Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime before Christmas Budget Range: $1200 Before Rebates System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video encoding, surfing the internet, watching movies Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com Country of Origin: USA Parts Preferences: Intel i7 Overclocking: No SLI or Crossfire: Maybe Monitor Resolution: 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200 Additional Comments: Windows 7 Professional, DVD-R/CD-R, at least 1GB hard drive space, will be running World of Warcraft, Photoshop CS3, Adobe Preimere, Starcraft 2, Star Wars when it comes out (needs to be able to handle that in Spring 2011).
Normally I build my own CPU. It has probably been about 6 years since I've built a new computer for myself. I have actually been able to run and do what I need with my current system just fine. It could be a bit faster but ultimately I needed to ugprade. After going over the costs to upgrade my current system, it was decided to look at purchasing a new system.
Currently I have been able to find for $1200 is a system from Dell. Normally the only thing I purchase from them is my Laptop, mainly because through work they have treated me right with my business account and repaired or handled my issues within 24 hours. I started to look at piecing it out to create it without going through them but I'm not too up to date on which hardware tends to play nicer with each other. Back when I greated my GigaByte system it had specific requirements with my Mushkin RAM and a few other components, which made it function and perform better than generic counterparts.
Processor: Intel Core i7-870 processor (2.93 GHz) OS: Windows 7 Professional Memory: 8 GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333 MHz (4 DIMMs) Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5 Hard Drive: 1.5 TB Raid 0 (2x 750GB SATA 3GB/s 7200 RPM HDDs) Optical Drive: 16x DVD-R Drive Sound Card: THX® TruStudio PC
Am I going to build something comparable and save a $200 or something at the same price range that would be superior?
You can probably build the something superior for cheaper rather than one or the other as you assumed.
There are a few flaws to the system you listed:
1) 8GB is much more ram than even enthusiasts will use.
2) GPU bottleneck for that CPU. At a minimum GTX 460 (or with the new cards, HD 6850).
3) Raid is pretty much useless now with SSDs around. You're better off getting a SSD boot drive and a HDD for storage.
4) Dell will use as much generic parts as they can which mean bad performance/reliability and little to no room for overclocking.
Being lazy I will just copy pasta the closest match build in the "recommended builds by usage" link in the sticky posts for comparison. Keep in mind the prices are lower since the last time the build was updated and you can get many combo deals and promotions for cheaper parts. Also, depending on your purchase date, there may be even better deals closer to the holidays.
•CPU: Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7870
•MOBO: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
•RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
•HSF: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
•HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
•PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
•GPU: EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
•DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
•Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
•Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
This build will allow you to play games at max settings at a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 or higher...