1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Low cost PC for Civ 5 in 2014

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by GL12, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. GL12

    GL12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Hey all,

    First time poster here. My Granddad has been visiting and playing Civ 5 a lot on my PC this summer. He likes it and I wonder what it would take to set him up with a desktop PC that will play Civ 5 when he goes home. I'd be willing to spend $300-400 to get him a decent rig (refurbished) that will play the game for his birthday.

    I see the recommended specs and my question is do you know of any system out there that will meet the specs in this price range. I have trouble just searching around to know if something will work or not in that price range. I see a lot of discussion about minimum specs and graphics cards for civ 5 in 2010 but not much based on current prices.

    If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks!
     
  2. fallout3dc

    fallout3dc Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    289
    How about a dell optiplex 755 tower with HD Radeon Sapphire 7750 low profile graphics card and a 350 cooler?
     
  3. fallout3dc

    fallout3dc Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    289
    switch the 350 with 400. That is 200 for the pc, 100 for the graphics, and 40 for the cooler.
     
  4. GL12

    GL12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Great, thanks for the suggestion. Does it matter that its Core2 Duo instead of Quad core?
     
  5. GL12

    GL12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Also, I assume the "400 cooler" is the power supply? Or is it a fan? And I'll have to install it myself, which I am not afraid to do as long as it is easy. :) Do you have any suggestions for what to get and how to purchase that as a separate item? Thanks!
     
  6. Walter E Kurtz

    Walter E Kurtz Warlord

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    The $ 300 / 400 should cover everything including monitor?
     
  7. aprince

    aprince Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    I use to play it a lot on a toshiba laptop when i traveled about years ago.

    Its an I3 2.10 ghz 4 gb ram, intel 3000 hd. it seemed to run fine compared to my gaming desktop - i didnt max all the graphics though.

    the laptop is 4-5 yrs old and im sure can be found refurbished or used for well under 400 since it cost me around 500 back in 09-10.

    i actually just saw it on ebay starting at 100 bucks and most of them are priced 150-280. its a decent laptop that can handle various games and if you are looking for something cheap that can just run civ 5 - it does.

    some games i use to play on it that i can remember with modified graphic settings of course.

    resident evil 4/5
    darksiders
    star craft 2
    oblivion
    the witcher
    batman arkham asylum and city
    sim city 4
    cities xl
    civ 4/5
    fifa
    madden 08
    call of duty black ops

    etc

    it wouldnt run GTA IV
    and one of the Mortal Kombats had issues
     
  8. aprince

    aprince Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    i just remembered that it would lag if i had lots of city states and civs on a huge map.
    but i do recall playing standard/large/huge maps and modifying how many civs and city states there were

    im sure more ram would help some, but i never added more ram to my laptop since i had a gaming rig at home
     
  9. tokala

    tokala Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,739
    Location:
    Klein Texas, Germany
    Not at all.

    You should look for a dual core with reasonably high clockspeed and 4GB RAM.
    If you manage to find one in a not-SFF sized case you will be even able to use full-size video cards, and those usually have a more powerful PSU, too.

    One example ($215, 1year warranty):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883250116

    Those have a ~300W PSU, which will be more than enough for any conceivable video card that would be an option for you.

    Sensible choices for the video card would be AMD HD 7750/77/90, R7 250(X) or nVidia GTX 650 (Ti) and 750.
    All those card should be good enough to run Civ5 at or close to max settings.
    I would recommend a 750, it's the most modern and efficient of that bunch, e.g ($110):
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDG3NDY/?tag=pcpapi-20
    The most reasonable choice below $100 would be a R7 250 GDDR5, if you can get one for $70-80

    SFF systems usually have a 180W PSU, but even that would be enough for the HD 7750 that was already suggested.
    The only sensible card for a SFF system would be a low profile 7750 ($100):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161418&cm_re=7750-_-14-161-418-_-Product
     
  10. fallout3dc

    fallout3dc Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    289
    yeah 300 power supply, my bad. And the monitor is probably another 50 bucks or so. Never use laptops as gaming computers btw. They not only are more expensive for slower cores and worse graphics, but they also burn through all of that power when playing games within about 4 hours, so you lose the only benefit of it being a laptop, so IMO a gaming laptop is never the way to go.
     
  11. Pengui6668

    Pengui6668 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    50
    craigslist is your best friend.

    a few years ago I got a brand new computer with premium parts for like 450. The parts may have fallen off the truck, but hey, that's none of my business.
     
  12. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,911
    I would consider building a PC rather than buying a pre-built or even refurbished.

    This website is a super handy guide, I used it to build a new rig a couple months ago: http://www.logicalincrements.com/

    It has tiers for each price range that if you buy those parts, they are guaranteed to all fit together. Pretty handy.

    I think the "entry" level tier should fit your budget and be able to run Civ 5, maybe not huge maps though :)
     
  13. notyourtypical

    notyourtypical Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    If you feel you can build him one, that will be cheapest, but you will be on the hook for supplying the OS and all support. There's no need for discrete graphics, a $70 AMD A6 would do fine in Civ V.

    Alternatively, here's a cheap laptop that would play the game pretty well for $320. Buy a mouse and your golden, plus there's a warranty and a box, which means things don't fall on you if a part breaks.

    http://shop.amd.com/us/All/Detail/Notebook/Q4E0L61UA!23ABA?SearchFacets=category:Notebook
     
  14. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,911
    You might be right about not needing a dedicated graphics card, I'm not sure, I've never played without one. But in general, there is no way to get the same performance per dollar in a laptop compared to building a desktop.

    OS is like $50 bucks and support is kinda worthless anyway. And the individual components generally come with their own warranties.
     
  15. notyourtypical

    notyourtypical Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    There really is no need for discrete GPUs. I play this game on a 320m, and it's bearable. The laptop I linked has 3x the GPU performance. It's fine. And honestly, the more I think about it, I would just by a laptop and be done with it. It's hard to beat the cost, really. I suppose I could build a mini-itx with the same specs for around $250, but then you are on the hook for everything. And you'll still need a display. Not sure it's worth it.
     
  16. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    5,376
    Any pc that meets with the minimum requirements could be cheaper. ...
     
  17. Waywocket

    Waywocket Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    142
    As a general rule if thumb, I'd strongly recommend focussing most of your budget on raw CPU power for Civ V. Graphical settings can always be turned down, and will probably not be the bottleneck anyway unless you're trying to run on very high settings or at very high resolutions with integrated graphics. CPU power on the other hand is what decides the turn times, and that's the major performance annoyance with the game in my experience.

    I spent some time profiling when G+K came out to see if I could understand why it was so much slower on my brand new computer than vanilla was on my far older one; I never did figure that out, but in the process I got a reasonably good handle on what the factors were that affected it.
    Having more than two cores is unnecessary. The game is multithreaded, however the grand majority of the CPU work is performed in one thread, with the others at a few percent. In fact, I timed turn times with Windows set to allow the game to use 1, 2, 3, and all 4 cores - restricting to one core did cause some slowdown, but there was no benefit at all to going beyond two (IIRC it actually got slightly slower).
     
  18. GL12

    GL12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Thanks everyone, this is exactly the kind of information I need from the experts who have familiarity with what it takes to run the game. The last thing I want to do is buy a system for the purpose of playing Civ and find that it is bottlenecked somewhere.

    He has a monitor so that is not part of the cost. I don't really want to build a rig myself, although I have no problem with popping the cover to install more memory or a graphics card. I was assuming I'd get more performance for the desktop and don't think he cares about portability (he has a Steam account), but I will look at the laptop too and compare them.

    It's the only game he plays, he doesn't play any shooters or games that require higher end graphics. Still I want the game to look pretty so I don't want to just go with the min specs. Plus he will probably have it for another 5 years so I don't want to be too gimped.

    Poor guy's current PC is like 10 years old and runs Win XP. This will be a major upgrade for him!
     
  19. GL12

    GL12 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Ok what do you all think about this:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/21550787?...49899990&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=40024338790&veh=sem

    What kind of graphics card will go in there? One person suggested this, will it fit?

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IDG3NDY/?tag=pcpapi-20

    Also, should I get a new fan as suggested, like this?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...99033&ef_id=U6OsUQAAAYSlwaaq:20140709012646:s

    I've never installed a fan before but assume it's pretty straightforward.

    Let me know if you have any other suggestions and thank you!
     
  20. dragonxxx

    dragonxxx King

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Messages:
    829
    If you wish to cut down the cost, start with the OS. CIV5 is available for linux, so you don't really need to pay for windows ...

    Also you can check for some deals at ebay - look for serious sellers (but preferably not professional) with 100% selling feedback. You can get a lot more for your money than what you would get if you buy a refurbished computer from some random shop.
     

Share This Page