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Frustrated trying to build comparably for less $$ than Dell

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November 16, 2011 1:53:16 PM

I am trying to better the following option from Dell by building it myself, but I just can't get near this price point for similar components. Thoughts? Suggestions? I don't wish to overclock or tinker much - this system is for my husband who uses Photoshop/Illustrator and some 3D graphics packages... Not sure if I need Professional or if Home Premium is good enough - it looks it by spec, but we use a home LAN and I remember problems with XP Home and networking (didn't have problems myself - all of mine run XP Pro).

I was tempted by the 560Ti video card, but not enough to justify the added cost - this really isn't a gaming machine, although we do like gaming (the loss of good LAN multiplayer games pretty much ended it for us). This was the smallest amount of memory for this particular package online - memory is cheap and I'd rather upgrade it myself, but their 16 GB option is something like $200 more - not worth it! 12 GB should be fine for a while anyway... I already have an UltraSharp monitor, so the monitor is just a nice spare (comes with package also). Don't need blu-ray but it comes with that, too.

Wish they didn't RAID0 the drives - I guess I'll have to wipe and rebuild when it arrives...


XPS 8300 XPS 8300
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64Bit, English
Processors Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
Memory 12GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
Keyboard Dell Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
Monitor Dell ST2420L 24"W Full HD Monitor, 24.0 VIS, VGA Cable supplied only
Video Card 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 545
Hard Drive 1.5 TB Performance RAID 0 (2 x 750GB SATA 3Gb/s 7200 RPM HDDs)
Mouse Dell Laser Mouse
Network Card Add 2 USB 3.0 ports
Modem No Dial Up Modem Option
TBU Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
Optical Drive Blu-ray Combo Drive (8X BD-R, DVD+/-RW) with DVD+R double layer write capability
Sound THX® TruStudio PC™
Speakers No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
Wireless Dell 1501 Wireless-N PCIe Card
Hardware Support Services 2 Year Basic Support
TOTAL: $1,127.99

Any advice, suggestions, comments, and complaints welcome. THANK YOU!!!
November 16, 2011 2:12:30 PM

looing at $1100ish for a system including a keyboard, mouse, and monitor?

Gimme a little time at the egg, back in a bit
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November 16, 2011 2:14:24 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
looing at $1100ish for a system including a keyboard, mouse, and monitor?

Gimme a little time at the egg, back in a bit


Thanks a lot! I don't really need yet another keyboard and mouse, but you can't say "no keyboard" and "no mouse" anymore. The monitor isn't really a big deal, either...

I spent a while at the Egg this morning myself, but I just couldn't put together a decent package for this price (or close).

Thanks again!
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November 16, 2011 2:28:01 PM

CPU: i7-2600k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo: Gigabyte P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: 550 Ti http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: 16gb 1600mhz DDR3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical: ASUS BR Reader http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: 120gb SSD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OS: Win 7 64-bit Pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Corsair 600w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: ~$60 your pick

Total: $1,155.92 before $70 in rebates

Doesn't include HDD as prices are rediculous, but you can get a cheap drive locally at Office Depot or similar.


EDIT: Forgot to add a CPU Cooler
Hyper 212+ add $26: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Might be a little more expensive but you're getting much higher quality parts plus an unlocked CPU which you can OC as much as you want. Graphics is also much faster.

EDIT2: Didn't see a monitor in there

ASUS LED backlit 23.6" add $190: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand total: $1261.92 after rebates

I'll see if I can cut down the price some hold on.
Replaced mobo above, updated grand total. Might be able to cut it down more with combos on newegg if need be.
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November 16, 2011 2:38:07 PM

Thanks, gmcizzle! Lots of reasons that your build looks appealing (better components, higher performance)... but note that when you add another HDD (or two - Photoshop files are huge, so while I like the performance improvement of SDD, I'd need a honkin' data drive to go with it), add the missing monitor (minimally around $250 I think for a comparable monitor to the one in the quote), it gets a lot higher... I'll have to start working with this list on the 'Egg and see what I can do...

Amusingly, I started looking a little while ago thinking I would be able to build something reasonable for around $800 - amazing how big our eyes grow when we see new toys! I'm sure I could easily spend double this on awesome components, but I need to keep the price reasonable.

I haven't built a system in EONS - my two currently used systems (outside of work) are very old - an AMD custom built unit that's about 6 years old and an old Alienware box (pre-Dell) that is about 8 or 9 years old... YIKES! Kids have a way of taking up your free time... :D 
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November 16, 2011 2:49:47 PM

Yeah it goes over a bit but since you're primarily doing Adobe stuff I would really recommend going with an SSD. I use photoshop/illustrator/dreamweaver a lot as well and the SSD really makes things a lot faster and more responsive.
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November 16, 2011 2:56:31 PM

gmcizzle said:
Yeah it goes over a bit but since you're primarily doing Adobe stuff I would really recommend going with an SSD. I use photoshop/illustrator/dreamweaver a lot as well and the SSD really makes things a lot faster and more responsive.


Awesome - thank you for the great advice! I will get to work on searching NewEgg for combo deals!
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November 16, 2011 3:00:15 PM

Also, if you don't need much graphics power you could drop it more, but if you plan on playing any decently looking games I wouldn't go lower than a 550 Ti.
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Best solution

November 16, 2011 3:21:22 PM

I come pretty close to matching your price, with a single hard drive and a better GPU, coming in at $1166.62, shipped, before rebates

i7-2600: $279.99 w/ Promo Code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASSRock Z68 motherboard: $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB): $41.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.skill Ripjaws 4GB (2x2GB): $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black Supermulti Blu-Ray Burner/DVD Burner: $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate 1tb HD: $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(It might be better to get a 120gb ssd instead, and cannibalize an existing hard drive, but I went this way for now)

HIS HD 6850: $149.99 w/ $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Encore Wireless N card: $9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair CX 430W PSU: $44.99 w/ $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill Blackbone case: $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill keyboard: $9.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Orange Mouse: $5.49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer 23.6" 1920x1080 monitor: $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Windows 7 Home Premium OEM: $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Shipping: $9.26

total: $1166.62

its a little bit more than your cost, but it is probably worth $35 for the better GPU.

EDIT: forgot the link to the case. Also if you don't need the keyboard & mouse, thats $15.48 off the price, making the difference only $19.52!)
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November 22, 2011 11:28:15 PM

Best answer selected by LeslieinNH.
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