Gaming Computer Advice

Hey everyone,

I'm currently looking into upgrading from my old laptop to a gaming desktop and I'm not 100% what to look for or what to get. If it helps getting advice some games I'm specifically looking to play are World of Warcraft (of course), TERA (MMO), Star Wars the Old Republic MMO, Skyrim, Starcraft, and other recent PC games. I want to be able to put these games on high settings and play at 60 FPS. My budget for a new computer is set at 1,000 dollars. I don't know if my expectations for 1,000 dollars is unrealistic or not so any advice that can help me get a good picture of what I should be looking at would be great. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this and I hope you have a blessed day.
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96 Blood Elf Paladin
10145
You can do quite well for $1k. Answering these questions will help with recommendations:

1. Would you consider building your own computer, or are you looking for a pre-built?

2. Do you need a monitor? Keyboard? Mouse? Speakers/headphones? Or just the tower?

3. Do you have a copy of windows you can use, or is that needed also?
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1) I would consider building my own computer only if I had a step by step guide to hold my hand. I have no idea whats good or not. So, at the moment, I'm leaning towards a pre-built computer.

2) I need a new monitor and speakers as well.

3) I don't have a copy of windows on hand so I'll need to buy a new OS.
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1) I would consider building my own computer only if I had a step by step guide to hold my hand. I have no idea whats good or not. So, at the moment, I'm leaning towards a pre-built computer.

2) I need a new monitor and speakers as well.

3) I don't have a copy of windows on hand so I'll need to buy a new OS.
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96 Blood Elf Paladin
10145
These are the basically the best 4 pre-built desktops on Newegg that would still allow money to get a monitor on a $1k budget. By best, I mean they have the most powerful graphics cards at that price point. The Radeon 7870 and Geforce 660 are roughly equivalent. One will beat the other depending on the game.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100019096&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=10%7C83-227-441%5E83-227-441-TS%2C83-229-399%5E83-229-399-TS%2C83-227-465%5E83-227-465-TS%2C83-229-394%5E83-229-394-TS

Here are some pros and cons of each computer:

#1, iBuypower Gamer Power

Pros:

* It has the nicest case if you can handle the red color scheme
* It *might* have the most trustworthy power supply
* It has the best motherboard, hands down
* It has Windows 7 instead of 8, which you might consider a pro.

Cons:

* It has the weakest cpu
* It doesn't have Windows 8, if you consider that a con.

#2, Cyberpower 2148

Pros:

* Tied for middle cpu
* Looks cool
* Cheapest of the four

Cons:

* No USB 3.0 or SATA III

#3, Cyberpower 2154

Pros:

* Tied for middle cpu
* Better motherboard than the 2148

Cons:

* Case has the least features

#4, iBuypower Gamer Extreme

Pros:

* Best cpu of the four, enough so that it likely is overall best across a wide variety of games
* Nice case

Cons:

* No USB 3.0 or SATA III
* Smallest hard drive
__________________________________________________________________

The four listed above have the best graphics cards and will therefore game best of any eligible computers from Newegg. Here are a couple more options though.

This one has only a quad core cpu but on a newer architecture than the first 3 above. It also has a weaker but still strong graphics card - it will run WoW on ultra settings. The integrated video is strong enough that if the video card were to die, you'd still be able to game while you waited for a replacement. The biggest advantage is it's small size, if portability matters to you.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229454

This one is a bit cheaper, has twice the ram, a decent cpu (maybe second best of any I've listed, after the I5), and still a competent video card, though the weakest of any I've listed. It also has a nice case and an 80+ rated power supply, which is nice. Avatar builds a bit better in general than Cyberpower or iBuypower.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883258036
________________________________________________________________

For a monitor, I'd investigate this sorting - it's all 23" and above with decent brands: https://pcpartpicker.com/parts/monitor/#sort=a9&qq=1&m=3,161,8,139,141,13,20,129,131,135,32,35,136&s=2700,2600,2500,2460,2410,2400,2360,2350,2300&r=192001080
Edited by Selvaganesh on 5/7/2013 2:07 AM PDT
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Thanks for the extremely informative reply. I took a look at the various computers and the only thing keeping me from putting my card information in and clicking "buy" is the numerous negative reviews. Can I trust newegg to send me a computer that works from the get go? So many users report either getting a computer that doesn't work out of the box or of frequent system shut downs. Just a little concerned is all. Not sure if I'm just being a worry wart though.
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
5740
That is an issue with the PC's themselves from the manufacturers not newegg.
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96 Blood Elf Paladin
10145
Or user error.
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
5740
Or a bad wireless card (if you get the joke +1 to you)!!!
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My budget for a computer went up so I was thinking about getting this computer instead of the 4 listed, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883258024. Is this a better computer than the four previously listed? If so what are the pros and cons of the machine that any of you can see? Thanks in advance for any help on the issue! God bless.

Good monitor for this machine?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236305&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL050713&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL050713-_-EMC-050713-T-_-LCDMonitors-_-24236305-L011A
Edited by Clèaváge on 5/7/2013 6:05 PM PDT
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96 Blood Elf Paladin
10145
A 500gb hard drive would just limit the amount of music or video you could store locally. It's just a capacity issue. For some people that doesn't matter, especially if you mostly stream content. If you rip your dvds, you can begin to fill up 500gb fairly quickly. You can always throw another hard drive in later or use an external one for storage.

Sata III connections on the board only matter if you get a solid state drive. Sata I has a cap of 150 mb/s transfer rate, Sata II is 300 mb/s, and Sata III is 600 mb/s. The newest and best conventional hard disks (Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 is the fastest I know of, aside from the WD Raptors) can sustain a write transfer rate of about 160 mb/s, and a burst rate just a bit higher, so the best conventional disks just barely dip into Sata II territory. SSDs can operate in the 400-500 mb/s range though.

That's a nice monitor. Maybe a bit pricey but you do after all use the monitor more than any other part of the system, so it's worth getting one you'll be happy with.
___________________________________________________________________

Before you pull the trigger, it's worth googling some benchmarks for the games you play most often. Here's a comparison between the Geforce 660 and Radeon 7870: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/548?vs=660

It's a bit complicated because AMD's newest drivers for the 7000 series cards have improved the cards performance this year. The 7870 may have a bit more muscle overall, except in certain games that just seem slanted toward nvidia. Either card is going to be quite fast though - I'm sure you'd be satisfied either way.

It's probably possible to spend less on a tower and still get the performance you want. Here's a ranking of the performance of various video cards you'll see; if it's a lower model than one of these, ignore it:

Radeon 7750 = Geforce 650
Radeon 7770
Geforce 650ti
Radeon 7790
Radeon 7850 = Geforce 650ti Boost
Geforce 660 ~ Radeon 7870
Geforce 660ti ~ Radeon 7870XT
Radeon 7950 ~ Geforce 670
Radeon 7970 edges out Geforce 680 in more cases than not

CPU-wise, an I5 is basically ideal. On the AMD side, you'd want an FX cpu with a 3 as the second digit, like FX-8350, FX-6300. Of the original 4 I listed, all the AMD cpus were X1XX cpus, but the thing is they still have strong video cards, so they'd beat an I5 with a weaker one. Everything is relative and it's sort of a game of trade-offs with pre-builts.

I'll browse around some more and see what comes up.

EDIT: If that $999 Avatar is in your budget, it's a solid machine. Good cpu, strong video card, looks to be a reliable power supply. Nice aesthetics.
Edited by Selvaganesh on 5/7/2013 6:29 PM PDT
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80 Worgen Rogue
8355
Just FYI, if you are willing to invest the time and deal with any side effects [having to make it so your system can run WoW by using Wine, for example] just use Linux. It's not as easy as Windows to use but has more options available to you. And some Linux OS's don't cost anything [Ubuntu, I believe, is one.]
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