View Full Version : University: Choices, choices...

23-04-2012, 08:18 PM
Hey guys, my first time of posting on RPS yet I've been a long time reader, and I'm afraid I'm asking for help. I'm a seventeen year old college student with a part time job, and look to be heading off to University soon, which sadly also means a severe deficit of money. The problem is that my current PC is starting to show it's age (Specs posted at the bottom of the thread), and within a year or two may grind any chance of playing modern games to a halt. So I have several choices:

Suck it and stick with my current PC. I can continue playing games until it becomes obsolete, and maybe then turn to working through GOGs library, as well as the occasional indie game.
A hiatus from PC gaming. I own a PS Vita, and could simply give up PC gaming until after Uni and make my Vita my primary platform. But it is only a handheld and Sony is seemingly going down the shitter, making this a undesirable option.
(The reason I posted this on the tech section) Could someone suggest a really budget build that whilst not needing to be too powerful, could hopefully have an open upgrade path, allowing me to buy bits along the way. I'd be fine without a dedicated GPU, I could in fact use my current one until I have the money to buy a new one, as long as it has a decent CPU.
So those are my choices, and I would really appreciate your help.

Many thanks, Tom.


Motherboard: ASUS M4A78
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 235e
GPU: ATI Radeon 4890
RAM: 4GB 1066 Mhz DDR 2 Kingston HyperX

23-04-2012, 10:00 PM
Assuming you have a copy of Windows (preferably 64-bit) and your HDD is in decent nick, you could just but a new CPU, motherboard and RAM, and use your current GPU for the time being. You can pick up an i3 2120 for about 90, then just add any LGA 1155 motherboard and some DDR3 RAM. If you want more future-proofing then look for a Z68 or Z77 board, as they're compatible with the next range of intel CPUs (Ivy Bridge).

24-04-2012, 12:31 AM
I'd go with:

1. Suck it and stick with my current PC. I can continue playing games until it becomes obsolete, and maybe then turn to working through GOGs library, as well as the occasional indie game.

I'm currently on an old laptop, but I've not felt short of games for it ever. Aside from the occassional new release, what are you really going to be missing out on anyway? And: yes, you can wait a year or two before playing that one specific upcoming title. Trust me.

24-04-2012, 07:13 AM
Another vote for option 1 here as well.

Also, visit indiegames.com more often as well as gog- generally theres less graphics intensive games. Good luck for Uni.

I'd suggest getting a laptop, just because I find mine extremely useful. Not from a taking notes in lectures point of view (lectures are for sleep) but because its good to have all my data in one place. But probably better to save for one you like than to just get one on my say-so.

24-04-2012, 08:54 AM
Yeah laptops are great for uni.

I spent the majority of uni on a laptop that couldn't run new games and it was fine. It was around the time I started becoming aware of indie games so they took up a lot of my gaming time, as well as revisiting favourite game or playing classics that i'd missed (hello System Shock 2). While it was occasionally a tad irritating (I reallly, really wanted to play Bioshock!) there was more than enough to keep me occupied (plus one of my flatmates had a PS3 and another had a Wii so this helped!).

Plus it's great when you finally upgrade as you have a ton of games to catch up on. So I guess I'm saying that option 1 is a good 'un, unless perhaps you are primarily a multiplayer gamer and the communities for your favoured games fall by the wayside over time.

24-04-2012, 09:12 AM
Actually I probably should have mentioned, I do have a Netbook, not the best for gaming, but it does have the dual core variation of the Atom processor and I put in 2GB of RAM. Replacing the mobo, processor and RAM is a good option too.

24-04-2012, 11:40 AM
I'd say go with option 1. You'll be glad of the money when you get to uni, and to be honest you probably won't have much time for gaming anyway. I can sometimes sneak the occasional round of Orcs Must Die in here or there, but mostly I'm kept busy by work, cooking, cleaning, social engagements etc.

24-04-2012, 08:58 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys, you've been a great help. I probably will do option one, and do the replacements if I end up with a bit of money (18th birthday coming up). Anyway thanks a lot!