Gaming Desktop

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Caduceus
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Gaming Desktop

Post by Caduceus » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:38 pm

Now that Black Friday is around the computer, I am looking to buy a gaming desktop for the first time in 20 years 8-) What should I be looking for that would give me best value for the price? Is it an expensive graphics card or SSD or something else? I am not looking to spend more than $500 and I see that Ebay has many options below that amount but I am confused by the sheer number of options and customizations available. What should I prioritize?

I'd like to be able to play some of the newer multiplayer online games, as well as games like Diablo 3 and Starcraft. My current laptop can't really handle all of these games, even though it is only four years old.

Ideally, this gaming desktop would last me for another 8 or so years.

chrisdds98
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by chrisdds98 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:03 pm

check out the recommended specs for games you like and that is your baseline

https://us.shop.battle.net/en-us/produc ... ii?p=38789

mhalley
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mhalley » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:30 pm

I have bought several gaming desktops, including an Alienware, falcon nw and digital storm.. The digital extreme was the best I ever bought. An SSD and a good graphics card are a must. If you’ve gone so long without upgrading I would see midrange being fine for you.
Check out the components at your price range at toms then shop for a similar build.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/be ... ,4390.html
Or check out some recommendations
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-gamin ... -2219.html
Oops, I overlooked the 500 price tag. That’s pretty low for a pc that you want to last 8 years.
Last edited by mhalley on Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Caduceus » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:36 pm

mhalley wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:30 pm
I have bought several gaming desktops, including an Alienware, falcon nw and digital extreme. The digital extreme was the best I ever bought. An SSD and a good graphics card are a must. If you’ve gone so long without upgrading I would see midrange being fine for you.
Check out the components at your price range at toms then shop for a similar build.
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/be ... ,4390.html
Or check out some recommendations
https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-gamin ... -2219.html
I am having problems with the graphics cards. They all have different names but it is impossible to tell which is better than the other, because it isn't just numerical. Like I can tell a processing chip with 3700 is faster than one that's 3200. But with graphics cards I am lost. Is there a simpler way to shop for it.

mhalley
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mhalley » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:41 pm

The gpu is more important than the cpu these days. Toms has a gpu shopping guide here
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gp ... ,5844.html
Oops, Digital STORM is the gaming pc, digital extreme is a gaming software co. :oops: looks like their cheapest one is $700, but you don’t get an ssd with that config. Could always upgrade that later.
Last edited by mhalley on Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

krappei
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by krappei » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:45 pm

Check out www.digitalstorm.com. I’ve bought a couple gaming PCs from them in the last decade and have been very satisfied with their service and products.

AznSaver
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by AznSaver » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:07 pm

Gaming PCs nowadays are the trending thing and most with their RGB goodness are costing quite a premium.
I'm not sure of the quality you can get for $500 in this market nowadays. I do know that you probably won't get 8 years of gaming usage out of what you get in this range unless you stick to retro/previous gen games.

To get the biggest bang for your buck you want to focus on the highest end graphics card you can get (highest clock rate/memory bandwidth).
Look to have at least a quad-core processor current gen processor to take advantage of modern memory speeds (DDR4) 8 Gig should be find but more is better

Memory, storage, accessories and even the GPU are something you can upgrade in the future as long as your system is on a good platform and has a good power supply to handle any increase in power requirements.

Here's one from Newegg that can probably handle some 1440p gaming, great platform for upgrading a little over budget and no accessories.
https://www.newegg.com/acer-nitro-50-n5 ... 6883101677

It used to be cheaper to build your own, as I have done over the years, but it's impossible to match the volume discount for components that vendors have.

youraveragejoe
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by youraveragejoe » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:43 pm

It's been about a few years since I had last built my own PC. Honestly, I took a peak at the buildapcsales subreddit not too long ago and got lost in the naming convention of the graphics cards.

Here are a few resources that I had found particularly useful:

If you want to go the DIY route, you'd have to dish out $ for a Windows 10 key as well:
1) https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales/
2) https://pcpartpicker.com/
2a) AMD example- https://pcpartpicker.com/guide/bgj48d/e ... ming-build
3a) Intel example- https://pcpartpicker.com/guide/WRxFf7/e ... ming-build
3) https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/

For prebuilts, there are certainly a lot of good deals right now that are making this route more attractive. Just be wary that a lot of times, the desktops are built with cheaper PSUs/SSDs in order to lower the price. A highly rated PSU should be up in your list.:
1) https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales/ ... r=1&t=week

Does the $500 budget include peripherals, like mouse/monitor/keyboard?

Dude2
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Dude2 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:50 pm

I think I'm up to about ten computers I've bought from here: Dell Refurbished

For your price range, you could find a refurbished item with a bunch of horsepower and with a decent video card. You may have to buy a Solid State Drive and duplicate the existing hard drive over to it and possibly add some more RAM, but those are relatively easy processes -- especially on a Dell desktop.

Currently I'm seeing that Dell Optiplex 7040 with with i7-6700 @ 3.4 GHz with 8 GB RAM with AMD Radeon R5 340X (2 GB) is under the $500 line. Sales happen all the time (see Clearance tab). You can play around with the filter boxes and determine if it is worth it to opt for more RAM or a SSD included. Sometimes it is worth it to save the hassle of upgrading.

*Note that there will be Black Friday deals here, sometimes with as much as 50% off...

kevinf
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by kevinf » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:07 pm

$500 is extremely optimistic for a "gaming" PC, though you didn't specify at what resolutions and intended graphics quality.

A mid-range GPU + SSD + PSU is $500 right off the bat even before the case + mobo + RAM + CPU + cooling + accessories (keyboard/mouse/monitor?) The top end GPU right now is $1,000+ by itself.

Up your budget to $800 - $1,200 if you want an actual gaming PC that will handle modern titles at high resolution at high graphics quality and remain performant for 5+ years. You run a high risk of rebadged hardware and substandard components with low-budget ebay boxes.

https://www.amazon.com/CYBERPOWERPC-Xtr ... 07VGJDKZ4/
Last edited by kevinf on Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

engineerahead
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by engineerahead » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:14 am

Caduceus wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:36 pm

I am having problems with the graphics cards. They all have different names but it is impossible to tell which is better than the other, because it isn't just numerical. Like I can tell a processing chip with 3700 is faster than one that's 3200. But with graphics cards I am lost. Is there a simpler way to shop for it.
Hello,
there are spreadsheets and even websites comparing the parts performance wise, also some comparisons can be found on youtube with comparison from real games.
Once you are closer with choosing your build, you can try posting it on one of the already recommended pc building subreddits, i'm sure they will try to help.

That said, I am sorry to say but even though US has a bit better prices of components than Europe, 500 dollars wont buy you a gaming pc for todays standards, let alone upcoming years. I don't even mean any kind of high end pcs for performance heavy games. 500 dollar gaming PC sounds like a trap or a dissappointment.
Also, I dont mean to sound harsh, your expectation estimate might be a bit skewed if you expected a laptop running games decently for years, especially if the price tag was any similar.

The good thing is that both D3 and starcraft are amazing but older games, so even a 500 dollar PC could run those quite well.

It also depends on how much you use your PC - if you get to sit and play a game only once in a while, a higher price tag is harder to justify. I use PC daily for work, games and movies so next build I'll put a bit more money in; last PC was around 1250 Dollars (for the desktop alone) with components having a bit higher price than in the US; this one I'm using for six years and already had to upgrade a GPU; I can still run games well but with upcoming titles I expect more and more difficulties. I believe if you wont be too demanding on the newest games as they come, a 1000 dollar PC should be able to last you those 8 years and still handle the games somehow. Maybe you should also think about the recently announced diablo 4 :D .

Also, it sort of works in a way that the PC runs as good as the worst component can handle, that goes especially for GPU and CPU combinations.

EDIT: you mentioned even "newer multiplayer games" but it's hard to quess, you might want to plan around those in terms of system requirements
Last edited by engineerahead on Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Caduceus
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Caduceus » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am

Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!

engineerahead
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by engineerahead » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:23 am

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am
Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!
A 500 or lower desktop for gaming will still run diablo 3 and starcraft really well if you really enjoy those.

mmmodem
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mmmodem » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am

It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters. If you want a gaming machine, it must have a discrete graphics card. There are only two players in the GPU market and that is AMD and Nvidia. Just look for the names below. And even low end systems will play the latest AAA titles for years to come as long as you decrease graphics settings.

Low end gaming.
You may be able to find systems for $500
Nvidia Gefore GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX570
Think 1080p at 30-60 fps, low to medium settings on new AAA games

Less low end gaming.
Very unlikely you'll find at $500 unless used.
Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 or AMD Radeon RX580
1080p at 60 fps low to medium settings

I'm sure a lot of people will quibble over the specifics I have above and how I ordered things. The general idea is you need a computer with one of these 4 cards In order to call it a gaming computer. There's a lot more but I didn't list it because a $500 budget will likely limit you just the first two cards as your choice.

BTW, I also exist in the $500 low end gaming rig budget. I play all the latest AAA games at lowest settings at around 40 fps. I have an AMD RX460. This is enjoyable to me. The vast majority of gaming enthusiasts will disagree with me. And yes, the majority of my gaming is Stacraft and Diablo3 which and RX460 is overkill for.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by LiveSimple » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:53 am

Can you help with a top end GPU gaming desktop
Please list a few so Can choose based budget

Looking at $1000 to $1500

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LiveSimple
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by LiveSimple » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:01 am


itsgot8
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by itsgot8 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:25 am

Just wanted to add that Tom's Hardware is a great resource as well, whether you want to build your own or buy one ready to go. Great for learning and I researched it heavily when building my own for the first time.

https://www.tomshardware.com/

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:49 am

Both my kids run gaming desktops. My older son's rig started around 2012. What I've seen with his system is that every couple years, he's replacing only components that need to be replaced. A motherboard when the old one dies, a graphics card, then selling the old one on eBay, buying a SS drive, upgrading the monitor. If you have an old system, look at what you can use and what you can't. Certainly look to see if the power supply will handle what you want and if it can't, there's your first upgrade. Or you can be cheap like me and run multiple power supplies with boxes all over and wires all around like a mad scientist.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

2retire
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by 2retire » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:19 am

mmmodem posted very solid advice.

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Kenkat
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Kenkat » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:29 am

The GPU is the key component of a gaming computer. You probably need to spend $500 just on that alone if you want something that will play games well now and still play most games 4 years from now. Think something like a Nvidia GTX 1070 or 1080 as a centerpiece of the system. SSDs are fairly cheap, so a 500gb or 1tb would work there, plus 8-16gb RAM and a decent AMD Ryzen or Intel processor would round things out.

engineerahead
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by engineerahead » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:08 am

mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters. If you want a gaming machine, it must have a discrete graphics card. There are only two players in the GPU market and that is AMD and Nvidia. Just look for the names below. And even low end systems will play the latest AAA titles for years to come as long as you decrease graphics settings.
I can agree but part of the advice has a pitfall, GPU is one of the most important parts but if you dont find at least a decent balance, even the CPU can bottleneck it easily. There are spreadsheet combinations to avoid this though. Otherwise solid advice.
LiveSimple wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:53 am
Can you help with a top end GPU gaming desktop
Please list a few so Can choose based budget

Looking at $1000 to $1500
Apart from the sources others have posted, interesting and easy to understand is https://www.logicalincrements.com/ on the right search for the desired budget.

kevinf
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by kevinf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:55 am

mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters.
Untrue. The GPU will determine the top end of gaming performance. It is however, much more important to ensure that the bottom end is sufficient. An SSD should minimize hitching and micro-stutter due to asset retrieval, a decent CPU is required to feed the GPU and to handle game engine threads to avoid hitching, sufficient RAM is required to eliminate fetch from disk penalties.

A 2080ti in a budget box will have a very poor and inconsistent feel. A 1070 with a good box will play smoothly and consistently. You feel the dips, not the peaks.

mmmodem
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mmmodem » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:36 am

kevinf wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:55 am
mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters.
Untrue. The GPU will determine the top end of gaming performance. It is however, much more important to ensure that the bottom end is sufficient. An SSD should minimize hitching and micro-stutter due to asset retrieval, a decent CPU is required to feed the GPU and to handle game engine threads to avoid hitching, sufficient RAM is required to eliminate fetch from disk penalties.

A 2080ti in a budget box will have a very poor and inconsistent feel. A 1070 with a good box will play smoothly and consistently. You feel the dips, not the peaks.
I respectfully disagree with you. Please read OP's question. OP asked what to prioritize on a $500 gaming computer purchase. But if it is indeed untrue OP should prioritize the GPU, then feel free to offer your advice.

sd323232
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by sd323232 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:56 am

great topic! im looking for great deal for desktop or laptop myself. it is too early, cyber monday will be the best time to buy

kevinf
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by kevinf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:10 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:36 am
kevinf wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:55 am
mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters.
Untrue. The GPU will determine the top end of gaming performance. It is however, much more important to ensure that the bottom end is sufficient. An SSD should minimize hitching and micro-stutter due to asset retrieval, a decent CPU is required to feed the GPU and to handle game engine threads to avoid hitching, sufficient RAM is required to eliminate fetch from disk penalties.

A 2080ti in a budget box will have a very poor and inconsistent feel. A 1070 with a good box will play smoothly and consistently. You feel the dips, not the peaks.
I respectfully disagree with you. Please read OP's question. OP asked what to prioritize on a $500 gaming computer purchase. But if it is indeed untrue OP should prioritize the GPU, then feel free to offer your advice.
I did read the OP, and my experience comes from working with a boutique gaming PC company as well as enterprise IT experience.

I did also offer my advice and posted a link to a budget gaming PC up-thread that is as close as possible to the OP's proposed budget and requirements.

Additionally, if the OP is not using a high refresh rate monitor, being able to pump out 300 FPS isn't all that useful. Money is better spent ensuring that the lowest framerate stays as near the max display refresh rate as possible. If you hit 300 FPS but dip down to 30 FPS when the CPU gets loaded then it's not going to feel fast. If you can only hit 150 FPS but the dips never drop below 60 FPS it's going to feel buttery smooth at all times.

I can compare GPU only advice to throwing a 600HP motor into a Geo Metro. The rest of the components are not going to be able to keep up with the engine. You'll break traction, power train loses will be enourmous, you'll tear the body panels straight off... But you'll do great in a straight line going downhill.

Workable Goblin
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Workable Goblin » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:24 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters. If you want a gaming machine, it must have a discrete graphics card.
I strongly disagree. It really depends on what kind of games you play. This advice would be totally counterproductive for me, for instance, because I mostly don't play games that have whizz-bang graphics, but stuff like Hearts of Iron or Kerbal Space Program that have lots of CPU work going on in the background. It would make more sense, for me at least, to splurge on the CPU and neglect the GPU, even to the point of not actually getting a GPU at all and relying on integrated graphics. In fact, right now I don't have a discrete GPU on my only computer, and I can play those games just fine--admittedly, I can't run them with all the bells and whistles turned on graphically, but the performance is, though not especially good, not so much worse than on a real desktop once I turn off those bells and whistles.

Especially with the OP's very tight budget, the first question that should be asked is what kind of games the OP plays. That would be more useful than just giving blanket "splurge on the graphics card" advice, which might not even help performance in their actual usage.

trinc
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by trinc » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:02 pm

when the budget is tight, i always suggest building from the bottom up.


stay with the large size case. ( room plus lots of cooling options )
get a good mobo ! ( current model - note: pay attention to CPU socket )
get a monster PS


down the road: easy things to upgrade
faster CPU
more memory
better GPU
if you started with disks, you can upgrade to SSD

my last build: i5, 1070, 16G, 144 Qhd :happy

Tim

kevinf
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by kevinf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:52 pm

6600K overclocked @ 4.7Ghz water-cooled
1080Ti overclocked @ 2075Mhz/5555Mhz water-cooled
Samsung 850 EVO SSD x 250GB
16GB RAM, overclocked @ 3000Mhz
Corsair Obsidian 500D tower case

Benchmarks at link below:

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/14447323

mhalley
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mhalley » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:17 pm

Have you looked into console gaming? You can get a ps4 or xbox one for less than 500, although they are going to be upgraded next year so it might be wise to wait, I used to be solely a pc gamer, but switched to console several years ago. I miss the precision of the mouse and keyboard, but still have a great time. You might get a refurb now and upgrade next year.

dboeger1
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by dboeger1 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:26 pm

I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Why are you buying a gaming PC? And also, why are you limiting yourself to a $500 budget? Is it because you're just trying to play modern games for the cheapest entry price? Or do you not mind sticking to older, less flashy games, and just need a general-purpose computer with reasonable performance? Are you interested in building your own from components, or are you only looking at pre-built options? Are there friends you'd expect to be able to play with that are only on PC?

The reason this matters a lot this year is that the new console generation is right around the corner, and that means a lot for gaming in general... yes, PC also. A lot of PC elitists (no, I'm not hating on all PC players, I play both PC and PS4, as well as Android games when I'm bored, lol) say stuff like consoles hold back PC technology, blah blah blah, but what they don't realize is that console gaming is an economic powerhouse, and drives much of the investment in gaming and technological innovation. So you may not be interested in the next PS5 or Xbox or whatever, but don't disregard the fact that with them will come a whole new generation of games capable of maxing out the devices of the next 5+ years, and there's a good chance whatever you buy now will feel behind the curve in a year.

With that said, you can hop into PC gaming at any time, and assuming you invest in quality components with high performance, you'll be good for some time to come. But if you just want to play games and don't care about having the highest resolution, or you don't have the budget, then you'd be better off considering value options rather than being picky about what everyone says you have to have. In 2019 with a budget of $500 or less, that most likely means a current-gen console, or waiting at least 1 more year. For example, I believe there are several PS4 bundles advertised for Black Friday at $200 which include some of the top-rated, best-selling current-gen games, which will most likely be forward-compatible with the PS5 as well. There is absolutely nothing in the PC gaming world that comes anywhere close to that level of value for under $500, not even used. Alternatively, you could try a game streaming service like PS Now for $10 per month, and all you would need is a controller.

If you absolutely must play on PC because that's where your friends play, then I highly recommend this site for reference: https://techreport.com/review/34371/the ... 9-edition/

I've been following their system guides for many years, and they do an excellent job of covering a wide range of budgets.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:42 pm

Now, you're not going to get a bleeding edge machine for $500, just to set expectations. My build, from 2016, is i7 6700k, 32GB DDR4-3200, GTX 1080, 256GB SSD, 6TB HDD, 850w PSU. Those are three-year-old parts (admittedly they were bleeding edge parts at the time) and they're still way out of your budget. That being said, you probably don't need bleeding edge to do what you want to do.

You mention Diablo 3. It doesn't have that high of recommended specs. Not sure what other games you were thinking.

You're going to want 8GB of RAM. Lots of gaming machines have 16GB or more, but on your budget, 8GB will be plenty. You'll probably end up with a Ryzen CPU, I would guess. Better bang for the buck than an i7 or i5.

And then you'll want as good of a graphics card as you can fit within your budget. For comparing cards (or CPUs for that matter), I recommend this site: https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html.

The graphics card is going to be the hardest part in getting a good one within your budget. Normally, for someone getting a gaming rig, I'd suggest getting a GTX 1060 or better. Not sure you're going to be able to pull that off for $500, though. I was able to find a refurbished one on Newegg here: https://www.newegg.com/p/3D5-000D-00030 ... HT38U54629. It's got an i5 2400, 12GB RAM, GTX 1060, 1TB HDD, for $489. The processor is the weak point in the build, but you won't be able to get everything great within your budget.

That being said, you might not actually need a GTX 1060 level graphics card. I'd want to know more about the games you want to play. If you don't need to lean so heavy on the GPU, you could divert some more of the budget to a better CPU and/or an SSD.

Can you list some other games you want to play?
kevinf wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:52 pm
6600K overclocked @ 4.7Ghz water-cooled
1080Ti overclocked @ 2075Mhz/5555Mhz water-cooled
Samsung 850 EVO SSD x 250GB
16GB RAM, overclocked @ 3000Mhz
Corsair Obsidian 500D tower case

Benchmarks at link below:

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/14447323
How is that information supposed to help OP?

kevinf
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by kevinf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:56 pm

I replied to trinc, and I've already made several posts directly helping the OP prior.

And that link at the bottom of my post will quite helpfully lead to price/performance ratios of components, links to budget and high end builds, and game benchmarks related to component choices.

rj342
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by rj342 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:24 pm

One thing in the OP Im not sure anyone addressed...
Expectin a value gaming PC to be good for 8 years is grossly unrealistic.
Buying an extra expensive system to last a long time is even worse logic given how fast the leading edge tech changes, and even the sweet spot with 80-90% performance for 50% of the cost is also constantly moving.

Some people already gave decent advice about a moderately capable system whose life you might stretch a couple times with a GPU or other upgrade. Going moderate in price and being prepared to make small upgrades more frequently is better than paying through the nose a t slightly less frequent intervals. Just be aware in incremental approach every few years youll need to do mobo, which means cpu and maybe RAM, because late in the life of better components fpr a previous gen mobo, the prices go up, after having initialky declined, where scarcity outweighs lower demand.

Of course the big pig is assuming were talking 3d first person shooters. You can get goid framerates from moderate GPU as long as you stick with a 1080p HD monitor... 4k monitor needs beefier gpu to get dame frame rates. Ive had pretty goid results in many 3D games with a 1050ti SC for almost 2years now.

Re console vs PC, yes you can get a console cheaper for a certain performance, early in its life, but games are more expensive, and you dont have quite the same access to prev gen games dirt cheap like you can w Steam or Good Old Games.
Sounds like the OP will have a backlog of a few years for older games his laptop could not handle.

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Tamarind
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Tamarind » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:55 pm

engineerahead wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:08 am
mmmodem wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:43 am
It's actually really simple. The GPU is all that matters. If you want a gaming machine, it must have a discrete graphics card. There are only two players in the GPU market and that is AMD and Nvidia. Just look for the names below. And even low end systems will play the latest AAA titles for years to come as long as you decrease graphics settings.
I can agree but part of the advice has a pitfall, GPU is one of the most important parts but if you dont find at least a decent balance, even the CPU can bottleneck it easily. There are spreadsheet combinations to avoid this though. Otherwise solid advice.
LiveSimple wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:53 am
Can you help with a top end GPU gaming desktop
Please list a few so Can choose based budget

Looking at $1000 to $1500
Apart from the sources others have posted, interesting and easy to understand is https://www.logicalincrements.com/ on the right search for the desired budget.
Another vote for Logical Increments as a tool that gives you lists of parts and accommodates a modest budget.

mmmodem
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mmmodem » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:08 am

rj342 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:24 pm
One thing in the OP Im not sure anyone addressed...
Expectin a value gaming PC to be good for 8 years is grossly unrealistic.
Buying an extra expensive system to last a long time is even worse logic given how fast the leading edge tech changes, and even the sweet spot with 80-90% performance for 50% of the cost is also constantly moving.
Good point. My previous PC was purchased in 2013. It was slow by those days standards and I got it for <$500. I can tolerate low graphics settings and lower framerates, that's how I've always gamed. However, I encountered a AAA game I wanted to play that ran at 10 fps on my hardware in 2017. I had to upgrade. So by my extremely low standards as defined by the actual ability to play the game, 4 years is how long I lasted. I did component upgrades along the way as well.

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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:02 pm

Integrated graphics on the current i3 and up and the AMD equivalents should be fine for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, which have fairly similar system requirements.

I played Starcraft 2 for several months back in 2014 or so while watching sales on discrete graphics cards. I did have to turn lighting and shadow effects down, and had mediocre framerates, but I think I was able to play at 1920x1080.

There's several generations of continued improvement since then.

I don't know if it is still the case, but at the time, AMD's integrated graphics were performing consistently better than Intel's in benchmarks.

Waiting to invest in a discrete graphics card until you tire of your current games and want to try something with higher system demands will make better use of your $500 in the near term.

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Caduceus
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Caduceus » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 am

I don't think people read my post in the middle. I've decided not to get a gaming desktop anymore, since it doesn't seem I can get one for $500.

I can play Diablo 3 on low graphics settings on my current business laptop. But my laptop struggles with Diablo 3 on high graphics settings (and that would be really nice). My laptop also cannot play Starcraft multiplayer mode at any graphics settings. And I can't seem to watch HD videos. My computer just ends up running slow and sputtering. I would also like to play the newest version of Civilization at some point.

I waited 5 years for the price of Diablo 3 to come down to $9 before I bought it. So it's not like I have a burning desire or anything to customize the best gaming desktop I can possibly have. My current laptop is still very new (only 4 years old), so I might wait another few years before replacing it.

Thanks though!

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sunny_socal
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by sunny_socal » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:13 am

Your budget is too low, try $1k for a gaming machine. The integrated graphics and entry-level cards are anemic - really. I bought my son an HP 'gaming desktop' from Costco that contained an RX550 card, cost $700 and the system was pitiful for these reasons:
- Power supply too small to support a real graphics card (they are very power hungry.)
- Case too small to support a real graphics card (those things are BIG)
- Tiny heat sink and fan on the stock card. Laughable really when you compare to a full-size card.
- Not enough fans to cool the box
- Only space for one hard drive (really you want an SSD _and_ a hard drive)

He later upgraded:
- Nice case with 6 RGB fans $80
- MSI gaming motherboard $100
- 16G gaming RAM $80
- 1TB SSD $100
- RX580 graphics card $200 (used; can buy an RX570 new for this price)
- 700W power supply $50

Now his system is what I would call 'entry' level for a gaming system. The heart of the system is the graphics card, budget as much as possible for this. An upgrade in this case would be a $500 card but it's not hard to find one that costs $1k or more (eg. a 2080)

zlandar
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by zlandar » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:33 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:13 am
Your budget is too low, try $1k for a gaming machine. The integrated graphics and entry-level cards are anemic - really. I bought my son an HP 'gaming desktop' from Costco that contained an RX550 card, cost $700 and the system was pitiful for these reasons:
- Power supply too small to support a real graphics card (they are very power hungry.)
- Case too small to support a real graphics card (those things are BIG)
- Tiny heat sink and fan on the stock card. Laughable really when you compare to a full-size card.
- Not enough fans to cool the box
- Only space for one hard drive (really you want an SSD _and_ a hard drive)

He later upgraded:
- Nice case with 6 RGB fans $80
- MSI gaming motherboard $100
- 16G gaming RAM $80
- 1TB SSD $100
- RX580 graphics card $200 (used; can buy an RX570 new for this price)
- 700W power supply $50

Now his system is what I would call 'entry' level for a gaming system. The heart of the system is the graphics card, budget as much as possible for this. An upgrade in this case would be a $500 card but it's not hard to find one that costs $1k or more (eg. a 2080)
Costco is not a good place to buy gaming desktops or laptops. Their prices are mediocre at best. Microcenter has good prices. The best I have seen are the Overpowered computers sold by WalMart when they go on sale:

https://slickdeals.net/newsearch.php?se ... owered&r=1

The video card, cpu, and RAM are excellent for the price. I'm not sure I could build it cheaper. The motherboard, power supply, and case are not great but you have the bones of a good gaming PC that can last for years with the occasional upgrade.

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Kenkat
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by Kenkat » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:37 am

Caduceus wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 am
My current laptop is still very new (only 4 years old), so I might wait another few years before replacing it.
Since you are keeping the laptop, one relatively inexpensive upgrade that could markedly improve performance is replacing a traditional hard drive with an SSD if it is not already equipped. We put a 256gb SSD in my son’s old laptop (that had practically become unusable) and it made a world of difference. Amazing and it was under $50 for the SSD and pretty easily to install. It might be enough to let you play some of the “stretch” games for your current set up.
Last edited by Kenkat on Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

mmmodem
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by mmmodem » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:37 am

Caduceus wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 am
I don't think people read my post in the middle. I've decided not to get a gaming desktop anymore, since it doesn't seem I can get one for $500.

I can play Diablo 3 on low graphics settings on my current business laptop. But my laptop struggles with Diablo 3 on high graphics settings (and that would be really nice). My laptop also cannot play Starcraft multiplayer mode at any graphics settings. And I can't seem to watch HD videos. My computer just ends up running slow and sputtering. I would also like to play the newest version of Civilization at some point.

I waited 5 years for the price of Diablo 3 to come down to $9 before I bought it. So it's not like I have a burning desire or anything to customize the best gaming desktop I can possibly have. My current laptop is still very new (only 4 years old), so I might wait another few years before replacing it.

Thanks though!
We did read it but like any internet forum, we like to discuss even if OP isn't reading. I would also disagree with you that you can't buy a gaming system for $500. I didn't play StarCraft 2 until Blizzard offered it for free 3 years ago. Truth be told, my then system also could not handle multiplayer well. Frame rate would drop to unplayable. It wasn't until I "upgraded" to a used Dell PC on eBay for $150 + $100 AMD RX460 that I could play Starcraft 2 well enough.

According to YouTube, I can play the newly released last week, Red Dead Redemption 2 with this system at up to 50 fps. However, as always, I'm going to wait a couple of years until it's in the bargain bin.

BTW, my old laptop also can't play HD 720p videos well. However, I found out Microsoft Edge uses a better codec and works a lot better.

lightheir
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by lightheir » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:53 am

Technology in gaming changes REALLY quickly. I'm also in the market for a entry-level gaming rig (or a higher one), so I've been getting myself up to date.

Turns out that $500 can definitely get you a 1080p gaming rig that can play nearly anything at decent levels, and all but the most demanding 3-D shooter games at excellent levels.

One advancement that I was impressed by are the "APUs", or basically combined CPU+GPU on the CPU chip, so you don't need to purchase a separate graphics card. It's like running games on integrated graphics, but since the graphics card is build into the CPU, you actually get quite respectable entry-level gaming performance. The APUs are Ryzen 5 series, and most builds at $500 use this chip and NO graphics card.

Here's just one of many possibilities off the shelf, including some footage of actual game play with good frames per second, lots of other youtube reviews of the Ryzen APU with game footage with frames per second.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr5sYYi6Jec


But at the same time, as well as this $500 build seems to play, it might be wise and cost-effective to try and futureproof yourself a little bit (as well as against your inevitable desire for more features) by spending a little more and getting a rig with a solid graphics card that can run everything including the biggest AAA games at the highest levels at 1080p and only getting limited if you're pushing into hardcore gamer territory of 4k or even 2k monitors (the monitor pixel depth really starts pushing the graphics card.) Note that gaming monitors also get expensive quickly and start to add more complexity to your choices but at that point you're def not in entry level territory.

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StevieG72
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:59 am

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am
Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!
Don’t give up! Now is the time to score a great deal on a gaming PC with black friday deals.

I scored a nice gaming PC with a 24” monitor (not a gaming pc) well within your price range. For my particular “build” I found a deal on a desktop combo system ( pc and monitor) and added a graphics card for gaming.

The tricky part about buying and upgrading a pc is the power supply. PC makers skimp on the power supplies to keep cost down. I do not have an upgraded power supply but was able to find a GPU that meets my needs https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx ... nt-_-text-_-.

A quick search shows Best Buy has a HP i7 processor / 256 SSD / 8gb memory on sale for $499.00 ( black friday sale) Add a graphics card and you are up and running playing your favorite games!
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

zlandar
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by zlandar » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:38 am

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:59 am
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am
Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!
Don’t give up! Now is the time to score a great deal on a gaming PC with black friday deals.

I scored a nice gaming PC with a 24” monitor (not a gaming pc) well within your price range. For my particular “build” I found a deal on a desktop combo system ( pc and monitor) and added a graphics card for gaming.

The tricky part about buying and upgrading a pc is the power supply. PC makers skimp on the power supplies to keep cost down. I do not have an upgraded power supply but was able to find a GPU that meets my needs https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx ... nt-_-text-_-.

A quick search shows Best Buy has a HP i7 processor / 256 SSD / 8gb memory on sale for $499.00 ( black friday sale) Add a graphics card and you are up and running playing your favorite games!
PSUs don't matter as much as they used to. Most PSUs are rated 450w or higher which is plenty for a cpu and single video card.

Not a fan of the Dell/HP computers. They use proprietary cases which may look nice but are often awful to work with. The dimensions may not conform to ATX cases which means video cards/cpu coolers/PSUs may not fit. Ditto for their motherboards.

If I was building an entry level rig I would buy a used 1060 card.The 1050 and 1050ti cards are entry-level and it's a >50% FPS jump from a 1050 ti to a 1060. The 1060 comes with either 3 GB or 6 GB or VRAM and it's worth the little extra for the 6 GB.

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StevieG72
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:13 pm

zlandar wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:38 am
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:59 am
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am
Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!
Don’t give up! Now is the time to score a great deal on a gaming PC with black friday deals.

I scored a nice gaming PC with a 24” monitor (not a gaming pc) well within your price range. For my particular “build” I found a deal on a desktop combo system ( pc and monitor) and added a graphics card for gaming.

The tricky part about buying and upgrading a pc is the power supply. PC makers skimp on the power supplies to keep cost down. I do not have an upgraded power supply but was able to find a GPU that meets my needs https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx ... nt-_-text-_-.

A quick search shows Best Buy has a HP i7 processor / 256 SSD / 8gb memory on sale for $499.00 ( black friday sale) Add a graphics card and you are up and running playing your favorite games!
PSUs don't matter as much as they used to. Most PSUs are rated 450w or higher which is plenty for a cpu and single video card.

Not a fan of the Dell/HP computers. They use proprietary cases which may look nice but are often awful to work with. The dimensions may not conform to ATX cases which means video cards/cpu coolers/PSUs may not fit. Ditto for their motherboards.

If I was building an entry level rig I would buy a used 1060 card.The 1050 and 1050ti cards are entry-level and it's a >50% FPS jump from a 1050 ti to a 1060. The 1060 comes with either 3 GB or 6 GB or VRAM and it's worth the little extra for the 6 GB.
I respectfully disagree with the PSU statement. If you buy a non gaming PC that has integrated graphics with the plan of updating the graphics card, the PSU will limit your options. For example this PC has a 180w PSU https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-pavil ... tp01-0155t.

I agree that the 1060 is a much better graphics card, however it recommends a 400w PSU. The 1050 ti is rated to use 75w and will run on a PC with a 180w PSU.

I was simply pointing out that it can be done! ( upgrade a pc with integrated graphics and weak PSU) There will be some great black friday deals on gaming pcs too, you can avoid the headaches and confusion by just buying one of those.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:14 am

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:13 pm
zlandar wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:38 am
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:59 am
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:21 am
Aww, thanks for the reality check, guys. I don't think I will buy a gaming desktop anymore then. It just sounds too expensive!
Don’t give up! Now is the time to score a great deal on a gaming PC with black friday deals.

I scored a nice gaming PC with a 24” monitor (not a gaming pc) well within your price range. For my particular “build” I found a deal on a desktop combo system ( pc and monitor) and added a graphics card for gaming.

The tricky part about buying and upgrading a pc is the power supply. PC makers skimp on the power supplies to keep cost down. I do not have an upgraded power supply but was able to find a GPU that meets my needs https://www.newegg.com/asus-geforce-gtx ... nt-_-text-_-.

A quick search shows Best Buy has a HP i7 processor / 256 SSD / 8gb memory on sale for $499.00 ( black friday sale) Add a graphics card and you are up and running playing your favorite games!
PSUs don't matter as much as they used to. Most PSUs are rated 450w or higher which is plenty for a cpu and single video card.

Not a fan of the Dell/HP computers. They use proprietary cases which may look nice but are often awful to work with. The dimensions may not conform to ATX cases which means video cards/cpu coolers/PSUs may not fit. Ditto for their motherboards.

If I was building an entry level rig I would buy a used 1060 card.The 1050 and 1050ti cards are entry-level and it's a >50% FPS jump from a 1050 ti to a 1060. The 1060 comes with either 3 GB or 6 GB or VRAM and it's worth the little extra for the 6 GB.
I respectfully disagree with the PSU statement. If you buy a non gaming PC that has integrated graphics with the plan of updating the graphics card, the PSU will limit your options. For example this PC has a 180w PSU https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-pavil ... tp01-0155t.

I agree that the 1060 is a much better graphics card, however it recommends a 400w PSU. The 1050 ti is rated to use 75w and will run on a PC with a 180w PSU.

I was simply pointing out that it can be done! ( upgrade a pc with integrated graphics and weak PSU) There will be some great black friday deals on gaming pcs too, you can avoid the headaches and confusion by just buying one of those.
A proper graphics will likely not even fit in that case. That's exactly what my son went through, those little HP towers are completely disposable. I've purchased two different such HPs (one Intel-based, other AMD-based) and both my kids have now upgraded their systems to use full size ATX cases. Don't waste your money on an HP. They're fine for 'office' use but forget gaming. The motherboards are similarly very bare-bones, these systems have cut every corner possible.

zlandar
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Re: Gaming Desktop

Post by zlandar » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:03 am

Caduceus wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:38 pm
Now that Black Friday is around the computer, I am looking to buy a gaming desktop for the first time in 20 years 8-) What should I be looking for that would give me best value for the price? Is it an expensive graphics card or SSD or something else? I am not looking to spend more than $500 and I see that Ebay has many options below that amount but I am confused by the sheer number of options and customizations available. What should I prioritize?

I'd like to be able to play some of the newer multiplayer online games, as well as games like Diablo 3 and Starcraft. My current laptop can't really handle all of these games, even though it is only four years old.

Ideally, this gaming desktop would last me for another 8 or so years.
For $600 this PC system will last for at least several years and easily play all the games you listed:

https://slickdeals.net/f/13608820-cyber ... =frontpage

Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz 6-Core / 12-Thread Desktop Processor
8GB DDR4 Memory
240GB SATA Solid State Drive + 2TB 7200RPM Hard Drive
AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
802.11ac Wi-Fi
Mouse and Keyboard
Windows 10 Home 64-bit

The graphics card is equivalent to a Nvidia 1060. Case is much easier to work with unlike the junk Dell/HP proprietary cases allowing for easy user upgrades. Unknown power supply but if it can power a RX 580 it's a minimum 450w PSU with one or two PCI-E cables.

You need your own monitor but this is a good system that isn't obsolete out of the box.

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