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Really worth it?

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July 7, 2009 7:06:52 PM

Hi, I'm new to buying proper gaming pc's and can't find many decent ones in my price range. However I did find this and it especially caught my eye as its I7 core with 64 bit compatibility. Can some of you take a look and say whats good or bad about it and if its worth the money? Thanks!

http://www.arbico.co.uk/Arbico-i7-920A-Custom-Built-Bas...

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July 7, 2009 8:20:52 PM

it's rubbish, most PC's, made by dedicated builders like arbico and ibuypower are.

if you're going to be that cheap, wait for the i5 processors, or spend the extra £100 above that build and build a far superior one yourself, it isn't as hard as it looks.
July 7, 2009 9:06:49 PM

The parts for that build come to $830 at Newegg, compared to about $1,130 converting pounds to dollars for yours. Not the best comparison, but you have a general idea of the difference between this buy and an equal build. You could take the parts list and price them out at a web site you might actually purchase from. It's a good experience.

As for the build itself, the processor and mobo are "fine". The cooler is stock (comes with the processor), so OK for normal use. You can do with a cheap case when on a budget. The graphics card is rated "Good 1680x1050 performance in most games" from this monthly article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-pric...

so it depends on your screen, "Good" = "OK but not great" (read the article) but it is really light-weight when compared to the processor and mobo.

The power supply unit is not a brand I would recommend, nor is it properly sized for any expansion. This in itself is not a major problem, since it will run. But moving up in graphics and/or pressing a few keys to mildly overclock your PC could be problematic.

Which gets to hello_world's point, your opitons:

You would be spending more money than you need to get this kind of gaming performance. Its out of balance. A cheaper cpu/mobo would allow more money for a better graphics card and the other parts you may need to finish the build. And you'd have a better gamer today. But don't buy yet, wait a couple months for the new i5s which will either be superior, or reduce the cost of alternatives. Either way you win.

Or spend more now and build a far superior machine. Your i7 build gives you much more room for growth. But you'd have to replace your cooler, psu, and graphics card . . . and then your case might not cool well enough. Prices at Arbico for these kinds of upgrades are . . . high.

Or you could buy the Arbico now and upgrade yourself when needed. But you'd be paying twice and faced with doing a good portion of a "new build" by yourself anyhow.

He just said it in 2 sentences, it took me far longer :) 
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July 8, 2009 7:14:03 AM

Heh thanks guys, does anyone have any other suggestions on i7 core PC's or other good gaming ones? I can't seem to find many that are very decent. Thanks!
July 8, 2009 8:17:23 AM

955 is good
July 8, 2009 3:43:22 PM

Apparently you chose not to build your own and that is fine. BYO provides advantages like lower cost, control of parts, facilitates upgrades, and keeps manufacturers' junk and third party software off the system. However for those not inclined to build and prefering the advantages of a single warranty and point of contact, it is a perfectly reasonable choice.

As far as purchasing a system, you have chosen what I think is the most intelligent option of purchasing through a vendor that gives you some degree of control over individual parts - including the selection of quality brand components. I know nothing about the manufacturer you selected - two others with similar options include CyberPower and Microflex, although I don't know of the availablity or shipping issues, if any, to UK.

It is difficult to make suggestions for improvements based on the manufacturer's options without knowing your budget, but here are some things you might consider:

PSU - upgrade to Antec 500w for 35 GBP (althought you could buy it here for that amount rather than just exchange)

GPU - the card you selected is an entry level card - for the money your paying for the rest of the system - and especially if you want to do much gaming - I recommend upgrading the card but to what depends on your budget and preferences which I have no way to gauge. I suggest you review these THG articles - if you have not - that show card performance and recommended cards:

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-card...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-pric...

Note that the performance charts show fps - frames per second. You should be looking for a minimum of 30 FPS and scores higher than 60 are meaningless as you will not see the difference on the screen. If you find this overwhelming, tell us what games you want to play, at what resolution - or on what monitor, and what special graphics settings you wish to use.

There charges for upgrading the graphics card are higher than what I am used to seeing here. You might consider getting the system with the cheap card and upgrading yourself by comparing the upgrade charge with purchasing a third party card.
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