually tell you exactly what hardware they are using so you can figure out if youll need a bigger PS or whatever. its what i did for my gf's computer. i got her a dell and then slapped my old 8800gts in it and it works like a charm

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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Yes, I've done the same. Though this was several years ago by now.

    Dell does use standard components in their ATX systems, so in general, it's pretty easy to plug in a new video card or add memory after you get the machine in your hands.

    But you have to do your research, because not ALL their systems are this way. Sometimes they have wacky cooling systems installed or they use a weird layout that won't let full size cards be installed. Once you fileter out those systems however, they make very good machines.

  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TK-42-1 wrote: »
    they dont like it, but you can still do it. if you chat with a sales tech they will eventually tell you exactly what hardware they are using so you can figure out if youll need a bigger PS or whatever. its what i did for my gf's computer. i got her a dell and then slapped my old 8800gts in it and it works like a charm

    Yeah, I was talking more about adding in a gaming video card from dell.

    Earlier someone wanted to upgrade their computer (I think it was a dell not sure) and I ended up advising that they get a 4770 since it has lower power usage and good performance.

    If you can make sure that the computer that you buy has 20 amps on the 12 volt rail then that might be an option for the OP as well.

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  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    ooooh. so getting them to stick one in for you. i get it. yeah i can see them not wanting to do that since if there were any problems with it they'd be required to fix it under warranty. come to think of it, i wonder if i voided mine by sticking in the third party card

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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TK-42-1 wrote: »
    ooooh. so getting them to stick one in for you. i get it. yeah i can see them not wanting to do that since if there were any problems with it they'd be required to fix it under warranty. come to think of it, i wonder if i voided mine by sticking in the third party card

    Depends on if you tell them about it or not. ;)

    Machine goes bad, remove the card, complain bitterly into phone.

  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TK-42-1 wrote: »
    ooooh. so getting them to stick one in for you. i get it. yeah i can see them not wanting to do that since if there were any problems with it they'd be required to fix it under warranty. come to think of it, i wonder if i voided mine by sticking in the third party card

    No no.

    I mean just being able to chose it as an option. They have the cards and will put them in their "gaming" PCs.

    I'm saying that the way Dell limits what you do by "brand", makes it hard to get a decent deal on a gaming PC from them.

    I don't think you voided your warranty but if you call up tech support you may have to remove the card before they help you.

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  • SandersSanders Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Have you considered getting a laptop with a dedicated video card?

    Shouldn't be hard to find one in that price range that can run Half-life 2 engine games / Warhammer online and you may use it a lot in classes ( to play games instead of listening to lectures).

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    He could use an Eee to run Warhammer online.
    But yea, is there a reason you want a desktop?

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    He could use an Eee to run Warhammer online.
    But yea, is there a reason you want a desktop?

    Because bang for buck they're far superior to a laptop. And beyond that, building your own (which a brain damaged monkey could do) is as even better way to save.

    And since when is Warhammer even remotely playable on a Eee?

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • ResIpsaLoquiturResIpsaLoquitur Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Esh wrote: »
    He could use an Eee to run Warhammer online.
    But yea, is there a reason you want a desktop?

    Because bang for buck they're far superior to a laptop. And beyond that, building your own (which a brain damaged monkey could do) is as even better way to save.

    And since when is Warhammer even remotely playable on a Eee?

    He did say he was about to head to college; having an all-in-one system that can play his games and can be brought to class to take notes on might be something the OP values.

    A desktop+netbook combo might also work, and with the right deals, at nearly the same price, so that's something to consider, too.

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  • lilBlilB Registered User
    edited June 2009
    When I needed a cheap computer I bough an HP with a Core 2 that was refurbished from a local retailer for about 400 dollars, and then I dropped in an 8600 gts and a bigger PSU (this was almost a few years ago). The case was decent enough to work with and that thing ran great. It had an ASUS main board in it and I never had any hardware issues. Best $650 computer I ever owned (Canadian dollars too :P)

    Oh if you go retail don't spring for any extended warranty... there isn't a single part in that PC that could cost more than that to replace :P

  • ArkanArkan Registered User
    edited June 2009
    I already have a laptop and was planning to hang on to it to use as a work computer on the go.

    Big, honkin' pile of WoW characters
    I think it's hard for someone not to rage at mario kart, while shouting "Fuck you Donkey Kong. Whose dick did you suck to get all those red shells?"
  • ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Dell is a good option since you're looking at prebuilts and warranties but you have to pay extra for extended warranties with Dell.

    If you're looking to use your Best Buy gift certificate, they have some pretty good gaming machines in there for less than a grand. Just do your homework and research things out.

    There is a boutique that is inexpensive and the owner will narrow down what you need and whats not needed to get you within your budget, whatever your budget may be.

    MaxForce PC.

    Go straight to the forums and sign up and ask for a quote. Tell him your intended budget and what you want to play on it.

    There are other boutiques out there too like Puget and Maingear but they're more expensive.

    Here is a list so you can search around:
    MaxForce PC
    Puget Custom Computers
    Maingear
    Velocity Micro
    Digital Storm

    Find out what you need first.

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