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Inexpensive gaming computer?

(48 Posts)
EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 13:53:34

Hi, my DS almost 13 loves playing Flight Simulator X on the PC, he wants to be a pilot when he is older, totally obsessed with all things aviation. The game was a bit slow on our standard PC and the PC has now packed in. So I thought I would get him a gaming computer for christmas by going halts with his DF. But I don't know where to start! I have found one on amazon for £469 but I have no idea if it will be any good, it's called Vibox ultra package 11a.

Does anyone have any experience of this model or any other gaming PCs? Some of the ones I've seen are so expensive!

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 13:53:55


juneybean Tue 11-Nov-14 13:58:04

The spec looks good for gaming. The reviews on Amazon all seem favourable. But I don't have specific experience of that computer.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 11-Nov-14 14:00:01

Would your ds be interested in learning how to build one himself? It would work out far far cheaper and dh assures me it's easy to learn, he started when he was a young teenager. He custom built our pc a decade ago but it's still as up to date as new shop bought ones because it's easy to upgrade.

It's a bit like a complicated jigsaw but once you know how the pieces fit together it's simple - much simpler than coding (says dh... I nod and smile as I have no clue).

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 11-Nov-14 14:00:47

Cheaper in the long run that should say.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:07:07

PourqoiTuGachesTaVie well DS is absolutely terrible at things like jigsaws grin And I can't really see him being patient enough to build his own. Especially as he has no-one to help him who knows what they are doing.

Also if he gets this he won't be getting much else so I would like him to have something that's ready to go on Christmas Day. Would be a great idea otherwise though and would save some money I imagine.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:08:28

My 14 year old is building himself one for his Christmas (money from us and then money from his own savings) his budget is a fair bit higher but there are loads of forums with advice and sample builds for various budgets. It might be worth a look.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:12:56

Just had a look at the spec. there is no spereate graphics card, and crucially no operating system (it'll cost in the region of �80 for Windows 8.1) You are also paying for the monitor etc and does he actually need a new one of those?

Personally I'd look for something else. I can have a bit of a search for you later if you like?

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:13:17

I might try taking a look at some forums later on, I don't mind going a bit higher if I have to but I'd rather not grin

Obviously if PCs in the under £500 price range aren't really any good then I'll have to spend more <sob> But if these cheaper PCs will do the job then that's great!

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:14:54

That would be wonderful myotherusernameisbetter I really appreciate it, I've just been reading the reviews but it's not always an accurate reflection because of lot of the ones I've seen have no reviews but might actually be better.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 11-Nov-14 14:16:37

We spent £500 ish at pcspecialist in April and got a decent spec gaming PC and monitor. You pick and choose the bits. Upgrade the graphics card and remember to add a wifi connector thingy if you need one.

We've been really pleased with it.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:23:41

I'm no expert, but I've been looking into it a lot before spending hard cash! So I'm happy to see what's about. DS1 is determined to build his own to his own spec so I've not looked at built ones so much.

You are right re the reviews mainly because everyones requirements for a PC will be different. I'm just awaiting delivery of a refurb Dell for our our household computer which was way below your budget but isn't a gaming PC. I am sure you can get something around that price but will need to check the game specs to see what it needs as a starting point.

Does he need a monitor etc or is it essentially just the base unit? That way the budget will go further.

I got my sons fairly decent refurb laptops with dedicated graphics etc for around the �350/400 mark last year.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:25:44

Well I put the PC and screen in my outhouse so I would have to check the screen but I do know it's pretty damp in there.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:33:01

If you want to go the laptop route then this looks fairly decent:

Only issue with laptops is that they are harder to upgrade.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:33:59

The minimum requirements for the game are:

CPU: pentium 111/Athlon or better.
CPU speed: 1 GHZ.
RAM: 256 mb for windows do, 512mb for vista.
OS: windows xp
Video card: 32 mb 100% direct x 9.0c video card with pixel shader.
Direct x version 9.pc
Free disk space: 14gb
Dvd-rom: yes.

I have absolutely no idea what any of that means! So confusing.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 14:35:31

Laptop would be OK, I don't think he minds as long as he can play his beloved game again grin

That link isn't working for me though.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:36:44

My son links his to his TV instead of using a scren as such.

BlueKarou Tue 11-Nov-14 14:43:02

I bought my gaming PC from Chillblast. They're British-based and I would very highly recommend them (not getting any commission from them, honest!)

They have an entry level desktop for £399 (you would probably need to get a monitor and hdmi cable, keyboard, and mouse which would bump the starting price up to around £530) Link here

There are a number of configuration options which will increase performance, but also increase price.

BlueKarou Tue 11-Nov-14 14:44:06

They do laptops too...

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 14:45:48

That doesn't look too heavy a game tbh. My boys play games much heavier than that.

If you google Dell Outlet and go into the list of those available for sale - the one I linked to was an Inspiron 17R 5737 at �363.81 plus VAT and delivery so would come in about �450.

The laptops arrive in pristine condition fully wrapped and boxed as new and you get a years warranty too.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 15:41:02

I've just got back from collecting the DC. I'll have a proper look later on once these 3 are settled. Thank you for the help smile

BreakingDad77 Tue 11-Nov-14 16:28:25

Well pentium 111 were around between 1999 to 2003 so you might be able to find a PC on freecycle that would run it!

Sometimes you company may recycle their computers and let you buy one off them.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 16:54:39

I did a sample build for you that is about your price bracket:

This includes building it and delivery.

EnterNicknameHere Tue 11-Nov-14 17:50:20

That's a good price! Is 2gb memory enough though? Or can I add more memory at a later date? Thank you

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 11-Nov-14 17:59:18

ah, I thought I'd spec'd more RAM - Ram affects the processing speed so more would be better. You are unlikely to need any more than 8 but 4 would be a massive difference to what you had probably.

I'd just add it now, memory is fairly cheap and also cheap and easy to add later.

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