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Gaming PC advice

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Steve Greenwood, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. I've just about had enough of F1 2011 and don't hold out much hope for 2012 to be a massive improvement so have decided to take the plunge and switch over to the PC platform from my PS3. I have no knowledge of computers and I'm asking for advice on what I should be looking for?
    I want a PC to play Race07 and rfactor etc and the PC will not be used for anything other than racing sims.
    I have a budget of around £500, suggestions, advice and tips appreciated?
  2. Thx Jari, all of that went right over my head but appreciate your efforts.
  3. Here is example list of bre-build computers->http://www.overclockers.co.uk/productlist.php?groupid=43&catid=2040
    Here is a "good" starting point but I would upgrade the Graphics Card in this-> http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=FS-237-OK&groupid=43&catid=2040&subcat=

    You still need to buy monitor, keyboard and mouse which will cost you from £110 upwards.
    Cheapest computers are usually equipped with slow graphics card so its better to upgrade that right from the start. Dont know which are cheap shops in UK so you could find better deals elsewhere.

    Increasing your budget to £700 would give you more choices or you could buy some parts second hand but there is always risk involved with it.
  4. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Premium


    ebuyer.com (seems to be moving to more general electronics these days)
    novatech.co.uk (does cheap in house prebuilt systems.)
  5. thx guys
  6. There's also the option of running your computer on the tv you used for consoles up until now, so you might not need to buy a monitor straight away.
  7. I was thinking of doing that anyway but don't you need to switch the pc to TV on the control panel first? which means I'll need a monitor just to switch it over?
  8. Nah just connect it via a hdmi or dvi cable if you can (avoid using VGA, the blue 15 pin connection, if possible), the PC should detect the tv as its only display and start using it. You might need to set resolution, but if you used hdmi or dvi it should just work right out of the box without any adjustment.
  9. well that just about shows my level of knowledge of pc's:( Thanks for your help there Kjell
  10. Good advice from Jari, if you could raise your budget a little more it's going to help a lot.

    I did the exact same thing, a year ago, had a ps3 sold it to get a pc! as I only use for sim racing, the quality is fair better and not looked back :cool:

    As you had/have a ps3, you have a tv that can be used. So as Kjell said you could use this for the time being instead of buying a monitor straight away. This is what I done, now use monitors, but to start with it allowed me to have a bigger budget for the pc itself. My tv did automatically change to the pc, but you can also normally do it manually through the 'source' button on the remote.

    One point to mention about using a tv, check the available connections on the back. You probably have hdmi, if so the graphics cards I mention below can be used without a problem.

    I built my own pc, buying components separately, as it was the best way to get the best spec for the money. But there are loads of pre-built on ebay. Here's one for just over £430...

    Has a good intel i5 cpu, plenty of ram, storage and windows 7 installed.


    Like Jari also mentioned with pre-built the graphics card included are typically low spec. As the pc above has, so if you could stretch to £600ish, you could then buy a better graphics card. And you could look for a nvidia 560ti or a ati hd 6950 2gb, these 2 cards I found on ebay for about £170.

    Dabs on ebay has the 560ti for £166 from both asus and msi.



    You would also still need a keyboard and mouse, but these are cheap!


    The company on the above auction also has a load of pre-built at £300 and up, intel pc's are what I'd recommend, i3, i5. But the above company do not have pre-installed windows os below £450ish.

    They have this:


    And then you need to purchase the graphics card separately and also install windows os. The above auction does mentioned installing windows and to contact them, so they might do it for a good price. Windows 7 being the ideal os to install.
  11. Yeah go for windows 7 and nothing else! Preferably 64 bit as 32 is on its way out due to RAM being dirt cheap. Also you should aim for Home edition as opposed to Proffesional, don't let a salesman talk you into Pro cos it offers no benefits you really need as a home user. OEM versions of windows is a lot cheaper, they work just the same as a regular version the only difference is that you can't call Microsoft support for help you are stuck with the retailers support.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Tom

    Staff Emeritus Premium

    Plus you're legally (that's what the terms of use say, at least) obligated not to use the license on any PC other than the one it was first installed on. :)
  13. Yeah with a OEM license the license will be "locked" to the motherboard on the computer you activate it on the first time. This means that you can replace or upgrade ANY part of your computer without buying a new license, EXCEPT the motherboard. Should your motherboard stop working and you replace it with the exact same model you can transfer the license to the new motherboard by calling Microsoft license support. If you choose to upgrade your motherboard, you need to convince the Microsoft support that your old motherboard broke and the old model could not be bought hence you "had to upgrade" to replace it, or buy a new license. I've upgraded my motherboard and bought a new license without blinking, I think Win7 is just that good and worth it! :)
  14. Thank you for all your help and advice, I'll admit most of it is over my head but I get the general ideas you have suggested. Will sit down and try to digest then have a look around, to be honest I'll probably follow the link you sent to ebay shop. Once again, thx guys really appreciated.
  15. Tom

    Staff Emeritus Premium

    On a side-note: nVidia is supposed to announce a new graphics chip during GamesCom, so if you wait a few weeks you might be able to grab a faster chip for the same price or an existing one for cheap. :)
  16. Jim Cole

    Jim Cole

    OK, I need to correct a couple of comments on here before people get the wrong ideas.

    First off, OEM software is less expensive because it is put out without manuals and such and is supposed to be sold only along with hardware. It was not put out to be sold separately. This does not mean you can't change motherboard or any other component of the system. You can even change the system you have the OS installed onto as long as it is only installed on one system.

    Second: As far as going with Home Edition or Pro edition, it depends on your needs. If you have games or other software that won't run properly in Windows 7, the Get the Pro version as you can download Windows XP virtual for free from MS with Pro or Ultimate. You can't get it at all if you have the Home editions. This saves you from having to own an XP disk as well as a Win 7 disk and make your system dual boot or have 2 separate hard drives in order to play your older games.

    With that said, there is something that helps out the home user on Pro and Ultimate. There are actually a number of things, but I am not going to list them here as that is a waste of time for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I´m sorry to say but this is incorrect. From Microsofts own FAQ regarding OEM Licenses:

    Q. My customer bought a new PC and wants to move the OEM software from the old PC to the new one. Can't users do whatever they want with their software?

    A. The OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on
    more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in use. The End User
    Software License Terms, which the end user must accept before using the software, states that
    the license may not be shared, transferred to, or used concurrently on different computers.
    System builders must provide end-user support for the Windows license on computers they build,
    but cannot support licenses on computers they didn’t build. This is a fundamental reason why OEM System Builder licenses can't be transferred.

    Q. If my customer asks me to upgrade a PC with new hardware components, when is a new operating system needed? When would the PC be considered "new"?

    A. Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer —except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect,
    then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be
    transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or
    the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.

    Source: www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/licensing_faq.aspx#fbid=fYAFbhBonf2

    Quite correct on the virtual XP, forgot about that but probably because I´ve never needed it. On Home edition you can still set a application to run in compatibilitymode for XP, and while it´s not the same as running a virtual XP it has worked on everything I´ve thrown at it so far. But then again I don´t play a lot of really old games. :)
    As far as other limitations there are a few of course, but none which I think justify the 2,5 x pricetag for getting Pro or even more for Ultimate, at least not as a gamer. But every man is entitled to having an opinion. :)
  18. Adrian Britton

    Adrian Britton
    @ Simberia @Simberia

    @Kjell Eilertsen
    I think that post is in relation to the corporate OEM (like a dell or a HP license) where the drivers and software are fixed to that specific brand of hardware.
  19. Yes might very well be, but even in the case of those licenses (HP, Dell etc) the license follows the system. You CAN install on of these same Windows license on another computer, but you are then breaking the license.
    As far as regular OEM licenses go, they will install fine on a 2nd computer, but once you try to activate it online for updates it will tell you that the license is invalid (I´ve tried this and experienced this myself).