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Pre-built gaming PC gift guide for 2021 – Dot Esports

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PC gaming for every budget.
Finding the best gaming gifts can be a stressful, tedious task, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of going through the guesswork of picking out a selection of games, peripherals, and software to gift to the gamer on the list, go straight to the source with one of the top 10 best pre-built gaming PCs on the market. 
Pre-built gaming PCs are not only a lifesaver for those who can’t build a PC from scratch, but they can also be a cheaper alternative to custom builds, thanks to the unfortunate GPU prices. That said, the pre-built PC market is rife with overpriced junk and poorly made rigs. For the gaming PC with the right power for your budget, here’s a list of quality pre-builts. 
Where expenses and computing power start reaching their peak.
Asus’ ROG Strix GA15DK has some incredible upsides that are hard to ignore, but it also has its share of pitfalls.
The GA15DK features a Ryzen 7 5800X alongside an RTX 3070. These two extraordinarily powerful components are enough to run any game in existence at high settings above 60fps. It also features 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, which is complemented by a terabyte HDD.  
The bad is found when checking out how the GA15DK cuts corners to reduce cost. Admittedly, it is rare to see a pre-built PC with this much power under $2,000, but the case it comes with has a reputation for having poor airflow. On top of that, the CPU air cooler is suitable for gaming but isn’t recommended for anyone who plans on overclocking their CPU. 
The Chromos Gaming PC is almost identical in performance to the GA15DK, but with some minor adjustments. Both PCs feature the same GPU, but the Chromos features a slightly weaker CPU in the form of the Ryzen 5 5600X. 
Skytech’s Chromos also features 16GB of DDR4 RAM on top of a terabyte M.2 storage device, which can be slightly more enticing than sharing storage between an SSD and HDD. Between the RGB fans that provide the case with various colors and the marginally better airflow within the case, the Chromos is an ideal high-end option for those who don’t feel like upgrading any components after booting up. 
The Omen 30L succeeds in providing some of the most powerful components on the market, but it cuts corners in its included storage devices. With an RTX 3080 GPU and an i9-10850k CPU complemented by 32GB of DDR4 RAM, it would take a bit of searching, and a ton of cash, to come up with anything better than this pre-built PC in terms of gaming power. This Omen PC will run any game at any settings at high frame rates.
Anyone who purchases the Omen 30L will need to keep on the storage devices, though. The 2TB of storage is a great amount that will suffice most gamers’ storage needs. But those 2TB drives are contained in HDD format, not an SSD. This means the data on that hard drive will read slowly and die with the hard drive in three to five years. Aside from that issue, the Omen 30L is a beast of a machine and will tackle any game, any time.
Mid-range pre-builts make up the bulk of what many gamers use today and represent a solid price-to-performance ratio that creates an enjoyable gaming experience from day one. Going with a mid-range pre-built also adds additional future-proofing through the use of higher quality products in comparison to budget builds.  
A Ryzen 5 3600 and an Nvidia GTX 1660 make up the bulk of the price on this particular pre-built. GPU prices are high at the moment, so any option for a shopper to grab a decent pre-built PC with a competitive GPU at a reasonable price should be considered thoroughly. 
With a 500GB SSD and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, this particular pre-built gaming PC will run games like League of Legends and Fortnite at well over 60fps. And with some careful storage management, can be left by itself without needing any additional upgrades for some time to come.
For those looking to acquire a strong mid-tier gaming PC while also keeping their budget within reason, CyberpowerPC’s Gamer Xtreme pre-built PC offers a reasonable CPU in the i5-10400f alongside a GeForce GTX 1660 Super. These specs will handle every game contemporary title to varying efficacy, but the included 8GB of DDR4 RAM will prove lacking in some scenarios.
Coming by a solid GPU is an expensive, and sometimes impossible, task these days. This PC features a GTX 3060, an i5 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. Although dipping into the pricier range, this pre-built’s GPU is a strong performer in the gaming world today and will future-proof the recipient’s gaming needs for the next three to five years. 
Among all of the SkyTech pre-built PCs, the Archangel 3.0 is likely the most cost-efficient before stepping out into the high-end PC range, where $100 only gets you a marginal increase in performance. Similar to the Blaze II, the Archangel comes equipped with a Ryzen 5 3600. The Archangel gets an upgrade in the form of an RTX 3060 on top of 16GB of DDR4 RAM. 
If the gamer in your life is looking to play all of the contemporary AAA titles available at mid to high settings, the Archangel 3.0 will work perfectly. 
If the gamer in your life is keen on playing popular esports titles, such as CS:GO, Fortnite, or League of Legends, then a budget prebuilt gaming PC is not only the cheapest option available but also has the computing power necessary to handle modest gaming. These PCs are base platforms that lend themselves to those who are building a budget for future upgrading.
First on the budget entry is a prebuilt gaming PC that functions well for the gamer who’s new to PC gaming. This MXZ pre-built comes equipped with a Ryzen 3 3200G and 8GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3,200MHz. For the games that run the esports community, such as League of Legends, these specs are more than powerful enough to maintain 30 to 60 frames per second (fps). 
As a cherry on top, this rig is primed for upgrading since the Ryzen 3 3200G takes the need for a dedicated GPU out of the equation. Stick any half-decent GPU in at a later date for increased performance. 
To call the Aspire strictly a gaming PC would be disingenuous. The i3-9100 functions similarly to the MXZ’s Ryzen 3 3200G, except that its onboard graphics are marginally less powerful. This means that the Acer Aspire will get worse performance than the MXZ entry, but will benefit more from a dedicated GPU upgrade in the future. In short, the Aspire is less gaming than media browsing, but can still do both on a thin budget until upgrading is within the budget.
The Aspire functions well as a generalist’s computer and will still run all common esports titles above 30fps with some lowering of the graphics settings. The Acer Aspire also features a 512GB SSD, which not only provides a decent chunk of storage but will last its user for around seven years.  
With a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU, a GeForce 730 dedicated GPU, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, this iBUYPOWER gaming PC is easily the most powerful budget PC on this list. This budget iBUYPOWER rig will not only tackle most popular esport titles with ease, but it can even handle more graphically intensive games, such as Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3, at 30 to 60fps. 
The iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC comes with RGB fans, which give a colorful aesthetic that may only appeal to certain gamers. On top of the polarizing design, its storage is down to only one 240GB SSD, which may not be enough for some gamers and will need to be met with an additional storage unit. 
© 2021 Dot Esports

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The PS5 and Xbox Series X are for sale now for Walmart Plus subscribers – The Verge

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Both the disc-based PS5 and the Digital Edition are up for grabs
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In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s becoming ever-so-slightly less of a maddening exercise to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. Granted, it’s still harder than it should be, but recent retailer restocks have taken longer to sell out than they used to. So, here’s hoping that you’re able to purchase whichever console you want during today’s restock at Walmart, which is specifically for paid Walmart Plus subscribers and going on right now.
Walmart is offering the $499.99 PS5 with a disc drive, the $399.99 PS5 console that can only play digital titles, as well as the $499.99 Xbox Series X. These consoles are available to non-trial Walmart Plus members, meaning you actually have to opt-in to pay Walmart for the service to get access (here’s where you can sign up for Walmart Plus). Though, Walmart is calling these “early access” deals, perhaps suggesting that they’ll open up to non-Plus customers after a window of time. In the past, the window of exclusivity has been three hours.
To ease the checkout process, make sure you have your shipping and payment info ready to go ahead of time.

Sony’s flagship next-gen console, which includes a disc drive, allows you to play both digital and physical games for the PS4 and PS5.

The PS5 Digital Edition costs $400. Compared to the standard PS5, this console is $100 less and does not include a Blu-ray disc drive.

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s flagship console, serving as its most powerful (and biggest) option. While the Series S is aimed at smooth 1440p performance and takes a disc-less approach, the $500 Series X is focused on fast, 4K gameplay.
In case you plan to get lucky with buying a console today, there are several excellent games and accessories that we recommend. Starting with games, head over to this list to see the PS5’s best games of 2021.

An open-world, third-person sword fighting game that has your character trying to prevent the Mongolian invasion of Japan.

Insomniac Games’ latest adventure in the Ratchet & Clank series is the most fun entry yet. It’s also the first to launch on PS5, and it’s both a showcase for amazing graphics and fast loading speeds.

The midnight black DualSense controller sports the same hardware as the original — haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, etc. — only with a two-tone black design reminiscent of PS2, PS3, and PS4 consoles.
If you’re on team Xbox, you may already know about Game Pass Ultimate, which gives you discounts and access to an ever-expanding catalog of Game Pass games, along with online multiplayer. You may never need to pay full price for a game for your new console. Though, whether you do want to pay full price or you just need some ideas on what to play, check out the Xbox’s best games of 2021.

You don’t have to miss a call while you game thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset, which is currently selling for $96.99 instead of $99.99 at Target. In our review, we found it to be a comfortable, intuitively designed headset that’s well worth the price. In addition to working well with Xbox consoles, it can connect to another device simultaneously via Bluetooth.

Of course, you can buy faster storage to add onto your Series X / S console, but it’ll cost you significantly more money than the option above. Microsoft partnered with Seagate to make proprietary SSDs that can be inserted into the rear of either console. The SSDs are currently available in multiple configurations, including a 512GB model for $139.99, a 1TB variant for $216.95, and a 2TB version for $399.99. All three are supposedly just as fast as the storage inside your new console, so this is the best place to keep all of the new games you want to quickly load and switch between at will.

Update January 13th, 4:11PM ET : Walmart has sold out of consoles for now.
Update January 13th, 3:00PM ET: We’ve updated the copy and headline to reflect that the PS5 and Xbox Series X are now available to Walmart Plus subscribers.
Update January 13th, 12:09PM ET: We’ve updated several prices in the product cards, as well as the language in the post to reflect the timing of the event.
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PC Building Diary: Assembling my first gaming rig and why I should have gone pre-built instead – 9to5Toys

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Like many other console gamers through the past few years, the allure of switching over to a PC finally got the best of me. There’s just the problem of actually making the jump, considering just how hard things are with the ongoing stock shortages. Detailing the entire experience of building a PC for the first time, down below you can follow along as I go through all the components in my first rig and my thoughts on why I should have just gone for a pre-built in the first place.
After having a chance to check out a pre-built machine from CLX as a loaner, it got the ball rolling in my head that it might be time to invest in a system all my own. In what was a test for “will I even use a gaming PC in the first place,” I inevitably decided that my mixed experience with that brand shouldn’t deter me, and I sent out to build my own gaming PC and see what the other side of the table had in store. After all, there has to be a reason why everyone is so gung ho about crafting their own gaming rig.
In what was perfect timing with NZXT launching a new case and some coolers to go with it, I took those debuts as the perfect chance to dive in. So what did I ultimately decide on for my first machine?
To start things out, I built the entire PC around NZXT’s new H510 Flow case. While I am hardly one to push my system to the point of really needing the improved airflow capabilities that give this case its namesake, the peace of mind is certainly nice. I was originally debating getting one of the brand’s more compact machines, though after assembling everything inside of the mid-sized case, I am glad I had the extra room to work with. That pairs with the NZXT C850 power supply to get things started.
As for the CPU, I was recommended the Intel i7-11700 chip by 9to5Toys’ own PC builder extraordinaire Patrick. The suggestion has turned out to serve my gaming needs quite well and should be more than capable for any workstation-related tasks in the unlikely event that I make the switch from macOS. I am not going to bore you with benchmark results or anything trying to contend that this is the best value out there for the price point, but the CPU seems like it will be able to hold me over well into the future.
Once settling on the CPU, it was time to get the hardest component of my PC build. That’s right, the graphics card. In what ultimately seemed to come down to fate, I was able to score an NVIDIA RTX 3060 for a little more than its retail price. Its performance has been worth every penny over its MSRP and has meant that my rig can handle pretty much every I throw at it in the gaming department. Even if all I seem to be playing right now is Halo Infinite and Overwatch.
On the RAM side of things, I am rocking four sticks of CORSAIR’s Vengeance RGB PRO DDR4 memory. This gives me a total of 32GB for multitasking and is the perfect kind of overkill for my gaming rig. Adding to CORSAIR’s claim on my gaming PC, I also have one of its CORE 1TB M.2 PCIe Gen4 SSDs as the main boot drive. It has been nothing short of a beast even with how little I push the limits of its 4,700MB/s max transfer speeds.
On the all-important front of cooling, I mentioned earlier that this entire build was inspired by some of NZXT’s latest releases. So it’s only fitting that the brand’s Kraken Z73 all-in-one cooler is what helped me pull the trigger on the entire system.
The refreshed white design was a big selling point for having a uniform PC in the looks department, and its actual performance has kept me happy with it over the past month or so of gaming. I particularly love the built-in screen which can do everything from monitor system stats like temperature or CPU utilization to displaying gifs, which might be my favorite part.
And to tie it all together, I am rocking one of NZXT’s N7 B550 motherboards. Keeping up with the slick white theming, it has a matching coat of paint to the rest of my system and more I/O than I thought I could ever need. Lastly, I threw in an extra pair of NZXT’s AER RGB 2 120mm fans for some extra cooling. Though if I am being entirely honest, the extra RGB lighting is really the reason I splurged here.
While assembly could have gone better than expected, the experience of actually building a PC wasn’t all that bad. It may have taken an afternoon to get all of the components slotted into place, and more time than I’d like to admit for installing Windows, but eventually everything was ready to go. Even though I don’t necessarily regret the process of sourcing my own machine, I am getting some envy from just going the pre-built route.
Shortly after finishing my own build, the holidays arrived and I picked up one of NZXT’s H1 Mini PCs for my significant other so we can game together. And the whole experience there was honestly night and day to what I had gone through with CLX. That’s to say I was impressed with the process from the second I clicked buy all the way until it was finally plugged in and ready to go. That’s in contrast to doing all of the work myself to end up with a similar, yet much messier setup. Seriously, don’t judge my cable management, I know it could be better!
Even if now isn’t the best time to be getting into the PC gaming space for the first time in terms of actually sourcing parts, I am shocked by how much value is offered by the mid-tier gear found in this build. I feel confident that my machine should last well into the future without having to sacrifice too much on performance for any new games that the next few years may hold. And honestly, if it wasn’t for the shortages, now would be such an amazing time to dive into the world of PC gaming with just how much competition there is in the space churning out better and better products.
That’s to say after experiencing both sides of the equation, I would go the pre-built route for myself if I had to do it all over again. Even if I ended up saving a little bit of cash, having a package ready to go out of the box that I could have tailored to my liking over time seems like a far better compromise for this casual gamer than having to do all of the hard work to get a perfect rig right from the start.
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Anbernic may be developing a Windows handheld gaming PC – Liliputing

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Liliputing
Anbernic is a Chinese company that makes handheld gaming devices, most of which are powered by Android or Linux software and designed for retro gaming. But it looks like the company may be developing its first handheld gaming PC that runs Windows.
That could make the new device an option for gamers looking to play modern PC games, although the new model will also probably be Anbernic’s most expensive system to date – most of the company’s current devices tend to sell for between $50 and $250.

Anbernic hasn’t officially announced the new Windows handheld, but a set of pictures included in a recent patent application make it pretty clear that the device is designed to run Windows.
Like many handheld game consoles, it has a display surrounded by dual analog sticks, a D-Pad, action buttons, start and select keys, and four shoulder buttons/triggers. There’s also a home key on one side, and a Windows key on the other, which will likely function as a Start Key.
On the left side of the device there’s also a switch that lets you toggle between game controller and mouse modes, a feature we’ve seen on some other Windows-powered handhelds, which makes Windows a little easier to navigate on devices without a mouse or physical keyboard. This will most likely let you move a cursor with an analog stick while using action buttons for left and right-click actions.
Other features appear to include a USB Type-A port, what may be a USB Type-C port, stereo speakers, and a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as what looks like a microphone.
There’s no word on the specs or pricing, but it seems like a safe bet that a Windows-powered handheld will have a more expensive processor than most of Anbernic’s systems to date, which will drive up the price tag accordingly.
If and when Anbernic’s Windows-powered handheld comes to market, it will join an increasingly crowded space that’s currently dominated by small Chinese companies like GPD, One Netbook, and AYA as well as the upcoming Valve Steam Deck (which will ship with the Linux-based Steam OS, but which has all the hardware necessary for Windows gaming if anyone feels the urge to replace the operating system).
via DroiX, Taki Udon, and /r/Anbernic
Liliputing’s primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the “Shop” button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we’ll get a small commission).
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What are they trying to patent? Buttons and switches where your hand will be gripping and more prone to accidentally activating (ie. bad idea)?
Also, if their handheld looks like this, how are they expecting to compete with the other Chinese handhelds (let alone the Steam Deck)? Price? The bar handhelds are all pretty much the same with different tweaks here and there.
At this rate, I feel like whatever part of the market the Deck isn’t able to capture will just be shared equally among the rest of these small companies.
Now more manufacturers in the game, waiting for Alienware and Razer to join this party, they had UFO and Switchblade concepts in the past
I feel a tiny bit sorry for GPD – after years of being the “only game in town”, now they have competitors coming out of the woodwork!
Still, it seems like good news for everyone else!
If it’s pocketable, then I’d get it. Otherwise, if I’m getting a non-pocketable slab/bar PC handheld, then it’s only the Steam Deck for me.
Judging from the USB Type-A port, this thing’s pretty large. It’s not any more pocketable than the other slabs so pass. The Steam Deck it is.
Waiting for a hologram of Roseanne Barr to explain the meaning of the device’s name to me.
🙂 Close enough to Ambergris
🙂 Close enough to Ambergris
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