gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

The magic smoke.

Moderators: phlip, Moderators General, Prelates

Parsifal
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:35 am UTC

gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby Parsifal » Sun May 29, 2011 12:27 pm UTC

I am going back to school soon so I'll be making about 1/4 of my current income while also paying for tuition. Still, I would like to upgrade my current gaming machine (i7 920, nvidia 480, 6gb ram) some time in the next year or so. What do you all feel is the 'sweet spot' for buying a gaming system when money is a concern rather than speed, upgradeability, longevity or power consumption?

I could still get a little more mileage out of my current system, especially if I looked at replacing my slower hard drive with an SSD. However, I would like to avoid piecemeal upgrades since that has usually turned out to be more expensive in the long run, in my experience.

To be more specific, I suppose I should say I am looking for the best performance for the price in the $1000-2000 range, although I have usually spent upwards of $3000 on new systems in the past.

Addendum: If I can find a really cohesive setup for $2000+, I'm not above spending several months ordering the parts individually when deals come up.

GeorgeH
Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:36 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby GeorgeH » Sun May 29, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

You already have a top of the line system, why upgrade? Is there something your PC won't do?

I know it's easy to get carried away by benchmarks showing this or that CPU/GPU whatever being faster, but really an i7-920 and a GTX480 is in the top 5% of gaming PCs (rough guesstimate looking at the Steam hardware survey.) If you add a nice SSD - and there's no reason not to, they're one of the components that anyone should transfer to a new PC - you'll be hard pressed to notice any performance difference at all between your PC and something new. Throw the money in the bank and maybe consider upgrading in a year or so to Intel's new 22nm chips and AMD/Nvidia's new 28nm GPUs.

Parsifal
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:35 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby Parsifal » Sun May 29, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

I can still run almost everything with decent multiplayer performance and most graphics settings maxed - the one difference being that load times are starting to become an issue at very high texture resolutions. I'm thinking that the slower hard disk (7200 rpm) is the culprit, so experimenting with a smaller SLC solid state drive might be a good solution. Also, I'm starting to contemplate an upgrade path over the next year or two so I can still game after I can't afford to buy a top of the line system every year or two.

GeorgeH
Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:36 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby GeorgeH » Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 pm UTC

There really is no clear upgrade path at the moment. Anything that might potentially make sense as an upgrade hasn't been released yet, and probably won't be for at least another 6 months, probably a year - so we really have no clue yet.

I wouldn't bother with SLC SSDs. They used to be the way to go (my first personal SSD was SLC) but at this point it really doesn't matter for typical desktop usage. If you want something reliable and fast enough, grab an Intel 320. If you want absolute speed, grab a Vertex 3 (keeping in mind that you might need to get a SATA 6Gbps controller.)

User avatar
roflwaffle
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby roflwaffle » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:00 am UTC

If you build your own systems I think an SSD would be a solid investment. Swap it out of your old system and drop it in your new one. Your processor is fine, so IMO you should just upgrade GPUs periodically. That's where the biggest gaming bottleneck will be, even if it isn't there now.

User avatar
Solt
Posts: 1912
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:08 am UTC
Location: California

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby Solt » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:54 am UTC

Any reason you wouldn't consider a console the best bang for the buck when it comes to gaming?
"Welding was faster, cheaper and, in theory,
produced a more reliable product. But sailors do
not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a
most annoying habit of splitting in two."
-J.W. Morris

User avatar
legopelle
Posts: 308
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 7:07 pm UTC
Location: Directly over the center of the earth.

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby legopelle » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:08 am UTC

Solt wrote:Any reason you wouldn't consider a console the best bang for the buck when it comes to gaming?

Because FPS controls on PC is ridiculously better? Or that it can do everything a console can and more? If you divide the price with the things a PC is capable of it's still cheaper then a console.
The Reaper wrote:I'm still fine with people having reactors, and still against them weaponizing the leftovers.

Walter Bishop wrote:Why would anyone kill a scientist? What have we ever done?

User avatar
roflwaffle
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby roflwaffle » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:04 am UTC

That depends on what you want to do with it. For me a cheap PC and a dedicated game system is less than a PC capable of running everything my game system can because all the stuff I would use a powerful PC for I can also do with a cheap PC. Everyone's situation is different so as usual YMMV.

matt198992
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby matt198992 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131362
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829102003
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827129043
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820211281
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819103849
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127510
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817339025
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811156135

That's my rig. I just recently upgraded my CPU and video card. All in all, I spent about ~1500 on it. It plays Crysis (1) on max settings fluidly. Haven't tried Crysis 2 (did not really like the first one). But all in all, I have not had a problem with a game yet, and have been upgrading in anticipation for BC3. I am really liking the GTX 460. Definitely the most bang for your buck video card.

User avatar
lemmings
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby lemmings » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:08 am UTC

[Ignore all advice here, it was based off faulty information]

Under heavy load, that GPU alone can push 250-300 watts, factoring in another 100W for your peripherals/motherboard and 150W for the CPU and you're nearing the max for your power supply. You really should upgrade it to a 700W or 800W.
Last edited by lemmings on Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:04 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
PhoenixEnigma
Posts: 2303
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:11 am UTC
Location: Sasquatchawan, Canada
Contact:

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:44 am UTC

lemmings wrote:Under heavy load, that GPU alone can push 250-300 watts, factoring in another 100W for your peripherals/motherboard and 150W for the CPU and you're nearing the max for your power supply. You really should upgrade it to a 700W or 800W.

The hell are you talking about?
"Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we're going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I'm hell-bent on making it work." -Elon Musk
Shivahn wrote:I am a motherfucking sorceror.

User avatar
lemmings
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby lemmings » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:07 am UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:
lemmings wrote:Under heavy load, that GPU alone can push 250-300 watts, factoring in another 100W for your peripherals/motherboard and 150W for the CPU and you're nearing the max for your power supply. You really should upgrade it to a 700W or 800W.

The hell are you talking about?

Ah, and I fail. I misread the power consumption numbers on another review site and I interpreted their use of the phrase 'watts at socket' as the PCI socket, not wall socket. :oops:

User avatar
AvatarIII
Posts: 2098
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Location: W.Sussex, UK

Re: gaming hardware - most bang for the buck?

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:43 am UTC

Solt wrote:Any reason you wouldn't consider a console the best bang for the buck when it comes to gaming?


to be honest, it sounds like the PC Parsifal already has is as good as any console is going to be, so technically the most bang for buck would be to not buy anything.


Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests