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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Well, it finally happened, my 7 year old Dell has given up the ghost and I need to get a new computer. I am hoping that the hive mind here can help give me some guidance in this arcane and confusing task. First I want to state that I will be buying a pre-built system that allows some customization. I will NOT be building it myself. I don't care how "easy" it is, or how "fun" it is, I know my limitations.

    As you may have guessed by now, my knowledge of computer innards is pretty limited. I do not know enough to compare CPUs or graphics cards from the same brand let alone how different brands compare to each other, or what are substandard parts or how beefy the power supply should be etc. I would like some recommendations about companies with good reputations who do quality work and have good customer service.

    I have tried to do a little preliminary research on iBuyPower and and CyberPowerPC since those are two of the largest names in pre-built systems and seem to be fairly inexpensive, but most of what I found was negative about their build quality and customer service. I don't know if that is because they are bad or if it's just that people who have bad experiences tend to be more vocal than people who have good experiences and since they sell a lot of computers there are more people who have bad experiences. I have also looked at Doghouse Systems (since I had heard of them) and their reviews on build quality and customer service seemed to be very good, but they seem to be on the pricey side.

    Now, as to what I will be doing with this computer, I will be doing your normal internet stuff and playing World of Warcraft, however I would also like to be able to play new games if one catches my attention. It would not have to run in better resolution and FPS than real life, but be better than a slide show. The budget is probably around $800-$1200.

    Some questions I have thought of - Should I go with 8gb of ram or 16? My current hard drive is 1TB and is about half full. Should I go with a 1TB SSD and no disk drive for the new computer? Why does it seem like optical drives aren't normally being included on computers anymore?

    I am trusting you, my fellow Playgrounders, to help me navigate these shark infested waters.

    Thanks!

    John

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    If we're having a thread anyway, I'm looking for a new computer as well. A laptop specifically.

    In particular, I'm looking for ways to get a rough idea of the power of graphics cards and to a lesser extend CPU's (now that because of the multi-core stuff the GHz number has become less of an indicator). Like a good online comparison tool or something, a thing that will give me a number I can compare to other models and to the system requirements of games.

    For the actual laptop itself: I want to browse with a bazillion tabs open while watching Netflix and occasionally play cool games. (I can close the browser for that part if I have to.) Nothing super new and triple A typically, but I also don't want to be too limited in trying out cool stuff that comes out over the next few years. I want to do all that while having a harddisk of at least half a TB full of work stuff, random creative projects and old DOS games, lots of old DOS games. What makes it a bit harder is that I tend to bounce between genres. Most of my gaming titles are more towards the CPU and GPU heavy side, strategy, action or racing titles, but I also like to jump into a huge open world that eats more RAM and harddisk space every now and then. Games I'm using as a comparison for what I would need include Just Cause 4 and Empires Apart. My budget is flexible, around a 1000 euro's should be doable.

    I'm probably going to end up with some lower range variant of an Intel i7 (or higher range i5) and an NVIDEA GeForce onethousandsomething, but I'd like to get a bit of a grasp on what the differences are between the stuff I find. Hence my request: anyone has a favorite way to compare this stuff?

    Thanks in advance!
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMSJR View Post
    First I want to state that I will be buying a pre-built system that allows some customization. I will NOT be building it myself. I don't care how "easy" it is, or how "fun" it is, I know my limitations.
    You just killed the thread. Who's interested in hardware? the people who like building machines; you don't want to do that, you lost your audience.

    Now, as to what I will be doing with this computer, I will be doing your normal internet stuff and playing World of Warcraft, however I would also like to be able to play new games if one catches my attention. It would not have to run in better resolution and FPS than real life, but be better than a slide show.
    I think what you want is a console, and maybe that's it, I don't know what the web is like via consoles, if they aren't adequate for that, then add a raspberry pi, that can do the web, it can also do letters via Libre Office that's in the standard software setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    If we're having a thread anyway, I'm looking for a new computer as well. A laptop specifically.

    In particular, I'm looking for ways to get a rough idea of the power of graphics cards and to a lesser extend CPU's (now that because of the multi-core stuff the GHz number has become less of an indicator). Like a good online comparison tool or something, a thing that will give me a number I can compare to other models and to the system requirements of games.

    For the actual laptop itself: I want to browse with a bazillion tabs open while watching Netflix and occasionally play cool games. (I can close the browser for that part if I have to.) Nothing super new and triple A typically, but I also don't want to be too limited in trying out cool stuff that comes out over the next few years. I want to do all that while having a harddisk of at least half a TB full of work stuff, random creative projects and old DOS games, lots of old DOS games. What makes it a bit harder is that I tend to bounce between genres. Most of my gaming titles are more towards the CPU and GPU heavy side, strategy, action or racing titles, but I also like to jump into a huge open world that eats more RAM and harddisk space every now and then. Games I'm using as a comparison for what I would need include Just Cause 4 and Empires Apart. My budget is flexible, around a 1000 euro's should be doable.

    I'm probably going to end up with some lower range variant of an Intel i7 (or higher range i5) and an NVIDEA GeForce onethousandsomething, but I'd like to get a bit of a grasp on what the differences are between the stuff I find. Hence my request: anyone has a favorite way to compare this stuff?

    Thanks in advance!
    Eh? you work on a laptop and your job doesn't provide it?

    I personally think graphics cards are much more important for games than CPUs at this time, I play Skyrim on a desktop with a 2GHz i5 cpu, but my graphics card is good enough.

    I don't understand the current radeon naming scheme. With nVidia, the first couple of numbers are a year/season number, 9x0 can be a lot stronger than 10y0 if x is bigger than y, though if they are the same newer is usually better.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2019-03-23 at 11:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Well to start asking for advice when you don't want to build it yourself but nothing else to go on doesn't really help anyone help you. Saying "these are the best parts for that budget" is meaningless when you can't actually pick any of those parts and you're pretty much stuck with whatever OEMs decide to put together in your price point.

    Now something more like "I think these 4 links I provided look good, which one is better" is a lot more practical and shows you've actually at least put some effort into looking yourself. Also for those in different countries, where selection and price and available OEMs to buy from change, have a starting point.

    I like the "Best X for your money" articles on Tomshardware.com which has a basic hierarchy list at the end so you can see how different generations compare in relative power even though the naming can change quite a bit.

    It would also be worth looking at if the company you works for has any deals with whichever company they get their IT stuff through. I know the place I work at now and the previous place both had employee discounts through Dell (and Alienware) as well as one distributor (that I can't place the name of right now that sells computers and networking stuff but isn't an OEM). So that might be worth checking out.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    In particular, I'm looking for ways to get a rough idea of the power of graphics cards and to a lesser extend CPU's (now that because of the multi-core stuff the GHz number has become less of an indicator). Like a good online comparison tool or something, a thing that will give me a number I can compare to other models and to the system requirements of games.
    https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/
    https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/

    There you go. Ryzen 2200U looks good at the low end--pretty good CPU and pretty good integrated graphics too.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Eh? you work on a laptop and your job doesn't provide it?
    My career is weird. There's some education in the mix, some short term contracts, in the end I just want to have a device that I know will be there when I feel the desperate urge to type out a 30 page report. Since I want to game anyway and gaming takes more out of a computer than writing reports, it's mostly a non-obstacle.

    It does mean of course that I really prefer a laptop over a desktop tower. But given how much power we can cram into a phone now I'd figure that shouldn't be too much of a problem either. You pay a bit more because you're getting a new screen and keyboard as well, but with how long I keep using the same laptop (coming up on 8 years now) those things would be nearing the end of their life anyway.

    I personally think graphics cards are much more important for games than CPUs at this time, I play Skyrim on a desktop with a 2GHz i5 cpu, but my graphics card is good enough.

    I don't understand the current radeon naming scheme. With nVidia, the first couple of numbers are a year/season number, 9x0 can be a lot stronger than 10y0 if x is bigger than y, though if they are the same newer is usually better.
    Nice. That's the kind of insights I was hunting for. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/
    https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/

    There you go. Ryzen 2200U looks good at the low end--pretty good CPU and pretty good integrated graphics too.
    And that too. Nice. Gonna look up all the C/GPU's. I found some other sites, but this one looks like it has the features that make for a good comparison.


    Thanks guys, that really helps.
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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    One thing that makes a big difference on laptops is if you want a "desktop replacement" or "ultra portable." With the latter being more expensive for the same power because they focus on being light and low power usage. A laptop with a good video card (while playing games) will not last long on battery power.
    I would personally go with a 17" for the full sized keyboard as well as the larger screen. For normal use the extra size is well worth the weight and less portableness for me.

    Estimating what you can get for a budget is hard going from USA to EU because so many things change. Not even sure what your best retailers are for that sort of thing (sometimes direct purchase is better, sometimes retailers are)

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Well, for the PC question, I have no idea on those build sites. And from my experience and suggestion from a friend in IT who builds computers professionally, the break even point where you can start saving money by building it yourself is around $1200. So if that's the top of you rbudget, no point in building it yourself unless you have some very specific wants. And to pay someone else to build it, no point until you get to the $2k price range.

    So, just buy a pre-built one. I like Dell and HP. But I avoid Lenovo and some other brands/series. As recommended, check out any employee discount programs, and then check what you can find online at any big box stores (or places like Costco if you belong). You can also make a sanity check by building/customizing a PC on Dell.com, but it will be more expensive there than what you can find online.

    About SSDs and optical drives, now that SSDs have a good life expectancy and storage capacity, their is often not the need for a high capacity optical drive anymore. As you pointed out, you are using about 1/2 TB and you can now get a SSD with 1TB, so why bother with an optical drive? But, if you want more storage than that, then optical drives are cheaper.

    For the laptop question; get a laptop with a separate video card. Though built in cards are getting better, if you want to game, you want a motherboard built for it, and those have separate graphic cards. I use "workstation" class laptops for work, and have no problems gaming at the levels you want with such systems. Typically I prefer nVidia, but that is for CAD work, not gaming. I don't think it really matters for gaming.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Well, for the PC question, I have no idea on those build sites. And from my experience and suggestion from a friend in IT who builds computers professionally, the break even point where you can start saving money by building it yourself is around $1200. So if that's the top of you rbudget, no point in building it yourself unless you have some very specific wants. And to pay someone else to build it, no point until you get to the $2k price range.
    Yeah, that's not true at all. While they sell $500 PCs with the gaming label now (which they didn't 10 years ago) those are still not great systems. They don't do bad, because games sort of plateau around the relative level of the consoles, but you can still get a lot more power out of a system you build yourself. Granted there was a few years when crypto mining first really took off that you almost couldn't buy a video card and they were at exorbitant prices, where just getting a video card for one you made yourself was difficult.

    But at every level you simply get a lot more power for the same cost by building your own.



    As for the OP/OP2, I see that Newegg does have international options, they've also got a very good search design and specifications. I would start there, find some that look good, fit your budget and seem like reasonable choices. Then post them here for us to look over and we can give opinions on each choice. From there you can see if you can find the same model directly from the OEM or another retailer for a better price. (Newegg used to be the best prices, they're pretty average now. But the wide variety and good search is always a good place to start rather than hitting 10 different OEM sites)

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Thanks for the helpful comments! I took a look over at newegg and found this computer which I thought looked decent.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16883227878

    What do you guys think?

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    With the caveat that I can't say anything for the quality of the company* that looks like a solid option. Most of the other comparable systems had similar specs and I didn't see any that were better.


    *They have been around a while at least, some of the other companies I hadn't heard of before. I haven't heard anything bad about them.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    If you look at the reviews, there was only one sort of negative one. Do you think he had a valid point with the criticisms he made about the power supply, motherboard, and video card?

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    That one review is less about him buying a computer and having the parts conk out on him, and more about how he's a DIY purist. For all the rest of the reviews to be 4 or 5 stars, it has to be doing something right.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMSJR View Post
    If you look at the reviews, there was only one sort of negative one. Do you think he had a valid point with the criticisms he made about the power supply, motherboard, and video card?
    Those look like valid criticisms to me. Also look at the number of positive reviews where something is scratched, chipped, lights not working, or whatever. Cheaper off-brand parts aren't a good idea, I've built using a cheaper motherboard before and the machine just never worked as well as it should have. A cheap power supply failing can ruin everything else.

    I also think the i7 is overkill for what you want, a cheaper i5 would do just as well. Same with the GeForce 2060, if you can still find a 1070 it will be a better card for less money, or a 1060 which would be fine for gaming on a normal monitor and cheaper still. AFAIK the "20" series from Nvidia doesn't add much anyway.

    I also think that case is really ugly. If you want all the lights and glass, I prefer this. Local store link sorry.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-03-24 at 10:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    I don't really feel one way or the other about lights and glass. I found that computer since it was one of the few that had a 1TB ssd instead of a ssd and hdd combo around the price range I wanted.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    But that's not really a option with pre-builts. You can't just choose "a more cost efficient part" because everything else will change too. There is also a good chance that while last generation's card is a better value from a retailer, the OEM system with it will either not reflect that change or no no longer be available.


    Yes, cheaper parts are more likely to have issues. If they had more issues with that then the brand's reviews would probably reflect that. Not to mention that you're going to run into the same thing with every other OEM too. Effectively "you can build a better computer yourself" isn't a valid review complaint because that's a given and anyone not building their own has already made that choice.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    Yeah, that's not true at all.
    I guess that depends if your own time is worth anything to you?

    Take this $330 system; HP Pavilion Rayzen 3, 8GB, 1 TB, etc

    To build a comparable system from scratch is going to mean I have to invest ? 3 hours? Say 1 hour to use something like pcpartpicker to verify the components are compatible, 1 more hour to order the parts, and another hour to build the system. I would guess most people would probably spend twice that, say 5 hours?

    Even if you only value your own time at minimum wage, then you would have to get all the comparable parts for ... $280. Yea, I don't see that happening. And if you value your time like I do, well... *shrugs*

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I guess that depends if your own time is worth anything to you?

    Take this $330 system; HP Pavilion Rayzen 3, 8GB, 1 TB, etc
    Ah, the old "Access Denied" system, I've been looking for one of those...

    [EDIT] Odd, the link is working now, it wasn't earlier? Looking at it, the linked system is barely adequate to do much more than Web brosing on--it certainly won't run modern games at any reasonable frame rate. It's certainly nowhere near what JDMSJR specified in his original post. If you picked a more expensive machine, would your comparison of time spent come out so well? I suspect not.
    Last edited by factotum; 2019-03-25 at 06:36 AM.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    If you don't want to game then it does change things because there isn't much to gain, the main issues with buying pre-builts is that they start charging premiums and putting money into less important parts as soon as they stick "gaming" on there. Most of the systems looked at so far, for instance, will bottleneck on the GPU long before the CPU for almost every game. If all you want to do with the PC is surf the net then yes, I say go pre-built too, that is essentially all the one you linked is good for.

    "Verify part compatability" isn't really a thing, I mean yes, there are certain sockets for a MB and CPU that have to match, and RAM but it takes no more time to verify that than it does to just pick the parts out. Maybe if you knew absolutely nothing, didn't bother to ask anyone anything about it, and tried to just guess at everything.
    I can also pretty much guarantee that most of the people here asking for help in buying a pre-built have spent a fair amount of time looking at systems, shopping around, and trying to figure out what it is they actually need and are buying. By the time you've got that figured out you've already put in almost all the time required to pick out the parts yourself. I usually spend more time uninstalling bloatware on pre-built PCs than I do building new ones.

    I do value my time, but you know what else has value? Knowledge. What you've learned by figuring out the parts and building your own computer is worth something too. I would say the experience is worth a lot more than the time.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMSJR View Post
    Well, it finally happened, my 7 year old Dell has given up the ghost and I need to get a new computer. I am hoping that the hive mind here can help give me some guidance in this arcane and confusing task. First I want to state that I will be buying a pre-built system that allows some customization. I will NOT be building it myself. I don't care how "easy" it is, or how "fun" it is, I know my limitations.
    "Pre-built" and "I don't want to assemble" are two vastly different things though.

    The first one is where you have to do compromises that you may not want to do.

    The second version is where you hit a local computer shop who orders the parts and assembles it for you. In my estimation you pay a bit for their time, last time it was like 50 for the half hour or whatever they took to assemble and install (there was a fixed fee, and how long it takes them it's their problem). The local shop won't be significantly more expensive than a webstore because they have to compete with the latter. That'll also give you a human being with some knowledge to explain what you think you need. When you get an estimate can always run it past us to see if you've run into the rare occasion of ashop actively trying to kill itself by not giving you a workable set of parts.


    I love SSDs. But getting a big one is expensive (or has been so far). Usually I save the drive out of the old computer and reuse it as a secondary disk. Still got a couple of rustdiscs running, though every generation or two some can no longer be ported over due to standards changing. It really depends on how much space you think you are going to need really. The problem is that the answer is always: more than you think, but not if you really think about it.

    Never get a "hybrid" disc IMO, you don't quite get the best of both worlds, just the limitations of both.


    No one uses optical drives anymore basically. It's legacy technology. The IT field has decided you're supposed to download all your software*, or better yet, rent it as an service.

    *and damit it is easier, once I grudgingly was dragged, kiking and screaming onto Steam I couldn't now live without.


    TL:DR: Find a small local computer shop that will assemble a package for you, they'll doa better job than any pre-built system off the Net, at the same cost.



    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    I guess that depends if your own time is worth anything to you?

    Even if you only value your own time at minimum wage, then you would have to get all the comparable parts for ... $280. Yea, I don't see that happening. And if you value your time like I do, well... *shrugs*
    Just because time can theoretically be valued does not mean it can practically be converted into money. 5 hours of leisure time I can't work on a job because there is no way I am going to be able to get a job for 5 hours just to pay for that time (also, it will take time to find that job, likely meaning we end up in negatives anyway).

    The opportuniy cost model only works if an actual opportunity exists.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-03-25 at 04:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    So...if a local computer store offers the option to build a computer for me, would I be better off ordering all the parts and taking them to the store? Or giving the store a list of what I want and have them order the parts themselves?

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by JDMSJR View Post
    So...if a local computer store offers the option to build a computer for me, would I be better off ordering all the parts and taking them to the store? Or giving the store a list of what I want and have them order the parts themselves?
    I'm not sure if any chain stores do that, all the ones I've seen have been small businesses. So it's only an option if someone near you had decided to, but it's pretty common. What they do and how they do it is not set. So if you want to go that route find the local shop and talk to them first and see what they have to say.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    One thing that makes a big difference on laptops is if you want a "desktop replacement" or "ultra portable." With the latter being more expensive for the same power because they focus on being light and low power usage. A laptop with a good video card (while playing games) will not last long on battery power.
    I would personally go with a 17" for the full sized keyboard as well as the larger screen. For normal use the extra size is well worth the weight and less portableness for me.
    For me as well. I'm good at breaking stuff, so I tend to go for the sturdy models. Portability wise I want it to fit into a bag and if it can survive on a battery for a few hours that's a plus.

    Estimating what you can get for a budget is hard going from USA to EU because so many things change. Not even sure what your best retailers are for that sort of thing (sometimes direct purchase is better, sometimes retailers are)
    We in the Netherlands have a site called Tweakers. It does a pretty good job at comparing retailers, and it has a better search system then most retailers do to boot. It only lists Dutch retailers, so it doesn't help you find how much you can save by for instance ordering straight from China. But I don't think I want to use that option for a laptop anyway. It's fine for a phone, but for a computer a warranty and such are nice extra's.

    Never get a "hybrid" disc IMO, you don't quite get the best of both worlds, just the limitations of both
    That bad? I thought it looked like a pretty good option, enough space on the SSD for the operating system and one or two demanding games, and all my junk on the slower HDD. But in practice that doesn't work very well?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    For the laptop question; get a laptop with a separate video card. Though built in cards are getting better, if you want to game, you want a motherboard built for it, and those have separate graphic cards. I use "workstation" class laptops for work, and have no problems gaming at the levels you want with such systems. Typically I prefer nVidia, but that is for CAD work, not gaming. I don't think it really matters for gaming.
    Thanks, I'll look out for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    As for the OP/OP2, I see that Newegg does have international options, they've also got a very good search design and specifications. I would start there, find some that look good, fit your budget and seem like reasonable choices. Then post them here for us to look over and we can give opinions on each choice. From there you can see if you can find the same model directly from the OEM or another retailer for a better price. (Newegg used to be the best prices, they're pretty average now. But the wide variety and good search is always a good place to start rather than hitting 10 different OEM sites)
    *Makes note*
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2019-03-25 at 11:03 AM.
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Ok, I talked to the local computer store and they said that either way will work. I can bring them the parts or give them a list and have them order the parts. They charge $99 to assemble, load windows, etc.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    That bad? I thought it looked like a pretty good option, enough space on the SSD for the operating system and one or two demanding games, and all my junk on the slower HDD. But in practice that doesn't work very well?
    That's not a hybrid disk, a hybrid disk is both in one drive, and the SSD part is usually just a small cache to the spinning rust, expensive and not that much faster than an ordinary HDD, from what I've heard (I have never used one).
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    That's not a hybrid disk, a hybrid disk is both in one drive, and the SSD part is usually just a small cache to the spinning rust, expensive and not that much faster than an ordinary HDD, from what I've heard (I have never used one).
    Okay, thanks. I hadn't seen that offered yet, so it seems like vendors are catching on to it as well.
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Okay, thanks. I hadn't seen that offered yet, so it seems like vendors are catching on to it as well.
    Hybrid drives have been around for a while--my boss's old laptop had one in it, and it was a good five years old.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Hybrid drives have been around for a while--my boss's old laptop had one in it, and it was a good five years old.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Okay, thanks. I hadn't seen that offered yet, so it seems like vendors are catching on to it as well.
    They are catching on that people aren't as keen to buy them probably. It made a certain sense when ssd were very small and very expensive, but prices on SSDs drop and size increases so it starts to become generally inefficient way to go.

    My main personal gripe with having SSDs and old HDDs in the same machine now revolves around the annoying fact that HDDs tend to "turn off". This means that certain software won't react until ALL drives in the machine are "online" again. Even though only the SSD is actually the one being accesed and the HDD is only used for certain long time storage files. This leas to cases were occasionally the computer freezes and you can hear the HDD physically spin up and you have to wait a few seconds to get your system back. It's quite maddening.

    For a laptop I'd honestly not recommend having any hdd at all, the ssd is much more compact. You'll really appreciate having essentially instant access to the drive. Basically all ssds are sold in laptop size, personally wouldn't mind a full sized (3.5") ssd, it would have *loads* of capacity but I guess there's no market and economies of scale in making them.


    A note on laptops, I find many of them skimp on the CPU which is a mistake. You can get very cheap laptops but you are going to suffer insanely in performance. I woudl aim for wsomething i5 based. I have a Surface 3 Pro with an i5 (several generatiosn behind now) and it provides imo the best performance to cost ratio usually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDMSJR View Post
    Ok, I talked to the local computer store and they said that either way will work. I can bring them the parts or give them a list and have them order the parts. They charge $99 to assemble, load windows, etc.
    Do you want to go that route then?
    We can help pick out parts.
    As a starting point you could pick the same parts as on the pre-built (as far as can be known) and go from there. Unless you want to look at Intel or Nvidia options rather than AMD.

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    Default Re: Another "Help me buy a computer" post

    I must ask again, are you really, really sure you don't want a console?

    Apparently, consoles offer much more perfomance per spec, because they are all exactly the same, so the developers can achieve most of the performance the design is capable off, without bothering about unusual hardware combinations. I've heard that the difference is about 10 times. That said the current CPUs and GPUs in consoles are about 10 times underpowered compared to (guessing) 1,000-1,200 home designed PCs, so your mileage may well vary, a 600 gaming PC is probably a bust, a 1,500 well designed gaming PC is probably good.

    That said, for a PC I would go with a middling CPU without hyperthreading if that's a lot cheaper (which it used to be on Intel, but I think Intel changed that lately), I would go for at least 16GB and 32GB if it's not much more, and the most expensive GPU you can afford (meaning type of GPU, if you can afford one of one brand and the next one is the same type from a different brand, I'd probably go with the first, unless it had a lot of very bad reviews). You'll need some sort of storage, I'd go for SSD, but I'd not go for m2 because SATA is fast enough, though if the prices were the same I'd probably go for the faster, whichever that was.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2019-03-27 at 03:47 PM.
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