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My son is looking to buy a new gaming system. For reasons I have detailed elsewhere on Daniweb, there is no way in hell we will consider a Dell system. They were great once. They aren't anymore. And their service sucks big time. We would prefer a prebuilt system because

  1. it (theoretically) should have been designed so that all the components work well together.
  2. it will come with all the required drivers (customized as needed)
  3. all the pieces will be under one warranty at one place

It will have to be a Windows system because I only support Windows. My other son has an ASUS computer that has been trouble free for many years, and I arranged the purchase of ASUS laptops for my brother and father-in-law. Similarly, they have had no problems in several years. As you can imagine I am leaning toward ASUS. They have a number of systems available with various pick-and-choose options. I suppose three things that will matter most to a gamer are

  1. CPU
  2. Memory
  3. (most importantly) video card

The system must be a desktop/tower so that components could be upgraded if necessary.

If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate hearing them. If anyone has horror stories with any particular components I would be especially interested.

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Last Post by Reverend Jim
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Don't frag me here but I think we would overpay for prebuilt gamer PCs. I'll give a nod to https://www.amazon.com/Performance-Desktop-G11CD-DB73-GeForce-processor/dp/B01LZS67LQ/ since it has bleeding edge CPU, DDR4, SSD and the 1080 GPU.

If I was going with a gaming desktop, I build but I did run repair shops for years so to me it's not a big deal. But where would I start?
https://www.reddit.com/r/PCMasterRace/wiki/builds

My favorite tweaks to that is to ditch spinning drives and kick up the GPU to the 1080 or as close as I can.

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I should have added the other thing - while I am capable of swapping a card or a drive, building and configuring a system from scratch is completely beyond my capabilities. There would be too many gotchas "you can't run video card xxx with bus controller yyy, etc).

Buying components from different vendors would just lead to fingerpointing when something went wrong. I much prefer being in a situation where I can just send it back to the vendor when anything doesn't work. Also, there would be only one warranty to keep track of.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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I have an MSI gaming laptop and I'm very happy with it. I'm not a gamer, but I needed a laptop I could use as a desktop replacement with a good video card and large monitor, and that criteria limited me to gaming laptops.

For desktops, I've always gone Dell, but I know you're not a fan. I am VERY much not a fan of Dell laptops or the Dell consumer products. I would never purchase a consumer-side Dell. However, I have high end Dell Precision workstations which I'm extraordinarily happy with.

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I much prefer being in a situation where I can just send it back to the vendor when anything doesn't work.

Hear, hear. Whenever I tell someone I don't want to build my own, they always reply: "but it's not hard to do".

Depending on the type of games, an SSD can make a lot of difference though. You can go for a smaller SSD and a large HDD. The OS will probably be pre-installed on the SSD, but there should be room left for games (there might be a couple of games that go up to 50GB-100GB, but not a lot of them). Steam doesn't make it easy, but you could move around the game files back and forth from the HDD to the SSD, and keep the SSD smaller that way and save the rest of the budget for the other things. It does mean that your son would have to move stuff around when he wants to switch some of the games (and depending on where he lets Steam install, whenever a new game needs downloading).

Oh, before you go overboard on memory, there are a lot of games that won't even make use of 64-bit, so they're stuck on 4GB memory anyway. But that would really depend on the game, might be worth checking though.

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I have an MSI gaming laptop...

He currently has two laptops. The small one is a Dell. He uses that one for skype, writing, internet, etc. It's the newer one and is falling apart. The hinges are cracked and the power connector is starting to fail. The older laptop is his current gaming machine and it is a Dell Alienware. It's a solid machine and he's been happy with it but because of its age it cannot run a lot of the newer games. The plan is to use the new machine for games and the Alienware for older games and everything else. The POS Dell will get retired. We'll probably be ordering something in the next week or so. All of your comments are much appreciated.

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I'd try somewhere like Microcenter, if you look at their clearance/open box section on the website there are some deals to be had. I don't know what your budget is, but this for $791 looks like it'll fit the bill. You'd have to see what's available in your local store though!

There seems to be a bit of anti-Dell rhetoric in here, but the XPS range is good, I prefer my XPS 13 over my MBP in some ways.

Edited by pty

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I was actually going to suggest Alienware as I used to hear good things about it before it was acquired by Dell, and I believe it maintained the majority of its fanbase post-acquisition. From what I understand, it's managed as a separate entity.

I'm very much not a fan of Microcenter though, at least if we're talking about physical locations. I feel like they don't have a decent variety and they tend to not have any of the cutting edge stuff. Might just be me though. And of course this doesn't apply to Microcenter.com.

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There seems to be a bit of anti-Dell rhetoric in here

Maybe because of this and this.

rhetoric; The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

In my case, at least, res ipsa loquitur. You can only get shat on so many times before the honeymoon is over.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Here's a system I got specced.

Intel i5 quad core
Asus Prime Z720 chipset
16GB of 2666Mhz Memory
650W Power Supply 5 year warranty
120GB SSD (C:)
1 TB HD (D:)
Windows 10 Home
Either a RX470 4GB Video card or the GTX1050ti 4Gb

Any comments anyone?

Edited by Reverend Jim

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I'm more of a Nvidia person so the 1050 is my call

Same here. We're trying to get the price down a couple of hunderd bucks if possible so we may be making some compromises and the Radeon is an extra $75.

The reason I like the big secondary drive is to store

  1. downloaded install files
  2. images of disks that come with the system
  3. Macrium Reflect images of C: (full monthly, daily differential)

I find it amusing that the system comes with all of the install media (DVD) for everything on the system, but it does not come with a DVD reader/burner. Not a problem since most games are downloadable and anything that isn't can be converted to an ISO on several of our other machines.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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About that ODD (optical disc drive.) I now have a pair of USB ODDs. One is the usual 20 buck on sale USB DVDRW and the other is a BluRay burner (does CD/DVD as well) that I was clued into a sale at 54USD. The BRDVDCDRW came with BluRay Video player software so you know how much a pain that is today (no VLC for us!)

So for me, I don't fret about the machines having the ODD today.

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The system is ordered. We'll get it in a week. I had them add a wireless network card and a DVD-RW. We'll go shopping for a monitor after we get the beastie.

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