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Purchase Template: Which of these 2 is the better deal?


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#1 lestatpdh

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 04:54 PM

My budget for the new computer is: Under $750, preferably under $650 (for just the PC, not the monitor).

What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)? Web browsing and email, Netflix/Hulu, light gaming (Yahoo! chess, solitaire, Civilization - I have Civ IV but want Civ V for my new PC), spreadsheets and Excel VBA programming, music. All run fine on my single-core Pentium 4 machine with XP and a 256MB Radeon 9250, except no HD TV (could be my CRT monitor, but I haven't hooked up an HD monitor to test that).

What software do you intend on using on the computer? Firefox, Civ V, Excel and Word (will switch to Libre Office with new PC), Win Media Player, GOM Player, iTunes.

Do you play games? If so, what type of games? Light gaming, see above.

Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it? I keep several running at once, including multiple tabs in Firefox.

Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer? Some pictures and music, possibly videos if I get a TV tuner card/USB with PVR.


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I'm trying to buy a new PC before Windows 8 comes out (in October?), at which point I'll no longer be able to get Windows 7 pre-loaded. I really don't want to pay $100-150 more for a replacement OS immediately after buying a new computer. I just need to know if it would be worth paying $132 extra for the HP linked below, or if I should buy the CyberpowerPC and a better PSU for $100 or so (and what would be a good brand/model in that price range).

I think I've found a great deal in this CyberpowerPC GUA250 desktop for $498 from Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/ip/CyberpowerPC-Black-Gamer-Ultra-GUA250-Desktop-PC-with-AMD-Quad-Core-FX-4100-Processor-8GB-Memory-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium-Monitor/17811825). In reading posts on this forum, I've become concerned that maybe the power supply (and other components?) used by CyberpowerPC will be cheap and possibly damage the motherboard or processor.

On the other hand, I could buy this HP for $132 more (http://www.staples.com/HP-Pavilion-HPE-h8-1256s-Desktop-PC/product_937659). As I understand, HP uses higher quality components and 6-Sigma mfg, so I'd basically be paying a premium for higher quality (correct?) and a slightly better GPU (GT 620 vs GT 520) but a slower processor (judging solely by the clock speeds). I suppose the Core i5 in the HP has 4 processor cores plus 4 virtual cores with its Hyperthreading, compared to 4 total for the CyberpowerPC's AMD FX-4100. Would that make the i5 superior overall to the FX-4100?

I have a USB wireless adapter that I can use on the CyberpowerPC, so that won't be a factor in my decision. I'm not sure I'll really need the superior graphics card for what I'll be doing. Or will I? I know both will support Civ V, but would there be a significant difference in online video and TV viewing?

I'm not really concerned about upgrading anything except possibly the graphics card if the one I get ends up being inadequate in the next 4-5 years (I keep PCs for about 7-8 years). Commenters indicate that the CyberpowerPC has at least a 500W PSU, but I have no idea what the HP has. I'm also considering buying a TV tuner card/USB with PVR, but that should work fine on either of these two.

Thank you for reading so much info and I will greatly appreciate any advice you can offer.

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#2 killerx525

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:17 AM

The HP would be better as it has a faster processor and slightly faster graphics card. Civ V should work with the graphics card but probably on low graphics settings. The power supply in the HP is a 460W which is pretty decent but if you were to upgrade to a mid range graphics card, you would also have to upgrade the power supply.

>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


#3 lestatpdh

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:49 PM

Thanks for the feedback, killerx525.

I've done some research on graphics cards, but I still can't tell what I would need for certain tasks (Civ 5 requiring the highest specs I'll need from a GPU). Do you just need experience with various cards to know how they'll perform? The ratings provided by various websites mean little to me because I don't know what the scale is supposed to be. All I can tell is how much better one card is than another. What would qualify as mid-grade in GeForce and Radeon?

Any thoughts on the quality of CyberpowerPC? I'm curious in case I decide to wait a few more weeks and see what else becomes available and possibly discounted further.

#4 killerx525

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:42 AM

How i determine if the graphics card can play the game is by looking at the system requirements which can be found here. The GT620 is certainly fast then a core i3 integrated graphics hence the game should be able to run. Currently, the mid range from Nvidia is the 550 and 560TI and AMD would be the 7750 and 7770. Based from the user feedback i've read on CyberpowerPC over the years, there is sometimes a minor issue like a loose cable which can be easily fixed but they are not to bad in their building quality.

>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


#5 lestatpdh

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:03 PM

Yeah, I'm tech savvy enough to determine if the system would meet the minimum or recommended requirements. I'm just not familiar enough with graphics cards to know what I'd need to run Civ V on medium or high settings. I'd like to get the most out of it, but I'm not willing to spend $900 or more on a mid-range gaming rig just for that one game.

The info you provided will be very useful. I think I'll stick with something in between the bottom level (discrete) and the mid-range cards and settle for decent graphics in Civ.

I'm grateful that people like you are kind enough to help noobs like me with these issues and actually teach us something. I've learned a lot from this website over the years. Thank you very much!

#6 killerx525

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 01:09 AM

I also learn some new things in the process too :wink:

>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


#7 nesto1000

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:09 AM

The HP would be better as it has a faster processor and slightly faster graphics card. Civ V should work with the graphics card but probably on low graphics settings. The power supply in the HP is a 460W which is pretty decent but if you were to upgrade to a mid range graphics card, you would also have to upgrade the power supply.


I gamed on my PC for about 2 years with a Corsair 450w psu... he should be fine with the stock psu. Or maybe I just had such a high quality psu that it could handle my 5770 and all the extra fans...

Also, here's a more powerful computer for the same price as the HP... iBUYPOWER Gamer Power LanWarrior

If you don't mind Open Box items (no warranty), here are some pretty great deals at newegg...
iBUYPOWER Gamer EXTREME 589D3
iBUYPOWER Gamer EXTREME 569D3

Edited by nesto1000, 01 August 2012 - 12:31 AM.

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 Ram: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB HDD: ADATA (Micro Center branded) 64GB SSD, WD Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB GPU: XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690

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#8 lestatpdh

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:24 PM

nesto1000,

Thanks for the additional advice. If I had your experience, I'd probably jump all over the Open Box 8-core you suggested. I'm just afraid I'd get a lemon and need to replace parts with no warranty, and it would be even more expensive for me because I'd have to have a pro diagnose what's wrong.

The first one you linked to has a smaller hard drive and slightly less powerful PSU, and I'd still want to upgrade from the GT 640. I've been researching a little more on graphics cards and from what I understand the speed of the RAM is often more important than the size. The 640 has DDR3 (2GB), so I was thinking more along the lines of a Radeon 7750, which has GDDR5 (1GB) and was recommended by killerx525 as the low end of the mid range cards. I found a few big name brand 7750 cards for $100. That plus the $498 for the CyberpowerPC is still below the $630 for the iBuyPower (the one that's not Open Box) and the HP. I also talked to the tech guys at Staples and they told me the HP I was looking at has a GT 620 (OEM), not the straight GT 620. They looked up the specs online and we concluded that the 620 (OEM) is actually inferior to the GT 520.

After all the great advice you guys have given me and weighing my options plus additional info, I ordered the CyberpowerPC from Walmart and plan to upgrade the 520 (which is probably another OEM model). I might even settle for the 520 graphics for a while until prices come down to $80 or so for the Radeon 7750, mostly because I'm a cheapskate and because I only play Civ. If I get Civ V right away, I can still play on low settings, and that game really is more about the strategic gameplay than graphics - they're just a bonus.

I also figured that I don't really need the faster Core i5 processor, so in the HP I'd be paying for a processor I don't need and a slightly better GPU that I don't want and probably will also upgrade at some point. If I'm going to replace the vid card in either machine, I might as well save the $132 up front.

Who knows, maybe this experience plus a Radeon 7750 will get me to look into other games :-D

Again, thank you both for all your input. I now feel much more confident about my purchase decision.

#9 killerx525

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:04 AM

With the Cyberpower desktop, the AMD has a more of a open upgrade path then the Intel as AMD likes to use the same socket for awhile.

>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


#10 nesto1000

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

Civ V doesn't require much to play. I maxed out all of the settings on my old build when I was playing it which consisted of an Athlon II x3 clocked at 2.9GHz I believe.The only problem that I had was pretty bad lagg when ever I had a lot of units and had discovered most of the world in a huge map. All of the processors mentioned above are more powerful so they should all be fine. As far as my video card goes, I used an HD 5770, in fact I still use it. Since I've upgraded my processor I hardly get any lagg. So you should be fine with any of the recommended builds.

Also, when I lagged horribly I turned my graphics settings down to the lowest that I could and I would still get lagg.

Edited by nesto1000, 03 August 2012 - 05:38 PM.

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 Ram: CORSAIR XMS3 16GB HDD: ADATA (Micro Center branded) 64GB SSD, WD Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB GPU: XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 Case: COOLER MASTER RC-690

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#11 lestatpdh

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

So killerx525, you're saying I might be able to keep my new rig useful for 10-12 years instead of just 7-8? Just what cheapskate like me likes to hear ;-)

#12 lestatpdh

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

nesto1000,

I keep reading different things about Civ V's graphics intensity. I read one comment that it's not surprising that Civ V is used as a benchmark testing game for processors. A few others like you say they generally get fine graphics with comparatively low-end equipment. I guess I'll find out soon. For now I'm getting a feel for Windows 7 and loading all my freeware - luckily there's almost no bloatware to uninstall. This machine is pretty darn fast - but they all start out that way, right?

Unfortunately, I also have to talk to the folks at CyberpowerPC to find out how to turn off the red lights inside my case (the photos of the back showed a switch for that in one of the PCI slots) and how to turn off the blue light on the top of my Xtreme Gear mouse. That should be fun :(

On the bright side, I've got several more sleepless nights ahead with my new toy!

Edited by lestatpdh, 04 August 2012 - 05:51 PM.


#13 killerx525

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:49 PM

Not to sure about 10 to 12 years but it is possible for it to last 7 to 8 years.

>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





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