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Hello HDUK. Basically I have been a console gamer for life (SEGA Megadrive, PS2, X360, PS3, PS4 back to PS3). I have been happy for the most part, until the past year or so. Since, Ive been intrigu… Read More
macleanie Avatar
2y, 11m agoPosted 2 years, 11 months ago
Hello HDUK.

Basically I have been a console gamer for life (SEGA Megadrive, PS2, X360, PS3, PS4 back to PS3). I have been happy for the most part, until the past year or so. Since, Ive been intrigued by PC gaming, I want in on more indie games, better variety, cheaper prices and (without causing arguments) better optimisation .I have steam/origin and have a library only made up of Football Manager, Amnesia and Peggle (Oh and a game won in Bobs competition, thanks btw!).

Now I feel I need to try it for real. However in my ideal situation I would try to utilise my 32" TV as a monitor, hooked up to a tower and use a xbox one or 360 controller to play my games in big picture mode on steam. Now I'm sure this will face palm many of you hardcore gamers but entertain me for a moment whilst I ask some silly questions.

Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.

Things I recognise and have considered are:
Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)
Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?

I do not have the space for a desktop and I use my laptop for work and everything I need so I would be getting a 'rig' for gaming use only and it would have to be able to handle games such as games on my wanted list like Watch Dogs, Thief, Titanfall, Witcher 3, Alien Isolation, Shadow of Mordor, Evil Within and all the games I currently play such as Skyrim, GTA, Dark Souls.

I have interest in playing many indie titles for a change but I understand I won't be able to use controller for this. I also understand that many people would think it would be easier for me just to buy a PS4, Ive had one, it was good but it didn't excite me enough. I am serious and I have heard of the steam box too as another option but things have gone quiet on that.

Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments

Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
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macleanie Avatar
2y, 11m agoPosted 2 years, 11 months ago
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#1
You my friend, need to give us a budget
#2
It would be better to use HDMI to connect the TV rather than the VGA input
#3
yes you can connect to tv,if you have a little patience you can use software to remap keyboard to control pads so your not really restricted,
#4
HDMI was based on DVI, so a DVI to HDMI cable is often also a better alternative to VGA. VGA will work too but being a thirty year old analogue connection it's generally the last choice.

Steam/Origin/Uplay out of game clients are just adware with a few bundled features to stop too many people asking for their removal. They generally launch automatically if required so it should be easy enough to launch games that require them through your launcher of choice. I'm not familiar with big picture but I'm guessing it inherits the normal steam ability to launch games not bought through steam.

The games you've listed as mostly big budget first or third person games and a high percentage of those sorts of games support XInput controllers (which includes the Xbox 360 one).

Generally a good gaming machine would be an i5 CPU, a £150-200 graphics card and 8-16GB of memory. A solid state drive doesn't do much for the games but is nice to have generally.

The HP Envy would have been a good machine. Old stock but good for the price.
#5
Thanks for your answers :) Its a great help. I will definitely look to use DVI to HDMI instead.

JvK92
You my friend, need to give us a budget

I have no idea what the market is for what I need but I would prefer to keep it under or a little over £500.

violentj
yes you can connect to tv,if you have a little patience you can use software to remap keyboard to control pads so your not really restricted,

What is the name of this software so I may look into it? Thanks :)

EndlessWaves
HDMI was based on DVI, so a DVI to HDMI cable is often also a better alternative to VGA. VGA will work too but being a thirty year old analogue connection it's generally the last choice.

Steam/Origin/Uplay out of game clients are just adware with a few bundled features to stop too many people asking for their removal. They generally launch automatically if required so it should be easy enough to launch games that require them through your launcher of choice. I'm not familiar with big picture but I'm guessing it inherits the normal steam ability to launch games not bought through steam.

The games you've listed as mostly big budget first or third person games and a high percentage of those sorts of games support XInput controllers (which includes the Xbox 360 one).

Generally a good gaming machine would be an i5 CPU, a £150-200 graphics card and 8-16GB of memory. A solid state drive doesn't do much for the games but is nice to have generally.

The HP Envy would have been a good machine. Old stock but good for the price.

Thank you! Can you recommend a good place to search for a machine with those credentials at the right price?
#6
Any modern graphics card will have DVI outputs, so a DVI to HDMI cable from ebay will work and should only cost a couple of quid, some cards have an additional HDMI output so a normal HDMI cable will do
#7
Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.
Yes, very much so. It is what a lot of PC gamers currently do to get the PC gaming experience in the living room.

Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Only use PC-VGA if you cannot use HDMI or DVI on a TV

Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)

You will definitely need a mouse and keyboard connected at various points with some games as even the games on Steam that state full controller support or partial controller support often have the odd menu or screen whereby you can only control using mouse or keyboard.
One other thing to note is that some games that can work with a controller still need you to mouse and keyboard them first just to go into the controls option screen of a game just to select controller as the method of playing the game!
Some people use other software to actually configure the keyboards keys to be button on the game pad controller when a game doesnt offer game pad controller support examples of software are Pinnacle game profiler, Xpadder and my fave is Joy2Key as this last one is free and highly configurable (i have even used it for MMOs such as SWTOR and it can be configured to work well in PVP..


Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?
No problem using your method of play with Origin or Uplay as lots of the games on both services have game pad controller support built into the game but again, to log into these services and trigger games to start initially you will want keyboard and mouse to do this (or like me you could use Joy2Key to set up a game pad profile that will do the job of mouse and keyboard - a handy feature of windows is the on screen keyboard in the accessibility/ease of access section which i use so that i can control the mouse using xbox 360 pad and then i just run the onscreen keyboard and i can type etc without have to use an actual PC keyboard connected all the time! Also any origin uplay games that dont feature game pad support, you can just setup Joy2Key to enable you to use gamepad for those game.


Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?
Yes it is all possible firstly make sure you get a quad core cpu at least as that coupled with 8/16GB ram and a decent graphics card (150-200 quid) will easily power through those games (for the cpu if you can get an Intel in the K series these allow for decent overclocking which will help alot).
Regarding indie games and not being able to play with game pad as stated before you can use Joy2Key to create a game pad profile for each game and you are just mapping keyboard key presses to the game pad.
As for the steam box i am still testing steamos on a dual core laptop and it is still early days yet as the OS just isnt solid enough yet so in turn steam boxes will be a while off still. Thing is, what most living room pc gamers do already and what you are looking at doing with all these questions is basically a steam box but better - its better as you are custom building your own steam box!

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?
If you definitely cannot build it yourself i would look at overclockers.co.uk scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk, and other places like that. I have mentioned above roughly what cpu type and ram and graphics card but if you need more specific item help just ask in here and everyone will be sure to give opinions to help you out.

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments
I wouldnt look to buy a mnaufacturer system as they usually have a locked down BIOS which can limit the overall potential of the hardware inside - your best bet is to look at places like scan and novatech etc and price up some custom pc builds which contain exactly what you are after (you might be thinking well what exactly should i buy partwise but people on here will be sure to suggest exact components to buy and likely they will explain why a bit).


Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
Welcome to the PC master race ....haha
#8
macleanie
Thanks for your answers :) Its a great help. I will definitely look to use DVI to HDMI instead.

JvK92
You my friend, need to give us a budget

I have no idea what the market is for what I need but I would prefer to keep it under or a little over £500.

violentj
yes you can connect to tv,if you have a little patience you can use software to remap keyboard to control pads so your not really restricted,

What is the name of this software so I may look into it? Thanks :)

EndlessWaves
HDMI was based on DVI, so a DVI to HDMI cable is often also a better alternative to VGA. VGA will work too but being a thirty year old analogue connection it's generally the last choice.

Steam/Origin/Uplay out of game clients are just adware with a few bundled features to stop too many people asking for their removal. They generally launch automatically if required so it should be easy enough to launch games that require them through your launcher of choice. I'm not familiar with big picture but I'm guessing it inherits the normal steam ability to launch games not bought through steam.

The games you've listed as mostly big budget first or third person games and a high percentage of those sorts of games support XInput controllers (which includes the Xbox 360 one).

Generally a good gaming machine would be an i5 CPU, a £150-200 graphics card and 8-16GB of memory. A solid state drive doesn't do much for the games but is nice to have generally.

The HP Envy would have been a good machine. Old stock but good for the price.

Thank you! Can you recommend a good place to search for a machine with those credentials at the right price?

there are a few different ones,i personally use pinnacle game profiler,since it tends to have templates for most of the big games
#9
You have lots of answers here but I would personally not bother messing about with mapping controls to a controller most games you will want to play will have controller support.

If your tv has hdmi then get a gfx card with hdmi out as it also sends the sound so you won't have to mess about with 2 cables, if you don't have external speakers/amp then this is especially important as using dvi you will not get sound.

use benchmark sites to get an idea of how different gfx cards compare. It is generally a good diea to spend around £150 on a gfx card to be able to play any current game at good settings.

8gb ram is plenty

ssd is awesome for making your machine feel super fast but will do little for games, I still suggest getting a 120gb ssd for the os but also get a 1tb or so hdd to install all your games on.

get an i5/i7 processor they are extremely powerful and energy efficient.

if there are games you really want to play that don't support a gamepad then consider using keyboard mouse on a tray.

(just noticed you don't want to build yourself - that's fine just use the info provided to get an idea of how different machines compare)

your other option is to get a gaming laptop but it will not be very portable and will cost at least £800
#10
Thanks again for all your answers, its really helping me understand whats needed to do this.


wellen1981
Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.
Yes, very much so. It is what a lot of PC gamers currently do to get the PC gaming experience in the living room.

Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Only use PC-VGA if you cannot use HDMI or DVI on a TV

Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)

You will definitely need a mouse and keyboard connected at various points with some games as even the games on Steam that state full controller support or partial controller support often have the odd menu or screen whereby you can only control using mouse or keyboard.
One other thing to note is that some games that can work with a controller still need you to mouse and keyboard them first just to go into the controls option screen of a game just to select controller as the method of playing the game!
Some people use other software to actually configure the keyboards keys to be button on the game pad controller when a game doesnt offer game pad controller support examples of software are Pinnacle game profiler, Xpadder and my fave is Joy2Key as this last one is free and highly configurable (i have even used it for MMOs such as SWTOR and it can be configured to work well in PVP..


Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?
No problem using your method of play with Origin or Uplay as lots of the games on both services have game pad controller support built into the game but again, to log into these services and trigger games to start initially you will want keyboard and mouse to do this (or like me you could use Joy2Key to set up a game pad profile that will do the job of mouse and keyboard - a handy feature of windows is the on screen keyboard in the accessibility/ease of access section which i use so that i can control the mouse using xbox 360 pad and then i just run the onscreen keyboard and i can type etc without have to use an actual PC keyboard connected all the time! Also any origin uplay games that dont feature game pad support, you can just setup Joy2Key to enable you to use gamepad for those game.


Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?
Yes it is all possible firstly make sure you get a quad core cpu at least as that coupled with 8/16GB ram and a decent graphics card (150-200 quid) will easily power through those games (for the cpu if you can get an Intel in the K series these allow for decent overclocking which will help alot).
Regarding indie games and not being able to play with game pad as stated before you can use Joy2Key to create a game pad profile for each game and you are just mapping keyboard key presses to the game pad.
As for the steam box i am still testing steamos on a dual core laptop and it is still early days yet as the OS just isnt solid enough yet so in turn steam boxes will be a while off still. Thing is, what most living room pc gamers do already and what you are looking at doing with all these questions is basically a steam box but better - its better as you are custom building your own steam box!

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?
If you definitely cannot build it yourself i would look at overclockers.co.uk scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk, and other places like that. I have mentioned above roughly what cpu type and ram and graphics card but if you need more specific item help just ask in here and everyone will be sure to give opinions to help you out.

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments
I wouldnt look to buy a mnaufacturer system as they usually have a locked down BIOS which can limit the overall potential of the hardware inside - your best bet is to look at places like scan and novatech etc and price up some custom pc builds which contain exactly what you are after (you might be thinking well what exactly should i buy partwise but people on here will be sure to suggest exact components to buy and likely they will explain why a bit).


Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
Welcome to the PC master race ....haha

Thanks for the detailed answer! :) I didn't even think about menus but I'm relieved to know that this is all manageable. Im going to start looking through some of those sites to find something suitable. I must ask though, what is over clocking?


badasschris
You have lots of answers here but I would personally not bother messing about with mapping controls to a controller most games you will want to play will have controller support.

If your tv has hdmi then get a gfx card with hdmi out as it also sends the sound so you won't have to mess about with 2 cables, if you don't have external speakers/amp then this is especially important as using dvi you will not get sound.

use benchmark sites to get an idea of how different gfx cards compare. It is generally a good diea to spend around £150 on a gfx card to be able to play any current game at good settings.

8gb ram is plenty

ssd is awesome for making your machine feel super fast but will do little for games, I still suggest getting a 120gb ssd for the os but also get a 1tb or so hdd to install all your games on.

get an i5/i7 processor they are extremely powerful and energy efficient.

if there are games you really want to play that don't support a gamepad then consider using keyboard mouse on a tray.

(just noticed you don't want to build yourself - that's fine just use the info provided to get an idea of how different machines compare)

your other option is to get a gaming laptop but it will not be very portable and will cost at least £800

Thanks for the tips, especially about sound through gfx card as I do plan on using hdmi now but I don't have external speakers.





Its clear everyone has different preferences on hardware but the general reaction is clear on what I will need to play the top games. Im going to have a solid search for a machine in the morning.

What is a realistic price to be expected to pay for what I need, comfortably being able to play games at level at least matching but preferably exceeding that of a PS4/Xbox One? I have no idea of the cost of these parts so not going to to whats value for money or ripping me off when looking through for the right machine.


Edited By: macleanie on Jul 27, 2014 04:13
#11
macleanie
Thanks again for all your answers, its really helping me understand whats needed to do this.


wellen1981
Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.
Yes, very much so. It is what a lot of PC gamers currently do to get the PC gaming experience in the living room.

Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Only use PC-VGA if you cannot use HDMI or DVI on a TV

Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)

You will definitely need a mouse and keyboard connected at various points with some games as even the games on Steam that state full controller support or partial controller support often have the odd menu or screen whereby you can only control using mouse or keyboard.
One other thing to note is that some games that can work with a controller still need you to mouse and keyboard them first just to go into the controls option screen of a game just to select controller as the method of playing the game!
Some people use other software to actually configure the keyboards keys to be button on the game pad controller when a game doesnt offer game pad controller support examples of software are Pinnacle game profiler, Xpadder and my fave is Joy2Key as this last one is free and highly configurable (i have even used it for MMOs such as SWTOR and it can be configured to work well in PVP..


Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?
No problem using your method of play with Origin or Uplay as lots of the games on both services have game pad controller support built into the game but again, to log into these services and trigger games to start initially you will want keyboard and mouse to do this (or like me you could use Joy2Key to set up a game pad profile that will do the job of mouse and keyboard - a handy feature of windows is the on screen keyboard in the accessibility/ease of access section which i use so that i can control the mouse using xbox 360 pad and then i just run the onscreen keyboard and i can type etc without have to use an actual PC keyboard connected all the time! Also any origin uplay games that dont feature game pad support, you can just setup Joy2Key to enable you to use gamepad for those game.


Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?
Yes it is all possible firstly make sure you get a quad core cpu at least as that coupled with 8/16GB ram and a decent graphics card (150-200 quid) will easily power through those games (for the cpu if you can get an Intel in the K series these allow for decent overclocking which will help alot).
Regarding indie games and not being able to play with game pad as stated before you can use Joy2Key to create a game pad profile for each game and you are just mapping keyboard key presses to the game pad.
As for the steam box i am still testing steamos on a dual core laptop and it is still early days yet as the OS just isnt solid enough yet so in turn steam boxes will be a while off still. Thing is, what most living room pc gamers do already and what you are looking at doing with all these questions is basically a steam box but better - its better as you are custom building your own steam box!

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?
If you definitely cannot build it yourself i would look at overclockers.co.uk scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk, and other places like that. I have mentioned above roughly what cpu type and ram and graphics card but if you need more specific item help just ask in here and everyone will be sure to give opinions to help you out.

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments
I wouldnt look to buy a mnaufacturer system as they usually have a locked down BIOS which can limit the overall potential of the hardware inside - your best bet is to look at places like scan and novatech etc and price up some custom pc builds which contain exactly what you are after (you might be thinking well what exactly should i buy partwise but people on here will be sure to suggest exact components to buy and likely they will explain why a bit).


Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
Welcome to the PC master race ....haha

Thanks for the detailed answer! :) I didn't even think about menus but I'm relieved to know that this is all manageable. Im going to start looking through some of those sites to find something suitable. I must ask though, what is over clocking?


badasschris
You have lots of answers here but I would personally not bother messing about with mapping controls to a controller most games you will want to play will have controller support.

If your tv has hdmi then get a gfx card with hdmi out as it also sends the sound so you won't have to mess about with 2 cables, if you don't have external speakers/amp then this is especially important as using dvi you will not get sound.

use benchmark sites to get an idea of how different gfx cards compare. It is generally a good diea to spend around £150 on a gfx card to be able to play any current game at good settings.

8gb ram is plenty

ssd is awesome for making your machine feel super fast but will do little for games, I still suggest getting a 120gb ssd for the os but also get a 1tb or so hdd to install all your games on.

get an i5/i7 processor they are extremely powerful and energy efficient.

if there are games you really want to play that don't support a gamepad then consider using keyboard mouse on a tray.

(just noticed you don't want to build yourself - that's fine just use the info provided to get an idea of how different machines compare)

your other option is to get a gaming laptop but it will not be very portable and will cost at least £800

Thanks for the tips, especially about sound through gfx card as I do plan on using hdmi now but I don't have external speakers.





Its clear everyone has different preferences on hardware but the general reaction is clear on what I will need to play the top games. Im going to have a solid search for a machine in the morning.

What is a realistic price to be expected to pay for what I need, comfortably being able to play games at level at least matching but preferably exceeding that of a PS4/Xbox One? I have no idea of the cost of these parts so not going to to whats value for money or ripping me off when looking through for the right machine.

To get x1/ps4 level you would probably be spending a little over £400, that would be based on a £100 gpu, amd cpu (fx-6300) ~£75 then getting a case ~£50, 8gb ddr3 ram ~ £50 am3+ mb ~ £65 1tb hdd ~ £40 500w psu ~ £50. Spending another £200 to upgrade the mb and cpu to intel and getting a better gpu would be worth the extra but not completely necessary. You will also need an os (windows 7 or 8.1)

Saying that there will always be differences between consoles and pc. On the consoles the games will be optimized for that system so should always play reasonably well. What this has meant so far is hardly any "next gen" games run at 1080p. You usually find you can tweak the settings on pc to get great performance and better gfx but you will almost certainty come across bad/lazy pc ports of console games which wont work as well.

Also some games will be exclusive to consoles so you will have to make do (pc also has many exclusives but the are rarely controller optimized )

Best thing about getting a gaming pc is you will be getting your games so much cheaper. I have a ps4 but have only 1 game because everything is cheaper on pc, I got lego marvel for less than £4 when it was still £30+ on ps4. I have over 100 indie games from humble bundles and steam sales and probably spent less than 50p per game (if that)

Even at full price pc games are substantially cheaper and there is usually a deal for a digital version within a few weeks. What I am saying is having a gaming pc is a good idea.
#12
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practised for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!
#13
EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practiced for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!

lies damn lies,ive tried for years to use keyboard and mouse,and since i used to be a console gamer it just feels totally unnatural and i really cannot get used to it-people differ i know ,but you are very similar to how i was a few year ago so you results may vary
#14
EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practised for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!
he is using with tv like a console so probably doesn't have suitable place fr kb + mouse. Also game pad better for majority of games apart from tactical games and fps.
#15
badasschris
macleanie
Thanks again for all your answers, its really helping me understand whats needed to do this.


wellen1981
Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.
Yes, very much so. It is what a lot of PC gamers currently do to get the PC gaming experience in the living room.

Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Only use PC-VGA if you cannot use HDMI or DVI on a TV

Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)

You will definitely need a mouse and keyboard connected at various points with some games as even the games on Steam that state full controller support or partial controller support often have the odd menu or screen whereby you can only control using mouse or keyboard.
One other thing to note is that some games that can work with a controller still need you to mouse and keyboard them first just to go into the controls option screen of a game just to select controller as the method of playing the game!
Some people use other software to actually configure the keyboards keys to be button on the game pad controller when a game doesnt offer game pad controller support examples of software are Pinnacle game profiler, Xpadder and my fave is Joy2Key as this last one is free and highly configurable (i have even used it for MMOs such as SWTOR and it can be configured to work well in PVP..


Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?
No problem using your method of play with Origin or Uplay as lots of the games on both services have game pad controller support built into the game but again, to log into these services and trigger games to start initially you will want keyboard and mouse to do this (or like me you could use Joy2Key to set up a game pad profile that will do the job of mouse and keyboard - a handy feature of windows is the on screen keyboard in the accessibility/ease of access section which i use so that i can control the mouse using xbox 360 pad and then i just run the onscreen keyboard and i can type etc without have to use an actual PC keyboard connected all the time! Also any origin uplay games that dont feature game pad support, you can just setup Joy2Key to enable you to use gamepad for those game.


Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?
Yes it is all possible firstly make sure you get a quad core cpu at least as that coupled with 8/16GB ram and a decent graphics card (150-200 quid) will easily power through those games (for the cpu if you can get an Intel in the K series these allow for decent overclocking which will help alot).
Regarding indie games and not being able to play with game pad as stated before you can use Joy2Key to create a game pad profile for each game and you are just mapping keyboard key presses to the game pad.
As for the steam box i am still testing steamos on a dual core laptop and it is still early days yet as the OS just isnt solid enough yet so in turn steam boxes will be a while off still. Thing is, what most living room pc gamers do already and what you are looking at doing with all these questions is basically a steam box but better - its better as you are custom building your own steam box!

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?
If you definitely cannot build it yourself i would look at overclockers.co.uk scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk, and other places like that. I have mentioned above roughly what cpu type and ram and graphics card but if you need more specific item help just ask in here and everyone will be sure to give opinions to help you out.

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments
I wouldnt look to buy a mnaufacturer system as they usually have a locked down BIOS which can limit the overall potential of the hardware inside - your best bet is to look at places like scan and novatech etc and price up some custom pc builds which contain exactly what you are after (you might be thinking well what exactly should i buy partwise but people on here will be sure to suggest exact components to buy and likely they will explain why a bit).


Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
Welcome to the PC master race ....haha

Thanks for the detailed answer! :) I didn't even think about menus but I'm relieved to know that this is all manageable. Im going to start looking through some of those sites to find something suitable. I must ask though, what is over clocking?


badasschris
You have lots of answers here but I would personally not bother messing about with mapping controls to a controller most games you will want to play will have controller support.

If your tv has hdmi then get a gfx card with hdmi out as it also sends the sound so you won't have to mess about with 2 cables, if you don't have external speakers/amp then this is especially important as using dvi you will not get sound.

use benchmark sites to get an idea of how different gfx cards compare. It is generally a good diea to spend around £150 on a gfx card to be able to play any current game at good settings.

8gb ram is plenty

ssd is awesome for making your machine feel super fast but will do little for games, I still suggest getting a 120gb ssd for the os but also get a 1tb or so hdd to install all your games on.

get an i5/i7 processor they are extremely powerful and energy efficient.

if there are games you really want to play that don't support a gamepad then consider using keyboard mouse on a tray.

(just noticed you don't want to build yourself - that's fine just use the info provided to get an idea of how different machines compare)

your other option is to get a gaming laptop but it will not be very portable and will cost at least £800

Thanks for the tips, especially about sound through gfx card as I do plan on using hdmi now but I don't have external speakers.





Its clear everyone has different preferences on hardware but the general reaction is clear on what I will need to play the top games. Im going to have a solid search for a machine in the morning.

What is a realistic price to be expected to pay for what I need, comfortably being able to play games at level at least matching but preferably exceeding that of a PS4/Xbox One? I have no idea of the cost of these parts so not going to to whats value for money or ripping me off when looking through for the right machine.

To get x1/ps4 level you would probably be spending a little over £400, that would be based on a £100 gpu, amd cpu (fx-6300) ~£75 then getting a case ~£50, 8gb ddr3 ram ~ £50 am3+ mb ~ £65 1tb hdd ~ £40 500w psu ~ £50. Spending another £200 to upgrade the mb and cpu to intel and getting a better gpu would be worth the extra but not completely necessary. You will also need an os (windows 7 or 8.1)

Saying that there will always be differences between consoles and pc. On the consoles the games will be optimized for that system so should always play reasonably well. What this has meant so far is hardly any "next gen" games run at 1080p. You usually find you can tweak the settings on pc to get great performance and better gfx but you will almost certainty come across bad/lazy pc ports of console games which wont work as well.

Also some games will be exclusive to consoles so you will have to make do (pc also has many exclusives but the are rarely controller optimized )

Best thing about getting a gaming pc is you will be getting your games so much cheaper. I have a ps4 but have only 1 game because everything is cheaper on pc, I got lego marvel for less than £4 when it was still £30+ on ps4. I have over 100 indie games from humble bundles and steam sales and probably spent less than 50p per game (if that)

Even at full price pc games are substantially cheaper and there is usually a deal for a digital version within a few weeks. What I am saying is having a gaming pc is a good idea.

Thanks for the break down! When you say bad ports, are these still playable ? Ive heard Watch Dogs is a poor Pc port but can it still be enjoyed. To be honest with you, when it comes to exclusives I've always found xbox to have the best, despite being a playstation fan. PC have quite a few of Xbox's exclusives, albeit a bit later. Im just excited by the thought of greater variety!

Oh and cheap prices like you mentioned, seeing all these GMG + Steam + Humble Bundles deals constantly posted is killing me. With console I have always traded in games keeping a collection to a minimum, although I don't think this is that important due to the prices being so much lower, a friend mentioned that there was a site you can trade in PC games (GMG i think?) how does that work?


EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practised for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!

I sure will give it a try, yet its going to be very unnatural to me. I expect for many games the complex controls will mean a keyboard will be necessary.
#16
violentj
EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practiced for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!

lies damn lies,ive tried for years to use keyboard and mouse,and since i used to be a console gamer it just feels totally unnatural and i really cannot get used to it-people differ i know ,but you are very similar to how i was a few year ago so you results may vary

Well its good to hear that I can use remapping software if i struggle. Although its nothing to many pc gamers I rely on the controller as its how I've always gamed and is a big deal in changing over. Having been in my situation in the past do you think all this is worth it?
#17
macleanie
Thanks again for all your answers, its really helping me understand whats needed to do this.


wellen1981
Is it possible to do this? Essentially using my tower as a Console.
Yes, very much so. It is what a lot of PC gamers currently do to get the PC gaming experience in the living room.

Can my tv be used as a monitor? It has PC-VGA so it can right?
Only use PC-VGA if you cannot use HDMI or DVI on a TV

Not all games can be used with a controller or have partial support. Now how restricted will I be to the games I wish to play? (I will go onto most likely games played shortly)

You will definitely need a mouse and keyboard connected at various points with some games as even the games on Steam that state full controller support or partial controller support often have the odd menu or screen whereby you can only control using mouse or keyboard.
One other thing to note is that some games that can work with a controller still need you to mouse and keyboard them first just to go into the controls option screen of a game just to select controller as the method of playing the game!
Some people use other software to actually configure the keyboards keys to be button on the game pad controller when a game doesnt offer game pad controller support examples of software are Pinnacle game profiler, Xpadder and my fave is Joy2Key as this last one is free and highly configurable (i have even used it for MMOs such as SWTOR and it can be configured to work well in PVP..


Will I have a problem using using Origin or Uplay by my method of playing?
No problem using your method of play with Origin or Uplay as lots of the games on both services have game pad controller support built into the game but again, to log into these services and trigger games to start initially you will want keyboard and mouse to do this (or like me you could use Joy2Key to set up a game pad profile that will do the job of mouse and keyboard - a handy feature of windows is the on screen keyboard in the accessibility/ease of access section which i use so that i can control the mouse using xbox 360 pad and then i just run the onscreen keyboard and i can type etc without have to use an actual PC keyboard connected all the time! Also any origin uplay games that dont feature game pad support, you can just setup Joy2Key to enable you to use gamepad for those game.


Is all this possible? What complications will there be and what else do I need to consider?
Yes it is all possible firstly make sure you get a quad core cpu at least as that coupled with 8/16GB ram and a decent graphics card (150-200 quid) will easily power through those games (for the cpu if you can get an Intel in the K series these allow for decent overclocking which will help alot).
Regarding indie games and not being able to play with game pad as stated before you can use Joy2Key to create a game pad profile for each game and you are just mapping keyboard key presses to the game pad.
As for the steam box i am still testing steamos on a dual core laptop and it is still early days yet as the OS just isnt solid enough yet so in turn steam boxes will be a while off still. Thing is, what most living room pc gamers do already and what you are looking at doing with all these questions is basically a steam box but better - its better as you are custom building your own steam box!

Also as you've probably guessed I have a very basic knowledge on hardware and wouldn't know where to start to build one, so I would preferably need to buy one ready to go. Where do I look? And what do I need?
If you definitely cannot build it yourself i would look at overclockers.co.uk scan.co.uk, novatech.co.uk, ebuyer.co.uk, and other places like that. I have mentioned above roughly what cpu type and ram and graphics card but if you need more specific item help just ask in here and everyone will be sure to give opinions to help you out.

I saw this deal recently posted by mcclunyboy and thought it might do the job but could be wrong. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-i7-16gb-ram-2tb-1-5gb-graphics-538-91-currys_pcworld-1956147?page=2#comments
I wouldnt look to buy a mnaufacturer system as they usually have a locked down BIOS which can limit the overall potential of the hardware inside - your best bet is to look at places like scan and novatech etc and price up some custom pc builds which contain exactly what you are after (you might be thinking well what exactly should i buy partwise but people on here will be sure to suggest exact components to buy and likely they will explain why a bit).


Thanks for reading and for your answers in advance.
Welcome to the PC master race ....haha

Thanks for the detailed answer! :) I didn't even think about menus but I'm relieved to know that this is all manageable. Im going to start looking through some of those sites to find something suitable. I must ask though, what is over clocking?


badasschris
You have lots of answers here but I would personally not bother messing about with mapping controls to a controller most games you will want to play will have controller support.

If your tv has hdmi then get a gfx card with hdmi out as it also sends the sound so you won't have to mess about with 2 cables, if you don't have external speakers/amp then this is especially important as using dvi you will not get sound.

use benchmark sites to get an idea of how different gfx cards compare. It is generally a good diea to spend around £150 on a gfx card to be able to play any current game at good settings.

8gb ram is plenty

ssd is awesome for making your machine feel super fast but will do little for games, I still suggest getting a 120gb ssd for the os but also get a 1tb or so hdd to install all your games on.

get an i5/i7 processor they are extremely powerful and energy efficient.

if there are games you really want to play that don't support a gamepad then consider using keyboard mouse on a tray.

(just noticed you don't want to build yourself - that's fine just use the info provided to get an idea of how different machines compare)

your other option is to get a gaming laptop but it will not be very portable and will cost at least £800

Thanks for the tips, especially about sound through gfx card as I do plan on using hdmi now but I don't have external speakers.





Its clear everyone has different preferences on hardware but the general reaction is clear on what I will need to play the top games. Im going to have a solid search for a machine in the morning.

What is a realistic price to be expected to pay for what I need, comfortably being able to play games at level at least matching but preferably exceeding that of a PS4/Xbox One? I have no idea of the cost of these parts so not going to to whats value for money or ripping me off when looking through for the right machine.


Overclocking is getting components to run faster than set to by the manufacturer to increase the performance.
As an example you buy a regular Intel i7 quad core 3.5GHz CPU it will only ever go as fast as that unless you overclock it and then, this is only if the motherboard allows for such altering (most motherboards that make up a 'shop bought pc' eg dell etc dont allow this. If you self build a pc or if you buy a decent pc from a decent company eg Scan or Novatech and get them to do you a custom build gaming pc then chances are the motherboard will allow in the settings for a slight overclock.

This is where it gets interesting... if you buy an Intel CPU in the K series (just look for the K after the 4 digit model ref eg 3475K) then this means that the CPU is unlocked (it is relating to the FSB but thats getting nerdy so i wont bore you) allowing for a much more efficient overclock and will allow you to push the CPU speed higher than a CPU without a K eg the non K may be able to get to 3.9GHz where the K may be able to get to 4.5GHz.

I have always been a keyboard and mouse gamer for years as i have mainly been a pc gamer but these days some games are actually designed even for the PC with the xbox game pad in mind so while i agree with anyone saying its better using keyboard and mouse sometimes it seems better using the gamepad also... each to their own i guess and these days im open minded to the odd pc game whereby the gamepad is a better experience usage wise than keyboard and mouse setup.

I think you mentioned budget of around £500 i will try and find time to price up a system to consider using scan or novatechs site for you...im thinking it will need to be delivered to you prebuilt from what you said.
#18
macleanie
violentj
EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practiced for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!

lies damn lies:D,ive tried for years to use keyboard and mouse,and since i used to be a console gamer it just feels totally unnatural and i really cannot get used to it-people differ i know ,but you are very similar to how i was a few year ago so you results may vary

Well its good to hear that I can use remapping software if i struggle. Although its nothing to many pc gamers I rely on the controller as its how I've always gamed and is a big deal in changing over. Having been in my situation in the past do you think all this is worth it?
yes without doubt,when everything is running nicely.you get the best looking,easiest modded,free online cheapest version of the game,the latest consoles are essentialy gimped media/gaming pcs anyway,to convince yourself just find a game you really enjoyed on console,and play it on max settings on a pc,ive convinced my best mate to do away with consoles after showing him watchdogs/wolfenstein/outlast on pc/ps4 split screen and dead island riptide on pc/360 -consoles have their place they streamline and simplify everything.

but on the downside,if you get drivers that are misbehaving,or one rouge file it can completely ruin it-example i run crossfire 7950s and fancied a blast on split second-my rig is more than enough to run all games on high at least,but split second doesnt like 2 cards and it can be a mare fixing little niggles like that-especially when on 360 twas just slap it in and play,(was just a case of disabling one card in this instance-10 second fix) on the whole pc gaming it the very top if you can be bothered.with all the added extras of it being a proper pc-xbmc without jailbreak/chipping/ect-same with game modding .with steam big screen,a pad and a decent rig with a long enough hdmi to reach your tv,for all intents and purposes it is the "console"experience
#19
OK, the Novatech experiment...

This build...
http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/novatechblacknti129.html
With no OS = £569.99 inc vat
With Win7 Ult = £719.98

So then, looking at exact parts to self-build I make it...
With no OS = £493.84 inc vat

So the build cost is £76.15

This is just an example build based on the cheapest pre-built gaming Intel+nVidia PC off Novatech website.
Armed with this specs prices knowledge if you were to self-build you would then go off and source each component for the cheapest price using any and all other websites that sell each part to see if you can get the price down even more - that way you have found each component for the absolute cheapest price (don't forget to try and look for free delivery or keep in mind del charges also)

Lets say you did the above and shaved off another £60 off the total self-build cost...
£433.84

Your budget was £500
Total so far is £433.84

You now have £66.16 extra to look at upgrading your components...
My first start would be CPU to a K... this will cause Mobo to need changing possibly also then look at better GPU (eg a 750Ti or 760/770 maybe?) and better RAM (better RAM timings will allow for a faster overclock).

I haven't factored in Windows as a cost on the self-build as you may well have a Win7 license on a current machine which you could use by decommissioning the old machine. Old machines come pre-registered with an OEM Win7 key but the Win7 sticker on the side is for a legit Win7 license which could be used on this build. If you did need to buy Win7 I'd get Pro or ideally Ultimate. Pro can be had for around £50 from various legit places.

And thus concludes the Novatech experiment.

============================================================

Scan experiment

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/configurator/cheap-intel-gaming-pc-next-day-delivery-uk-g30i

Specification

Base Specification
600W Corsair CX, Semi-Modular Bronze Rated PSU £39.18
2 Year Return to Base Warranty (Mainland UK) - 1st Year Parts & Labour, 2nd Year Labour
£47.04 Corsair Carbide 200R, Black, Steel/Plastic, 210x430x497 (WxHxD in mm), 2x USB 3, Headphone & Mic includes Corsair 550W PSU £24.00
£40.57 Asus H81M-PLUS, 2xSATA 6Gbps, 2xSATA 3Gbps, 2xUSB3, 4xUSB2, HDMI, DVI, D-Sub, mATX £29.77
£130.98 Intel Core i5 4460, 3.4GHz Quad Core, 6MB Cache
£70.56 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP - 1600MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.5V £59.76
£81.59 1GB EVGA GTX 750, 1020MHz GPU, 512 Cores, 5012MHz GDDR5 £78.90
£56.54 128GB Sandisk Enterprise X110 - 505MB/s Read, 445MB/s Write, 81K IOPS £46.94
£57.84 2TB Seagate Barracuda, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache
£11.51 Samsung SH-224DB - 24x DVD Reader & Writer
£23.44 Asus USB-N53, 11n Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter - 300Mbps £17.66
£69.68 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, Supports upto 16GB of RAM.
Next Day Delivery - Your value system will be dispatched for next day delivery. 11.99

685.25 inc vat £566.22selfbuild
697.24 inc del £578.21selfbuild inc del

inc win7

Edited By: wellen1981 on Jul 28, 2014 05:12: final
#20
I have a 7950 you can have for 80 quids
banned#21
Alternatively wait for the steam machines.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/
#22
violentj
macleanie
violentj
EllJay420
Learn to use keyboard and mouse for your PC gaming instead of a controller.

I'm telling you now once you've practiced for a few weeks you'll ask yourself why you ever even picked up a controller...

it may feel awkward for a while but once you get the hang of it you'll be laughing at console peasants!

lies damn lies:D,ive tried for years to use keyboard and mouse,and since i used to be a console gamer it just feels totally unnatural and i really cannot get used to it-people differ i know ,but you are very similar to how i was a few year ago so you results may vary

Well its good to hear that I can use remapping software if i struggle. Although its nothing to many pc gamers I rely on the controller as its how I've always gamed and is a big deal in changing over. Having been in my situation in the past do you think all this is worth it?
yes without doubt,when everything is running nicely.you get the best looking,easiest modded,free online cheapest version of the game,the latest consoles are essentialy gimped media/gaming pcs anyway,to convince yourself just find a game you really enjoyed on console,and play it on max settings on a pc,ive convinced my best mate to do away with consoles after showing him watchdogs/wolfenstein/outlast on pc/ps4 split screen and dead island riptide on pc/360 -consoles have their place they streamline and simplify everything.

but on the downside,if you get drivers that are misbehaving,or one rouge file it can completely ruin it-example i run crossfire 7950s and fancied a blast on split second-my rig is more than enough to run all games on high at least,but split second doesnt like 2 cards and it can be a mare fixing little niggles like that-especially when on 360 twas just slap it in and play,(was just a case of disabling one card in this instance-10 second fix) on the whole pc gaming it the very top if you can be bothered.with all the added extras of it being a proper pc-xbmc without jailbreak/chipping/ect-same with game modding .with steam big screen,a pad and a decent rig with a long enough hdmi to reach your tv,for all intents and purposes it is the "console"experience

Im sold! Just got to find the right machine now.


wellen1981
OK, the Novatech experiment...

This build...
http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/novatechblacknti129.html
With no OS = £569.99 inc vat
With Win7 Ult = £719.98

So then, looking at exact parts to self-build I make it...
With no OS = £493.84 inc vat

So the build cost is £76.15

This is just an example build based on the cheapest pre-built gaming Intel+nVidia PC off Novatech website.
Armed with this specs prices knowledge if you were to self-build you would then go off and source each component for the cheapest price using any and all other websites that sell each part to see if you can get the price down even more - that way you have found each component for the absolute cheapest price (don't forget to try and look for free delivery or keep in mind del charges also)

Lets say you did the above and shaved off another £60 off the total self-build cost...
£433.84

Your budget was £500
Total so far is £433.84

You now have £66.16 extra to look at upgrading your components...
My first start would be CPU to a K... this will cause Mobo to need changing possibly also then look at better GPU (eg a 750Ti or 760/770 maybe?) and better RAM (better RAM timings will allow for a faster overclock).

I haven't factored in Windows as a cost on the self-build as you may well have a Win7 license on a current machine which you could use by decommissioning the old machine. Old machines come pre-registered with an OEM Win7 key but the Win7 sticker on the side is for a legit Win7 license which could be used on this build. If you did need to buy Win7 I'd get Pro or ideally Ultimate. Pro can be had for around £50 from various legit places.

And thus concludes the Novatech experiment.

============================================================

Scan experiment

http://3xs.scan.co.uk/configurator/cheap-intel-gaming-pc-next-day-delivery-uk-g30i

Specification

Base Specification
600W Corsair CX, Semi-Modular Bronze Rated PSU £39.18
2 Year Return to Base Warranty (Mainland UK) - 1st Year Parts & Labour, 2nd Year Labour
£47.04 Corsair Carbide 200R, Black, Steel/Plastic, 210x430x497 (WxHxD in mm), 2x USB 3, Headphone & Mic includes Corsair 550W PSU £24.00
£40.57 Asus H81M-PLUS, 2xSATA 6Gbps, 2xSATA 3Gbps, 2xUSB3, 4xUSB2, HDMI, DVI, D-Sub, mATX £29.77
£130.98 Intel Core i5 4460, 3.4GHz Quad Core, 6MB Cache
£70.56 8GB Corsair Vengeance LP - 1600MHz, CAS 9-9-9-24, 1.5V £59.76
£81.59 1GB EVGA GTX 750, 1020MHz GPU, 512 Cores, 5012MHz GDDR5 £78.90
£56.54 128GB Sandisk Enterprise X110 - 505MB/s Read, 445MB/s Write, 81K IOPS £46.94
£57.84 2TB Seagate Barracuda, 7200rpm, 64MB Cache
£11.51 Samsung SH-224DB - 24x DVD Reader & Writer
£23.44 Asus USB-N53, 11n Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter - 300Mbps £17.66
£69.68 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, Supports upto 16GB of RAM.
Next Day Delivery - Your value system will be dispatched for next day delivery. 11.99

685.25 inc vat £566.22selfbuild
697.24 inc del £578.21selfbuild inc del

inc win7

And here it is! Cheers for that bud. I think i now know what I need, I need to search for the cheapest of parts. Pre-Built seems less hassle but with my friend offering to build I can afford to build and save some money.
#23
Musician
Alternatively wait for the steam machines.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamMachines/

Its gone so quiet on that of late, but does look very appealing to myself. Unfortunately it just seems like a gaming rig would be like the better and cheaper option, plus I'm impatient and can't wait until 2015 lol.

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