This December, many of you will be thinking of buying new gaming consoles, laptops and gaming computers. In the past, you could usually find the best deals in January, but maybe not this year. However, I’m pretty sure the majority of sales will probably be taking place online. Here are a few points to consider.
If you’re buying a gaming console, you are probably looking at the latest Xbox versus the PS4 versus Nintendo. To be fair, the Nintendo is for hand-held gaming, rather than true console playing. So, if that’s what you are looking for, then go for it.
However, when it comes to Xbox versus PS4, they are both great machines delivering excellent value for money. I suggest that when buying for the first time for your son or daughter, you find out what most their friends are using. Why? Because they will want to play online with them. Therefore, they won’t be happy if all their friends have an Xbox and you buy them a nice, new, shiny PS4 and they cannot play along!
Whichever one you’re buying, I do suggest you ensure you buy a model equipped with a 1TB HDD (1 Terabyte hard drive). Again, why? Well, most games are now much bigger in data size, meaning that a 500GB HDD can quickly fill up. Also remember that the speed of downloading and playing online games is governed by your internet speed. If you have a very slow download/upload speed, this will affect the gameplay.
Then to the true gamer. They will want a gaming tower. The price of these can range from, say, £500 to £5,000 plus. The cost is dependant upon the parts inside. There is much to consider here, such as the processor, motherboard, and size and type of RAM. There’s also the quality of the PSU (power supply unit) and the type and quality of the GPU (graphics processing unit – these can easily exceed £1,000). You could choose between a standard hard drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD), or preferably both, and whether the machine is air cooled or water cooled. And, of course, there’s the cost of the case (£50 – £300+). When searching online, take all these factors into account when making your decision.
Don’t forget the operating system
Also, ensure you buy a gaming tower with a fully validated and licensed version of Windows 10. One of my longstanding customers bought what she thought was a good deal at £575, and on inspecting the parts I agreed with her. However, the machine only had a trial version of Windows 10 installed, and the company that sold it to her wanted £139 (!!!) to provide the license key to validate the Windows install. So we reinstalled the software for less than that.
What we have available at AA Whittlesey Computers
Here are some examples of what we have available, and what you should be comparing other offers to.
- For £500, we supply an HP Midi Tower with i5 Quad core processor @ 3.70 GHz, with 8GB RAM and Nvidia 1050ti GPU.
- For £700, we supply, all new, a custom tower; AMD Ryzan 3 2200G Quad Core @ 3.70 GHz with Vega graphics; ASUS Pro Motherboard; 16GB DDR4 RAM; Corsair PSU; 120 GB SSD & 1TB HDD. No GPU, but when you start playing games that stretch the Vega graphics you only need to install a more powerful GPU (a cheap upgrade path).
- For £2,400 & £2,200, we are building for Christmas two very highly specified gaming towers and only charging for the actual cost of parts, plus the Windows 10 Pro license. The minimum spec will be an expensive custom tower; 16GB RAM; water cooling; 1TB NV M.2 SSD; 2TB HDD; Corsair PSU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070; plus loads more.
Thinking of replacing your old, slow laptop?
A really slow, older laptop can probably be turned from a snail to a hare just by installing an SSD. Your local computer repair shop can probably do this for £179 – £249, a lot cheaper than the cost of a new laptop. However, get their advice first, so you don’t spend money on a laptop when the expenditure is not worthwhile.
Wishing all our customers past, present and future a Very Merry Christmas and New Year – whatever it may hold.
Len and Deborah