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$1000 - $1500 Homebuilt "Gaming" PC. First build.

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November 6, 2009 4:40:52 AM

Hi, this is going to be my first attempt at building my own PC. I found some parts and was wondering if they were good quality parts and good values. I'd also appreciate feedback on better deals or parts or if less powerful parts can get the job done and if I am missing anything that I would need.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In about 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1500 Before / After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: At the moment I don't really need to consider keyboard, mouse, and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com, www.tigerdirect.com, www.microcenter.com, www.frys.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer Intel CPU and nVidia video cards. Other than that I don't think I have any other preferences.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, once I learn how to do it properly.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not exactly sure what this is asking

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'm not really sure what resolution I would use yet.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I like a computer case with a window. A quiet computer would also be good but not necessary.

Motherboard: EVGA X58 SLI LE 141-BL-E757-TR Intel i7 LGA 1366 Motherboard

CPU: Core i7 920 Processor Boxed

PSU: OCZ Technology 700 Watt GameXStream Power Supply

Video Card: EVGA GTX 260 896MB PCI-Express 2.0 Video Card

Hard Drive: WD Caviar Green WD7500AADS 750GB IntelliPower SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive OEM

Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9 - Retail

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM

Case: No case selected yet.

OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit.

Thanks for any help :) .

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November 6, 2009 4:43:10 AM

^You are missing a monitor. Haven't decided?
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November 6, 2009 4:44:58 AM

Oh yeah. I forgot about the monitor xD. Well, for the monitor I'll probably be looking for ~20in. Flat screen LCD monitor for around $100-$200
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November 6, 2009 4:45:13 AM

For gaming, you don't need i7 920, 920 is for editing..encoding and stuff like that.


I only used newegg, but you can use other sites if you can find the same parts for cheaper.
Or if you can find better combos at newegg

Edit:This is a build I've done for another person, it's missing O.S so just add that in.
Here's an i5 750 build with new monitor

>MOBO+RAM
30 dollar discount
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

>CPU

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

>Hard drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

>Video Card

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

>Monitor

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


>Optical Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

>Heatsink

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

>Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $1,288.88 Before Rebate

This build gives you the ability to crossfire/sli in the future if new games are more demanding. You could add in another graphics card, the power supply is decent and could handle 2 graphics card.
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November 6, 2009 4:46:41 AM

Another question that I just thought of. For the parts that have OEM, I just found out that OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer and that you only get the part and like nothing else or something like that. In the case of the Hard Drive, would I get the cables and wires and such to plug it in and connect it to the rest of my computer?
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November 6, 2009 4:47:01 AM

I would change the PSU to Corsair or Antec, the memory you have to change to Triple Channel, (Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin) I prefer with a latency of 7 or 8, 1600.

Mobo is good, I would change the HD to a Samsung Spinpoint F3.

Case, I like the CM HAF 932, Antec 1200 is good too. If you are looking at full towers, anyways.
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November 6, 2009 4:48:50 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Another question that I just thought of. For the parts that have OEM, I just found out that OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer and that you only get the part and like nothing else or something like that. In the case of the Hard Drive, would I get the cables and wires and such to plug it in and connect it to the rest of my computer?


The hard drive I suggested comes with the sata cable(s)..
edit: i made a mistake, it's a bare drive doesn't come with anything, but the mobo i suggested comes with sata cables already so you're fine

also i edited my build
note: it doesn't include O.S because this build was for another person that's a gamer. so just add in the 64bit windows 7 home premium
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November 6, 2009 4:54:01 AM

Well, in my post about the OEM thing I was referring to the hard drive I had posted. Also, about the ATI video card, I don't really know much about the differences and which is better between ATI and nVidia, but just for curiousity sakes is there a similar nVidia video card? And maybe one that is cheaper or do you recommend or suggest that I get the 5850 video card?
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November 6, 2009 4:54:39 AM

Oh and also is the heat sink CPU cooler sleeve thing necessary or just a recommendation. I just want to know for future reference if it something standard you get for CPUs.
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November 6, 2009 4:55:03 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Another question that I just thought of. For the parts that have OEM, I just found out that OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer and that you only get the part and like nothing else or something like that. In the case of the Hard Drive, would I get the cables and wires and such to plug it in and connect it to the rest of my computer?

That is a good question. From my experience you usually get the SATA cable with either the hard drive or the motherboard. It is also cheap and easy to pick up a cable at any store if you need one. The only other cable you will need for the hard drive is the power cable, which comes with the power supply.
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November 6, 2009 4:56:40 AM

I'm not sure for your hard drive if it comes with the sata cable or not.

Also, ati offers the best bang for the buck cards right now. They are a giant company owned by AMD so don't worry.

Yes, getting the 5850 is the best right now for the price:p erformance, that's if you can find one in stock. Since my suggested monitor is at 1920x1080, the 5850 will dominate on all games
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November 6, 2009 4:58:02 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Oh and also is the heat sink CPU cooler sleeve thing necessary or just a recommendation. I just want to know for future reference if it something standard you get for CPUs.


I suggested the heatsink because it gives you the ability to overclock more with better temperatures, if you change your mind in the future. Since you don't plan on overclocking for now.

It's a decent heatsink, price: performance, currently the best.
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November 6, 2009 4:58:24 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Well, in my post about the OEM thing I was referring to the hard drive I had posted. Also, about the ATI video card, I don't really know much about the differences and which is better between ATI and nVidia, but just for curiousity sakes is there a similar nVidia video card? And maybe one that is cheaper or do you recommend or suggest that I get the 5850 video card?

If you buy a large, high-resolution monitor go with the Radeon 5850 video card if you can find one -- they are still rare because they sell out as soon as they come in stock anywhere.

If you get a lower resolution monitor go with the Radeon 4870 video card.
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November 6, 2009 4:59:47 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
I also just found this combo deal and was wondering if the G.SKILL RAM sticks are better than the OCZ ones in this combo although it is about $30 cheaper.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Those OCZ are bad, that's why I didn't suggest them. Look at their latencies 9-9-9-24 at 1600mhz.

The RAM I suggested is pretty much decent again, price: performance.
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November 6, 2009 5:03:56 AM

Thanks so much for the quick replies. I didn't know you even had to check or that there were latency standards to check for memory sticks xD. Thanks for explaining about the ATI video card as well.

Also, if you don't mind me asking. What is the SLI/CrossFire thing?
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November 6, 2009 5:07:20 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Thanks so much for the quick replies. I didn't know you even had to check or that there were latency standards to check for memory sticks xD. Thanks for explaining about the ATI video card as well.

Also, if you don't mind me asking. What is the SLI/CrossFire thing?


No problem.

SLI is a term nvidia uses, meaning having two or more nvidia video cards working together through a SLI bridge (something you connect on the video cards)

Crossfire is a term ati uses, meaning having two or more ati video cards working together through a crossfire bridge(something you connect on the video cards)
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November 6, 2009 5:10:45 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Also, would you suggest a thermal compound? I read from another post of suggested and recommended builds that included this thermal compound: Acrtic Silver 5 Thermal Compound


Arctic Silver 5 is good, you should get it when you are overclocking. When you aren't there's really no point, as the heatsink I suggested is good enough. Thermal compound just helps to fill in the microscopic holes between the CPU and the heatsink making transferring heat better.
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November 6, 2009 5:11:38 AM

I hope you don't mind all the questions. Ummm on some of the parts you suggested at the end it says "- Retail". Does that mean anything significant or is it just saying it's an item for sale? And also for the samsung hard drive it says "- Bare Drive" at the end. What does that mean?
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November 6, 2009 5:15:12 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
I hope you don't mind all the questions. Ummm on some of the parts you suggested at the end it says "- Retail". Does that mean anything significant or is it just saying it's an item for sale? And also for the samsung hard drive it says "- Bare Drive" at the end. What does that mean?


No, I don't mind questions, everyone asks questions for clarification. "Retail" doesn't mean much, it usually competes with "OEM" which "Retail" parts, offers more stuff like a CD tutorial, more cables..stuff like that

I made a mistake earlier, the samsung drive doesn't come with cables, the motherboard I suggested comes with the sata cables already, so you're going to be fine.

bare drive means the drive doesn't contain any cables, manuals, etc. They can sell it for cheaper if they don't include the entire kit.
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November 6, 2009 5:23:06 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Also, there is this combo for both an optical drive and OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit - OEM and the Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM . Is the LITE-ON optical drive better and would it be better to buy a Windows 7 product without the OEM at the end?


good combo, "oem" like i said doesn't include much or anything at all (accessories), so if you want more stuff get "retail", doesn't make a difference, i would go "oem" because it's cheaper
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November 6, 2009 5:24:51 AM

Well, I guess I'm just worried that I might not get all the parts I need to install them properly. Like cables or wires or something. BTW I found a Radeon HD 5850 at frys.com but it's manufactured by Diamond. Are they a good brand or should I wait for a Sapphire one?
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November 6, 2009 5:26:28 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Well, I guess I'm just worried about that I might not get all the parts I need to install them properly. Like cables or wires or something. BTW I found a Radeon HD 5850 at frys.com but it's manufactured by Diamond. Are they a good brand or should I wait for a Sapphire one?


don't worry the motherboard includes sata cables, the samsung hard drive doesn't, so you're fine, trust me
PROOF:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImag...

Right now, all the 5850 cards are the same, because the companies didn't release any aftermarket cooler 5850 yet.

look at the warranty for diamond and compare it to xfx and sapphire.

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November 6, 2009 5:31:11 AM

What is an aftermarket cooler 5850? And about my worries of missing parts I was referring to the Samsung optical drive from the combo maybe missing parts. Thanks for the quick info again :) .
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November 6, 2009 5:34:37 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
What is an aftermarket cooler 5850? And about my worries of missing parts I was referring to the Samsung optical drive from the combo maybe missing parts. Thanks for the quick info again :) .


what samsung optical drive?? you mean sony..?
it's not missing anything you get the optical drive, it's just not giving you like the accessories stuff because you get it with the motherboard already...SATA CABLE from mobo, POWER connector from POWER SUPPLY

aftermarket cooler means, the company designs a cooler OTHER than the reference one. meaning that EACH company has a different cooler.
but right now ALL 5850 are the same, uses reference cooler which ATI provides to them
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November 6, 2009 5:36:49 AM

Haha. Sorry, I meant the Sony optical drive that was part of the OD and OS combo I linked earlier. And by cooler do you mean something that cools the GPU down? I hope that's not a stupid question.
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November 6, 2009 5:37:47 AM

But wouldn't you need a separate SATA cable and power cable for each different part?
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November 6, 2009 5:37:55 AM

They are all the same cards, just has a different brand name..

I don't know why the XFX is cheaper in this case. Maybe XFX did a deal with amazon...
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November 6, 2009 5:38:43 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Haha. Sorry, I meant the Sony optical drive that was part of the OD and OS combo I linked earlier. And by cooler do you mean something that cools the GPU down? I hope that's not a stupid question.


i edited the post above to answer the optical drive question.

yes, the cooler to cool the GPU
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November 6, 2009 5:39:52 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
But wouldn't you need a separate SATA cable and power cable for each different part?


which?

you will need 1 sata cable(from motherboard) for HDD, 1 sata cable(from motherboard) for optical drive

1 power connector for HDD(from power supply), 1 power connector for optical drive (from power supply)
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November 6, 2009 5:44:14 AM

Is that all you need? And if so, does the Gigabyte mobo come with 2 SATA cables and 2 power connectors?
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November 6, 2009 5:46:20 AM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Well, I guess I'm just worried about that I might not get all the parts I need to install them properly. Like cables or wires or something. BTW I found a Radeon HD 5850 at frys.com but it's manufactured by Diamond. Are they a good brand or should I wait for a Sapphire one?


did you miss my post above? i said..

don't worry the motherboard includes sata cables, the samsung hard drive doesn't, so you're fine, trust me
PROOF:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImag...


power connectors are from power supply..
proof:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImag...

just buy the parts in my build, and add in the OS+optical drive combo you found, and you're set
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November 6, 2009 5:54:07 AM

i'm going to sleep, i'll check back to this tomorrow.
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November 6, 2009 5:54:51 AM

No, I read it. I understand the motherboard has the SATA cable and the PSU will have the power connectors. I guess I was just wondering if there would be enough. Just trying to make sure.
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November 6, 2009 6:11:03 AM

Now I don't know if I'm being power hungry or not right now but I just found a pretty good CPU and Case combo:

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail and the COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail.

When I added that combo to the cart and took out the other same, but stand-alone, case and the i5-750 CPU it cost about ~$80 more. Is it worth it? Is it worth it for $80 more? Do I even need the i7-860 or would the i5-750 be sufficient?


I also found another deal. If the i5-750 is enough or if the i7-860 is not needed then I was considering this combo deal that I found:

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail, COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active ... - Retail, ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail, Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I5750 - Retail.

The CPU and Case is the same as the ones you suggested earlier, but the mobo and the PSU is different. If the i7-860 isn't needed is the mobo and PSU of this deal a better choice then the other ones you had suggested or even similar?
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November 6, 2009 11:10:39 AM

For gaming you will not need i7 860. You may ask why? Because i7 860 has hyper threading, and games don't really take advantage of that. Again, it's like the i7 920 it's good for editing..encoding stuff like that

A i5 750 will be best for gaming. So the first combo, don't get.

The second combo's Power supply and motherboard is not good. The asus motherboard offers only x16 x4 which if you buy another graphics card to sli/crossfire it won't perform good(can't operate at full performance, because the x4 is the bottleneck). My suggested motherboard offers x8/x8(will be better if in the future you decide to add in another card)
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November 6, 2009 6:46:23 PM

I remember reading that a video card requires x16 slot. So if I do get another video card in the future, would the x8/x8 bottleneck the two cards? Should I go for a mobo with 2 x16 slots?
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November 6, 2009 8:13:33 PM

Well I'm browsing around CyberPowerPC.com and I was customizing one of their computers to match the parts you suggested as best as I could. For example I took the Mega Special II bundle and customized it to have:

>CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-750 2.66 GHz 8M L2 Cache LGA1156

>GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 PCI-E 16X 1GB Video Card [DirectX 11 Support]

>Motherboard: [CrossFireX/SLI] GigaByte GA-P55-UD4P Intel P55 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 HD Audio, Dual GbLAN, USB2.0, SATA-II RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 3 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI

>PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

>Memory: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair Dominator Brand)

>Monitor: 24" LCD - Asus VH242H Wide Screen TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Black)

>Hard Drive: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (some generic one I suppose)

>Optical Drive: LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive

>OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition

Total comes out to about $1,671.03 (after tax, site says shipping would cost $0.00). That's with speakers, mouse, keyboard, and a few other accessories.

The total for the parts you suggested is ~$1520.99 (after tax and without shipping costs). That's also without speakers, mouse, keyboard. Now I'm going to guess that a speaker, mouse, and keyboard combo would cost maybe ~$50-$100 depending on the quality.

I guess I was wondering why the price difference is so small. I'm always hearing that building your own PC saves you money, but I don't think saving like $50 is such a big deal.

Am I calculating things wrong or making some other unnoticed mistake or was I just expecting a huge bargain in building your own PC when in fact you only save a little building your own?
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November 6, 2009 8:50:55 PM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
I remember reading that a video card requires x16 slot. So if I do get another video card in the future, would the x8/x8 bottleneck the two cards? Should I go for a mobo with 2 x16 slots?


The x8 lanes will not bottleneck the cards if you have 2. There has proven, in test, to be very little difference between the x16 x16 and x8 x8 lanes and you wont even notice it.
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November 6, 2009 8:54:39 PM

haremxnoxjutsu said:
Well I'm browsing around CyberPowerPC.com and I was customizing one of their computers to match the parts you suggested as best as I could. For example I took the Mega Special II bundle and customized it to have:

>CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-750 2.66 GHz 8M L2 Cache LGA1156

>GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5850 PCI-E 16X 1GB Video Card [DirectX 11 Support]

>Motherboard: [CrossFireX/SLI] GigaByte GA-P55-UD4P Intel P55 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ 7.1 HD Audio, Dual GbLAN, USB2.0, SATA-II RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe, 3 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI

>PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

>Memory: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair Dominator Brand)

>Monitor: 24" LCD - Asus VH242H Wide Screen TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Black)

>Hard Drive: 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD (some generic one I suppose)

>Optical Drive: LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive

>OS: Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition

Total comes out to about $1,671.03 (after tax, site says shipping would cost $0.00). That's with speakers, mouse, keyboard, and a few other accessories.

The total for the parts you suggested is ~$1520.99 (after tax and without shipping costs). That's also without speakers, mouse, keyboard. Now I'm going to guess that a speaker, mouse, and keyboard combo would cost maybe ~$50-$100 depending on the quality.

I guess I was wondering why the price difference is so small. I'm always hearing that building your own PC saves you money, but I don't think saving like $50 is such a big deal.

Am I calculating things wrong or making some other unnoticed mistake or was I just expecting a huge bargain in building your own PC when in fact you only save a little building your own?


You may only save a bit of money, but you get much higher quality parts, and much longer warranties. Dell or whoever will only give you a 1yr warranty free. When you buy the parts and register them you get a longer time. The processor has 3 years the ram and XFX videocards are lifetime and 3 year motherboard? It may save you only a little now but it will last you a much longer time than a prebuilt
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November 6, 2009 8:55:31 PM

Oh, and I forgot to mention all the crapware prebuilts give you, they take up half of your harddrive with all that stuff.
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November 6, 2009 9:39:11 PM

Thanks for the response. So basically the money you save isn't from the cheaper prices, but from the higher quality and the longer warranty?
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November 6, 2009 9:50:05 PM

Yes. Big box companys will put low quality parts in your system, thus reducing its lifespan.
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November 6, 2009 10:31:58 PM

Hey, I'm back.

Are you sure it was $1,671.03 (after tax, site says shipping would cost $0.00) with the same parts?

The case is different? Missing?

I just checked their mega II computer, how come when I customize it, it doesn't have the parts I suggested? like power supply..

different heatsink..i can go on..ram is corsair it's probably high latencies...
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November 6, 2009 11:02:39 PM

Hey. I'm glad your back. Yeah, the parts I listed were all there for me. The different ones are the case, RAM, optical drive, and HDD. Yes, it was $1671.03.

I'm not sure if this link will work on your computer but it's the link for the Mega Special II bundle with similar parts I mentioned earlier:

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/cart/showcart.aspx?ref=upd

Also, I asked earlier but could I get your opinion on the case I linked in an earlier post?


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