Saturday, December 12, 2009

New computer help please

We're running a little late on this one, but need some help/suggestions/advice.

The 14 year old son has an old computer in his room.  He doesn't get much use from it, it won't play many of the new games.  He is getting to the pint that word processing is useful but that is about all so far he has a 'need' for.  Mostly he likes games.  And he isn't allowed to get online with it yet, if he wants to do that he uses the computer in the family room. (so we can keep an eye on him and what he surfs).

So the dilemma is this;  What cheap computer or components would perform well with most of the games out now?  Flight sims, and shooter games are some he likes.  Building one from components is not a problem, but what components do I buy?

Lets see,  AMD or Intel?  CPU speed?  Graphics card/chip?

I'm thinking that just about any new parts out there are a big step up, and would work fine for what we want.  Are there any to stay away from?  Upgrade to VIsta, or stay with XP? 

I'm taking suggestions folks.  Just a basic system, decent graphics, decent sound.  Oh, and can we keep it under $200?

Mr Fixit


Bob S. said...

Spend the money on a better then decent video card.

The vid card will take much of the stress on the RAM off and allow an older processor to keep up with the newer games.

Video card, then RAM (max out what the system can handle) then CPU

Anonymous said...

What I'd do, is to ask around for a local computer shop.(These are sometimes called screwdriver shops.) You ~do not~ want a chain of any kind. The advantage is that the owner is usually there and has an interest in making you happy today in order to get your business tomorrow. I've got one in Archdale, NC that I've been sending business since the mid-90s.

Mikael said...

I build my own... but a $200 budget isn't going to get you a gaming rig... heck you'll be lucky to get a computer period, second hand maybe.

Rough breakdown of what it'll cost you, based on browsing on a bit:
CPU ~$120
-Optional: Fan $50
Motherboard ~$80
Video card ~$100
RAM $85-100
Case ~$80
PSU ~$75
Harddrive ~$50
Total: $590-655. Budget gaming rig.

You can probably shave off as much as 200 from that if you scrape the bottom, and could probably squeeze in an acceptable gaming rig around $500.

This assumes you buy online and self-assemble. Also delivery is not included in the estimate.

I doubt it's even possible to build a $200 computer from retail parts, even if you choose only the cheapest possible options.

I'm excluding keyboard, mouse, monitor and operating system... the above is just the computer itself.

A windows operating system could break your budget by its lonesome if bought retail.

Mikael said...

PS: I'll check in later, to see if you still want advice on specific parts after you see that list/estimate... in general though: Intel, dual/quad core 2Ghz+, Nvidia/last generation/high numbers (the $100 bullet for video card in the estimate was a Geforce 9800 GT 512mb, it was the previous top-of-the-line card, and is a steal at that price).

Anonymous said...

My daughter is a gamer, she hates vista with a passion. She uses whatever the new gaming machines are called though vs her computer. That might be the way I would go if he has his own TV since he has his computer for wp and yours for the internet. Two hundred might be doable.