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Old 08-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buy or build?

I have 3k dollars to spend on getting an awsome gaming pc, but I'm a bit overwhelmed at all the options when it comes to building it myself. There are so many options, and I've read up on how you need matching chipsets, etc etc. So here's my dillemna; should I just buy a prebuilt, manufactured PC (from dell or alienware or something)? Or, if I should build my own, where can I find a good, high end "suggested build" ?

I read through the stickies, but I noticed the suggested build sticky is about 2 years old. I'm looking to spend around 2k dollars (that includes a monitor, mouse and keyboard) but I can stretch to 2.5 or 3k if it will make a noticible performance difference, but I doubt I'll need to. The most important thing to me is speed, having a PC that can play huge games with no lag, and of course graphics I have no experience overclocking, so I'd like to do no overclocking or only a little overclocking (in other words, play it safe)

So should I buy a prebuilt, or go for building my own? Do any of you have any suggestions on a build?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

Build it yourself, it will be cheaper and faster. Here's a guide to installing all the parts.

Build a PC - Introduction to Building your PC - PCitYourself.com

You'll have no problems getting some build suggestions around here. I've got to go run some errands but I'll give you some suggestions when I get back. Or I'll just add my suggested changes to the multiple opinions your sure to get
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

Try this.

Newegg.com - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Newegg.com - EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Newegg.com - BFG Tech BFGEGTX2851024OCBE GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards Get two of these for SLI.

Newegg.com - OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Desktop Memory

Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

Newegg.com - Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Solid State Disks

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

Newegg.com - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Comes out to $1,996.91 and MIR brings it to $1926.91

That will run anything in existence beautiful. You can chop the ssd to keep it under 2k with the monitor. If you ever feel like overclocking you can grab an aftermarket cooler. I would definitely look into it. BTW I think that slaymate, who posted above me, is the leading overclocker on this forum.

Oh, and definitely build it.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

^^ nice one. Take a look at some combo deals to save some more cash as well.

example:
mb and ram from above save an additional $17
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

Don't forget a dvd drive. any cheap sata burner will work fine for around $20. Two if you want them.
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

James build looks good and Hefe's combo deal makes it better.

If I was going to change anything I would get a 120GB SSD drive. I'm looking at one of these for myself and it's on Sale

Newegg.com - OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Solid State Disks

And with your budget I would go ahead and get a nice heatsink setup to match the quality of the rest of the system. This is the best heatsink available at NewEgg.

Newegg.com - Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 120mm SSO CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

Thank you for the quick, thorough replies! I've done a quick look over the products and it looks like quite a wicked build, I think I'm going to stick to a single video card instead of SLI.

What about this proccessor instead?

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

I'm going to take a more in debth look at each product, then I'll start buying. I'll also be sure to invest in a good heatsink, and I'll read up on the pcityourself guides, so thank you a lot of the tips.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

I would go with the i7 920 over the PII X4 965. The i7 920 overclocks really well, and you can easily have ~4GHz for a 24/7 clock. It will also out perform it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

With your budget anything less than an i7 setup would be crazy. Considering system requirements always seem to go up on new software, in 1-2 years from now you'll wish you had bought the i7.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

If you're not going to SLI, what GPU are you going with? I would get either 1 285 for future upgrade potential or get a 295.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buy or build?

I've been reading up on overclocking the I7 920, and from someone with zero% overclocking experience, it started to make my mouth drool, both with how easy it is, and how much more powerful it can become. I also love how compatable (with overclocking) it is with the EVGA x58 motherboard.

As for doing SLI vs single, I've read mostly bad things about SLI, that it's mostly just an uneccessary upgrade, that it will increase the price and electrical drainn of your pc without adding much benifit, and that some lower-demanding PC games actually run better on single cards than dual. As well as the fact that a good high end card will run just as well.

So that is why I'm thinking of going for a single, and the 295 looks GREAT. Should I bother overclocking the 295, or is it worth it? Or does it even really need it?

One question I have about the SSD. Since it is "faster" than an HDD, should I put my operating system on it and use it as my main drive, and use the HDD to store files?

Thank you for all the help you guys have given me (including getting me interested into overclocking).
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