Seeking new computer recommendations

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
I currently have a Sony VAIO laptop that I've had for about 3.5 years now. It's been really terrific that entire time. But now it's 2014 and I still only have an i3 processor and 4gb of RAM. I've thought about upgrading the RAM, maybe getting a SSD but I don't know if it's worth it to pump new parts into this or get something else. I don't really play many games but I don't even have the minimum requirements to play Transistor so I'm kinda bummed out. If I could, it'd be nice to be able to broadcast via OBS without having my computer heat up like a motherfucker. So I'm looking for recommendations!

Things I love about my VAIO that I'd want to keep:
HDMI output
Blu-ray player
Reliable

Things that I don't really care which way I go:
I don't mind getting a tower, another laptop, or a tablet (if you can sway me that way)
Hard drive size

Things I want to have:
Moar RAM
Moar Processing power

Things that I'm not sure I would do:
Apple computers...
Build my own, since I really don't have the prowess
Spend more than $1400. I think.


What do you got for me, brethren?
 

ReplicaX

Unholy Custom Rank.,
15 Year Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Posts
2,420
$1400 can get you a lot out of a custom build. 3rd or 4th Gen i7 with 16GB of RAM and plenty of cash towards a good video card, BD Drive and SSDs and large HDDs for general files...

There is no one you know locally that can do this?
 

Endlessnameless

They call me Gringo,
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
854
I'm in somewhat of a similar boat albeit without the price tag. I bought a touchscreen asus ultrabook a little over a year ago at a good price but the screen was small and after awhile realized not what I wanted. It had an i3 gen 2 processor and was stuck at 4gb ram as it was soldered to the board according to the forums I read. I don't have high demands but bought a used elitebook with an i5 gen 2 processor and an nvidia 1gb graphics card with 4 gb ram and a 750 gb for rather cheap. Also the elitebook series allows you to easily upgrade the parts so I will be maxing out the ram once I receive it. Also I can upgrade to a bluray drive for like 70 bucks and thats for a bluray writer. I don't play graphically intensive games so this setup should work well for awhile. It all depends on your needs. I don't play many graphically intensive games but I like the idea of having a dedicated graphics card and the fact that it has an internal dvd drive is nice. Plus if I am so inclined I can swap out the dvd drive for a bluray drive or another hard drive. Lots of upgrade options available which I like instead of having a "locked down" system.
 

ki_atsushi

So Many Posts
No Time
For Games.
20 Year Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Posts
23,647
I like Lenovo's IdeaPad Y5XX line, excellent performance for a good price. I have the Y500 which is a couple years old now but it still smokes in the games department due to the dual SLI videocards in it! The current model is the Y50 and it looks awesome. Doesn't have SLI anymore, but the Geforce 860M is better than my 2 cards combined anyways.
 
Last edited:

Cousin_Itt

Galford's Armourer
10 Year Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Posts
470
If you''re just wanting to play games. buy a cheap I5 or I3 prebuilt pc and throw in at least a gtx760. Should be less than a grand. most prebuilts come with at least 8gb of ram anyways.
 

greedostick

Obsessed Neo-Fan
15 Year Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Posts
4,477
How much are you looking to spend? And do you play games while not at home? It is a tough decision choosing a tower or a laptop, but I found the best way to go is build a good desktop, and get a regular laptop. Most laptops under $400.00 will run most Indie games and be able to keep you busy on the road. Not to mention 8 and 16-bit emulators. Laptops are a pain in the ass to upgrade, and components are almost double the price.

I built my first PC about 2 years ago. And was surprised how simple it was. The hardest part was choosing the components that worked together. New egg has plenty of do it yourself full systems that you can save money on and build yourself. My first attempt at building a desktop took about 6 hours. 3 of which were me trying to get the processor on. Which is incredibly easy and take literally 30 seconds. But I was scared I was going to break it. Anyway everything is color coded and super simple. You would have to be illiterate and color blind to mess it up. Even setting up windows 7 OEM is a breeze.

I would say go desktop. You will love it and can always get a cheap laptop, or keep yours. Most good builds that run nearly everything on max specs will be around $900.00. You could probably do this for much cheaper.

Here is a sample I would recommend. I highly suggest sticking with Nvidia video cards, and Intel processors if you want max compatibility. The great thing about a PC is they are very easy to upgrade.

A decent build.

Tools : flathead screwdriver and a antistatic wristband. That's it.

Components.

Coolermaster enclosure. ATX MID TOWER form factor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119233 $59.99

at least a 500 GB hard drive Get a name brand. Seagate and Western Digital. I like the seagate barracuda's. Solid state drives are good. But a little expensive still. Stick with a regular one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148840 $54.99

A decent motherboard. ASUS and Gigabyte are both good. Just make sure the socket type matches your processor you want to get. this is a LG1155 which works with modrn intel chips and leaves room for upgrade. It's also worth noting you need to know the chiset of the motherboard. This is the northbridge and southbridge chips on the motherboard that send info between components. Just read up on the chipset and see if it's good. If the board is rated good in newegg it's probably good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837 $129.99

Windows 7 Professional OEM. This is in my opinion the best version of Windows right now for gaming. As it allows windows xp and other system compatibility mode. But keep in mind old games will not run if it is 32 bit. I have got a lot of old stuff to run out of the box with windows 7 oem, like baldurs gate and other D&D games, but sometimes it is annoying like the other day when I could not get SNES tool to install or Blood Omen Legacy of Kain. $139.99

A good PSU. I highly recommend a modualr PSU. It will allow you to remove wires you do not need to keep things clean in the case and air moving. 550 watts should do the trick. But research first before hand so you don't blow your motherboard. It is better to go big. Cause if you ant to upgrade components later you have the wattage to spare. Too much will never hurt.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152028 $44.99

A Intel CPU. Don't just look at processor speed. L2 Cache is also very inportant. That's why celeron processors suck balls.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504 $229.99

Some RAM. I recommend at least 8GB for now

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428 $83.99 GSkill and Corsair Vengance are usually good for gaming.

A decent video card. At least 2GB. I personally like the GTX series.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130826 $179.99

A few extra fans. Your case will tell you what sizes you have extra ports for. Usualy anly about $10.00 each you might need like 3.
 

Endlessnameless

They call me Gringo,
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
854
HP.com was running a sale where you received something like $250 off a built to order of $999 or more. Something like that and just for grins I messed around seeing what I could get for the price and I built something like the latest i7 w/ 4gb video card 16 gb ram bluray and a bunch of nice things which after the coupon brought it to about $1k. Don't know if you like hp, but it seemed fairly reasonable all things considered. You can search for coupon codes online too.
 

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
Thanks for the thoughts guys. This is giving me some seriously cool ideas.

I'm looking at options, and doing a custom build with HP is $1,048.99 and it's already put together. Specs would be
• Windows 8.1 64
• 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7-4770K processor quad-core[3.5GHz,8MB Shared Cache]
• HP USB keyboard and optical mouse with volume control
• 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 [DVI, HDMI, DP, DVI to VGA adapter]
• 12GB DDR3-1600MHz [2 DIMM ]
• 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
• No Secondary HDD
• No TV Tuner Card
• Microsoft Office Trial
• Security software trial
• Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
• 15-in-1 Multi-slot Media Card Reader, 4 USB Ports (Front/Top), Audio [Front 2USB2.0, Top 2USB3.0]
• Integrated Sound, Envy Audio; Beats Audio
• HP WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 1x1 MCard BT
• 500W Power supply

Doing so separately would cost about $1120 before manual rebates which would give about $60 off. And then I'd have to also build it once it all got here.

I'm at a crossroads, boys. The difference would be an operating system, and like 4gb of RAM, which I'm not sure would matter too much between 12 and 16 - and I could also probably buy more.

SWAY ME
 

Gamefan

OldSkool4Life,
20 Year Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Posts
3,728
I too am looking at either getting a new desktop or something to play games on. I purchased an HP Envy last year thinking it could handle what I wanted, but I miss a desktop. I would suggest building it yourself or locating someone local who can do this for you.
 

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
I too am looking at either getting a new desktop or something to play games on. I purchased an HP Envy last year thinking it could handle what I wanted, but I miss a desktop. I would suggest building it yourself or locating someone local who can do this for you.

Isn't the Envy a desktop...?
 

NeoSneth

Ned's Ninja Academy Dropout
20 Year Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Posts
11,117
This thread is already getting unreadable with Desktop recommendations.
1st. pcpartspicker.com

I built a new computer a few months back for only about $1k, and it's a beast. I already had 4 SSD's, so those are not included in that price.
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/sneth/saved/hhMTwP

I compared my build to something you can buy from one of the cheap shops like ibuypower, and I only saved about $100. If you are not a hardware person, then I wouldn't rule out one of these builders. You at least get a warranty with them, while your own build will need to be supported by you.


Laptop
VAIO still makes laptops despite being spun off from Sony.
Dell Business laptops take a beating, and the parts are cheap. Same with Lenovo.
Gaming Laptops are expensive and are usually fragile. They typically need GPU replacements due to heat issues.
 

Gamefan

OldSkool4Life,
20 Year Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Posts
3,728
Isn't the Envy a desktop...?

Mine is the Envy 15t laptop. Its nice with the following specs. Just not enough for what I want to do.

15.6"
Intel 4th Gen i5
16GB RAM
750GB HDD
External Blue Ray Player
Nvidia GT 740M 2GB Video Card
Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 

ki_atsushi

So Many Posts
No Time
For Games.
20 Year Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Posts
23,647
The video card is a little weak, but otherwise the build looks good. I would go for at least a Geforce 760 series card. You can offset the cost a little by getting a 2TB HDD instead, unless you really need 3TB. I do photo work and have a ton of games installed and I still haven't hit 2 yet.
 

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
The difference between the 2TB and 3TB on Amazon is like $16. So I don't really mind paying that little tiny bit extra for another whole TB. And maybe in the future a SSD for superfastness.

Checked out that video card, and I think you're on to something. But it's a difference of 0.02 ghz even with the 1gb difference. You think that would be worth the extra $80?
 

ki_atsushi

So Many Posts
No Time
For Games.
20 Year Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Posts
23,647
The difference between the 2TB and 3TB on Amazon is like $16. So I don't really mind paying that little tiny bit extra for another whole TB. And maybe in the future a SSD for superfastness.

Checked out that video card, and I think you're on to something. But it's a difference of 0.02 ghz even with the 1gb difference. You think that would be worth the extra $80?

Clock speed doesn't tell the whole story of the videocard's power, it's the combination of clockspeed, ram speed/size, and number of CUDA cores (parallel processing units), which tells the whole story.
 
Last edited:

greedostick

Obsessed Neo-Fan
15 Year Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Posts
4,477
Microcenter is great. They will help you pick out every component. Just go desktop. Cheaper, easier to upgrage, mote powerful for almost half the price. Will last many years longer. I sold my desktop and got a alienware laptop. I really regret it cause now a video upgrade will cost $800.00 and is very hard to find. It's nice to be able to open up your box, know what's going on, and how to fix it.
 

ookitarepanda

rare's hero,
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Posts
1,377
Microcenter is great. They will help you pick out every component. Just go desktop. Cheaper, easier to upgrage, mote powerful for almost half the price. Will last many years longer. I sold my desktop and got a alienware laptop. I really regret it cause now a video upgrade will cost $800.00 and is very hard to find. It's nice to be able to open up your box, know what's going on, and how to fix it.

Yeah my plan is actually to go to Microcenter once I decide on things. A friend of mine is one of the managers over there so I was hoping to get most or all of my parts from there.
 

mr_b

Windjammers Wonder
10 Year Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Posts
1,379
Microcenter will even put it together for you I believe. Another spot if you just wanna slap together a gaming desktop and be done with it is http://ibuypower.com. I've had friends in the past that have used them and the rigs hold up.

If you're not in a hurry you can usually find a good deal from them. The good thing about a place like that over HP, Dell, etc... They use legit parts. Asus, Gigabyte, etc. There's a bit of a premium but if you're uncertain of building your own, it is another option.
 

Endlessnameless

They call me Gringo,
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
854
Mine is the Envy 15t laptop. Its nice with the following specs. Just not enough for what I want to do.

15.6"
Intel 4th Gen i5
16GB RAM
750GB HDD
External Blue Ray Player
Nvidia GT 740M 2GB Video Card
Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Not to be a dick, but what do you want to do that can't be done with a setup like that?
 

Gamefan

OldSkool4Life,
20 Year Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Posts
3,728
Not to be a dick, but what do you want to do that can't be done with a setup like that?

Well, I do 3D and lots of Adobe work. I run out of RAM all the time with vector files and PSD files. I cannot get more RAM other than the 16GB that is in it.

I can game at 1080 but can't go higher than that. The screen only goes up to 1920x1080.

Don't get me wrong, if you want to play PC games, it rocks, but I am thinking of selling this to get into a desktop of sorts.

GAMEFAN
 

HDRchampion

Before you sell me something, ask how well my baby
10 Year Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2010
Posts
4,485
I was worried about building my own PC last year but it was pretty damn easy to do. You can really personalize & have a self accomplishment feel after you're done haha. Most important part is do your research. This is what i did w/ my setup http://pcpartpicker.com/user/rcaido/saved/gbGLrH


 
Top