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I need to replace my computer and I want to make sure I get something that will be good for SL where I can ideally run things on High graphics. 

I'm in the US and I would like to stay around $1000. Any recommendations on what to get or what a realistic budget would be

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1 hour ago, MillyWH said:

I need to replace my computer and I want to make sure I get something that will be good for SL where I can ideally run things on High graphics. 

I'm in the US and I would like to stay around $1000. Any recommendations on what to get or what a realistic budget would be

Follow a few key guidelines and you can't go wrong.

Self build, you get more bang for your buck, it's much easier than you think and is very well documented online, and most importantly once done gives you an easy incremental upgrade path with lots of head room to swap out individual parts one by one over the next few years. Your local PC parts retailer will hold your hand and help you tick all the right boxes, microcenter (if in the US) for the win .. just don't let them sell you an extended warranty. Heck, there are lots of us here who will happily hand hold.

Buying a ready made box is less than ideal .. a little research into what standard off the shelf parts it contains will almost always end in the same conclusion, you got robbed. Perversely, buying 'gamer brand' stuff like alienware just increases the amount of robbery. Friends don't let friends buy alienware.

  1. Pick a case to put it all in, pick something pretty, big, small, whatever you like. 
  2. CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 or better. AMD have brought a lot of value to the PC space recently in their efforts to unseat intel's monopoly. Again, bang for buck - this is the core part everything else is built around.
  3. Motherboard (the big circuit board everything plugs into), the list of possibilities will be cut down dramatically by the size of your case and your CPU choice. Pick one that fits the above 2 points, don't cheap out, I personally like Gigabyte brand boards. 
  4. 16GB of ram (comprised of 2 8GB sticks). No more, no less. The specific ram will be determined by the above 2 points, just ask "whats the right ram for this". If you have options, faster ram is better and slightly more expensive.
  5. An SSD, doesn't matter if Sata or M.2 or whatever other combination of random letters, end result is the same from a end use perspective, the only practical difference is which hole connects to what.
  6. A power supply, overkill advised (they run happier and longer if not run ragged). Say 750W .. 800W .. Corsair brand.
  7. A graphics card - Spend the rest of your budget here .. I'd say just buy a 2060 Super call it a day.

You will need a copy of windows, either buy a new copy or if you have CD-KEY from any version going back to Windows 7 pro, just download the installer from MS and use that.

Essential accessory - A mechanical keyboard, your fingers will love you.

Best non specialist screens - LG IPS - awesome viewing angles.

Optional upgrades ... a better cooler (the stock one provided with the CPU is fine, not bad, just fine). RGB illumination (nothing says PCMR more than unicorn vomit).

Good youtube channel for  assembly, reviews and guides (and they have a forum too) - Linus Tech Tips (LTT) - bit click baity, but the content is solid.

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1 hour ago, CoffeeDujour said:

Follow a few key guidelines and you can't go wrong.

Self build, you get more bang for your buck, it's much easier than you think and is very well documented online, and most importantly once done gives you an easy incremental upgrade path with lots of head room to swap out individual parts one by one over the next few years. Your local PC parts retailer will hold your hand and help you tick all the right boxes, microcenter (if in the US) for the win .. just don't let them sell you an extended warranty. Heck, there are lots of us here who will happily hand hold.

Buying a ready made box is less than ideal .. a little research into what standard off the shelf parts it contains will almost always end in the same conclusion, you got robbed. Perversely, buying 'gamer brand' stuff like alienware just increases the amount of robbery. Friends don't let friends buy alienware.

  1. Pick a case to put it all in, pick something pretty, big, small, whatever you like. 
  2. CPU - AMD Ryzen 5 or better. AMD have brought a lot of value to the PC space recently in their efforts to unseat intel's monopoly. Again, bang for buck - this is the core part everything else is built around.
  3. Motherboard (the big circuit board everything plugs into), the list of possibilities will be cut down dramatically by the size of your case and your CPU choice. Pick one that fits the above 2 points, don't cheap out, I personally like Gigabyte brand boards. 
  4. 16GB of ram (comprised of 2 8GB sticks). No more, no less. The specific ram will be determined by the above 2 points, just ask "whats the right ram for this". If you have options, faster ram is better and slightly more expensive.
  5. An SSD, doesn't matter if Sata or M.2 or whatever other combination of random letters, end result is the same from a end use perspective, the only practical difference is which hole connects to what.
  6. A power supply, overkill advised (they run happier and longer if not run ragged). Say 750W .. 800W .. Corsair brand.
  7. A graphics card - Spend the rest of your budget here .. I'd say just buy a 2060 Super call it a day.

You will need a copy of windows, either buy a new copy or if you have CD-KEY from any version going back to Windows 7 pro, just download the installer from MS and use that.

Essential accessory - A mechanical keyboard, your fingers will love you.

Best non specialist screens - LG IPS - awesome viewing angles.

Optional upgrades ... a better cooler (the stock one provided with the CPU is fine, not bad, just fine). RGB illumination (nothing says PCMR more than unicorn vomit).

Good youtube channel for  assembly, reviews and guides (and they have a forum too) - Linus Tech Tips (LTT) - bit click baity, but the content is solid.

self building is not an option for me.  I'm not every good at assembling anything and I have the weirdest time getting things to work properly with electronics (seriously it took me an hour one time to get a headset to work and finally a friend did the same thing I was doing and it worked ).  Plus I'm clumsy and have a tendency to accidentally break things. 

I have a large monitor, it's older now (about 5 years old I think) but it was a really nice Asus monitor at the time so I don't need a new one. I had a mechanical keyboard and it broke and need to replace it (thinking at christmas). 

 

So any other recommendations since self build isn't an option.

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3 hours ago, CoffeeDujour said:

You will need a copy of windows, either buy a new copy or if you have CD-KEY from any version going back to Windows 7 pro, just download the installer from MS and use that.

You honestly really don't, it's a scam. (hyperbole) Windows 10 is free from Microsoft. The only things you suffer from not paying a ridiculous price for a license are minor cosmetic things like a little watermark on one of your screens (if you have multiple), and not being able to use a custom wallpaper (but there are workarounds). That said, all the other info you gave was pretty spot on.

But if custom builds aren't your thing (though you could have someone else do the assembling), there are some decent options out there. For example:

  • This (gaudy) thing -- $750
    • i5-9400F (2.9 - 4.1 GHz), GTX 1660 (6 GB video memory)
    • 8 GB of RAM, 1000 + 240 GB file storage
    • Comes with Windows 10

It lights your room up light a christmas tree, could use an extra set of RAM, and it's definitely overkill for just SL. But it's well under budget with no assembly required.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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That self-build spec is still a good guide. Bur I am currently running a ten-year-old Dell "professional" office machine. The only thing that needed changing was the graphics card.  SL isn't struggling with GPU or RAM. The graphics card I added is pretty good, roughly the same performance as an nVidia 1050.

8GB should be enough, but make sure there's room to expand RAM to 16GB. It won't need fancy cooling.

A modern TV can be an effective monitor, so make sure you can output HDMI.

 

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5 hours ago, MillyWH said:

self building is not an option for me.  I'm not every good at assembling anything and I have the weirdest time getting things to work properly with electronics (seriously it took me an hour one time to get a headset to work and finally a friend did the same thing I was doing and it worked ).  Plus I'm clumsy and have a tendency to accidentally break things. 

It's easier than most lego sets, almost everything only goes in one way in one place - if its fits, you did it right (seriously, round peg, round hole stuff). I would be personally happy to sit on skype or whatever and guide you though the adventure (have done this several times this year already).

Once you've done it once, you will never need or want to buy a whole new computer again.

I totally get that it can be a daunting proposition.

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On what I have seen advertised locally, installing a graphics card, or extra RAM, isn't dreadfully expensive. That's partly because it is so simple. But paying somebody to do it, and give a warranty, isn't stupid. Some of the big chains do it, or it might be a local business.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry  Ihaven't responded. Work and life has gotten the better of me.

 

 Looks like the computer on Amazon is gone.

 

I just don't feel comfortable at putting together a computer, I'm not good at that kind of thing (I'm terrible with legos even with the nice little diagrams I still struggle with them) so buying a a computer is just easier.

 

I've had 2 recommendations from other people:

https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/cty/pdp/spd/alienware-aurora-r11-desktop  (but customized a bit)

 

and 

 

https://www.newegg.com/allegiance-gaming-alg-8032rx570/p/3D5-000P-00009?Item=9SIAGSCB4G6424

 

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