A basic question about gaming

I’ve never played a computer game (or is it video game?) in my life. I’ve just bought a new computer and now I’m wondering if it’s a good system for getting into computer games.

The keys specs:
[ul]
[li]Dell XPS 8700[/li][li]4th generation Core i7-4770[/li][li]Windows 7 Professional[/li][li]RAM: 8GB[/li][li]Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 635 1GB[/li][/ul]

So, my question: is this a good system for a newcomer to video games?

Yep. A brand new computer with an Nvidia card should run pretty much any game out there; some of the higher-end games like Titanfall might require that you adjust the settings downward a bit, but it should still be able to run it.

Pick a game and if it finds your game it should let you know how your computer stacks up.

Before anyone else says it, Can You Run It is hardly definitive and can give a false “Nope” when you could or vice versa. But I do still think it makes for a good starting point.

It also depends a lot on what games you’re looking to play. Slower paced games like Civilization are more playable on a marginal system than playing a first person shooter that regularly hitches up and gives you 10fps frame rates while you’re being shot at.

Anyway, your system is more than sufficient to play most games on. If you decide that you enjoy doing so, you may one day wish to upgrade your video card for added performance and prettiness (the rest of it looks fine) but you don’t have to just to get started,

I have a very similar machine and I can run every game I have bought (and I buy quite a bit) at Max settings so you should be okay.

You should be able to run every game released in the next five years or so without blinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could player at high settings for the next decade.

This site seems to indicate that the GeForce GT 635 is pretty bad.
Are the other cards just crazy fast or is that graph just wrong?

It’s not a great card. It’s a serviceable card and will get him started. I always take “plays all my games on max” with a grain of salt not knowing their screen resolution, frames per second, etc. That said, he can safely buy modern PC games knowing they’ll all be playable even if he needs to tweak the settings closer to Medium rather than High/Max.

Not to mention that, in the era of console ports, “max settings” may not actually mean anything. Outside of flight sims, it’s rare to run across a game that even tries to push a modern PC.

As for the OP, I’ll join the chorus. Depending on the resolution you want to play at, at some point you may want to upgrade the video card, but the 4770 is beefy enough to take anything you can throw at it for the forseeable future.

You also have 30 years of PC gaming to catch up on, so the specs are fine. :wink:

I recommend getting a taste of the freeware out there before committing money. Even some of the big players like World of Warcraft will let you play a limited version for free. Besides that, though, there are a lot of good, free games out there.

Anything in particular strike your fancy?

If you are asking if you will be able to play most PC games fine (many at reduced resolutions, as compared to 1080p, or reduced settings, as compared to Max/Extreme) the answer is yes. If you are asking if that is a particularly good system for gaming, the answer is no - the graphics card is relatively cheap but the processor is overkill/expensive in comparison. Shifting $100 in cost from the processor to the graphics card (on the OEM side- not necessarily what they would charge you) would have made it a much better gaming system.
You are looking at a PC that has a processor quite a bit faster than say an Xbox One or PS4, but a graphics card that is slower. Ultimately it will probably play games better than an Xbox 360 or PS3, and a little worse than a PS4 or Xbox one - and since most games still work on the Xbox 360/PS3 you probably won’t have any issues for a while.

I thank you, one and all, for the wisdom. Since I have no experience with video games, I’m not sure what the “settings” business is, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out before too long.

I have absolutely no idea what kind of games are even out there. All I know is something called Out of the Park Baseball gets great reviews, but it looks very complicated.

Your advice to try the free versions of games sounds good to me.

Thanks again, everybody, you’ve been very helpful.

“Settings” are options to increase or decrease the graphics quality. It’s how game developers can make sure that people with older and less powerful computers are still able to play their games, while still competing in the gee-whiz graphics race. Some of the options are very subtle, and there are whole websites dedicated to letting you squint at images produced by each different setting to try and see the difference. Others options are major and changing them can make the game ugly and difficult to play .

And it looks like any computer that’s less than a decade old can play the baseball game you are interested in. It may be complicated to us humans, but computers are good at the simulation number-crunching that game requires. Your computer can handle it just fine.

Get yourself an account at Steam and at Origin. Download both of their clients. Those are the largest platforms for PC game sales and digital distribution (i.e. downloading your games). Steam is the largest but Origin is owned by EA which has some major titles and you might as well get set up with them now.

Get yourself a Steam account and download their client. Welcome to PC gaming :wink:

If you go into the store tab on Steam and select “Free” from the drop down menu in genre, you’ll see a ton of free games to choose from.

You can always take a look at the top sellers to see what’s popular now.

Since you’re new to gaming, I’d recommend spending a little money and checking out the premier titles in a few separate genres in order to wet your feet and find out what you might like and what you probably won’t fancy.

Steam has big sales every quarter, and in one of those sales you can easily pick up a game from every genre know to man for under $100 total.

Out of the Park will not stress the system. It will stress your marriage when you’re up at 3 AM simming just one more week before bed. :wink:

If you get a Steam and Origin account set up, I have a collection of games I can give you. You need the Steam/Origin accounts to enter the “game key” to activate them.

No need to feel like you’re taking advantage of my generosity or anything – sometimes publishers sell off bundles of games for super cheap (like a buck for six games cheap) and I wind up with extras that just kick around until I give them away. Give you a chance to try some various types of games, see what you like, etc. Let me know and I’ll PM you the keys.