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Advice/Suggestions/Opinions from experts on my upcoming gaming rig. Budget = $1k

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  • Computers
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  • FPS
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May 23, 2013 5:55:23 PM

Hello everyone,

My name is Steven, and I'm currently looking to get a new gaming rig. I've been always playing on lowend cheap computers that runs 10-50 FPS on lowest settings in almost every game. My budget goes up to around $1000, nothing more than $1.1k. After a couple days, I thought of these options for my gaming rig, hope you guys can give advice/suggestions/opinions on these.

A) Getting the alienware ($1074 USD). Yes, I know alienwares are too overrated and expensive, but I just want a gaming rig that can run strong fps's on high settings in most games such as BO2, minecraft, TF2, Crysis, etc. Here are their specs:

Software & Services
Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
Microsoft® Office trial
8GB (2 X 4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 up to 1600MHz
1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
No Monitor
No Keyboard
No Mouse
My Software & Accessories
Alienhead Chrome Blue
My Accessories
1 Year Alienware Basic Support
Also Includes
Alienware X51
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3770 (8M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 1.5GB GDDR5
Matte Stealth Black with Dark Chrome Accents
DW1506 Wireless-N WLAN Half Mini-Card
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
AlienFX Color, Quasar Blue
Steam Factory Installed and Steam Extra Content
Alienhead Chrome Blue
330W External Power supply

B) My second one is building the computer. Most of you would most likely suggest this, but hear me out. I have almost no experience in building a computer. I never even saw the inside before. Yes, there are tutorials online, but I really don't want to screw up $1000 worth of computer parts. However, I may consider this if you can explain to me why this is the best idea. I would also like a good list on getting the best performance for $1000. It's just for the tower, and I'd also need the OS as well.

C) Getting a gaming rig from CyberPC or iBuyPower. They are much cheaper than Alienware as I heard, but I never tested them out. A prebuilt one would be nice.

If you can, please give me an detailed answer for all A B and C. I really need opinions on my choices so I don't mess up and throw $1k into the ocean.

Thanks!

More about : advice suggestions opinions experts upcoming gaming rig budget

a b 4 Gaming
May 23, 2013 8:05:52 PM

Hi Steven

First of all, very well written opening post, kudos to you! few are able to, and actually bother, to state what's on their mind so clearly, it really helps!. anyway, here goes:

Option A: yes, I'm against this as you predicted, but here me out and decide later :) 

Option C: Skipping (B) for now, I think this is actually a very good option if you end up deciding to get it prebuilt. they offer fairly good warranties, and the build quality is honestly on par with alienware. for alienware you're literally paying extra just for the brand name.

Option B: the most popular here on Tom's. I myself, started my very first build after doing a week or so of research and forum stalking here at Tom's. I think the greatest benefit from building is actually the experience, you get to learn something entirely new, and at the end, you have a beautiful, working machine that you get to use and enjoy every day (and show it off to your friends etc). it's all very rewarding. of course, you get to save a few dollars, which can be spend toward better components, and translate to better performance. Plus, in the long run you'll save lots of money because you can simply upgrade specific components as you need to, rather than suffer through years of terrible performance until you save up, buckle down, and buy an entirely new pre-built machine again.

All that said, I'll quickly throw together a similar build to the alienware:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Zx3z

you see that there would be a $200 dollar difference, if say you threw that onto the graphics card, you can get close to a 680! which is significantly better. also keep in mind that these prices are pretty good, but not always the best as there're always sales. now if I've convinced you, I'd be happy to work with you on picking parts for your own build :) 
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a c 352 4 Gaming
May 23, 2013 8:20:27 PM

Hi steven, for $1000

custom build is always cheaper and better
this build i made for you :
including SSD
a lot better GPU
better PSU
for games, i5 is more appropriate

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($180.51 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($248.98 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.50 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1001.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-23 23:18 EDT-0400)

including OS
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a b 4 Gaming
May 23, 2013 8:40:04 PM

There is, of course, an option D: purchase the parts online and pay an assembler. Not as efficient as B, by any means, but still a viable choice and a hell of a step up from Alienware.

This would be my pitch, specs-wise:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($180.51 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($379.99 @ NCIX US)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black/Orange) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1023.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-23 23:39 EDT-0400)
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May 24, 2013 5:06:05 AM

vmem said:
Hi Steven

First of all, very well written opening post, kudos to you! few are able to, and actually bother, to state what's on their mind so clearly, it really helps!. anyway, here goes:

Option A: yes, I'm against this as you predicted, but here me out and decide later :) 

Option C: Skipping (B) for now, I think this is actually a very good option if you end up deciding to get it prebuilt. they offer fairly good warranties, and the build quality is honestly on par with alienware. for alienware you're literally paying extra just for the brand name.

Option B: the most popular here on Tom's. I myself, started my very first build after doing a week or so of research and forum stalking here at Tom's. I think the greatest benefit from building is actually the experience, you get to learn something entirely new, and at the end, you have a beautiful, working machine that you get to use and enjoy every day (and show it off to your friends etc). it's all very rewarding. of course, you get to save a few dollars, which can be spend toward better components, and translate to better performance. Plus, in the long run you'll save lots of money because you can simply upgrade specific components as you need to, rather than suffer through years of terrible performance until you save up, buckle down, and buy an entirely new pre-built machine again.

All that said, I'll quickly throw together a similar build to the alienware:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Zx3z

you see that there would be a $200 dollar difference, if say you threw that onto the graphics card, you can get close to a 680! which is significantly better. also keep in mind that these prices are pretty good, but not always the best as there're always sales. now if I've convinced you, I'd be happy to work with you on picking parts for your own build :) 


Hello,

Thanks! Do you think it's possible to replace a gtx 660 with a gtx 670? I'm a noob at these but I heard the 670 was much better. Also like Jack Revenant, how much is the estimated to pay an assembler? Lastly, can someone link me the best prebuilt PC from cyberpower/ibuypower for $1000 as my last resort?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 24, 2013 5:14:40 AM

stevenmeister said:
vmem said:
Hi Steven

First of all, very well written opening post, kudos to you! few are able to, and actually bother, to state what's on their mind so clearly, it really helps!. anyway, here goes:

Option A: yes, I'm against this as you predicted, but here me out and decide later :) 

Option C: Skipping (B) for now, I think this is actually a very good option if you end up deciding to get it prebuilt. they offer fairly good warranties, and the build quality is honestly on par with alienware. for alienware you're literally paying extra just for the brand name.

Option B: the most popular here on Tom's. I myself, started my very first build after doing a week or so of research and forum stalking here at Tom's. I think the greatest benefit from building is actually the experience, you get to learn something entirely new, and at the end, you have a beautiful, working machine that you get to use and enjoy every day (and show it off to your friends etc). it's all very rewarding. of course, you get to save a few dollars, which can be spend toward better components, and translate to better performance. Plus, in the long run you'll save lots of money because you can simply upgrade specific components as you need to, rather than suffer through years of terrible performance until you save up, buckle down, and buy an entirely new pre-built machine again.

All that said, I'll quickly throw together a similar build to the alienware:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Zx3z

you see that there would be a $200 dollar difference, if say you threw that onto the graphics card, you can get close to a 680! which is significantly better. also keep in mind that these prices are pretty good, but not always the best as there're always sales. now if I've convinced you, I'd be happy to work with you on picking parts for your own build :) 


Hello,

Thanks! Do you think it's possible to replace a gtx 660 with a gtx 670? I'm a noob at these but I heard the 670 was much better. Also like Jack Revenant, how much is the estimated to pay an assembler? Lastly, can someone link me the best prebuilt PC from cyberpower/ibuypower for $1000 as my last resort?


Various people and businesses charge different amounts. Generally, I tend to assume around $100, but it really could be pretty much anything. Ask at your local computer repair shop(s) and search online for computer assemblers in your region, you should be able to get at least an estimate on what they would charge."
I can link a prebuilt, but it's currently 5AM where I am, and I need to head to bed. If nobody has offered a reasonable option when I wake up, I'll find something for you.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 24, 2013 8:24:38 AM

Jack Revenant said:
There is, of course, an option D: purchase the parts online and pay an assembler. Not as efficient as B, by any means, but still a viable choice and a hell of a step up from Alienware.

This would be my pitch, specs-wise:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($180.51 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($51.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($379.99 @ NCIX US)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black/Orange) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.94 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1023.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-23 23:39 EDT-0400)


Perfect go with this build !

Build it urself, easy business
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a b 4 Gaming
May 25, 2013 7:51:23 PM

Sorry to take so long. I thought I'd posted this already, but it must have slipped my mind. If you need an online alternative, this is about as good as you're going to get: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadvanquish.asp?...
Not an optimal option, but it's not overpriced junk, and it's supposedly rather thoroughly tested.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 25, 2013 10:19:48 PM

Jack Revenant said:
Sorry to take so long. I thought I'd posted this already, but it must have slipped my mind. If you need an online alternative, this is about as good as you're going to get: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadvanquish.asp?...
Not an optimal option, but it's not overpriced junk, and it's supposedly rather thoroughly tested.


^ +1. I didn't even realize digital storm came this close. it's only like a $50 or so price premium...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 25, 2013 10:41:51 PM

vmem said:
Jack Revenant said:
Sorry to take so long. I thought I'd posted this already, but it must have slipped my mind. If you need an online alternative, this is about as good as you're going to get: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadvanquish.asp?...
Not an optimal option, but it's not overpriced junk, and it's supposedly rather thoroughly tested.


^ +1. I didn't even realize digital storm came this close. it's only like a $50 or so price premium...


Indeed. Not as good as a custom-built computer, but surprisingly good.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 26, 2013 8:41:19 AM

Jack Revenant said:
vmem said:
Jack Revenant said:
Sorry to take so long. I thought I'd posted this already, but it must have slipped my mind. If you need an online alternative, this is about as good as you're going to get: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadvanquish.asp?...
Not an optimal option, but it's not overpriced junk, and it's supposedly rather thoroughly tested.


^ +1. I didn't even realize digital storm came this close. it's only like a $50 or so price premium...


Indeed. Not as good as a custom-built computer, but surprisingly good.


agreed. however, I think that with the provided warrantee etc, the buy is getting a great deal. if it stays stable throughout the one year warrantee period, chances are it'll stay that way. besides, we really don't have to overclock etc, we just like doing it :p 
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a b 4 Gaming
May 26, 2013 2:05:02 PM

vmem said:
Jack Revenant said:
vmem said:
Jack Revenant said:
Sorry to take so long. I thought I'd posted this already, but it must have slipped my mind. If you need an online alternative, this is about as good as you're going to get: http://www.digitalstormonline.com/comploadvanquish.asp?...
Not an optimal option, but it's not overpriced junk, and it's supposedly rather thoroughly tested.


^ +1. I didn't even realize digital storm came this close. it's only like a $50 or so price premium...


Indeed. Not as good as a custom-built computer, but surprisingly good.


agreed. however, I think that with the provided warrantee etc, the buy is getting a great deal. if it stays stable throughout the one year warrantee period, chances are it'll stay that way. besides, we really don't have to overclock etc, we just like doing it :p 


Quite so. I regularly recommend it to my less tech-savvy friends. Sure, you could probably get a 7950 in there is you were custom building, but with a warranty and tech support, it's a heck of a good option.
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