Going to get into PC gaming, but what computer should I get?

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#1 Posted by bobderwood97_1 (963 posts) -

So I'm looking to get into PC gaming for the first time in order to play BF4 with my friends. I'd like a fairly powerful machine to play BF4 on the recommended settings, but what I'm noticing is that I can get a little bit of a cheaper machine pre-built. Here's what I've boiled it down to (so far), would you guys mind telling me what you think is the best set up out of these (or suggest one?)

I found this Dell for $1012.40 w/ tax & shipping:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8065338&sku=D211-G1202

This ibuypower computer for $881.27 with tax, but without wireless (which I'll need to buy separate, so +$50? and -1 pci or usb port)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ibuypower-desktop-16gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive/6979896.p?id=1218818471131&skuId=6979896#tab=overview

I saw on another board these two options which were interesting:

http://www.directron.com/bf4-budget-gamer-am3-plus-computer-2.html

http://www.directron.com/bf4-budget-gamer-am3-plus-computer-1.html

And microcenter quoted me 976.23 for an almost complete build:

intel core 17-4770k — $279.99,

GTX 660SC 2gb — 209.99,

win8 — $99.99,

asus z87-a (sli) lga 1150-atx — $119.99,

dvd-rw — $15.99,

1tb toshiba hdd — 57.99

thermalata tr2 700w atx PSU — $69.99

zsus werless N — $49.99

But he forgot to include ram (which seems like it's roughly $10 a gig so +$80 at least)

My friend is willing to give me a tower and I'll be using my tv as a monitor, but I don't have a mouse and keyboard either so the first two options seem like a better way to go for the money. Right now I'm leaning towards the Dell, but what you you guys think? I don't have to have the absolutely best set up ever, but I do want to play BF4 on the recommended settings.

#2 Edited by Elann2008 (32953 posts) -

At least get a GTX 760 ACX (EVGA). Or perhaps, an AMD 7970 if you can find one for a decent price, within your budget.

#3 Posted by buccomatic (1941 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a video card that has at least 4gb of vram and 16 gb of system memory.

people will tell you that 3gb video cards are good enough, and that may be true for right now, but they will be worthless by the end of 2014 and you'll have to upgrade again. so i would get at least a gtx 760 4gb or a gtx 770 4gb

#4 Posted by ZEYAAM898 (1921 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a . . . 16 gb of system memory.

Are you kidding me!
my rig has got 12 gigs and I've NEVER even utilized 8 gigs of it at once!
16 gb is wayyy too much IMHO

#5 Posted by bobderwood97_1 (963 posts) -

For right now, ram is the least of my concerns. If I go with 12gigs and find out that I need more then its easy enough (and cheap enough) to just buy some more and plug it into the rig.

I'm looking to spend around $1000 for the whole thing, (hopefully including a mouse and keyboard) and while I know I wont be able to get everything on my wishlist for that, I think that I should be able to get a computer that can run bf4 at pretty high settings. This is why I'm looking at the pre-built machines, they just seem to offer a better bang for the buck...

bf4 and starcraft 2 are the only games I know I'm going to be playing on the PC for now. So, I'm thinking that the next big release comes out that I'm interested in wont be for a while, and by that point I'd probably need to do a little bit of upgrading anyway.

If I was to go with my own build though a GTX 760 doesn't seem completely out of the question, but do I really need that to run bf4 at very-high/ultra? How high of settings could I get if I went with a GTX 660 Ti (which comes pre-built into the dell I'm interested in: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8065338&sku=D211-G1202 )?

#6 Edited by Postmortem123 (7566 posts) -

Get a better video card, that prebuilt comes with a 660.

It's not even a 660 ti, which would be at least acceptable, but a 4770k with 660 is stupid.

#7 Posted by evildead6789 (6817 posts) -

@Postmortem123: the small difference between the 660ti and 660 can't make or brake the deal lol

#8 Posted by Postmortem123 (7566 posts) -

@Postmortem123: the small difference between the 660ti and 660 can't make or brake the deal lol

The extra 40% cuda cores sure helps, though. But yeah it's a bad deal anyway.

#9 Posted by SirSlimyScott (266 posts) -
#10 Posted by Elaisse2 (20 posts) -

Allot of crap in this thread wow, Id say build your own rig and go with.

newer ive bridge K series i5 you dont needa 7.

760 or 770 gpu minimum id say is a 670 not much difference from what ive heard.

SSD drive 250GB with a TB HDD for extra storage samsung ssd on amazon

Id stay with stock cooling unless you plan on overclocking your cpu my rig runs fine.

8Gb of ram will do you fine id wait for a sale there are tons of them

Id keep an eye out for deals on KB and mouse there should be tons of bundle.

That setup should keep you in going for quite awhile. The Vram ive been doing good with 2g and games run just fine. If you want ot spend the little extra and get the 4g it would be future proofing it for quite a few years.

#11 Posted by superclocked (5812 posts) -

Get an i5 and a better videocard. The i7 isn't really better for gaming, and a 2GB 660 is going to age quickly...

#12 Edited by Netherscourge (16327 posts) -

All that really matters:

1. A CPU with AT LEAST 4 Cores. 8 cores if money is not an issue.

2. 8GB of SYSTEM RAM - DDR3. No more than 8GBs unless you're into video editing/capturing.

3. A GPU card with AT LEAST 3GB of RAM (GDDR5 most likely, but it varies)

4. A PSU with AT LEAST 650WATTS of power - a MODULAR PSU is even better since you wont have unused cables hanging down all over the place.

5. A LARGE PC TOWER so you can fit BIG video cards inside it comfortably.

6. A SOLID STATE HARD DRIVE - they can be expensive, but they load data SOOOO much faster than HDDs.

7. A decent DVD-ROM drive for giggles. I don't even use mine anymore now that I'm all digital. But in case of boot emergencies, it's good to have one.

#13 Edited by jhonMalcovich (4337 posts) -

You don´t need i7 for gaming ( i7 = i5 in almost all gaming bechmarks). Go for i5 4670, use the difference to get a better GPU. Always prioritize GPU. You´d better get a new 300$ Radeon with Mantle support.

Remove that dvd-rw — $15.99. Lol. You don´t need that on PC anymore. Better get a 16GB pendrive and make it bootable.

Get a 1.5/2 T of an HDD. And make a huge partition for Steam games. Like 1T. I have 3.5T and it´s barely enough for me. Lol.

#14 Posted by Gooeykat (3345 posts) -

@buccomatic said:

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a . . . 16 gb of system memory.

Are you kidding me!

my rig has got 12 gigs and I've NEVER even utilized 8 gigs of it at once!

16 gb is wayyy too much IMHO

Agree, I've got 8 gb and my system barely uses 4gb even under heavy load.

#15 Posted by PredatorRules (7049 posts) -

1st, unless you go with Titan or 7990 there's no need in i7 4770k, replace it with i5 and get better GPU like the R9 280x or the 770GTX

#16 Posted by DJ_Headshot (6176 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a video card that has at least 4gb of vram and 16 gb of system memory.

people will tell you that 3gb video cards are good enough, and that may be true for right now, but they will be worthless by the end of 2014 and you'll have to upgrade again. so i would get at least a gtx 760 4gb or a gtx 770 4gb

Worthless is gross overstatement for a 3GB card at 1080p it will be fine at higher resolutions I would be a little bit worried but I don't intend to upgrade beyond 1080p anytime soon also I'm perfectly fine with using post processing AA like SMAA as opposed to VRAM and GPU Intensive MSAA so even less for me to worry about. The people that want to turn up 8xMSAA at 2560x1440 in all games though would defiantly benefit from more VRAM.

I also believe 8GB will be sufficient he would be better off getting 2 4gb sticks and allocating the money he would have spent on 4 towards a better gpu or cpi and just tossing in some more ram sticks if and when games demand for more ram imo.

#17 Edited by bobderwood97_1 (963 posts) -

Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it. After reading what you guys wrote I think I'll get this:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-8700/pd?oc=fddogx312&model_id=xps-8700

And I'll upgrade the graphics card to a GTX 760 or 770. I already have a 650w power supply at home that I can upgrade the machine with, so the 450w psu that comes pre-packaged won't be an issue.

Do you guys happen to know where I can get a GTX 770 (preferably 4gb) for cheap that would be compatible with this machine? I found out that my mom gets a discount on Dells through her job, and I'm hoping to spend around $400ish on a gpu in order to stay on budget.

#18 Posted by Endgame_basic (928 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a video card that has at least 4gb of vram and 16 gb of system memory.

people will tell you that 3gb video cards are good enough, and that may be true for right now, but they will be worthless by the end of 2014 and you'll have to upgrade again. so i would get at least a gtx 760 4gb or a gtx 770 4gb

Your idea of what constitutes worthless is pretty off...

#19 Edited by PredatorRules (7049 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: if you're low on budget for the GPU like the GTX770 or the 760 you can always go with the R9 280X, by benchmarks it stays close to the 770 but is almost half of that price

#20 Edited by buccomatic (1941 posts) -

to anyone who thinks 8gb of system memory is enough, i would like to call to attention the fact that we are in the middle of a crossover to next gen specs. you need to think of what's coming next instead how it is now or has been in the past. look at the steam machines that are being built for beta testing, they all have 16gb to 19gb of system memory. don't think that just because 8gb is fine for now that it will be enough for 2014/2015 and onward (gabe newell knows what he is doing).

when the devs start coding to the metal (2014-2015), 8gb memory and 2-3gb video cards simply won't be enough, unless you like playing your games at low 720p - 900p type resolutions with both shadows and AA lowered or turned off completely - YUK!

#21 Edited by buccomatic (1941 posts) -

Here are the high to ultra high system specs one should consider for next gen gaming that is coming in 2014-2015 and onward:

CPU: fx 8350, i7 4770k, i7 3930k, i7 4930k

GPU: gtx 760 4gb, gtx 770 4gb, hd 7970 6gb, gtx titan le 5gb, gtx titan 6gb, r9 290x 4gb, gtx titan ultra 6gb (avoid crossfire and sli - go with single gpu)

System Memory: 16gb 1600mz - 2133mhz (1.5 volt modules if possible).

Hard Drive/Storage: 1-2 TB hard drive @ 10,00 rpm large cache / SSD boot (games will be HUGE)

USB 3.0 case

Optical Drive: blu ray if you aren't going to do digital DL.

*the point of pc gaming is that you get to play a better version of the game with amazing graphics, amazing mods, high resolutions, KB/M (if you prefer), high fps, upgradable parts (continual next gen), and best use of all the special effects built into pc games - shadows, AA, tessellation etc...

*if you want to play pc games at lower or mid settings ("best bang for the buck"), you're wasting your time and money. you would be better off just getting a low end "next gen" console or saving up for another 6 months to get high end pc parts to get the full high end pc experience.

*you're going to spend a lot of money no matter what, so you might as well get something that will be a big step above those garbage consoles that have low fps, low resolution at high optimization.

#22 Edited by kraken2109 (12948 posts) -

The problem with buying something like a Dell is that the motherboard, case and power supply will suck. A crap motherboard means missing features, probably a low number of ports, no overclocking, poor upgradability etc

A crap power supply could make upgrading difficult.

A crap case can limit upgrades and probably have poor cooling and general build quality.

The Dell may seem like a good deal, but remember they will be cutting corners in several areas.

#23 Posted by superclocked (5812 posts) -

to anyone who thinks 8gb of system memory is enough, i would like to call to attention the fact that we are in the middle of a crossover to next gen specs. you need to think of what's coming next instead how it is now or has been in the past. look at the steam machines that are being built for beta testing, they all have 16gb to 19gb of system memory. don't think that just because 8gb is fine for now that it will be enough for 2014/2015 and onward (gabe newell knows what he is doing).

when the devs start coding to the metal (2014-2015), 8gb memory and 2-3gb video cards simply won't be enough, unless you like playing your games at low 720p - 900p type resolutions with both shadows and AA lowered or turned off completely - YUK!

Devkits are running a ton of design software in the memory. 8GB of system memory is plenty enough for several more years...

#24 Posted by RevanBITW (535 posts) -

@buccomatic: What the hell are you talking about? Not only is 16 GB completely useless for gaming right now and for the coming year or 2 at the least, it's also the easiest thing to upgrade.

#25 Posted by Dequan1233 (107 posts) -

Shoot i'm over here gaming on a laptop from 2009 that fits 2 hard drives and could still run most of the top games.

#26 Posted by bobderwood97_1 (963 posts) -

@kraken2109: My friend actually gave me his old tower(which is actually pretty nice) with a 650w power supply in it, so the only thing that I'm a little concerned about is the motherboard inside the dell. I know it's a Haswell, that it has one spare pci port and can be upgraded to 32gb of ram, but I don't know anything else besides that.

My other friend actually pointed this out to me today though: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1430416 which seems interesting, he say's that this build will be able to push ultra and if need be in the future I can crossfire the gpu with another one, but it's an AMD build so I'll have to research a little more on that. It would be cheaper for me to go this way than getting that $750 dell and upgrading the gpu, but what do you guys think?

Having an upgradable machine is nice, but right now my biggest concern is getting a machine that can play bf4 on ultra for the best price.

#27 Posted by Rage010101 (5470 posts) -

@bobderwood97_1: don't buy anything less than a rig with a video card that has at least 4gb of vram and 16 gb of system memory.

people will tell you that 3gb video cards are good enough, and that may be true for right now, but they will be worthless by the end of 2014 and you'll have to upgrade again. so i would get at least a gtx 760 4gb or a gtx 770 4gb

you speak nonsense