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Looking to spend about $1700 on a desktop (not homebuilt)

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October 30, 2011 1:13:42 AM

All,
I know very little about PCs. So please forgive me if my questions come across as silly.

I have no desire to build my own PC, so I've been looking at the custom shops online. I want a better computer to play games like Starcraft II and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and other new games that come out over the next few years.


I designed the following computer on V3 Gaming website and wanted to get a sense if you think it would satisfy these needs cost effectively, whether there are any component changes you would make and whether there are any other companies that you think I should preference to V3 gaming. The only reason I chose them is because they were one of the first companies listed on this website I found with a google search:

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/collection/1645/top_10_p...

Here's the computer specs:

Price: $1,669.00

Chassis : V3 Dark Fleet CONVOY Chassis by Antec
Chassis Cooling : V3 Ultra Cyclonic Positive Pressure Airflow System
Exterior Finish : Midnight Black
Power Supply : 750W Corsair SLI/CrossFire Ready 80 Plus Power Supply
Graphics Card 1 : NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 550 Ti 1GB @900MHz w/PhysX
Graphics Card 2 : NVIDIA® GeForce™ GTX 550 Ti 1GB @900MHz w/PhysX
Dedicated PhysX (Nvidia Cards Only) : NO
Motherboard : MSI® P67A-GD53 SLI/CrossFireX w/USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s
Processor : INTEL® Core™ i5-2300 2.80GHz (3.10GHz Turbo) Quad-Core, 6MB Cache
Processor Cooling : V3 GAMING LC120ZS by Asetek Zero-Service Liquid Cooling
V3 LC™ Launch Control Overclocking : NO, INTEL® Automatic Turbo Boost Technology Only
Memory : 8GB Kingston HyperX Dual-Channel DDR3 (2X4G) - 1333MHz CL9 (+70)
Operating System Hard Drive 1 : 1TB SATA 7200RPM High-Performance (+30)
Operating System Hard Drive 2 : 1TB SATA 7200RPM High-Performance (+30)
Operating System Hard Drive RAID : RAID 0 - Striped for Faster Speed (Total Size = 2X Drive Size)
Data Storage Hard Drive 1 : None
Data Storage Hard Drive 2 : None
Data Storage Hard Drive 3 : None
Data Storage Hard Drive 4 : None
Data Storage Hard Drive RAID : None
Optical Drive 1 : 10X Blu-ray Reader & DVDRW Comb w/LightScribe (+90)
Optical Drive 2 : None
Media Reader : None
Audio : 8-channel High Definition Surround Sound Optical S/PDIF Out
Network Adapter : Dual 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless Adapter : None
Operating System : Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Office Software : None
Display 1 : None
Display 2 : None
Keyboard : Microsoft Desktop 400 Black USB Wired Keyboard
Mouse : Microsoft Desktop 400 Black USB Wired Mouse
Speakers : None
Headphones : None
Vivacity™ Warranty : V3 Life time Labor & Technical Support w/3-year Vivacity™ Service

Thanks!

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October 30, 2011 2:10:53 AM
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I got a lower price with better specs (i5-2500k + 2x560ti) on cyberpower ($1584). I also changed 60gb ssd + 1tb hdd, there's no point in raid 0 when you can get a ssd. You can also change the case, mouse and keyboard if you want (I left the mouse and kb at default).

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1DLHQL

What res will you be playing? If it's just a single 1080p monitor, then I'd suggest just going with a single powerful card instead of sli/cf. And then you could add another card later if you want for sli/cf.
October 30, 2011 2:15:06 AM

You would save SOOO much money by building it yourself. Or go to your local pc parts store and they'll probably build you one for some extra cash.
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October 30, 2011 4:53:28 PM

k1114 said:
I got a lower price with better specs (i5-2500k + 2x560ti) on cyberpower ($1584). I also changed 60gb ssd + 1tb hdd, there's no point in raid 0 when you can get a ssd. You can also change the case, mouse and keyboard if you want (I left the mouse and kb at default).

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1DLHQL

What res will you be playing? If it's just a single 1080p monitor, then I'd suggest just going with a single powerful card instead of sli/cf. And then you could add another card later if you want for sli/cf.



Thank you very much for the advice. Few questions:

1) If I were to switch from 2 video cards to one, any advice on which would be the best? If I made it cost neutral and kept with nvidia, that would mean the GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB. When I did this change it actually lowered the FPS estimate on the side went from 166 to 153. Would you choose this card or another, or stick with 2?
2) Is it important that one of my hard drives be SSD, or would it be fine to have two 1tb hdd drives?
3) I currently have a Dell S2209W 21.5-inch Full HD Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor. Should I buy a new one or not?


October 30, 2011 4:59:54 PM

mauler184 said:
You would save SOOO much money by building it yourself. Or go to your local pc parts store and they'll probably build you one for some extra cash.


Thanks, how would I go about finding a shop that would do this? Search custom PCs on google for my zip code?
October 30, 2011 10:55:12 PM

1. A single 580 is a less performance than 2x560ti but what I was getting at was if you ever wanted to upgrade: with a single 580, you just add another 580. with 2x560ti, you have to sell both cards then buy new cards (or card). Gaming rigs just need a graphics upgrade to continue playing games maxed in the years to come. But even a single 580 can max crysis 2 and skyrim isn't going to be more demanding than crysis 2 (and probably not any new game til metro:LN or crysis 3). SLI is really only necessary for multi-monitor setups. Now if you never upgrade a computer and just buy a new computer every few years than this really doesn't apply to you.

2. In my opinion, no high end pc is complete without a ssd, it greatly improves the responsiveness of your system. But it does cost more per GB which is why you get a small ssd for the boot drive and then a large hdd for storage. This budget range usually gets a 128gb ssd which is plenty for a couple games. But sure hdds are fine, although with the flooding in Thailand, hdd prices recently doubled.

3. There's nothing wrong with that monitor, but like I said before, all this graphics power is really not necessary on a single 1080p monitor. I can't find that monitors hz but most monitors are 60hz which means a max of 60 fps. If you want to buy more monitors, go ahead. Size in inches doesn't make a difference, it's all about the amount of pixels (aka the resolution).

It doesn't have to be a custom pc shop, most local computer shops are repair shops. As long as they are reputable they will probably put it together for you. All part warranties will have to be dealt with each part manufacturer unless it's doa then newegg or amazon or wherever you bought it from will replace it. (It's pretty rare to have doa parts though.) I've even seen forum members who live near each other, help each other.
October 31, 2011 10:01:04 PM

I can pretty much build a similar system for $1200~ on my own.
November 8, 2011 12:27:57 AM

Best answer selected by michilius.
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