Computer Help (in General)

BestNUB June 4 2012 11:54 PM EDT

Hi guys, I have recently got a new job and was looking to buy a new computer. I need help finding a reasonably priced one. I don't actually know exactly what I am looking for, just a computer that will run diablo 3, etc on the highest settings smoothly. I would prefer a laptop although a movable desktop would be ok too (I would anticipate switching my living arrangements in a few months).

Any suggestions? I would love to build one but I don't have the technical skill or time to do it so I would much rather prefer buying one straight out of the box.

A Lesser AR of 15 [Red Permanent Assurance] June 5 2012 1:42 AM EDT
That cheapie is on sell and this looks like a tiny chick magnet.
Here's a frugal list. imo don't trust MSI ;p

Sickone June 5 2012 1:49 AM EDT

Define "reasonably priced". 300$ ? 500$ ? 750$ ? 1000$ ?
How much premium would you put on having it in laptop format ?
Define "smoothly". Average FPS 25+ ? Minimum FPS 25+ ? More ? Less ? Which ?
Refurbished or even second hand ok, or brand new only ?

TheShazbot June 5 2012 3:18 AM EDT

Gotta give us a dollar figure on "reasonably priced", as I myself have no issue spending upwards of $1000+ on a computer.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] June 5 2012 7:14 AM EDT

If you are looking for a laptop I would recommend looking at the site

They offer some high quality laptops for "reasonably" priced. They are also customizable so you can change a lot of setting on them.

Sickone June 5 2012 12:19 PM EDT

For more affordable powerful laptops, I'd say go with Sager.
They have a quite decent build quality and price-wise, they blow the likes of alienware out of the water for the same performance level.

That being said, even the cheapest laptop you can find that will fit some specific needs will be significantly more expensive than a desktop with a similar performance.

BestNUB June 5 2012 5:25 PM EDT

I would say around 1000-1300 bucks or so for a nice computer. I don't necessarily need a laptop but I would like to buy a computer that I can move easily when I do move out of my current living arrangements. As for settings, I would love to be able to play multiplayer competitively with no fear of latency.

Sickone June 5 2012 5:42 PM EDT

Latency usually comes from the network connection, not from your machine, and there's nothing you can personally do about it, only your ISP can.
That is, unless you mean crappy FPS or long load times, which are something different, and yeah, those depend on your machine's performance.

Slightly older but much more comprehensive info:

You can also look at current recommendations in here:

It's really not difficult to assemble your own PC nowadays, and you can get exactly what you need for each component, as opposed to going with a pre-built one where either at least some of the critical components are a dud or the whole thing costs a lot more than it would if you built it yourself.

BestNUB June 5 2012 5:46 PM EDT

Thanks, I will look into that :)

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] June 6 2012 2:18 AM EDT

Actually, PowerNotebooks sell Sager laptops too. However, I think they sell them for a better deal, since PowerNotebooks offer online specials.

Sickone June 6 2012 6:19 AM EDT

On the other hand, 2000$ laptop << 1000$ desktop, performance-wise.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] June 6 2012 10:07 AM EDT

Cyberpower gives some fps test results on some of their desktop/notebook configurations, should give you some ideas of what a specific configuration can do.

Duke June 6 2012 10:18 PM EDT

When benchmark give you a rating in FPS its give you the average frame per seconds (FPS) while its nice to know but its really the minimun FPS that will be important. Minimun frame rate have a tendency to have about half of the average FPS. The minium frame rate is often a mix of the whole platform while the average is something that is GPU limited only. Also CPU performance under game and 95% of all the software that exist is limited by single treads performance.

Also benchmark are made offline not in online play like Bnet.

Sickone June 6 2012 10:40 PM EDT

95% of all the software that exist is limited by single treads performance
About 5 years ago, that might have been true.
Remember that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Supreme Commander came out nearly 5 years ago, and they were already starting to utilize multiple cores decently, then newer and newer games kept getting better at it. With the release of DX11 more than 3 years ago, multiple CPU cores used for graphics started becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Nost games that came out lately (2+ years the very least) make quite good use of multiple cores (a lot of games use sub-licensed graphics engines, like Unreal or CryEngine), and even some games that used to be single-threaded can get use out of a second core with the latest graphics card drivers.
It's very rare for any game to come out nowadays that can't utilize all available CPU cores. And for stuff that came before, the current single core speeds are quite adequate for a smooth gameplay experience.

Duke June 6 2012 11:52 PM EDT

Well sickone how do you explain that a I7 ivybridge is faster that is 6 core sandybridge conter part in EVERY single game benchmark.'s_law

Sickone June 7 2012 12:20 AM EDT

Most benchmarks and some games are still optimized for a maximum of 4 cores, and even then, the higher core clock IBs are not much far ahead of the 6-core SBs.
Also, don't forget, even in same-core-count, same-clock-speed comparisons, the IBs are faster than the SBs anyway. It's a different tech after all, a newer one. You would not dream comparing the performance of a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 (feb 2004) with HT off with a single core of a 3.4GHz i5-3570 IvyBridge from earlier this year (has no HT) with turboboost off, a single core will blow it out of the water (it's almost 4 times faster at computing stuff in spite of the same clock speed).
Besides, in benchmarks and games that are optimized for up to 16 cores, the 6-core lower-clocked SB-E chips take the lead over 4-core IB chips.

Duke June 7 2012 1:27 AM EDT

Sickone some workload cant use TLP to improve performance. Some does the best exemple that can be found is file compression since there is no dependency. Thing like IA in game is bound to be mostly single treads and clock speed misbranch penality.

Sickone June 7 2012 2:25 AM EDT

More realistic AI and "physics stuff" is actually one of the most easily parallelized things, because each "actor" (be it a pseudo-sentient entity or an inanimate physics object) can be written as a separate thread interacting with other "actors" on a sequential basis. Pre-rendering workload can also be heavily parallelized and spread out among many different CPU cores (especially much easier since DX11). The closer to current day you get, the heavier the parallelization efforts get, and it will keep on being pushed towards even less mandatory sequential content, enabling even more cores to properly contribute to overall performance.

Duke June 7 2012 12:56 PM EDT

PhysicX by definition have low depedency exception to collision. IA in a game like starcraft and civilization 5 is not a cluster a several simple agent.

Sickone June 7 2012 6:16 PM EDT

I seriously doubt the entire so-called "A.I." in games the likes of Starcraft would take more than a single digit fraction of a single core to fully compute.
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