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I Do Not Understand Buying Computers

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Yes...if you know what you're doing. ;)

I have upgraded various family members "store bought" computers...and it's always a pain, btw, because the store bought guys ALWAYS "lock you in" to THEM and THEIR services when you buy it. I bought a 'cheap-o' temp computer from Staples for about $900. Only had to last me a couple months. I needed to install an SSD to have all my data. That's an "Open case, plug in to cable, close case" operation. BUT...there was a sticker over the case that said "If you break this, your warranty is null and void". So they wanted me to take it to them, pay them $120 for "service of adding new hardware", and then wait 7 to 14 days to get it back. LOL! I ignored that and installed it myself, obviously. ... ... Point is, if you are comfortable installing hardware, software and doing basic trouble shooting...then buying 'cheap' and installing parts as wanted/needed is a viable option, but at that point you're better off just buying all the parts and building it yourself.
I will gladly give you this point. My usual upgrade cycle was to purchase a refurbished machine with the OEM OS license I wanted and a MB that would support a decent amount of memory. Transplant power supply and (upgraded) graphic's card from the last machine. Add memory/SSD as needed. A couple of years later, replace the graphic's card. A couple of years after start the cycle again. But even there I'm in the sub-$200 GPU market for most of my family upgrades, not high end gaming.
 

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embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
I haven't had anything press the capacity of a 2060, much less a 1660 or 1060.
You clearly haven't explored the endless timesuck that is modding Skyrim.

Now that's a game that, in spite of being a decade old, has an active modding community that has updated the assets to 4K graphics, added all new scores and sound effects, and created hundreds of hours of new quest lines.

If you want to see what that game looks like now, go checkout the /SkyrimPorn subreddit. Don't let the name spook you; it's just screenshots of modded Skyrim.
 

nevin

Adventurer
I tend to think that I need a new laptop. Not that I can afford one, but the one I have has always been kind of janky and I think we got in early 2015 for $700-800 Canadian.

So every once in a while I look at the big websites and see what prices are like and sooner or later my eyes start to glaze over. There are so many variables to consider now, are they not? But one of the things I do not understand is what money gets you now compared to what it used to. Like, at the price point we bought this laptop for most of the options are still 8 Gb of RAM and integrated graphics, with one difference I suppose being that the memory is now SSD instead of the old type of HD. I kinda thought that after 6 years that anything you buying at the same price point would be more obviously better in every way.

idk

I really just want something that I can eventually play Witcher 3 on smoothly at low to medium settings and Skyrim at (hopefully) very high settings. They certainly do not seem to making buying computers easy though.
Problem is marketing.
 

nevin

Adventurer
Problem is marketing.
Make sure its at least 8th gen intel i5 with 4 cores. 8gb mem min.

Go to HP store and look at HP pavillion gaming laptop
Base price has a gtx 1050 3mb vudeo card. And 16mb r
For 699 plus shipping. Cuts a few corners but my wife loves hers.

If you shop around you might find one with a 4gb video card

Older intel processors get killed by the security patches
 

nevin

Adventurer
Make sure its at least 8th gen intel i5 with 4 cores. 8gb mem min.

Go to HP store and look at HP pavillion gaming laptop
Base price has a gtx 1050 3mb vudeo card. And 16mb r
For 699 plus shipping. Cuts a few corners but my wife loves hers.

If you shop around you might find one with a 4gb video card

Older intel processors get killed by the security patches
If you prefer dell they have a similar model
 

wicked cool

Explorer
If you are buying a computer for Witcher 3 don’t (right now) buy a console

I built my own-it’s more fun and really not that hard (no prior experience). Plenty of videos out there etc

what you should do is see what’s needed for next gen games and start buying parts for that as there’s plenty of time. don’t build it based on Skyrim requirements as it was built with low requirements

graphics card is your biggest cost-build your pc around that. Latest Nvidia chip great , comparable motherboard , memory (it’s cheap) and power supply (don’t skimp on this)

then a cooling fan plus a case that fits it all
 

nevin

Adventurer
My understanding is that the name brand laptop you buy from Walmart for $200 is not the same as the same name brand laptop you buy from Best Buy or the name brand's website for $500. Walmart's is cheaper in part because Walmart gets a version of that same laptop but made with some cheaper parts.
They are definitely cheaper build. But the 200 to 500 range is all about the same. Walmart sells thise 200 dollar machinre at a loss to get you in the store. Low to mid range PC's (say up to 500) are usually sold at 2 to 3 percent markup or lower. Even at best buy. The problem is that mid grade stuff is made for specific types of users and they dont market that well.
The HP i linked is made for mid level to low gaming on a budget. It way over witcher 3 requirements.
Other mid grade machines are made for long battery life and internet/office use. They underclock video and cpu and use low power processors to get fantastic battery life but they'll be really frustrating to game on. Even low end games.
 

nevin

Adventurer
I tend to think that I need a new laptop. Not that I can afford one, but the one I have has always been kind of janky and I think we got in early 2015 for $700-800 Canadian.

So every once in a while I look at the big websites and see what prices are like and sooner or later my eyes start to glaze over. There are so many variables to consider now, are they not? But one of the things I do not understand is what money gets you now compared to what it used to. Like, at the price point we bought this laptop for most of the options are still 8 Gb of RAM and integrated graphics, with one difference I suppose being that the memory is now SSD instead of the old type of HD. I kinda thought that after 6 years that anything you buying at the same price point would be more obviously better in every way.

idk

I really just want something that I can eventually play Witcher 3 on smoothly at low to medium settings and Skyrim at (hopefully) very high settings. They certainly do not seem to making buying computers easy though.
Fyi for witcher 3 as someone else said a budget ryzen 5 or ryzen 7 should play fine. Only issue may be is mist of thise have low resolution panels usually 1366 x 768
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
If you are buying a computer for Witcher 3 don’t (right now) buy a console

I built my own-it’s more fun and really not that hard (no prior experience). Plenty of videos out there etc

what you should do is see what’s needed for next gen games and start buying parts for that as there’s plenty of time. don’t build it based on Skyrim requirements as it was built with low requirements

graphics card is your biggest cost-build your pc around that. Latest Nvidia chip great , comparable motherboard , memory (it’s cheap) and power supply (don’t skimp on this)

then a cooling fan plus a case that fits it all
Also, if you are building for Skyrim, then the GPU isn't where your power should be coming from. Skyrim, like most Bethesda Games, is more CPU intensive than anything. Additionally, it's not optimized for multithreading. So buying an i9 series Intel chip is a waste of your money if that's your primary goal.

For a Skyrim build, an AMD 3700 or an Intel i7 9700 will do just fine and shouldn't break your wallet.

Also, there is no advantage to running an AMD CPU with an AMD GPU nor is there a disadvantage to running an AMD GPU with an Intel CPU or an nVidia GPU with an AMD GPU. You can mix or match as you please.

For any CPU, I'd recommend investing in a liquid cooling solution. Make sure the case you get has enough fan space to allow the radiator to be mounted. Soundwise, it makes a difference.
 

If you want to see what that game looks like now, go checkout the /SkyrimPorn subreddit. Don't let the name spook you; it's just screenshots of modded Skyrim.
It's so pretty......I joined that sub last year, I'm currently downloading Fallout 4 again so i can really go nutty with modding
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
It's so pretty......I joined that sub last year, I'm currently downloading Fallout 4 again so i can really go nutty with modding
7296bd2.png


1beaf81.png


13e45ac.png


Be careful. Modding is addictive.
 


pming

Hero
Hiya!
I will gladly give you this point. My usual upgrade cycle was to purchase a refurbished machine with the OEM OS license I wanted and a MB that would support a decent amount of memory. Transplant power supply and (upgraded) graphic's card from the last machine. Add memory/SSD as needed. A couple of years later, replace the graphic's card. A couple of years after start the cycle again. But even there I'm in the sub-$200 GPU market for most of my family upgrades, not high end gaming.
Oh! You reminded me...

If you want to avoid "strange problems" with a system that should be working fine... look into your Power Supply! Soooo many (pretty much all) of the "store bought" systems use absolutely HORRIBLE PSU's (Power Supply Unit's). For the uninitiated, PSU's are rated by "metal type and rating". What I mean is they are rated as "[metal] 80+". The "80+" means "this PSU is operating at at least 80% or higher capacity at a constant, at 20/50/100 percent capacity, this is how good/effective it will be". ( here: Power Supply Ratings, Exactly What do They Mean? - WePC | Let's build your dream gaming PC ) The ratings are, from least reliable to most reliable are:

80+ White
80+ Bronze
80+ Silver
80+ Gold
80+ Platinum
80+Titanium

Just about all "store-bought" computers will be using, at BEST, 80+ Silver, with the VAST (well over 90% of them I'd wager) being White or Bronze. The reason a PSU is important is that when your computer is doing a lot of stuff (re: what's it's designed for), it has to distribute power to the system components in a constant flow. The more computing power you need, the more electrical power you need (obviously)...and when a PSU gets too hot/overburdened, it starts to 'flake out'...giving power supply problems to various components like your MB, CPU, RAM, Vid Card, etc. And, as if I have to say it, this will cause "errors", leading to your OS asking for the answer to "3+4" and in stead of getting the correct answer of "7", it gets the answer "Corned beef". ...and crashes.

Bottom Line: Do NOT neglect your PSU! More is always better with PSU, and better is, well, better. So if you can spring that extra $40 for the Gold over the Silver... DO IT! That $40 is better spent on the PSU than a pretty RGB fan. ;)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 



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