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Pre-Built Computer

ForarForar #432Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
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 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 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.

First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
Forar on


  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Honestly, the i3-550 is a significantly better CPU than the Radeon 5450 is a graphics card. Honestly, it is (or was, prior to the new Intel chip cycle) a really solid option at that price range, especially considering its overclockability. That doesn't matter to you, but I want you to be aware that the CPU in this equation outstrips the GPU.

    Looking at the sys reqs for Sims 3, I imagine that she'll be fine with the first system. The 5450 really isn't a huge step up from the onboard AMD graphics on most AM3 platforms, but it should do fine.

    Alecthar on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Do not, repeat do not, by dell expecting good support.

    That being said, I've been really happy with my dell prebuilt. As long as you're comfortable doing basic support on your own, they seem pretty cost-competitive. Just be sure you're getting a true mid-tower with discrete components, rather than some onboard sound/video monstrosity.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    it was the smallest on the list but
    Pluto was a planet and I'll never forget
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Agreed. The system having an actual video card and not some "shared memory" bullshit is at the top of the list. Thanks for the suggestions, I've passed on the reccomendation and figure she'll either snag something soon, or decide to give it a little while for some sales to show up, but at least we're establishing a baseline at this point.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
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