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Briehn 2 months ago

College student, studying Computer Science. I've been meaning to build a new PC for a while now. My current one is around 5 years old, and has no GPU. I'm a gamer and want to go into streaming as well, but with such an outdated PC, I can't do much However, I also don't have a laptop which isn't that good as a Computer Science major. One of my courses selects one of the two classes we have each week to be a "laptop-heavy" lecture, where during the whole lecture, students use their laptops only.

What should I do? I've saved up around $2,000 for a PC but now that I think about it, maybe a laptop would be better. But I really don't want to stay with this archaic PC for any much longer. The money I've saved up was meant for a new build.

EDIT: I've also always wanted to own a Mac laptop...but I know those are very very costly.

Comments Sorted by:

TheShadowGuy 4 points 2 months ago


Outright bad for gaming/streaming workload. I've known some people who loved programming on their Macs because UNIX-like systems, though.


I see about 3 routes you could go with that budget.

Route 1: Gaming PC+Basic Laptop- You can get a decent rig for $1500ish dollars, and then use the rest on a basic laptop (new, used, doesn't matter).

Route 2: Gaming laptop only- You lose out on battery life and portability, but only have one nice device.

Route 3: Gaming PC+ Chromebook or similar device running Linux- Blow almost all your budget on the PC, and get something like a used business laptop or a new Chromebook for the lectures.

Out of these, I think Route 1 is the best plan. A Ryzen 2600/RX580 8GB or similar build would be easy to fit in that budget, and $500 is about the point where you can find laptops on sale with Ryzen 5 2500u or i5-8250u processors that I would consider quite capable.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor $165.98 @ Newegg
CPU Cooler CRYORIG - M9a 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler $25.00 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte - B450 AORUS ELITE ATX AM4 Motherboard $98.99 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory $114.99 @ Newegg
Storage Samsung - 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $84.99 @ Amazon
Storage Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $59.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card PowerColor - Radeon RX 580 8 GB Video Card $169.99 @ Newegg
Case Phanteks - Eclipse P350X (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $69.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $59.99 @ B&H
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full 32/64-bit $119.99 @ Dell
Monitor LG - 29UM69G-B 29.0" 2560x1080 75 Hz Monitor $199.00 @ B&H
Keyboard Redragon - K552-R KUMARA Wired Gaming Keyboard $35.99 @ Amazon
Mouse Logitech - G203 Prodigy Wired Optical Mouse $27.99 @ Amazon
Other Sennheiser PC37x $120.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1392.78
Mail-in rebates -$40.00
Total $1352.78
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-01-29 17:34 EST-0500

And then laptop example

Ηydr.a 2 points 2 months ago

Why not both? Allocate some money (like $750, for instance) for a laptop, and then some (maybe $1250) for a desktop, and do your work on the laptop and game on the desktop.

You could also just get a really good gaming laptop that takes the place of both.

Can't recommend a Macbook due to the price. It also won't be your best choice for gaming. However, if that is what you are into, go for it. I just personally don't care for the Macbooks.

DaMysteryMan 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

Macs are honestly just overpriced normal laptops, if you like them for their OS then use linux. If not, just get a gaming laptop with windows.

fairtradesloth 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Right...Linux can be configured to be very Mac-like OS wise. I used to be a Mac lover back in college. Nowadays, I can't wrap my head around getting a Mac - overpriced hype that's nowhere near the price/performance of a PC. As someone who's used several variations of Linux, Mac OS and Windows, I greatly prefer Ubuntu specifically to Mac OS (but honestly I prefer Win10 to all of them).