What should I buy?

Korimax

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So I had a status update but I decided I'd be better off making some general topic (that is hopefully in the correct location.) about a decision that I couldn't make and wanted input on.

Currently I'm working as a lifeguard this summer minimum wage of course which is $8.15 where I live. Regardless I'm trying to decide what I should be saving my money for first as far as expenses were concerned. I had a few ideas and so I thought I'd get some opinion.

This is my current desktop. Its very old and has tobacco in the back that I just can't seem to get out. (It was a hand me down after my mother got a new computer and she was a smoker. How exactly it got back there... well I can't answer that.) So, I was thinking of building my own computer as I know that doing so can be more cost effective, though its quite a bit of effort.

I was thinking of making the $1500 build on this website, with the additional stuff mentioned closer to the bottom of that section.

http://newbcomputerbuild.com/newb-computer-build-home/july-2015-monthly-budget-gaming-pc-builds/

I figure that everything additional will add up to $2000 also taking into consideration that the prices may go up, I may have to pay shipping for certain parts as well as the possibility that I may change parts myself that'll be more example.

The reason I want a computer of this size is that I want to be able to run games on higher settings (never been able to play any new game I've ever gotten on anything above the lowest.) Also I need something that'll render videos quickly and will also speed up the editing process on my videos for Youtube.

I also need a new monitor for either my old desktop or a new one. I was thinking something that is reasonable in price and good for gaming, as well as a decent size... problem is I can't really decide on what that exactly is. I figure something that is 21-24 inches or so would be fine, so I'm still looking in that department. But I need to get the monitor because without it, well I can't really do anything with my desktop I even have. (I'm not sure what files or work I have there and I can't transfer anything without one.)

Lastly I'm saving up for a new laptop for school, and strictly for taking notes, writing papers, and doing research. I won't be doing any gaming on it or anything of the sort. I'll just be using it for school. So I was thinking something like a Chromebook or something of that nature. Something really small though like 10-12 inches small. It's gotta be cheap though nothing above $300.

I'm not interested in any sort of computer with touchscreen capabilities as I HATE touchscreens, tablets, iPads, I can deal with smartphones but only because it doubles as something I play small games on and it has various apps that are helpful. But I feel this is unnecessary with a laptop for strictly school.

So this is my dilemma which do I save for first or what order should I save. Desktop, Laptop, or Monitor? I really wanna thank anybody who has the time to read all of this and give their two cents on this.  :)
 
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Ms Littlefish

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School should come first. If you don't have already have something to aid you in your school work then I would start with that. That's just me though. I love education~
 

Wavelength

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Put aside the money for (or buy) the laptop for school first.  If the other items end up running you more than you anticipated, you really don't want this falling by the wayside (and it'll also feel great being able to save up for your awesome gaming PC without any guilt about this hanging over your head).  $200-$300 seems like a reasonable amount for a small, basic one.  Make sure you have the disks/drivers you need to hook it up to your printer and so forth.

I'd recommend saving up for the PC next.  You probably have some flex here to move down a tier if things come up and you don't have enough cash, but at any rate, assuming 40 hours a week you'd earn just under $300 a week before taxes so you'd be able to save up for this over the summer with a bit of room to spare.  If you don't also have the money for a nice new monitor but you don't mind using the one you have now, then you can just borrow a friend's monitor for a night to transfer everything from your old computer to your new one, or use the one monitor to go back and forth between computers (I've actually done this before).

By the way, I've always been happy with middle-of-the-line graphics cards, and have been able to run games like Civ 5 (back in 09) or Skyrim and LoL (recently) at relatively high settings.  But I play at low resolutions (1024x768 at a max), because I have 20/60 vision so I can't appreciate superfine graphical detail anyhow.  If you're willing to play at lower res, you can take a cheaper GFX card and still get beautiful graphics in your games.  Of course, some people like playing with high resolution for a number of reasons.  Just figured I'd throw that out there.
 

Shaz

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I have a really nice little Asus laptop that cost me $1000 new (it would cost you less if you're in the US) that I do all my game development on. It meets my needs nicely. Get something like that and your external monitor, meet both of your requirements, and save yourself $500+ in the process.
 

Korimax

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Thanks for all the feedback. The thing is I don't want a beefy laptop because that's more liable to break in my hands. I've had trouble keeping it in good condition, missing screws and a crack forming in the exterior as well as the border peeling away. I'd be more comfortable to have a desktop for all my developing and gaming purposes as I'd feel less likely to damage it.

I've also considered scaling down on the graphics card a bit just because I know that saving money could benefit me. Though I figure it's just another weeks paycheck if I go up on the card.

So it seems that I should buy the laptop first based on the current responses. Does anybody have any recommendations, preferably under $300 and tiny. Doesn't need to be powerful or anything just something for basic note taking, e-mailing, etcetera.
 

Ms Littlefish

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I don't blame you for not wanting a laptop. I'm so done with them personally, myself. I buy one for $700-$1000, never even take it out of the house, and the thing gets weird or downright fried in 1-2 years. And naturally it always busts right after my warranty has crapped out.

I know you said you didn't like tablets because of touch screens but couldn't you use a keyboard attachment for ease of note-taking/browsing? That's another option. Though, it would probably run you more than the Chromebook option. But it might be a more worth while investment as well.

My other suggestion would have been to look at other graphics card. The one is your recipe is astronomical. And I'm sure it's probably the bomb but I have a decently beastly build with a card that is easily a third the price of that.
 

Korimax

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Well my current laptop is having some more issues some not exactly physical like simple wear and tear, getting warnings about my cooling though the fan is working fine.

My other suggestion would have been to look at other graphics card. The one is your recipe is astronomical. And I'm sure it's probably the bomb but I have a decently beastly build with a card that is easily a third the price of that.
I would be very interested in any alternatives in the things I've chosen for my PC build. I just know that I wanna build my own computer and the one I have is just way too out of date, I mean its two operating systems ago, that is quite a bit. I suppose I gotta factor in an OS for my computer building too, but thats just another $80. Not the end of the world. (It's scary how a month ago before I had a job I'd have considered getting $80 aggravatingly hard, now its just a matter of waiting two weeks and working 60 hours to get 5-6x that amount. :D  )  
 

Clord

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Desktop PC is really useful, that's why so many pay high bucks of them.


Larger screen, fit for gaming latest titles and more.


However laptop is useful if you need it for your school work etc. Just don't expect to play Arkham Knight for example with them.
 

BeardBro

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If I were you, I would purchase a $200-$300 laptop for school because that's going to be a necessity.

With the extra money, I'd invest in a budget PC build that's suited to your needs. Usually, $1000-$2000 PC builds are overkill. I'm currently running this Silent All-Purpose Build, which will run you $500-$600 depending on what extra components you buy. It beats the PS4 and Xbox One in terms of graphics and performance. Here's a general idea of what you can do with this build:

Witcher 3 - High Settings at 30fps

Dying Light - Ultra Settings at 30fps, or Medium-High settings at 45-50fps

Skyrim - Ultra Settings at 60+fps

Arkham City - Ultra Settings at 60+fps

It's quiet as a mouse, games well, and has awesome processing power for graphics or video software. If you wanted to spend some extra cash on better parts, you can swap the GTX 750 ti for the GTX 960, get a six-core processor, and upgrade to a 750w Power Supply. Those slight upgrades would let you run basically everything on ultra at 60fps and would give you lightning-fast performance for video editing. Your total cost would be $700-$800 with the upgrades.

Hope this helps!
 

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