Comisario Montalbano HDTV 720p AC3 5.1 | Watch now! | Cinderella Chef
  1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Well...I'm back to Windows for gaming...and I bought a pre-built from Best Buy!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Carlo Medina, Jul 23, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    In 2006, when Apple switched to Intel CPUs, I began my move to the Apple ecosystem. Several Macbook Pros and iPhones later, I'm still neck deep in it.

    However I wanted a desktop PC. The current crop of Mac desktops are aging, and honestly, I wanted to see if I could try my hand at PC gaming. While maxed out iMacs (and iMac Pro) and the upcoming modular Mac Pro, running Windows via bootcamp, I'm sure would make for great gaming PCs...I was not really in the mood to spend $3K-$5K for a Mac that would make for a capable gaming machine.

    Also, the old "build your own PC guy" in me also loves being able to upgrade my builds incrementally. I had a 6-core 8th gen i7-8700K + nVidia GTX 1080 machine spec'd out for about $1800 (including a nice gaming mouse, keyboard and 16GB RAM, SSD + HDD, liquid cooling, etc.). I hadn't built a PC in about 10 years but I figured it was like riding a bike.

    On a whim, I checked Best Buy and found this bad boy. It was nearly identical to my build but...$200 cheaper! Now I had to make some concessions. I had spec'd out DDR4 3000 sticks and this "only" has DDR 2400. I'm sure the power supply is a little less robust than the one I had chosen. But the processor was the same, it supported USB 3.1. And comes with an ASUS GTX 1080 8GB card (I was afraid I'd get some no name). It also has liquid cooling for the CPU (a first for me). It does have a 240GB SSD in the 2.5mm SATA factor, and the build I had in Newegg used an M.2 SSD stick, which is faster. The good news is that there is an M.2 slot in the mobo that I can see, so if I want I can add one later. It also comes with a 1GB spinning HDD and an ability to add more later.

    Best of all I didn't have to sit hunched over in my living room for a couple of hours putting the thing together and stressing over whether it would power up because I didn't seat the CPU, video card or RAM properly.

    I'll say this: I started building PCs in the 90s because my friends had terrible luck with pre-built Dells and HPs and Compaqs. I swore off of pre-builts. But this IBuyPower build is quite a well built machine. No, it won't go up against the top-tier $3000 gaming rigs with dual 1080 Ti cards, but it's not supposed to. What it is, is a $1600 machine that is quite literally about the price of its components if you were going to build it. Now I have no doubt IBP probably gets their parts for cheaper direct from the suppliers, but in all honesty if you're in the market for a high performing budget gaming PC, this is worth price. There is almost no cost savings to be had from building a similar build (though you could probably squeeze 10-15% more performance by getting faster DDR4 RAM and an overclock tuned graphics card--I'm sure the one here is the "stock" speed). What little you save will be eaten away by your time and effort putting it together and installing everything, and even then you won't have free tech support and a warranty (though if you're a builder, you can likely fix your own PCs easily enough).

    I'll update with some specs and pics as time permits. It's a super-clean build. The inside looks spacious. And it's the first pre-built, bought-at-a-big-box-store PC (I'm not counting the specialty online gaming PC builders that you order direct) that I'm not only happy with...but I'm impressed with. This is coming from both a Mac and a (now former) PC builder.

    Just installed Fortnite. When it "examined" my PC, it set everything to 4K (like my monitor) and turned all settings to "max". A good sign! I did splurge a little though and bought a Razer Blackwidow Chroma v2 keyboard and a Logitech G502 gaming mouse. It's funny. I went with Mac all those years ago for the quieter keyboards (and the new MBPs in the store are nearly silent!) but I find myself enjoying the mechanical noise that the gaming keyboard provides!
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    20,473
    Likes Received:
    2,678
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Catfisch Cinema
    Real Name:
    Dave
    For PC gaming, it seems Windows is still much better than a Mac.
     
  3. John Dirk

    John Dirk Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 7, 2000
    Messages:
    1,682
    Likes Received:
    589
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    ATL
    Real Name:
    JOHN
    That's a nice looking box! I'm not a gamer but I am an ardent DIY advocate. I'm learning nowadays that in some cases it no longer makes practical sense. On the one hand, I get great satisfaction from my projects. On the other hand the time, stress and [in some cases] physical toll can be great.
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I honestly couldn't believe the price. Yes I know IBP is not paying Newegg/Amazon prices for their individual components directly from ASUS, Intel, ASRock, etc. But whereas the previous price premium was a 25% or higher markup for pre-built vs. DIY, this was seriously within $50 of the DIY price. And while I rarely if ever would need it, it comes with a one year warranty (not to mention the 30 day return policy from BB if it was a lemon) and free lifetime tech support from IBP.

    @DaveF Yes PC is still superior to Mac with regards to gaming for several reasons. The biggest one is that the majority of popular PC games are not even made or ported to MacOS. Those that are, are often compromised in some way. And even those that aren't compromised, are very GPU dependent. And it's the GPU that Apple 1) often charges a hefty price premium, and 2) has very limited options (without going the Hackintosh route, and that's it's own headache).

    So this build was about $800 cheaper than the version of my build with a 1080 Ti 11GB graphics card. I could use that savings to just buy and swap that card, and sell this one online for $300 (or re-purpose it). But rumor is that nVidia is going to release the next gen cards (1180 series?) at Gamescom in late Q3 2018. So I'll probably sit tight and enjoy this card, and then when the new ones come, apply the same $800 savings and get a card that is likely going to be 50% faster than this one, and 20% faster than the Ti variant.

    I couldn't even entertain writing that entire paragraph on a Mac desktop.

    And I'll say this, as an ardent MacOS and iOS user: Win10 has come a long way. I've used Windows since 95, all the way through 8, and found them inferior to the contemporary Mac OS experience. This is the first Windows version that I've used and not had the "I wish I was on my Mac" thoughts flying through my head.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    24,693
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Awesome sir, what monitor?
     
  6. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,775
    Likes Received:
    1,308
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Real Name:
    Richard
    I used to be a PC Gamer beast, but Real Life intruded well over 10 yrs ago (mostly a costly divorce) and I fell out of the scene. Nice to see that there are still good machines for that, should I ever get the itch to get back into it. In the meantime I have a HUUUUUUGE stockpile of PC games, that are mostly unopened and never played that can hold my interest should I resume.
     
  7. Message #7 of 54 Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I have the link in my post. I can’t remember the exact model number. LG 27” 4K with HDR.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  8. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Sorry @Sam Posten I was on mobile. Now I'm on my laptop. It's the LG 27UK600-W. I have both my XB1X and now my PC hooked up to it. But I'm tempted to get a second one...if I only had the desk space. :D
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    24,693
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    OK, if it's the 27UD68, it's on my watch list but I have heard mixed reactions on it: First, it supports Freesync, not Gsync. So that's a no go with your 1080. I've heard it's only about 250 nits too and wasn't really able to push HDR. Let us know what you think!
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    24,693
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Gotcha, I don't know anything about that one.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    It supports Freesync and not Gsync, but to be honest I'm not going to be so into gaming that it's a showstopper. And XB1X supports Freesync so there's that.

    Two: yes it's not "true" HDR (I think that's, what 1000 nits?), but again I don't really care because I run my monitors pretty low light levels (it's the home theater calibration settings my eyes have gotten used to over the years), so I actually don't want it blazing bright...even if it's only for parts of the picture.

    I got it on sale a month ago for $399 and have no regrets on my part thus far.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Some sample pics, as promised

    IMG_9934.
    Pretty clean build. The SSD is at the bottom. I presume the traditional HDD is on the other side of the mobo-mount, strapped vertically to the case. LED has a remote to change/cycle colors and intensity, or be shut off completely.

    IMG_9935.
    Cool LED keyboard. Tons of effects. Different keys can be made to light up different colors. Or you can turn it all off.

    IMG_9936.
    Uh oh...it's gonna happen. :D
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    24,693
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
  15. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    For sure. I know at $399 you're going to get a compromised monitor. That ASUS costs more than my entire PC setup! I was just happy for basically $2K I was able to get a pretty good 4K gaming machine and monitor.
     
    Sam Posten likes this.
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    24,693
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    I definitely think the gold rush is past on GPUs, we are starting to see reasonable prices again. Here's a 1080ti at Costco for under $1800!
    http://www.costco.com/Alienware-Aurora-Gaming-Desktop---Intel-Core-i7---GeForce-GTX-1080-Ti.product.100405348.html

    And that's with Alienware pricing. I think your bundle is overall a better deal, but for those who want a mass market PC with the best GPU on the market that's a pretty tempting price! I wish I could get any of the ASUS / Razer/ MSI laptops I am looking at to get a decent price drop!
     
  17. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Well it's an interesting set of trade-offs. They're using the locked 8700 vs. the K variant so you're losing 500MHz speed on the 6-core processor. But using the M.2 SSD is cool, and slightly higher speed RAM (though 2400 vs 2666 is really not going to be a measurable difference, you'd need to go to DDR4 3000 or higher to really feel anything under the most intensive of tasks). It's an older-gen mobo though because it only supports two USB 3.1 vs. the IBP which has I believe 6 USB 3.1 total.

    I wonder too if it's using an air-cooled CPU since it's running at the locked 3.2GHz speed. I very much have grown to love the liquid cooling not only because it's so efficient, but it's also super quiet!

    I'm going to be okay with this route (outside of the fact I'm also not a Costco member) because I'm going to take my savings and when nVidia announces their new cards in Q3 2018, I'm going to buy an 1180 (or whatever it's called). It's much easier to swap out the graphics card than to swap out an unlocked 8700K CPU and/or put liquid cooling on it.
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I think I've gotten to an interesting space in my Win v. Apple tech. I think for mobile computing, I will for the foreseeable future stick with Apple's laptops. They powerful, slim, very well built, and run what they're supposed to run very well. And it pairs really nicely with my iPhones and iPads. And I don't ever have gaming demands on my laptop.

    But for desktop, I may be switching back (again for the foreseeable future, who knows what the year 2028 will bring) to Windows. Laptops are fixed targets and for that, Apple is great. But desktops are largely for tweakers nowadays (most who want to just do email and browsing are better served by Surfaces, iPads, etc.) and Apple have never shown a willingness to let others tweak their ecosystem. So while I'm very interested in what the modular Mac Pro is going to be like in 2019, I have no illusions that it's going to allow anywhere near the component flexibility that a PC will. I imagine they'll do the standard "choice of 3-5 CPU speeds" and "choice of 2-3 GPU variants" and that's it. All for their standard Apple price premiums.

    It's funny, I just wrote that sentence about PCs being largely for tweakers and now that I think about it, I used to be the "go to" guy for PC help in the 90s and early 00s. I can't remember the last time anyone asked me for help (between friends and family) and pretty much all the people in my life who had PC problems do have iPads or Surfaces or some other cheap all-in-one device that is way more reliable than a PC. I can't recall the last person I know who wasn't a gamer that bought a PC. Of course, others experience will vary.
     
  19. deltamind

    deltamind Extra

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Roberts Tate
    Is gaming on a MAC any good though? Since nowadays the config on the mac are pretty good to be honest.
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    11,093
    Likes Received:
    1,082
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    So that's a bit of a tricky question. First, when you say the config is pretty good, I'm assuming you're talking about a maxed out iMac Pro or a Mac Pro, right? Because the iMacs and MBPs run mobile versions of the graphics card and are not "pretty good" in terms of PC gaming.

    Second, even with a Mac Pro with two graphics cards, you're already well into the $4K+ range for a gaming PC performance that can be had for nearly half the price.

    What I'm saying is that as a Mac fan, they have their uses. PC gaming isn't really one of them. Unless it's basic PC gaming that doesn't push your graphics card hard. Modern first person shooters running at 4K with all effects set to maximum? You're going to need a top of the line Mac Pro or iMac Pro. So you're already pushing $5000.
     

Share This Page