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October 18, 2008 7:34:21 AM

am amateur to building computers, so went to ibuypower.com to customize my own rig there. pleae advise me if i am making the right deicision in (a) going with this site to build a rig, (b) the choices i made, and (c) is the price is reasonable.

Case ( Raidmax Tornado Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Blue )
Power Supply ( 800 Watt -- Power Supply Quad SLI Ready )
Processor ( [=== Quad Core ===] Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9400 (4x 2.66GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB) Free 4GB Pen Drive )
Processor Cooling ( [=== Silent ===] Extreme-Performance INTEL CPU Cooling Fan System Kit Silent & Overclocking Proof = Maximum cooling efficiency for quietness and performance )
Motherboard ( Gigabyte GA-EP45T-DS3R Intel P45 CrossFire Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394 Dual PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module OCZ-Gold or Major Brand )
Video Card ( ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB PCI-Express x16 )
Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
CD/DVD Drive ( [** Special !!! ***] LG 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Silver )
Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
Speaker System ( 600W PMPO 3 PCS Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
Network Card ( Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card )
Keyboard ( Logitech Deluxe Keyboard Black )
Mouse ( Logitech Optical Internet Mouse Black )
USB 2.0 Accessories ( Built-in USB 2.0 Ports )
Flash Media Reader/Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer Black )
Operation System ( None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only )
Warranty ( Warranty Service Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )

price: $1300

thanks, much appreciated.

More about : advise

October 18, 2008 8:09:38 AM

(a) I don't believe anyone on here would think you would be better off buying than building, myself included.

(b) A lot of the choices look good but what is Major Brand or 800w PSU? It doesn't tell you anything and in fact I wouldn't be surprised (since it's a Raidmax case) if it's a Raidmax PSU which is absolute garbage.

(c) The price does seem high and I especially get a kick out of them listing a sound card and then saying "3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard", every motherboard has audio built in and it seems as if their listing it to add some perceived value to the package.

I am biased against buying prebuilt systems, I always feel you are better off building yourself. There are literally thousands of guides online walking through the building process and there are always sites like this to help as well. That said it looks like a decent system but the PSU bothers me a lot. Also DDR3 is no faster than DDR2 but it is much more expensive and the DDR3 motherboards are more expensive as well. If you built yourself you could easily build that with a good PSU and DDR2 for ~$1000.
October 18, 2008 10:52:53 AM

the price isn't bad for a pre-built computer, but most of my concerns lie within what ausch30 said above in his post as well.

a quality PSU is very important.

if i were you, i would read up guides in forums here on toms or other reputable tech sites, and learn how to build a computer yourself. it's fairly easy and you get better quality parts for a faster, more reliable system for LESS MONEY. and the satisfaction that you build your very own rig x) it's worth it.
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October 18, 2008 11:07:37 AM

mouse and keyboard you can chose yourself, but here is a sample system i found for you that has features you want, but the quality and speed is MUCH MUCH MUCHHHH better.

this system i picked out for you will blow your pre-built system away not just from stock cpu speed but reliability from one of the top quality PSU's, good DDR2 1066 low latencies ram, quality board that is considered by many to be a great OC-er in case you want to. i got you the best CPU cooler/retention bracket, the Xigmatek S-1283. You also get a Lightscribe DVD/CD drive in case you ever want to use that feature.

i picked the Antec 900 case because it has superb airflow but it is a little bit difficult to work with as it isn't a tool-less case. other people will recommend you other great cases as well and you can take your personal pick.

total price: 1299$ :) 

Intel Quad Q9550 12mb cache 2.83ghz (320$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4870 1gb (299$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 750TX PSU (99$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 2x2 gb DDR2 1066 5-5-5-15 timings (97$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 900 Case (109$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500gb (69$) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 LGA 775 (229$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Xigmatek S-1283 CPU Cooler (36$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Tpk=xigmatek%20s1283

Xigmatek Retention Bracket (7$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 20x CD/DVD lightscribe drive (34$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


or...another option for memory

Muskin 2x2gb DDR2 800 (58$)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

October 18, 2008 1:39:04 PM

You don't need a network card as in your first list.
The motherboard has built in LAN support. Waste of money.
So is DDR3. Do as mentioned and drop back to DDR2, and get a cheaper DDR2 motherboard.
These 3 things can save you at least 150 smackers.
October 18, 2008 6:50:25 PM

damn i knew posting here was a good idea. thanks for the quality responses. on further thought and research i am going to build my own computer. i will go off all of your recommendations, and probably use aznguy's post as a guideline for the new computer.

one additional question.. how quiet would this rig be? i live in a fairly small dorm-sized room and i've had loud computers before, which got quite annoying.

thanks again all.
October 19, 2008 5:26:16 AM

after some more thought, i'd like all of your opinions again on more of a budget build approach to my previous attempt.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB ($190)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel ($120)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 8500) ($58)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 ($140)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 Case ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 ($65)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640gb ($75)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Xigmatek S-1283 CPU Cooler ($36)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Xigmatek Retention Bracket ($7)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 20x CD/DVD lightscribe drive ($34)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

total: ~$785

i'll be saving more than $500 with this setup. my questions are: (a) will i still be able to run most demanding games at high settings with a 22" monitor at high resolutions, (b) are there any items in my budget build that you'd recommend me spending a bit extra on to get a good boost on performance (ideally i'd like to keep the rig around the $900 or lower), (c) money to me isn't that big of an issue, but savings of over $500 is pretty big difference; so with this build compared to the build that azn guy posted, obviously i won't be able to max out my games as much, but for the most part will there be a considerable change in performance in running games/applications (in terms of percentage, from 20-25%)

thanks!!!!!

October 19, 2008 5:59:36 AM

You put together a nice build! Make sure to check out the combos with your case. They have a combo with the PSU you selected that will save you $10.

Most people here will tell you to just go with the E8400 instead of the Q6600 if the main purpose of the rig is gaming since the e8400 is 3GHz and the Q6600 is 2.4GHz. If you will be doing any video encoding or using software that's quad core optimized, stick with the Q6600. I personally don't really game on my computer (I know - people use computers for other stuff?) Anyway, I do a lot of video stuff and kick myself when I watch both cores of my 3.2GHz dual core max out. I wish I had gone with a quad core for my use.


Edit: You did a very good job upgrading the HD. The WD6400AAKS is a MUCH better deal than the 500GB drive. For only $5 more you get a much faster drive and an extra 140GB. I can't figure out why people are still recommending the 500GB drives.
October 19, 2008 6:28:04 AM

thanks shortstuff, with my limited knowledge i don't know the advantage of going over the e8400 versus q6600, but i'll definitely look into it now that you mentioned it. i do some minor video editing, but will for the most part game and multitask (web browsing, office apps, music - all at same time). as for the hdd, an extra 140gb for $5 is definitely something everyone should capitalize on..
!