Explain like i'm an idiot: Computers

Im just at a total loss.

No matter how hard i try, i just dont understand the concept of computer performance.

You can apparently pay about $800 and get a computer that CANT even run CS:GO at minimal settings, or pay $500 and get a 4K Gaming pc.

I understand RAM, GHz, GPU, and all that stuff, but i cant seem to make any connections on what they TRULY mean for performance.

For example, I saw a “gaming PC” for over $1,000 on Best Buy, and when i looked at its specs, it is WORSE than my PC. If it is worse, then how come my PC doesn’t do gaming well? (Straight out the box, BTW)

This topic is important to me, because i stressed for MONTHS about what computer to get for music production, and i THOUGHT i got the best one. It is a HP Envy, with 12GB of RAM, and 3.4 GHZ Muti-core processors, and it is built SPECIFICALLY for audio. Yet i have a hard time running 8 tracks of audio at the same time in my music soft ware.

Why doesn’t PC performance work simply? Why do the specs not seem to matter sometimes? (or lie?)

And WHY THE **** Do prices NEVER reflect ACTUAL performance?

This entire subject just gives me a headache.

(Especially during PC versus Console debates. Supposedly, you can build your own simple computer for $500, and have flawless 1080p 60FPS gaming that runs better than an Xbox One, yet i see people complain ALL THE TIME that their super-expensive super-computers cant run certain games. [Like KI, for example. Just look at all the PC issue threads.])

There are MANY other issues that i dont understand, but im sure they will come out in the thread as i ask questions, or am asked questions.

If you go to Best Buy to get a gaming Pc,you are going to the wrong place. They will rip you off. Just make your own or something. How? I have no idea. I just heard it was cheaper.

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I just looked at the Corsair Bulldog 4K Gaming system, and it is apparently only $500. Or maybe a little more when the “complete kit” option is released.

How is this possible? Could it be true that Best Buy would sell computers for over 3x their worth? Are there any reliable websites to get good computers at a REAL price?


I was searching for some answers myself, and i found this video!

This guy builds a PC for

And seems to have better performance than mine!
In the end he says it is “sluggish when navigating the OS” but it works almost the same as my PC!
He also says it can run 1080p video. My PC can do this, but Youtube doesnt “auto” to 1080p, so apparently my PC cant do it too easily.

What the ACTUAL ****?

I really hope some smart people can hop in this thread and help me figure some stuff out, or im going to go CRAZY.

One second, it seems that decent performance costs over $1,000.

The next second, $140 gets you a better PC than MOST people have.


One thing, and one thing only for a gaming PC…

The graphics card.

That’s what you pay for in a console. The most expensive part in it.

A good graphics card is like, a console to stick into your PC.

It’s the most common bottleneck when games are running slowly.

The reason most PCs don’t have a good graphics card is because the good ones are expensive.

Not only that, a PC’s graphics card has to be better than the one in a console to perform similarly, because the console doesn’t have to deal with all the other miscellaneous background programs that run on a PC.

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That is all. It gives you a breakdown of parts that you can look up individually to get a better grasp of what works and what doesn’t. I’m no super wiz on computers, but building a mock computer helped me build a real one.

Hope that helps.

You should look at reviews and perfomance comparisons and know what kind of performance you prefer. For gaming, as Vegan stated, it’s mostly the graphics card that matters. Core i7 CPU is pretty common and standard these days. 12 GB of RAM is nice, shoud be more than enough for gaming. Next, you might want a 256GB SSD drive, for your Windows installation and games that have a lot of loading times. You also want a 600W (or preferably, 750W) power supply. It’s a thing to look out for if you are building you own system, should be standard if you order a complete system. 500W is not sufficient for an average gaming system.

That’s basically the core of what you should be looking for. And more expensive is not always faster, indeed.

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I’d never buy that.