Another "Need a new PC" thread

Ok, family member who knows nothing about computers has asked for my help picking out a new PC for the kids for Christmas. Been a while and I am not updated on the latest and greatest. So I’d like some recommendations. I have built my last 4 comps mostly with parts from newegg and have not had any issues.

They mentioned getting a big screen monitor for the games, and my comp has an HDMI slot on my grapics card, which has been super awesome, I can use any size flat screen tv. So definitely HDMI port graphics card.
Also hearing reports that windoze 11 does not play well with Radeon cards. Win10 is going to be the OS.
SSD drive(s) are a must.
16GB memory a must.
The i9 chips are a bit expensive and was thinking maybe a higher i7?

Honestly, for gaming, the i5/Ryzen 5 level is usually okay. (Heck, i3/Ryzen 3 is okay on a budget). Well, unless you go with older parts, in which case the i7 can make up for that.

I would not expect gaming cards to exist these days without HDMI. But you probably want HDMI 2.0, for higher resolutions and framerates as a possibility.

Since your post title is ‘Another “Need a new PC” thread’ you probably saw my recent thread on this same subject, but just in case you didn’t, I got a lot of great advice in it:

Agreed. Look for an i5 or i7 system. The i9 line is for enthusiasts. Aside from that, what’s your budget? Right now the intersection between video quality, new hardware and semi-affordability lands around the RTX 3060 or 3060 Ti mark at $1-$1.5k for a prebuilt system.

The ‘tl;dr’ of my thread I posted the link to above is, if you have a Micro Center within driving distance (it’s an in-store only deal), this is the recommended PC I ended up getting and it’s been working flawlessly for me. I’ve been doing some gaming on it and it handles games just fine. My 19 year old son, who is a gamer and knows his gear, even bought the same model after I got mine. It’s on sale, and at $1300, it’s not much more than the 3060 video card it comes with costs on its own:

Something to ask the kids, if that’s an option - do they even want a traditional desktop PC?

I don’t want to play the ‘kids these days’ card, but a lot of kids these days would prefer a gaming laptop.

Peripherals like monitors aren’t a problem for those. And, for whatever reason, you can get an external GPU, which are somehow easier to get at the moment for laptops.

Some other thoughts: Don’t sleep on an AMD processor. The current Ryzen line beats the 10th/11th gen Intel processors in their tier. You’d be looking at the Ryzen 5 line for that. Intel’s new 12th gen chips are currently top in class but you might find better deals on a last gen prebuilt that will still do everyone just fine. I wouldn’t go earlier than 10th gen for Intel though.

On the flip side, Nvidia hands-down won this generation of GPUs. It’s not that the Radeon line “sucks” but the Nvidia line is more feature rich and generally performs better than the AMD cards in each tier. So I would start by looking for systems with an Nvidia RTX card but also keep “a bird in the hand…” in mind and not feel adverse to picking up a Radeon system if that’s what’s available and affordable.

Please stay away from the current Alienware line of prebuilts from Dell. They are hot garbage. Literally – they’re trash that runs ridiculous system temps due to terrible airflow in a poorly designed case and underperforming coolers. They’re also built to be actively hostile to user upgrading or repairs.

I think that’s generally an issue with Dell hardware.

It is but, ironically, the Alienware line is worse than their non-Alienware gaming PCs. I’m talking “You can only replace the fans using a small pre-approved list or else the BIOS will reject it” levels of hostile. I would generally warn people off from any large-scale manufacturer that also makes office PCs though (Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc) since they’re most likely to use proprietary parts and be difficult to upgrade or re-use components in other systems.

Thank you for the responses!
solost, that was just a reference to the numerous “new comp” threads. Checking out your thread though. I live up the river from Pittsburgh, there doesn’t seem to be a Micr Center near me.
Jophiel - budget is about $1200 max but that’s going to include peripherals and monitor/tv. I would trust newegg with prebuilts but I wouldn’t get one from Dell or a retail store. I have the capability to put everything together myself, and if it’s cheaper that’s the way I want to roll.
Great_Antibob - he said desktop, and the kids do like to play split screen games on my rig when they’re here.
My first modern comp was a $2100 Dell that I bought because my work would let me take 2 years to pay it off through payroll deductions. The day I got it, either the mobo shorted out and fried the HD or the HD shorted out and fried the mobo. They were nice about it and mailed me replacements, but after that one I learned how to build my own better machines for lower prices.

For my systems, In the past I’ve picked a decent but not the highest end CPU then got a mobo and mems that fit. I’ve done both Radeon and Nvidia cards in the past, no prefs. Looking for a card kind of mid-range maybe about $250 or so.

At the moment, this is a pipe dream. I’m guessing your last build was pre-pandemic.

There’s an extreme shortage of GPUs at the moment, driven by a confluence of factors, including pent up demand, supply chain issues, crypto, etc. As a result, GPU prices are through the roof.

A modern mid-range gaming card right now is running 1.5x-3x what you are budgeting. For $250, you can get a card that was mid tier perhaps 4-5 years ago. You can check eBay and so on, but what you’ll find is that people can (and some do) sell their 3 year old cards for more than they originally bought them for and for more than $250. Finding any card manufactured in the last 4 years at MSRP is essentially impossible (or rather highly, highly unlikely).

If you happen to have an older build, you may be better off scavenging it for the GPU for now or using the onboard mainboard graphics on the new build until prices settle down a bit.

This is also true of your other components. They are affected to a much lesser extent, but CPU and RAM prices are also a bit elevated due to the shortages but you can certainly find parts within a budget as long as you are willing to compromise a bit of performance. Excepting the GPU, you can probably do a build at $1200 (including monitor and peripherals) but YMMV on the performance you’ll get on the more CPU/GPU intensive games.

That’s gonna be a tough budget but I would go on Newegg and select Desktop Gaming PCs then filter by:
Price ($750-$1250)
CPU: i5 10th/11th Gen, Ryzen 3/5 3rd Gen, Ryzen 5 5th Gen
GPU: Nvidia 2000 series, Nvidia 3000 series

This turned up a handful of PCs in the $1,100 range which doesn’t leave you much for a monitor. Mouse & keyboard you can go cheap on until you’re ready to buy better; I wouldn’t knock myself down a tier in GPU just for a fancier keyboard out of the gate. Note that the PC may come with a mouse & keyboard anyway. They’ll be low tier but they’ll function on Christmas morning.

If you had to bring it all in under $1,200 you could go with a GTX 1660 Super or 1660 Ti as the GPU but I’d really try to start with a 2000 series card at least. I’d much rather play on a gaming PC with an RTX 2060 and a used 1080p monitor off Facebook Marketplace than on a GTX 1660 with a brand new 1440p monitor

Although you don’t have a store near you, Micro Center has an HP Pavilion system available for shipping with an RTX 2060 Super for $1,149 which is a good price. The 2060 Super is equal or slightly better than the newer RTX 3060. Comes with a mouse & keyboard but doesn’t leave budget for a monitor, I’m afraid.

I don’t think you can get anything under $300. A 1050 ti – the $150 budget model from 2016 – goes for $300+. A 1660 is more like $500. It’s insanity.

For a $1200 gaming rig that doesn’t completely suck, pre-built is really the only option.

EDIT: Checking Newegg now, I do see a couple 1050 ti’s for $280. Yay?

Be better off trying to get a used GTX 960 4GB for around $200. Which I guess goes back to “for $250, you can get a card that was mid-tier 4-5 years ago”.

I stumbled across a pre-build one might reasonably use as a base to a build your own:

For $1700 you get:

I7 11700F
ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Wi-Fi Motherboard
Chance at an ASUS ROG Strix 3070; some reported getting one, others reported getting an off-brand 3070. Either way.
Great Wall 750W 80+ Gold PSU
16 GB (2x8 GB) SKHynix DDR4 3200
512 GB SSD system drive (M.2, hopefully?)

That motherboard is really nice. The video card might be too; one person said they didn’t get a ROG Strix, another said they did.

Great Wall PSU’s should be fine. Not great, not bad. The RAM is kind of crappy but good enough to start.

Everything else is hot garbage, especially the awful case and worthless air cooler.

So for $1700 you get motherboard, CPU, video card, power supply, and some placeholder RAM. And hopefully a good enough C: drive. Buy a nice case, AIO cooler, a roomy SSD to replace the mechanical HDD, maybe a case fan or two and you’re good to go. What’s that, another $500?

That would end up being around a $2200 build your own system with a 3070, which PCPartPicker will sell you all by itself for $1700.