LunarKitty
 member, 389 posts
Sat 11 May 2019
at 23:29
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
I'm a dirty casual. I've never fully owned a single gaming console that wasn't a mini or a handheld one (I love pokemon, more so since the virtual pet and virtual paper doll elements started popping up) even then I come on the cheap side. I have bought a few PC games from GOG too, but I notice that many games require better hardware than my run-of-the-mill laptop. I'm talking about relatively old games like Tomb Rider Skyrim and the like.

And there's also the fact that I loved the Resident Evil series, but I never had the chance to play games like Zero, the remakes, or complete V/VI. And I hope to play Revelations II and the remake of RE2 some day...

Also I grew up in the nineties so I'm familiar (and fond of) the Crash ans Spyro games.

Now I'm thinking about getting a console or a PC that lets me play most of those games. The thing is I'm not sure which way to go.

I'm not afraid of having to build a gaming PC, but I'm woefully ignorant of what is a good graphics card -and modern PC specs-. How much is too little power? How much is too much? I want something that can run the average game in GOG and the occasional modern game -Like RE2 and even this Fornite thing people seem to like- I don't need or desire truly high end stuff -like maxing out everything or 4k, I can't really appreciate the difference at best, or it gives me motion sickness at worst-.

I could get a console, but I'm not sure which one to get, more so with the dozen variants each one seems to have.

So if you don't mind giving some advice to a total noob...?
praguepride
 member, 1391 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sat 11 May 2019
at 23:49
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
Use a site like PC Part picker:
https://pcpartpicker.com/

That ensure compatibility. Spend your money on a good processor and graphics card and don't worry about the rest.

You can post recommendations to places like there is a PC Builders subreddit where you can get feedback on your build.

Finally there are TONS of great youtube tutorials for the build itself.
LunarKitty
 member, 390 posts
Sun 12 May 2019
at 02:01
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
Thank you, it seems nice. But I still have the problem I have no idea what specs I need. I obviously want some future proofing, but the stuff doesn't look exactly cheap, I'm scared of overshooting some parts and neglecting others...
Shei-kun
 member, 839 posts
 A Giant Shei draws near!
 Fight-Magic-Item-Flee
Sun 12 May 2019
at 03:52
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
To find out what specs you need, first you have to figure out what you're doing with the PC.  Is it a high end gaming rig?  Do you want to do VR?  How high do you want to push the graphics settings?

Once you figure out what you're going for, ask for spec recommendations (the subreddit mentioned by praguepride is a good starting place) and use that as a baseline.  That's how I built my rig, although I had a local friend assist me instead of the subreddit.
praguepride
 member, 1392 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 12 May 2019
at 04:45
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
So the first step in PC building is figuring out a budget. That determines how powerful you are going to get.

This, for example is a perfectly solid $500 build

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/VcpQr6


Start with the basics. Expect to pay ~$200 for a solid processor and video card. This basically represents 1/2 your budget, give or take.

From there comes the "extras". RAM just get 16gb. Figure out how much space you need. This guy did 240gb which is fine if you have a small # of games. I flit from game to game and often have 2-3 dozen installed at the same time so I sprung extra for 1TB drives but it fit my budget and you don't want to skimp on processor or video card just because you have ADD.

Go as cheap as possible for your case. I sprung a little extra for one with covered vents because otherwise my cat sleeps on top of it and clogs the fans. Only college kids or streamers should spend anything beyond $50 for a case. For power supply just go bronze certified. This list has a $30 one which is fine.

So in summary, first and foremost figure out a reasonable budget you can afford because whatever number is set YOU WILL REACH IT.

50% should go towards processor and video card
25% should go towards motherboard (it doesn't have to be fancy just make sure it has all the connections you need. PC Part Picker or other sites are great with compatibility).
25% should go to others (hard drive, RAM, power supply, case).

Don't bother buying an additional CPU cooler. All the decent processors come with a heat sink and unless you're doing stupid overclocking junk the default heat sink and fans will be fine. If you notice your PC is running hot (hear the fans going full bore) then buy additional fans. Most cases support TONS of fans. High end coolers are a waste of money when a couple of fans will do you just fine.

Don't forget about an OS. If you don't have a disk for Windows then if you're building it yourself it won't come pre-installed. A new windows disk is like $50 or $100 or something like that. Factor that in, unfortunately (or find a friend with extra codes wink wink).

Also if you trust yourself that you can follow instructions and don't have overly shaky hands then don't buy insurance on anything. Electronic part insurance is a sucker's bet. Otherwise if you are scared about screwing up the ONLY thing you can really screw up is the processor mount to the motherboard. It's hard to do but if you find that you have gremlins with computers then buy insurance on the processor if available.


As for the installation FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY READ THE MOTHERBOARD INSTRUCTIONS. They are usually very unintuitive but everything you need to know is contained within. There are lots of tutorials about the build. The most dangerous part is the mounting of the processor but it's a lot less scary then people make it sound. You have to REALLY screw up to bend a processor pin. Just make sure you follow the tutorials. Once the processor is mounted the rest is easy street....kind of.

The next thing that people screw up is cable running. Try to lay out where stuff goes in your computer before you actually install it so you can figure out where to route the cables.

Finally the ACTUAL hardest part of the computer install is getting all the flipping buttons on your case hooked up to your motherboard. Easily the most frustrating part because the connectors are SUPER DUPER tiny and often hard to reach. I'm not going to lie getting everything connected right is a pain and it often takes me 30+ minutes to get the connectors in correctly. Just take your time and keep doing it until it is right. Bring tweezers which might help. Maybe, maybe not. Just stick with it.

Then it's connecting all the cables and turning the power on. If your computer doesn't boot DON'T PANIC. Listen to the boot codes and check on your motherboard (if there is a panel you can see into the computer) for the diagnostic lights. Probably the most common mistake people make is not fully mounting their RAM or video cards. You have to actually apply a surprising amount of force to get them in but just remember if you don't hear a "click" then it's probably not in. If you're unsure remove it completely and try again. It's easier to do it while the computer is disassembled then finding out after you put everything together.

But yeah if you have any specific questions I can help you out. I've built every computer I've ever owned and while i've made a BUNCH of dumb mistakes I've never borked an install.

This message was last edited by the user at 15:14, Sun 12 May.

horus
 member, 728 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 12 May 2019
at 06:50
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
What praguepride said, for the most part, especially if you are building from scratch.

I have a different take, mainly because I'm a certified A+ technician and have over 40 years experience in the electronics field, particularly with computer and controls hardware.

I generally start with a refurbished workstation that has a Xeon processor.  Why a workstation, and why a Xeon?  Workstations tend to be built to higher standards than your garden-variety desktop.  Many have room for absolute gobs of RAM, power supplies rated for higher-end video cards, and slot infrastructure to support them out of the box.  Xeon processors tend to run coolly and smoothly with nary a trouble.  (I tend to blow out the dust on a quarterly basis, but that's about it.)

Why refurbished?  Because brand-new workstations are *fruitin'* expensive!  We're talking several thousands of dollars, well beyond my budget, anyway.  Refurbished equipment, on the other hand, can be obtained relatively cheaply if one knows where to look.  (Can't make recommendations here - that wouldn't be cricket.)

As an example:  my wife's old machine gave up on her suddenly not long ago (I  suspected the power supply suffered a partial failure, but didn't have time to figure it out.  It had been running for over seven years without rest.).

I set up an account for her on the media center in the living room so she could keep in touch with friends and family, and ordered her a refurbished Dell Precision Workstation T7500 with a six-core Xeon (a 5600-series) running at 3.4 GHz, 24GB of RAM installed, a 2GB GTX650 video card, and a 1TB hard drive with Windows 10 pre-installed for under $300.00.  Thrown in a 24" 1920 X 1200 (16:10) display for another $100.00 and I had a system that would run rings around most desktops for a fraction of the price.

This thing was a great big honkin' beast, weighing in at over 30 kilograms, but it ran like the devil's sand dragster, especially when we installed the SSD I had ordered for her old machine, and set up Linux Mint on it for her.  She still has the option to boot to Win 10 while the warranty persists.  She's never done it.  Clever girl, my wife. ;-)

Her old machine already had a better video card, which, after I tested, I transplanted to the new machine, resulting in better video performance with a lot less lag when playing games on Steam.  Clang, honk, tweet!

Now I have the leisure to troubleshoot the old machine as my copious free time permits, she has a machine that does what she needs, and I didn't wreck the budget getting it to her.

(Copious free time:  see http://www.catb.org/esr/jargon...pious-free-time.html)

I hope your build goes well.
Spire
 member, 15 posts
Sun 12 May 2019
at 09:28
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
To offer another spin on things, based on a multi role low to mid-power PC I built for my daughter last year, I'd highly recommend the Ryzen 2200G processor because it's an insane bargain. It already has an okay graphics chip built in which will draw its computing power from a share of your RAM. If all you want to play is GOG stuff it's more than sufficient for your needs and you can get a functional PC for 400 bucks or less. Get 2x8 GB of RAM, a cheap SSD for your OS and a big HDD for everything else along with a 400ish Watt PS and you'll have a stable functional PC that will run most things except last generation GFX extravaganzas.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:21, Mon 13 May.

geryone
 member, 12 posts
Sun 12 May 2019
at 22:35
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
Excellent suggestions here. I have nothing to add, they covered it all.
LunarKitty
 member, 392 posts
Tue 28 May 2019
at 03:01
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
Thank you all for your suggestions. I was browsing a local store for parts when I found out they are offering this PC for about $150

Processor AMD A10-4655 (Quad Core 2.0G, turbo 2.8G)
Motherboard: Biostar A68N-5600
Ram: 4GB ADATA DDR3
500GB HD
600W power source

How good (or bad) is this?
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 401 posts
Tue 28 May 2019
at 03:58
Help me choose my first console or how to build a PC?
PC, IBUYPOWER (because warranties are nice when you are spending $1000s of dollars....lol).