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Build new for $600 or buy my friend's used rig?

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September 28, 2010 8:19:04 PM

My good friend who I usually ask for advice on stuff like this offered to sell me his computer (1.5 years old but fairly top-of-the-line when he built it) but now I have no one to ask if I should take him up on his offer! It'd be really helpful if anyone could provide advice on which option to go with. His processor and quality (brand) of components is better but mine would have a better graphics cards and be new of course.

Here are my goals:

Purchase Date: I don't need a computer right away but within the next 3-4 months for sure.

Budget: ~$600 or less. Hope to stay under $700 for sure unless there's a bunch of extra value in it.

System Usage: Starcraft II & Civilization 5 at nice high-detail settings without problems. And of course listening to music/surfing web/etc.

Parts not required: keyboard/mouse/DVD player

Country: USA

Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200 20"

Overclocking/Crossfire: don't plan to overclock, could potentially crossfire in a few years to get more life out of build for games.

=====================================

Option #1 - build from newegg: these components are $595 after tax and shipping it looks like with heavy comboing + MIRs.

1) AMD Athlon II Qud-Core 3.0GHz - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

2) POWERCOLOR PCS+ AX5770 1GBD5-PPG Radeon HD 5770 1GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) Rosewill Destroyer Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

4) ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

5) G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 1333 (2 x 2GB) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

6) OCZ Modular 600W PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

7) Seagate 1TB Hard Drive 7200rpm - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8) Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9) Includes Starcraft II - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

=====================================

Option #2 - buy this used system from my good friend who designed it to run very quiet and cool (although he doesn't overclock). There's absolutely nothing wrong with it - he'd just love to drop $2k on a new computer if he can sell this one, lol. He's used it quite heavily for games/video editing for 1.5 years already. He'd sell it for ~$600 now or ~$500 if I wait until January.

1) Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Gigabyte Radeon 4850 512mb - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3) Antec P182 Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) Gigabyte x38-DQ6 mobo - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5) G.Skill 4Gb DDR2 1066 2x2Gb - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6) Corsair HX620 Modular PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

7) Seagate 500Gb Hard Drive 7200rpm

8) Windows Vista Ultimate Full Version

9) Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme Heatsink - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

10) Noctua CPU Fan - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=35-608-...

11) Already built optimally with high quality Slim Nexus Case Fan, Thermal Paste, Cable sleeving, SATA cables, etc.

Best solution

September 28, 2010 8:38:21 PM
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Throw a good CPU cooler into the first build and you have a better system. Better cooled, and faster after overclocks. Here are a few suggestions for upgrades though:

Rosewill 630W PSU and Samsung F3 1TB drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
This is a better PSU. Just slightly, but the price is right and it's going to run TWO 5770s easier.

ASRock 890G board and Win 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Get a board capable of crossfire then add a second 5770 when you can.

Hyper 212 cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those are significant upgrades that should be worth the extra bucks.
September 28, 2010 8:48:26 PM

I agree with proximon.
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September 28, 2010 8:57:07 PM

Mr Pizza said:
I agree with proximon, but you shouldn't be looking at rosewill power supplies. They are very unreliable. Spend 30 extra bucks and get this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79 after rebate. It's something that will last..


I really do know my power supplies :) 

See the PSU guide linked in my sig to discover more about the Rosewill PSU I linked. It's built by ATNG and very solid.

The 650TX-C is untested but yes it's probably a bit better. Certainly backed by a better company and a better warranty. Built by CWT.
September 28, 2010 9:10:27 PM

Mr Pizza said:
I agree with proximon, but you shouldn't be looking at rosewill power supplies. They are very unreliable.

Not smart to argue power supplies with guy who wrote the guide on power supplies. :lol: 

FOr me the reason not to buy even the good Rosewill PSUs is to not encourage a company that has a history of willingness to sell tinderboxes to customers. Im willing to spend a few extra dollars to deal with a quality company, but if you budget doesnt allow that luxury then go for pure cost effectiveness.

September 28, 2010 10:37:58 PM

I used to agree completely with that, and indeed I wouldn't want to generally promote Rosewill as a brand.

This trend from Rosewill for quality parts is new though, and I like to encourage it.
September 29, 2010 5:44:24 AM

I would go with a new system for sure. No way to tell on the wear and tear of that system, but even if it was good you could get an AMD system that would be better for the 600$.
September 29, 2010 3:26:29 PM

I am in the process of putting together a very similar build in the same price range and am wondering how you combo'd Starcraft 2 into that build for the $600 pricetag. It is almost all the same, actually.

If you could throw the link up for it I would appreciate it, it may let me tweak my build a bit more. If you want I can throw my build up so you can check the combos I found as well as some of them may help you out.
October 6, 2010 2:42:19 AM

Best answer selected by peteysmooth.
October 6, 2010 2:52:23 AM

Thanks for all of the replies!

I actually ended up buying the new system and got everything today. Just put it all together and am on it right now, ;) . Everything seems to be working as it's supposed to. I didn't get a better cooling unit, but hopefully the stock one will be fine.

I tried to see about upgrading individual parts of the build but things ended up being "a lot" more expensive b/c I lost all the huge combos I was using to get that build down to $595 after MIR.

maawdawg - doesn't look like there are any SC2 combos anymore. That's one way I got myself motivated to just buy it, I figured the game had been out so long, any combo on it was likely to expire. I comboed it with the OCZ PSU. Which is why I also didn't try to upgrade to a different one, it didn't necessarily seem worth the extra cash.

I haven't used newegg before but after spending so long attempting to find better and better combos, my advice for a value system is to just look at the combos available for the possible version of the parts you know you want in particular. For instance, I looked at most of the cheaper 5770 gpus and it helped me get some great combos (although I ended up not comboing this item due to it being on sale anyway). Or look at a bunch of 2x2gb memory sets that you'd be happy with - most don't combo but a couple probably do with something else you need.
October 6, 2010 2:58:57 PM

Congrats on getting everything running and working well. I was just hoping you had found a way to get SC2 cheap/free still as I couldn't. I think I am going to be holding off on building for a bit until the new AMD GPUs hit and I see some Black Friday deals to try to get a little more bang for my buck. Right now my build would cost about $600ish AR and is very similar to yours. Every build I try I end up with that OCZ PSU since it is in a ton of combos, is in my power need range, and has a rebate besides. I will probably be going ASRock Extreme 3 instead of ASUS to get the 8x8 for future crossfire, and Mushkin RAM over the Gskill, Challenger case instead of Destroyer, Spinpoint over Barracuda, etc. Small changes but a very similar build overall. Thanks for the reply.
October 6, 2010 3:14:22 PM

No problem.

Yeah, that build sounds basically the same and I really think it's a good price point area for gaming as anything cheaper seems like it'll need to be upgraded somewhat soon, and anything more seems like overkill at the moment.

I thought about waiting too to find deals but I was too pumped up after researching everything, lol.

Gl!
!