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Alienware vs Digital Storm, vs Performance PC, vs Maingear

Last response: in CPUs
June 30, 2009 5:33:40 AM

Anyone have any input on some of these system builders online? I know it is best to build your own, but I don't have the time or the knowledge to overclock, RAID, SLI, etc.

Anyone know about any of these sites, or are there other sites you would recommend? I am in Southern CA, but willing to pay for the shipping.,

Read bad reviews of Ibuypower and cyberpower. Would love to hear any reviews of any of these folks or if you have had experiences, good or bad.

Right now I am seriously considering Performance PC out of FL or Maingear.
Looking at...
Intel i7 920 Proc
Coolermaster V8
2x Evga 285 GTX FTWs 1GB 702 Core clock speed.
3x OCZ Vertex 30GB Raid 0
500GB WD Caviar Sata HD.
Corsair 850W
Coolermaster HAF 932.


a b à CPUs
June 30, 2009 12:48:53 PM

ummm, buy the parts and build it yourself
June 30, 2009 4:03:01 PM

Check out OriginPC. Boutique Gaming PC company launching soon from former Alienware execs....

Trust me. :) 
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June 30, 2009 4:18:21 PM

Get the parts on and build it yourself. You will be amazed at the money you save.
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2009 5:19:26 PM - Hate them. Their cases are giant blocks of aluminium, and they overcharge more then other companies they are owned by DELL! - Build really solid PC's, and their testing is the best I've ever seen. No crapware installed after the fact to boot. - One of the oldies; truly solid reputation

Could give Cybepower a shot; if you go through some of their specials and modify, you can occasionaly get a steal (I found a way to get a Q9550, ATI 4850, 4GB DDR2 for just over $650 a day or two ago...). Customer support can be hazerdous though...
June 30, 2009 5:41:55 PM

schockholiday said:
Anyone have any input on some of these system builders online? I know it is best to build your own, but I don't have the time or the knowledge to overclock, RAID, SLI, etc.


mindless and Onion, perhaps you should learn to read the OP before posting?

Although very pricey, Falcon Northwest is also an old reliable name in pre-built gaming machines.
a c 108 à CPUs
June 30, 2009 6:02:56 PM

Spec a system, discuss it a reputable local yokel, order the parts and pay them $200 to build it for you.

You will still come out 'to the good' financially, get a better system for less money and have a local source for upgrades and any warranty work.
June 30, 2009 8:09:00 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did look at Falcon, their system does not allow as many choices as some of the others. What I have found in doing this research is that contacting them directly for a quote will get you a better price than going through the configurator. I have even tried to recreate their quotes on their respective sites and not been able to beat the prices.

Anyone know Performance PC, their systems come up as 7 of the top 10 in Passmarks benchmark testing. The guy sounded super knowledgeable and confident, which either means he is good at his job, or full of it. Just trying to see if there is any input on them.
June 30, 2009 8:38:06 PM

My vote would be to Velocity Micro. I got one last year for Christmas from my wife and it's by far the best PC I've ever owned. I've only had one minor issue (which was totally a screw up on my part) and their support team was awesome. I don't think you'll be disappointed one bit.
August 10, 2009 9:45:01 AM

gamerk316 said: - Hate them. Their cases are giant blocks of aluminium, and they overcharge more then other companies they are owned by DELL! - Build really solid PC's, and their testing is the best I've ever seen. No crapware installed after the fact to boot. - One of the oldies; truly solid reputation

Could give Cybepower a shot; if you go through some of their specials and modify, you can occasionaly get a steal (I found a way to get a Q9550, ATI 4850, 4GB DDR2 for just over $650 a day or two ago...). Customer support can be hazerdous though...

i agree with him, partially,

YES: Alienware sells expensive pc's for nothing,
NO: have you tried Dell XPS gaming systems ? they don't custom much like others, but they offer reasonable price for a high end gaming PC

TOTALLY AGREE: i guess is the best, you could figure that from their website, how customizable everything is, they test everything stressly, and their support reputaition is excellent.

BTW i live in Kuwait/midd east, and am planning to get a Digitalstorm PC.
September 10, 2009 7:25:33 PM

Overclocked Stable to 4.0GHz
FREE CPU Liquid Cooling
FREE Windows 7 Upgrade
Processor: Intel Core i5 750
Memory: 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
Motherboard: EVGA P55 FTW
Graphics: 2x SLI Dual GTX 275
Power Supply: Silent 1000W
Storage: 1TB 7200RPM

here is digital storm rig i am looking at
September 11, 2009 2:27:26 AM

I ordered a computer from those Performance guys, but I found it on Ebay. I was worried at first, buying a $4500.00 computer from Ebay but I must admit the computer is amazing. I can vouge for them. I've had an Alienware system before, it was ok. My new computer is much better I ordered a Quad SLI setup with a I7 920 and two solid state drives. It was a bit out of my price range at first, but they were cheaper than most other sites selling similar stuff so I gave em a shot. I am thrilled with the outcome.
September 11, 2009 5:43:08 AM

thank you to bookmark LOL xD
September 11, 2009 9:01:04 AM is the best place although it may require some degree of knowledge basically you tell them what you want and they assemble it and overclock it for you, their customer service is very good and their prices tend to be better than what i have seen at other boutique pc retailers.
September 19, 2009 9:56:56 PM

I have purchased four systems from through out the years. The last time I did so was for my sister. Customer services was the biggest problem with this company for her although I hadn't needed them as I solved most of my own issues. From all the listed computer/custom computer sites above, I will buy from Digital Storm when I purchase my next rig this Christmas. Most of the other sites listed are WAY too expensive. If it weren't for cyberpower's unreliable customer services I'd probally go back to them since their prices beat everyone else.
- Jeremy
September 21, 2009 12:19:28 AM

You will probably save 200$ or more by building it yourself.
a b à CPUs
September 21, 2009 2:17:41 AM

c_schwab said:
You will probably save 200$ or more by building it yourself.

I think the he is well aware of that, if you'd read sentence 2 of the first post.
October 2, 2009 7:09:40 PM

I'm considering getting my very 1st gaming PC from Digital Storm. They have an A+ rating from the BBB. Also, when I do a Google search for "Digital Storm Complaints", none of the hits report any problems. I can't say the same for Dell, Alienware, ibuypower, and cyberpower. The only downside of Digital Storm (when compared to Alienware or Dell) is that they don't offer financing with deferred interest - but I can live with that.

Has anyone here bought a PC from Digital Storm?
October 3, 2009 3:50:10 AM

Forget about Maingear! Here in Beverly Hills,CA a lot of people are buying them like crazy. But why on earth would you want to pay over $8,700 for any desktop computer. I don't care how fast or overclocked it is, it's too expensive.
November 28, 2009 3:02:00 AM

I also purchased my computer from

I certainly think they are the best place to by a computer online. Give them a call and you'll quickly be amazed with the knowledge of the computer technician you speak with. I talked with Chris. He can be reached at and was VERY happy with my results.

They take that extra step to make customers happy and really know what they are doing to optimize a system for gamers. I'll be buying my next computer from them as well.

I also recommend them to a friend of mine who purchased a new computer and had similar results. Thank you Performance PC!
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2010 3:51:52 AM

They have there ups and downs but I have built many computers in my life time. I found that when you orderd a computer from alienware they have some neat stuff but they use mid motherboard and overclocked cpus when its not even what they said it is. Theres a few times that I have brought stuff back to them and they put cheaper parts then what i paid for. Yes it is true Alienware is own by dell becuase the original owner went backrupt. They was not getting enought customers to buy there products. They used to be a good customize gaming build company till dell took over.

I havent tryed Digital Strom but from what I look it seems to be a good company. They have some great deals in there but they dont alot of selection to choose from. There a pro and con for that but they should have more information about the parts you want them to put in it instead of trying to find the parts information by using a search engine.

Alot of the companies you mention there is basically the same. All the matters to you is how much you are willing to spend and how much you know about the parts you ask them to put them into in. Some cases they have no options for what motherboard to use witch is a bad thing becuase you are getting a *** brand that is not ment what they said it was. It is a big busniess for building gaming computers and they try to get most money from customers who dont know much about the hardware inside the computer.
February 1, 2010 3:41:56 AM

I have purchased Maingear. They have lived up to their reputation. Their tech support AMAZING!. Can't say enough good things about them. If you have to buy prebuilt its worth going through them just for the piece of mind. If I evern have to buy pre-built again it will be through them without a doubt. Otherwise, buy the parts and build your own.
February 9, 2010 5:28:42 AM

I bought a loaded system from digital storm recently.

A few things I learned;

If you live on the east coast, don't buy from someone on the west coast. If you live in California, don't buy a system made in NJ. If you need service shipping is very expensive, most warrantee does not cover it both ways, and if you ship by ground it takes a week each way just to get your system out and back. Plus your delicate PC is bouncing and rattling accross the continent.

I live on the east coast. My digital storm PC made in California arrived and it had several problems right from day one. So much for 4 days of "rigorous testing" that was supposedly done. I am sure they tested it, but then why did it arrive with multiple, serious issues (crashing, etc). I won't bore you with all the details. It was a nightmare. After several days on the phone with tech support, them wanting me to do some very complicated things to the machine, I ended up sending it back to them. A week for it to get to them, then it sat in their shop for 3 weeks while they gave priority to other systems for new customers (a tech admitted to me that they had it back burner while the gave new builds priority, they did not think I should be upset about waiting). After a LOT of hassling with them on the phone, finally they sent it back.

It still does not work 100% as it should, but I don't have the energy to continue fighting them over it and shipping it back and forth for hundreds of dollars. They did try to fix it and I am sure if I kept at it, they would keep trying. The do a nice job on the build, meticulous wiring, etc.

You california guys, buy from Falcon Northwest or ABS; they are out your way and builld great systems.

East coast guys, Velocity Micro in Virginia is great (had a system from them for five years before passing it to my son; after 3 years it had a problem, I sent it to Virginia, they put in a new power supply and two new video cards that were double the power of the originals, all no charge! They are great. Usually run specials, free shipping, etc.

Maingear is east coast too (NJ), as is Origin PC (Florida) who seem pretty cool. Maingear is VERY expensive though. You pay more for their stuff because they give you lifetime free labor on any PC you buy from them, and their 1-2 year warrantee is very complete. That costs money folks. That is why their costs are inflated. Still, I spec'd out a system from Maingear and it was several hundred higher for same spec, than Falcon Northwest! And Falcon is known for being very pricey.

Good luck. Buying a PC , and paying several thousand dollars for it is a big decision. Take your time deciding.
February 9, 2010 5:37:26 AM

BTW, forget alienware, voodoo, dell, gateway. Crappy support, watered down versions of components, if there is even the slightest problem, get ready to be talking to someone in Calcutta who barely speaks english and will be asking you questions from a script.

Its a shame about Voodoo PC, they were a really top builder but now that HP owns them, forget it.
a b à CPUs
March 13, 2010 3:19:27 PM

I built my first machine with a verteran, and am totally hooked. I would rather build a machine than play a game now. If you are still looking you can have my rig - I can't wait to build the next machine. i920, EVGA X58, OC to 3.8 GHz stable and cool, Intell SSD 80Gb for Win7 64 bit OS and the current game being played, for mass storage; 2 500 Gb Samsung 7200 HDD striped in Raid 0. 8 Gb OCZ RAM DDR3 1600
a b à CPUs
March 27, 2010 6:01:23 AM

I thought about trying to build my own computer too. I just felt like after having to do all of the research on the parts, risk screwing something up while building it, having to learn how to overclock and not really knowing how to find out is something isn't right after I overclocked, I'd pay a little more and defer to the "experts." I also was really eager to try solid state drives. My friends had told me that they were all the rage. And the more research that I was doing, the more I was finding out that there are so many tweaks that are done to the operating system that are necessary to really take full advantage of the drives, that it was beyond my patience or technical level. So, when I was doing my research I started looking for companies to build my computer and came across this forum. Man oh man am I glad that I did. It seems like the majority of good reviews inI read in a few forums were for so I gave them a phone call, not really planning on buying right away.

5 minutes into the the conversation I knew this is who I wanted to build my computer. I was testing the gentleman I spoke with to see if he was familiar with some of my findings while doing research on solid state drives -- things like TRIM, Registry Tweaks, SL vs. ML Cells, etc. I was pleased to quickly find out that he knew far more about the drives than I did and that he spoke english, lol. While I was looking at the Intel X-25's like my friends have, he recommend a drive by OCZ called the Limited Edition that is using a new controller by SandTech. He showed me a direct comparison of the drive in my system to the Intels. Needless to say, my friends are all drooling over my 500MB/s+ read and write speeds with 3 100GB drives in Raid. And that's just an example. My computer scores a 7.7 on the new Windows Benchmark:

7.7 Processor - I7 920 @ 4.19Ghz
7.9 Ram - 12GB OCZ
7.8 2/3D graphics - ATI 5870
7.9 Hard Drive - 3 OCZ Limited Editions in Raid

The highest of my friends computers is 7.2 and he paid almost $1500.00 more than I did for his system from Alienware!!!!
Do yourself a favor and look into