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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-10-29, 18:09

Dell is about to roll out a console-like gaming PC called the "Alpha".

Linky

What do you think of this as a platform for just playing Minecrap and such?

What config?



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Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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2014-10-30, 09:53

Don't bother, unless you really want to get into PC gaming. If you do want a good gaming machine, build it yourself, less expensive for the same parts and upgradable.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2014-10-30, 17:57

That is pretty much my take on building a PC too. There was a time when buying a pre-built machine was good, now is not that time. Plus they load them with bloatware and other wastes of power. Better with a clean OS install on a pretty good machine you built yourself.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-10-30, 21:56

Buuuuuuuut I don't wanna build it!!!! ::stomping feet like 2 year old::



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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2014-10-30, 22:59

It's never been easier to build a PC than it is today. There are plenty of sites devoted to laying out all the parts in like $50 price/performance increments while components are more plentiful than ever and occupy a much wider range of ticks.

But, I don't care to build a PC either personally because even though it's easy and all there can still be unforeseen problems and if you try and build something small, sleek and quiet (or cool running) then many of the builder advantages you might have start to diminish slightly while the effort ratchets up. To that end, something like the alpha makes sense just for being a sleek form factor alone.

The compromise though? get a pre-built PC that you'll be able to throw a new GPU and CPU in 2 years from now and call it a day.

Edit: for curiosities sake I quickly priced on newegg what an equivalent PC would cost to DIY to the $999 alienware X51(not the Alpha you linked) and came out to $821 without a case or power supply, so I dunno, the price comparison really might not be that far off.
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PB PM
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2014-10-31, 00:25

Considering that there are some good PC shops out there (some quick hunting will find them) that will build a custom PC for you (parts you pick + $50 labour) I'd avoid prebuilt system from Dell etc.
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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
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2014-10-31, 07:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao View Post
Edit: for curiosities sake I quickly priced on newegg what an equivalent PC would cost to DIY to the $999 alienware X51(not the Alpha you linked) and came out to $821 without a case or power supply, so I dunno, the price comparison really might not be that far off.
See, at that point they've got it priced properly. I'd likely pay $150 premium to have the machine built. My problem with pre-built machine has always been that they'd cheap out on at least one critical component, which would hobble the entire setup.

If they've also stopped doing that, I could see a gaming PC in my future.

(I've been messing around with Steamplay with my tower booted into PC mode and my laptop still in Mac mode. The playing experience so far has been surprisingly solid.)

But it would allow me to dump the tower some where out of sight/mind/hearing, and play PC games on my laptop.

Google is your frenemy.
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I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-09, 03:39

The dual problem I face is lack of available space and a low interest level in anything other than messing around in Minecraft. Spending a lot on a system is beyond reason for me at the moment.


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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
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2014-11-09, 21:35

*spending a lot on a TOWER is beyond reason.... yadda such and so on....



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Wrao
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Join Date: May 2004
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2014-11-09, 21:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
See, at that point they've got it priced properly. I'd likely pay $150 premium to have the machine built. My problem with pre-built machine has always been that they'd cheap out on at least one critical component, which would hobble the entire setup.

If they've also stopped doing that, I could see a gaming PC in my future.

(I've been messing around with Steamplay with my tower booted into PC mode and my laptop still in Mac mode. The playing experience so far has been surprisingly solid.)

But it would allow me to dump the tower some where out of sight/mind/hearing, and play PC games on my laptop.
Really they likely 'cheap out' on more than just one component but so do DIY builders too? I mean, obviously you can choose whatever you want to put in there but a sentence the DIY seems to love is "This one is basically just as good but $X cheaper than that one" and so much of the entire point of DIY is to go cheap overall and I think a lot of times builders cheap out just the same, though because they rationalize how and where they cheap out they don't think of it as cheapening out and instead think of it as just being savvier. Because that's kind of the punchline to the entire thing anyway, you can spend $700-1000 to get a great DIY PC or you can spend $1000-$1300 to get virtually the exact same machine but with 'high quality' components.

But yeah, with pre-built stuff you certainly can't know for sure what they put in there or where they might have chosen to cut corners unless you really go the extra mile to look up every component and compare it with what's available OEM and whatever.

But then on top of all of that, component manufacturers aren't always open and honest either about what they are selling. AMD and Nvidia are notoriously guilty of rebadging old silicon under new names to where something might be 7 series or 8 series or whatever in name but perform worse than certain 6 series chips, not to mention more direct manipulation of numbers and naming where maybe they'll issue a 7955 card for Dell and only Dell to use while the mainstream market gets 7960 and they are virtually identical but not really. Kind of makes you wonder if that stuff is going on with GPUs is it not also going on with RAM or Hard Drives or even PSUs and Mobos? But once you get into that point the DIY equation starts to get so much more involved that for many you might as well have just bought that pre-built PC, taken the warranty it comes with and not worried about it.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-09, 22:34

How processor intensive is Minecraft when compared to games that are much more photo-realistic?

Do you NEED to have a massive video card to enjoy the great performance?

Would one of these little pre-built PCs also be able to run an adequate video capture program?




...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-18, 23:56

I began building THIS ONE at NewEgg and it was suddenly in the range of $1200.

Srsly



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alcimedes
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2014-11-19, 08:58

Ha, nice. There are so many ways to build a decent gaming machine these days. All the things I don't like about a tower can be handled if it's off in a corner somewhere.

Then I checked and found a refurb. MacPro for $2,400. They're so well built, I'm still tempted to spend the extra. (plus the thing is small, and basically dead silent, so it doesn't need to be off in a corner)

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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Capella
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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2014-11-19, 09:46

My suggestion for building is to wait for the post-Christmas and New Year's sales. I built a low-to-midrange gaming PC right after Christmas 2010 and got what was $800 of components at the time for around $560. The machine is still holding up solidly today for what I want to play.

I'd suggest a.) putting together an approximate wish list, then b.) waiting for sales, and c.) if one of your preferred components isn't on sale replacing it with something from a sale list. (Thus, approximate wish-list). Minor differences in RAM or video card manufacturer won't matter as long as you're smart.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
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709
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2014-11-19, 22:00

Drew, have you considered just going Boot Camp with Windows 7? You have a fancy new machine already, why not just go the Windows route on that one? Minecraft probably does play better through Windows. Maybe. I don't have stats to back that up, but the game is known wide and far to be terribly coded from the very beginning, so I'm guessing the Mac port is likely more glitchy. Maybe?

With MagicLauncher and OptiFine I'm still pretty happy on the Mac side, but I would be curious to see what you find if you decide to go the Boot Camp route.

So it goes.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-19, 23:01

Waiting to buy is a good idea, but as I've never spec'd a PC I would not know the "obvious" items to upgrade and the "obvious" items to go with stock.

Grey I had the same thought earlier today (about running it in emulation) but am convinced that doing it on a solid state modern Mac lappy is just a bad idea for the long term. Thinking of Minecraft as a ported afterthought actually made me grin, since that's been our experience for so long.

Building a space-hogging PC is one option. Buying an iMac is another consideration.

It's just such a puzzle!

The one thing that I'm left with is the question: is the MacBook Pro REALLY still a pro machine?



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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2014-11-21, 19:13

If you choose to DIY (always the right answer in PC land)

Two component/price guides:
http://choosemypc.net
http://logicalincrements.com

One site to help you gather the best prices:
http://pcpartpicker.com
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
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2014-11-21, 19:16

This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!



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Eugene
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2014-11-21, 23:50

Yeah, those guides are pretty safe, but I do have a few personal preferences.

Asus motherboards, Seasonic or Super Flower OEM-based PSUs...

Last edited by Eugene : 2014-11-22 at 00:27.
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
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2014-11-22, 00:27

And here you go with all the acronyms I don't know!!


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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-23, 18:42

Aha!

PSU means "Power Supply Unit".

What a very strange thing with which to have a preferred vendor!
How did you learn that those two vendors were your faves?

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PB PM
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2014-11-23, 19:18

PSU preferences come down to a few things, reliability, efficiency, connectivity and sound (fan noise). Seasonic makes rock solid PSU's, which many other suppliers use for the base of their products, but I've never heard of Super Flower.
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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2014-11-23, 22:59

http://www.orionpsudb.com/

Basically there's three or four OEMs that make very high-quality PSUs right down to their perfect machine soldering. We're talking voltage regulation within 1%, voltage ripple within ~15mV...stuff like that.

Seasonic: Seasonic, Corsair AX Series, XFX XT* Series
Flextronics: Corsair AXi Series
Delta: Antec HCP Platinum Series
Super Flower: EVGA G2 Series
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-23, 23:53

What do you think about "mini cases"?


Specifically this one.

Edit: This is one that I put together using Eugene's PCPartsPicker site and it's still coming in around $1200, but it DOES include a (small) monitor.

It uses a smaller tower, so the video card will block a few bays.

Whoops, I left off hard drives, but I have a few extras that I could use.


Edit #50: Would I be able to run video through this to my Sony television via HDMI? Would the video suck? I assume so.


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Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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Last edited by drewprops : 2014-11-24 at 00:31.
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PB PM
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2014-11-24, 00:49

If you don't have a lot of experience building PC's putting together a system like that in a mini-case might be hard for you, due to the limited space. Not saying you shouldn't go for it, just be prepared for a the nightmare that will happen when you go to wire everything up. The modular PSU should help in that regard though.

Seems like a decent system, overall, but I'm not up on the latest parts out there right now.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-24, 01:25

Any other comments?

Eugene thanks for the link to these sites, this is fascinating



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Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2014-11-24, 03:28

My gaming PC is housed in a Bitfenix Shinobil XL, one of their largest cases.

I like the Prodigy, but it's not that small of a case. You linked the "mITX" version, which only accepts the smallest motherboards and has a difficult internal layout to work with. The "mATX" M version has the same external dimensions, but a more traditional layout. It also can mount mITX boards, so there's really no reason for anyone to buy the "mITX" specific version other than the marked down pricing.

Yes, HDMI out should work fine and the video quality is completely dependent on your TV.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2014-11-24, 10:26

What would YOU recommend as a smaller, nice case?


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dmegatool
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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2014-11-25, 11:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Edit: This is one that I put together using Eugene's PCPartsPicker site and it's still coming in around $1200, but it DOES include a (small) monitor.
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  • I would replace that i7 by an i5 (4690k). The only difference (mostly) is hyper threading, which games don't use. That would save you a good 100$.
  • You could upgrade the GPU to a GTX 970, which you crush the 770. The 970, at 330$, performs like a 780-780ti which cost 600-650$.
  • 219$ is in the higher end for a motherboard. I would personnally take something a little bit cheaper. At 80-100$ you can get a reputable brand with all the features you'll need.
So all in all that would be 150$+ cheaper and way more powerfull (gaming wise).

Dave Mustaine :"God created whammy bars for people who don't know how to solo."
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