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"Build" my Prebuilt for me?

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November 7, 2010 6:09:20 PM

Hello everyone,

My computer that I've had for 9 years recently died on me, and I've been searching for a while for a new prebuilt computer that will last me another 9 years. I've become frustrated and overwhelmed because I lack the technical knowledge (and the desire to learn a great deal of it) to ensure that I get that computer that's going to last those 9 years. So I'm hoping you gurus in here will help me in finding a company to build it for me and specific builds from said companies that meet my requirements while giving me what will hopefully be a long-lasting computer. If you want to discuss this via email-you can
email me at Dandragons@aol.com

*Please don't suggest I build my own-yes I know it would be cheaper, but I lack the desire and technical knowledge to build one so want a company with good tech support for any problems I might have with the new computer*

Budget: I'd like to keep it under $1,000 or very very close to that.

Computer Needs: #1 need will be for gaming. So need a lot of hard drive space for games. I'm not a "high-maintenace" kind of gamer-so I DON'T need dual monitors, overclocking, top of the line parts, etc. I just need a computer that will not struggle to play games like Civilization 5 (especially as I get further and further into a game there), and many different MMO's with an eye towards being able to play games coming out in the future comfortably. #2 need will be surfing the internet so a computer able to access webpages and sites smoothly and quickly, #3 need will be watching videos/TV episodes online.

Company: Here I come up with my first big hurdle. I really want a company with good technical support, preferably American/Canadian support not outsourced to Asia. That likely leaves out the bigger names like HP, Dell, etc. Actually the closest I've come to finding a computer that meets most of my needs has been HP's Elite series, but not much in the way of customization, not very strong power supplies, and a bad customer support encounter already with them makes me leery. If things have gotten better with the more well-known companies then please let me know. I've been to a lot of smaller companies
sites in the past that have some good recommendations but so many options and customizations that I'm instantly lost. So if you can suggest good companies here and maybe walk me through some of the builds on those sites that would be great.

Case: This is probably the part I have the least knowledge about, and the least desire to learn more. I just want a case that's very easy to open and access things inside and provide good airflow and cooling. Don't want to spend a lot of money here. Not picky about color or design, though if its blue and/or grey, that'd be cool. :)  Need lots of USB ports with it.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Processor: AMD Phenom. Can go as low as X4 620 all the way up to the new X6's depending on price and what you think best given my needs and price limits.

Memory: At least 4GB-DDR3 and hopefully more depending on price.

Hard Drive: At least 500GB drive, I have an 500GB External one already.

Graphics Card: ATI Radeon man here, 1GB 5750 or more, depending on price and what fits best for my needs as you see it. Being good for games is essential

Sound: Clueless here and sound has never been a big deal to me. I'm fine with integrated sound. I have a very old set of speakers/subwoofer, so can use those, or if you have a cheap yet good alternate that's fine too.

Optical Drive: Don't know much about them, just want a speedy DVD/RW one that can handle games/movies/tv episodes. Doesn't need to be Blu-Ray.

Wireless Network Card: I have a wireless Network (D-Link) here so need a solid reliable Wireless-N card.

Memory Card Reader: Just a solid 15-1 or more (or maybe 10-1?)

Keyboard/Mouse: I have an old Microsoft Wireless Keyboard and Mouse I can use and like, but if good price on a new set. could go for new ones. Just need the basic keyboard not one of those fancy gaming ones. Same with the Mouse.

WebCam: This is not a necessity, never had one, but have wanted to try one. Something easy to use, is it possible to post images from a webcam online? if so, one that can handle this. But really this is just a luxury, not a necessity.

Monitor: I have an older, small monitor that I would like to replace because it came with none of the buttons labelled and they are black on a black monitor screen, so can't read them. But price may be an issue here, so can stay with the old one if this helps out in other areas price wise. Again not looking at anything fancy here-just a solid reliable easy to use (and viewable buttons!) that will make my games look pretty and be able to show movies/videos/tv episodes on. Probably nothing smaller than 20 inches here, more would be nice.

Power Supply: At least 400W here, preferably more.

Sure I'm forgetting something here, feel free to ask questions if you think I've left something out. I don't mind if you try to talk me into a specific say Radeon card, but I'm pretty set on the general brand names of parts I want. Appreciate any help/advice you can give me here. Just remember I'm not going to be all that knowledgeable about some things.

Dan

More about : build prebuilt

November 8, 2010 9:11:39 AM

Gamer Fire

Case ( NZXT Gamma Gaming Case - Black )
Case Lighting ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
Processor ( [= Quad Core =] AMD Athlon™ II X4 640 Quad-Core CPU )
Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - ** FREE Upgrade to DDR3-1600 ** Corsair or Major Brand )
Video Card ( ATI Radeon HD 5770 - 1GB - Single Card )
Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by ATI or NVIDIA )
Motherboard ( Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 -- AMD 870 w/ 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16 )
Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
Power Supply ( 600 Watt -- Standard )
Primary Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
Data Hard Drive ( None )
Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black )
2nd Optical Drive ( None )
Flash Media Reader/Writer ( None )
Meter Display ( None )
Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit )
Monitor ( 24" LCD 1920x1080 -- (23.6 viewable) )
2nd Monitor ( None )
Speaker System ( None )
Headset ( None )
Video Camera ( None )
Warranty ( Standard Warranty Service - Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )
Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10

Sub Total: $971.00

You can add a card reader.

http://www.ibuypower.com/Store/Gamer_Fire_500

LE:. Changed the PSU from 550W to 600 should add only a few $$.
November 8, 2010 1:25:07 PM

A 9+ year computer is a noble idea, but without upgrades along the way, you'll have a hard time playing games in 4-5 years as they are released at or near max settings.
Related resources
November 8, 2010 1:47:18 PM

Thanks very much for that build mosox, I will check it out when I get the chance. I checked out Ibuypower (and Cyberpower), but was leery of their tech support. Are they decent here? That would be sweet to get such a big monitor, didn't think that would be possible for my budget.

Jfby,

Yeah you're likely right there, but the goal is to put that off for as long as possible with a computer that will be able to upgrade to new technology as it becomes available, but who knows what that tech will be.

Appreciate more builds here, the more the merrier to give me some options. :) 
November 9, 2010 1:58:45 AM

Here's another one with a better video card and PSU:

* COOLER MASTER Gladiator 600 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel
* CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX VX Series Power Supply, 550W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready
* GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3, AM3, AMD® 870, DDR3-1866 (O.C.) 16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 6 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, SATA 3 Gb/s /2, HDA, GbLAN, FW /3, ATX, Retail
* AMD Athlon™ II X4 640 Quad-Core 3.0GHz, AM3, HT 4000MHz, 4x 512KB L2 cache, 95W, 45nm, Retail
* KINGSTON 2GB (2 x 1GB) ValueRAM PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (9-9-9) 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
* SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 6850 775MHz, 1GB GDDR5 4000MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDMI, DP, Retail
* SAMSUNG 500GB SpinPoint F3, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB Cache, OEM
* RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
* LG ELECTRONICS GH24NS50 Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM
* MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
* WARRANTY Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

$830.45

http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.a...

Monitor

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

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

I don't live in the USA so I don't know about their tech support.

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/iBUYPOWER

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/cyberPOWER

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/AVA_Direct
November 9, 2010 1:44:40 PM

Thanks again Mosox, I like the first one a lot-the only thing from my "wish-list" it seems to be missing is a Wireless-N card, which I really need. The second one seems very low on Memory if I understand memory correctly. And lacks the wireless-N card and media card reader. Regardless both builds give me something to work from, so I appreciate the time you took to "build" them for me.

I was surprised to see the generally good ratings on Cyberpower and IBuypower, the reviews of their tech support/customer service have been decidedly mixed elsewhere I've looked, but the reviews in the links you provided make me feel better about them.

I looked at AVA_Direct in my initial search because I had read good things about their tech support/customer service and nice to see that continues in the link you posted. They like the other two mentioned here overwhelmed me with the amount of options available, so I steered away from them because of that.

I look forward to other people's builds/opinions here (as well as others you might have for me mosox) just to see what other choices I might have. Please don't make me beg others to chime in here, it won't be very pretty. :) 
November 9, 2010 11:24:35 PM

Oops, that was my error with the RAM I gess you can't get a HD 6850 in the system for under $1000. Avadirect has the best offer with a better video card and PSU and you have control over what HDD and monitor you get. Both have network card in the motherboard - not wireless.

Tweaked a little the list it's a bit more expensive but it's worth it.

* ANTEC Three Hundred Black Mid-Tower Case, ATX, No PSU
* CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX VX Series Power Supply, 550W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready
* GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3, AM3, AMD® 870, DDR3-1866 (O.C.) 16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 6 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, SATA 3 Gb/s /2, HDA, GbLAN, FW /3, ATX, Retail
* AMD Athlon™ II X4 640 Quad-Core 3.0GHz, AM3, HT 4000MHz, 4x 512KB L2 cache, 95W, 45nm, Retail
* CRUCIAL 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
* SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 6850 775MHz, 1GB GDDR5 4000MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDMI, DP, Retail
* SAMSUNG 500GB SpinPoint F3, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB Cache, OEM
* RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
* LG ELECTRONICS GH24NS50B Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner, SATA, OEM
* NIPPON LABS ICR-BB Black Internal All-in-1 Card Reader w/ eSATA Port, 3.5" Bay, USB/SATA
* ASUS VW246H Black LCD Monitor, 24" TFT Full HD, 1920x1080, 0.270mm, 300cd/m², 20000:1, 2ms, DVI, HDMI, w/ speakers
* MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
* WARRANTY Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

$1107.59

November 10, 2010 1:52:39 PM

That last one does look nice but really more than I can afford, though if I take the monitor off or change the video card and keep the monitor.... And I always thought you needed a wireless network card to connect to my home network, nice to see I can get that through that motherboard-that's a big help.
November 10, 2010 2:22:50 PM

Then get this

* COOLER MASTER Elite 335 Black Mid Tower Case, ATX, No PSU, Steel
* ANTEC Basiq BP550Plus, 550W, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, One 6-pin + One 8-pin PCIe
* GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3, AM3, AMD® 870, DDR3-1866 (O.C.) 16GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 6 Gb/s RAID 5 /6, SATA 3 Gb/s /2, HDA, GbLAN, FW /3, ATX, Retail
* AMD Athlon™ II X3 440 Triple-Core 3.0GHz, AM3, HT 4000MHz, 3x 512KB L2 cache, 95W, 45nm, Retail
* CRUCIAL 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
* SAPPHIRE Radeon™ HD 6850 775MHz, 1GB GDDR5 4000MHz, PCIe x16 CrossFire, DVI /2, HDMI, DP, Retail
* SAMSUNG 500GB SpinPoint F3, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200-RPM, 16MB Cache, OEM
* RAID No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
* SONY AD-7261S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
* MICROSOFT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
* WARRANTY Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, 3 Year Labor Warranty)

$814.69

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 11, 2010 2:24:21 PM

I went in and fiddled with your Ibuypower build at the top there and came up with this, most is the same just changed the color of a couple things and left off the monitor-figure with Christmas and Black Friday coming up, I can probably get a good deal on one if I decide to get one to replace my current one. Only thing I don't like about the build is that there's nothing for my home network in it-wasn't sure if any of their options was what I was looking for. Will tinker with your avadirect build when I get a chance. Do you see any problems with this build?

Gamer Fire 500
Case ( NZXT Gamma Gaming Case - Blue )
Case Lighting ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction ( None )
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion ( None )
Processor ( [= Six Core =] AMD Phenom™ II X6 1055T Six-Core CPU )
Processor Cooling ( Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - ** FREE Upgrade to DDR3-1600 ** Corsair or Major Brand )
Video Card ( AMD Radeon HD 6850 - 1GB - Single Card )
Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by ATI or NVIDIA )
Motherboard ( Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 -- AMD 870 w/ 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16 )
Motherboard USB / SATA Interface ( Motherboard default USB / SATA Interface )
Power Supply ( 700 Watt -- Standard )
Primary Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - Single Drive )
Data Hard Drive ( None )
Optical Drive ( 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Blue )
2nd Optical Drive ( None )
Flash Media Reader / Writer ( 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Silver )
Meter Display ( None )
Sound Card ( 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
Operating System ( Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit )
Keyboard ( iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard - Black )
Mouse ( iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse - Black )
Monitor ( None )
2nd Monitor ( None )
Speaker System ( None )
Headset ( None )
Video Camera ( None )
Warranty ( Standard Warranty Service - Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support )
Rush Service ( Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee) - No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days )
November 11, 2010 2:35:07 PM

I was looking at Newegg.com and stumbled across this computer. The only problem is that it isn't configurable-since its missing media player, network card, no idea what kind of motherboard. I really like the case on it though which is what caught my eye initially. But I know nothing about the quality of it, how easy it is to open/get around in-just curious if you (or anybody reading this) has thoughts on this build/case?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 18, 2010 7:47:15 PM

Hey Mosox,

I went ahead and ordered my computer from Ibuypower today. I went back and forth on a bunch of different configurations-some that went over my $1000 budget limit, before finally settling on this config. It comes in just over $800 giving me approx $200 to work with when I go looking for Black Friday Monitor deals. Didnt get a wireless card-I believe my brother has an adapter for me.

Case: NZXT Gamma Gaming Case - Black
Processor: [= Six Core =] AMD Phenom™ II X6 1055T Six-Core CPU
Processor Cooling:Liquid CPU Cooling System [AMD] - [Free Upgrade] Standard 120mm Fan
Memory: 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module - ** FREE Upgrade to DDR3-1600 ** Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 5770 - 1GB - Single Card
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 -- AMD 870 w/ 2x PCI-E 2.0 x16
Power Supply: 700 Watt -- Standard
Primary Hard Drive: 500 GB HARD DRIVE -- 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0Gb/s - Single Drive
Optical Drive: 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive - Black
Flash Media Reader / Writer: 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer - Black
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card: Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-Bit
Speaker System: iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System
Keyboard: 1 x iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard Black
Mouse: 1 x iBUYPOWER Internet Mouse Black
Advanced Build Options: 1 x iBUYPOWER Specialized Advanced Packaging System Protect your investment during transportation!
Advanced Build Options: 1 x Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower Achieve exceptional airflow in your chassis.

Just wanted to thank you for all your time and advice you gave me here, it really was the help and final push I needed to get my new computer. Much appreciated!

Dan
November 19, 2010 6:26:54 AM

Looks good, enjoy your PC.
!