Caving in...

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
This year for Christmas I will be building a PC for World of Warcraft. My 1ghz iBook is great but it just can't do MC and BWl at the level I would like. I am new to this whole PC thing and will need some advice. My budget is gonna be pretty low probably under $600. So I need know what I will I need and if it will be possible to make a for my budget. Any advice is appreciated.
 

7254278

macrumors 68020
Apr 11, 2004
2,365
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NYC
My advice is get a mac mini. Get a top of the line mac mini with 1gb of ram and by christmas it will probably have 64mb of vram. It wont handle it as well as a PC but it should be find on medium low settings, much better FPS then your ibook and its a mac, it can replace your ibook overall and it fits you budget.
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 17, 2003
956
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Daytona Beach
Patmian212 said:
My advice is get a mac mini. Get a top of the line mac mini with 1gb of ram and by christmas it will probably have 64mb of vram. It wont handle it as well as a PC but it should be find on medium low settings, much better FPS then your ibook and its a mac, it can replace your ibook overall and it fits you budget.
No it can't replace my iBook I take it to school every day and use it. I guess I was not clear enough I am keeping the iBook just building a PC for gaming.
 

7254278

macrumors 68020
Apr 11, 2004
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NYC
By replace I ment, replace it for gaming and other tasks, not replace as in sell your ibook.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,388
42
1123.6536.5321
I agree, I think the Mac Mini would be an excellent solution if all you're looking at this new machine for is playing WoW. And, as patmian212 said, you could even do other things on it as well besides gaming. ;) It's a great little machine. :)
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 17, 2003
956
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Daytona Beach
~Shard~ said:
I agree, I think the Mac Mini would be an excellent solution if all you're looking at this new machine for is playing WoW. And, as patmian212 said, you could even do other things on it as well besides gaming. ;) It's a great little machine. :)
It is a great machine but its graphics card is still very very bad also its not long-term because I cannot keep upgrading it like I can a PC.
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
personally i see no reason to get a mac mini if you're getting a machine specifically for gaming. it's kidding yourself to think you'll have the future proof gaming system in it that you'd have in a self built pc

how much you think you'll spend on the pc? (i ask out of complete ignorance)
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
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that's poor advice, honestly.

Do you intend to get monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers in that "less than 600 dollars"?

If so, that's going to be quite a squeeze. Also, will you need to purchase a copy of windows, also? Don't forget that.

If you're really good at internet shopping, that will leave you with 400 bucks for case, power supply, motherboard, RAM, CPU, optical drive, hard drive and graphics card. It can be done.

It's not easy at that price though. The reason why is essentially because you have to make LOT of compromises with that kind of budget. The comfortable "bottom-end" for a machine is about 600 bucks NOT including monitor/kb/mouse/speakers/OS.

If you can do that, then no problem. Buy a 50 dollar case/power supply combo, with plans to upgrade the PSU some time before a year has gone by, because cheap power supplies don't last forever...it's probably the first thing you'll want to upgrade that you will never think about. You need a good 50 bucks to get a decent one, but that can't be done in a 500-600 dollar project PC, so forget it for now. I ran on a "free" PSU included with my case (which was 25 bucks) for a year and a half, and then the PSU died and I bought a 75 dollar one.

Spend no more than 100 bucks on a hard drive. (that will get you about 250GB)
Spend no more than 120 bucks on a processor including the cooling solution (Athlon XP 2800 should fit easily under that, go with the 64 bit version if you can, though. Socket 939 is good)
Spend no more than 60-70 bucks on a single RAM chip (corsair value select is a good choice at under 70 bucks for a 1 GB chip.)
Spend no more than 100 dollars on a motherboard (and make sure it includes ethernet, sound, and as many other features as possible)
Spend no more than 30 bucks on a CD-RW drive or, optionally $50 on a DVD-RW drive.
Spend the rest of the money you can afford to spend on a graphics card. Get at LEAST a GeForce 6600, get the GT version if you can. There's a new DDR2-based 6600 that's just under 100 bucks and is a good bit faster than they were last year. I'd go with that if I were you.

A mac mini will leave you with a machine that's only marginally (if any) faster than your ibook, and it's NOT any better in the graphics department.

be prepared for some OS frustration with windows, especially if you've never really used it before. It's, at present, a necessary evil if you want to play computer games without going nuts.
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
well, he's a Mac user who needs some help. This is where he's used to being, and there's nothing wrong with asking those questions here. There are a LOT of "Mac users" here who have gaming computers that are PCs because Apple had dropped so many gaming-related balls over the past decade.

He probably knew that the mac mini existed, and he probably also knew that it was identical to his ibook, just taller in a square instead of a rectangle, minus a screen.

A great many of us here understand his situation, and I think he asked in the right place. Try telling a "budget PC gaming forum" that you're a mac user wanting to build a cheap gaming PC and see how much ridicule you are subjected to before someone bothers to give you a straight answer...bah.
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
benpatient said:
that's poor advice, honestly.

Do you intend to get monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers in that "less than 600 dollars"?

If so, that's going to be quite a squeeze. Also, will you need to purchase a copy of windows, also? Don't forget that.

Thanks for the advice. I have a monitor keyboard mouse and HD already so I am covered there. Also I was thinking about useing Linux and Wine to save money on the OS.
 

AoWolf

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 17, 2003
956
0
Daytona Beach
benpatient said:
A great many of us here understand his situation, and I think he asked in the right place. Try telling a "budget PC gaming forum" that you're a mac user wanting to build a cheap gaming PC and see how much ridicule you are subjected to before someone bothers to give you a straight answer...bah.
That is indeed why I posted here. Telling PC people you are coming form a mac never seems to work. Also I expected someone to try and convince me to wait for intel macs :p
 

7254278

macrumors 68020
Apr 11, 2004
2,365
0
NYC
I know the mac mini isnt a gaming computer but it is hardly identical to is ibook there is a 420mhz difference, and yes the GFX card sucks but thats why I said only get it IF there are updates in the near future like a radeon 9600/9650/9700 with 64 and maybe an option to upgrade to 128 and maybe a 1.5-1.6GHZ processor. And it runs Mac OS X, I mean if he can run it on his ibook imagine the FPS on an upgraded mini with the new video cards. Yes its not a gaming computer but if you only do light gaming and WoW it should be fine. Didnt want to repeat myself just clarify my advice.
 

7254278

macrumors 68020
Apr 11, 2004
2,365
0
NYC
AoWolf said:
That is indeed why I posted here. Telling PC people you are coming form a mac never seems to work. Also I expected someone to try and convince me to wait for intel macs :p
This is just me talkin but I wouldnt trust a rev 1 mactel.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
Anandtech do fairly regular build-your-own guides. This is their last budget one from Oct 14 (this page shows the summary of specs) - http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=2563&p=8

Scroll halfway down the page for the budget gaming system. Their suggestions come to about $850, including keyboard, speakers, 19" CRT monitor etc but excluding OS. Since you're building your own, you can legally buy an OEM version of XP for about half the price of retail.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
BrandonSi said:
Wow, this shouldn't be this difficult.

Get this system.
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=DB110A&s=dhs

Upgrade the Ram and a nice video card.

Comes with a monitor and windows as well, and you'll be right around ~600. It's not the super mega gaming machine, but it will blow your iBook out of the water as far as gaming is concerned.
Hmm, I think you must be mistaken. That particular PC has a maximum 256MB RAM, maximum 80GB HD and integrated graphics - ie. no graphics upgrade options. What's more, its Celeron D is at 2.53GHz, and considering that most games don't take advantage of dual processors, it's effectively equivalent to a single P4 at 1.8GHz for games, ie. it's actually worse than my 4 year old Dell (which is maxed out at 1GB RAM)

So, overall, that's a pretty poor choice for games. Fine for general office work, but not games.
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Umm, why buy a Mac mini when you can build a much better gaming PC for the same price, if not less?

Go to NewEgg and build a decent gaming PC. By decent, I don't mean the cutting edge... Check out the Radeon 9800's, and stick in a AMD 64 3200+ and 512 or 1 GB DDR400 RAM in a slightly old motherboard (AGP8x/DDR, not the latest PCI Express/DDR2 ones), and you will blaze through MC and BWI on budget prices.
 

James Philp

macrumors 65816
Mar 5, 2005
1,494
0
Oxford/London
benpatient said:
well, he's a Mac user who needs some help. This is where he's used to being, and there's nothing wrong with asking those questions here. There are a LOT of "Mac users" here who have gaming computers that are PCs because Apple had dropped so many gaming-related balls over the past decade.

He probably knew that the mac mini existed, and he probably also knew that it was identical to his ibook, just taller in a square instead of a rectangle, minus a screen.

A great many of us here understand his situation, and I think he asked in the right place. Try telling a "budget PC gaming forum" that you're a mac user wanting to build a cheap gaming PC and see how much ridicule you are subjected to before someone bothers to give you a straight answer...bah.
yeah sorry bout my original post - in a bit of a phunk. However I still believe that you will find better resources on this subject simply by googling, no offense fellow Mac members!
If it's Mac advice you want here is the best.
Actually, this is the best forum I've seen on the 'net - that's why Im a member I guess, so forget everything I said before! :confused: :p

That said, you also run the risk of getting it from Mac zealots who will tell you to get a Mac Mini for gaming - bah! ;) :D
 

7254278

macrumors 68020
Apr 11, 2004
2,365
0
NYC
OHHHHHH NO YOU DIDNT! I know you didnt just insult macs! DONT MAKE ME BUST A CAP IN YO @SS! Sleep with one eye open ye hear!!!!! :D :D

Ok now that enough melodramatic posts for today

/off topic
 

cubist

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2002
2,075
0
Muncie, Indiana
AoWolf said:
Thanks for the advice. I have a monitor keyboard mouse and HD already so I am covered there. Also I was thinking about useing Linux and Wine to save money on the OS.
What, can you run WoW in Wine? I doubt it. But you can find a Win98 for cheap.
 

BrandonSi

macrumors regular
Oct 13, 2005
115
0
Chicago, IL
plinden said:
Hmm, I think you must be mistaken. That particular PC has a maximum 256MB RAM, maximum 80GB HD and integrated graphics - ie. no graphics upgrade options. What's more, its Celeron D is at 2.53GHz, and considering that most games don't take advantage of dual processors, it's effectively equivalent to a single P4 at 1.8GHz for games, ie. it's actually worse than my 4 year old Dell (which is maxed out at 1GB RAM)

So, overall, that's a pretty poor choice for games. Fine for general office work, but not games.
Maximum? Hardly.. Maximum available to purchase through Dell maybe.. You can buy AGP (or pci-x, whatever it supports) graphics cards, replace the hard drive and expand the ram. It's not a poor choice for games, it's not the super computer you may may be envisioning, but it's a far cry from his current iBook. As for coming with a monitor and XP (legally), I think for $400 it's a deal, and leaves $200 for expaning ram and the video card. He could easily get a better video card and up to 1GB ram for $200.
 

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
0
NYC
BrandonSi said:
Maximum? Hardly.. Maximum available to purchase through Dell maybe.. You can buy AGP (or pci-x, whatever it supports) graphics cards, replace the hard drive and expand the ram. It's not a poor choice for games, it's not the super computer you may may be envisioning, but it's a far cry from his current iBook. As for coming with a monitor and XP (legally), I think for $400 it's a deal, and leaves $200 for expaning ram and the video card. He could easily get a better video card and up to 1GB ram for $200.
Dell typically allows you to fill all the slots in the computer with upgrades.

This means that there will be no AGP slot, no PCI-X and no extra RAM slots.

Meaning you are stuck with the integrated graphics, unless you want to buy a craptastic old PCI graphics card, and you won't have any more than 256 megs of RAM, under which most games will not even open.

Bad choice.