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    Gaming PC - please help

    Guys
    I really need some help as I have just taken over a Cyber Cafe. I want to place 4 of them on the steam program but the PC's are like 2.2ghz celeron woth 256mb graphics cards. The problem I have is whats the cheapest way to upgrade these to capable pc's running some the newer games? My thoughts are as follows but I have no experience in gaming pc's
    AMD 5200 dual core 2.7ghz cpu
    basic motherboard to take above cpu
    keep 256mb / buy 512mb pci graphics cheapest card around
    1gb ram
    would this be over spec? or even under spec, I have very very little money and need a really basic spec to last me for 6 months to see how it goes
    rep for anyone who can help
    thanks

    16 Comments

    You'll need more RAM than 1gb.

    Which games do you have in mind? Don't say Crysis!

    Original Poster

    DVS_Dee;5865811

    Which games do you have in mind? Don't say Crysis!



    hi
    at this stage no idea, just going to see what the most popular games are, I assumed there would be a standard spec for low end but capable gaming pc's but no such luck. Cyber Cafes get access to all games for a monthly fee

    The memory on a graphics card doesn't mean much, you need a sufficient amount but beyond that it doesn't determine performance. It's the chip that's all important, the 'Geforce 7600GT' bit.

    Likewise with the celeron, just telling us it's a celeron and 2.2Ghz doesn't give us any idea of it's performance. If it's an ancient 7 year old 2.2Ghz Northwood Celeron C it'll be completely useless, but if it's a Dual-Core Celeron E1500 then it's probably fairly decent.

    How much are you looking to spend? Something like an Athlon II X2 250 with 2 or 4GB of memory (depending on which version of vista you're using and how much else you have running) and a Radeon 4770 is a good basic gaming PC and about the best value for money currently availible. If you go too cheap you get worse value for money when it comes to gaming as you'll find the performance is half as good but you've only saved 25%.

    If you want to be competitive for a gaming PC you are looking at 2gb RAM and a 9800+ gfx card as a bare minimum.

    Leave the celerys for surfing and invest in some new rigs.

    A good question which I think everyone has missed is what wattage is the Power supply? May need to replace them if you will be looking to beef up the machines.

    Original Poster

    hi
    the power supplies are standard 300w, the cpu's are older celeron.
    i am thinking of buying a few of ebay. they have the dell sff for about £90 delivered which are P4's 3ghz, do you know if they would be any good and can i get a graphics card to fit?

    thanks

    You can run a cyber cafe and not offer gaming PCs - but if you want to advertise for gaming you will need a lot more than an upgraded P4. Phenom2 x3/x4 or Intel i7 based should set you back around £600-£800 for the base and maybe another £150 for a gfx card.

    Original Poster

    ok
    let me try this one, i need to know if this would be any good?
    dual core celeron 2.2ghz cpu and board? with 2gb ram?
    would this do me for now? it needs only to play the games from steam and i have a really small budget, if this would be ok for now then i would look at "proper" gmaing pc's in 6 months. whats the best minimal chepest grfx card could i get away with?

    I understand I need proper gaming pc's but for now I just need something cheap !!!

    thanks for all your help

    Original Poster

    I have just seen this on ebay. Would this really do it for £215?
    thanks

    just noticed it says an extra £59.99 for an ati radeon 460 graphics card

    does any one know if the radeon 9550 cards are any good?

    are you sure gaming PCs are even required for your current business model?

    dcx_badass;5969219

    TBH I7 is still a bit overkill a decent core 2 quad would be fine and … TBH I7 is still a bit overkill a decent core 2 quad would be fine and will be alot cheaper.



    True, the gfx card(s) is much more important than the cpu anyway - as you say though if you want ppl to pay by the hour for a "gaming" rig it has to be better than they can afford at home.

    gdp-it;5971850

    I have just seen this on ebay. Would this really do it for … I have just seen this on ebay. Would this really do it for £215?thanksjust noticed it says an extra £59.99 for an ati radeon 460 graphics carddoes any one know if the radeon 9550 cards are any good?



    gdp-it;5866024

    hiat this stage no idea, just going to see what the most popular games … hiat this stage no idea, just going to see what the most popular games are, I assumed there would be a standard spec for low end but capable gaming pc's but no such luck. Cyber Cafes get access to all games for a monthly fee



    I don't want to sound harsh or anything, but If you have to ask whether a Radeon 9550 is any good and don't even seem to have any idea of what games you want to run, I think you'd be wise to either have a serious rethink of your business strategy, or to give up on this one now. It's going to require a fairly substancial investment to get in to running a decent gaming LAN, and if you aren't already an enthusiast and since you don't seem to be especially capable of figuring or finding things out for yourself (I mean, it really doesn't take a genius to google for the Radeon 9550 and spot the bit where it says that it came out in 2004), I just don't see how you can really be sucessful at this. Unless you want us to spoon-feed you absolutely everything, in which case, do we get a cut?

    Leave it alone for the 6 months and get some cash together, but most importantly actually learn about the business your getting into.

    You dont have any idea about the gaming side, and so likely whatever you do is going to fail anyway, especially with low-end "gaming" pc's.
    You basically cant upgrade what you have, you need to build new pc's and likely add in decent monitors.
    Looking at the gaming market, you need to set up some sort of LAN gaming, where mates and people in clans can come play together, you'd make quite a bit of cash, but you need to spend it first or simply put it just wont work. LAN gaming on 4 pc's aint gonna work, would get 2v2 at most which people arent going to pay for.

    LAN is the way to go, people arent going to come pay money to play games online, they can sit at home and spend money on pc upgrades and play online themselves anyway.

    What you have wont cut it, and a cheap way just isnt possible, the PC's you have cant get upgraded.
    You mentioned Dell pc's you can get with P4 3.0Ghz, i have a 3.4 and can get it up to 3.8/3.9Ghz overclocking and even then, i notice the rubbishness with some newer things.
    And if you have Gaming PC's with Dell on them, people are going to walk by laughing = No money and bad reputation.

    I would personally advise you to abandon this idea all together..

    Friend of mine was going to go into the cyber cafe / gaming cafe business.. Had quite a bit of cash behind him for the initial setup. I was of the opinion that it wasn't a good idea - so did some research for him to try and discourage him a bit. Setup costs etc, the process of obtaining licenses etc. I spoke to quite a few owners of cyber / gaming cafes, asked them bluntly on how well they thought they were doing.

    The ones who were forthcoming all said it made little to no money and was more of a lifestyle business (they really enjoyed doing it), the only one who said he did actually make a healthy profit (nothing spectacular though). Said it was mainly down to the popularity of the sandwichs / food that was on sale during lunch.

    I'd really think long and hard before you drive anymore money into this, do some more research.

    I also think that the cyber cafe market itself is dieing off, even in larger cities. This is mainly due to how cheap / popular laptops and netbooks have gotten and that pretty much every big chain coffee shop has free wifi. Not to mention that 3G dongles / laptops with them built in will become more of a standard in years to come, with everyone wanting to stay constantly connected. I can't imagine that in 5-10 years cyber cafes will exsist, maybe a couple of niche gaming centres will survive.. But that's a big maybe.

    Then you've got to ask yourself - how healthy is the PC gaming market really.. Especially the demograph you're aiming at.. With more developers dropping the PC platform in favour of console due to privacy / sales, it's hardly like it was 6-8 years ago.

    Original Poster

    thanks for all the comments.
    the centre is already running lan parties with the older games and has been doing so for more than 10 years with 16 pc's. The idea of using the Steam/Valve program seemed ideal but for now the cost is going to be way too much so I will wait for a time. We are in a tourist town and the cafe does very well all year round but i wanted to get the local kids in more as they are always asking about gaming, we already have xbox consoles and we we run weekly tournaments. The internet cafe market is definately still there but only in tourist area's, local ones in the cities and towns are closing down all the time but we are secure for now.
    I do not have a clue about gaming hence my questions and was hoping for some helpful advice which some of it has been so thanks again.
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