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Store Bought vs. Home Build

Last response: in Systems
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November 19, 2007 10:32:20 PM

About a month ago I decided to get a new pc because my old one was 5+ years and counting. Plus I really wanted get back into computer games, Oblivion and recently CoD 4. I was pretty settled on getting another Dell and started communicating with them about the parts that go into it (I know much more about pc components than I did 6 years ago). The first paper build I had worked with Dell was an Inspiron 530, or whichever has the intel chip. The cpu was an E6550 and it came with an 8600 GT card, a 250w psu and everything else was basically an unknown (even the Dell reps don't know cause they swap out brands all the time). With a 4 year total warranty and 3 years McAfee the total was 1250 after tax/free shipping, windows, no monitor or extras. Well the psu set off warning bells because I have previously upgraded a graphics card for my old pc and had to buy a new psu in the process (same 250w back then). I decided to investigate what I could get with the same money if I built my own desktop with choice parts. I just got online and started picking out parts and adding up the cost with a basic budget of 1200. I caught on very quickly that I could build, theoretically, a superior system with my price range. In the beginning I had considered building my own; but it seemed risky and fraught with peril for an amateur like myself. But looking at the difference in components and the kind of system I could get it was easy to see I'd be foolish not to build my own.

So here it is- it took a lot of research (a steady 2 weeks actually) to come up with the following build. It's already built and moving along quite nicely:

* e6750 Intel duocore, 2.66 Ghz 1333
* Asus motherboard, P5K P35 1333/1033
* Western Digital Caviar 160 GB SATA II, 7200 rpm
* Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4DHX 800 DDR II (2x1GB)
* Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
* eVGA 8800 GTS 320 mb 500 Mhz
* Corsair HX520w psu

The total price for this system was about 1070, after the rebates (haven't gotten yet) it will be 950. Still need to buy some new speakers. I didn't have to buy a new OS (windows xp in this case) either, which saved me a nice amount of money. HOWEVER, I am a student and I got the software for free. I have heard Dell OS systems will only work with the Dell computer it comes with.

This is a significantly better system than what I would have gotten elsewhere. Dell had a crappy 100 dollar card with a 250w psu. Worse, if I decided later on I would wanted to upgrade that card I'd have to buy a decent psu and have a certified tech do the install to keep my warranty valid. That was actually what pushed me to build my own. The other cool thing about building is that you learn a lot of new stuff about your computer. I really know my machine inside and out and quite a bit more now. On the flip side it wasn't all that easy, either. I had to make a number of phone calls and do a fair amount of troubleshooting to get it in working order. But that was one time deal- the next time will be far easier now that I know. There is quite a bit you should/need to know before attempting to build your own PC. I can only recommend a lot of patience and a lot of homework. Take your time because it will be very worth the effort. Plus I was pretty proud of myself :)  You can't brag here (big whoopie-welcome to the club), but you can brag elsewhere that you built your own computer. Not everyone can do that.
November 19, 2007 11:29:37 PM

Congratulations on being intelligent enough to the route you did. I would recommend, however, stepping up your 8800 GTS 320MB to a 8800GT 512MB. Go to Evga's website for details.
November 19, 2007 11:50:44 PM

Nice job!
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November 20, 2007 12:34:28 AM

well done partialsum welcome to the more knowledgable.
November 20, 2007 12:54:22 AM

Dells sucks, who do you think is paying Dell to put together your computer? Thats right you are then you got the warranties to add up a few hundred.
November 20, 2007 1:14:26 AM

Agreed on dell
my own first was only... 3 months ago but I couldn't spend that much
X2 4600+ EE @ stock 2.4Ghz
MSI Crossfire Xpress 3200
2GB GeIL Black Dragon DDR2 800
Western Digital 3200AAJS
Raidmax Smilodon Case
HIS X1950PRO 256MB Rev 2 @ stock HIS clocks (590/770)
Corsair HX520w
Logitech G11 (Fried the older one I had planned on using)
November 20, 2007 1:23:16 AM

Dell are hobags....hobags indee.
November 20, 2007 1:30:13 AM

I like your post very much. My computer had just passed the 5yr mark and now Im using even an older one till I build or order.. My comp's motherboard gave out and there is no sense investing in a computer that still uses agp, especially since I'm intereseted in the new lot of games.. :p  I've learned a lot the last few years, but I'm not sure I'm tech savy enough to put one together.. I'm know all the plug and play things are simple, but I know nothing about putting the chip into the motherboard and using the thermal paste, that I always here about :p  I'm tempted but not sure yet.. I know what parts I'm going to use , but what about dimm timings and all the bios settings stuff, I may be in trouble :)  I probably will hold out until after the holidays.. I'll post If I decide to build, since so many of you smarties post here!!
BTW how much money did you save ?? Thanks!!!
November 20, 2007 2:00:57 AM

Make sure you step up your video card.
November 20, 2007 2:32:37 AM

I am also around the 5-6 year mark. I don't even know exactly what components are in it, but it was from when the dells were in the 4100 numbers.
November 20, 2007 7:08:33 PM

nukchebi0 said:
Congratulations on being intelligent enough to the route you did. I would recommend, however, stepping up your 8800 GTS 320MB to a 8800GT 512MB. Go to Evga's website for details.


I know the GT series is relatively new, but isn't it a tier below the GTS series? I had considered stepping to the GTS 640 mb version but the vga charts indicate it's not much different than the 320 mb at the same 500 Mhz range(even lower actually).
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html

What's different about the GT series?
November 20, 2007 7:38:28 PM

The 8800GT knocks the socks off the 8800GTS and for a cheaper price I'm sorry to say.

The difference is the 8800GTS is made with the G80 chip, the 8800GT is made with the newer G92.

Rumor is nVidia is working on revamping the 8800GTS with the G92 that will then be better than the 8800GT. But right now the 8800GTS 320MB is more expensive than the 8800GT despite the fact that the 8800GT is the better card. And we're not talking by a little, we're talking a lot better.

If your 8800GTS is made by eVGA you can step-up to the 8800GT for the cost of shipping each way, or about $30. That's what I did as I had the 8800GTS 320 and stepped up to the 8800GT when it came out.


Few things to keep in mind about stepping up. You must return the card in its original box with ALL of the box's original contents. Your card must also be registered at eVGA's website. The S/N of the card is on a sticker on it. You must also send them a fax or .jpg of your invoice from where you purchased the card. And lastly, you must pack it well, in bubble wrap and peanuts, when sending it out. I just took my card in its box to the UPS store and had them do it. $15 each way.
November 20, 2007 9:30:36 PM

It would be worth it, though.

Nvidia's naming scheme sucks here.
November 21, 2007 12:38:44 AM

nukchebi0 said:
It would be worth it, though.

Nvidia's naming scheme sucks here.


Their naming makes it hard for us to guess what G92 was going to be. We all thought the G92/G98 were going to be 9800GTX.
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