Computers & Electronics

How much for a decent gaming PC?

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  • Feb 20th, 2020 9:33 am
[OP]
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Jul 21, 2019
332 posts
640 upvotes

How much for a decent gaming PC?

First is it cheaper to get a desktop or a laptop? I am thinking a desktop might be better and cheaper since I already have a keyboard, mouse, and I have some TVs that I can use as monitors with HDMI.
I am looking for one that can play all current games (just run them, doesn't need to be at max) I am looking to spend around $700-800 but I don't know if that will get me one that will be even worth it over consoles.
Also is it that much cheaper to build your own, I am quite tech savvy but not sure if it's worth all the time trying to find every part.
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 1, 2010
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GTA
It is always cheaper to get a desktop over a laptop. If you have a TV already that you are going to use as a monitor what resolution are they 1080p or 4K? For the budget you mentioned you are looking at playing games in 1080p resolution.

I personally prefer PC's over consoles because so much more variety, mods, customization, cheaper prices, bigger library, etc. Also depends what games you are into. Most SONY exclusives are being ported to PC these days anyway. XBONE ONE X is Microsoft so those games should be available for PC, I don't see why not.

Build your own is always the best option. You just go to the pcpartpicker site and pick all the parts and have them all ordered to your house, or if you live near a Canada Computers store you can pickup one of their ready to go machines (they use high end for custom) and be on your way or pick all the parts from there (if you don't want to order online) and have them build it for you for $70 or $100, I forget. They will put everything together with a 1 yr warranty.

Also what type of games and what resolution do you want to play at? If you said not max 800 + taxes might do it. The most expensive part will be the graphics card (GPU). I would say $1000 all in would be your sweet spot. Name some games and resoltuon of TV.
Deal Expert
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Apr 16, 2001
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Oshawa
Brandon26 wrote: First is it cheaper to get a desktop or a laptop? I am thinking a desktop might be better and cheaper since I already have a keyboard, mouse, and I have some TVs that I can use as monitors with HDMI.
I am looking for one that can play all current games (just run them, doesn't need to be at max) I am looking to spend around $700-800 but I don't know if that will get me one that will be even worth it over consoles.
Also is it that much cheaper to build your own, I am quite tech savvy but not sure if it's worth all the time trying to find every part.
If your budget is only $700-800 I'd just wait for the Xbox Series X.
Whenever someone asks a question that starts with "Why do they..." or "Why don't they...", the answer is always a) money, b) stupidity, or c) both.
Deal Addict
Sep 29, 2007
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Desktop is for sure cheaper if you're talking gaming. Building your own used to be much cheaper but it's not as much of a gap as it use to be. The bigger advantage building your own these days is that you know exactly what is in your build. Pre-builds almost always have bad boards and lesser quality parts.

Honestly, now is probably the worst time of year to build your own if you're looking to get the best bang for your buck. If I was you and you're wanting a PC for gaming and can wait I would start planing your build now with the idea of buying either late mid-late summer when back-to-school sales start or even better would be Black Friday. If I was looking to do any kind of upgrading or building I would wait for Black Friday in November. There are really great prices on parts that time of year.

You could build a very respectable 1080p 60fps system for $800 on BlackFriday.
Deal Addict
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
Do you care about used? $800 can get you a pretty damned good gaming PC with all new parts, but even better with used ones. A ZEN+ APU (3200g / 3400g) makes for a great cheap PC, if you are cool with reducing graphics settings considerably (think 720p / low settings ... or being ok with 30FPS). There have been no mentions of a ZEN2 desktop APU refresh yet, but there's a chance those will come out in the next few months (POSSIBLY with B550 boards) and THOSE should be exceptional cheap CPUs for a budget gaming machine ... but the likelihood is extremely small, given the popularity of the entire ZEN2 line.

Outside of that, something like this might be workable:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor ($268.25 @ shopRBC)
Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.94 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($118.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB GAMING X Video Card ($201.50 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: EVGA 500 W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Memory Express)
Total: $713.67
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-19 12:28 EST-0500

Add an SSD and a case, and you're off to the races. You could save yourself a few bucks with a 2xxx series CPU, or for roughly the same price, gain a few cores (the 2700x is a great deal, for example). $800 is totally doable, and you'll actually have a decent PC. Generally, 16GB of RAM, 6+ cores, as good a GPU as you can afford ... that's the equation for a good gaming PC (IMO).

Note: I relatively quickly built this example PC, so there might be some odd choices in there that you can change. However, note that you don't have to go wild with RAM timings, or worrying about who has the best VRMs, or fancy cooling solutions, or wildly overpowered PSUs. For a Ryzen system, shoot for DDR4-3600 (or 3200 if you're getting a 2xxx chip ... I'd probably go with the 3600 regardless), and don't bother with the "X" boards, as they're almost definitely useless for you.

Another, using the 2700x ... added an SSD as well:
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz 8-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Vuugo)
Motherboard: ASRock B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($74.94 @ Vuugo)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($118.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Blue 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($84.75 @ Vuugo)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB GAMING X Video Card ($201.50 @ Vuugo)
Power Supply: EVGA 500 W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Memory Express)
Total: $760.16
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-02-19 12:45 EST-0500
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[OP]
Member
Jul 21, 2019
332 posts
640 upvotes
Thanks for the answers, think I'm going to wait until later this year, and see how powerful the new Xbox is, if it is actually powerful I might as well just get that since I personally think console gaming is better. I'm just sick of PC people acting like PC is way better. Going to wait until Black Friday and if there is any good deals on parts will get a PC too, it just seems dumb that the higher end PCs are 2-3 grand, while you can get an Xbox One X for as little as $300 which runs games in 4k very well.
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Jul 13, 2014
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Parry Sound
Brandon26 wrote: Thanks for the answers, think I'm going to wait until later this year, and see how powerful the new Xbox is, if it is actually powerful I might as well just get that since I personally think console gaming is better. I'm just sick of PC people acting like PC is way better. Going to wait until Black Friday and if there is any good deals on parts will get a PC too, it just seems dumb that the higher end PCs are 2-3 grand, while you can get an Xbox One X for as little as $300 which runs games in 4k very well.
PC is overall better. You can customize everything from software to hardware and play however you want. It's usually cheaper to buy games on PC as well. You can also upgrade certain components in the future instead of replacing the whole thing.

In my opinion, console is better if you play together with your friends. It's much simpler to pick up a few controllers and get going on a dedicated machine. Plus the initial cost is usually much cheaper.
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Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
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What kind of game you play will contribute to the decision too in the PC vs console dilemma. If its usually AAA games and you play with a controller anyways... just save some money and get a console. With the money you save you'll be able to buy dozens of AAA games. Or if you're into multiplayer games and all your friends have consoles or PC, then you gotta follow eventhough cross platform play is improving, it's not quite there yet.

But if you must play games with keyboard/mouse or you're big into RTS games then it's pretty much PC....
Member
Mar 26, 2008
420 posts
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as for consoles, exclusives have to be considered. i have a ps4 just to play The Last of Us, which isn't available on the PC. when the ps5 comes out i'll probably get that over the xbox because of The Last of Us 2. At the end of the day it's all about which games and what type of games you like playing. if you like games that are better with a mouse, like RTS games, then PC is the way to go, but it's not 'better'.
Deal Addict
Sep 29, 2007
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danron1376 wrote: as for consoles, exclusives have to be considered. i have a ps4 just to play The Last of Us, which isn't available on the PC. when the ps5 comes out i'll probably get that over the xbox because of The Last of Us 2. At the end of the day it's all about which games and what type of games you like playing. if you like games that are better with a mouse, like RTS games, then PC is the way to go, but it's not 'better'.
If the rumors are true I think the days of Sony first party games just being on PS are over. I think PC will be getting TLoU2 as well as many others. They have been sitting back watching Microsoft make a killing on multiple platforms with their licenses and want a piece of the pie. I know fanboys don't want to believe it but Sony games are coming to PC. I would be willing to put money on it.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
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Toronto
If you need a desktop anyways then adding in a video card so the PC can game too is an easy choice to make. If the entire point of the desktop is just for gaming then I think console is a better option unless there are alot of PC games you like that are not on console.
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Deal Expert
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Apr 16, 2001
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Oshawa
Brandon26 wrote: while you can get an Xbox One X for as little as $300 which runs games in 4k very well.
That's not really true.
Whenever someone asks a question that starts with "Why do they..." or "Why don't they...", the answer is always a) money, b) stupidity, or c) both.

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