Help Choosing a Pre-built Gaming PC Please

1st of all, get a hard drive STAT! They’re cheap. Clone your game drive over to the new one! That takes the urgency out of the PC build.

As has been said, you can get an awesome GSync 1440p 27" screen and the PC to run games excellently, for $3000.

How are folks outfitting a gaming PC for as little as some of these recommendations? I mean, for me, I wouldn’t want to get one that wasn’t full SSD (no mechanical drive) and didn’t have at least a 1070-equivalent, and I have not seen any prebuilts like that under two grand. Every single one I’ve seen at the $1500 mark has a very small SSD paired with a (usually) 5400 RPM regular drive, a crappy video card, and 8GB of RAM. Usually with a suspect PSU as well. Pretty much all the configurators I’ve looked at drive the price waaaay up if you get anything like the sort of components you’d order if you were building it yourself. Do you guys have some super secret place you go, or are we working with very different ideas about what a mainstream config is?

Yeah, I totally love my Aurora.
However, I bought it from Best Buy because they had one in stock, and it came with a 256GB M.2 SSD boot drive and a 7,200 rpm hard drive. However, when I went to Best Buy’s website just now, it appears that the ones they carry no longer come with the SSD boot drives, and having an SSD boot drive is an absolute MUST these days.

Amazon has them though. This one is $1,599.
The 1070 will be a huge boost from your old 770, and should hold you for a couple of years.

My Alienware Aurora was $1,499, and yes, the one concession I had to make was the secondary hard drive not being SSD. It was a 7,200 rpm though, not 5,400. The primary was a 256 GB M.2 SSD.

If you want a pre-built with ALL SSD, that requirement does tend to drive the price way up.
I think we’re headed for a day when all drives will be SSD, but until that day, you either need to build it yourself, pay through the nose for a pre-built, or buy something like the one pictured above, and immediately take out the standard secondary hdd and replace it with an ssd of your choice.

But other than the SSD, you can totally get a good pre-built gaming rig with 16GB of ram, a 1070, and a 256GB M.2 SSD boot drive for around $1,500.

That makes sense, yeah.

I just bought one for almost exactly that price with those stats from Best Buy (an MCI.) I wish I had waited a few days since I didn’t realize Nvidia is about to release their new cards. Oh well, I’ve been limping along with a 660 (and my copy of Windows that won’t update either.) Oddly, the outdated card really hasn’t been a problem since the only game I wanted that I couldn’t get is Kingdom Come (and now I don’t think I want that anyway.) I don’t plan on doing any VR or get a fancy monitor so I should be set for a while.

Sigh, it’s been going at this since last night. Might be stuck now. Ugh.

Same setup I got at a Best Buy.

If it is just your game drive can’t you just get a new HD and reinstall games as you play them? If you get a SSD just move it over to your new PC when you get one. Another SSD is always useful. That way you can take your time choosing a PC without feeling like you need it right now so you can get back to playing.

It’s been a long time since I bought a prebuilt PC so I don’t have any recommendations. I think I’ve built my last 3 or 4 PCs. I bought I nice big case so it has been easy to reuse the case as I keep building / upgrading.

Buy a Falcon Northwest Tiki. It’s super spendy but is the nicest prebuilt you will ever own. I have zero regrets about mine. The built quality is just excessively great.

My only issue with build-to-order system builders like FalconNW and iBuyPower is that you’ve basically still got to do most of the research figuring out what you want yourself, because they’re essentially Mr. Potato Head shops that let you put whatever you want into the box you order from them. I go to these websites and the first thing they ask me is “Z370 chipset or X299 chipset?” at which point i close the page (metaphorically speaking anyway).

On some level i’m not sure if i’ve done all the research to figure out every single part if i’m not better off just ordering the parts myself from Newegg and assembling it. Part of the appeal of pre-built is not having to worry about every-single-part in your system; or at least, that’s the appeal to me.

Pre-built gaming PCs are great to get a nice clean-looking, custom-looking PC. I suggest getting one that looks unique, preferably smaller form factor, since a lot of the cost is otherwise not really justifiable in my opinion. Alienware has decent sales per above recommendations.

My issues (sorry to bore with this rant yet again) are that they tend to come with unnecessary Z370 chipset and i7 processors or their AMD equivalents. An i3 is the same or faster for gaming and i3 / b360 will save you upwards of $500 depending on the configuration.

They also often come with obsolete spinning disk drives, when there’s little reason these days to have more than a 1TB SSD (and separate NAS if local storage is your thing).

Finally, the form factor is often mid or large tower which means buying essentially an empty bucket. After three PC’s in a row with a bunch of empty PCIe slots, I’m done with ATX personally. Though some good suggestions above are smaller form factor.

A 1440p / VR gaming PC should max out around $1,200 including Windows 10, excluding monitor. A 4K gaming PC (why?) should be maybe $1,700. All that said, if you have the budget and enjoy it, go for the super-computer :).

@BrianRubin is a game streamer though, and from what i’ve heard more cores = better live streaming + recording. I haven’t done it myself though, but his needs are probably a bit larger than the normal gamer.

Not much discussion of Ryzen 7 2700X (2nd gen chip) here, from what I’ve read its a serious option to consider when looking at a Core i7-8700K alternative.

*Looks at last 3 posts in the last 10 minutes, its like you were reading my mind.

Ah that is a fair point. I would be interested in learning about streaming performance hit.

Most pre-built vendors seem to advertise prices that are based on really horrible video cards, so you always have to factor in several hundred dollars to get even the basic acceptable card (unless you have one and plan to slap it in yourself I guess). Many also base their advertised prices on 8MB RAM, when I’m pretty sure 16MB would be what most gamers would want. They also tend to lowball the PSUs, though these days that’s not as big an issue I don’t think. OTOH, they often overdo the mobos.

I only buy refurbished or lightly used Dells or Apples at this point (let someone else eat the initial depreciation). Because fan noise and wires. Erg. Never forget, never forgive.

Dell Outlet computers seem better in almost every way to new, imo (same day shipping, much better cost, equal or better warranty, took the time to fix whatever was wrong the first time, a whole lot easier to return if there is a problem). The only problem with this is no 0-day newtech to play with, but honestly, at this point in life, time seems to go so fast a half a year isn’t that long.

You can get some 1080 class refurb destops at Dell w/ 256ssd and 16gb ram for $1450. There’s a 1080ti w/ 512ssd + 2tb winchester (is that what the cool kids say now?) 8th gen 6 core i7 for $2k.

There are also some Ryzen desktops, but i think you’ll have to drop your own vcard in there.

I would never worry about the second hard disk; if it’s not the boot drive adding a second drive to a desktop should be pretty easy (although tbh it’s probably easier to add it to a laptop).

The more I think about it, the more I think those of you telling me to get a drive now and wait on a new PC for a little bit might be right.

I began researching last night and OMG, I don’t know where to begin even. It’s overwhelming. I wanna take the time to do this right. So while I do want a new PC, it might not be today. I’m still on the fence about it, if I may be honest.

In a world where decent IPS 1440p monitors can be had for 300-400 dollars, it seems disproportionate to spend 3k on a destktop meant to drive a 1080p monitor. My understanding is that a GTX 1060 or 1050ti will drive a 1080p just fine and those cards are only around $250. Even a high-end i7, 16gb of fast ram, and large SSD won’t get a system without a video card much over 2k if even that. (I’ve had the new system itch for a while and have been price watching stuff at Fry’s, Microcenter and Newegg.)

I’d be very interested in hearing from someone with actual experience with a Ryzen system. I haven’t bought AMD in many years.