Author Topic: Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?  (Read 2987 times)

Offline ShadyLady_DQ

  • Nooboo
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?
« on: December 01, 2012, 04:07:18 PM »
I currently only have a laptop which is about 3-4 years old and does not meet the minimum requirements for the Sims 3. I want to get a new desktop to use mostly for gaming and probably data storage, like itunes library. I have a limited budget and saw the small Alienware desktop, which fits my budget (barely)and seems like it would not only play the current games well but future ones as well. I would ideally like to play at high resolution and advanced rendering on. I will post the tech specs below.

These are the questions that come to my mind when I look at this desktop: is the processor going to be good enough/fast enough for games that will come out in the future? I would hate to buy it and find out next year that I cant play any of the new expansions. This is what has happened with my laptop, for the new expansions (pets and seasons, especially) both the processor and the video card do not meet the minimum requirements. My other question is, is 6GB of memory enough? I can upgrade to 8GB for about $50, is that something I should do?

Any and all advice is appreciated. I would really like to know what others think, also if someone thinks there's a better machine out there in the range of $700, please tell me your opinion.

Thanks in advance! 

Here are the specs and the link to the Alienware site:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/pd?oc=dpcwxy1&model_id=alienware-x51

Alienware X51 Mini Gaming Desktop

Specs:

Processor
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-2120 (3M Cache, 3.3 GHz)

Operating System
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English

Memory
6GB3 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz

Possible Upgrade:
8GB3 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz

Hard Drive
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

Video Card
1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640

Optical Drive
Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)

Wireless
DW1506 Wireless-N WLAN Half Mini-Card

Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

  • Administrator
  • Immortal
  • ******
  • Posts: 799
  • Semi-conscious
Re: Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 08:06:36 PM »
Hi, ShadyLady_DQ

I do have some concerns about this system. The biggest is that it has a slim case known as a small form factor case (or micro ATX). This will make it harder to find replacement cards or some components if something breaks. The other issue is the graphics card. GeForce GT cards are nVidia's budget line and aren't really built for gaming. I'm not certain why Dell/Alienware included such a card in even a low-end gaming machine as it will hamper the system's performance while playing games.

Of lesser concern is the Core i3 processor, which isn't as powerful as the Core i5 processors, mainly due to having less cache memory on the chip. Cache memory is used to store frequently used bits of code and can help to speed things up.

Bottom line is the system will work, but maybe not as well as you might expect from a gaming computer.

At this time, I don't have a recommendation for a sub-$700 gaming system, though I'll keep looking around. Another option may be to see what a local shop/friendly geek would charge to help you build your own system. You can build decent gaming systems for around the same amount (or a little more depending on options selected) that will run Sims 3 very well on high settings.

Hope this helps.

Flynn
Check out Flynn's Fineries for houses, Sims and helpful articles.

Read and heed the Forum Rules, please!



Registered members do not see ads on this Forum. Register here.

Offline ShadyLady_DQ

  • Nooboo
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 12:34:44 AM »
Thank you, Flynn

Good point about the slim case. I found out that dell has a factory outlet site and found a better version of it with an i7 processor for about the same amount. What is your opinion of the XPS since it is a full size desktop and is their "entertainment" model. I am also going to look into other computer companies to see if they have similar sites.


Offline Flynn Arrowstarr

  • Administrator
  • Immortal
  • ******
  • Posts: 799
  • Semi-conscious
Re: Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 04:43:04 PM »
The XPS line was Dell's gaming line before they bought Alienware, so they have generally better parts and performance than the Insipiron line. MrsFlynn and I have been looking at the XPS 8500 and at the Acer Predator line (Acer's budget gaming line). While new they can run over $1,000 for a customized model, we've found both system for around $800 - $900 from NewEgg and TigerDirect.

Not certain which one we'd go with since we're likely a year or more away from getting new systems, but we're already looking to get some upgrades for our current Inspiron 570 systems that would be transferrable into whatever system we eventually buy.

In short, depending on the specs, the XPS from Dell outlet should be a great system for running The Sims 3. :)

Flynn
Check out Flynn's Fineries for houses, Sims and helpful articles.

Read and heed the Forum Rules, please!

Offline ShadyLady_DQ

  • Nooboo
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Is this a good choice for a new desktop for gaming?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 12:52:08 AM »
Thank you Flynn,

I think I am going to get the XPS. I called EA because I am having crashing problems with the game, they told me my laptop doesnt meet the mimimun standards, and the lady I spoke with (who was very helpful) said that the computer they use there is the XPS. They have to be able to run all of EA's games well.  So I think that it is a good choice. Thank you for all of your help.

Shady

 

anything