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Parents Guide to buying a PC for Christmas!

So you want to get the kids a Gaming PC for Christmas ? Where do you start ?

Christmas is less than 12 weeks away and I am getting enquiries almost everyday about Gaming PC’s for presents, and a lot of parents admit they don’t really know what they are looking for, so to try and help I’ve put together a simple guide to steer you in the right direction

 

  • HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ?  If we are talking about children under 14 (ish) they are going to want to play games like Minecraft , Roblox and  Fortnite etc. The first painful truth is that you really can’t do that on a machine for under £250
  • SHOULD I BUY A BRAND NAME ?  You will see machines advertised, particularly on eBay made by Dell, HP, Lenovo and other big names, unfortunately the reality is that whilst these all make good machines, the ones you will see for under £500 are likely to be repurposed, older business machines or low spec home computers that not only wont play games, they probably can be upgraded to any significant degree to be able to either.
  • NEW PC, GAMING SPECIAL , ULTRA FAST these and similar labels on old machines are painfully common, if it’s under £400 it isn’t new, they have put it in a new case and normally with the lowest possible quality of components.
  • DO I NEED A MONITOR?  Most good gaming PC’s will be perfectly happy on a HD TV, using a HDMI cable like a PlayStation or Xbox
  • QUESTIONS TO ASK :
    • Does it have a dedicated graphics card ? and how much memory does it have – if it’s less than 2 GB – walk away
    • Can you show me a video of it running a relevant game or benchmark? or a machine of the same specifications
    • Does it have an SSD – this is vital and makes the difference between turning on in 20 seconds or 5 minutes, and makes even an older machine feel snappy and usable.
    • Is it upgradable?
    • Can I see a photo of the inside? some used machines are so dirty and dusty that they are just waiting to fail through overheating problems , if they won’t show you a picture…..ask yourself what they are hiding?
For a gaming PC you are really looking at 5 levels of pricing and ability 
Under £200 – Old, used business machines that may be capable of browsing the internet and the simplest of games, best avoided you are asking for problems or disappointed kids
£200 – £300  Capable machines that can be upgraded over time with newer components and can grow for the next year or 2
£300 – £500  Machines that should be able to run almost all the latest games, in medium to high settings
£500 plus- very good used machine or new machines, both will run for years with upgrade potential to last for a good few years
£700 upwards is a new state of the art machine, or exceptional high end machine, with all the bells and whistles you could ask for.
We can put together machines in all of these price ranges, show you them working and get them delivered nationwide for under £20 – so get in touch and let us put together a machine that will really do what you need, for a price you can afford and that will keep the kids smiling over Christmas.
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