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building pc vs buying one


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#1 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 11:33 AM

Hey All!

I recently considered buying a new gaming pc since my current one is now around 5 years old (which is rediculously old in gaming standards) I wanted to get some advice from you guys since its been a while since my last computer purchase, is it cheaper or more worth it to build a gaming pc from scratch or just buy one (say from newegg). Basically the pc I am trying to build is one that can run battlefield 3 at high settings. My budget that I am willing to spend would not exceed $850-$900. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks

Edited by jsherm, 07 June 2011 - 11:34 AM.


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#2 Andrew

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:14 PM

I'm a big proponent of building your own rig since it can save you a bunch of money and you're able to get precisely that parts you want. Now, it's not the case that building your own will always be cheaper than buying one off the shelf with similar specs, but in my experience it usually is.

For example, last month I built myself a brand new computer. Like you, my old computer was about five years old and also like you I was looking for a machine that could handle the latest games (you can read my forum discussion about it here.) As you can see I got a kickass computer for a little over $1,000 on Newegg. Add in the prices of Windows 7 OEM, an aftermarket heatsink/fan and a Creative Soundblaster OEM sound card and the final cost was something like $1,200.

I did a quick search on Dell's website (for example) and the closest machine they have for sale that I saw is this one which is on sale for $1,800. The most comparable desktop on Newegg runs about $1,600.

In the end it comes down to preference. I prefer to build my own because, well, I like to build PCs. You may not like to do it. Neither of us is wrong, of course. The decision to build or buy is like picking out underwear: some people like boxers, others like briefs, and still others prefer something else altogether. If you're a briefs wearer, then here's a very decently spec'd rig for $950.

#3 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:21 PM

Andrew, thanks for the response that was very helpful!!
I actually do enjoy building pc's (built my last one), but I have just been out ofthe pc market for so long that I didnt know how much it had changed and if companies actually did start making decent gaming rigs, but I like you answer very much. Do you have any tips for me (since you seem like an expert) on how to begin? Should I just go to newegg and pick out the individual parts I want and see how that total price oompares to a pre-built one with those same specs?
Thanks!

#4 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:24 PM

With a budget like that, I assume you're not picky about having the latest and greatest everything. I would recommend building.

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion $54.99
MB: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO $98.99
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition $114.99
RAM: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 $84.99
GPU: HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 $189.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX $109.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX $59.99
DVD: ASUS 24X $20.99
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit $94.99

Total ≈ $830 (not including shipping costs or rebates)

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 June 2011 - 12:25 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#5 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:32 PM

Thanks Rainbow!
I am acutally a college student (graduating upcoming may) and I landed a nice internship in DC this summer and looking to make around 7-$8000 total, so I thought maybe I would spoil myself a little :) For the processor, I was thinking about sticking with intel, do you know what the intel equivalent to the amd you recommended me would be?


Edit:
Edited to remove unnecessary quote. ~ tg

#6 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:38 PM

The Intel equivalent would probably be the i5-760. Unfortunately, it's about $100 more than the Phenom II. In addition, you would also have to buy an Intel motherboard which might set you back another $100. The way I see it, that's money down the drain. I would highly recommend going AMD unless you have some kind of strict boycott against them.

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 June 2011 - 12:38 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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#7 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:41 PM

No no you are absolutely right, amd is the better way to go here! I really like the build you've set up here, is this similar to one you made for yourself?


Edit:
Edited to remove unnecessary quote. ~ tg

#8 Andrew

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:08 PM

since you seem like an expert

:hysterical: :hysterical: The only thing I'm an expert in is sounding like I'm an expert. :P

RainbowSix's build suggestion is good if you want to build an AMD rig.

#9 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:04 PM

What would you say the pros and cons are for intel vs amd? I'm majoring in computer science but hsven't really paid attention to hardware since high school (mostly do java development and oracle now), I just remember my teacher always ranting about if you buy an amd you better make sure fire exstinguisher woks :blink:

#10 Andrew

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:27 PM

I just remember my teacher always ranting about if you buy an amd you better make sure fire exstinguisher woks :blink:


:lmao: That certainly was true a while back, but only if you removed the CPU cooler while the computer was running (don't do that, by the way.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxNUK3U73SI

For a period in the late 90's and early 2000's AMD gained a distinct edge over Intel in the x86 CPU market. This had to do with Intel trying to launch a newer architecture and letting their x86 processors fall behind. Intel has completely recovered by now and their Core i7 is currently the hottest thing on the CPU market.

#11 jsherm

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:33 PM

So do you believe the setup reainbow recommended will run battlefield 3 on max settings? Since he did all the dirty work for me I really think I'm just going to buy everything he listed seeing as how everything looks good, would you agree or add anything different?

#12 Andrew

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:42 PM

His build meets or exceeds the recommended hardware in all departments for Battlefield 3. I can't say for certain that you'll be able to get the absolute maximum settings but you ought to be able to get them pretty high.

Edited by Andrew, 07 June 2011 - 03:44 PM.


#13 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 04:26 PM

I really like the build you've set up here, is this similar to one you made for yourself?

Not at all, actually. My recent build contains an aging AMD Athlon II dual-core processor (recycled from a previous build) which was weak even when I got it. I got a AM3+ compatible motherboard recently and I'm holding out for bulldozer. Oh wow what an upgrade that will be.

EDIT:
If you have some extra money, invest in a solid state disk and perhaps a full-tower case (instead of the mid-tower I linked to).

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 June 2011 - 04:28 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

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Stringfellow Electronics

#14 killerx525

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 01:23 AM

Do not buy the i5-760 because it's pretty much phased out. For that price of $210 for a processor, you can get a i5-2400 which is cheaper and wayy faster.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#15 jsherm

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:13 PM

EDIT:
If you have some extra money, invest in a solid state disk and perhaps a full-tower case (instead of the mid-tower I linked to).



Hey so is the difference between a mid-tower an full-tower size? So a full tower is bigger and thus is able to keep temps down?




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