Lately, I've been toying with the idea of building my own gaming PC or maybe buying a pre-built one, but there are a few questions and concerns in my head
- Is it as expensive as people say? I'm not made of money nor can I afford even $1000 (well, technically I can, but I want to save for college), so if my PC is on a bit of a budget is it worth it
- Would I constantly need to upgrade? This also runs back to how I don't have very much money
- Is the overall experience better then consoles? What I'm saying is, is it worth it, are the PC's better
I own a console and plan to keep it if I buy/build a new gaming PC, so that might come into play. Also a short run through the pro's and con's would be nice.
My final question is if PC gaming is worth the upgrade, should I go for a pre-built one or should I build my own. Thanks!
Yeah it's very much worth it. The games are ridiculously cheap, you can mod, run at higher framerates/higher resolutions ect, there is much more variety in the games available, you can emulate older consoles and so on.
As for your questions.
1. You can build a good pc for between 600-800. Prebuilt isn't really an option when you are on a budget.
2. No you won't need to constantly upgrade, that's pretty much just a myth.
3. The overall experience is much better than consoles.
As for the last question definitely build your own. It's not difficult at all. All you need to do is follow some simple instructions and put the pieces together like rather expensive lego.
First off, no, it isn't that expensive. My current build is probably currently worth about $600 or less and it basically does all new releases at max settings (or close) at 2560x1440. The original box cost me $400 about 4 years ago and since then I've added 2gb of ram, a new CPU, and a new GPU (twice) setting me back about $1000-$1100 total including the original cost, though I bought a spare barebones box for around $150 and used the old gear to make a second PC that isn't as good but still does alright on most games. You could probably get something better for cheaper at this point, the hardware in mine is has a sort of disproportionate value since it's really high end stuff out of the last generation (as in, top range core2quad and ddr2) but really only stacks up to current mid range stuff. Plus you probably have a computer already, so the cost really only amounts to how much more you spend on getting something fit for gaming. My mouse cost me $13 and I got my keyboard for free from a friend because he got something even fancier than a Cyborg V7. My speakers cost me I think $45 but they're pretty good on brand ones, there are plenty of cheaper options. My monitor, on the other hand, was $600, because the PC master race doesn't settle for 1080p. You can always hook it to a TV though rather than having a dedicated screen, that's how I watch my movies now.
As far as frequency of upgrades, it really only depends on how much you care about having the fanciest graphics available. Honestly I could have gotten away with just the original RAM and GPU upgrade and still be able to play all of the new releases, just not as well as I like. I could also have bought a completely new computer with GTX 670s in SLI, but I'm happy just teetering right around max graphics settings rather than investing a buttload on high tier stuff that will be cheap before it's useful.
When it comes to the experience, there isn't really any way it can be worse than consoles, so there's that. You sometimes get the occasional game that refuses to run for whatever reason or has some issue and needs some tinkering with compatibility or what not but that is fairly infrequent (not that console games don't sometimes have those problems too). Other than that it's basically all an improvement. Better graphics, more controller options, no disk swapping (most of the time), more online options, larger selection of games than any console generation, modding (if you're into that).
If you want it as cheap as possible, do your research and build it yourself. If you're not up to it, buy prebuild, but not something with a name brand. They're more expensive and usually come with cases that are a nightmare to deal with when it comes to upgrading.
There are a lot of upsides to moving from consoles to a gaming PC rig. The biggest one is definitely how much more you'll get out of your games: generally look better, run smoother, are highly user customisable, often come with strong community support, and feature a wealth of mods which can add flavour, content or completely change your games altogether.
As for your budget, most people go into PC gaming with the same thought processes they use for console gaming: "How much is it for me to get it?" The benefit with PCs is you can get what you can afford, then upgrade when you want to or have some extra cash.
Definitely build it yourself if you can, or at least make sure you are in control of exactly was goes into it. I suggest you start with a decent CPU + Motherboard bundle (usually a quad-core Intel i5 and plenty of connectors on the motherboard), with a reputable CPU Cooler, and a sizeable 80-Plus Certified Power Supply with Modular cables. Get this sorted first and you'll be set for a [i]very[/] long time. Then all you need to do is fill the rest with what you can afford at the moment. Upgrade your HDD/SSD when you run out of space, RAM if your computer struggles with big files or lots of programs, and the graphics card only needs to be upgraded if you cannot run a new game at any setting.
Hope this helps.
I shifted from console to PC a few years ago.
I ran through all three of the seventh gen consoles, but ended up selling them and using my PC instead.
The biggest advantage I found with the consoles was that you never have to worry about whether the game you bought will run on your system or not. If you bought a PS3 game, it's going to work on your PS3. With a PC it can be a little less clear - especially when looking at very old games (in terms of system compatbility - though there are often ways around this) or very new games (does my system have the grunt needed to play this in anything other than stick-figure graphics mode?).
I still prefer PC though. It's the ultimate in multi-function. I can check my email, then boot up Borderlands 2, play that for a while and then watch youtube videos with semi-hilarious footage of cats.
A lot of the consoles are able to do this as well (with varying degrees of success), but I'd rather use a computer for it. I feel like I have a lot more control that way.
It also just feels easier. There's no middle-man TV to deal with, you just turn it on and go.
With regard to cost of PCs... I just bought a standard pre-built from an electronics store. I couldn't be bothered setting up a dedicated gaming rig. I bought it several years ago and it still plays current-gen games without a problem. The biggest issue won't be the cost, it'll be deciding what direction you're wanting to go in (even if you only spend $100, if it's on a system you regret getting - it's $100 wasted).
Which system has the most of the kinds of games you like to play? Is there a series you love that's exclusive to one of them?
If you want something to play immediately, then go with whatever system you can afford. You're better off thinking about what system you really want going forwards though (otherwise you run the risk of spending a couple of hundred dollars on a giant metallic lump of buyer's remorse. If you can't afford the one you really want, then wait a bit until you can.
Actually, that's another advantage of the PC over the others - there are so many free games for the PC. You might spend a little more initially, but when you can play games like Path of Exile (or the thousands of other free games) without spending anything then it really starts to look good next to the consoles.
I think you'll probably be fine whatever you choose - it'll come down to whatever works best for you. Also, if you choose 'wrong', you can save up for a year or so and try again with one of the others. Secondhand consoles work just as well as new.
All the others have stated pretty much what I was going to, so no need. I will however say it's best to build your own PC rather than buy a pre-built machine. Even if you've never done so, it's fairly straight forward and not as complicated as you might think. Each component comes with detailed instructions so there's no chance of failure. And, if you have everything ready to go, it'll only take a few hours to get it up and running. There's also that satisfaction you get, which is nice. Not to mention much cheaper, like everyone else has stated.
The other upside to building your own PC is you can avoid bloatware, which is pretty much standard on all pre-built machines. It's a pain in the ass to get rid of it if you do go the pre-built route.
-You will have to compromise on a 600-800 budget, but you still should be able to play games at 1080p just fine. Just make sure you build your own instead of buying prebuilt.
-The less you spend the quicker you will have to upgrade. Still, you should be good for a while.
-The experience is... better in some ways, worse in others. You get way better graphics, more choices for controls, mods (if that's your thing), and so on. The number one issue I would point out is that PC games break a lot more often than console games do.
Nothing kills your game-playing mojo more than buying a new game and then having to perform extensive surgery on it just to make it work on your PC properly. Even then, you just sometimes have to live with some of the bugs that come up. I'm willing to do it, but it does get annoying.
Overall, I'd recommend it, you can have some incredible game experiences on PC.
For 600~800 you can buy an above average gaming PC that will be able to play games on mid to high settings depending on how demanding the game is. And you won't need to upgrade for a few years most likely. However you will have to keep in mind that it is at least a good idea to get an upgrade or two every 4~5 years, if you want to be able to keep on playing games on mid-high settings.
As someone who recently made the switch, bout 7 months ago, It's worth it. I still play games I haven't finished on my consoles and I will get exclusives, but everything else is what my PC will be for.
For example, I got Skyrim on 360, it was okay. Flat mate started playing it and wanted to buy it off me, did and I got the game on Steam real cheap, all the mods improve the game so much. It made a game I found to be just okay, into something really good, as a first open world game for my PC I think it was a good choice. My PC can run it on high settings, and it cost around 900 USD all up (I live in NZ so stuffs a little pricier).
The FIRST question you need to ask yourself is this:
Are there more games that are console or PC exclusive that you want to play.
While I LOVE having a decent gaming PC now, it CAN be a pain in the butt when a game won't randomly work.
-SEE: Shogun 2
There's also SEVERAL games that are console exclusive that I love, so I'm glad I still have my Wii/360/PS3.
-Persona 4: Arena, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Yakuza (series), Katamari Damancy, etc.