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Should I make my own, or..?

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October 15, 2009 3:59:36 AM

i7 920
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus P6TD Deluxe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ CAS 7 1600 RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua CPU cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler Master HAF
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 850HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Vortex 120GB SSD
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Caviar Black 1TB ((X2!!))
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5870 ((X2!!))
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Security:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$2700 W/O monitor




OR should I get an alienware custom.. Same CPU, I'll overclock it, graphics cards. 875 WATT power supply.
Comes with security, a warranty, and comes already build.
They look similar, (Mine and alienware,) but idk which to choose. I'll be spending the same for both, but the alienware has the above pro's listed above. Which one do you guys think?

More about : make

October 15, 2009 11:18:35 AM

The only reason to buy Alienware would be the warranty. Other than that there is no reason. They are ridiculously overpriced, and I mean ridiculously, you would probably end up paying alot more for the same setup. If you dont feel up to building a pc and you have the extra money to spend, then by all means go ahead and buy an Alienware. But in my opinion building a new pc is a fun time.
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October 15, 2009 1:52:26 PM

One of the things about alienware is that you dont get a choice of mother board.... they slap a cheap motherboard in there, give sub par cooling and no after market cooler, and occasionally a clamp to prevent the addition of an after market cpu cooler (couldnt believe it when i saw it on my friends xps system) Also if you want to upgrade for a 3rd graphics card, or throw a 6core gulftown in there in the future the psu would most likely need upgrading, not to mention motherboard compatibility issues.


LOL EDIT: When i went to the custom built dell site my price was much lower than yours, I accidently did duel 5770's instead of 5870's, a 1400 dollar difference 0.o
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Related resources
October 15, 2009 2:11:01 PM

The current Alienware systems use a Asus Rampage Gene micro ATX MB, Corsair H50 liquid cooling, 5870 video cards, ect....The ram they use is cheap, but other than that they are pretty decent for the price, plus you have the advantage of an unlocked bios for overclocking.
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October 15, 2009 2:31:05 PM

Ehhh, maybe we are looking at different prices, but the one that is about equivalent to haildafire's build is between 3919 and 4539.
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October 15, 2009 4:20:18 PM

This is what I'm going to get. Price at bottom. How's it look?


CHASSIS COLOR: Cosmic Black, Alienware Aurora Chassis

PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7 950 (3.06GHz, 8MB Cache)

OPERATING SYSTEM: Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (64 bit) + Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Coupon - English

VIDEO CARD: Dual 1GB GDDR5 ATI Radeon™ HD 5870 Crossfire™ Enabled

MEMORY: 6GB Triple Channel 1067Mhz DDR3

HARD DRIVE: 1TB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 32MB Cache HDD

ADDITIONAL HARD DRIVE: 1TB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 32MB Cache HDD

OPTICAL DRIVE: Single Drive: 24X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability

MONITOR: 23-inch S2309W Widescreen Digital Flat Panel Monitor

KEYBOARD: No Keyboard

WARRANTY AND SERVICE: 2Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service After Remote Diagnosis


My Accessories


ALIENFX AlienFX Color, Terra Green

AVATAR Alienhead Flat

WALLPAPER Alienhead Chrome Red

AUTOMATIC UPDATES Automatic Updates: Enabled

ON CALL PLAN On Call Services 30 days


My Software & Accessories


SECURITY SOFTWARE Norton Anti-Virus Scan Gamer Edition - 36 Month

$3410
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October 15, 2009 4:39:48 PM

ehh guess im a little biased.

I havent ever had a part go out aside from the stock cooler on my old intel p4, let alone a part pricey enough to warrant warranty cost.

My friend on the other hand has had to have the MOBO HDD and PSU replaced in his dell xps.

Just not a fan of more expensive pre built systems when you can get a cheaper home built one that you can customize in the future. And half of the fun to me is building it.

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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 4:50:48 PM

Asking if you should build your own or buy an Alienware in a "Homebuilt Systems" forum doesn't make any sense. People in these forums build their own systems. Prebuilt systems cut corners anywhere they can. The worst place they cut corners is on the PSU. That's the one component that you shouldn't cut corners on. Notice that the Alienware build doesn't give specs on the PSU, that's NOT a good thing.

The i7 950 is also a huge waste of money since the 920 will easily overclock to around 3.8GHz for much cheaper.
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October 15, 2009 6:29:41 PM

If you are going to get the Alienware you have to be smart and do some of the upgrades yourself. Get the 920 and overclock it, go ahead and get the video cards from them since those are cheaper than you can buy them from newegg, but get the minimum specs on everything else. You can replace their cheap Ram with 6GB of 1600mhz ram for about $120, and get your own hard drives for about $80 per TB. Your total cost between Alienware and the upgrades you make from newegg will only be about $2500, not counting the monitor you can also get cheaper elsewhere.
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October 15, 2009 7:23:41 PM

Their ram is 1600mhz.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 7:26:06 PM

Haildafire said:
Their ram is 1600mhz.

Not according to the specs you listed above. You get a better computer with higher quality components if you build it yourself.

Haildafire said:
MEMORY: 6GB Triple Channel 1067Mhz DDR3


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a b B Homebuilt system
October 15, 2009 7:42:54 PM

scubba85 said:
One of the things about alienware is that you dont get a choice of mother board.... they slap a cheap motherboard in there, give sub par cooling and no after market cooler, and occasionally a clamp to prevent the addition of an after market cpu cooler (couldnt believe it when i saw it on my friends xps system) Also if you want to upgrade for a 3rd graphics card, or throw a 6core gulftown in there in the future the psu would most likely need upgrading, not to mention motherboard compatibility issues.


LOL EDIT: When i went to the custom built dell site my price was much lower than yours, I accidently did duel 5770's instead of 5870's, a 1400 dollar difference 0.o



FYI - XPS is Dell, not Alienware. Although Dell owns both lines, they use different parts. Dell puts lots of proprietary parts in their systems. Alienware, although still Dell, is more customizable.
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October 15, 2009 7:45:53 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Not according to the specs you listed above. You get a better computer with higher quality components if you build it yourself.


Yes, originally. But I'm sort of modifying everything as I go. :p 
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October 15, 2009 9:23:28 PM

jared51182 said:
FYI - XPS is Dell, not Alienware. Although Dell owns both lines, they use different parts. Dell puts lots of proprietary parts in their systems. Alienware, although still Dell, is more customizable.



It would be nice if they show the full specs for all of their systems though, such as the power supply...

OP if you do have it in your head to buy a prebuilt custom system, why not check out other e-dealers like ibuypower or cyberpower?
At least with cyberpower i know for a fact that you get to choose quality parts for your build
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October 15, 2009 9:32:31 PM

Again, I'm new at all of this. I want a gaming PC, though. I know Alienware is a gaming PC brand. Idk about cyberpower.
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October 15, 2009 11:31:20 PM

What's HSF?
And just for the record, I do not care at all about noise. All I care about is performance.
AND, do you think I should get Zone Alarm instead of Norton, or what do you recommend?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 1:20:35 AM

HSF = Heat sink and fan.
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October 16, 2009 2:04:19 AM

Its hard to label one company as just a gaming computer company these days. You know what parts you want right? Well either google custom computers and find the lowest price or find the parts on the internet and order them.

Regardless In my personal experience and opinion I would avoid pay anti virus software. Free anti virus software generally runs on par or better than pay software and requires much less system resources.


The 1tb caviar black western digital drives were amazing a year and a half ago, but newer drives are out that are faster cooler and quieter.

I would never buy a core i7 processor above the 920 model, simple because you can overclock it easily to the 950-975 clock rate, generally without voltage increase. A good after market air cooler will perform as well if not better than cheaper water cooling solutions present in the alienware computer. In fact toms hardware did 2 articles on the subject.

A power supply used to be "just a required part" now with pc components using more and more power, a high quality power supply is VERY important.

You may want to read up a bit more on modern pc components and performance before you drop 3k on a new computer.

But still, we're always here to answer more questions =-)
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October 16, 2009 6:16:03 PM

Well, why couldn't I just buy the Alienware, and when I need to upgrade the graphics cards in a year or so, buy new ones and install them? Dell says I can do that.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 6:20:38 PM

You could do that. You're just asking these questions in the wrong forum. You're not going to find many people suggesting pre-built computers around here when you can get a better computer for your money if you build your own.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 6:21:20 PM

Haildafire said:
Well, why couldn't I just buy the Alienware, and when I need to upgrade the graphics cards in a year or so, buy new ones and install them? Dell says I can do that.


Yes, you can do that with an Alienware if you want. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

^+1 to Shortstuff. Wrong forum.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 6:43:34 PM

Haildafire said:
What's HSF?
And just for the record, I do not care at all about noise. All I care about is performance.
AND, do you think I should get Zone Alarm instead of Norton, or what do you recommend?


I more inclined to recommend against Norton, McAfee, and there's one more slipping my mind atm (someething micro). As for ones I recommend, yes the Zone Alarm Suite is what I use but Bit Defender has a nice package as do many others. One of the big bargaians and most unobtrusive AV's I ahve ever used (and am still using it for the last 17 years) is F-Prot......$29 for 5 puters.
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October 16, 2009 8:37:56 PM

MicroPro i believe is the one that you are thinking of.

And you can do whatever you want haildafire but you can probably find cheaper prices than alienware is all im saying. Regardless of what you spend you're going to get a powerful machine with the parts you've chosen.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 16, 2009 9:32:00 PM

Ahh just remembered....TrendMicro
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October 17, 2009 2:09:39 AM

Ahh thats the one TrendMicro Cant stand it.

Well not meaning to bring up almost dead threads, but any more questions OP before you get buried in the never ending goodness that is Tom's Hardware's Forums?
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!