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Old 11-10-2006, 01:41 PM  
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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What kind of computer should I buy my son?

We're going to surprise our 11-year-old with a PC this Christmas. He wants to get into PC games, particularly RPGs. However, we also don't want to spend lavishly on a top-of-the-line model. Basically, we need something with a video card and memory that will play those games -- not interested in fastest, biggest, surround sound, etc.

I've been out of the loop on PC gaming for nearly a decade, so I don't know what to look for anymore. Any help would be appreciated.

What should I be looking for in shopping? Can I get something that will easily handle PC games (particularly RPGs) for, say, $600 or less?
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
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Get him a Commodore 64 off of Ebay with all the Bards Tale games. He'll be the envy of his friends.
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:03 PM   #3
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewChief
Get him a Commodore 64 off of Ebay with all the Bards Tale games. He'll be the envy of his friends.
Haha. I want him to live HIS childhood, not relive mine!
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:42 PM   #4
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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It depends on your level of technological acumen. You could go the build it yourself route, which is easier than most people think. You can build a robust gaming machine for 1/3 what you would pay from a place like Dell for one of their XPS series. If you know someone who is a bit of a techy, they can do it for you, in fact. If you want to go the easier route and buy a preassembled PC that would be good for gaming $600 bucks might be a little tough.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:21 PM   #5
Claynus Claynus is offline
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I'd just browse the desktop PCs on newegg.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:39 PM   #6
DaFace DaFace is offline
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There's a killer deal going on at Dell right now you might want to check out if you can buy in the next few days.

GO HERE

It's somewhat basic as configured, but I was able to get this for $599 (plus tax).
  • Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 524 (3.06GHz, 533FSB)
  • Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
  • 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (2x512M)
  • 160GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/ 8MB cache
  • Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
  • 19 inch E197FP Analog Flat Panel
  • 128MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon X300 SE HyperMemory
  • Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

That would certainly be able to play most games out there today.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:34 PM   #7
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Wow, that's pretty good.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:47 AM   #8
Fruit Ninja Fruit Ninja is offline
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i understand you want your son to live his childhood, but my god dont let him get into WoW type games so young. A RPG game Everquest stole my late 20's i am so glad these types of games were not around when i was a kid. lol


Anyways, thats a pretty good deal. He should have good fun with it
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:04 AM   #9
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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Do I need a dual-core processor?
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:09 AM   #10
DaFace DaFace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Do I need a dual-core processor?
I've certainly heard you can tell the difference between the single and dual-cores, but I'm not sure you'll be able to get it under $600 if you go that way.
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:14 AM   #11
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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Originally Posted by DaFace
I've certainly heard you can tell the difference between the single and dual-cores, but I'm not sure you'll be able to get it under $600 if you go that way.
Yes, it certainly will boost the price. You think it's worth the extra?
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Old 11-12-2006, 09:30 AM   #12
DaFace DaFace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Yes, it certainly will boost the price. You think it's worth the extra?
For pure gaming, the standard P4 is probably fine for now. However, newer applications are being designed to take advantage of the multicore processors out there. Long-term, the dual core will be a good upgrade.

So I guess yes, but that's a pretty weak recommendation.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:34 AM   #13
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Yes, it certainly will boost the price. You think it's worth the extra?
Yes, because you're looking for it to play games in the future. I mean dual cores are becoming mainstream and people are designing things for them (as DaFace said). Plus quad cores are coming out early next year, so why be stuck back in single core land.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:34 AM   #14
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Oh, and if I may make one suggestion. Try to get him to experiment with things other than Windows. I wish I did.

Not saying don't buy a Windows machine, just don't let him get too comfortable. Plus Vista is coming soon so XP will be "outdated" .
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:39 AM   #15
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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