Looking to get back into PC Gaming.

Hey guys,

Its been many years since I've been a PC gamer. It just hasn't been convenient. But, now with certain changes in technology, my budget and life style it may be worthwhile again.

So, I hear allot about how things can be done cheap. Everything I price up ends up totaling the thousands. I am not going to spend that much.

My setup will entail using my 40" LCD TV as a monitor. I would like to run games in 1080P or what ever the numerical resolution is for that (1920x1080?)

The setup needs to fit into the same space as an Xbox or PS3 would but I do have ample space (My 360 has mile of horizontal space, just limited verticle).

Could I have some advice on what my best course of action would be?

Cheers.

Honestly, I'd immediately give up on making something as small as an Xbox or PS3. You're going to have real trouble getting anything powerful enough to run the latest stuff to fit in something that small while still staying on budget. Though if you want to get something on the cheap that still does a fairly good job, your best bet would be some slightly older tech. Probably a high end core2duo or core2quad, 4gb of DDR2 800mhz, a fairly decent graphics card (I find the gtx 560 to be the best value for money before the price skyrockets), and a half decent motherboard to support it. Adding a standard case, hard drive and power supply you could probably slap something like that together for under $600 that will max out most things and come close for the rest.

Soopy:
The setup needs to fit into the same space as an Xbox or PS3 would but I do have ample space (My 360 has mile of horizontal space, just limited verticle).

How much vertical space do you have?

You're going to need at least 21cm (call it 8.5") to be able to use anything but a low profile HTPC case, and that means low profile cards and mostly ITX form factor mobos... which translates to underpowered for gaming and generally expensive for reliable gear.

If you've got the vertical clearance, cubic mATX cases and horizontal aligned (called Piano... just think of a regular tower laying on it's side) ATX cases become viable solutions, which makes things a lot easier because it means you'll be able to cram it with full scale, full power gear.

I could fit a full sized tower where my Xbox currently resides, I have appox' 25cm of verticle space.

Soopy:
I could fit a full sized tower where my Xbox currently resides, I have appox' 25cm of verticle space.

25cm is not a full size tower, those start at around 40cm and up... unless you mean if you laid it on it's side... in which case, good.

25cm is enough to work with, gives enough for the case types I was talking about.

Okay, next big question is - what country are you in? This can have a BIG effect on how much bang you get for your money.

Yeah 25cm on its side.
I'm in Australia, but I want to try and find an American supplier who will ship internationally. If Have to buy local I will just stick with my Xbox360, as it will literally cost thousands... (Australian retailers are rip off merchants of the highest order).

Soopy:
Yeah 25cm on its side.
I'm in Australia, but I want to try and find an American supplier who will ship internationally. If Have to buy local I will just stick with my Xbox360, as it will literally cost thousands... (Australian retailers are rip off merchants of the highest order).

Unless you're trying to stuff all the latest and greatest kit into the case, you can get a good gaming system for less than 1000 dollarydoos (or AU$ if you prefer). Of course, you have to find good suppliers for that sort of thing... pccasegear, MSY and the like.

RhombusHatesYou:

Soopy:
Yeah 25cm on its side.
I'm in Australia, but I want to try and find an American supplier who will ship internationally. If Have to buy local I will just stick with my Xbox360, as it will literally cost thousands... (Australian retailers are rip off merchants of the highest order).

Unless you're trying to stuff all the latest and greatest kit into the case, you can get a good gaming system for less than 1000 dollarydoos (or AU$ if you prefer). Of course, you have to find good suppliers for that sort of thing... pccasegear, MSY and the like.

I second that. PC Case Gear's prices are only a tad bit higher if not the same as the US.

You could build in a horizontal case like a Home Theater PC (HTPC). Most of these could fit a full size motherboard and some can handle a fill size graphics card too (this will probably make it about twice as thick as your xbox, about the size of a home theater tuner box). You could build around a smaller motherboard too, a 'micro ATX' motherboard can get down to about 2/3 the length of a full size ATX mobo, but they vary. You could stuff a micro ATX into a 'LAN Party' style case that will be quite squat compared to a tower case, but wider too (think toaster-oven size), plus you'll be able to fit in a full size graphics card, just be mindful of cable management for airflow's sake. Additionally, if you're not into system building yourself, most gamer-oriented computer builders like CyberpowerPC and iBuyPower offer builds in this size. Lastly, the smallest usable motheboards for gaming are the 'mini-ITX' line. You will be quite limited in many ways by these, fewer processor options, usually stuck with onboard audio and networking, and a limited slection in general, but you can usually find some with PCIe 16x that can support a fully funcioning graphics card (or you could utilize onboard graphics like the Intel HD4000 on the 4th gen Core line). The upside to mini ITX is that that you can get cases as small as the new mini XBOX 360. If you want a fullsize graphics card you can find cases the size of a 2-slice toaster (I think Lian Li has some than can manage this). Long story short, you can build a PC for just about any size requirement, but you generally get more and more limited in selection and options as you go down in size.

If money is no object I would suggest and Ultrabook with external display, keyboard and maouse that you could set up to run as a desktop while closed and slid into any place you have a pare quarter inch. Think: "Ultra-thin-client"

Here's a quick and dirty build that should satisfy all but the most voracious gamers. You'd have to be creative with the airflow to keep it cool, but it should be managable. Dimensions would be 13.58" x 8.94" x 10.71"

Motherboard - $70:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186211
Processor - $220:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
Graphics - $120:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130625
Case - $100:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112265
Cooler (must be low profile) - $10:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200057
500W modular cabling* PSU ($50) + 8GB RAM ($40) + hard drives to taste ($150)

Total = $760 (take off ~$200 for cheaper components or add $400+ to bling it out)

*note: I highly reccomend a PSU with modular cabling; to maintain good airflow in a smaller case, you will want to do away with all unneccessary cords inside the case.

I would recommend a one of shuttle's barebones cases if space is a key factor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856101126

Their rather expensive but they have better cooling then most for such a small case.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked