Help me choose a PC!
I thought I would post this here because I will be using my computer mostly for playing games.
I decided I need a computer of my own this week so I did a little research and bought this:
I bought it with the intention of upgrading the graphics card to this:
Now I just realized that it requires a 450W power source. I believe the PC I got is only 300W, although I can't find the information anywhere. So here are the questions:
1. Is there an easy way to check how many W's my power supply is?
2. How easy would it be to swap out my power supply for a new one? like this one:
3. With the cost of the new graphics card and power supply would it be cheaper to return the PC and build one from scratch? I don't want to spend more then $1000 for PC and monitor.
I really don't need a top end PC. The games I want to play are Civilization 4 (on max settings) and Supreme Comander (on low - mid settings). All the other games I play are older and should not be a problem for and new PC to run.
Give the power supply a good looking over and you will probably find some kind of sticker detailing it.
The other thing you need to consider before buying the new power supply, is that you might have a proprietary/non-standard case. I'm not familiar with that HP box, but sometimes OEM's will have cases that, although they look ATX, will not have the right holes/mounts for a standard ATX power supply.
Also, by upgrading both the graphics card and power supply, you might be just better off getting returning the original system and getting one with a better card already in it.
I could not find an PC's from best buy or futureshop with a decent graphics card for the amount I want to spend. For only $130 putting in the new card seamed like a better option.
Yeah, I guess you don't have much selection up there? Sorry.
Are you set on buying a graphics card from a store? Honestly, Supreme Commander takes a beast of a video card to run well and you might be better served buying a more powerful card for much cheaper online. As for power supply, make sure you purchase one made by a good manufacturer. I don't know how many pcs I have seen that have been fried by someone thinking that 500watts from some unknown Taiwanese company that didn't pass the mustard. Just remember: The Power supply is hooked up to every component in the PC, so if it decides to go... it fries everything with it.
Originally Posted by Imperitor
For $1k, you can build a very capable gaming machine as I can attest. If you could be a bit more exact to how much you want to spend and how much you are willing to spend, we can work out a system that will fit your needs and future proof it against the games of tomorrow.
As a PS, changing the PSU in a computer is mindnumbingly easy. Essentially you just unscrew the old one, put the new one in, and connect the wires to the appropriate places.
I researched store bought pc's, and 9 times out of ten, the PS is gonna be only 300 watts. I would look at getting/ building a custom. Yeah, it's more expensive, but it will be more reliable, and expandable.
One website to find your gaming computer www.alienware.com
Are you sure you don't want one of these:
two quads @3.2 per core
8GB of RAM
X-FI fatality sound card
1GB GTX 280 graphics card
(2) 300GB VelociRaptors
(2) 500GB SATA II drives
1200 Watt PSU
I just had one built for a client to do renderings, it's so fast!
Building your own computer saved you alot of money and gives you a much better computer for the penny IMHO.
Also, building one is pretty simple. Its basically like a puzzle but you have to watch out for static electricity.:D
Take a look at a few of those builds/ratings and see if anyhthing is closer to what you were looking for.
Something to keep in mind. Usually (unless you get into the high end gear such as some Dell and HP gaming systems), store bought name brand computers typically don't allow you to overclock your CPU, memory, or video card settings like you can with a 'BYOPC'. While overclocking can be a tricky/risky thing to do if you don't know what you're doing, it certainly can yield some considerable performance improvements, especially with gaming.
I would agree that switching out a power supply is easy, you just have to ensure that you get one with the correct connectors, as well as ensure that it will physically fit-some of the higher wattage PSs are quite large.
Also, I've found that many of the store bought systems use slower memory-assuming that most people won't know to look at the specs in that detail-they just see the size.
I personally started out pursuing a name brand system, but quickly realized that the best way to get all quality components and top of the line stuff at the best prices resulting in the best bang for my buck (and a sense of DIY satisfaction) was to in fact build it myself. Takes time in research and price shopping, but well worth it.
Oh and if you do DIY--don't skimp on the power supply.
Get the one like above and change the faster drive and graphic card that you desire. You can put any load on this.
Please do not settle with single processor.
This will likely be my next PC...IF I don't get a MAC.
So I ended up buying all the components for my computer separately and it was about the same price as it was going to cost for the HP with the graphics card switched, but it looks like its going to be a much better PC. Here's what I got:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor 3.0GHZ Wolfdale
Antec 300 Mini Tower Gaming Case
Seasonic M12 600W Power Supply
Mushkin HP 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 Dual Channel Memory Kit (2 of these)
Samsung SH-S223F Black SATA DVD+RW 22X8X16 DVD-RW
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L Motherboard
EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800GT Dual Slot 600MHZ 512MB Video Card
Western Digital SE16 320GB SATA2 7200RPM Hard Drive
Now all I need to do is put it together...:confused:
Are you planning to overclock?
I might. I've never done it before so I need to read up on it first. I think that for playing games my I'm going to be limited by the graphics card not the cpu, so overclocking might not even give me any benefits.
Then don't forget to get a good CPU cooler, if you haven't already. The stock cooler that comes with the CPU should be fine if you're not overclocking, but once you start the OC, you'll likely need added cooling power.
You definitely want to get a solid PSU, and I've never heard of Seasonic. Not saying they're no good, they may be...just look into it and make sure.
Seasonic makes some really good PSUs. They even manufacturer PSUs for other companies (i.e. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, etc.).
Originally Posted by audiobliss
Also, the chip and mobo combo you got is great for overclocking. Good luck.
I don't want to overclock too high, I just want a little more bang for my buck. Also I successfully kept the price of this PC under $700 and getting a better heatsink would push me past what I wanted to spend.
My plan now is to run as much overclocking as I can get out of the stock heatsink and see if I'm happy with it. These guys ran theirs to 3.6GHz with the stock heatsink. Would take shorten the life of the processor? If the temp stays within a reasonable range shouldn't the processor be fine?
Ditto-Seasonic is an OEM for many other PSUs.
Originally Posted by uvaskeme
I have that graphics card (and MB for that matter). I got it because (at the time (Dec/Jan)) it was a best of breed, yet comparably cost effective (for a single card solution). When I got it, it was more than capabale of running Crysis, which probably still is the benchmark. Unless you're running super high resolutions on large or multple displays, you'll be fine for games. One inexpensive thing you could do to boost performance (well there are many things but) is to add another hard drive and stripe it. It will increase the throughput of your hard drive performance.
Good to hear Seasonic is a great choice. I'll definitely tuck that away and remember it for next time. :)
You just have to read the reviews for any particular model of PSU. Seasonic like any company has its good and poor products. And also, just because Seasonic may OEM the PSU for one company, doesn't mean that that PSU company (such as PC Power and Cooling or Corsair) uses Seasonic for all of its products.
I always found www.jonnyguru.com a good resource of info on PSUs. Jonny has done some comprehensive listings and reviews on many PSUs and identified who makes what, etc. Hers a link to thier PSU forum
Your M12 is reviewed here
As far a PSUs go, I've never had a problem as a long as I meet my power requirements and go with a name brand unit. I'm sure some PSUs are better or worse for the price, but buying one from a well known company is my choice.
From that review it looks like the M12 will be a good PSU. The reason I got that one is because Seasonic was recommended to me by a friend and it was on sale for about half price.
Anyway, I got my PC yesterday. It took me about 2.5 hours to put together. Hopefully I did everything right. The manuals were very helpful and I didn't have much trouble. The hardest part was finding the pins for the front power/reset buttons and LEDs.
After all that I can't even test it because my graphics card was backordered :(
Any more, as long as you go with a popular/trusted brand, you'll likely be alright-the big choosing factors now are power efficiency and as noise-free and clean DC power supplied to the system.
Originally Posted by zingo