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      10-04-2020, 09:56 PM   #1
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Coming back to PC gaming... I'm lost

I've been on Mac the past 15 years for work. I've relied on XBOX for my gaming "needs", but now I want to dip my toe back into PC gaming mainly for VR and sim racing.... but mostly for VR and using a mouse for FPS games again.

I used to build my own PCs back in the day, but it seems like a different landscape now. Seems like just getting a build bundle is easier than ever. I've been eying the Alienware Aurora Ryzen R10. Is it still significantly cheaper to build my own PC or will getting this just be easier for a small price premium. I'm willing to pay a premium of $500 or so if I don't have to deal with the headaches of piecing together a bunch of components. I kind of like the plug and play aspect. Thoughts?




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      10-04-2020, 10:15 PM   #2
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Several builders make great PCs..basically putting together a build for you in a standard case with motherboards and components that include some of the best in the business. Dell is not one of those. Also given the 3000 series from Nvidia release you'd be crazy to go AMD for graphics right now.
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      10-04-2020, 10:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
Several builders make great PCs..basically putting together a build for you in a standard case with motherboards and components that include some of the best in the business. Dell is not one of those. Also given the 3000 series from Nvidia release you'd be crazy to go AMD for graphics right now.
Alienware was a big deal back in the day... what are some other builders I should look into?
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      10-04-2020, 10:46 PM   #4
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Alienware was a big deal back in the day... what are some other builders I should look into?
https://www.microcenter.com/search/s...5&myStore=true
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      10-05-2020, 04:24 AM   #5
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Alienware is good stuff, but I would stick to Intels CPU.
On the flipside: I build my own PC's since years and have intervals build-to-build all 6-7 years. No need to change hardware when its straight on the market, even a 3070 or 3080. As long as the system runs all games fine, no need to throw my money outta the window. Pricing depended always on shipping fares, sometimes I'd got compensations when bought more stuff at one shop.
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      10-05-2020, 05:55 AM   #6
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Just invest in Nvidia if you are looking to customize your own computer, no matter how old you get, they still perform the same. I had mine built in 2014 and it still performs better than any of my Pro Laptops w.r.t gaming.
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      10-05-2020, 06:01 AM   #7
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I just build my own.
You don't really need a really high end CPU. Make sure you go for a nvme drive 64G ram and a 2080 or better video card.

I even went for an off the shelf water cooler, which keeps it quiet and wasn't too much work.
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      10-05-2020, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
Alienware was a big deal back in the day... what are some other builders I should look into?
Then you crack open the case and find a poor quality motherboard, inferior cooling, terrible cable management, weak/inefficient power supply, bottom binned GPUs, etc.

I used to work for Dell...they will cut every corner possible.

OriginPC, CyberpowerPC, Microcenter's brand PowerSpec, iBuyPower, Digital Storm...I'd got with just about any of these over Alienware personally.

Out of curiosity, what are you feeling lost on with regards to building your own?

Do you have a microcenter near you?
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      10-05-2020, 05:56 PM   #9
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Hey jmg

Building a PC has become so easy now - Last system I built was easily 20 years ago and had no trouble putting mine together earlier this year after sourcing the parts. It choosing the damn parts. . Any pre built they will cut corners somewhere to make a buck! Best value is 100% putting it together yourself.

You`ve not mentioned a budget though. Going from the system you linked are you looking at 2k all in or 2k for the system and monitors and peripherals on top?

Stay away from Dell (Alienwear, you may as well go to Walmart dude)

AMD over Intel for CPU - Honestly don't know what rock Dang3r has been hiding under but AMD are trouncing Intel with the Ryzen series

GPU - the guys are right and the clear choice is an Nvidia 3080 right now (tis is coming from a AMD Radeon owner) - it`s easily the best card of the market right now (cost/performance)

Ram - reputable brand - Corsair are good (get ow latency and marry the clock to the cpu (bus?) - I would be looking at 32 gig min

Hard drive - just get a NVME they are so fast its hillarios - pay about 100 for 1TB

Case - whatever - personal preference

RGB - it`s like downloading more ram - will only make the system faster

Peripherals - Key boards mice, speakers, headsets, monitors all need to be budgeted for.

I spent 1k on my system and 1k on my monitor and have a beast of a 2k (graphics now) gaming rig.

Linus tech tips has some great videos on pc`s at certian price points - do a google and just replace the GPU advice with the Nvidia 3080.

Hope that helps
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      10-05-2020, 06:28 PM   #10
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I have not compared pre-built to custom in depth. However when I have done a quick comparison on costs I didn't find you save THAT much by building it yourself. I'm sure these PC builders get much better deal on parts etc. I personally enjoy building it and trying to get deals on each component, however if you want plug and play going pre-built is fine.

As everyone else has said though. I would wait until you can get one of the new Nvidia cards on the pre-built. Not sure if the builders already have access to these or not, but defintley wait until you can get it with one of the new RTX cards.
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      10-05-2020, 06:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmmQuattro View Post
I just build my own.
You don't really need a really high end CPU. Make sure you go for a nvme drive 64G ram and a 2080 or better video card.

I even went for an off the shelf water cooler, which keeps it quiet and wasn't too much work.
Why would a gamer build need 64GB ram? 16GB would be enough for many and 32GB would be plenty I'd imagine even for AAA titles.
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      10-06-2020, 07:27 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by grocerylist View Post
Why would a gamer build need 64GB ram? 16GB would be enough for many and 32GB would be plenty I'd imagine even for AAA titles.
You are right - no need, but hey, I don't need 400+ HP

Actually, I use my PC for CAD work as well, so that's why I got 64G.

And I did get AMD Ryzen - no need for Intel, but it might depend on stock levels where you live or buy online.
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      10-06-2020, 04:59 PM   #13
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My son wanted a gaming PC... so we did the research against his goals... or fastest he could get for under $600.

We watched YouTube videos on how to build your own PC.
Read sites about essential pieces for gaming.
And then crawled gaming PC makers like Alienware, Skytech, etc.

Ultimately we bought a refurbished (customer refused, not used) Skytech with Ryzen 5 (latest chip), Nvidia 1080 card, SSD, 64GB, 1TB HD, etc... retails $975+... $500 on ebay.

The thing smokes my XBOX S. The gaming and frame rates are staggering smooth.

Here's a youtube vid we used to map out our wants list as well as getting familiar with the PC box.
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      10-06-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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The alienware case feels like cheap plastic. If you're looking for a build check out maingear. Decide on how much you want to spend on a GPU and then work around that to not have bottlenecks.
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      10-06-2020, 06:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullstack View Post
The alienware case feels like cheap plastic. If you're looking for a build check out maingear. Decide on how much you want to spend on a GPU and then work around that to not have bottlenecks.
Good point - Nice little calc for that here https://pc-builds.com/calculator/

Thing is the 3080 is going to blow it all out the water. You would normally aim for 10% +/- but most systems will be overly CPU bottle necked due to the massive leap in GPU tech with this launch - i`d look at it as future proofing though and accept a 30% cpu bottle neck if the budget dosn't stretch to a Ryzen 9 right now.
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      10-09-2020, 03:58 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the tips. Made the first step today and pre-ordered the Oculous Quest 2 since I'm getting a PC mainly for VR games. I think I'll be ordering a pre-built for micro center since they are not far from me and I used to go there years ago.

So far I'm going intel with whatever Nvidia card I can get my hands on for cheap until I can get this new one that's sold out everywhere. Probably 32gb ram and a 1tb ssd boot drive and secondary drive for storage. Anything else I need for the oculous? I'll probably use one of my spare monitors for now then spring for a wide gaming monitor.
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      10-09-2020, 04:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamingat30fps View Post
I have not compared pre-built to custom in depth. However when I have done a quick comparison on costs I didn't find you save THAT much by building it yourself. I'm sure these PC builders get much better deal on parts etc. I personally enjoy building it and trying to get deals on each component, however if you want plug and play going pre-built is fine.

As everyone else has said though. I would wait until you can get one of the new Nvidia cards on the pre-built. Not sure if the builders already have access to these or not, but defintley wait until you can get it with one of the new RTX cards.
What do you think of this?


https://www.microcenter.com/product/...aming-computer

Or should I really just wait for the new card? I think I'll be able to play pretty much any game with this rig and get the new card after Christmas or whenever. Maybe sell the one this comes with?

A few questions: is this power supply enough? Any bottlenecks in this build? RAM? Is this a decent price? If I can build this myself and save $200 I'd rather just have them do it honestly.

Also I'm looking to hook up at least two monitors and the Oculous. Any downsides to using a usb-c port as opposed to a DisplayPort for either the oculous or a monitor?
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      10-09-2020, 04:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapperss View Post
Hey jmg

Building a PC has become so easy now - Last system I built was easily 20 years ago and had no trouble putting mine together earlier this year after sourcing the parts. It choosing the damn parts. . Any pre built they will cut corners somewhere to make a buck! Best value is 100% putting it together yourself.

You`ve not mentioned a budget though. Going from the system you linked are you looking at 2k all in or 2k for the system and monitors and peripherals on top?

Stay away from Dell (Alienwear, you may as well go to Walmart dude)

AMD over Intel for CPU - Honestly don't know what rock Dang3r has been hiding under but AMD are trouncing Intel with the Ryzen series

GPU - the guys are right and the clear choice is an Nvidia 3080 right now (tis is coming from a AMD Radeon owner) - it`s easily the best card of the market right now (cost/performance)

Ram - reputable brand - Corsair are good (get ow latency and marry the clock to the cpu (bus?) - I would be looking at 32 gig min

Hard drive - just get a NVME they are so fast its hillarios - pay about £100 for 1TB

Case - whatever - personal preference

RGB - it`s like downloading more ram - will only make the system faster

Peripherals - Key boards mice, speakers, headsets, monitors all need to be budgeted for.

I spent £1k on my system and £1k on my monitor and have a beast of a 2k (graphics now) gaming rig.

Linus tech tips has some great videos on pc`s at certian price points - do a google and just replace the GPU advice with the Nvidia 3080.

Hope that helps
I was an intel fanboy 20 years ago... is the AMD that much better?
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      10-09-2020, 10:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
What do you think of this?


https://www.microcenter.com/product/...aming-computer

Or should I really just wait for the new card? I think I'll be able to play pretty much any game with this rig and get the new card after Christmas or whenever. Maybe sell the one this comes with?

A few questions: is this power supply enough? Any bottlenecks in this build? RAM? Is this a decent price? If I can build this myself and save $200 I'd rather just have them do it honestly.

Also I'm looking to hook up at least two monitors and the Oculous. Any downsides to using a usb-c port as opposed to a DisplayPort for either the oculous or a monitor?
Doubt you would save much building it yourself unless you spend a lot of time shopping around for components. You should check out this site:

https://pcpartpicker.com/

Lets you basically pick out all your components for your build and gives current online pricing.

As for the card I'm sure it will work fine. I have an old ass GTX 970 Ti and I can run most games well enough at 1080p. The thing is the new cards are better than the best last gen cards for a fraction of the price. However who knows how long until they are readily available for MSRP. If you want a PC now then I think that one is fine. A lot of people prefer AMD now days, but like you said, it should run most any game without issue.

I am no expert but if you just want to game on PC now then I say go for it. There is always something better or cheaper or whatever. I find you can really get analysis paralysis with this stuff.
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      10-09-2020, 12:46 PM   #20
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AMD will be cheaper, but they lack in stability and support in some cases (your mileage may vary).

Nvidia / Intel are your reliable brands, but you pay for the added reliability.

This is strictly speaking apples to apples.

Best thing to do when buying / assembling a computer is set a budget and realize your GPU is going to be +70% of that cost. Assuming you want to game on it.

If you aren't in a rush, definitely wait for black friday / cyber monday or boxing day sales. Compare price trends too, some items may say 50% off but they are the same price they always were (classic retail scam).
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      10-09-2020, 01:25 PM   #21
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I will say there is something big to be said for putting in the effort to review which components you want and then a lot of fun to actually build the PC. It's also beneficial to have an individual warranty on components should one piece of the build fail or have a problem, easy to replace just that component.

I also fully take advantage of Microcenter's return policy as if I run into a lower binned part that isn't able to overclock or perform as well (aside from CPU) they will take back anything and I can swap out for another of the same model or just return and replace with a different model.

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      10-09-2020, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9213 View Post
I will say there is something big to be said for putting in the effort to review which components you want and then a lot of fun to actually build the PC. It's also beneficial to have an individual warranty on components should one piece of the build fail or have a problem, easy to replace just that component.

I also fully take advantage of Microcenter's return policy as if I run into a lower binned part that isn't able to overclock or perform as well (aside from CPU) they will take back anything and I can swap out for another of the same model or just return and replace with a different model.

I gotta be honest one of the reasons I stopped building PC rigs was because I had a kid and focused on my career and just wanted something that was play and play, which is why I got an x-box. I have way too many hobbies to spend a bunch of time piecing together another rig. I just want to play!!
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