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Forums Other London life Gaming computers in London?

  • Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,299 posts

    My son is looking for a ‘proper’ gaming PC system – the sort that comes with lots of flashing lights in black cases.

    Oddly I am struggling to find someone in London with a lot of these for sale. I know that they are usually made on spec but I can’t believe that no-one has a large number of pre-built ones available that would allow you to check out monitor quality, keyboard quality etc in person. Epsilon / Razer on Tottenham Court Road / Charing Cross Road are small. Oddly Harrods has the biggest selection I’ve found but they are real cutting edge machines in the £3-4k line. Currys on Kensington High Street has virtually nothing, same with Selfridges.

    Anything I’ve missed?

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,244 posts

    Kids these days eh?

    I remember when ‘Simon’ was regarded as THE high tech game!

    Richie 1,032 posts

    It’s a difficult one, a google maps search may throw up a specialist in zone 2 or 3 where shop rents are cheaper.

    Richie 1,032 posts

    John Lewis may have some in their retail park stores.

    BLT 53 posts

    I would suggest buying the actual PC tower online (see hotukdeals – there are some very knowledgable people on there) and then check out the monitors/ keyboard/ mouse locally (again loads of info on the deals site, but won’t help with in person testing them out. Should cost less then buying a package and most likely end up with a better system.

    TooPoorToBeHere 267 posts

    +1 for HUKD.

    You’re going to end up with something from an online retailer like Scam or CCL, if you don’t want to overpay.

    KevinC 78 posts

    Have you tried the big Currys that used to be PC World at the top of Tottenham Court Road by Warren Street?

    ewanewa 8 posts

    Not entirely sure how useful this will be given the age of the information, but:

    When I got my computer back in 2019 – from Scan – it was about £1.5k and almost top of the line, though admittedly the motherboard did (does) not allow for overclocking. I bought a 32in 4k monitor a year later for around £250 from Amazon & am not too fussy with peripherals so stuck with whatever I had lying around. Given inflation and price gouging I would be stunned if it cost anything less than ~£2.5k these days.

    Depending on the types of games he plays you might not need high-end everything. Reddit and the LTT forums are the two places that come to mind for that kind of information.

    Currys/John Lewis have always had a reasonably good selection of monitors on display, from what I can remember. JL’s Oxford Street and Stratford City stores seem to have a slightly larger electronics selection than, say, White City, though that could be my own perception more than any sort of fact. For what it’s worth, I read online reviews for the monitor and just bought the one that seemed the most reasonable. I’ve not had a bad thing to say about it since.

    As for keyboards and mice, I wish you the best…

    Jasdev 51 posts

    Dell-owned Alienware was the heaviest advertiser back when I cared about computer games. I can’t imagine they are good value for money but at least you will get the bells, the whistles, the flashing lights, backed up with customer service of a Dell subsidiary.

    But I think that, now and back then, most people would put their own gaming PCs together at a fraction of the cost as it is relatively straightforward to do, notwithstanding the periodic “Oh shit did I just bork that component???” moment.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    We were very lucky that a techy colleague of my OH built my son a gaming PC at cost but I do know another teenager who buys his own components from Amazon and builds his own computers. It’s worth asking around if anyone you know does this as it obviously works out a whole lot less expensive!

    PeteM 765 posts

    All our gaming PCs come from AWD – https://www.awd-it.co.uk/

    You obviously can’t go and touch/try them, but after much research we’ve settled on them. They are similar to CCL and Scan mentioned above.

    Bill 179 posts

    have a look at https://www.costco.co.uk/search?text=Gaming%20Desktops or in their warehouse.

    i dont think you need to be a member to buy online – but you do need to be a member to buy in the warehouse.

    i’ve got a membership card if you need it in order to place an online order. but i dont think it’s a requiremnt.

    Aston100 1,445 posts

    Normally I’d agree with those who suggest looking on HUKD for deals posted by the ‘build it yourself’ mafia.
    However, if money isn’t really a factor then I’d recommend getting something from Alienware (Dell) for peace of mind.

    Aston100 1,445 posts

    i dont think you need to be a member to buy online – but you do need to be a member to buy in the warehouse.

    You need an online membership to make that kind of purchase.
    Was £15 last time I checked

    Guernsey Globetrotter 610 posts

    If you really want to go walk in & buy pre-built with lots of LEDs then Razer works – they don’t have lots of stuff because they have a pretty simple line of products. You just have to accept it’ll be more expensive than the equivalent online custom build … they’re easily upgradeable at least, giving some future proofing, unlike some proprietary systems (looking at you Alienware). Their monitor options look a bit expensive but I’m only looking online so ymmv

    Bill_B 90 posts

    It looks like House of Computers on Tottenham Court road has got good reviews but as small specialist store, they might not have the biggest selection of “off the shelf” PCs. I think you will probably want to check what kinds of games your son is playing. If it’s for esports titles like Fortnite, he won’t need a super powerful PC. If it’s for modern singleplayer games releasing on the PS5/ Xbox Series X, he will need a decent graphics card and CPU.

    The latest console games are very poorly optimised on PC, so for the CPU you will want at least an Intel Core i5/i7 12xxx/13xx (12/13th generation) or an AMD 5600X/5700X/5800X. For the graphics card I would go with Nvidia and the Geforce 3060 as minimum, which is roughly current console level performance. Or the recently released 4070 would be about double as powerful as the current consoles.

    For the monitor, the current “sweet spot” is 27″ at a resolution of 1440p (2560 x 1440). You can go with 4K, but it will take a very powerful PC to drive. Every monitor comes with a different set of compromises depending on the panel type. But you can find some recommendations here: https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/best/monitors#recommendation_273038

    Personally, I would buy the keyboard/mouse separately online as they are easy to return if your son doesn’t like them. But there is also a Razer store in London which has a bunch of mice you can try out.

    I am a current PC gamer who built my own PC, so I can answer more detailed questions if you need.

    Dr Tom 19 posts

    It’s basically a buy for delivery market. There’s really not much to look at in a store. It all comes down to specs and the tower will be hidden under a desk.

    When I realised the pandemic was about to set in, I purchased a gaming machine from CCL, for work rather than gaming, but the video card is useful was various video editing and graphics task. Still going strong and I received the PC quickly. So all worked for me. There’s really not much to compare at around the £1K mark.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    Could it be worth a trip to Tokyp or Osaka? I would suspect this stuff is really big there

    dundj 94 posts

    Might sound daft, unless you are wanting to see it in person first, but using Overclockers or Box online. They both have many pre-built, including branded, gaming desktops and generally have excellent offers.

    Plus, from a point collection view, are on the BA e-store.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,299 posts

    Thanks all, appreciate the feedback. I think my concern is that I’m paying but don’t really know what I’m buying, and my son is happy to churn out specs without (I guess) having a full understanding of what they mean – but perhaps I underestimate his 12 year old brain!

    My wife has now come out against the entire project so let’s see ……!

    Rui N. 858 posts

    Share the specs of what you’re looking at here and we might be able to help

    can2 570 posts

    I am out of the gaming world for two decades and my kid is small.
    So, risking of sounding like a goof:
    Why would one prefer a gaming PC to a console?

    Bill_B 90 posts

    I am out of the gaming world for two decades and my kid is small.
    So, risking of sounding like a goof:
    Why would one prefer a gaming PC to a console?

    1.) Video games are cheaper on PC and you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to play online.
    2.) A mouse provides better precision than a game controller.
    3.) With a more powerful PC you can enable better graphical effects.
    4.) PCs can use game modifications (“mods”) made by users to add new content, where as most console games can’t be modified.
    5.) PCs can be upgraded over time as more powerful hardware comes out.

    JDB 4,629 posts

    @Rob – full marks to your wife. We consider ourselves lucky to have brought up children when Gameboys were about the extent of that sort of thing and we managed to avoid those.

    Having talked to many parents and children of family members and friends and observed how their children developed, gaming seems often to have incredibly negative effects. It is clearly very addictive/compulsive and can consume a totally disproportionate amount of children’s time (at the expense of study/education) as well as giving them a totally warped view of life reinforcing many stereotypes as well as gratuitous violence and misogyny. One of the worst aspects is children totally losing their ability to communicate or socialise with adults/ peer non gamers way beyond normal teenage awkwardness, something many don’t recover from and place themselves at a massive disadvantage in the job market. The ridiculous cost of gaming systems is the least of the issues. Keeping teenagers busy/active, motivated/engaged and sociable seems perhaps rather old fashioned vs delegating parenting to a screen but pays massive long term dividends for parents and children.

    Bill_B 90 posts

    @Rob – full marks to your wife. We consider ourselves lucky to have brought up children when Gameboys were about the extent of that sort of thing and we managed to avoid those.

    Having talked to many parents and children of family members and friends and observed how their children developed, gaming seems often to have incredibly negative effects. It is clearly very addictive/compulsive and can consume a totally disproportionate amount of children’s time (at the expense of study/education) as well as giving them a totally warped view of life reinforcing many stereotypes as well as gratuitous violence and misogyny. One of the worst aspects is children totally losing their ability to communicate or socialise with adults/ peer non gamers way beyond normal teenage awkwardness, something many don’t recover from and place themselves at a massive disadvantage in the job market. The ridiculous cost of gaming systems is the least of the issues. Keeping teenagers busy/active, motivated/engaged and sociable seems perhaps rather old fashioned vs delegating parenting to a screen but pays massive long term dividends for parents and children.

    In excess, playing video games can lead to the effects you describe, but every individual is different, and it is up to the parents to set sensible limits and monitor playing time. Studies indicate that video games can improve cognitive function (eg. memory and spatial reasoning), and video game communities provide the opportunity to make new friends and social connections. (They also provide an outlet for creativity and for developing technical skills.)

    Escapism may mean trying to ignore or deny loneliness, anxiety or insecurity (“games as distraction”) or can be an avenue through which these feelings can be explored safely (“games as therapy”). So I don’t think the relationship between gaming and mental health is straightforwardly bad or good. Ultimately each person needs the help and support to regulate their feelings without destructive coping mechanisms such as denial or avoidance. I believe that with such help individuals can balance gaming with other pursuits and lead healthy and varied lives.

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