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Why bother building a high end rig?

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October 22, 2007 3:02:13 PM

I have been following these boards for the last few months and definitely consider myself to be a newbie to modding computers, but not new to using them.

I have built a wish list on newegg for a top notch box, it runs me 3803.89. My other option is to buy a cyberpower pc box for 4120 and it is already OC’d to 3.66 from the stock 3.0 (QX6850).

The systems are identical with the exception of cooling, I would use an extreme 120 if building it myself, the cyberpower pc comes with a Vigor Monsoon2 lite which has performed well according to Tom’s but does make a bit of noise.

I guess my question is why not go with a system builder considering it is only $300 more and already OC’d? Not to mention that it comes with a warranty.

I realize that cyperpower’s rep isn’t the best when it comes to technical issues but since I plan on tweaking it myself a bit why not let them do the dirty work?

To me $300 is not worth the time to assemble the rig, tweaking I can do if/when needed. Please no comments about how one can OC a 2.4 quad core to whatever. To me the difference in processor costs is not a big deal, whats $700 when one is spending so much on other components anyway.


Anything I am missing?

QX6850 oc’d to 3.66
Coolermaster830
Striker extreme
2 gig XMS2
2 EVGA Superclocked 8800 GTX
2 150g Raptors, raid 0
1 500g HD
1 Lightscribe CD/DVD
Vista 64 Ultimate
1000w PSU
Vigor Monsoon2
Upgraded cables/wiring
October 22, 2007 3:21:01 PM

mmorgan216 said:

To me $300 is not worth the time to assemble the rig, tweaking I can do if/when needed. Please no comments about how one can OC a 2.4 quad core to whatever. To me the difference in processor costs is not a big deal, whats $700 when one is spending so much on other components anyway.


Then go for it

For me, saving money is just part of the reason I build my own, I like actually building it too

but hey, to each his own
October 22, 2007 4:24:04 PM

For me personally, I prefer building and just knowing I did it, and I have fun with it. If you just want an out of the box plug and play system, go for it. I mean you do have tech support, and your more covered there. Like me, I built a new system, IDE channels on the mobo went bad after a month, so I get to put around on the laptop while I'm waiting for my retailer to process my old board. But at least they should be sending me a new biostar within the next couple of days:) . For me though, it's good practice, as I may start my own computer repair/custom computer business....
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October 22, 2007 4:26:48 PM

Btw, it's not worth saving $300 to you for 2 hours of work? For 300 bucks I would build my own, figuring 45 mins-1 hour to assemble, then maybe an hour to install windows, antivirus, etc. Hey, I'd do it to save 50 bucks!:) 
October 22, 2007 4:40:33 PM

Right, go for it. If you have the money and you're not confortable building the PC yourself then $300 is not that much. It's actually cheap insurance, considering the risk of damaging a $1000 CPU or a $600 video card.

One thing I really don't get though: for that amount of money, they won't let you change the cooler to a quieter one? If I were you I'd insist a bit. They are making a nice profit from this sale, so I honestly think they should make a little extra effort. You can find somebody to assemble the thing for you for $50 or $100 and they'd lose the sale. Tell them that if you have to.

You might as well get 4 GB of RAM, for a machine like that. nVidia drivers take a lot of memory for SLI, and you have a 64-bit system too, so why not.

The 750GB WD (WD7500AAKS) is much faster than the 500GB WD. I saw some benchmarks recently and I'm still furious (just got 3 WD5000AAKS recently).

What brand of PSU are you getting?
October 22, 2007 4:44:41 PM

$300 is a lot of money... espically for something that i could do, and enjoy doing my self.

October 22, 2007 4:48:23 PM

My guess is the OP could build the rig but wouldn't enjoy it much. Also, for his $300 he gets support for a year or whatever. Anyway, what's the going rate in Seattle for assembling a PC? In Ottawa it's about $35.
October 22, 2007 4:48:57 PM

If your spending that amount of money, I think if I were you, I'd be looking at alienware or something more well known with a good rep. I guess myself, I usually don't go 100% high end, I like stuff with "bang for the buck", where I get it keep it a while, and when it starts getting outdated put in a new chip or video card, etc, then I'm up to date, my wife would kill me if I even spent 1000 on a new system at a time, and quite frankly, if I had 600 I could build myself a nice upgradeable rig:) . It helps too when you have old parts you can keep reusing:) .
October 22, 2007 4:54:10 PM

Wasting money is fun if you can afford it. Maybe you and I can run some benches with your $3800 vs my $1400. You say the Cyberpower one has a warranty? Well if you open the case and tinker your warranty is void. So any self upgrades are out of the picture. If you build yourself every thing comes with its own warranty. Its not hard to snap parts in a box.
October 22, 2007 5:12:22 PM

Most people build there own as part of their computing hobby. For those that strictly use computers and don't really care about the technology behind it, then sure buying an assembled system makes sense. I don't consider the time assembling my system and tuning it as time lost, it's my hobby.
October 22, 2007 6:04:59 PM

When I bought "built" systems, I only used vendors who would install each and every part off my spec'd list. Back then (early to mid 1990's) it was actually cheaper to buy the system from the vendor as they had access to price structures I could only dream about.

But as my original builder went out of business once outfits like newegg surfaced, and I had mounting problems with other ones I tried, I started building my own. One problem is that the assembled system has to eb shipped and large copper heatsinks tend to snap off MoBo's when the gorillas at FedEx Ground get a hold of them (had much better luck with UPS).

The main reason is though that I get a better job when I do it myself. Cables are routed more neatly, air flow is better, drives are partitioned, OS is set up the way I want it to be.

And with many vendors price is way more than $300. My nephew was getting a "going away to school" system from his Mom via Dell. Spec's out is was $3190. I built a system to the exact same specs using equal or better parts from newegg (used memory with better steppings, quality cables, case, coolers, extra fans and Plextor optical drives) for $1870.

Wish I could do the same with laptops but I haven't found good component suppliers. Laptop choices are:

1. Big Brand laptops where one or more components just stink.
2. Custom Houses like WidowPC, FalconNorthwest where decent Hi end systems approach $5k in cost
3. OEM houses that supply the stuff to WidowPC and the like but which will also sell to you directly at 70% the price as choice 2.
October 22, 2007 6:40:31 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
When I bought "built" systems, I only used vendors who would install each and every part off my spec'd list. Back then (early to mid 1990's) it was actually cheaper to buy the system from the vendor as they had access to price structures I could only dream about.


I guess here in Canada we're 10 years behind :)  Where I live I could actually get a great price from a local vendor who installed everything off my list. OK, newegg won't ship to Canada, but we do have NCIX and tigerdirect, and still these local guys had a better price than the online retailers.

I recommend that the OP do a little research (Yellow Pages, maybe). With a little luck he may find a shop like that in his city. That would also eliminate shipping costs and keep Conan the Mailman away from the PC :) 

October 22, 2007 7:04:25 PM

I have been itching to build a new system but mine works so well and runs all of the games I play on the highest settings that I really do not need to build one. Besides I am waiting for the new GPU's to come out before I build a new one.

I like the day all of my parts arrive. I grab a 6 pack of beer, lay everything out, take my time hiding wires etc. Boot it up, tweak it, install software etc. I just love building!
October 22, 2007 7:36:53 PM

Don't buy from CyberPower, If you don't wanna build it yourself. Go into your local computer shop and ask if they build custom PCs
October 22, 2007 7:47:59 PM

If you look at most hobbies, you'll find enthusiasts all over the spectrum. For auto enthusiasts, you can buy the latest and greatest off the showroom floor, you can have one built the way you want it, you can have a restorer build one for you, or you can build your own hot rod. It's all in what's the most fun for you. The thing about computers vs cars is that there's very little chance of catching the garage on fire, driving off the road at 100+ miles per hour, or getting speeding tickets :D 
October 22, 2007 9:08:27 PM

Good kit car versus good retail car.
October 22, 2007 9:22:49 PM

mmorgan216 ---
$4000 is out of my price range.

Athlon X2 5000+
4 video outputs (4 20" monitors) (1 19" monitor for a server)
500GB hard drive (2-3TB for a server)
WindowsXP

About $500 plus monitors. I build the systems for our business because in this price range I can beat the store prices.
October 22, 2007 11:26:21 PM

It's really funny, I thought that the thrust of the thread was completely different (i.e. why build a top end computer when for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price you can get a system that is 90+% of the way there).
October 23, 2007 12:15:10 AM

1) The QX6850 will be no bargain when the high end penryn Q(x?)9650 launches in november.
2) Some pre-built systems come loaded with "bloatware".
3) Why does such a high end system with a 64-bit OS only come with 2gb?
4) Don't plan on tweaking it, they are probably pushing the boundaries, already.
5) If their rep is bad(I don't know), then how good is their warranty.

---good luck with either choice---
October 23, 2007 12:51:36 AM

mmorgan216 said:
Anything I am missing?
Only sense. Spending $4k+ on a PC with problematic SLI, underperforming RAID, the latest greastest disaster of an OS, a $1,000 processor and a huge wasteful PSU is an exercise in stupidity.

bentley306 nailed it.
October 23, 2007 1:26:38 AM

Thanks so much all for the input so far.

Common questions:
As far as why only 2gb of memory, to keep comparison equal. Cyberpower's ram pricings are lousy and will upgrade to 4gb after purchase through an online retailer.

October 23, 2007 1:40:21 AM

Good point about the QX9650. If you wait a month you'll be able to get that CPU instead of the QX6850, for the same cash. It will be 11% faster thanks to the clocks alone, it will overclock higher, it will also have some speed gains thanks to larger cache, and with the right software it will do video encoding WAY faster than the QX6850 thanks to new special instructions (SSE4, I think it's called).

And of course, a month from now we'll see what the 8800 GT can really do...
October 23, 2007 1:55:38 AM

Whoa, what is the point of buying a computer at all if you don't build it yourself? That is most of the fun, also, learn how to toss a 400mhz OC on something, very easy to do with a stock HSF, just to get the extra performance.

Buying prebuilt PCs come with such crap components it isn't even worth it. They are full of crapware, no proper Windows CD, gutless proprietary PSUs.

Learning how to build and maintain a PC, once you know how, is a nifty little skill. You have a problem, you can fix it in 10 mins, and never have to pay/wait for service.
October 23, 2007 2:46:04 AM

Take a look at my signature.......

Yes I really do buy Dell computers.



Back to your question

..... why not go with a system builder considering it is only $300 more and already OC’d? Not to mention that it comes with a warranty.



My answer....

An informed customer is a happy customer.

I checked out a couple local computer stores. The going rate was $65 to assemble a computer. Sounds good. Of course their prices for the parts was higher than what I could buy the same part from Tigerdirect, Newegg, or even BB/CC/OD. And that was just a stock computer, no OCing. And the warranty was only 1 year for labor + the parts manufacturer's warranty.

I did the math and figured that the local builders were going to cost me about $275 over the parts being purchased and assembled by myself.

The one builder would not discuss me buying the parts and his company performing the assembly. The other builder would just raise his assembly rate to $150 and I was responsible for DOA parts and there was NO assembler's warranty.

I called the next town over and the assembly prices & terms were +/- nearly the same.

In the end I just returned to Dell and bought a Stock Box and installed my own RAM, GPU, extra HD's and other accessories.

I know the exact amount of the premium that I paid (it is a lot less than what others would expect, but that is due in part to my buying volume being larger than 1), and Dell has to pickup the warranty for whatever gets really screwed up for the next 3 years (parts and labor).


Your situation is quite similar.

I would check around and see if you can find a local system builder. Compare their prices versus the online companies.

October 23, 2007 4:00:18 AM

Last I checked, your warrenty is voided the second you open a dell.
Not to mention the motherboard is junk. If you ordered a PC from dell, in most cases the only thing you could salvage would be the CPU, hard drive and DVD/CD drive.
James
October 23, 2007 1:45:25 PM

james_8970 said:
Last I checked, your warrenty is voided the second you open a dell.
Not to mention the motherboard is junk. If you ordered a PC from dell, in most cases the only thing you could salvage would be the CPU, hard drive and DVD/CD drive.
James



Argeed. As soon as you opened it the warranty was void. If you wanted to install all your own stuff why not go from scratch.

Dells are junk. I saw one on Yahoo home page for $399. By the time you finish adding the minimum stuff it is almost $1400. I can build the same machine monitor and all for $650.00. 90% of the computers that come to my shop busted ae Dells. Dell also love to use hard to find parts that only work in a Dell. This makes future upgrades hard sometimes.
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