Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Pre-Built or Custom Build?

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 17, 2011 12:13:03 PM

Hi all, I am ordering/planning to order a PC next week, and am unsure about what to do.

First, I intended to go for this setup:

GPU

CPU

Mobo

PSU

RAM

Case

HDD

ODD

And then, when I thought about it, read a few guides, watched a few videos, I got ridiculously nervous. I lost all my self-confidence, and started telling myself that I would mess something up if I attempted to build it myself, and found a prebuilt:

Link

Now I am aware that at the time being, the custom build I initially planned on buying is better than the prebuilt, but the LGA1155 socket on the second option opens a window of opportunity in terms of future upgrades, and the GPU is something I can upgrade this winter.

Now I am eating away at myself. I am buying(or at least planning to) next week, and am still unsure about what I am going to do. As I said I am very nervous when it comes to attempting to build it, and constantly feel like I will mess it up. I'm no millionaire, so this is a pretty big buy for me, and I need to be sure of what I'm doing.

More about : pre built custom build

July 17, 2011 12:59:46 PM

The two systems are actually fairly evenly matched. Your custom system has the pre-built beat on graphics, while the pre-built has a better processor. The big worry with a pre-built system like that is the power supply - you have no way of knowing what sort of junky unit they stuck in there.

I also don't know how much of an upgrade path the AM3+ socket on your custom build will allow for.

Normally I don't recommend buying a pre-built system, but this one seems like it might be the better deal. Tack on a new PSU if you want and it still won't be too much more than your custom build.

A lot of this depends on what you plan to use this rig for though.
July 17, 2011 1:11:01 PM

Battlefield 3 :D 
Related resources
July 17, 2011 1:15:17 PM

And video editing.
July 17, 2011 1:25:03 PM

MadArthur said:
Battlefield 3 :D 

Ok, I'd probably go with the custom build then. You'll want the graphics muscle more than the processing power, and the PhenomII is no slouch in that department anyways. Slap a good aftermarket cooler on it and it can hit 4 Ghz fairly easily.

The hardest part of doing a custom build is getting the processor seated properly and the heatsink applied. Everything else is just following instructions and snapping things together, with a few screws here and there.

For the processor stuff, just go slow and gentle and don't force anything. Make sure your thermal paste is spread out over the whole processor surface (I use an old credit card for this) and don't lift the heatsink once you put it down. Oh, and don't build on a shag carpet. Bare wood/vinyl/tile is the best surface to be standing on.

Edit: Just saw the video editing post. The i5 will be better for that, but the Phenom isn't bad. Which is more important to you? If it's BF3, go custom. If it's video editing, go with the pre-built. You'll be able to do both things with both systems, but your custom build has a slight edge in gaming while the pre-build will have a slight edge in processor-intensive tasks.
July 17, 2011 1:38:28 PM

coleam45 said:
Ok, I'd probably go with the custom build then. You'll want the graphics muscle more than the processing power, and the PhenomII is no slouch in that department anyways. Slap a good aftermarket cooler on it and it can hit 4 Ghz fairly easily.

The hardest part of doing a custom build is getting the processor seated properly and the heatsink applied. Everything else is just following instructions and snapping things together, with a few screws here and there.

For the processor stuff, just go slow and gentle and don't force anything. Make sure your thermal paste is spread out over the whole processor surface (I use an old credit card for this) and don't lift the heatsink once you put it down. Oh, and don't build on a shag carpet. Bare wood/vinyl/tile is the best surface to be standing on.

Edit: Just saw the video editing post. The i5 will be better for that, but the Phenom isn't bad. Which is more important to you? If it's BF3, go custom. If it's video editing, go with the pre-built. You'll be able to do both things with both systems, but your custom build has a slight edge in gaming while the pre-build will have a slight edge in processor-intensive tasks.


But I will have options for better upgrades with the prebuilt, correct? I'm talking 2500k, 2600k. Whereas with the AM3+ socket, I will be able to upgrade to BD(if it ever comes out).
July 17, 2011 1:57:00 PM

MadArthur said:
But I will have options for better upgrades with the prebuilt, correct? I'm talking 2500k, 2600k. Whereas with the AM3+ socket, I will be able to upgrade to BD(if it ever comes out).

Yes. I would do other upgrades before those though. Definitely the PSU, and possibly the graphics as well. The 550Ti ranks below the 768Mb version of the 460 in terms of performance, so the card you have on your custom system is two steps up from the one on the pre-built system. The Battlefield 3 system requirements recommend a 1GB 460, though the 550 Ti more than meets the minimum.
July 17, 2011 2:01:32 PM

So can I expect to play BF3 @ 1080p with Medium settings?
July 17, 2011 2:32:30 PM

MadArthur said:
So can I expect to play BF3 @ 1080p with Medium settings?

Almost definitely with the 460. You might have to take down one or two things with the 550Ti. I can't really say for certain though because no one's actually played it.
July 17, 2011 2:35:40 PM

Well yes. Looking at some gameplay videos, the 550 handles games like Crysis maxed out in Full HD, and the card was built to play Crysis 2(Not specifically, but it was optimized to perform).
July 17, 2011 2:36:07 PM

By the way, what resolution do companies base the requirements on? FullHd?
July 17, 2011 3:31:07 PM

MadArthur said:
Well yes. Looking at some gameplay videos, the 550 handles games like Crysis maxed out in Full HD, and the card was built to play Crysis 2(Not specifically, but it was optimized to perform).


Most modern cards can max out Crysis these days, so it's not as much of a benchmark as it once was. I'm sure you'll be able to play BF3 fine with the 550Ti, but you may have to turn some things down. I don't know what settings game companies use to make their recommended configurations. Also, keep in mind that EA hasn't released system requirements yet. The only thing out as this point is speculation based on BC2. BF3 uses a newer version of the BC2 engine, so it's more powerful, but better-optimized. Therefore, it's expected that the system requirements will be similar.

MadArthur said:
By the way, what resolution do companies base the requirements on? FullHd?

Not a clue.

!