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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Computer for Gaming

    My son is looking for a computer that he can play games on. His budget is very limited. What does he need to run games on a budget?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    Gaming computer and tight budget don't exactly go together very well.

    I'm a pretty hardcore PC gamer, but I would totally recommend looking at a gaming console (i.e. PlayStation2 or X-Box) if you plan to spend less than $1200 or $1500 for a decent current-generation gaming PC. You can buy a console system for less than $200 and games are usually around $50. It's definitely a higher bang-for-the-buck situation.

    Of course, if you're set on getting a PC for gaming I could offer a few suggestions. Put as much money as you can afford into the video card. A good video card is the heart of a gaming system. You make do with less than the fastest processor (CPU). High-end name-brand RAM is nice, but you can often get just about as much performance out of the cheap stuff.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    I agree with Mark. Unless you are ready to spend some serious money for a Voodoo, Falcon Northwest, HyperSonic, Alienware, or other gaming machine, you are better off getting a console.

    High end video cards alone will run over $400-500. For a mid range system to way high end rig you are looking at any where between $2500 to >$4000 for a machine.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    "a computer that he can play games on" covers a wide range of possibilities. The replies you have seen so far have all assumed that your son wants to play high-intensity-graphics type games.

    Can you ask your son to give us some examples of the sorts of games he likes playing, to validate the assumptions we have made.

    StuartR

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    Thanks. That's a very good question because he doesn't play the high end games. I'll get some names from him. He just uses it to relax after work sometimes.

    I had already suggested an x-box or something like that , but they have to buy a computer to access the internet and e-mail, so it seemed reasonable to continue playing games on the computer.

    Still, they are young and have a tight budget. He and his dad play games together over the internet because it's the only thing they can do together over a 1400 mile distance. So mom is a soft touch on this one and will help out some. I'll get the names of some games as soon as he gets home from work.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    My son says these are the games he wants to play:

    Medal of Honor , Allied Assault and others in the Medal of Honor series

    Splinter Cell

    Rainbow Six

    Ghost Recon

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    I believe the Medal of Honor series are on XBox.

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    These are all considered hardcore 3D games that take a pretty beefy system to run effectively.

    My aging system can run all of them at acceptable settings (not great, but acceptable). I currently have:

    Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz
    1 GB RAM
    128 MB nVidia GForce 4600 video card
    180 GB total hard disk space

    You'll also want to check with each game to verify the minum and recommended hardware requirements. To purchase a new system that's capable of running these games well, you're looking at around $1000 at the minimum. As I suggested before, put as much money as you can into a video card. Even if you can find a decent pre-built system for a good price ($500-ish), be prepared to spend extra for a good gaming-quality video card. Also, if you have to cut costs somewhere, the monitor is a good place to start. You can easily get a decent CRT monitor for $100 to $150 rather than spending 3 times as much for a comparible LCD flat screen.

    Hope this helps

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    What is a console?

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    See MarkJ's reply higher up in this thread (<post#=457212>post 457212</post#>). PlayStation, Nintendo and X-Box are examples of consoles.

  11. #11
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    Shooters (first / third person) are the second most graphic intensive games there are. (Flight Simulators being probably the first). In order to play these games (and the shooters are my favorite) you need all you can throw at them to play the game as the developer intended for them to be played.

    I believe most, if not all, of the games you listed are available for XBox & Play Station. IMHO consoles can not come close to the experiance of playing a game on a killer gaming machine, BUT consoles are fun to play none the less.


    edit: none was spelt wrong...

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Computer for Gaming

    The Xbox gaming console has the ability to play games interactively online and my 13 year old tells me that PlayStation2 does online gaming as well, so an inexpensive way for your son and his Dad to get together online and play some games might be with Xbox or PlayStation2. The games are a bit pricey, but can be rented at the local video store. An advantage (or disadvantage depending on your perspective) is that Dad will have to buy a console of the same manufacture too. But check into how this works to be sure they will be able to find one another once they get online. I don't allow my son to use the online gaming feature of his Xbox just yet, or I'd ask him how it works.
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