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Xmas bonus advice

whaambulancewhaambulance Registered User new member
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm getting my xmas bonus within the next week or two and need to decide how to spend the small portion my girlfriend lets my spend on myself.

I've been toiling for weeks over 3 choices and so I thought maybe some random strangers can help.

My company will pay for half of any computer I buy so keep that in mind.

1) XBOX 360 and lots of games/goodies
2) 20" iMac
3) New PC for gaming w/ 24" monitor

A bit of history. I am not a big console gamer but I used to own a 360 (before i sold it) and it was ok back then, though there really was nowhere near as many good games then. I mostly have been playing mmos for the last 7-8 years so PC has been my platform of choice. I also have been meaning to try out a mac for a long time.

My Pros and cons:

1) Xbox360

+ Cheapest overall
+ Most of my friends are playing 360 as their main gaming system
+ I am a big guitar hero/rock band fan
+ There are number of games I really want to try like Mass Effect
+ I bought a nice tv last year and am not getting as much use out of it as I should
- No work discount to take advantage of
- Had one before and got bored of it, history may repeat itself


2) iMac

+ New iMacs just came out and are very sexy
+ Been meaning to get into OS X for a long time
+ I'm a big fan of pretty interfaces
+ Can use work discount
- Would be tempted to fork out more cash for the 24" version
- Expensive in general
- Specs are no better than my work laptop for gaming
- I've made fun of mac users so long I will be seen as a hypocrite


3) New PC

+ Can build a very powerful machine for a low price
+ Will allow me to play some of the newer PC games at high quality
+ Can get a nice big monitor to go with it (i'm a big monitor nut)
+ Other uses besides gaming
+ Can use work discount
+ Less wear on work laptop as I won't be bringing it home every day
- Not many friends still PC gaming, most moved to consoles
- Will encourage me to play MMOs which I'm trying to get away from
- I can already more or less play current games on my laptop and none of them interest me that much right now


What should I do? :(

(I know not the most horrible dilemma to have)

whaambulance on

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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So I'm getting my xmas bonus within the next week or two and need to decide how to spend the small portion my girlfriend lets my spend on myself.

    Get your girlfriend some obedience classes! Is she in the kitchen right now?

    Seriously though, I just bought an XBox 360 and it's pretty cool thus far(I also already own a new computer though)

    Though I've only played Mass Effect >_>

    You could get a PC and instead of playing MMOs play, you know, REAL games

    BlochWave on
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    CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'd just like to contribute that the reasons you have for getting a mac seem very weak. If that's the way you end up being swayed, I'd highly recommend you spend some time with one before the purchase, because otherwise you could end up spending a lot of money on something you don't even end up liking.

    Both other options seem solid.

    CyberJackal on
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    WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    It seems like your main reason behind each of these purchase ideas is gaming, in which case I'd recommend the 360 hands down.

    It has a ton of great games, live is great (especially if your friends are on it) and it will totally make you forget about your pc gaming days.

    Wezoin on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Err, I dunno about that

    Most of the popular XBox games are on PC, and with a sufficient PC will run better with better graphics. One of the big XBox exclusives(exclusive so far), Mass Effect, is pretty but you can tell the XBox is benchpressing about 5 pounds above its max to run it.

    BlochWave on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If I were you I'd get the PC and the big monitor....

    Steam is fucking great. Call of Duty 4 is amazing with all the graphics maxed plus you get to use mouse and keyboard. The orange box is incredible and you can have more players in Team Fortress 2 at once. Free online play with dedicated servers instead of peer to peer. The Witcher is also a must play.

    Many of the top selling 360 games get ported over to PC within a year or year and a half. Gears of War just came out for PC last month. You can bet your ass that halo 3 is going to be ported over eventually.....you'll miss out on games with less of a following like Crackdown, Skate and rez/ikaruga when they come out for live arcade

    tracertong on
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    whaambulancewhaambulance Registered User new member
    edited December 2007
    Thanks for the input. I've taken the imac option off the table, really it wasn't a great idea to begin with.

    So either an xbox360 and a couple games or a fairly solid PC.

    I've specced out a PC for about 1700$. I used to be a systems builder before I got into IT but I am so out of touch with computer hardware now I don't know what is good. Maybe someone can comment on a better video card or processor combo, more bang for my buck?

    Intel C2 Duo E6420 2.13Ghz 1066Mhz FSB
    4Gb Kingston 800Mhz Dual-Channel RAM
    320gb Seagate SATA-300 HD
    Asus P5N-E SLI Socket 775 Motherboard
    Thermaltake Armor Jr. Black Mid-Tower Case
    Thermaltake TR2 Power 500-Watt Power Supply
    BFG GeForce 8800 GTS OC2 / 320MB GDDR3 / PCI Express
    Samsung SyncMaster 226BW / 22" Widescreen / 2ms / 3000:1
    LG GSA-H55N 20x Dual Layer Black DVD Burner

    I have been wanting to try ETQW and CoD4, and I do have a steam account with most of the games including orange box, so now I'm almost leaning toward PC. Plus I feel kind of weird not owning a PC since I spend about 90% of my life sitting in front of one.

    whaambulance on
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    KrikeeKrikee Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sounds like its down to a) game with your friends or b) game without them. I would vote 360 because your gaming "community" will make or break your experience and you can't go wrong with gaming with friends.

    Krikee on
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    WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'd take 1gb of ram off that spec, and see if that money can be better spent elsewhere. 2gb is becoming the new high end standard, 3gb wont really be used at all, and 4gb is just ridiculous.

    You could probably bump up your video card to the 8800GTX instead of GTS, or add a couple inches to your monitor.

    Wezoin on
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    tracertongtracertong Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You can get that stuff for less than $1700....are you using newegg? I wouldn't get 4 gigs of ram if I were you. For vista 2 gigs is fine and I do a lot of photoshop work and video editing as well as games.

    tracertong on
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    whaambulancewhaambulance Registered User new member
    edited December 2007
    I was using a local computer store where I know the owners and it just makes things easier. Their prices are over right on with Tiger Direct and NCIX so I'm not worried about overpaying. I'm in canada and don't want to order from NewEgg due to shipping and other complications.

    I was thinking of just getting 2gb of ram, that would save me 80$ only though, not sure that 80$ could do as much in any other component though. Also looks like now I'll be going for a 8800 GT instead of the GTS, for about 10 dollars cheaper also. And changing to a 2.6ghz 1333mhz Intel cpu instead which is also 30$ cheaper.

    whaambulance on
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    MalyonsusMalyonsus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    An additional note, 4Gb is the addressable limit for a 32-bit operating system, and under Windows 32-bit the limit is set to 3Gb for interesting but somewhat arcane reasons that I probably shouldn't get into. So since penetration of 64-bit Windows isn't particularly deep, I'd second the opinion that 2 or 3GB is sufficient, at least for the near future.

    Malyonsus on
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    CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Krikee wrote: »
    Sounds like its down to a) game with your friends or b) game without them. I would vote 360 because your gaming "community" will make or break your experience and you can't go wrong with gaming with friends.

    This is a very good point.

    CyberJackal on
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