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The Red Lion Tavern
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » The Red Lion Tavern » It's time for a new computer
Topic Subject:It's time for a new computer
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 04-19-15 05:49 AM EDT (US)         
So for the past five years I've been eking out my gaming on an Acer Aspire 5740 laptop. 4GB RAM, i3 CPU, AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5000 Series graphics card.

Thanks to updated drivers and stuff Shogun 2 runs rather well now as long as I keep unit sizes down. Mount and Blade could run on a brick, and football manager and CK2 don't particularly have lag issues.

However, while I can play Rome 2 I'm getting fed up of having to play on the lower graphics levels and not particularly getting the smoothest of gameplay, so lord knows what Atilla would be like. The game Cities: Skylines is the latest game to really catch my eye but I suspect it would be a lag fest if I got it running at all, and I just know whatever the next TW will need a jump up.

So! With myself suddenly finding an income, it's time to start saving my way to gaming bliss that'll last comfortably for the next few years. The problem is- what to get?

Some additional info-
  • Been recommended an SSD rather than HDD
  • Seeing as I don't have to go to Uni every day now, it's time to switch back to desktops. They're also more cost effective and easy to tinker with
  • I've never built a computer myself before, but how hard can it be? Especially if I save a few quid.
  • Related- for a supposedly computer literate person I'm really not good with the technical specs and things, what's in date, what's a step down, etc, etc.
  • I think it'd be most cost effective to go a step or two above the "budget" gaming computers, as I won't need to replace it often. See Vimes' Boots Theory.

    And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
  • AuthorReplies:
    posted 04-19-15 10:30 AM EDT (US)     1 / 3       
    A big way to save money is to use stuff you already own, if you can. For example, my case is from an old prebuilt as is my HD, saving my around 120. This would especially be useful if you had a PSU that you can use.

    For research, I started with an overall budget, I purposefully lowballed it so I had wiggle room. I split that budget into 3 parts, a part for my motherboard(I would spend a good deal on this as it may limit upgrades in the future(Personally I have an ASUS board, I don't have the model number on hand though, it cost around 200 USD), a part for my graphics card(GTX 650 I believe. It rang me 220 USD), and a part for my CPU(I have an i5 that rang me in at 250).

    Then I did my research in that price range and narrowed it down to a number of models and chose. Make sure everything is compatible, the MB description should list a number of compatible processor models(AMD CPUs and Intel CPUs are not interchangeble). GPUs list the port they require in their description(generally this won't be a problem) and make SURE that your PSU will give you the wattage that it needs.

    For RAM, especially for video games, get at least 8 gig.

    SSDs are expensive ant they don't have that much space for the price. If you are on a budget... I would recommend getting a hard drive and then upgrading at a later date, and use a dual drive system. Unless you're only going to be playing a few games you'll need at least 250 GBs of space(this is my opinion because I hate worrying about hard drive space).

    If I was unclear about anything let me know.
    General Sajaru
    posted 04-19-15 08:15 PM EDT (US)     2 / 3       
    If you're thinking about going the build your own route, I'd generally second what Scenter has said. For RAM, 8 GB is good, but 12 GB is better . Since it's going to be a gaming computer, definitely go for the best graphics card you can find. And if you want to use a SSD, just use it for the OS, so it will boot faster, and store your data on a HDD.

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    HG Monument
    (id: Jax Omen)
    posted 04-20-15 04:41 AM EDT (US)     3 / 3       
    Been recommended an SSD rather than HDD
    An SSD is obviously way better, and actually I don't think there is any excuse not to get one now. I asked for an SSD for Christmas and in my mind an 80GB SSD "main drive" would be a reasonable price point but my dad got me a 500GB SSD for ~£120 or something mentally cheap, which is pretty much the price point in my head for a regular HDD anyway.

    SSDs are expensive ant they don't have that much space for the price.
    Just noticed you addressed this and apparently disagree.

    Honestly, an SSD makes such a difference I think it'd be rude not to get one. A cursory Google search gives you a 120GB SSD for £40, a 256GB one for £80 and a 500GB for £140.

    If for some reason you're on such a tight budget that you can only afford £40 for your disk I'd 100% get the "small" SSD and then in a month or five get a TB HDD for £80 or whatever. What's the point in doing it the other way around? You'd be gimping your machine from the start with the benefit being you have loads of disk space which you won't be using yet (not to mention the fact that your OS install will be on the wrong disk).

    house won this

    [This message has been edited by Jax (edited 04-20-2015 @ 06:02 AM).]

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