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TzuDohNihm Joins the PC Master Race

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 

OMG, none of my Overwatch streamers were on late yesterday so I spent the last half of the day watching more PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds than I usually do.  Wikipedia says they don't expect the Xbox timed exclusive to begin until late 2017 which means the game wont be coming to PS4 until, at best, mid-2018 or at worst early 2019. 

 

I have no place for a dedicated desktop computer and monitor set-up in the house but I do have room for something like the Alienware so I could continue to couch game. I spent a bit of time yesterday looking through them and am not sure which one to get. I like the form factor of the Steam Machine or the Alpha for the console look. I would primarily use the system for gaming in the living room but might be able to stretch the budget for an actual PC that the kids could use for homework and whatnot but I wouldn't mind being able to just easily move it into the teenagers room if I could because he will be a pain in the ass about doing his HW in the living room.

 

So... does anyone have any advice on the Alienware machines for what I want to do?  Ideally I would still be gaming with either the Steam Controller or if I can hook a PS4 controller up stick with that scheme.  I'd probably get a wireless keyboard and mouse just so I could begin learning how to use them to game though I'd stick with the controller more I'd wager.

post #2 of 78
Alpha R2 is only recommended if you plug in an external gpu. Everything about that line is outdated garbage now. Plugging in a mediocre 960m gpu at this stage is a laugh.

Your better bet would be building your own pc or maybe snagging an okay laptop...like this Best Buy Dell HERE. Has an IPS screen, an okay amount of storage/ram (both expandable via the bottom access panel).

1050 Ti is not the best, and I'd still recommend a 1060 for anything 1080p related. But for your needs a 1050 Ti hits 60 fps at epic settings in Overwatch, and hits 60-ish fps in Battlegrounds at medium.

For bigger AAA stuff like witcher, deus ex, prey the 1050 ti isn't that great - not Uber settings - so just know that up front.

If you're still set on a set top box Asus has a $1250-1300 ROG Core desktop with a Nvidia 1070 inside. Zotac makes a line of liquid cooled solid state orientated Magnus line of set top boxes with Nvidia 980/1060/1070/1080 boxes but you have to supply your own ram and ssd's (prices increase with gpu power).
post #3 of 78
Thread Starter 

My laptop died and instead of paying $200 to fix it I may just bite the bullet on a desktop and make room in the house.

 

A friend bought a comp from this guy on Ebay. Are any of these worth a damn or are they old parts that are too cheap to mess with? I saw some reviews from 2015 that says he is using crap motherboards and bad power supply choices but I have no idea what any of the alphabet soup in the listings mean.

post #4 of 78

If you bite the bullet and sink two grand into a future proof 2 grand gaming beast desktop, you'll never ever look back.

post #5 of 78
Will buying a full blown gaming desktop convince you to start Destiny 2 over again and join our clan? If so I vote gaming desktop.
post #6 of 78

I mean sure.  I've only just arrived on Titan so I'm barely started as things are!

post #7 of 78
I would advise against random Ebay guy.

They put good nvidia cards in laptops now, could probably get a solid one for 1300.

Prebuilt towers in the mail kinda scares me. If something gets rattled out of place, you'll end up popping everything out and putting it back in. At that rate, you might as well learn to put one together yourself. It's fairly simple for anyone with basic tech awareness if you are aware of electrical and static issues.
post #8 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalyn View Post

Will buying a full blown gaming desktop convince you to start Destiny 2 over again and join our clan? If so I vote gaming desktop.

Oh, I will probably go ahead and play it on the computer just so I can be part of this raid that may never happen.
post #9 of 78
From MMO-Champion.com's "Build of the Month" page: Here are four lists of components for gaming rigs for four different budgets. With builds like these, you can be assured that the parts are all compatible. The motherboard won't refuse to talk to the CPU chip because the number of pins isn't the same. If need be, you can even bookmark the list and get the components one at a time for your budget's sake, assembling them when you have them all. That's what I did, when I wanted to get a new PC in order to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Alienware's going to have the same shit, with their brand logo and a significant markup. You can have a baller gaming rig without getting robbed, if you're willing to insert tab A into slot B yourself.
post #10 of 78
This was in 2008, but it stuck with me. A buddy of mine had an Alienware laptop he had just bought. The power supply dies, but they had just decided to discontinue that type of PSU, so they wouldn't replace it. I think he was stuck with a dead laptop until he found an expensive PSU from a 3rd party.
post #11 of 78

Cyberpower also has pretty good pre-built and endlessly customizable units, with prices starting around $600 for a decent gaming rig up to however deep your pockets go. They build it your way, to your specs, and make sure everything works before they ship it to you.

 

Or use that great list Reasor linked to and hit up New Egg and the other good online joints and put it together yourself.

post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

From MMO-Champion.com's "Build of the Month" page: Here are four lists of components for gaming rigs for four different budgets. With builds like these, you can be assured that the parts are all compatible. The motherboard won't refuse to talk to the CPU chip because the number of pins isn't the same. If need be, you can even bookmark the list and get the components one at a time for your budget's sake, assembling them when you have them all. That's what I did, when I wanted to get a new PC in order to switch from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Alienware's going to have the same shit, with their brand logo and a significant markup. You can have a baller gaming rig without getting robbed, if you're willing to insert tab A into slot B yourself.

 

Damn good options here. My own rig is pretty similar to the 'Dolphin' one and I can run mostly anything with no problems whatsoever.

 

Alternatively, you can try the build a pc subreddit they often got some good choices there.

 

Getting a new desktop would probably be best cause I'm guessing you don't know what killed the laptop. And in my experience as soon as one part of a laptop goes, the rest are not far behind.

post #13 of 78
Thread Starter 
Diagnostics on laptop came back motherboard. Local PC shop has it and that's where I got the $200 quote. $150 for the specific board and $50 labor.

Some conversation with the guy said they have a basic build that is about $1200. They said they could build a PC the guy would "build for his mom" for around $850. Data transfer from my laptop would be included if they build for me and I think he said all builds come with a year of support and various look-ins if I needed any optimization. I think... I might be wrong about that but I think that's what he said.
post #14 of 78

Do you have the specs for that basic build? That can help us see if they're taking you for a ride (not saying they are but it always helps to be safe).

 

Yeah, if it was the motherboard I think getting a new one might be in your best interest. And the best thing about a Desktop is how easy it is to replace parts that go. Whereas a laptop you basically have to disassemble the entire thing to replace pretty much anything. 

post #15 of 78

I could build a "for my Mom" desktop for $400 easy.

post #16 of 78
Thread Starter 

So I believe I may have found a desktop. Codename and Dalyn think it seems to be a good deal for everything involved. A review on 10/20/17 said this is what they gleaned to be actually in the case

 

Quote:
 OS: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
CPU: Intel Core I7-7700k 4.2GHz Quad Processor
CPU Cooler: Deepcool GAMMAXX 300 R
Motherboard: AsRock B250M Pro4-IB Micro-ATX LG1151
RAM: ADATA XPG Z1 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400MHz
GPU: Asus - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Dual Series Video Card
Storage:
Western Digital - Green 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Wi-Fi Adapter: AC600 WLAN USB (Unsure of exact brand)
Case: iBuyPower Slate Gaming Tower (2x Side Glass Panel)
Mouse: iBuyPower GMS5001 Gaming Mouse
Keyboard: iBuyPower Ares E1 Membrane Gaming Keyboard

 

And the pros and cons for them personally:

 

Quote:
 Pros:
- Quiet
- Clean and open space, which means good air flow
- Fast boot and load times with SSD
- Plays all games on Ultra/High settings, 60 fps at 1080p
- Amazing price/performance ratio for a prebuilt gaming PC

Cons:
- Limited overclock potential without liquid cooling
- No room for multi-GPU upgrade
- Motherboard memory capped at 2400MHz, so no RAM overclocking
- Motherboard is an upgrade bottleneck, so it must be replaced if you intend to address the previous 2 cons
- No front bays for an additional CD/Bluray drive

 

I don't think I will be overclocking CPU or RAM at any time soon and while he says there is no room to add a 2nd GPU for SLI, another review says

 

Quote:
 there is another PCI slot available if you wish to upgrade and crossfire

 

Which I found out yesterday is another "name" for SLI? The Newegg page for that motherboard says the following:

 

Quote:
 

Expansion Slots

PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots (PCIE1: x16 mode; PCIE3: x4 mode)*
* Supports NVMe SSD as boot disks

 

PCI Express x1

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slot (Flexible PCIe)

 

PCI Slots

1 x PCI Slot

 

BUT, I don't feel like for what I want to do and my lack of PC gaming skills, I will be adding a 2nd video card for performance anytime soon? So the CONS listed above don't seem to apply to me.

 

Any other thoughts from PC Chewers?

post #17 of 78

That's very close to the 1070 desktop I had built last year for about £1300 ($1800 at today's rates), except your processor above is faster than mine (i5-7600k). 

 

Can't help you with the SLI question, but I would say that the GeForce software generally recommends (and I play at, regardless) the ultra/whatever highest settings are called on all the games I own, including Witcher 3 (including Hairworks!), the latest AC and Batman games, Skyrim Remastered and Elite. I don't know whether I have the most graphically intensive or processor intensive games in my library, I doubt it, but I still get the impression I have a lot of headroom before I need to worry about toning down settings unreasonably. 

 

So, for what my tuppence ha'penny is worth, that looks like a decent deal for a very handy PC. Have you tried going on partpicker or something and seeing how much the PC is being marked up compared to building it yourself? I paid about £150 for the PC builder I ordered it from to build it and for their 3 year warranty over the cost of buying the parts and building it myself.

post #18 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post

 

So, for what my tuppence ha'penny is worth, that looks like a decent deal for a very handy PC. Have you tried going on partpicker or something and seeing how much the PC is being marked up compared to building it yourself?

 

I have not. i did not know that was a thing. Will do that now.

 

Quote:
 I paid about £150 for the PC builder I ordered it from to build it and for their 3 year warranty over the cost of buying the parts and building it myself.

 Amazon has a 4 year warranty for $106 that I was also thinking of throwing into the mix if I buy this.

post #19 of 78

As someone who runs SLi because he has mental issues not because it's required, I say go with the best singular GPU you can afford. SLi is not really supported much. DirectX 12 actually makes games worse on SLI so DirectX 11 is the end of it, even if it is supported (until Microsoft fixes DX12). Crossfire is AMD's version of SLi, no one does that shit. 

 

I run air cooling on my PC but I have a full size case and fans galore, so I don't have any airflow problems, but neither do I overclock. I used to mess with that back in the day but nowadays I just want stuff to run cool. So that's not a deal breaker. 

 

To me it looks the goods. 

 

I always say price up the parts or similar parts on PC parts picker and see how much they all come to. Sometimes you can save a dollar or 2 or upgrade the CPU/GPU for a less or a dollar or 2 more. 

post #20 of 78
Thread Starter 

If I did this correctly then building it myself will cost $1810.05. Does that look correct based upon what I quoted from the review above?

post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

If I did this correctly then building it myself will cost $1810.05. Does that look correct based upon what I quoted from the review above?

 

Looks like you have most of the the key bits the same (i.e the MOBO, CPU, GPU, memory and storage), but the case is different, as are the keyboard and mouse. You also added a monitor - I am guessing one comes with the Amazon offer, or not? That's $219 difference right there. 

 

So, if you take the monitor away and assume the rest of the differences come out in the wash, I would say that looks pretty close. The only question I would have is what power supply is in the Amazon one. Rubbish power supplies, I was told, can hamper and materially damage the utility and enjoyment of a PC. Other Chewers might have a view on that. Assuming you went with the partpicker recommendation for wattage, you have chosen a decent one in your list and it isn't too expensive, so that won't have thrown the comparison out of whack but because pre-built often go cheap on power supplies I would say that is a possible area where you may not be getting the same quality for the price. 

post #22 of 78

What jhp said. 

 

Also, like we discussed, I think SLI is ultimately not needed and you'll do just fine with one GPU. 

 

Still looks like a damn good dead to me. 

post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

 

 

 Amazon has a 4 year warranty for $106 that I was also thinking of throwing into the mix if I buy this.

 

As for the warranty - I spent a bit more to have a longer period of them either coming to fix it on site, or covering the cost of couriering it to and from their workshop. I think it was a year onsite/collect and return, with years 2 and 3 return to base at my cost. I don't know whether you can shop around, but at least it might help compare the value for money of what Amazon are offering you. 

 

I went with a single point warranty to avoid having to faff about dealing with individual manufacturers, and reduce interface risk of them blaming each other with me likely not knowing whether I was being fed bullshit (interface risk - the bane of many international project finances; who says work doesn't give you transferable skills!). I imagine a warranty claim is going to be painful no matter what, so you're willingness to pay extra for that might be different. I would say go for it, especially if the onsite/CAR term is reasonably good, given how much you have spent on the PC. 

post #24 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhp1608 View Post
 

 

Looks like you have most of the the key bits the same (i.e the MOBO, CPU, GPU, memory and storage), but the case is different, as are the keyboard and mouse. You also added a monitor - I am guessing one comes with the Amazon offer, or not? That's $219 difference right there. 

 

So, if you take the monitor away and assume the rest of the differences come out in the wash, I would say that looks pretty close. The only question I would have is what power supply is in the Amazon one. Rubbish power supplies, I was told, can hamper and materially damage the utility and enjoyment of a PC. Other Chewers might have a view on that. Assuming you went with the partpicker recommendation for wattage, you have chosen a decent one in your list and it isn't too expensive, so that won't have thrown the comparison out of whack but because pre-built often go cheap on power supplies I would say that is a possible area where you may not be getting the same quality for the price. 

 

The Amazon one comes with a 24" ACER 1080 144Hz monitor.

 

The case, K+M I put in were the comparable priced items based upon a Google search for the items the Reviewer listed in my post above. The exact items were not available but those cost the same as the items I found online. Same with the power supple. Reviewer says 500W and the closest in price I found was that 520W.

 

Here is the Warranty.

post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

 

The Amazon one comes with a 24" ACER 1080 144Hz monitor.

 

The case, K+M I put in were the comparable priced items based upon a Google search for the items the Reviewer listed in my post above. The exact items were not available but those cost the same as the items I found online. Same with the power supple. Reviewer says 500W and the closest in price I found was that 520W.

 

Gotcha.

 

As I said, the only question mark I would have is the quality of the power supply in the pre-built one. More competent PC users/builders might know where else they have skimped. Otherwise, it certainly looks like a cracking deal.

post #26 of 78

I'm with jhp on the PSU. 

 

Your CPU, pulls in about 100W and the GPU about 150W, which means with everything else you are running a little on the high side of the PSU. I like to build PC's where I'm using about half what it can provide and don't go for anything less than gold certified. Saying that, 500W is the recommended PSU for a GTX1070 and with your warranty I think you'd be quids in. 

 

I already have monitors keyboards etc, so those are just extra tat for me, but if you have nothing it looks great. 

 

You'll probably be upgrading the K&M in a few anyway. Most people do. And now you have a spare, for when you rage when you don't get the right kind of dress or bandana for your character in those loot crates.

post #27 of 78
Thread Starter 

Welp, hit the Place Order button on Amazon a few minutes ago. Monitor arrives Wednesday and PC arrives Friday. I have to work Saturday so I should be up and running late into Friday or Saturday evening.

 

How do I hook my PS4 controller up so I can play games on this thing?

 

I am half serious. I will probably play D2 with a controller and try my K+M luck with other games.

post #28 of 78

giphy.webp

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

Welp, hit the Place Order button on Amazon a few minutes ago. Monitor arrives Wednesday and PC arrives Friday. I have to work Saturday so I should be up and running late into Friday or Saturday evening.

 

How do I hook my PS4 controller up so I can play games on this thing?

 

I am half serious. I will probably play D2 with a controller and try my K+M luck with other games.

 

 

I think you'll need a PS4 controller USB adaptor. They're around $8 on Amazon. I tend to use the Xbox PC controller and have had zero problems with it. There's probably a PS4 version out there. (i.e this).

post #29 of 78
Thread Starter 

It appears I can use my controllers I already have with Bluetooth. So a BT adapter seems in order.

post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post

Welp, hit the Place Order button on Amazon a few minutes ago. Monitor arrives Wednesday and PC arrives Friday. I have to work Saturday so I should be up and running late into Friday or Saturday evening.

How do I hook my PS4 controller up so I can play games on this thing?

I am half serious. I will probably play D2 with a controller and try my K+M luck with other games.

Congratulations!

I also use the XBox wired controller for pretty much everything. Pretty sure you can stream from a PS4 to the PC too, but I may be wrong. I bought the Steam Link to go the other way.
post #31 of 78

Tzu, you're gonna get killed in PVP if you use a controller.  Trust me, work through the K+M growing pains.  The game feels so much smoother that way.

post #32 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post
 

It appears I can use my controllers I already have with Bluetooth. So a BT adapter seems in order.

Yeah , you have to get the Sony Bluetooth adapter majig. It works ok, but I find myself using my wired xbox controller so I don't have to deal with charging the PS4 controller. Also, be aware you can only pair it to one device at a time. If you pair it to the adapter then you have to pair it to the PS4  again and the other way round. It was such a pain I just got an extra controller. 

post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post

Welp, hit the Place Order button on Amazon a few minutes ago. Monitor arrives Wednesday and PC arrives Friday. I have to work Saturday so I should be up and running late into Friday or Saturday evening.

How do I hook my PS4 controller up so I can play games on this thing?

I am half serious. I will probably play D2 with a controller and try my K+M luck with other games.

Congrats!
post #34 of 78

This video represents Tzu encountering Steam and its hundreds of crazily cheap PC games for the first time:

 

post #35 of 78
Thread Starter 

I am literally playing D2 and Fortnite and using this thing for work related paperwork. That is all.

post #36 of 78

That's how it started for all of us, Tzu. Reasor was going to use his for some simple spreadsheets and now he's a level 352 Orc Wizard Chief in the World of Warcraft, with 5k hours under his belt. 

post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

That's how it started for all of us, Tzu. Reasor was going to use his for some simple spreadsheets and now he's a level 352 Orc Wizard Chief in the World of Warcraft, with 5k hours under his belt. 

And 105 unique mounts, thank you very much.
post #38 of 78
Thread Starter 

My streaming career starts Sunday, BTW. Get in on the ground floor and tell everyone you knew me before I got big.

post #39 of 78

You are SO running on Saturday. 

post #40 of 78

SLI is a fuckin nightmare. Almost every new game is a struggle. If you can even get it working, half the time the performance gains will be offset by the dreaded microstuttering.

 

If you like playing games when they first come out, forget it. Official SLI support is an afterthought for most publishers. If they do allow it early on, it'll be "forced alternate frame" mode, which often means microstuttering.

 

My weird SLI laptop basically needs to power of both cards to run anything at a tolerable framerate, so for every game I spend an hour or two between the Nvidia control panel, Riva Tuner messing with refresh rate caps, Nvidia inspector messing with SLI profile tweaks, etc.

 

This should tell you all you need to know: Google (insert game name here) "SLI performance problems". Inevitably one of the first answers is always "That's easy to fix, just disable SLI!".

post #41 of 78

Dual Voodoo2 man, those were the days (of paying a ton of money for mediocre-at-best visuals).

post #42 of 78
Thread Starter 
I think I read something today that SLI and Crossfire were both gonna go the way of the Dodo soon because of lack of dev action. On the one hand I don't see it because if manufacturers can convince you to spend twice the money on your practice they are going to do that because of corporate shenanigans.

On the other, it sounded legit because few people were buying into the need to pay for two cards.
post #43 of 78
Thread Starter 
Welp, I couldn't locate whatever it was I thought I read so it must have been a fever dream because it makes no sense that manufacturers wouldn't push buying two cards.

So anyway... On to setting up my PC when it arrives. Suggestions on what to DL first? I found this article which appears to have some things I will definitely be adding to it.

I will also be installing DS4Windows for my PS4 controller(got my bluetooth/USB dongle on the way as well) and also OBS so I can possibly stream.

What else besides the Blizzard launcher and Steam?
post #44 of 78

It's dull but LibreOffice is a really good free alternative to MS Office if you need that kind of thing. If you are going to store media on it, Plex Server is great for home and remote access. 

post #45 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post

I think I read something today that SLI and Crossfire were both gonna go the way of the Dodo soon because of lack of dev action. On the one hand I don't see it because if manufacturers can convince you to spend twice the money on your practice they are going to do that because of corporate shenanigans.

On the other, it sounded legit because few people were buying into the need to pay for two cards.


SLI is dying.  A lot of AAA games - Assassin's Creed Origins, as a recent example - don't have dual GPU support.

 

Which, as someone with two 1080 Tis, sucks.

post #46 of 78
Thread Starter 
Monitor arrived. Now I have to stare at it for two days while I wait for the PC.
post #47 of 78

The agony! 

post #48 of 78

This is probably a crossover from "tired shit" but as a relative neophyte when it comes to PCs, I have been struggling to figure out how to install the fixes or mitigants for this big Spectre and Meltdown vulnerability. Windows appears to have updated, but apparently one of the things you have to do is to update your BIOS. Like I know what that means.

 

So far I have established it has something to do with the motherboard. I downloaded the MSI live updater tool and that is signalling that I have a whole host of updates which haven't been done, and my motherboard system is still what it was when I bought it a year ago. Some of the updates look serious, so I am waiting until the morning until I can speak with someone at the outfit I bought my PC from who can hopefully hold my hand, give me a proverbial cup of tea and tell me everything is going to be okay.

 

So, a word to the wise Tzu, either get up to speed on a suitable level of technical awareness or have a phone number of a decent support outfit nearby. I have a feeling that PC ownership requires something mroe than the "point and click" and "it just works" mentality that I, for one, was blissfully unaware was insufficient.

post #49 of 78

Meltdown and Specter bugs:  It's not as huge a deal at the moment for us normal home users, plus the patches are still breaking stuff, so don't worry too much if you're not patched.  As far as we know, an actual working exploit isn't in the wild yet anyway.

 

New PC installs: On Windows 10, add a shortcut to the old Control Panel on your task bar.  Then go to Programs and Features, and uninstall any bloatware that shipped with the PC.

 

For installations - VLC media player is a must.  Browser of your choice, I still prefer Chrome.  

 

There's a pretty great site for this stuff, and explains it all better than I can: https://decentsecurity.com/

post #50 of 78
Thread Starter 
Yeah, a couple of the reviews said that Win 10 wasn't booting correctly from the SSD and they had to go into the BIOS to get it doing so. So I have been trying to read up what that means and how to get into said BIOS. I believe motherboard updates are first on my list of things to do.

I may dick around with my work Dell to see about how to get into this stuff.
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