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Old 01-25-2010, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

Hello, first time poster here. I apologize in advance for the long post but I need to get this decision right the first time and I want to try and get all of my info to you on the first try if possible.
First some quick background info. I now have a 7 year old Gateway PC with a Pentium 4 and a 2.4 processor, 120 gig harddrive, 1 gig of RDram and a BFG NVidia GeForce 7600 GS with 512 megs of onboard ram.
As you can now tell I'm not one to keep up with current technology. I bought this PC new and have done upgrades myself such as a bigger power supply, doubled the ram, and numerous video cards. It's finally time to do something new. I am a gamer (but not to the extreme) so whatever I get will need to be geared around that. I've never been able to play things like Microsoft's FSX, Unreal Tournament 3, and various other games along those lines with my current machine. I would like whatever I get/build to be able to handle those kind of games and more if possible.
My budget will be in the $1000 to $1100 range. This is not cast in stone but pretty close.
I've been considering 3 ways to go here as you can see in the topic title.

1. I see Dell has a Studio XPS model for $1099.00.
Dell Studio XPS 9000 Desktop Computer Product Details | Dell
Some of it's specs are;
Studio XPS 9000
Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz)
Operating System
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Monitor
No Monitor
Optical Drives
Dual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable
Memory
6GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM6 at 1066MHz - 6 DIMMs
Hard Drives
750GB 7200 RPM8 SATA Hard Drive
Video Card
ATI Radeon HD 4350 512MB
Sound Card
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Network
Integrated 10/1000 Ethernet
Hardware Support Services
2 Year Basic Service Plan

2. I live in a small town but a neighboring city has shops that build for you. They put together this estimate geared around my budget.
Gigabyte LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX $129.99
Intel Quad CR i5 LGA1156 2066 GHz $239.99
G Skill Ripjaw 4Gb DDR3 1066 (2x2 GB) $109.99
Windows 7 Home Premium x64 OEM $119.99
500 Watt Purepower ATX PSU Thermaltake $74.99
Thermaltake V3 Gaming Case Window Full $79.99
WD 1 Terabyte SATA2 Lowpower HDD 32MB $119.99
Radeon HD 5670 512MB DDR5PCIE HDCP XFIR $129.99
Samsung 22x DVDRW SATA Black $49.99
Total $1121.37
When buying all components from them they built it free and give 3 years warranty on all parts and materials.

3. Do I attempt my first build.
I don't fear the actual build, I'm just concerned with the first bootup. Will it fire up, plus playing in the BIOS has always worried me in case I muck something up in there. I think I can get beyond that fear though.

Here's my thinking guys,
Things like the motherboard and processor have to be right the first time. Things like the video card and amount of ram can always be upgraded later as more money becomes available.
So with that thought in mind what do you think of the three options? Also what's best for me as far as motherboard/processors when considering games versus cost? (i.e. best bang for my buck) Core2 Quad? i5? i7 920?
Obviously if I build my own, parts would be ordered through somewhere like Newegg unless there's a better place.
One last thing, if you all think me building my own is the way to go could you please let me know what else is needed for a complete build. (Like the little stand off things the motherboard sets on, do I need to order those
or do they come with the board or case? Ribbon cable that goes from motherboard to the drives, etc.) Please keep in mind that I've never done a complete build and wouldn't want to miss some silly little thing.

That's about all that I can think of for now.
Thanks for your time and help.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

Between 1 and 2 I would get 2 but between all three I would definitely build (3 > 2 > 1 ).
Stand offs will come with the case and that ribbon cable will not be used in the new computer because that's IDE which has been replaced by SATA.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

i have to agree. between 1 and 2 go for 2. the prices are not bad. if they assemble for free its a good deal. adding more fans or a cpu cooler you can add later yourself. if you dont have someone local to help you i would go for #2. since your gaming ask them if raid 0 would be a good option for you. minus the video card and buy a second drive, and get a video card later if funds are limiting.
you can always find help here
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

Quote:
the prices are not bad. if they assemble for free its a good deal.
he said they do.
Quote:
When buying all components from them they built it free and give 3 years warranty on all parts and materials.
I would build...
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

I would build. It will (most likely) end up cheaper.

For example, without even trying to find anything, you could get one of these two deals from NewEgg
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Both completely blow away the Dell. Both offer better video cards and better processors then the custom built.

If someone else has time, they could find individual parts that are cheaper then those listed in the combo, but offer the same performance/quality, and end up with a cheaper overall build.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

Thank you so much for the replies and info so far. Good to know on the motherboard standoffs and ribbon cable. That shows you how much I know concerning a complete build and current technology. Thanks for the links to Newegg on the combo deals. I didn't even know they had complete combo deals like that. I am assuming that everything needed would be in there short of the operating system? One thing I find interesting is their disclaimer "Newegg.com cannot guarantee the compatibility of Combo items. Please contact the manufacturer(s) directly if you have issues or concerns regarding compatibility." Anyway the Intel combo is another option I'm now considering. I'm not familiar with AMD so I figured stay with Intel unless you guys think AMD is better. My only problem at the moment with that is the initial outlay of $1221.52 (with shipping) plus the cost of Windows 7. VishKapish has a good idea of "find(ing) individual parts that are cheaper then those listed in the combo, but offer the same performance/quality, and end up with a cheaper overall build." My only problem again is I'm not current on hardware and really wouldn't know which items to look for. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I'll keep studying. This isn't something that has to be done overnight so again I want to make sure that I do it right for the "best bang for my buck."
Thank you guys.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

personally I see that dell being a $930 computer, and it won't be all quality parts. the issue there with the compatibility disclaimer is that you are buying parts, and newegg cannot be responsible if you, for instance, buy DDR3 triple channel RAM and try to put it into a motherboard that only supports DDR2 Dual Channel. can you be more specific on what you are wanting? does that dell sound like a good starting place for a template?

****EDIT****
just an idea
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811144143 $ 98.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813188051 $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136344 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227365 $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130434 $214.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115202 $288.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827249054 $ 46.99

-------------------------------------------------------------------TOTAL= $1179.93
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

%lol wtf? why a 2tb hdd? dont even know if the guy is gonna use anywhere near that, probably not.
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Should I get Custom Built, Do my First Build, or go through Dell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCyber View Post
does that dell sound like a good starting place for a template?
Price wise yes, again $1000 - $1100.
Component wise I like the idea of the i7 920 but have been told that it's probably more than I need. Is there much performance differance going to an i5? The place that builds for you recommends the i5 for my needs although I did check at another one of it's chain stores and a guy there even said a core 2 quad would be all I would need. I have no idea.
No doubt the 750 gig harddrive in the Dell build would be fine since I've gotten along with a 120 gig for seven years but I have been very careful what I add. A 750meg - 1tb would be fine I'm sure.
The guy in that chain store even told me that 4 gigs of ram would be fine, that most people never really need much more than that. Again, I can add ram later if needed.
I see in the Newegg combo Intel deal that VishKapish sent a link to has two video cards. Again if it wasn't in a combo deal that's something that I could add later if I thought that a second card was needed.
So that's kind of where I'm at.
A rough starting place in my head is;
750 megs to 1 tb harddrive.
Single decent video card.
4 gigs of ram if you all think that'll do it for me.
1 optical drive. I can add another later.
Which leaves motherboard and processor. Core 2 quad? i5? or i7? I'm still leaning towards i7 to stay ahead of things but am open minded.
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