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Need help finding a good gaming PC.

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Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:29 am

I'm giving my grandmother my old PC and teaching her how to use a computer to look things up (wish me luck with that. xD) and in return, she's going to buy me a gaming desktop.

Mother wants me to look around, make sure that what I get is really good. I want something really good, that isn't more than $2000 -- even better if she can get it for less than that -- and for the graphics card, I don't want NVidea, having had a negative experience with NVidea graphics cards in the past. As stated above, I don't want a laptop, but a desktop.

Any help and suggestions would be appreciated. Since most everyone on this site is gamers, I'm sure you have suggestions as to what I can buy. Thanks! ^_^

(This is Crimea River/Devin, btw. xD)

I've been looking at these:

http://www.buyxg.com/system/XG_Gaming_Thunder_CrossFireX_PC/
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-aurora-alx/pd?refid=alienware-aurora-alx&s=dhs&cs=19&~ck=mn (lolexpensive)
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Black_Pearl (Some site rated this really high).


Last edited by Canus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Serethiel on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:33 am

;-; I wish I could help. My piece of crap desktop couldn't play Sim City, let alone something like Dragon Age. I wouldn't know the first thing to recommend - I'm sure the others will, though :3

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Lobo on Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:30 pm

Dont go dell.....please.....the world will end if you get a Dell PC!!!

Try checking out NCIX, or tiger direct. I believe they both have US and Canada sites.

It would be best to get a custom built machine, I dont find "brand' machines all that great.

And for 2000 for a custom machine from those sites, yea, you could get a rocking rig.

I used to work at a custom PC place and I was always able to get my customers awesome gaming rigs for 1200 - 1500. And that was will a full set up, monitor and all.

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Dragonis on Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:33 pm

Mine is an HP Pavilion Elite PC, it costs about $1100 without a monitor and comes with an ATI Radeon HD 5700 series graphics card and a terabyte of memory. Its a good deal.
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:21 pm

@Fei: Aw, Sad

@Lobo: Definitely not going with a Dell. xD. That's what my desktop that phailed is. My Mom wants to find the best deal. But I'm not knowledgeable enough to custom build my own PC or choose my own parts.

This part on here has responses to things that people said on my topic on BSN. So that you know what I'm talking about: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/13/index/6781560/1#6788868

Thanks for taking the time to help me out ^_^. Yeah, the Blueray isn't really necessary because I don't really get Blueray DVDs; in fact, I'm not really certain what they are and I'm sure that nothing I need or want would come on one, as I'm fine with ordinary DVDs.

I can't build it myself, as I don't have the know-how nor does anyone that I know. My mom has looked around, and she's found two that she thinks might work out. Let me know what your thoughts are on these. And yep, Moondoggie, I'm going into the graphics design business and I'm going to be working in both Photoshop and 3D design. I'll pass your advice along to my mom to see what her thoughts are. How bad are the problems people have with 64-Bit as opposed to 32-Bit?

---

These are the ones Mom found. She picked and chose the components, so we can change them around to what is best if we do pick one of these:

From CyberPowerPC.com:
~ Bluetooth: None
~ Case: CoolerMaster Elite 430 Mid-Tower Gaming Case with Side Panel Window
~ Case Upgrade: None
~ CD: 24X Dobule Layer Dual FOrmat DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (Black Colour)
~ CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
~ Case Fan: Default
~ Fan: XtremeGear Liquid Cooling Sstem 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enchanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Single Standard 120MM Fan)
~ Flashmeda: Interal 12in1 FLash Media Reader/Writer (Black)
~ HDD: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (Single Hard Drive)
~ Memory: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair or Major Brand)
~ Motherboard: [CrossfireX] GigaByte GA-P67A-UD3-B3 Intel P67 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID, 2Gen2 PCIe, 3 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI [B3 Stepping]
~ Multiview: Non-SLI/No-CrossFireX Mode SUpports Multiple Monitors
~ Network: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
~ OS: Microsoft WIndows 7 Home Premium [+104] (64-Bit)
~ Overclock: No Overclocking
~ Powersupply: 600 Watts - XtremeGear Power SUpply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready
~ Service: Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty, Plus Lifetime Technical Support
~ Sound: High Definition On-Board 7.1 Audio
~ USB: Built-In USB 2.0 Ports
~ Video: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (I'd get the 5870 instead of 5770)
~ This one is priced at $893.

Gamer Paladin E710 from iBuyPower:
~ Case: Enermax Hoplite Gaming Case
~ Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K Processor (4x 3.30GHz/6MB L3 Cache)
~ Processor Cooling: Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1155 & 1156]
~ Memory: 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand]
~ Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5450 - 1GB (I would upgrade this to a 5870, as I said above)
~ Motherboard: ASUS P8H67-M PRO)
~ Power Supply: 450 Watt - Standard
~ Hard Drive: 640 GB Hard Drive - 64M ache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s - SIngle Drive)
~ Optical Drive: 24x Dual Format/DOuble Layer DVD+R/+RW + CD-R/RW Drive)
~ Flash MEdia Reader/Writer: 12-in-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer)
~ Sound Card: Premium Surround Sound Onboard
~ Network Card: Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
~ Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (64-Bit)
~ Speakers: iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer SPeaker System
~ Warranty: Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Kraven Shadow on Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:24 pm

Dragonis wrote:Mine is an HP Pavilion Elite PC, it costs about $1100 without a monitor and comes with an ATI Radeon HD 5700 series graphics card and a terabyte of memory. Its a good deal.

a terabyte of memory eh? ummm....sure..... Rolling Eyes
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Final Warrior on Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:47 am

Do what I did - build your own rig. You learn some fun things about hardware, software, and also everything that goes wrong is either due to DOA equipment (which you can RMA) or your own damn fault, so you have no one to blame. Also you tend to get better results (if you do it right) for cheaper. Not knowledgeable enough? Educate yourself. (Plus, most hardware - most decent hardware, at least - will come with documentation. As it turns out, this documentation is important and will tell you things - important things - about how to properly use the hardware. They don't waste money on printing out specsheets and diagrams for nothin', y'know.)

Kraven Shadow wrote:
Dragonis wrote:Mine is an HP Pavilion Elite PC, it costs about $1100 without a monitor and comes with an ATI Radeon HD 5700 series graphics card and a terabyte of memory. Its a good deal.

a terabyte of memory eh? ummm....sure..... Rolling Eyes

I think he meant "memory" as in secondary storage. I've got 4TB internal, 5TB external myself.

Hell, here's Joyeuse's vitals:

ASUS P6X58D Premium motherboard
Core i7-930 @ 2.8GHz (4 physical, 4 virtual cores)
Zalman CNPS9900 cooler
3x2GB @ 1600MHz G.SKILL PI series RAM (Timings 7-8-7-24-2N) (I'm planning on getting another 3x2GB at some point)
XFX ATI Radeon HD 5850 GPU
Practical Devices XM6 portable DAC/amp acting as an external soundcard
2x2TB Hitachi Deskstar HDD
Corsair 750w PSU
ASUS DRW-241B1ST DVD Drive
CoolerMaster HAF932 case
2x24" Acer S243HL monitors
Logitech G19 keyboard
Razer Mamba mouse
Razer Vespula mousepad
BeyerDynamic DT770/600ohm headphones
Logitech USB microphone
1x1TB Western Digital MyBook portable HDD named Grimoire
2x2TB Western Digital Essentials portable HDD named Codex Vitiositas and Lexicon



I have a second GPU, but my motherboard's setup would have them flush with one another, which would be a major heat issue.
Of my two internal HDDs, one is for Win7, one is for Ubuntu.

Of the things I've listed, probably the only ones that you'll be concerned with are the motherboard, CPU (Central Processing Unit), GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), PSU (Power Supply Unit), HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), RAM (Random Access Memory), and the DVD drive. Of these, the CPU, GPU, and RAM will be the majority of your costs.

My recommendations:

Get a good Intel Core i5 or i7 for your CPU.

GPUs have progressed in the eight or so months since I put Joyeuse together, so I dunno where we are with them as of now, but I still love the ATI Radeon HD5850, as it can handle anything and everything I've thrown at it so far (i.e., ArmA2 at high settings). I hear good things about the nVIDIA GTX460 as well, but not about other cards in the Fermi line (lolfermi - if you wanna start a forest fire and burn down all of California, stick a Fermi or four in your machine).

Get at least 4GB of DDR3 (I'd shoot for 6GB) RAM. Corsair typically has a good rep, though their memory modules tend to be on the pricy side (ffff Terminators so expensive, why); I've got G.SKILL myself (currently, 3x2GB of G.SKILL PI series RAM is $110); I personally don't like Kingston for no reason whatsoever.

Hard drives... storage is cheap these days. I saw a 2TB Seagate (or was it Western Digital?) today (well, yesterday as of now) at Fry's going for ~$80. I imagine 1TBs go for even less. (I'd hope so, at least, unless they're ridiculously fast-spinning platters - in which case, I say just go for an SSD [Solid-State Drive] if you really need your boot times to clock in at < 10 seconds.)

As for the DVD drives... pfeh. Find the cheapest one you can from a manufacturer with a decent reputation. Me, I got my ASUS drive for around $25 off of Newegg, IIRC.

You won't need a BD (Blu-ray Disc... honestly, I'd've gone with BRD, but the Blu-ray Association "officially" uses BD [incidentally, I didn't know that until just now. Oh, Wikipedia - you're so wonderful]) drive unless you plan on watching Blu-rays on your machine (or until publishers start releasing PC games on BDs). Well, that or if you plan on ripping BDs/PS3 games (PS3 games are on BDs, unlike X360 and Wii games, which still use DVD). In which case yeah, a BD drive will be what you need. (Long technical explanation short: Blu-Rays use a blue laser for data read/write, DVDs don't. Hence, a DVD drive can't read Blu-ray discs, whereas the Blu-ray Association recommends [i.e., it isn't a compulsory part of the standard] that BD drives maintain backwards compatibility with DVD drives.) TBH, I say just stick with DVD - by the time BDs are necessary in PCs, the price on BD drives will have gone down. (Unlike gasoline/petrol, PC hardware prices typically drop rather than rise. A small mercy, but a mercy nonetheless.)

Then, find a motherboard that can accommodate all of this. Yeah, it's that simple. Just look at the list of components you've chosen (and take note of what interfaces they use - most HDDs and DVD drives, for example, will use SATA ports) and compare motherboards that can fit all of those components, both interface-wise and physically. Physically is important. (Don't be like me and buy two GPUs and an internal sound card only to find out that the PCI slot for the sound card is in-between the PCI-e slots for the double-wide GPUs... not like I ended up using the second GPU anyhow.)

PSU, you shouldn't need anything in excess of 500 watts or so. Me, I splurged a bit and went with a 750 watt PSU (because I was planning on dual-wielding HD5850s).

Now get a case that you can pack all of this nonsense into. In my opinion, the bigger the better. More room for airflow, for upgrades, for foot-long GPUs (I'm lookin' at you, HD5970), whatever.

And then you can use the spare cash to shop around for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers if you care about any of those things. You may or may not need a separate cooler for your CPU if you plan on overclocking (to quote my even more technically-advanced roommate, "overclocking is for chumps") or if your CPU just runs absurdly hot for some ridiculous reason. (My i7 runs between 35C and 60C on its physical cores depending on load.)

You may or may not care about a soundcard; IMO, most motherboards these days come with integrated sound anyways, so there's no point in getting an internal soundcard - if you really care about sound quality (and most game developers don't, so your audio source won't be particularly awesome anyhow), just get an external soundcard. As it turns out, a hot box full of electronics is not the best place to get amazing audio quality out of - unless you want to like, build a Farraday cage around your internal soundcard?

-- Griffinhart

ETA: As far as AlienWare/Dell/any other brand name goes - don't. Seriously, just don't. They're typically overpriced (because they charge you for assembly as well) and a nightmare to do any sort of maintenance (software-side - oh look, a fuckton of bloatware installed onto the machine that no one asked for and serves only to bog the thing down with unnecessary cruft; hardware-side - typically less bad, but sometimes it's as if the cabling was done by a madman and a five-year old child).

Better to buy the parts separately (http://www.newegg.com/ is my go-to online site for hardware purchases) and put the machine together yourself. This allows for sane cabling (assuming you're a sane person) and bloat-free (well, relatively, if you're installing any manner of Windows) operation.

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:04 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. I was hoping you'd come along, FW. ^^ I've shown them -- and the others' suggestions -- to my mom. Hopefully we'll be able to figure out what to get.
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Final Warrior on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:44 pm

Yeah, sorry I was late to the topic. Apparently I had navigated away from DAAE (or closed the tab) while dicking around with Firefox 4 and didn't notice.

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"I'm a traitor, will you trust me? I'm dead, will you return me to life? I'm hated, will you love me? I've lost my innocence, will you help me find it?
...Save your breath, there are some things you can't get back."
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:36 pm

It wasn't really late. ^_^ Oh, and what is "overclocking." I don't exactly understand what that means, and people have mentioned it.
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Final Warrior on Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:13 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overclocking

Normally I'd leave it at that, but whatever.

Overclocking is literally running a component at a higher clock rate (e.g., my Core i7 has a factory default clock rate of 2.8GHz; I can over [or under] clock it to a different value).

On the one hand, you get more (for whatever definition of "more") performance out of whatever component you're overclocking (e.g., overclocking a CPU means it will perform more clock cycles per second, which means more calculations per second, etc.). This obviates the need and/or expense of buying better hardware.

On the other hand, you're pushing a component beyond its specifications. This can lead to hardware failure. (Most memorably, I once overclocked an old nVIDIA card that ran around 500MHz to over 1GHz; not only did the card catch fire, it torched through the motherboard too. Good times.) The most common symptom exhibited by an overclocked component is heat (hence the large pool of aftermarket cooling components, from high RPM fans to water cooling to shit like using refrigeration units or vapor phase-change coolers... liquid nitrogen too, but that's typically for one-shot runs, as liquid nitrogen is prohibitively expensive and also if you're running something hot enough to require liquid nitrogen cooling, just buy better fucking hardware, for fuck's sake.)

So yeah, overclocking is good if you want your hardware to perform faster and you're too cheap to buy a new CPU/GPU/RAM module/whatever. This won't, however, enable your hardware to meet software specifications - no amount of overclocking is going to magically make a 7-series nVIDIA card be capable of running DirectX 11-dependent software, for example.

(In my opinion, overclocking isn't worth it. To get a notable amount of performance out of overclocked hardware [i.e., equivalent to upgrading to a "next step" such as going from a Core i5 to an i7], you'd have to overclock to the point where you're seriously running a risk of causing irreparable damage, plus the time and money and headaches you spend on maintaining your overclocked equipment is going to end up costing more than simply buying the new hardware.)

(Also, overclocking, no matter how little, is going to shorten the lifespan of your hardware.)

Oh yeah, underclocking is the opposite of overclocking - you make your hardware do few clock cycles per second. This is typically done to decrease heat output (heat has always been a problem for computers) and/or lower power requirements. You don't see it too often, though. People prefer their equipment meet at least minimum performance requirements.

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"I'm a traitor, will you trust me? I'm dead, will you return me to life? I'm hated, will you love me? I've lost my innocence, will you help me find it?
...Save your breath, there are some things you can't get back."
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Devin on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:04 am

Well, I would've looked it up, but I would've ended up really confused. XD. So, your explanation really cleared it up. I am getting the computer custom-built. The people at the computer shop are going to do it. Within my budget, I can get something great. Thanks for your suggestions, guys; you've been loads of help.

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 pm

The person who's building the PC, Jay, really knows his stuff, and did his best to get me something that would last long and not cost too much. So far, it totals to around $1900 after taxes are applied, and here are the specs:

Hardware:

~ DVD Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS
~ Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout SGC-20000-KKN1-GP Black Steel/Plastic ATX Mid-Tower Computer Case
~ Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1 Terabyte 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (2 of these; one for programs/OS, and one for data)
~ Graphics Card: ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU/2DI/1GD5 NVIDIA GeForce 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video
~ Cooling System: Cooler Master Silent Pro M700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 Plus Certified Modular Active
~ Memory: Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8D (And there is room to add more RAM if I ever end up needing to do so)
~ Motherboard: EVGA X58 FTW3 132-GT-E768-KR LGA 1366 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel i7Motherboard
~ Processor: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor 8X80601960
~ Operating System: Windows 7 Home Preimum 64-bit 1-pack for System Builders

Everything -- sans the case, which has a 1-year warranty -- has either a 3- or 5-year warranty. The power supply will be on the bottom, thus keeping the components cooler.

Mom is still thinking about this, as it's very expensive but I think that it will last me a long time and work well. Once we get it ordered and the parts come in, he says I can come and unwrap them with them, like opening Christmas presents xD

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Final Warrior on Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:38 pm

- That's the same DVD drive I have.
- I like CM; my case is, as mentioned above, a HAF932. I would've gotten a HAFX had I been aware of its existence at the time. (There was this Corsair case I wanted, deep as the Abyss, but it also cost ~$270.)
- Meh, Seagate. I prefer Hitachi, though Deskstars are slightly noisier than Barracudas. (Not that it matters to me, I have closed headphones.)
- I've heard good things about the 460 Fermis, so that's not a bad choice. Thought you were turned off by nVIDIA, though?
- Cooling system? What, like an aftermarket heatsink for the core? In that case, go with a Zalman heatsink (like I have) + Arctic Silver thermal paste. If you're going for liquid cooling... eh. I doubt it'll be worth it, but if you can squeeze for it within your budget, it won't hurt.
- Hm, Dominators have slightly worse timings than G.SKILL PI series (the difference is minute enough that I think it'll be unnoticeable), but I doubt that'll much matter. And they cost the same (at least, on Newegg), so whatevs. Upside is that Corsair has a really good rep when it comes to RAM. (I took a gamble with G.SKILL, having never heard of them prior - but I saw some of their fast-response customer service right in Newegg's comments on the PI series modules, and I liked what I saw. My RAM hasn't failed on me yet.)
- I don't like EVGA, or at least I don't like their nVIDIA cards. I had a hellacious amount of trouble with an EVGA 7800GTX. Dunno squat about their mobos, I tend towards ASUS and Gigabyte.
- That is a good core. Better than what I have, actually. +1
- Blehhhhh, Home Premium. Pro, yo. At least. If you're currently a HS/college/uni student, see if your school offers student discounts on Win 7 Pro. I got my copy of Win 7 Pro for free 'cuz of my school; and my best friend, who goes to a state school nearby, got his copy for $30USD.

-- Griffinhart

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"My word is my honor. My honor is my life."
-- Demonchild, Angelkin, the Blackest Seraph, the Final Warrior

"I'm a traitor, will you trust me? I'm dead, will you return me to life? I'm hated, will you love me? I've lost my innocence, will you help me find it?
...Save your breath, there are some things you can't get back."
-- The ghost of Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande, Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark

"Was au ga chs mea eterne manaf."
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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Canus on Mon May 23, 2011 2:07 pm

As you know, FW, your suggestions have helped a lot. ^_^ All of you guys, really. :3

http://crimeariver928.deviantart.com/#/d3h1gz2

This is what she looks like, so far. I can't wait till they deliver her. o3o

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

Post  Nygozy on Mon May 23, 2011 5:18 pm

She looks great. I hope it is soon as well so you can take a test spin and tell us how much you adore her!

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Re: Need help finding a good gaming PC.

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