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Old 04-02-2009, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help BUILDING a gaming PC (page 2+)

Hi guys,

I've been a Mac user for a few years now; unfortunately, the gaming scene isn't all that great, and I'm not willing to shell out $2000 for a mediocre Bootcamp-based "gaming rig." I've decided to switch back to Windows, but I need help picking my new computer (I'm not too keen on the idea of building my own).

I want to spend from $1000 to $1400 (includes a large ~24" monitor), and so far I'm interested in the following computers:

HP Pavilion Elite m9517c-b Bundle PC - $1300
AMD Phenom™ X4 9550 Quad-Core Processor
• 2.20 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache + 2 MB Shared L3 Cache, 3600MT/s System Bus
NVIDIA GeForce 9100 Chipset
RAM: 8 GB (4 x 2048 MB) PC2-6400 DDR2 SDRAM memory
HD: 1 TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
HP Pavilion Elite m9517c-b Bundle PC (FQ575AA) specifications - HP Home & Home Office Products

My local CostCo sells this PC along with a high-def 25.5" screen for $1300. I won't pretend to know much about what this all means, as this would be my first gaming PC -- from what I can tell, "NVIDIA GeForce 9100 chipset" means the video card is integrated? I should steer clear from that, right? I also heard that the motherboard is locked on most premade computers, so I won't be able to overclock it? The specs on this thing are way above anything else I've found in the same price range, so it's hard for me to look away.

I'm also interested in the Alienware brand, since I hear their computers are resilient and particularly easy to upgrade. That said, I don't know what the difference is between their Aurora and Area 51 750i models.

Alienware Aurora (modified) - $1129 + cost of 24" monitor ($300?)
AMD® Athlon™ X2 5200+ 2.7GHz Dual Core 2 x 512KB L2 Cache
Alienware® 750 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Single 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800 GT
4GB, Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 x 1024MB
Alienware® Approved AMD® 790FX Motherboard
HD: 500GB SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM 16MB Cache

Much more expensive, and all I get is a decent video card and power supply. I lose 500 GB on the HD, 4 GB of RAM, and a lot of power off the processor. Still, the few people I've asked have all told me to go with the Alienware over the HP. Is HP really that bad? I'm open to any other alternatives.

Best,
M

Edit: I've decided to build rather than buy premade. If you're willing to help me out, check further down the thread, or just click page 2.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

No. Dell.... I mean Alienware is far worse than HP.

Both of those are awful deals. If you really must get a pre-built, check out iBuyPower or CyberPowerPC as they let you customize it and it is much more affordable with better parts than those you posted.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeVel View Post
No. Dell.... I mean Alienware is far worse than HP.

Both of those are awful deals. If you really must get a pre-built, check out iBuyPower or CyberPowerPC as they let you customize it and it is much more affordable with better parts than those you posted.
Thanks. I'll check those websites out and post back sometime later. :happy:
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Why not give building one a shot? I was in the same boat as you (looking at prebuilt, scared to try building my own.. I hadn't done more than put a couple cards in a PC prior to this)...

but after seeing how I could piece together a nice rig that was EXACTLY what I wanted, I gave it a shot.. I mean, sure my wire management wasn't the best at first, and I missed a thing or two the first time around, but thats where the awesome people of this forum can help...

If you are modestly handy and/or like to tinker, building a rig for the first time is probably a 3/10 on the difficulty scale.... 10 being hardest to do, 1 being easiest... WAY easier than it seemed at first... atleast thats how i found it to be... maybe reconsider and give it a shot?
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

If you really don't want to risk building it yourself and would like the added benefit of a 3 year warranty, then iBuyPower is probably your best bet as far as price/performance on a prebuilt.

This is what I just quickly configured on iBuyPower website. It is perfect for the gaming you want to do and then all you have to do is buy a 24" monitor from Newegg for about $200-250. You could probably get this entire system for $100-200 less than this if you built it yourself, or you could include better parts and cost the same as this.

Case ( [$15 OFF Mail-In Rebate] Nzxt Apollo Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
Power Supply ( 600 Watt -- Power Supply SLI Ready )
Processor ( Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8500 (2x 3.16GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB) )
Processor Cooling ( Sunbeam Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooling Fan System Fan Controller Included )
Motherboard ( [CrossFire] Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand )
Video Card ( ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB PCI-Express x16 )
Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
CD/DVD Drive ( [** Special !!! ***] LG 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black )
Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
Speaker System ( iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard with 18 Internet Hot /Multimedia Keys Black )
Mouse ( iBUYPOWER 1600 dpi High Sensitivity Internet Mouse Black )
Flash Media Reader/Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer Black )
Operating System ( Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium + [Free 60-Day !!!] Microsoft Office 2007(Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access ....) 64-Bit )
Warranty ( Warranty Service Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )
------------------------------------------------------------
$1103
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Did you ever have lego as a kid?

Honestly, building a computer is easier then building a house out of lego.

1) You pick the parts you would like to use from an online retailer, ask the people at this forum for some help.

2) You order the parts. While you wait 1-2 weeks, you read some VERY easy online manuals we can hook u up with.

3) The parts get to your house, you un-wrap like its Christmas =D

4) connect the various parts together (this is where the lego skills come in)

5) install windows (its the easiest part) - have a coffee

6) start gaming!

7) wish you spent the money on a better mac :P

Its very easy, and you can do it. Its worth the money you will save. With computers, you always get what you pay for.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Wow, you guys are awesomely friendly. I think you've inspired me to try building my own rig!
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mliraved View Post
Wow, you guys are awesomely friendly. I think you've inspired me to try building my own rig!
Welcome to the Custom PC builder family! Where PCs aren't just built, they are born!

Let us know for sure what your plans are and we can get started right away on recommending parts and helping you build it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mliraved View Post
Wow, you guys are awesomely friendly. I think you've inspired me to try building my own rig!
I was in the same boat as you a few years ago.

The guys here talked me into building my own rig.....Man, am I ever glad I did....I have never looked back and learned so much building my own.

I game on it everyday and it has not given me any problems.

I am glad you are gonna build your own....you will enjoy it, and you will get a much better rig for your money.

Welcome to the forums and welcome to the world of building your own rig.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I need help picking a gaming PC.

Where are you from mliraved? That way we can offer you some links to the best places to buy your parts.
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