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New gaming computer - tower only?


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#1
SummerGirl

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Hi all,
I know zip about gaming computers but my husband has been playing games on my old desktop for years and I want to buy him a proper gaming computer for his birthday. What I'm wondering is, can I buy just a new tower to go with the monitor that I already have? It's an old Optima computer and there's nothing wrong with the monitor, it's a good size for gaming and it's not like he's a really serious gamer.
So can I buy any new computer tower suited for gaming to go with my monitor that I already have?
Thanks for any help.
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: SummerGirl

Does the screen have a video port the same as one at the attached link and if so which one please http://www.google.co...9QEwBA&dur=4201
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#3
SummerGirl

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Thankyou,
it looks like the first picture that shows up in that link but without the black port. I've actually uploaded a pic of what mine looks like:
(that's looking up at the computer from underneath. At the moment we have a cord that goes into the white port and a cord that goes into the little blue socket on the left which I think I read is the audio port.)

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1019.JPG

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#4
Splott

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My new graphics card came without a VGA port (blue) so i had to use a HDMI (black port) cable to plug into my monitor (which your monitor doesn't have,) im not sure what the trend is regarding ports on modern video cards but it might be best looking at what ports are available to you and if you have the cables already to use with it. Also, even though size is an important factor, you also need to look at max resolution and refresh rates as its these which will make the games look good and play good as well.

Thats if you even want a graphics card, most motherboards come with all ports to handy anyway. The big question is what sort of games does your husband play and at what detail settings? From here you can set out your budget and start looking at specs, a video card will be required for the majority of modern games.

Edited by Splott, 01 July 2013 - 05:46 PM.

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#5
phillpower2

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Thanks for the screenshot SummerGirl :thumbsup:

You are ok with the actual white DVI port that the screen has as they are still widely used on MBs with integrated graphics solutions and add on video cards, the blue VGA has now been more or less replaced by the HDMI port as technology has advanced.

Thanks for your helpful input Splott :thumbsup:

Very valid points raised by Splott in the above post SummerGirl and especially regarding the resolution and refresh rates, a workstation display will not offer the same performance as one designed for gaming or watching video on so my advice is to see if your husband is happy with the video quality of the new computer as displayed on the present screen.

If you would like any help with choosing a pre built computer or selecting parts to build a new computer please let us know and we will be happy to help.
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#6
SummerGirl

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Wow, you guys are great, thanks. One of the games he plays on the computer we have now is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. He says the resolution is fine but its the loading of the screen that he says is slow. But then, he can't compare it to anything as it's all he's played on. Another game he wants to get is Call of Duty: Black Ops.
I'm not sure what you mean by what detail setting he wants though... is it a dumb question to ask what's a detail setting?
There is one thing I've just remembered with our monitor - lately there's been a flashing notification popping up on the screen that has the words Luminosity or something like that. Would that be a problem with the screen? Am I wasting my time thinking I'll save a bit of money by just getting a tower? How much more would it cost to get a whole system compared to just getting a tower?
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#7
phillpower2

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Hello SummerGirl

RE: Luminosity = screen brightness, have a look at the free software at the attached link which adjusts the brightness for you depending on the light in the room http://justgetflux.com/

Just so that you are aware you will get more bang for your buck by either building your own computer or purchasing the parts and then have a local tech put the items together.

The system requirements for games can be found online or on the games box so that is not an issue if you need some recommendations for computers or hardware such as add on video cards.

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#8
Splott

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Ah, just by saying Black Ops we can build a picture of what sort of system would be suitable and what sort of gamer your husband is. I wasn't sure if he played old war strategy games from 2005 for example which would have required an entirely different approach.

Video games on a PC have customizable settings so you can add or remove certain details which help make the game look or play better, the main factor with performance in gaming is FPS (frames per second.) This is how smooth the game is, on consoles for example (Playstation & Xbox) you will see 30fps+, however you can play at lower then that (i myself used to play at around 18fps on my old pc) but you may get performance issues and screen tearing where your system cannot keep up with demand and doesn't show you the image in time. On the other hand other gamers only play at 60fps but this may require an expensive build or turning some settings down to reach that level.

Here is an example of Low vs Ultra graphics, i actually found it quite hard to find a video which portrays the different well but you can really see the different when playing. On low settings you will see more jaded textures, lower distance views, or no physics at play such as moving cloth on clothing or hair.

Low vs Ultra - Tomb Raider

Anyway, depending on budget you can look for components which run at the performance that you want to play at, video cards (which are needed to play modern day 3D games) can cost from a few hundred to a few thousand $/£/€ depending on what you want. Its best to research what you are buying with your money to see if you are getting a good deal and will get the performance which you are looking for when gaming.

Take a look at these system requirements for Black Ops, these are the MINIMUM things your pc must have to play the game. Note that this will not allow you to play on Ultra settings with 30fps+, you will also need to look at RECOMMENDED (which you won't see on some games) and try to judge at what detail your system could run the game at.

Ughgtled.jpg

Operating system: This should be Windows 7/8 anyway as games have already started to stop supporting Windows XP and in the future Vista won't be able to play the most modern of games.

CPU: Your computer's brain, this will help with loading times and how fast everything is in general. 2 cores on a processor is the minimum and should be what you are looking for.

Memory: Games use around 2-4gb these days, but gamers go for 6-16gb depending on how future proof they want their pc to be.

Hard drive: Just make sure you get big enough to hold all those games! 500gb+

Graphics hardware: Those detail and FPS levels we were talking about, Google how much the cards listed cost to determine how much you should be spending for performance.
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#9
SummerGirl

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Okay... I'm trying to slowly get my head around this stuff!
First, regarding the luminosity thing that keeps flashing on the screen, are you (phillpower2) saying that can be fixed by downloading the flux software? Because it's something that comes up on the screen and just flashes away and won't get off the screen until it's good and ready!

Splott.... thanks for explaining the details a bit more, I get what you mean. I've built a computer from this Dell website and was wondering what you think of these specs, bearing in mind I'm not sure what I'm really doing, do these specs in the attachment sound okay? It's an Alienware X51 - I don't know whether that's a good computer or whether just by now seeing the type of computer I was thinking of getting, you have started to laugh and realise what a noob to gaming I am! :rolleyes:

Thanks again all of you.

Oh and I'm in Australia so it's $$$ :)

Untitled-01.jpg

Edited by SummerGirl, 02 July 2013 - 08:21 AM.

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#10
phillpower2

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There may not be anything wrong with the monitor to fix and F.Lux is not a repair tool but more of an aid.

Alienware is the Dell flagship range which unfortunately tends to be expensive, would you consider selecting parts with our help and building it yourself or having a local tech build it for you, you will get better value and performance that way, we can select parts from Australian merchants no problem BTW.
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#11
Splott

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I would also not recommend Alienware as its too expensive and you pay a premium, plus after Dell have took over ive heard that prices have shot up and things are even worse.

A good benchmark to look at would beNewegg. Now, they only ship to the US fortunately, but you can compare prices to your local currency to see if you are paying more then you should be and check out reviews which always seem to be more honest and plentiful compared to separate sites.

Il leave this up to the pros now, just make sure you shop around to get the best deal!
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#12
SummerGirl

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Hmm very interesting about Alienware. That really has put me off it.
I would much prefer to save money and build one myself but the dilemma is that I live in a rural area and there's no tech guys around here to put it together for me. So I either have to travel to the city to buy one that's complete or I have to get one sent in the mail! I'm not going to the city anytime soon so I've only got one option left.
What other brands would you recommend then? If you just throw out a few names, I can see if they are in Australia too.
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#13
phillpower2

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mwave appear to be reasonable http://www.mwave.com.au/custombuild#2 Scorpion are also worth checking as they make it easy for you to configure your own parts list, they will then build the computer for you http://www.scorptec....systems/create/

Let us know what you think or if you would like us to check anything out for you.

NB: Please ensure that if you need an OS such as Windows 7 installed or you need to purchase an OS disk it is allowed for in your final budget.
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#14
SummerGirl

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Okay I've had a good look at all the links and everyone's been a huge help. I'm definitely learning more about computer parts! Thankyou all for helping - it's sent me in a much better direction and with a lot more knowledge. If I have more questions, I'll be coming back here! :happy:
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#15
phillpower2

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You are welcome SummerGirl - any questions please do ask :thumbsup:
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