I am looking for a gaming computer.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Dark Void, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011

    I have been posting here for a couple of weeks and I feel that this is a well educated community that can help me out with this decision and that is why I am posting this here. I realize that this is a Mac related forum, but this actually has to do with my Mac in the sense that I am looking for an alternative to it that allows me to do the things that I would prefer to leave to a computer with better speculations. "Buying Tips and Advice" was the most sensible sub-forum that I found in which I could post this, so if I can receive any help or information, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I use my Mac (2010 13'' MacBook Pro) for media purposes. Although I have gamed on it before with great results, (consistent 67 fps in World of Warcraft with custom settings using the Mac OS X client) I certainly would not want to run other, more intensive games on it via Boot Camp. I just feel like the integrated graphics can't handle too much, and while somewhat recent games may be playable, I am the kind of guy that doesn't really like to go under about 60 fps, which is a number that I have just assigned to my brain in reference to "smooth game play," although I am sure that number is different for everyone. With this being said, I need a Windows based gaming PC and I have been looking at iBUYPOWER because it seems very affordable. Here are the specs that I am considering:

    • AMD Athlon™ II X4 640 Quad-Core CPU
    • 8 GB DDR3-1600 Memory Module
    • AMD Radeon HD 6570 - 1GB
    • 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA III HDD

    The total cost is $593 which comes with a mouse, keyboard, and 3 year warranty. This does not include tax or shipping costs. I will most likely have to get a Windows 7 disc from them, so with that it is $697. I mainly want to play older games such as CoD4 and the like but I still want the ability to play current games, although not on ultra settings or anything. I am not too much of a graphics snob, as long as the game play is smooth then I am happy. What do you think of these specs? Furthermore, I realize that specs are not everything, so if anyone can provide specific information or share experiences with iBUYPOWER and their builds, then that would be very helpful.

    Also, a couple questions. Do you think liquid cooling would be necessary to maintain this computer? I can downgrade to a standard heatsink to save $10 or so and I might as well if I can. The video card I have selected requires at least a 500 watt power supply. Would it be ideal to bump that up to about a 700 watt for safe measures? It is only a few more dollars to upgrade.

    I am sorry for the length of the post but I hope that at least someone can help me. This is quite overwhelming when you want to get the specs just right for your usage and you are on kind of a tight budget. Thank you.
  2. Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    First of all, this is not a good place to ask for advice on buying a non-Mac computer.

    Second of all, I'm not saying this to be mean but simply as advice that you should take.

    700 hundred dollars is a truly a ridiculously high price for a PC of those specifications.

    You can of course, still buy it if you want, but a MUCH MUCH better gaming computer can be found for much less if you want to look around for sales.

    If you do end up buying the computer, you absolutely 100% do not need liquid cooling for hardware that is not at all power hungry.

    Second of all, that processor with a Radeon 6570, does not come CLOSE to needing a 500 watt power supply.


    You'll see from this benchmark, a 6570/6670 with an i5 2500K consumes 125 watts SYSTEM PEAK; ie total power consumption. Your computer will probably use around the same or even less. In any case, it will not even in the wildest scenario's come close to requiring a 500 watt power supply.

    Perhaps the place you're buying it from suggests a 500 watt power supply because they are using absurdly cheap, dated PSU's that have low amperage, and need the 500watt version for amps on the 12V rail, not for the actual wattage.

    In any case, because you said money was important to you, I strongly suggest you don't make the purchase.

    I would recommend buying a desktop on sale from the many PC manufacturers, then adding a nice midrange GPU (5770 maybe) after market for about 80 or 90 bucks.
  3. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    The 5770 was good in 2009 but it's outdated in 2011. For just slightly more money, AMD HD 6850 / Nvidia GTX 460 would be a better choice and AMD HD 6870 / Nvidia GTX 560 even better.
  4. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
  5. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    that is for everything minus a monitor (including a win7 disc), and i have a monitor to use. perhaps the specs are not worth the price as you said, but in comparison to other sites that i have browsed around, this seems to be the cheapest option in terms of customization such as this. perhaps that's not the way to go if i am on a budget. so if you would like to suggest a cheaper alternative, that would be appreciated. i know that you said any major pc manufacturer with aftermarket gpu, but any suggestions as to where to go specifically? and thanks for answering the power supply and heat sink questions that helps me out quite a bit.

    and yes, i realize that this is probably a bad place to ask such a question, but hey, look how much information i got in simply the first post. i posted here because i have come to realize in my short time here that this a good amount of this community really knows their stuff, so that is why i went through with the post. i am obviously not too well versed in this, but i do enjoy gaming so i can use all of the help i can get when i am trying to make a purchase to accomplish that.

    thanks for your post, i will start looking through various manufacturer models myself.
  6. Qusus, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

    Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    This guy actually posted a great link.

    Best deal right now for a gaming PC.

    There's one for about 630 + tax after the coupon code. Comes with an i7 2600 and a 5770. That should give you much much better performance at a cheaper cost than the specifications you described.

    Someone else pointed out that a 5770 isn't a great choice right now with the GTX 460 available for pretty cheap nowadays. This is true.

    You could buy an XPS without a dedicated video card from the link shown above (about $420 or so, keep in mind the coupon only works for desktops priced at 600 or higher), then add in a GTX 460 yourself from newegg.com

    You MIGHT also need to upgrade the power supply if you do the latter option (about 40 bucks or cheaper for a decent one).

    If you want to go through the minor hassle of getting one of the XPS's without a video card, then adding in a GTX 460 yourself (and also maybe a new PSU, which is a bigger hassle), you'll save a little bit of money and get a little better gaming machine. But if you're not comfortable with that then the i7 2600 w/ the 5770 is a good choice for 630 bucks.

    Either option should get you a powerhouse gaming computer that's considerably more powerful than the one you originally wanted for around $550-$650 or even less.
  7. Dark Void, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2011

    Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    well the problem is that coupon code expires today and there's no way i could go for it at the present moment.

    i'm thinking what i posted isn't that ridiculous, but the hardware doesn't add up too well. i looked up the specific parts and they account for about $300 of the $593. i found $99 for the processor, ~$75 for 8gb, ~$75 for the gfx card, and low end $50 for the hdd. that obviously doesn't include the case or anything. the big thing to me is the 3 year warranty included in the price. if you wanted to go for such a warranty on a major manufacturer desktop it would cost ~$200 or so, obviously not dead but dell's is $250 as an example. therefore, i think the deal that i posted isn't too bad. then again i bet they will rack up the cost a lot more with tax and shipping, so it's probably not worth it. though i definitely agree that if i can take advantage of one of these coupon deals then that is certainly the way to go.

    edit: does a phenom II x4 840/8gb 1600mhz ram/nvidia gtx 460/500gb 7200 rpm hdd for $690 sound any better? that's with the 3yr warranty as well.
  8. Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    That does sound better but it's still a overpriced imo.

    Everything else is solid but the the x4 840 is a very poor gaming processor, which these days is becoming increasingly important. (Unlike even a few years ago where processors had little affect on gaming.)

    Some of the prices you listed are also a little high (though you forgot to include a motherboard which balances it out).

    You've also overstated the value of a warranty for 2 reasons:

    Firstly, on a desktop computer, nothing that isn't faulty right away isn't likely to break in 3 years. At worst, a HD will go bad, but a replacement costs 50 dollars.

    Secondly, you don't have to buy a warranty from Dell, you can get one from Squaretrade for less than 100 bucks.

    700 dollars for a computer with an x4 840 is way too much these days. The difference between that and an Sandy Bridge Intel processor is night and day for gaming.

    Even if you can't get that computer right now, there will always be another sale around the corner. I would wait for a similar deal to the one posted, the most important aspect being the CPU if the price is right. Everything else you can essentially just plug and play with a later upgrade.
  9. shyam09 macrumors 68020


    Oct 31, 2010
    here are two links:
    Intel Core i7-740QM 1.73GHz quad-core processor, 14.5" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200 rpm hard drive, dual-layer DVD burner, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB switchable video card with HDMI, backlit keyboard, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth, webcam, 8-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
    [that's a laptop.. obviously you want a desktop but in case]

    the next one is one of those Build it urself ones:
    it's a great deal, maybe change a few things here and there, but a great deal nevertheless :p

    hope this helps.

    PS> if you are a student or professor or teacher, you can go to the HP Academy Store, sign up and get great instant discounts too. i was looking for a computer for my cousin [PC] and i wen to the academy and i got about 300 bucks of a 21.5 top of the line all ni one. not bad.
  10. Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    @qusus: this is great information. i used to game a while back (hence my intentions of playing older games) and i was under the impression that processors didn't have much of an effect on gaming. it's good to know that isn't the case now as i would like the ability to play more recent games as well smoothly like i said. your reasonings on the warranty are good points. i figured that even though if i have a computer built for gaming, the parts would still get used to the point where they just go within the first three years. i have had video cards die on me within a few months in the past and i doubt that is a situation where the part as faulty as a few months of use doesn't seem like it would be a defect, but i could be wrong.

    i think now what i am going to do is look at the processor first thing and go from there. i will most likely look for a quad core i5 as they seem more affordable than the i7. if there are any performance links or recommendations as far as desktops concerning i5's, that would be helpful when i am looking for them myself (or if you would suggest an i7 over an i5). thanks a lot for your help man.

    @shyam09: thank you for posting those links, although the second one seems to have expired. and yes, i am looking for a desktop as i have a mbp for any laptop needs.

    i appreciate all of the help everyone.
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    You could build it yourself and get a better machine. Plus you can use a high quality PSU that is 80 plus certified for power efficiency. The energy efficient PSU's tend to be of higher quality parts, so they actually hit their listed watt ratings. They aren't as likely to burn out, overheat or come nowhere close to their stated ratings like the junk PSU's thrown in those prefab PC's.

    Not only a good PSU. You can also have a well made case that has good ventilation and is easy to add upgrades to.

    For $675 you can get a good gaming computer on Newegg. You could probably go lower if you shopped around for parts.

    Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5
    PSU: Xigmatek 600W (yes it is overkill but the same price of some lower watt models so why not; it is 80 Plus Bronze certified with great customer ratings)
    CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 840 (You can get the faster Phenom II x4 Black Editions for not much more but they use more electricity)
    GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6870
    HD: 500GB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda
    RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz (the CPU's only support 1333 so why go 1600)
    DVD: Lite-On DVD+R DL, Lightscribe &c
    Motherboard: Biostar A870U3
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit OEM

    All for $675 + Shipping and Tax

    If your budget was higher than $700 I would go with a Quad Core i5 2500K and Radeon 6950 2GB.
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    This is a Mac forum dammit! Here's what you need:

    Apple Mac Pro
    One 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”
    8GB (4x2GB)
    512GB solid-state drive
    2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB

  13. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I did something really insane. I converted my iMac a dedicated Windows 7 Professional machine and loaded it up with games. I had a PC tower and it just was too loud. My games run better on the iMac and I don't mind the extra costs.
  14. Dark Void, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2011

    Dark Void thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    @velocityg4: thanks for your post. the gaming PCs on newegg consist primarily of iBUYPOWER or Cyberpower builds so I doubt I will get that much better of a deal there. i'm certainly not qualified enough to build my own desktop, so i am not so sure on that, although it is probably the most cost efficient.

    is there any benefit to newegg that i am missing (in terms of buying prebuilt desktops)? it seems like they offer more expensive models then simply customizing it yourself on one of these build sites.

    edit: i certainly overlooked the shipping portion from buying from newegg, it's much cheaper than the customization sites. i think now what i will do is just look out for deals as suggested to get a good upgradeable baseline through pc manufacturer websites or newegg.

    thank you to everyone who has posted and for understanding where i am coming from instead of just blowing me off being that this is a mac forum. i had my reasons for posting here and i appreciate all of the responses that i got. take care everyone.

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