Never bought a gaming PC before, or any custom-built PC for that matter. I don't know much about what parts go with what. I tried to choose the parts I selected based off the items on this list.
Also, the feedback re: CyberPower, both here and elsewhere, seems somewhat mixed. Does anyone have any tips for how to configure a system for purchase from them that is less likely to be DOA? Alternately, if someone can point out a way to get a pre-built system that meets my needs for <= $1,500 from a more reliable source, that would be appreciated as well. It doesn't have to look anything like this system, as long as it gets the job done. I'm open-minded
Approximate Purchase Date: The sooner the better. Budget Range: $1,000 to $1,500, incl. rebates, tax, shipping, etc. System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, gaming, and... gaming. Parts Not Required: Monitor. Country of Origin: US Parts Preferences: I don't have any brand preferences. I'm more concerned with making sure that the computer will (a) be fast enough to run games at fairly high settings for at least the next two years, and (b) is unlikely to break. Overclocking: Yes, if risk of part failure is sufficiently low. SLI or Crossfire: This build only has 1 video card. Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
EDIT 05 April 2011 6:18 PM: I should add: I'm not against building the PC myself - in fact, I think I'd probably enjoy doing so - but I am worried that either (a) I'll end up missing some part, not realize it, and not be able to figure out why my computer isn't working, or (b) break something. If someone has a good build in this price range, and a complete list of parts (as in, buy everything on this list - except a monitor - and you'll be good to go), I think I'm willing to risk (b).
What was the Cyberpower price on this configuration?
Here are my thoughts on the build:
1) The case is nice, and that is a pretty little motherboard, but they do not really match.
2) RAM is a little much - 1333 is fine for just a gaming machine. Don't get much from the 1800 speed.
3) Video is underpowered - would recommend a 6950 in that price range for a Gaming, gaming and....gaming machine.
4) Who makes the HDD? That is suspect, and it is also too small.
5) Power is a bit much for a single card configuration. 750W would be almost enough for SLI. But wait, the motherboard's second PCI slot is X4 - would not recommend installing a second card even if it supported SLI.
6) Cooler is overpriced
7) Windows Home Premium is all you need - save $40 here off the top.
This is not something I would buy for myself.
So, please allow me to recommend a configuration you can build yourself, with all the parts down to a motherboard speaker, Thermal Interface paste and that silly 8 pin power extension for the motherboard auxiliary power connection.
Just to put the cherry on top, there are two references out there that have step by step instructions and a troubleshooting if it does not boot. Get started on these, while I get a beer:
Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely read through the information at both of those links.
The price on this machine was ~$1300. Ideally I would like to stay in that range, but as noted in the thread opener, I can go as high as $1500.
Something else I should probably note - whatever I end up building/buying will need wireless capabilities. The space where I'll be locating this machine isn't anywhere near my cable modem, and although I'll be moving in a few months and may not need wireless then, I'd like to be able to connect to the Internet on this machine between now and then I have a WAP set up already so I don't need a new access point or anything, just a card.
hahahaha - I just installed a wireless card in my daughter's machine after the post. Question: how strong is the signal? Do you have a good wireless router that is broadcasting with enough strength? I had to put a dedicated card into my daughter's machine because the little usb unit was not capable of picking up the signal (it works fine on my remote machine, however)
Also, while I am here - I did not ask if you lived near a MicroCenter. They have the cheapest prices on CPUs, and possibly a good deal on the motherboard too. You could save some money if you are within reasonable driving distance.
Re: MicroCenter, I'm within driving distance of one. It's not exactly next door though, and with gas costing what it does (and NewEgg's awesome rates on shipping), I'd probably eat up all the savings... *checks MicroCenter prices* Nope. You're right, I'd save $45 on the processor alone. I think I'll do a price compare, item-by-item. Should save me some $$$ for a keyboard/mouse upgrade
The WAP is one room over from where the computer will be. It has to broadcast through a wall, but the wall is pretty narrow and the straight-line distance is 10-15 feet at most. Not ideal, but good enough. There's been a few different computers in the room where I'll be putting this one, and none of them had any issues with signal strength. The only computer that has trouble is my laptop, but that's because its wireless card has been slowly dying over the past year. I think I'll give one of those USB plug-in things a try.
Don't thank me for the best answer - thank you for providing it!
If it is 1 wall, 10 to 15 feet, then El Cheapo USB should work just fine. I have 1 ceiling and 12 feet. Get 4 bars. MicroCenter has the Tenda Wireless N adapter for $10, just make sure it is compatible.
When you go to MicroCenter, in additioan to the CPU, get the Case Speaker ($2.50) and Heat sink ($23 AR).
That is what looks like is going to be less expensive. You still have to figure in taxes too, whcih makes a difference, especially on the bigger parts.
I'll get that from MicroCenter, plus the CPU, the heat sink, the wireless adapter (looks compatible from everything I've read), and the optical drive (which is ever so slightly cheaper from MicroCenter).
EDIT: Put my order in for the NewEgg parts. I'll go to MicroCenter after the NewEgg stuff ships.
Was going to get the Windows 7 Home Premium per your suggestion, but there was a NewEgg promo code that cut $15 off the Pro price, and in the event that I ever need to use this computer for non-gaming purposes, some of the features could come in handy (in particular, the ability to host for Remote Desktop). So I took the plunge. After the promo code, the difference was $25... not insignificant, but not huge.
Otherwise, it's basically the same as what you laid out