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PC Inferior Gaming Race Calling All Techfags

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#1 Lame "PBluafnotr4d2" 87421F

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:54 PM

Hey guys. So, thanks to Praim and Sumo who helped me realize that my PC is complete Jurassic dinosaur ass, and Microsoft Security Essentials ceasing support on Windows XP, causing my dad to consider possible solutions, I was able to convince him that it's time that we buy a new computer. He feels like we just bought these last year, but we got our new computers back in 2002.

 

My SpeedTest rating will make you cream your jelly little pants:

fridaydamn_zpscedd41fc.gif?t=13979410023449788064.png

 

 

Yet, videos I watch online with variable bitrates scuttle along the SD resolutions, and my YouTube HD playback is horrid like this:

 

That said, you would never know I had this blazing Verizon Quantum FiOS Internet by using my computer. It's really bad. I even reformatted my computer to install Windows 7 a while back, and the computer didn't really get any faster.

 

Here are my current PC stats:

mypcstats_zpsbb15a607.png

 

This is actually my better PC. The one with XP which is gonna get replaced first, only has 1.25 GB RAM. Both have the Pentium 4 processor with 2.79 GHz. Both of them are also Dell computers, which I'd like to stay away from if possible, but from a quick look at BestBuy.com (inb4L2NeweggYuoFaget) apparently Dells provide the best value per dollar of all the listed PCs... at far as my not-so-techy eye can see. So, we might be going Dell all over again.

 

 

 

Naturally we want to spend as little as possible on a new computer, and we already have working keyboards, speakers, mice, monitors, etc., so we're looking at Towers Only.

 

The link above is to Best Buy.com, but that doesn't mean that we'd only purchase computers from here; it's just the first place I looked. At a glance, the first page's computers range from $280-$1030, and after opening a few of them, the top very top result appears to be the best value of all: a Dell priced at $440.

 

These are the "important" stats of that PC:

• 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-4130 processor: Features a 3MB cache and 3.4GHz processor speed.

• Intel® Core™ i3 processor: Features smart 4-way processing performance for HD quality computing. Intel® HD graphics are built into Intel's smart new processors.

• 8GB DDR3 memory: NONEXPANDABLE

• 1TB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm)

• Intel® HD graphics

 

So, what do you guys think about this PC?

• After going to Dell.com, I noticed that i5 and i7 were the newer processors they were putting into their machines, but are i3 processors bad? I see it's 3.4 GHz, which is a larger number than my 2.79 GHz I currently have, but that number isn't much bigger; however, I looked up some rigs in the thousands of dollars range for shits and giggles and I was surprised/confused to see some of them only had 3.0 GHz. I'm guessing that some processors are much more efficient with their 'Hertz? If that's the case, it'll make it more difficult to distinguish faster/better processors from older/slower ones.

• Also, those 8GB of RAM are looking delicious next to my PC's 2GB, but is 8GB really good nowadays? I thought I saw some rigs with 16-24GB, but are those the decent standards or today, or the overkill monster subjects of nerdgasm?

• HD output is cool, but we won't be takin' much advantage of it with out SD monitor. No biggie, tho. :P

 

In general, what stats would you guys say I should shoot for as standards? I won't be using the computer for gaming, so I won't need to run Watch Dogs or resource-intensive shit like the Dolphin Emulator on it. That said, I also want it a bit future-proofed so we won't feel we need to buy a new computer again in 5-10 years; we don't want the bottom of the barrel either. Ideally we would like a PC under $400, but I doubt anything'll come that cheap, even as a standalone tower (which, I think, is all we need).

 

Feel free to suggest shit from Newegg too, but I don't want to buy a PC in pieces either. I figure that's how most of the shit comes from that site.

 

Oh, one more thing--I don't know if any PCs come like this, but it would also be awesome if we could have a PC that comes with a permanent MS Office license/program bundled or pre-loaded on it. Paying $400 for the program permanently is bullshit. We have Office 2000, but dat shit's old.

 

 

Aaand, that's it for now! I appreciate all the help you tech-heads can provide. :3



#2 Admin Prime

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:00 PM

First off:
 

That said, I also want it a bit future-proofed so we won't feel we need to buy a new computer again in 5-10 years; we don't want the bottom of the barrel either. Ideally we would like a PC under $400, but I doubt anything'll come that cheap, even as a standalone tower (which, I think, is all we need).


You're not going to have anywhere near to something that would be considered "future proof" at $400. Particularly with your up to 10 year definition (which, sorry to say, is insane). You should be upgrading your PC every 4-5 years tops if you want to come close to "keeping up", even at entry level.
 

• After going to Dell.com, I noticed that i5 and i7 were the newer processors they were putting into their machines, but are i3 processors bad? I see it's 3.4 GHz, which is a larger number than my 2.79 GHz I currently have, but that number isn't much bigger; however, I looked up some rigs in the thousands of dollars range for shits and giggles and I was surprised/confused to see some of them only had 3.0 GHz. I'm guessing that some processors are much more efficient with their 'Hertz? If that's the case, it'll make it more difficult to distinguish faster/better processors from older/slower ones.


Yes, newer CPUs are far more efficient (also, there's more stats beyond clockspeed, but no need to get into that), but also all of the CPUs you're seeing now are multi-core CPUs, as opposed to your single core P4. So the i3-4130 is basically two 3.4GHz working together, effectively making it over 6GHz (... well, sort of kind of, there's diminishing returns in multi-core processors, but it definitely outclasses your P4). The far more expensive CPUs you're looking at have upwards of 6 cores. Also, as far as naming goes, the bigger number (i.e. i3 vs. i7) doesn't mean newer. Rather, it represents what product-tier you're looking at. So the i3's are more entry-level, vs. the high-end i7's. The i3-4130 was actually released just 7 months ago, so it's fairly new.
 

• Also, those 8GB of RAM are looking delicious next to my PC's 2GB, but is 8GB really good nowadays? I thought I saw some rigs with 16-24GB, but are those the decent standards or today, or the overkill monster subjects of nerdgasm?


It's not like, crazy good or anything, but it's definitely plenty even in the years ahead.

Anyway, I know a lot of people will shit on Dell, but considering your needs that PC is plenty enough for you, as long as your don't stick to your fairly ridiculous goal of 10+ years. If you want to stretch a little further there's the higher end Inspiron 3000's (middle tier bumps the CPU to a four core 3.1GHz i5 for $550 and the upper tier ups the ram to 12GB for $600, and you can probably find both for cheaper somewhere). Either way that's about the best you'll get for your price-range if you refuse to build your own rig.

As for Office, if you still have an active .edu email address there's always a lot of great deals to be had on Office, though typically student licenses a limited to 2 machines.

#3 Sumodude

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 01:34 AM

Raw GHz is hardly a clear-cut indication of how powerful a CPU is. An i3 is many hundreds of times more powerful than your old Pentium, for instance.

 

8GB of RAM is plenty. The only times you'd feel the need for more RAM is when you'd be doing things like rendering a whole lot of HD videos (that is, editing and compiling your own videos at high-speed), running a high-demand server, or running 16 instances of something like Minecraft.  ;P

 

Honestly, even if you're not going to be playing many games on it, adding a discreet graphics card would a more important decision than upgrading to an i5. An i5 is very nice, but upgrading to a graphics card from the integrated Intel HD graphics will be the single most noticeable thing you could do. Well, other than adding an SSD, maybe... Anyway, if you can't find a cost-effective option that includes a graphics card from Dell or whatever other company, consider looking into how you might be able to add a graphics card yourself. Sometimes, companies like Dell or HP (though I guess they don't make desktops anymore) might use proprietary cases and motherboards that have no option for upgradablity...

 

I know you want to get a pre-built factory PC, and I understand that, but here's just an example of a cheap custom computer that can run Dolphin, which is not a very light program. Specifically, it can run Project M online, which requires a pretty constant 60fps to play well. That's a dirt-cheap, crap-end graphics card, too. Even though emulation may not be something you'd get into, I hope my very basic example of what a low-end gaming PC can look like will help you...



#4 Jonny The Pie King

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:05 AM

I think 8GBs of RAM will probably be fine for most people, unless you are truly looking at a 10 year upgrade plan.  The best you can reasonably expect is probably 5 years, although with one upgrade my gaming PC has been doing a good job since I think 2008, maybe 2007.  That being said, I dumped a grand on it with custom parts and built it myself.  Games are just now starting to take advantage of more RAM due to the new consoles, but it doesn't sound like you're going to be doing any PC gaming.  More RAM will be useful for video editing, maybe doing bigger projects in photoshop, having a fuckton of tabs open in a browser (chrome especially, chrome decides to scale up RAM usage with what's available), or if you're using something like ableton to create music.

So, if you aren't looking to create or edit media or play games, 8GB is probably going to be enough for a couple of years. Up until recently i had 4GB, and it was still working pretty well for everything.  Going up to 6 due to someone giving me their old RAM didn't really make a noticeable difference in, well, anything.

Now, the graphics solution in your system sucks.  Don't plan on playing anything but really old or pixel-art games on it.  Doesn't sound like you were planning on it anyway, but yeah, intel integrated is some pretty bad shit.  I don't know how well it handles video though.  I would assume given it's a goddamn haswell CPU it would do just fine though.  i3's are only dual core chips, and quad has been mostly the desktop standard for a while now, but it doesn't sound like you're doing anything too intensive.  Might be worth getting a cheap GPU if you use vlc or mpc-hd and let the gpu do the work, dunno.  That i3 is probably a better CPU than my old Q6600, the first gen intel quad core.

Also GHz are by no means a way to measure CPU performance unless they're in the same architecture or set or whatever.  That pentium 4 is ancient, and a single i3 core at like 2GHz is going to blow that thing away.  It's also true that you can't really stack cores and compare it to GHz that way (like Prime did, but I get his point), it's probably more efficient than his comparison made anyway though.  In any case, i3= 2 cores, i5= 4 cores, and i7= 4 cores and 8 threads, I believe, although I think haswell chips are starting to get 6 and 8 core CPUs out, probably under the i7 line.

Anyway, if all you're doing is watching videos and browsing, it'll probably be enough.  For 5-10 years though?  Doubtful.  You aren't really going to be able to get a PC that'll be good for 10 years.  Hell, my Q6600 struggles with multiple webm files, so who knows what'll change in video browsing in the near future?







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