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Old 11-08-2010, 08:14 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,974,381 times
Reputation: 12847

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteGal View Post
Sorry for the double-post - I just clicked the link. Hmmm... if grandparents and I went in together.... Would this last a while? Or would it be phased out within a year?

Sorry, too, for my ignorance here - but I wouldn't need to ask if I knew!
There's 4 gaming desktop tiers:

Highend ($2000+)
Mid-level ($1200+)
Lowend ($600+)
Reject

Add about 30% in price for laptop variants.

Whatever computer you purchase will degrade 1 level every year. Keeping up with laptops for an avid gamer can get very expensive. With desktops, you can swap in and out parts to make it last longer.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:02 AM
 
7,376 posts, read 13,035,695 times
Reputation: 6974
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteGal View Post
I was *hoping* for $500 or less - am I just dreaming?


yes you are, maybe just give him 500 dollars

You can get a laptop for that price but not a "gaming" laptop.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,329,995 times
Reputation: 1945
$500? Try an Xbox360 or so...
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:58 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 36,585,985 times
Reputation: 14404
Gaming is such a relative thing. How much to spend really comes down to what you ultimately want to do and whether you really care about being able to flip every setting to "Maximum". I just got done building a new computer (only recycled my monitor mouse and keyboard) and spent about $800 (that included Win7) for something that while not bleeding edge is more than capable of playing pretty much any game out there and is a little future proof to boot.

I think the biggest hurdle you are going to hit is the fact that you will need a monitor and other periphereals as well as the entire computer. I think $1,000 is a much more accurate budget for a decent gaming rig. I would also strongly recommend sticking with a desktop as it gives you the most options for future upgrades and changes.

Just to try and help you out, I went out to the Cyberpower site. They are probably about the cheapest custom PC builder you are going to find. I specced out a decent gaming system with everything he would need (monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc.). The total came to $1,083, but they also have a promotion going where you enter "myspace" and get $30 off. They also have free shipping with the current sale.

Quote:
BASE_PRICE: [+819]
BLUETOOTH: None
BUNDLE: None
CAS: CoolerMaster Elite 430 Mid-Tower Gaming Case with Side Panel Window [-10]
CASUPGRADE: None
CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
CD2: None
CPU: AMD Phenom™II X4 955 Black Edition Quad-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology [-44]
CS_FAN: Maximum 120MM Color Case Cooling Fans for your selected case [+15] (Blue Color)
FA_HDD: None
FAN: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA)
FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)
FLOPPY: None
FREEBIE_CU1: FREE Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
FREEBIE_CU2: FREE 4GB MP3 Audio Player
FREEBIE_VC1: FREE Blacklight: Tango Down Coupon with purchase of ATI Radeon HD5670 video card or above
FREEGAME_VC02: FREE! (Stormrise) Game
GLASSES: None
HDD: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
HDD2: None
IEEE_CARD: None
KEYBOARD: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard
LANSURGE: None
MB_ADDON: None
MEMORY: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (A-Data Gaming Series with Heat Spreader)
MONITOR: 22" Widescreen 1920x1080 ViewSonic VG2227WM (Viewable 21.5 inch) LCD (Black Color) w/ Built-in D-Sub & DVI Input [+199]
MONITOR2: None
MONITOR3: None
MOTHERBOARD: Asus M4A87TD EVO AMD 870 Chipset CrossFireX Support DDR3 Socket AM3 ATX w/ 7.1 Audio, GbLAN, IEEE1394a, USB3.0, SATA-III, RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 1 PCIe X1, & 3 PCI
MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
MULTIVIEW: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium [+104] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY: 600 Watts - XtremeGear Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready
PRINTER: None
PRINTER_CABLE: None
RUSH: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
SPEAKERS: 600Watts PMPO Subwoofer Stereo Speakers
TEMP: None
TVRC: None
USB: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
USBFLASH: None
USBHD: None
USBX: None
VC_PHYSX: None
VIDEO: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by ATI)
VIDEO2: None
VIDEO3: None
WNC: None
_PRICE: (+1083)
_view_: d
There are better systems out there, but his will rock WoW without any issues for a long time to come. Also, since it is USB 3.0 and SATA3 it will scale better for the future. I picked the AMD setup over the Intel, even though Intel has the edge now because AMD is cheaper and has a better upgrade path with the AM3 socket.

There are systems cheaper than this and the main way to save money is to scale back on the CPU, motherboard and video card, but doing that will really hurt performance, especially in games. Even then, you may only save $250. Computer parts these days are a lot like movie theater popcorn. Once you've committed to buying the entry level, each "upgrade" is relatively inexpensive compared to the performance gain, so if you're going to buy the small, the medium is a lot more for not a lot more money and the large isn't much more than the medium.

The only other option I would throw out there is looking for a local PC shop and seeing what they have. Many times those shops will have refurbed laptops that are cheap, come with a warranty and may suit your needs.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:33 PM
 
Location: New Hampsha
1,527 posts, read 2,355,656 times
Reputation: 533
you can get some good deals from the dell outlet. im running a 3 year old dell xps 420 and it still runs games fine
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:23 PM
 
Location: In Phoenix by way of San Antonio
1,682 posts, read 2,751,190 times
Reputation: 1247
If he dosent have a console, PS3-360, get him that. Saves alot of money and its just as good.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 4,084,460 times
Reputation: 3037
Thanks so much for these replies!

He does have an XBox360 and PS2, and we've also got a Wii and a couple DSi's. I'll ask the grands for some assistance, and we'll see what kind of system we can put together.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:25 PM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,609,166 times
Reputation: 37303
Doesn't it all come down to what he's going to play on the system? For example the OP mentioned Garry's Mod. Here are the requirements. I'm not seeing why a decent laptop won't run this easily.

  • Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® Vista/XP/2000
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE)
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB
    • Other Requirements: Internet Connection

  • Recommended:
    • Processor: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better)
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:19 PM
 
28,631 posts, read 40,609,166 times
Reputation: 37303
??

HP G62 Notebook 2.20GHz, 250GB, 15.6" - Sam's Club
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:08 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 36,585,985 times
Reputation: 14404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Doesn't it all come down to what he's going to play on the system? For example the OP mentioned Garry's Mod. Here are the requirements. I'm not seeing why a decent laptop won't run this easily.

  • Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® Vista/XP/2000
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE)
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB
    • Other Requirements: Internet Connection
  • Recommended:
    • Processor: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better)
    • Memory: 1GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card
She mentioned Garry's Mod, but she also mentioned "stuff from Steam" and World of Warcraft. Garry's Mod may not be very intensive, but WoW certainly can be, as well as pretty much any other modern game.

Yes, that laptop may allow him to do some things (Garry's Mod), but it really doesn't have the horsepower (especially in terms of GPU) to do everything that he wants to do.

IMO, if you are going to be spending $400 on a laptop, you are already about half way to a much more robust system that would let him play whatever he wanted as well as be upgradeable. The achilles heel in any laptop for gaming is the GPU and the one you suggested isn't any different. It uses the integrated Radeon 4250, which isn't even really a graphics card, but a built in chipset that can access the onboard memory and is primarily driven by the CPU. While it would be a decent web/HD video player it would be horrendous for gaming. Reviews state: "Still, older games like Doom 3 or Quake 4 should be barely playable." No matter how you slice it on a laptop, the fact that you are using integrated graphics (no matter how good they are the day you buy it) precludes it from being a good gaming solution. You end up in the position of looking to buy a new laptop in a year or two to play the latest and greatest versus dropping $150 - $200 for a better graphics card in your desktop.

When it comes down to it, gaming requires horsepower. You certainly don't need a top-of-the-line system to do it, but you need more than a basic computer. I just don't see a way to get a decent gaming PC that will be able to hold it's own for a couple years for much less than $650 if you are starting from scratch (and build it yourself) and that's not including a monitor/mouse/keyboard that will easily add another $150 - $250 depending on the type of monitor you choose.
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