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Old 03-01-2012, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

About 3-4 months ago, I saw a great deal on the Dell Outlet:

i7-2600 processor (8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
8 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (4 DIMMs)
1.5 TB SATA II Hard Drive (7200RPM)
16X DVD +/- RW Drive
Dell 1501 Wireless-N
Total was $569!

Granted, it was a "scratch and dent" system, but that never bothered me before (I've owned quite a few scratch and dent models from the outlet before). But, I only had $500 budget at the time, so I decided to wait a couple of months and try again.

Turns out, closest I can find to that deal in the outlet now is at least $150-200 more. Now I'm really kicking myself for not jumping on the deal when it was available, and am desperately trying to find some way to make up for it. I've been out of the PC building game for 15 years, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to build something with similar or comparable specs for around the same price (under $600). What do you guys think?
Can it be done, or am I better off waiting for a coupon and sniping a deal on the Outlet again?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Considering buying even just the HDD and CPU new would be ~$450 I'd say probably not possible.
But I'm also not up on reliable places to buy used parts, so there may be a glimmer of hope.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Yeah, I hear you. I don't think I realized how good of a deal that was. I should have seriously jumped!

For the record, the Dell system was using on-board video, if that helps the challenge at all. (personally, I'll probably add at least a cheap GeForce 240 to enable entry-level CUDA encoding)

I also understand that HD prices are a bit preventative right now. Maybe that's why the prices on the outlet have gone up? Were they already high back in November? I can't remember how long the HD price hike has been so far, but I'll bet they aren't helping the prices of pre-built machines right now.

If it helps, I actually DO have an 80GB Intel SSD on a shelf that I haven't used yet for anything. Maybe if we leave out the HD part of the spec for now (I do everything on an external array of drives anyway)- would that help the challenge as well?

I'm personally out of the PC building game for nearly 10 years now. I'd so out of the loop I don't know where to start, so I'd love to see what the good folks on this forum can come up with!
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Here is a start:

CPU + MB: $212 AMD Phenom II X4 970 + Asus M4A87TD/USB3
Cooler: $33 Corsair CAFA50
RAM: $40 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1333
ODD: $18 Sony Optiarc 24x DVD/CD Burner
PSU: $45 Corsair CX430 V2

Total so far is $348 (not including $40 in rebates)

Leaves some wiggle room for a case (~$50?), operating system (~$100), then another $100 for a HDD or GPU.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roark View Post
Here is a start:

CPU + MB: $212 AMD Phenom II X4 970 + Asus M4A87TD/USB3
Cooler: $33 Corsair CAFA50
RAM: $40 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1333
ODD: $18 Sony Optiarc 24x DVD/CD Burner
PSU: $45 Corsair CX430 V2

Total so far is $348 (not including $40 in rebates)

Leaves some wiggle room for a case (~$50?), operating system (~$100), then another $100 for a HDD or GPU.
Nice- I wouldn't mind AMD equivalents, however according to the benchmarks I'm finding for that chip, it is significantly slower than the i7 2600, and rather more comparable to a Core i5 661.

:/
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

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Nice- I wouldn't mind AMD equivalents, however according to the benchmarks I'm finding for that chip, it is significantly slower than the i7 2600, and rather more comparable to a Core i5 661.

:/
Forgot about DIY kits, since they are usually missing something or have "meh" components, also keep in mind none have an OS.
(price is the link)

$614.50 i5 2500K based. Needs a GPU and ODD.

$550.99 i5 2500 based. Needs an ODD.

$511.99 i7 2600 based. Needs an ODD, PSU, Case, and faster HDD (5900RPM storage drive included)

$504.99 i5 2500 based. "Complete Kit", would not trust the PSU though, and has 5900RPM storage HDD.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roark View Post
Forgot about DIY kits, since they are usually missing something or have "meh" components, also keep in mind none have an OS.
(price is the link)

$614.50 i5 2500K based. Needs a GPU and ODD.

$550.99 i5 2500 based. Needs an ODD.

$511.99 i7 2600 based. Needs an ODD, PSU, Case, and faster HDD (5900RPM storage drive included)

$504.99 i5 2500 based. "Complete Kit", would not trust the PSU though, and has 5900RPM storage HDD.
Nice suggestions, those are great places to start, thanks! What's wrong with that PSU, btw? 500W not enough?
I'm not planning on a crazy video card or anything- just an entry level GeForce 240 at most (which is rated to work with 200Watts, I think). My pre-built boxes have always had relativly underpowered PSUs (~300 I think), and has never been a problem for me in the past. One hard drive, perhaps 2 with the other being my low-powered SSD, and a low end GPU. Should be more than enough with an entery level PSU, right?

One the one hand, I can find a pre-built core i5 in the Dell Outlet for around $500, however I like that these can be upgraded to an i7 when the prices come down in the future. The Dell ones are harder (and the Inspiron 620 i5's apparently aren't compatible with i7 upgrades, both in the BIOS and physically).

BTW, are there affordable AMD options that are comparable to the i7 performance? Or has Intel really cornered this market at the moment?
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Its just a matter of rolling the dice. I'm biased for/against certain companies after reading reviews, Raidmax is not well known for quality.
That being said, one of my rigs has an Apevia PSU (same situation) that has been working fine, but I still expect it to burst into flames soon.

I don't think there are any AMD chips that can compare to the i7, regardless of budget.
But thats the way its been for a while. Intel has performance and a price-tag, AMD has slightly less performance for quite a bit less cost.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Well, it was worth a try. I'm back to scoping out the Dell Outlet regularly, maybe another deal will pop up again. Or a coupon.

I'll wait it out a bit longer, and if nothing happens, I'll consider some of the bundles mentioned earlier.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to build a better deal than Dell Outlet

Saw this and decided to bite. Just a bit more than I wanted to spend originally, but it seemed like a good deal, and already had an entry level GeForce card for CUDA rendering (although not too many cores, a good place to start).

Unlike Dell, there is also freedom to grow in these, if I am not mistaken?

http://1saleaday.com/flash/pt-gccp2-007/
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