If you are in the market for a cheap, new gaming computer then you’re in luck. A quick search of Ebay will net results starting from just £170 without an operating system or £185 including Windows 8.1. Lets face it, even without a monitor and peripherals that’s incredibly cheap. So, if you have a young child or teenager looking for their first computer or even an upgrade from an ageing family machine, the choice is quite simple. The title says ‘media and gaming computer’ and that’s just what you want so you buy it… but do you regret it? Be warned that you will probably end up with low quality components and limited lifespan as software progresses.
The problem comes with the ubiquitous use of the description ‘Gaming Computer’. It’s meaningless, giving you no idea of the capability of the computer and relies on your definition and not the seller’s. Worse still, if you are buying this for someone else you might also be dealing with their expectations of what a gaming computer should be. If the PC you buy is capable of solitaire and maybe Minecraft on low settings but the end user wants to play AAA titles like Grand Theft Auto V or Batman: Arkham Knight at ultra settings then there’s a lot of disappointment in their future.
The best way to avoid ruining someone’s birthday when they open their main gift is to shop smart and ignore gaming computers altogether, just like you probably wouldn’t randomly buy a teenager a opera CD based on nothing more than a low price and the description ‘music’. You need to ask more questions if you’re going to get it right. Find out what games will be played and then look at the requirements to get a good experience playing those games. If you have trouble doing that research and then matching it to a product yourself then ask for help – from a friend who knows what they are doing if possible, or a store if you trust their advice – and then target the hardware inside the machine instead of the seller’s title. Only when you have the components narrowed down can you then start looking at the cost. There are some bargains out there, even for pre-built computers, and usually a better price or at least more reliable components if you are willing to take things a step further and build it yourself.
Image credit: Feature – Overclockers.co.uk | Body – ebay.co.uk user box_uk.