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Old 17-11-2013, 18:44
dundeederryboy
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Hi everyone,

Buying a PC for the kid's xmas and really dont know what to purchase, Have rounded it down to 3 systems i reckon are good but not sure if the price differences are worth paying any difference between the systems.

Any advice on the differences would be great thanks. Systems will mainly be used for playing Minecraft, club penguin and homework etc. but i'll be installing my steam on it with a few games such as Lego Marvel etc. so would be good if it's powerful enough to play games at a decent enough spec, or have the capabilities to be later upgraded.

Thanks

http://www.aria.co.uk/Systems/Home+a...roductId=55886

http://www.aria.co.uk/Systems/Home+a...roductId=57497

http://www.aria.co.uk/Systems/Home+a...roductId=58055
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Old 17-11-2013, 21:30
100andthirty
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Allow an extra 70 or so to buy an operating system unless you plan to use Linux
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Old 17-11-2013, 22:49
dundeederryboy
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Thanks I've already bought an OS thanks
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Old 17-11-2013, 23:40
cnbcwatcher
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Which OS? Windows 7 or 8?
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Old 18-11-2013, 00:20
dundeederryboy
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Which OS? Windows 7 or 8?
7 thankfully Have tried both and definitely sticking to 7 for now.
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Old 18-11-2013, 01:57
evil c
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I've had a look at the 3 systems you have listed but the problem is I'm not a gamer. However no-one else has helped you make a choice (probably because of all the research involved) so I'll give it a shot.

First piece of advice is for you to Google the minimum and recommended spec for the game, in this case Minecraft, and you get this: https://help.mojang.com/customer/por...m-requirements. Then you need to Google the integrated graphics card for each system and compare it against the min and recommended cards listed.

Also you want to think about the future. There will be slots on the board for you to be able to add a dedicated grahics card if you wish to enhance the game or play a more graphics intensive one. A new graphics card will need to work well with the CPU and not cause any conflicts. You'll also need to think about the PSU (Power Supply Unit) you have on one of the Aria systems against the PSU you might need for more demanding games.

One thing I noticed when looking at the Minecraft forums is that you will need 64-bit Java so don't install 32-bit. Another thing is that some gamers reckon you can play Minecraft with any old integrated grahics card as the game isn't demanding. If that's true then perhaps you could just go with the mid price system for now and up the ante if your kid progresses to more demanding games.

Of the 3 systems the most expensive is the most up to date having the new Intel Haswell Series 4 CPU (with the Intel Series 8 chipset) which has only been available to buy since September (or was it October), as the successor to the Ivy Bridge Series 3 CPUs. There does seem to be some opinions though that AMD are better for Minecraft than Intel, so you might be better with the mid price system and again you need to think about any other games and which of AMD/Intel will be better long term.

I'd stay away from the cheapest system because the integrated Intel graphics HD 3000 is out of date and there's something unsettling about that system, although I can't put my finger on exactly what.

Depending on the price of RAM and hard disks (HDD), do you really need 8GB RAM and a 2TB HDD or would you better cutting back to 4 or 6GB RAM and a 750GB or a 1TB HDD and putting the extra money (if any) into a better graphics card? You might even consider buying a hybrid HDD/SDD (Solid State Drive) or a small SDD so W7 boots rapidly and an HDD for the rest.

Ultimately it will also depend on how well your kid looks after the system and whether he/she does the maintenance required to keep it running sweetly, sets it up to run to its most advantageous configuration and avoids getting zapped by viruses and weighed down with dodgy toolbars and bloatware slowing down and maybe causing problems to the system.

Here's some links I came across whilst researching my answer.

Comparison of Intel HD 4600 and GMA 950: http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index...-intel-gma-950

AMD equivalent of HD 4600: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answer...hics-4600.html

New Intel HD 4600 for Minecraft?: http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/...for-minecraft/

Radeon HD 8570 vs Intel HD 4600: http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index...s-4600-desktop
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Old 18-11-2013, 03:45
Andrew_Ballard
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the GLADIATOR Intel i5-4570 has by far the best CPU out of those 3 and average graphics (in this price context)

the GLADIATOR AMD FX-6300 has a nice CPU and rather dodgy graphics, AMD HD3000 integrated graphics are very old! 5 years now? ugh...avoid

the GLADIATOR AMD A8-6600K has a balance of ok CPU and average graphics.

If you want to build one yourself, much better can be done.

this is just a sample and can be made cheaper still, but it has very good single thread performance, vastly better graphics than the computers linked, better case, much nicer PSU, and a complete upgrade path, for both the GPU and CPU, so plenty of life in the system for years.

http://i44.tinypic.com/2zow17p.jpg
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Old 18-11-2013, 09:34
dundeederryboy
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Thanks very much Evil_C and Andrew_Ballard

I ended up going for the most expensive one with the I5 as it was picked out by somebody elsewhere and recommended as the best system probably for adding a graphics card too as well. Just waiting on it coming into stock.

I understand a fair bit about computers but find it hard to keep upto date with hardware, and graphics card is something else i struggle even more greatly with. Wish it was much easier to understand. I did youtube the graphics card before posting and the videos of gameplay looked fairly good.

I'm hoping that i can get away with the integrated graphics until next year and then purchase a decent graphics card for their birthday, depending on how well they keep and use it for games.

What sort of maintenance do you recommend Evil_C? I will definitely be ensuring it's well looked after it is going to be kept in our livingroom so we can ensure there doing homework and using it responsibly and i will ensure that all appropriate software is installed on it once they get it. They do use my PC quite a bit and to be honest they are very good at knowing not to download crap.

I did think of getting a similar spec model with lesser hard drive but the 30 difference i thought may as well just go with that as 1tb can fill up fairly quickly at times and i'm assuming they'll have their itunes etc. on it.

Thanks for all the research and the links you posted they were very helpful Hadn't even thought about googling and minecraft when i did my research so thanks very much

Andrew, I would love to build my own computer have wanted to for many years but i'm always too scared i **** something up and destroy the computer Maybe one day i'll get the chance.
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Old 18-11-2013, 11:28
cnbcwatcher
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7 thankfully Have tried both and definitely sticking to 7 for now.
That's good. Stick with 7 until support ends, it's worth it!
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Old 18-11-2013, 11:29
dundeederryboy
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That's good. Stick with 7 until support ends, it's worth it!
Yeah i plan on it, probably be another 10 years at least lol.

Got a PC with 7 and laptop with 8 and very much enjoying 7.
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Old 18-11-2013, 18:32
evil c
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When I said 'maintenance' it was just referring to the regular stuff which by the sound of it you already know, i.e. keeping AV/malware scanner up to date, regularly divesting the PC of browsing history, temp files etc, backing up files, checking the logs, and so on.

I agree it is hard, or time consuming really, keeping up to date with CPUs and graphics cards. I was looking to buy a laptop in 2010 and my customised PC system at the time was 9 years old in the main. The dual & quad core CPUs/graphics cards/RAM/32 or 64-bit/screen resolution choices I was faced with were mind boggling and I quickly got very confused. Before I retired I had worked for 30+ years in IT off and on, so I 'phoned some old IT friends including a laptop buyer who works for a big charity, to get some advice.

Everyone recommended a mobile Intel i5 and said to avoid an i7 (quad core) based system as they overheated frequently. The laptop buyer was the most vociferous about that. However the research I carried out subsequently indicated mobile i7s were fine if the system was run correctly. So that's what I bought.

The first W7 64-bit laptop, an Acer 8935G (which was replaced twice due to conflict problems between the i7 and the dedicated graphics card) was soon ditched and the second one, an HP DV8-1080ea I rejected the first day as one of the two hard drives was missing. The third one, an Acer 8942G was perfect and it's been a good choice as far as I'm concerned. It celebrated its 3rd birthday with me today (although it was a refurb manufactured in Dec 2009). I reckon that's it a good idea to buy the most up to date system you can afford with some future proofing built in and to make your own mind up, rather than be swayed by other peoples experiences.

Andrew's suggestion to build your own system is a good one. Like yourself I had been afraid that I would cock it up but when I went to college to upgrade my IT qualis in 2003 there was a module mostly devoted to self build. By the time it came to do the exams I could build a working PC from scratch in under 30 mins (depending on the ease of access in the case).

It is very rewarding building your own PC and the satisfaction you gain as well as the knowledge that you can fix it yourself if anything goes wrong, is well worth the effort of learning and practising. It's a lot cheaper too!

Just to correct a spelling error I made in my previous post the abbreviation for a Solid State Drive is SSD and not SDD. I'm always making silly errors like that in my posts and I never seem to notice them when editing! I think you have made a wise choice buying W7. I have found it to be very stable and reliable.
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