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Desktop equivalent to XPS 15?

Last response: in Video Games
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April 19, 2011 8:09:31 AM

I'm looking at buying/building a new gaming computer. I will be playing it on my big screen, which is only 1366x768, though, so I don't need something powerful enough for Crysis at 1080p or anything. Dell's XPS 15 notebook can be ordered with the GT 540M 2GB video card and a Core i5-2410m, which seems pretty capable on notebookcheck.net. Of course, I could build a desktop solution and get much better gaming performance for the same price. But, since I'm limited to like 720p, maybe the XPS is still a good choice.

So here's my question: If we take the XPS as the maximum performance, I still guess that I'd have to spend like $800 for a comparable desktop. Is that right? Since the laptop is like $1000, it's close enough for me to get the advantage of portability. A $600 desktop might change my mind, though...

Here's my estimate: (I'm still a bit new to building.)
Motherboard - $100-$150
CPU - $200
RAM - $75
HDD - $75
Case - $50
Power - $50
Video - $100
Windows - $100
DVD - $50

Thanks!

More about : desktop equivalent xps

April 19, 2011 9:36:13 PM

So, a bit more digging and here's a setup that might fit the bill.

CPU - AMD Phenom X2 560 - $110
Motherboard - Asus M4A78LT-M LE - $60
Video Card - ATI 5670 - $100

I could finish the rest of the build for like $300.

What do you all think? How does it compare with a $1000 laptop in gaming?

And how does this work for value? Like, if I spent $20 extra on something, would I get a significant increase in performance?
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April 19, 2011 10:38:12 PM

atm if you spend 1000 on a gaming laptop you can get similar performance from a desktop for under 600
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April 20, 2011 8:25:00 AM

My recent build is:

Asus P8P67-Pro Motherboard
i5-2500K CPU
4GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
1TB HDD
Nvidia GFX 560Ti
750W XFX PSU

There are some other bits in there (DVD drive, aftermarket CPU cooler etc) and a case, which I shelled out a lot for. However, the core components above came to £660.00 (as of today) which works out at about $1,100 (US). I haven't got any benchmarks, but this build is mid-range and pretty future-proof when compared to a laptop. You could get that down to $1,000 by getting a smaller HDD, the Express version of the mobo and a lower wattage PSU (but not less than about 650W with that graphics card).
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April 20, 2011 3:15:48 PM

diellur said:
My recent build is:

Asus P8P67-Pro Motherboard
i5-2500K CPU
4GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
1TB HDD
Nvidia GFX 560Ti
750W XFX PSU

There are some other bits in there (DVD drive, aftermarket CPU cooler etc) and a case, which I shelled out a lot for. However, the core components above came to £660.00 (as of today) which works out at about $1,100 (US). I haven't got any benchmarks, but this build is mid-range and pretty future-proof when compared to a laptop. You could get that down to $1,000 by getting a smaller HDD, the Express version of the mobo and a lower wattage PSU (but not less than about 650W with that graphics card).


Thanks for the post.

What would be the biggest advantage in your system? From my estimates, which are definitely open to challenge, the AMD system I described should be able to handle something as intensive as Metro 2033 at medium settings in the 720p range. The CPU/GPU combo you listed is about $300 more. It is primarily DX11 (like tessellation...) where your system shines?

Since 1920x1080 is like twice the number of pixels, I'd guess that I can afford a smaller card.
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April 20, 2011 3:41:56 PM

I've heard that Metro 2033 is the new Crysis in that as much as the specs may lead you to believe your rig will be OK, it'll struggle in reality. I've not played it, probably won't either, so I'd need someone to confirm / rebuff that. Certainly something to be aware of though.

I should also apologise...when I posted earlier, I overlooked the fact that although the option of the $1k laptop clearly indicates your budget, a viable desktop alternative for you should be in the $600 range. Then I canter in and give you a build for $1.1k. Sorry about that!

Anyway...now that I'm here...

The advantages are that the i5-2500K can be OCd, and that it is generally considered the best CPU for a mid-range gaming system right now (from internet research). I selected the GPU based on reviews, also - I think the Nvidia cards are better at tessellation (again, someone else more knowledgeable please chip in) - but I plan to SLI in the future, which is another advantage of my system.

The AMD system you listed below would be fine...but you may find it running out of steam in the nearish future, whereas my build will (hopefully!) last a bit longer. If I were you, I'd look at the performance of the GPU you'd put in a desktop against the performance of the one you'd have in the laptop and see if a) the capability is right for you and b) if the anticipated lifespan is also right for you when considering the type of games you play.
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April 20, 2011 6:47:41 PM

For the extra $5 I'd go with the PII X4 840 instead of the X2 560 -- but the prices on that site seem a bit high - is there any other shops that sell to your location ? -- (ie $100 for a 5670 is steep when on newegg you can get a 5770 for $99 or a 5850 for $144 and 5670's are around the $60 mark.)
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April 20, 2011 11:19:52 PM

JDFan said:
For the extra $5 I'd go with the PII X4 840 instead of the X2 560 -- but the prices on that site seem a bit high - is there any other shops that sell to your location ? -- (ie $100 for a 5670 is steep when on newegg you can get a 5770 for $99 or a 5850 for $144 and 5670's are around the $60 mark.)


Good advice. Thanks.

For the 5670 prices, to get it for $65, you need to get DDR3 or only 512 ram. 1GB of GDDR5 is $85 at Newegg. Also, I'm in Canada. Maybe that's the price difference?
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April 21, 2011 2:58:43 AM

buggaby said:
Good advice. Thanks.

For the 5670 prices, to get it for $65, you need to get DDR3 or only 512 ram. 1GB of GDDR5 is $85 at Newegg. Also, I'm in Canada. Maybe that's the price difference?


You are correct I forgot they had the 512MB and ddr3 models and was just doing a quick look -- The Sapphire 5770 is a good deal at Newegg.ca for $115 +$11 shipping with a $20 MIR so right around $100 after rebate. (and worth the little bit extra for the performance difference.
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April 23, 2011 6:57:40 PM

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I've been researching a bit throughout the week and now feel much more confident in making a decision - partly because I found a bunch of benchmark websites and started getting familiar with the card names to make sense of them :)  - but also because of the suggestions here.

It turns out I don't have to worry about getting a case or an OS (got a free, legal, source). So, I'm gonna spend a bit more on the GPU. The 6850 looks pretty good here at $180 - $20 rebate at Newegg. Should I pay much attention to the seller (i.e. Asus vs HIS vs XFX)? I notice the Asus version is overclocked a bit.
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April 24, 2011 2:39:31 AM

buggaby said:
Should I pay much attention to the seller (i.e. Asus vs HIS vs XFX)? I notice the Asus version is overclocked a bit.


Main difference between the brands is the cooler placed on the card and the warranty offered by the maker (and their customer support staff) so in most cases not a lot of difference and each person will have a different opinion on which is best based on their past experiences (positive or negative)
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April 24, 2011 6:07:34 AM

JDFan said:
Main difference between the brands is the cooler placed on the card and the warranty offered by the maker (and their customer support staff) so in most cases not a lot of difference and each person will have a different opinion on which is best based on their past experiences (positive or negative)


Again thanks, JDFan.

There's no one particular answer that I would think is the "best", so I'll just pick one as a symbol for the continued assistance :) 

I'm thinking this now:
AMD HD 6850
Phenom X4 965 Black
Biostar A77083 mobo
Antec 520W PSU
4GB G.Skill RAM

This'll run me under $600 before taxes. When it comes to mobo, I didn't read much comparisons about chipsets. I just chose the cheapest one with the number of ram ports, and a PCI-e x16 slot. The PSU I chose for efficiency and over 500W power. Other than that, I guessed.

Also, I'm using newegg at your suggestion. The prices seem better than the local store, and the selection is, too. If you care to point out any possible problems I have missed, I'm certainly willing to listen, but certainly don't feel obliged ;) 
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April 24, 2011 3:19:21 PM

well you guessed reasonably well. thats a nice budget gaming setup and will give roughly 1.5 the performance of the laptop you mentioned. due to the quad and midrange gfx. and you will be able to game at 1080p which is a real bonus.
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Best solution

April 24, 2011 4:00:50 PM

buggaby said:
Again thanks, JDFan.

There's no one particular answer that I would think is the "best", so I'll just pick one as a symbol for the continued assistance :) 

I'm thinking this now:
AMD HD 6850
Phenom X4 965 Black
Biostar A77083 mobo
Antec 520W PSU
4GB G.Skill RAM

This'll run me under $600 before taxes. When it comes to mobo, I didn't read much comparisons about chipsets. I just chose the cheapest one with the number of ram ports, and a PCI-e x16 slot. The PSU I chose for efficiency and over 500W power. Other than that, I guessed.

Also, I'm using newegg at your suggestion. The prices seem better than the local store, and the selection is, too. If you care to point out any possible problems I have missed, I'm certainly willing to listen, but certainly don't feel obliged ;) 


Just a couple things :

1. The CPU -- get the 955 instead it is the same chip just set to run one multiple on the clock lower than the 965 so a second or 2 in the BIOS to increase the clock multiple by 1x yields the same chip for $16 savings

2. The MOBO -- I've never really liked BIOSTAR (again these things are biased based on personal experience so others may disagree) they tend to use slightly lower quality parts which of course is how they can sell cheaper but for a system MOBO I'd go with Gigabyte, ASUS, or MSI - plus the 770 chipset is getting a bit outdated so for something that offers a bit more I'd go with the COMBO deal they have with the 955 CPU and ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 MOBO for $226 - you get the newer 870 chipset which includes the SATA 6GB and USB 3.0 which means better throughput options as time goes by.

3. On the PSU Some Antec models are good but they also have some poor ones (not sure of the reviews on this model) but for the $ I'd go with the XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W unit for $104 - $30 MIR (a bit more initial investment but if\when you get the rebate final cost is $10 less) and you get a bit higher output which will serve you well as you upgrade and it never hurts to have a little extra overhead just in case - It is also a 80+ Bronze rated unit.

4. The 6850 is a good choice but they do have a good price on the SAPPHIRE 100282XTREME 5850 for $145 right now which saves about $20 - $40 over the 6850 and is slightly faster (about 5% better performance overall so both are fairly close)
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April 25, 2011 2:25:33 AM

Best answer selected by buggaby.
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