Hey fans, I don't know anything about except more RAM good and SSD fast. I'm looking into getting a new desktop computer (my first one!) to play my backlog of computer games that will be upgradable later.

This computer specifically:

Does it look decent for my purposes? It has space for 2 more RAM sticks if I want to bring it up to 32GB later, and there's plenty of space inside the case for future graphics card upgrades.

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@Alamantus if you were building one I'd say go for an AMD processor but I don't think there's a significant price difference in prebuilts. What kind of games do you want to run, graphical fidelity/age wise

@noiob Yeah, I know building one is the best way to go, but I just don't have the patience for it. I can absolutely upgrade a prebuilt machine over time though!

Most of my games are either >5 years old on Steam, random indie games, or "free" stuff I got from the Epic store. So not too intense by modern standards, I think? I think like Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 are among the most intense games? Maybe Destiny 2? Maybe there's some newer stuff I got from Epic, but I don't care if I have to turn the graphics quality down.

@Alamantus yeah, this machine will absolutely suffice then

@Alamantus if you're buying a screen, too, look up G-Sync/Freesync (the AMD equivalent, but newer G-Sync is compatible with Freesync monitors), getting one with a good range of variable refresh rates might be worth it for more demanding games

@noiob I've got a regular HD monitor that I'll probably stick with for a bit, but definitely I'll keep this in mind and make a note for the future!

@Alamantus one thing to note about that type of prebuild is that you usually get a lower spec power supply than most enthusiast builds, which will limit the possibities for future graphics card upgrades.

That model might ship with a 400W unit, ruling out many of the high end GPU upgrade options.

@kepstin Ah, that's good to know, thanks! What kind of power supply would I want to look into when the time comes to upgrade? Keep in mind that 400W sounds like a lot to me lol

@Alamantus the power supply in that system appears to be standard atx, so any regular PSU replacement should be ok. It is just an added expense to consider when upgrading.

The PSU is normally sized so the sum of peak component power usage is within the high efficiency range, so around 70ish % of capacity. The CPU there is about 90w peak, and the included GPU is rated as 120w, and peripherals like hard drive, lighting, and fans add a bit as well.

@kepstin Ok cool! Sounds like I'll have to do some research when the time comes, but thanks for the tips!

@Alamantus for reference, the RTX 3070, which would be a great upgrade for that system down the line if it becomes cheaper (or if purchased used in a year or two), is rated as 220W.

A good quality 650W PSU would be what I recommend for that card (but keep an eye on sales /pricing, sometimes higher capacity units are on sale for less; anything up to around 800w would be likely to fit that computer case and work fine)

If you want a gaming machine you need to make sure your graphics card gives you the best bang for your buck.

That's where the magic happens. Graphics cards are the ones computing the 3d terrain and using big chips to solve gigantic equations in parallel so that you can see your game's terrain with sharp detail running at 100+ frames per second. No matter how fast your computer's CPU chip is, no matter how much RAM you stack in there, if your graphics card sucks, your game experience is going to suck, period.

So I'm gonna link you to a nice Tom's Hardware article giving you the best 20 graphics cards you can buy:

If you want the cheapest graphics card that will still give you a great gaming experience, they recommend going for the GTX 1660 Super (the bottom of the list) instead of the vanilla 1660, which is what you're currently buying.

But BEFORE reading that article you need to learn the basics about graphics cards, so here's a nice YouTube video explaining what the specs in graphics cards mean. You want to watch this.

Happy buying! :blobthumbsup:


Oh and make sure your monitor supports high frame rates, i.e. 100 frames per second bare minimum, but you should go for 140fps or more.

Monitors sold to the general public support 60 fps max. 60 fps tends to give you motion sickness - not good at all for gaming; that's why you look specifically for gaming monitors.

Trust me, you also want to invest in this; your non-strained sight will thank you later.

@yuki Oh dang I didn't even think of that. I'll have to stick with my regular HD monitor for a while, but hopefully I can get a nicer one before too long! The sticker shock is already hitting me pretty hard πŸ˜†

@yuki Thanks for these resources! I'll definitely have to check out the YouTube video, but I'm glad to know the graphics card in the one I'm looking at is on that list at all!

@Alamantus Looks decent! I'm sure there are way more gamers who could say more though. I think it would carry you pretty far. Though, I don't know what kind of games you like to play. Usually suggest to compare the specs of games to the machine you want and go from there. Honestly, Costco tends to have really good prices on this sort of thing.
If you're intending to stay with windows, cool. If you're looking at linux, I'd be real careful to see what others have had issues with. Hope this helps!

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