The Budget Gamer’s Life

Gaming on a budget is a staple of my life, but it’s been thrust in my face a bit more prominently over the past few weeks.  The problem, you won’t be shocked to learn, is my computer.  Now, I like using gaming laptops.  I know, I know; the graphics options aren’t as powerful; the processors aren’t as good.  I can’t help it; I like being mobile and not tied to a desk chair that inevitably leaves my back and legs in pain.  On top of that, I have limited space and can’t add a desktop computer to it right now.

My current rig is a normal laptop with a decent processor and graphics card; it serves me well on Guild Wars, where my settings can go to high without any stuttering or lag.  On Guild Wars 2 … not so much.  I live with low settings with the machine plugged in whenever I play, and this is fine for now.  Lately, though, I’ve been trying out different games and keep running into major FPS and rendering problems (really, really bad), even on games I’m supposed to be able to run.  I don’t even want to chance trying the ones on which I fail specs.

After searching for advice from the GW2 community, I found Xotic PC as being a place for more affordable and better machines than, say, Alienware.  Option #2 is building my own machine.  The last time I looked into this, parts pricing was high and the process a bit overwhelming.  This time, though, I have an older laptop that I can gut to salvage the chassis, so this is now a more viable second option.  My plan, then, is to start researching what this might cost and entail, and see if I can build my own machine, to my own happy criteria, at a price that’ll beat something I can buy (with holiday sales coming soon too!).  I’ll keep you posted!

~ Sandra


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