Hey everyone thanks in advance for your input. First off a little background on my situation. I have not built a pc in quite a few years, probably about 5-6 years would be my best guess. I am looking to build a very capable gaming system that will leave me room for upgrading and possible oc'ing. My budget is approximately $2400-$2600 with a 24 inch lcd included in that dollar figure. I am honestly on the fence about whether I should simply build or buy. Here are the list of reasons that I have compiled for building.
#1 savings (may be lower than expected due to shipping costs)
#2 total control over the part selection
#3 the joy and experience of being able to piece together a relatively fast gaming machine
And the reasons I am considering buying a configured system online
#1 fear of screwing the pooch on my build (having never done SLI and being very out of practive)
#2 cost of shipping may offset most of my savings as I have been able to find free shipping on the purchase pc i am thinking of buying
#3 the need to probably use an air cooling solution over a water cooling solution due to relative complexity to build
I have left off a cpu cooler and a few extra fans that can be factored into the final price the reason for this is I have not picked a cooling solution as of yet any ideas geared towards a budget with good cooling properties would be appreciated.
Option 2 - Take the Lazy route and pay someone else to build the darn thing
(before all applicable rebates)
CASE: ($25 off Mail-in Rebate) New! Apevia X-Jupiter Full Tower Gaming Server w/ Temp Display and Fan Control 420 Watt Power (S Type Silver Color with Side-Panel 250mm UV LED Fan)
CPU: (Quad-Core)Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz 1066FSB 8MB L2 Cache 64-bit
MOTHERBOARD: (3-Way SLI & QX9650 Support) EVGA nForce 780i SLI Mainboard FSB1333 DDR2 3 x PCIe x16 SATA RAID w/ USB2.0, IEEE1394, & 7.1Audio
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (4x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO CARD 2: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA)
VIDEO CARD 3: NONE
LCD Monitor: NONE
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Data Hard Drive: NONE
Optical Drive: (Special Price) 20X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: 16X DVD ROM (BLACK COLOR)
SOUND: 3D WAVE ON-BOARD 5.1 SOUND CARD
A few obvious drawbacks of the option to buy include a limited memory selection which makes 2x2 1066 ram not cost effective and pointless. I would like to make the possibility of upgrading to 8 gigs feasible eventually with the store bought purchase I will have to simply sell the existing ram and buy 2 new 2x2 1066 kits.
My dillema is that it seems like I will be able to get a pretty comparable system with free shipping and a 3 year warranty for a very similar amount to the system I would build myself. Since it has been so long since I have built a pc. Option 2 seems like the safest choice. I will be required to sacrifice a bit of extra cash however I will have the peace of mind of having the initial warranty backing my purchase as a whole. If I purchase a configured system, However the Main goal of the Warranty will be to ensure that the system is fully functional and operable for a bit of time. (I do understand OC'ing and any major modifications I do will void my warranty also I understand that the individual purchases will carry an individual manufacturer warranty. also notable is that this is a free warranty I will not be paying for an extended warranty.)
What does everyone think? With my lack of experience does the bought pc seem like a good buy over the build?
Also does the selected watercooling solution listed on the bought pc have any merit? Do you see any bad choices regarding either build?
The Scepter is a TN Panel and I have not seen it in person however it sports a very good contrast ratio and refresh time. The westinghouse is an MVA panel and I have seen it in person color quality seems good and it seems to have a good picture however it is not quite as vibrant as I would hope for. Any thoughts on these?
Sorry for all the questions but as I am about to plunk down a good chunk of change for either purchase I want to get as many experienced eyes to look at this as possible. Thanks everyone
Hey pudman, where do you live? If you live near a micro center, they are having an "in-store only" sale where you can get several of those parts for much cheaper than you can find online. For example, the Q6600 is $199.99 right now!
The power supply in the prebuild is not suffcient, IMHO.
However, I would pick something different than a Rosewill in your homebuild version. They are generally agreed upon not the greatest PSU's. You will spend a little more money here, but SLI, overclocking that Q6600, you want something that provides good steady clean power. Take a look at some of the PC and Power Cooling units.
Better by far to get 2x2=4gig of memory, especially if you are going to fiddle with overclocking, than 4x1, as in the prebuild. Leaves room for upgrading as well if you are going with a 64 bit OS.
Have them (the pre-builders) change those items and see where your price point is. Then look at it all again. Nothing can make you feel better than your own build. If you have experience building, you know it's not that hard. A warranty and piece of mind not to mess with it yourself is also important to many people. Only you can make that decision. But as I said, have the prebuilders update the parts to what you want.....and would put into your own build, and then compare. Until you do that, you are comparing apples to oranges. See what the cost difference is, then make your choice. I hope you take the plunge and build it yourself. Good luck!
I just noticed the prebuilt configurator specs listed above do not seem to include the chosen psu. The psu i have chosen in the configurator is the Xion SuperNova Power Supply 800w - Quad SLI Ready and is included in the pricepoint listed above I can reconfig the prebuilt to include either (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)4GB (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory(Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)[+85]More Brand...
Corsair Value Select or Major Brand[+0]
Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader[+100]
Mushkin Xtreme w/ Heat Spreader[+100]
neither seem like an ideal solution as my interim goal is 4gb of DDR2 1066 while my longterm goal would be 8 gigs of 1066
this is one of my major sticking points on the prebuilt and I am wrestling with it. I do appreciate all the help I think I may be trying to get up the kohonas to build it myself (which is why I probably posted to what I consider to be the best site to learn about building, at least in my mind, rather than to some other site which might be biased more towards a prebuilt.) but the price tag of the components leaves me a bit weary about the self build. Simply because I am afraid of damaging any components or dropping the ball somewhere.
If you can get everything you want in the prebuild, and don't mind paying a couple/three hundred hundred more for a warranty, and have reservations about messing around with a couple grand worth of parts, then maybe you should go with the prebuilt system.
A lot of folks here are drooling at though of getting their hands on all those goodies and piecing it together I guarentee you that. But I am not going to be the one who yells "come on, build it yourself you weeney" and then something gets fried or broken, you end with a dead motherboard, or whatever....it does happen.
Personally though, I would build it myself, no reservation what-so-ever.
You do what makes you happy.
In regards to the Rosewill power supply the reasons I chose it initially were the stated 80% to 85% efficiency levels and the 4 individual +12v rails running @ 20a each. My lack of psu knowledge can be ripped apart here but wont the 4 +12v rails be an advantage in delivering power more evenly across my power hungry component list? As opposed to a 2 rail system? Also the dual fan combo and pricepoint were attractors for me as well.
I couldnt seem to find any other PSU for this pricepoint with decent reviews and these features. But please if anyone has had bad experiences with this model or has a better model in mind that is in a similar pricepoint I am very open to suggestions.