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  • Looking to buy a PC

    Hi guys.

    As many of you may remember, The Pc I use is very dated. I'm hopefully going to be in a position to renew my system. I know that for the best value for my money I'd benefit from building from scratch but at the moment I lack the knowledge, skills and time to achieve this due to restraints with working, college and my cake baking orders.

    My computer habits are quite limited. I go to facebook and play the odd game. I watch things on youtube and I game a little, ffxi 'retired'

    I'm hoping to have something I can slap my version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 onto for my college and Uni work and potentially play FFXIV. ARR at a reasonable speed and at standard-mid range graphical quality. I'm not usually one to multi-task though.

    I have seen a machine that I like 'not visually' lol.
    I've looked at components compared to ffxiv and knowing nothing I've just looked for similar numbers.
    I've found one from a retailer that I can afford but unsure of its graphics card capabilities.

    ACER Predator G3-605 Gaming PC Deals | Pcworld

    I'd love it if one of you tech minded guys could take a look and see if it'd suit my purpose.
    I understand that building would benefit me more but I plan to take out coverage on the system whilst I am retraining to degree level nursing.

    Thanks in advance for reading my topic.

    Signature created by my good friend Naughtymistress, Remora server.

  • #2
    Re: Looking to buy a PC

    I wouldn't buy a 700 pound sterling PC with those specs. That's equal to something like EDIT: $1165 US and for that you're getting a dated CPU (intel i5), dated GPU (nVidia GTX 645). Oh, and lolWin8 comes pre-installed, what a deal!

    I don't know what the going prices are for hardware in the UK, but you can surely do better than that for that sort of money.


    Icemage

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    • #3
      Re: Looking to buy a PC

      The graphics card worries me, though admittedly I don't know FFXIV specs/requirements. It's probably loads better than whatever you have in your current rig, but I wouldn't call it top of the line. Mid-range from last gen perhaps.
      Most of what I hear through the grapevine is that i5 is a perfectly reasonable CPU until such time as developers start figuring out how to take advantage of some of the multi-threading voodoo that the i7 allows for.
      The biggest concern I have is honestly the operating system.

      If you weren't set on taking out a warranty on it, I'd probably nudge you in the direction of finding a shop that will put parts together for you for a fee and just get you a beefy machine that way, but for what you've outlined as your requirements that rig is probably adequate.
      Server: Midgardsormr -> Quetzalcoatl -> Valefor
      Occupation: Reckless Red Mage
      Name: Drjones
      Blog: Mediocre Mage

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      • #4
        Re: Looking to buy a PC

        I know it's not the best of deals available, The main reason is convenience and making sure I can cover possible problems I may have in the future. Taking into account that whilst I'm in university my funds will be limited and knowing my luck it will die at the worst possible time.

        My computer usage is pretty primitive. The closest I come to multi tasking is a few tabs open at once. I mainly want to surf the internet, do my assignments and play ffxiv.

        Minimum System Requirements
        OS Windows® Vista 32/64bit, Windows® 7 32/64 bit, Windows® 8 32/64 bit, Windows® 8.1 32/64 bit
        CPU Intel® Core™2 Duo
        Memory 2GB (4GB recommended for 64bit OS)
        Available space on hard disk/SSD 20GB
        Graphics Card NVIDIA® Geforce® 8800 or higher, ATI Radeon™ HD 4770 or higher
        Screen Resolution 1280x720
        Internet Persistent broadband internet connection required
        Sound Card DirectSound® compatible sound card (DirectX® 9.0c or higher)
        DirectX® DirectX® 9.0c or higher

        Reccommended
        OS Windows® 7 64 bit
        CPU Intel® Core™ i5 2.66GHz
        Memory 4GB
        Available space on hard disk/SSD 20GB
        Graphics Card NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX 660 or higher, AMD Radeon™ HD 7950 or higher
        Screen Resolution 1920x1080
        Internet Persistent broadband internet connection required
        Sound Card DirectSound® compatible sound card (DirectX® 9.0c or higher)
        DirectX® DirectX® 9.0c or higher

        Signature created by my good friend Naughtymistress, Remora server.

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        • #5
          Re: Looking to buy a PC

          At that price, you might as well get a gaming-ish laptop, since that should be more useful for school work.

          Not terribly sleek and barely portable at 5.95 lb (2.7 kg), but here's an example:

          MSI GE70 Apache Pro-061
          (comes with DVD drive, 1920x1080 screen)
          Newegg.com - MSI GE Series GE70 Apache Pro-061 Gaming Notebook Intel Core i5 4200H (2.8GHz) 8GB Memory 1TB HDD Not Included SSD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 2GB 17.3" Windows 8.1 64-Bit

          USD 1100, so about £660. Somewhat comparable deals may be available over the pond?
          Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
          yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
          Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
          leaving no trace in the water.

          - Mugaku

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          • #6
            Re: Looking to buy a PC

            Ixnay on the gaming laptop.

            Problem 1: Unrepairable. Laptops are notoriously difficult to troubleshoot problems on with hardware, and even when you do figure out what's wrong, the parts are either difficult to obtain and/or expensive, on top of it being rarely cost-effective to get someone to do the repair even if you can find what you need.

            Problem 2: Portable = more wear and tear. If you're tempted to bring that thing around with you, it needs to be non-mission-critical in case something goes pretzel-shaped (i.e. you drop the laptop, or the bag that has it inside).

            Problem 3: Not upgradeable. You can't salvage any parts from a laptop if for some reason you want to increase the power of your system later.

            For someone on a budget, I would never recommend a laptop. Too much risk, not enough flexibility. That's too high a tradeoff for portability / convenience / low power draw if you haven't got the available funds to readily replace the hardware.


            Icemage

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            • #7
              Re: Looking to buy a PC

              I'm inclined to agree with icemage. Last time I bought a PC, I went with a laptop, since I was intending to move back to Japan, and figured that a desktop would be too much of a hassle to move back. For probably the past five or six years now, I have had only laptops (and two low-end ones to boot, I think the PC I played FFXI on in 2004 wasn't that much worse in any way except storage), and they've got issues if you're using them all the time. They love to collect dust, and the fans range from annoying to nigh impossible to clean (I have photos of when I had to disassemble my laptop simply to get to the fan; components everywhere). If you don't go through that hassle cleaning it, best case scenario you're looking at constant automatic power downs to keep your computer from asploding, worst case your PC destroys itself overheating components. Many desktop cases can be popped open without tools and cleaned out near instantly.

              Almost every single person I've ever seen intend to use a laptop for any length of time attaches a mouse to it; frankly, I can't imagine actually typing on a laptop keyboard at length, so I have a real keyboard to boot. Which is fine, except that now I have to have a laptop and mouse and keyboard all setup on my desk in order to use it. Every other accessory adds to the clutter; I can't just have wires casually going off into a forest hidden behind my desk, but instead everything has to come on top of the desk to meet the computer itself. This and two USB hubs all having to go through the standard single USB port makes my desk look terrible, not to mention the hassle of trying to juggle USB connections, accidentally having cords pulled out by other cords, etc.

              There are definitely situations where a laptop might be your best choice as a primary computer, such as if you absolutely must have a computer in your classroom. But note-taking is perfectly doable on good old fashioned pen and paper, you don't need Word for that.

              Honestly, if the only game you really want to play is FF14, you might want to consider getting a PS4 and some other sort of electronic device to complement it, rather than speccing out a PC just for the game. PS4 will bring you other entertainment options (plus, roommates/friends will appreciate it), and in general I think game consoles tend to be more reliable than personal computers, 360 excluded. This also gives you more freedom in choosing what sort of device you want; you could get a low-end laptop or netbook (which would be easily replaced if broken), tablet, smartphone, etc. that you'd find easier to use on campus than a desktop replacement. Alternatively, just keep using your current computer for the things you use it for now, and the PS4 for gaming.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Looking to buy a PC
                • If you just want to play FFXIV, get a PS4 and a Desktop Replacement laptop (paying more than £400 for one is too much)
                • Honestly for High End Gaming CPUs, you don't need anything more than an i5 4670k (don't pay a penny more than £180 for one). Diminishing returns on your Power/Price point kicks in after that and it is hard to justify anything more for modern gaming. Don't bother with an i7, it's pretty much overkill for gaming, and the price is rarely justifiable for the returns.
                • For under £190 you can get a GTX 760 which are great GPUs and one I highly recommend if you want to maximise your Power to Price ratio. If you feel like splashing out on a GPU, wait until the Overclocked 780's come down in price.
                • RAM is cheap and TBH 8GB is fine. If you feel you need more than it's easy to upgrade later.
                • For the love of god don't skimp on the Case, Fans and Power Supply. Even one being of shoddy quality can drastically refuse hardware lifespans. It's one reason why laptops have the lifespan of a hamster: cooling issues wreck the motherboards, and many batteries and AC adaptors supply the wrong amounts of power to the components.
                • Solid State Drives are a luxury and can ram up the cost of a machine very quickly. Having FFXIV installed on one just means you have to wait for other people to load in a lot.
                • Water Cooling is for people with more money than sense. A good Case and Fan setup will save you a lot of money.
                • Ditch Microsoft Office and download Open Office. It's an open source Office Suite that does everything MS Office does but better and for free. You can save files in MS Office format as well. it's also comparable with just about every file you can think of, including the ones from your hipster Mac fanboys.
                • Buying an Extended Warranty is always a stupid idea. They are always mis sold and you very rarely see any returns on them. It is far cheaper in the long run to just make a House Insurance claim if anything goes wrong as the majority of manufacturer's warranties are more than enough anyway. Purchasing on a Credit Card will also give you a lot of protections that a Warranty will fail to protect you from anyway. Expect this to go out of the window as soon as our idiot politicians pull us out of the EU though.
                • To mae your hardware last longer, buy some cans of compressed air. make sure the cases are dusted once a week, and open up the case and blast any dust out of there with the compressed air once a month. Making sure your peripherals are nice and clean as well also makes things last longer and also just makes things more pleasant to use in general.
                Rahal Gerrant - Balmung - 188 DRK
                Reiko Takahashi
                - Balmung - 182 AST, 191 BLM, 182 SCH, 188 SMN
                Haters Gonna Hate



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                • #9
                  Re: Looking to buy a PC

                  Originally posted by Icemage View Post
                  Ixnay on the gaming laptop.

                  Problem 1: Unrepairable. [...]
                  Problem 2: Portable = more wear and tear. [...]
                  Problem 3: Not upgradeable. [...]

                  For someone on a budget, I would never recommend a laptop. Too much risk, not enough flexibility. That's too high a tradeoff for portability / convenience / low power draw if you haven't got the available funds to readily replace the hardware.
                  I get what you are saying and actually agree with the problem/points, but you may be overstating the risks.

                  I make my living on a laptop--actually, my entire group of 10 software engineers do. Granted, I have free and beyond excellent IT support (the dude sits right across from me), but really my laptop haven't had a real problem, and about the same for the rest of the group in the past two years. The average reliability of the $1000 laptop is quite decent these days.

                  If after purchase he can come up with $250 USD for an emergency laptop/netbook to do schoolwork in the event of a catastrophic failure, I think the risk is OK.

                  Expandability and repairability probably shouldn't be an issue for someone who doesn't want to build a computer to begin with. (No offense.)
                  Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
                  yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
                  Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
                  leaving no trace in the water.

                  - Mugaku

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Looking to buy a PC

                    Originally posted by ItazuraNhomango View Post
                    I get what you are saying and actually agree with the problem/points, but you may be overstating the risks.

                    I make my living on a laptop--actually, my entire group of 10 software engineers do. Granted, I have free and beyond excellent IT support (the dude sits right across from me), but really my laptop haven't had a real problem, and about the same for the rest of the group in the past two years. The average reliability of the $1000 laptop is quite decent these days.

                    If after purchase he can come up with $250 USD for an emergency laptop/netbook to do schoolwork in the event of a catastrophic failure, I think the risk is OK.

                    Expandability and repairability probably shouldn't be an issue for someone who doesn't want to build a computer to begin with. (No offense.)
                    Satori is in the UK, and $250 (roughly 150 GBP) won't cover the cost of a netbook there.

                    There only reason to ever buy a laptop is if you absolutely need portability with computing power as your #1 feature.
                    This can apply to students or workers where moving around or being "in the field" is a critical function. Depending on what needs to be done, however, a netbook is often a less expensive / sturdier / better battery life option to cover the usage while out and about without risking expensive hardware by transporting it.

                    Every other reason is a compromise / keeping up with the Joneses / douchebaggery. For any given amount of hardware computing power, you will typically pay about 25% less or better for equivalent desktop hardware, and you get the upgradability / repair benefits at the same time.

                    In particular, the idea is that it needs to run FFXIV, an MMO that basically requires either a controller or a mouse. Both options require either wireless dongles that are easily detached and lost or USB wires (inconvenience), and where the computer is not moving when you're playing in any case.


                    Icemage

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking to buy a PC

                      Looking at the spec you looked at for £25 extra you can get one with a better graphics card and faster processor, a 128mb SSD as well as a 1tb HD for quicker starts also you can choose it with windows 7 home and no crappy bloatware installed on it and the graphics card is a better one being a 750GTX. The Novatech Black NTI99 (you can choose the operating system that you want)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Looking to buy a PC

                        I second Novatech as a good company to look at.

                        Overclockers UK - Computer components, hardware & gaming PC

                        These guys are great as well, and they do a lot of custom builds for you as well. They made my current PC. They can cost more than Novatech depending on if you are gunning for a custom build, but they do extensive stress testing on all machines, there's no bloatware to speak of, you can pick your OS, and the Customer Service is second to none. They also give you a 24 month warranty for free and I can vouch that they are reliable if something goes wrong.

                        Plus they gave me 3 packets of Haribo Tangfastics for free with my last PC.

                        "Titan Machete" Intel Core i5 4670K @ 3.8GHz Turbo Nvidia GeForce Gaming PC [FS-001-OG]

                        This one actually edge's out Jarre's with a better CPU, and no SSD leaving you with some extra money to spend on any upgrade options from the base machine. With Windows 7 it comes to £662 inc Vat. A bigger Hard Drive and better case won't set you back much, and the 750 Ti and GTX 660 Upgrades don't cost that much extra, and they give you a great mid-range GPU. If you're willing to splash out on a higher end GPU, the GTX 760 upgrade options are highly recommended as that GPU will last you a while. It also gives you something similar to my rig for over £200 less than a paid for it (though that is mostly because I was going for a custom build with some very specific parts).

                        Anyway give us a budget you are looking for first before people get too carried away.
                        Rahal Gerrant - Balmung - 188 DRK
                        Reiko Takahashi
                        - Balmung - 182 AST, 191 BLM, 182 SCH, 188 SMN
                        Haters Gonna Hate



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                        • #13
                          Re: Looking to buy a PC

                          Originally posted by Icemage View Post
                          Satori is in the UK, and $250 (roughly 150 GBP) won't cover the cost of a netbook there.
                          Didn't know that. Interesting.

                          Originally posted by Icemage View Post
                          There only reason to ever buy a laptop is if you absolutely need portability with computing power as your #1 feature.
                          This can apply to students or workers where moving around or being "in the field" is a critical function. Depending on what needs to be done, however, a netbook is often a less expensive / sturdier / better battery life option to cover the usage while out and about without risking expensive hardware by transporting it.
                          It's not quite that CPU that makes the sale, though the snappier performance all around is helpful.

                          Beyond that, screen real estate is great when working with spreadsheet or even a lot of text. (Or just to be able to keep a browser window partially on screen to look at reference material.) I'd imagine some text books still come with CD/DVD in the back. And, if you do a lot of typing, the bigger keyboard on most laptops will better than most netbooks'. Lastly, the usually larger hard drive means you can more comfortably fit video files, which are sometimes useful for school projects.


                          Originally posted by Icemage View Post
                          In particular, the idea is that it needs to run FFXIV, an MMO that basically requires either a controller or a mouse. Both options require either wireless dongles that are easily detached and lost or USB wires (inconvenience), and where the computer is not moving when you're playing in any case.
                          Hmm. I understand Satori wants to play FFXIV, but he did state that he would be using the new computer for school work. If it makes sense, I find that goal much more important than his gaming aspirations, so suggested the portable side of computing.

                          Maybe he can get by with a netbook for school work, I don't know. I do suspect that a low-end gaming laptop will be more than sufficient for school work and quite usable for FF14, and found one can be had in his price range, at least here in U.S.

                          I've yet to lose my wireless mouse, but I suppose that's another possible annoyance. Controllers, though, would be kept at home, I'd think. Unless he's a programmer, there's not much chance he'd need it at a group project meeting.

                          * * *

                          I was initially very skeptical of doing ALL my work on a laptop, but it turned out to be a non-issue. Maybe my skepticism toward netbook is unfounded, and just shows the bias of a touch typist who has trouble fitting all his fingers on one of those without feeling cramped.

                          * * *

                          Of course, if he can afford both, I'd easily say a desktop for gaming (and spreadsheets, if applicable), AND a (hopefully lightweight) laptop for school and web browsing. But, if Satori want a reasonably powerful machine but can only afford one, it really comes down to if he needs portable computing.
                          Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
                          yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
                          Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
                          leaving no trace in the water.

                          - Mugaku

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                          • #14
                            Re: Looking to buy a PC

                            Also if you regularly keep backups on an external media like you really should, a laptop crapping out isn't the end of the world. Though it is kind of expensive to replace one.
                            Rahal Gerrant - Balmung - 188 DRK
                            Reiko Takahashi
                            - Balmung - 182 AST, 191 BLM, 182 SCH, 188 SMN
                            Haters Gonna Hate



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