The best, pre-built gaming rig choices?

First off, please, I don't want 15+ posts including nothing more than "Dude build your own it's so fun and easy!" I've tried building my own with cheaper parts to get the hang of it. It was a pretty grueling, costly experience that I don't plan on repeating, especially with $1,000+ prices of parts. Swapping out and installing RAM is the pinnacle of my PC building skills, and though I know a good deal about parts, I know very little about their assembly. I'm a software person, not a hardware person. I do not want to build my own, bottom line.

To the best of my knowledge, ordering parts from multiple websites, while it works, is not financeable and can lead to issues, like product errors, delays, etc. If I literally can't find a single good gaming rig, I may consider taking parts to an IT and have them build it for me, but that's a last resort.

I'm looking for a good, pre-built gaming desktop rig. I'm mainly trying to buy from Best Buy, since I've had great experience with them and have financing options available. If you suggest rigs for me, they don't have to be directly from Best Buy, just available enough so I can search for them and research them a little. I'm running a budget of up to $1,900, 18-months financeable, so it's reasonable. Pretty much anything in this range would be great, as my current rig is about 4 years old. However, even with a Radeon HD 5700 (which one user here claimed couldn't run Battlefield 3 at more than 5 FPS on Medium), I can run most newer games, like Battlefield 3 and Planetside 2, at around 45-55 FPS on Medium settings, so having the latest and greatest video card isn't necessary to me; I'm not FPS greedy. A GTX 640+ will do just fine, as long as I can reliably run on High settings. I'm also looking for something with at least 8 gigs of RAM (with expansion capability) and a 3.4ghz+ processor, preferably Intel (overclocking capability is optional, I've never liked overclocking and I never plan to do it; 2-second faster loading times aren't worth shortening my CPU's life cycle). I also don't mind Windows 8 over Windows 7 (honestly, and I'm surprised too, I -prefer- Windows 8 so far). Liquid cooling is optional.

So far, my pre-built buying experience has been really good. This current computer of mine has worked great for these years, but as with all PCs, it's gotten quite a bit of wear and tear. I'm staying away from brands like CyberPowerPC, though, as I've heard they're thoroughly unreliable, which I believe.

Initially, I saw two great-looking pre-builts.

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An HP ENVY Phoenix 800 (not sure what PSU it uses), and a CybertronPC Minotaur (it isn't listed on its specs, but its PSU is an InWin 800W, which is fairly well-reviewed on Newegg). The first is $1,900, the second is about $1,100. I think both look good, but friends advised me the Minotaur is extremely overpriced: nearly $600 so. Friends say the HP looks good, but HP is known for some rather hastily-built products, so I didn't want to just jump right into buying it.

So, in the end, I'm looking for advice here from the people who know best. On my budget, for my needs, both gaming and college, with 18-months financing available, what would be some of the best pre-builts out there? Are the two I listed up to par and worth the money?
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More about pre built gaming rig choices
  1. I'm sorry to hear that you've had bad experiences with building your own computer in the past, but I can assure you it was an anomaly, and you don't have to order parts from different places.

    That being said, I highly suggest that you look at (reliable) boutique system builders like Origin PCs and Falcon NW - both of them are extremely reliable and while they aren't as cheap as building yourself, they're still much better options than buying from best buy - I pretty much guarantee you'll get shafted, there.

    That being said, just from how your post is worded, it sounds like your mind is already extremely made up. If that's not the case, go ahead an look at those two companies; you should be looking for an i5 and a 660 or so, which should be considerably cheaper than your budget, and will be miles better than an i7 with a 640.
  2. Best answer
    Just about every prebuilt pc you find will have certain compnents that are not high quality which can lead to a short life and possible damage to other components when they fail. They hide this by not giving much info about the part they skimped on...
    the PSU for example: if its a crap PSU it will read: 500W PSU...If it is a quality PSU it will read: Seasonic 620W 80+ Certified Bronze

    Gaming Guru PC lists each part and they have very solid builds:

    good luck :)

    Cheaper than 1900 dollar rig with same specs and improved components.
  4. Looking over Origin PC and the like, it just doesn't fit in my budget. Origin is a possibility for the future, but all things considered, the Minotaur model I listed is my preferred choice for now. Thanks for the help, guys.
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