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      08-12-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
kyleb350
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Buying vs. Building A Gaming Desktop

I was browsing Alienware desktops and was wondering how much I could build an equivalent desktop by buying parts of a site like Newegg. I'm looking for a kickass system but not over-the-top ridiculous. Price point is <$1500.

Here are the Alienware Aurora specs:

Intel Core™ i7-2600 (8MB Cache) Overclocked Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
Windows 7 Home Premium
16GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
Dual 1.5GB NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 - SLI® Enabled
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Single Drive: Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
Matte Stealth Black Chassis with 875W Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Alienware High-Performance Liquid Cooling

Price: $1799 with $329.98 discount = $1469.02

How good of a rig can be built for that price? I was too lazy to try to build a comparable system manually off of newegg.
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      08-12-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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So you are too lazy to configure a system yourself, and you want us to do it?
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      08-12-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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That's a pretty good setup for the price, although I've always been an advocate for single graphics cards on the initial build sheet, as opposed to using SLI or Crossfire right off the bat.

Also, their watercooling system.... Does it mix metals between components? That will cause all kinds of corrosion problems. There are some great air cooling options and if your case is in a place where it isn't blocked from ventilation and you don't mind the noise of air vs water, then just go with air cooling. Water is nice and all, but IMO if it isn't "needed", then stay away from it. If you do go ahead and do a water setup, places like NCIX have all kinds of components to build an actual good system, and it doesn't turn out to be very expensive that way either.
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      08-12-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEN-INC View Post
So you are too lazy to configure a system yourself, and you want us to do it?
lol, yes. Do it NOW!

In all seriousness, I put together some comparable parts with some being a tad better and went over that price, so I'm thinking that's not bad. I wish they had an SSD option though.
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      08-12-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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Try www.cyberpowerpc.com or www.ibuypower.com for some configuration comparisons. Great site.
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      08-12-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miiipilot View Post
Try www.cyberpowerpc.com or www.ibuypower.com for some configuration comparisons. Great site.
Awesome sites. Thanks!
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      08-12-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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Yeah a few years ago I had cyberpowerpc build a rig for me (before I started doing it myself) and everything was excellent. They had a great return policy, helpful customer service, and their prices couldn't be beat. If you're going for a built rig, use their site along with reviews from newegg and overclock.net and you can't go wrong.
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      08-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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Here you go. On average, you'll save $100-200 building yourself.

Everything is there except for a case, which you have a deficit of about $300+ to choose from.
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      08-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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I think i missed the dual GTS 450s. So just add on another $120.
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      08-12-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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Yeah but you have to dig through some of the combos also offered on newegg (mobo/RAM/CPU or a combination of two of those or sometimes the PS or is in there, etc...) to see if there's a better deal. A lot of the time, they just include unpopular items or really expensive items, but sometimes they have some great combos.
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      08-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #11
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There are no combos in my build above. I picked each part as a single item. Which leaves room for much further savings, should you choose to search for it.

For instance, there is a deal on G.Skill ram right now. 8gb (2x4gb) 1333 DDR3 for $34.99.

Or there are many Case/PSU combo deals you could benefit from.
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      08-12-2011, 05:31 PM   #12
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And you have to add a case, and ITS a alienware! come on
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      08-12-2011, 05:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwfan1995 View Post
And you have to add a case, and ITS a alienware! come on
It is clear that you did not read my post, only look at the admittedly large picture.

So, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt simply because the picture was just so damn large and enticing. (And also since you seem to be new to the forums, Welcome.)

Read this, from my post above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Everything is there except for a case, which you have a deficit of about $300+ to choose from.
I chose not to include the case because you simply can't buy the exact same case, and the comparison would no longer be direct. Most decent cases can be bought for about $100.
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      08-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #14
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I'm in the process of researching components for a new build and have a few suggestions:

1. Don't get an i7. I'm getting the i5-2500k and plenty of people have had success overclocking to 4-4.5ghz on air cooling. i7 is not too much of a step up so unless you want the best that's out there (stock), don't even bother.

2. Instead of 2 GTS 450s, I would suggest getting one more powerful card. I'm looking at the ATI HD 6950 2gb or 1gb...when the price lowers later on as more cards come out, then you can pick up a second one for cheaper and increase power even more.

3. Unless you're mad overclocking don't do liquid cooling. It's unnecessary if you're not pushing your rig to the limits of performance.

4. SATA 6 Hard drive instead of SATA 3, since it should be faster and not too much more expensive.

5. Buying components will definitely save you money over prebuilt desktops eg Alienware.

This is my planned build:

Core i5 2500k
CM Hyper 212 Plus
Gigabyte Z68-UD4
8gb DDR3-1600 CAS8 ram
ATI HD 6950 2gb or 1gb
500gb SATA6 hard drive...probably wd black
DVD rom drive
CM HAF922 case

So it's not high end but definitely should be good enough to overclock the i5 to 4ghz at the minimum and play games like bc2 and hopefully bf3
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      08-12-2011, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lusive View Post
I'm in the process of researching components for a new build and have a few suggestions:

1. Don't get an i7. I'm getting the i5-2500k and plenty of people have had success overclocking to 4-4.5ghz on air cooling. i7 is not too much of a step up so unless you want the best that's out there (stock), don't even bother.

2. Instead of 2 GTS 450s, I would suggest getting one more powerful card. I'm looking at the ATI HD 6950 2gb or 1gb...when the price lowers later on as more cards come out, then you can pick up a second one for cheaper and increase power even more.

3. Unless you're mad overclocking don't do liquid cooling. It's unnecessary if you're not pushing your rig to the limits of performance.

4. SATA 6 Hard drive instead of SATA 3, since it should be faster and not too much more expensive.

5. Buying components will definitely save you money over prebuilt desktops eg Alienware.

This is my planned build:

Core i5 2500k
CM Hyper 212 Plus
Gigabyte Z68-UD4
8gb DDR3-1600 CAS8 ram
ATI HD 6950 2gb or 1gb
500gb SATA6 hard drive...probably wd black
DVD rom drive
CM HAF922 case

So it's not high end but definitely should be good enough to overclock the i5 to 4ghz at the minimum and play games like bc2 and hopefully bf3
Nothing wrong with any of that, but why only a 500gb hdd? You can get a 1TB WD Black for under $100.
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      08-12-2011, 10:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateBMW View Post
Nothing wrong with any of that, but why only a 500gb hdd? You can get a 1TB WD Black for under $100.
I have a 1TB external if I need more space but I figure since it's for college, I'm not really going to use more than 500 gigs. I have only a few games and maybe 4 gigs of music so even 500 gigs is overkill.
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      08-12-2011, 11:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lusive View Post
I'm in the process of researching components for a new build and have a few suggestions:

2. Instead of 2 GTS 450s, I would suggest getting one more powerful card. I'm looking at the ATI HD 6950 2gb or 1gb...when the price lowers later on as more cards come out, then you can pick up a second one for cheaper and increase power even more.
Depending on your preference, you may want to hold off on the 6950 because the 7000 series will be out soon. Also, when the new line comes out, finding a 6950 will get difficult fairly quickly. I was actually going to buy another 6970 and noticed they were starting to dwindle down.
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      08-13-2011, 06:30 PM   #18
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For a gaming rig, wouldn't you guys rather go with a SSD over a HDD?
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      08-13-2011, 08:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinrock View Post
Depending on your preference, you may want to hold off on the 6950 because the 7000 series will be out soon. Also, when the new line comes out, finding a 6950 will get difficult fairly quickly. I was actually going to buy another 6970 and noticed they were starting to dwindle down.
I haven't seen much news about the 7000 series but so far (according to Wikipedia and a source news article) it will be released sometime in/after September 2011. So I guess I could wait for the hd 7850 or something like that. Right now I have a GTX 260 core 216 to hold me over and on my c2d e6600 3.15ghz it runs bc2 pretty well on medium resolution. I'll probably upgrade the proc,motherboard,ram first and then use the gtx 260 on the new build, then get an hd 7000 when it comes out.
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      08-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensta335 View Post
For a gaming rig, wouldn't you guys rather go with a SSD over a HDD?
Not solely. A large SSD is way too expensive right now, and if it's a gaming rig, it will fill up fast. If you're going to do SSD, I would get a small top performer for the OS, and pair it with a 1.5-2 TB storage drive.
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      08-13-2011, 09:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensta335 View Post
For a gaming rig, wouldn't you guys rather go with a SSD over a HDD?
The performance gains of an SSD for gaming is not worth it unless the hard drive is really the only bottleneck. In this case the video card (2x GTS 460, HD 6950, GTX 560ti) would be the bottleneck, so putting the money towards a better video card would be the best option.

3lusive: I just built a very similar rig last night:
Antec 300 case
Gigabyte Z68A-D3-B3
Core i5 2500k
CM Hyper 212 Plus
8GB Gskill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 9-9-9-12
Asus GTX 560 ti
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB hard drive
XFX 550W Core Edition

Total: $924 (CDN) after tax

kyleb350: I would highly suggest to build your own computer. It saves a lot of money, if your into computers, it becomes a fun process, and knowing that you handpicked all the parts going into your computer is a great feeling especially down the road when it comes time to upgrade since you can pick out parts that leave room for upgrades.

For parts suggestions, assuming a $1450(before tax) budget: i5 2500k (overclocks too easily to make a 2600k worth it), GTX 580, 650W+ XFX/Antec/Corsair/Seasonic power supply, 8GB DDR3-1600, Good $150-$200 Z68 motherboard, Samsung Spinpoint or WD Caviar Black 1TB drive (and possibly an SSD if you can fit it in your budget), good CPU air cooler (the Hyper 212+ is the best budget cooler), and for cases I don't know much beyond that I love my Antec 300 for the $50 i spent on it
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      08-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #22
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i just built a rig faster than that Alienware for 200 bucks cheaper. Alienware is all about the name really.
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