Getting a Gaming PC vs. Brand name PC

By Fred G
Jan 3, 2007
  1. Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

    I'm still shopping for a new pc so this will be my second post on the subject. While browsing the web in search of a new machine i came across pcs that are specifically designed for gaming. So basically the question is, is it worth getting a gaming pc instead of a brand name (dell, hp)?

    My primary concern is that gaming pcs are not from brand names i've heard of. However, what i do like about them is that they are highly customizable, all or most of the components (mother board, processor and so on) are by top of the line and well known manufacturers. They let you pick what you put in your pc, selecting the part manufacturer. This in contrast to dell and hp customization, the dont let you pick the manufacturer, most of their components are by made by them and they dont give you as many opnions as the gaming pcs. I for example, dont want to get a monitor made by hp or dell. Also another thing i like about the gaming pcs is the fact that look really cool, obviously its not my first priority, but its something i'll consider when getting a new machine.

    Here are links to some of of the gaming pc websites

    So what do you think? Is it worth getting one of these or should i stick with the brand names?
  2. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Have you thought about maybe building your own gaming PC? Would be cheaper than buying one!
  3. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Unfortunately i dont have the technical aptitude to do it myself. Someone already suggested that i do that in the previoys post on this subject, and i had to tell him the same thing. Aside from putting in the sound and video card, i wont be able to put in other components. This is why my best bet is finding a place that would put the parts in for me with me selecting the parts. I do appreciate the suggestion though. If you happen to know something about the topic please let me know, i'm open to hearing other people's opnions before i make a decision.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    Try looking at reviews of the companies at Granted, many reviews are there in the first place because of unhappy campers but you might still get a good feel for the company.
  5. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    You didnt say exactly what you want. What kind of games, your buget? If you take the name brand route.....stay away from Dell, eMachines etc.
  6. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Thank you, i will check it out.

    Now in regards to what i'm looking for,what kind of games and budget.

    I'm looking for a pc to play games on that will last me several years. The kind of games i'm playing right now are older games which i fell in love with sometime ago, but i would like to play games like civilaztion 4 or rome total war which my current machine wont support. As for the budget, i'm getting this machine as a b-day gift from my parents, i'm not exactly sure how much are they willing to spend, but lets say just no more than $2000 for everything (pc, monitor, sound and video card, speakers and so on). I hope this enough info to answer your question.
  7. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Wow....with that kind of budget you could really go all out. I tend to buy what I can afford, no where near the money you are looking at spending. So I am sure someone else on this site can steer you in the right direction. Give you post a little more time for others to respond.
  8. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Its good to know that i can get something descent for this kind of money. Obviously i cant afford to spend that kind of cash on my salary, luckily my folks are generous this year. Thank you for your help, i guess i'll wait and see if someone suggests something else.
  9. Bruff

    Bruff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    I'm not a PC expert by any means. I know enough to basically get myself in trouble and then come here for help to bail me out :D I know a lot of the peeps here prefer the build your own route and frown on a lot of manufacturers computers. From my own experience I have bought two computers from Dell and have been satisfied with them completely. The first was around 1999 or so and the only issuesI had were when I picked up a bug. From the time I bought it the only thing I did do was to add more RAM and a vid card as my gaming got a bit more intense. In Apr 06 I bought the computer shown in my profile since the old one could not upgrade to run the newest games I wanter, I was getting divorced and needed one to take with my anyways. And this one too has had not a lick of trouble. It's an XPS so they say it's built with gaming in mind and the price when I got it was about $1,600.00. I've run Everquest, WoW, AoEII, BF2142 and had no performance issues. I haven't yet had to call tech support. I did once with my old unit when the virus got on it and I will agree, as many have said before, that the biggest pain is their outsourciing to India and the difficulty understanding the advisors. So take it as you will but I have nothing bad to say about Dell myself.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Gaming PC's that are NOT name brands are a risk, we find. But getting a gaming machine from Dell, HP, Compaq, eMachines, IBM/Lenovo, or Gateway has its own compromises.
    The warranty and the ability of the seller to stay in business is very important.
    If you find somebody locally who is experienced... and by that I mean somebody who has built 15 or more gaming PC's, might be a better choice than a no-name company.
    On gaming machines, you can have a failure rate as high as 12%, so you need the warranty, or you need the repairs built into the price.
  11. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Thanks for the advice guys. Though i'm still torn between getting a brand name or a barebones gaming machine. And i would like to get a barebones system only because i'll have great control of what parts get put in there. And the parts that are offered by the seller are brand names i've heard of. Basically the machine is being put together from scratch, i can even pick the case. The places that i've looked at, most of them online, and not local do offer 3-year warranty and lifetime customer support. I dont know how long they've been in business and whether they will honor the warranty. Some of them do business on ebay as well, though i dont think that means much. Not knowing that stuff is definately a downside. Is there a way i can do a backround check on such companies?

    I dont know what i'm going to do here, making the right choice is tricky, if i can make sure that a custom pc seller wont screw me i'll probably buy from them. This is why i need a way to do some checking on them first.
  12. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

  13. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Thanks Nick. I just looked at the site, its very similar to the one i looked at, its called, are these guys respectable and trustworthy?
  14. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    I haven't heard anything bad about Ibuypower. Cyberpower seems a bit more hit or miss.
  15. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    i would recommend getting a custom built PC. any local PC repair shop, computer services firm, or PC technician can build a machine tailored to your needs. just make sure that you know what's going into it before you buy.

    you probably won't get a 3 year warranty or anything like that, but a well-built standard PC is a good investment. furthermore, custom PCs adhere to industry standards, meaning that you can easily get replacement parts and that they can be maintenanced by anyone.
  16. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Warranties for desktops are overrated anyway. If the shop won't give you a warranty, ask that you get whatever papers (reciepts or proof of purchase or whatever) for the hardware. Then deal with the warranties offered by the hardware manufacturer.
  17. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    thanx! this will give me something to think about
  18. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    If you can manage to configure it cheap enough to fit your price range (they come standard with crazy OCs and SLI and all that) then Falcon Northwest is one of the best companies out there as far as quality and performance.
  19. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Falcon is like Alienware...Your buying the name. There P.C's are over $1000 overpriced.

    I would go with cyberpower, they are a reputable company.
  20. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Yea, i happen to agree about falcon, their stuff is way too expensive, so is alienware. A friend receomended, i think i'll go with them,over there i was able to customize a pc to meet my budget. Plus they have a really good parts selection. If i do change my mind about them there is always ibuypower or cyberpower. Thanks for the input guys.
  21. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    I would say build your own, has a good tutorial on how to do so. If you choose to go the OEM way, I recommend a Dell Computer. Like others have said gaming computers have a higher rate of failure. If you get a Dell XPS Gaming System than you get Dells good warranty and such. So its either build you own of go with the far more expensive, but trustworthy Dell XPS.
  22. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I wish i could build it myself, but even with a tutorial i can screw up pretty bad since i dont know much about hardware at all, my knowledge is pretty much limited to putting in sound and video cards. As for dell they are pricey, though i'm not ruling anything out at this point, and i still may just go with them.
  23. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Seriously, it isn't that hard. I felt the same way you did about 5 years ago, and had cyberpower custom build my first comp, now, looking back at it, i cant believe i did that with how easyily i can setup a pc now.

    Heres a nice video tutorial
  24. Fred G

    Fred G TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    I think i'll take a look at at that video and tutorial and see if i can make sense of it.But what really scares me is if i get something wrong and mess up, ruin a component or someting or get incompatible parts , i'll actually wind up losing money. You have to understand, i havent shopped for computer or parts for like 4 years, take a look at the pc in my profile and you'll see what i'm talking about,that computer was actually custom built by someone and i bought it off the guy after he wanted to get a new one. If only i had someone to guide/help me then it would be a lot easier for me, then i could be saved from making a big mistake, but i dont know anyone like that. Going to a forum to get guidance is one thing, having a real person next to you is another.

    But like i said earlier it wouldnt hurt to look at the video and read the tutorial, may be i'll be able to do it.
  25. Metallix6403

    Metallix6403 TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Been said before but building your own computer IMO is the best option since you know whats goin in your comp since you know whats in there and you only get what you want.

    If your lookin for a company though, you cant go wrong with CyberPower or Alienware.
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