Need a better computer for gaming

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Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:13 am

Hi,
Doing a little research for a christmas present for my son. He says our computer "lags" when he tries to play video games, mostly minecraft these days. I've read several suggestions regarding building a computer, but I am not sure I can make that happen! Is there any off the shelf recommendations? Or better yet, can anyone tell me if the following computers might handle new video cards/boards as an upgrade? The computers we have are:

HP Pavillion entertainment notebook, 1.73 ghz, 2 mb l2 cache, 533 mhz fsb, nvidia geforce go 7600, windows xp, 1024mb system memory, 200 gb storage w dual hard drives, lightscribe 8x dvd drive.

or,

emachine windows vista home premium, amd x2 4050e processor, nvidia geforce 6150se integrated, 320 gb hard drive, 3 gb ddr2 memory, 15 in one digital media manager.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thx.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:28 am

Building a computer is very easy. In fact, the first page in TR's System Guide links to this article with instructions. Any new stuff would be minimal, and I am sure a local gerbil would answer your questions.

Now if you're looking for gaming, we would really need more information. You can fix a lot of Minecraft issues by turning down settings, but if you'd like to get more performance in another game, having a good idea of how much horsepower that game requires should drive the right decision. Going along with this, I assume you won't be buying a new monitor soon, so do you know what the maximum resolution is?

Oh, and the notebook probably won't have any significant upgrades available. If you can install your own RAM, maybe you can find something cheap, but you wouldn't be able to get a new/faster CPU or GPU.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:48 am

Hey there.

You need to check what type of lag he's talking about. There's framerate and connection rate.
For laggy framerates you want a faster graphics card, probably. For better connection rates you'll need to check your internet is running well. Try Pingtest.net.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:19 am

Thx Chrispy and superjawes, I will ask about the type of lag time. I would like to get a newer, bigger monitor, so any suggestions you have for that would be great, especially in terms of resolution rates. I will check out the links for building a computer.

When I find out more about the lag time issue from my son I will post more info, thx.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:47 am

Monitors seem to come in 1080p resolution as the standard (same as HDTVs). Now how much that monitor costs completely depends on other quality factors, but your graphics card won't care about that. Targeting good frame rates at 1080p is a generally good target for new gaming systems.

As I mentioned, the price on such a monitor depends on other factors. The System Guide I linked discusses this on the last page, but the primary factor is the technology used for the LCD panel. You can get something like this for $150, which (I'm assuming) uses a TN panel. The drawbacks to this technology are poorer color definition and limited viewing angles. Personally, I think this is passable for most situations, but it also means always looking straight at the monitor and obviously not having the best color quality.

If you are willing to pay more for a monitor, however, IPS displays have excellent color definition, and I've noticed that all displays with resolutions higher than 1920x1080 seem to be IPS as well.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:49 pm

You don't have to spend a fortune to get an IPS LCD display.
$175 -10MIR 23" Asus VS239H-P 1920x1080 eIPS LCD monitor

Radeon HD7770 1GB provides a good starting point for most gaming at 1920x1080.
Radeon HD7850 2GB or GeForce GTX660 would provide a very good gaming experience with even the most demanding games at that resolution.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:56 pm

Can you open up the case on the emachine and tell us the power supply wattage? (Do this with the computer turned off and the power plug disconnected from the wall socket.)

Maybe even take a photo with a digital camera of a side on shot so we can check expansion slots? (I'm sure that nvidia mobo has a PCI-E slot for a graphics card).
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:57 pm

Judging by your current computers I would say you're definitely limited by your graphics processing power. You're not going to be able to upgrade the notebook so that's not a place I would focus. The desktop could benefit from a GPU upgrade, but you're not going to get very far before something else starts to bottleneck you. Depending on your budget you could start with a GPU in the desktop, but you'll be limited by how many if any power connections you have available on your power supply.

If budgets allow I think you would be best served by something like the econobox http://techreport.com/review/23814/tr-w ... em-guide/2 for under $600 you would have a machine that is easily 2 to 3 times more powerful than either of your current machine and could be a fun project for you and your son.
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Re: Need a better computer for gaming

Postposted on Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:10 pm

Thx everbody, I will look at the links posted and get better ideas for upgrading via your suggestions!

Yogibbear, I will try to get the power/wattage info and post it soon.
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