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New Pc, not sure if prebuilt or homegrown

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March 5, 2011 12:28:30 PM

Greetings all,
I am finally going to upgrade from my 3.2g P4 pc. I would qualify myself as a Budget/Gamer Looking at a few options and while I am fully capable of building one myself, it seems like I can't match the dollar amount for a prebuilt one since I would have to buy a copy of Window's 7. Your advice on this would be much appreciated, these are the options I have come up with so far....

Dell $639
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ i5-650 processor(4MB Cache, 3.20GHz)
MEMORY 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
HARD DRIVE 1TB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
VIDEO CARD Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD+/-RW Drive
Inspiron 580S Inspiron 580S FTS17
Network Card Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
MODEM No Dial Up Modem Option
SOUND CARD Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
SPEAKERS No Speaker Option
Would have to buy a vid card to go with this one

Dell $599
Processor * Intel® CoreTM i5 650 (3.2GHz/4MB cache)
Operating System * Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Memory5 * 4GB5 DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
Hard Drive * 1000GB3 SATA hard drive (RPM) (7200RPM)
Video Card * 512 (MB) NVIDIA® G310 GeForce®
Optical Drive * 16X DVD+/-RW Drive



Hewlett Packard $699
Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edit
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-760 quad-core processor [2.8GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache] edit
Memory FREE UPGRADE! 6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [3 DIMMs] from 4GB edit
Hard drive FREE UPGRADE! 1TB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 750GB edit
Graphics card 1GB DDR3 ATI Radeon HD 5450 [DVI, HDMI, VGA adapter] edit
Primary optical drive LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive edit
Networking Integrated Ethernet port, No wireless LAN edit
Productivity ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio edit
TV & entertainment experience No TV Tuner edit
Sound Card Integrated sound edit
Keyboard and Mouse HP USB keyboard and optical mouse

Any other reccomendations would be welcome, needs to be in the $700 or less price area, less is better

The main game I play is WoW but obviously would like to get the best bang for the buck and futureproof for as long as possible.
Thanks

More about : prebuilt homegrown

March 5, 2011 12:35:28 PM

Hello perren;

You can pretty much set the laptop aside since it's not going to have much in the way of 'game'

What resolution monitor are you using? Any other games besides WoW you might be interested in?

What size power supplies are in those systems? That determines what video cards you can match with them.
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March 5, 2011 1:30:05 PM

None of those were laptops actually, I have 22inch acer monitor at 1680x1050

As best as I can tell the power supply's on all 3 systems are underwhelming at 300watts for all 3
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March 5, 2011 1:47:32 PM

Do you currently have a system ? -- IF so would the Case\PSU\mouse\keyboard\dvd drive and perhaps a few other parts be reuseable ?? -- If so can probably build one with better performance at lower cost even with the purchase of WIN7.

With those prebuilts you run into problems with them lacking in the video card support and once you start adding parts you wind up also replacing Powersupplies etc. so best to buy the right parts to start with since you can build it yourself and while it may not seem to save at first glance in the long run it's cheaper and you get better quality parts on the HDDs, MOBO, etc. instead of their cut down models (ie. RAM slots or other components removed to save a few pennies or cheaper capacitors used).

What's your overall budget and what parts do you currently have (other than the Acer monitor) ? And are you decided on the Intel CPU or is AMD acceptable ? -- (For tight budgets AMD has more to offer at lower price points)
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March 5, 2011 1:56:42 PM

Currently I have a Dell Dimension 5100, so I could salvage DVD Drives, Mouse, Keyboard, I think that is pretty much it really, I would need at least 1 7200 rpm HD as neither of the ones I currently have are.
As far as AMD vs Intel goes, I am basically going off the information I have gotten from friends that have all said that I would be much better off going with a Intel chip vs AMD for longevity as well as current performance. I would like to keep it below $700 if at all possible.
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March 5, 2011 2:10:19 PM

Have you looked over the System builders marathon articles - they have a $500 system build that is a well rounded performer that would outperform the systems you listed and figure add another $99 for the OEM version OS and perhaps swap a few parts around depending on the sales you can find and your total budget and you can upgrade to a better GPU or CPU in it and stay under the $700 mark pretty easily.

For Example Here is a quick $700 build ($703 if you include the $2.90 shipping charges !) that will far outperform the systems you posted (didn't include a case, mouse\keyboard, or DVD drive since you could reuse the one you have ) :

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March 5, 2011 4:25:36 PM

I had not seen the system builder articles before, I guess one of the big problems I am having is with cpu's. Is there a list somewhere that basically prioritizes which one is better than the next that includes both amd and intel??
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