Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Location: United States, Washington, Olympia
|Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:26 pm Post subject: Info for you PC Gamers
|If you are a Gamer on a sim program, I want to give you some information on how you can get a good PC that will run any program or game you might have for $400 or less.
First a little history on my experience. My old PC was about ready to retire. So I looked for a PC that was capable of running the sims and games. I looked at Dells DX 7100 as it was advertised as a "Gamer" PC and I also looked at a PC manufactured by Asusa. I was about ready to purchase one of these units.
Before I did this I checked on www.iracing.com Hardware forum to make sure I was going to make the right purchase. What I found out from a well qualified person that builds his own PCs that both of them will need additional hardware to do what the manufactures indicated their units would do.
Below is information that this person provided me on the forum:
You can get a very decent brand-new PC that will run iRacing very nicely on a single monitor, ready to run, for less than $400 if you have your own copy of Windows and can do the install yourself. Or, you can bump the specs up a bit and still get out the door WITH Windows installed for not much over $500, and there are options in-between.
If you really want to keep your price low, there's a company in northern Indiana called 3B Tech that I've bought parts from in the past, and they have some decent prices on full systems, plus they offer free shipping. I've recommended them to several iRacers and everyone who has purchased from them has been satisfied. Fellow iRacer Christopher Roberts is one who bought from 3B Tech on my recommendation, so you might PM him to get his impression on dealing with the company.
I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I didn't buy my PC from them (I built my own), I get no kickbacks, no referral fees, nothing, and I've only bought parts from them, not complete systems. They do offer pre-built systems, though, and their prices are pretty decent. Currently their lowest-cost option is a dual-core system for $269 (this is a 3.0 GHz Athlon II dual-core processor, so it's a bit faster machine than my last dual core system, which means it should perform better):
It would cost another $99.99 to have it come with Windows 7 Home Premium installed, so that would bring your total up to $368.99. If you have your own copy of Windows and you can do your own install, you can save $99.99 by doing it yourself.
That system only comes with on-board video, which will NOT work well with iRacing, so you would need a video card as well. If you purchase a card from 3B Tech when you purchase the system, they will install it for you --just add it to your shopping cart separately, and specify in a note when you place your order that you want the card installed for you. Of the cards they carry, this GTS250 would be a solid card for single-monitor use, and for $84.99 it's a good buy (I used a GTS250 previously, so I can vouch for how it will perform with iRacing):
That's a decent price for a very strong video card, and it would bring your total system cost up to $453.98 -- this would be a dual-core system with a decent video card, Windows 7 installed, AND free shipping. If you have your own copy of Windows (or can find a copy of Windows cheap on your own) and feel comfortable doing your own installation, the price drops to $353.99.
Alternately, if you wanted to kick it up a notch, this is a decent price on a GTX550ti (which should be similar to my GTX260 performance-wise) -- it's a bit more at $146.99, which would add a bit to the total quoted above:
That's $515.98 for a computer that would be pretty similar to my previous GTX260 system (and I was running dual monitors with framerates capped at 95 fps).
I've recommended 3B Tech to a few other people, and they've all been satisfied. Note that I am NOT affiliated with 3B Tech, and I don't get any referral fees or any kind of discounts or kickbacks for referring people -- I just like their pricing and even though I've never bought an entire system from them, their service when I've bought parts has always been exemplary.
Places like Newegg and TigerDirect are also places I've dealt with, but these deals from 3B Tech always impress me, and I'm a real tightwad, typically building-up my systems using used parts to go as cheap as possible.
If you have a little more to spend, this Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz quad core would basically be the about same system as what I'm running (though a bit slower than the Phenom II 955 that you're looking at):
That's $319 (with free shipping). It would cost another $99.99 to have it come with Windows 7 Home Premium installed, so that would bring your total up to $418.99. If you have your own copy of Windows and you can do your own install, you can save $99.99 by doing it yourself.
That system only comes with on-board video so you need a video card -- a GTX550ti (which should be similar to my GTX260 performance-wise) would work well at $146.99:
The 600 Watt power supply that it comes with should do fine for the GTX550ti.
That would be $565.98 for a system that would easily give you over 100 fps with almost everything enabled (I always recommend using only shadow maps, and disabling shadow volumes). Again, if you have your own copy of Windows you can knock off $99.99, which brings the price down to $465.99.
Buying used or building it yourself aren't the only options.
Panic Motorsports West