I originally posted this in the new build forum with little response, but I see that it should've been posted here in the first place.
All of three of these builds seems to be selling for far less than I could build myself. Still, I am unsure which has the best value. Should I get an SYX-125 for $999 and upgrade it. Is the SYX-130 or SYX UG-5, both $1499, a better deal.
I know I will not overclock immediately, but would down the road to extend life. Also I would upgrade the $999 build by adding a second 550Ti, a SDD drive and adding RAM for arounf $500.
At the same price, which of the last two is better and why? One has more RAM, but the other has, from what I've read, a better video card. One has a better OS, but I plan on upgrading to Windows 8 anyway later this year.
For $999 build, can it with the addition of $500 or about that, be made better or just as good as the $1499 builds.
SYX SG-125 Gaming PC featuring Intel technology
Home & Student
Orientations Allowed: Vertical
Form Factor: Mid-Tower
Bays: 3 - 5.25" Drive Bays
1 - 3.5" Drive Bay
Internal Bays: 4 - 3.5" Drive Bays
Available 3.5" Drive Bays: 3
Available 5.25" Drive Bays: 2
PCI Slots (Total): 3
PCI Slots (Available): 3
PCI Express X1 Slots (Total): 2
PCI Express X1 Slots (Available): 2
PCI Express X16 Slots (Total): 1
PCI Express X16 Slots (Available): 0
Memory Type: DDR3
Memory Speed MHz: 1333MHz
Total Memory Size: 8GB
Memory Slots (Total): 4
Memory Slots (Available): 2
Memory Configuration: 4GB + 4GB
Maximum Memory Supported: 32GB - 64 bit
PS/2 Connectors: 1 - Keyboard/Mouse Combo
LAN Ports: 1
USB Ports (Total): 2x USB 3.0 (Rear)
12x USB 2.0 (4 Front)
Line In Jacks: 1
Microphone Jacks: 1
S/PDIF Connectors: 1 - S/PDIF out (coaxial)
1 x Optical (Out)
What all those builds have in common is that they give you a powerful system saddled with a mid level vid card. Since that is still the most important for gaming, it makes little sense. For the same money, you could build a more powerful system.
The specs to look for are as follows:
CPU - Core i5-2500k. There is no gaming advantage to the i7-2600k unless you are also doing video editing, CAD, 3D modeling, etc...
Motherboard - ASUS or Gigabyte z68.
RAM - 8gb for gaming is plenty. 16gb for the other apps mentioned with the CPU above.
Hard drive - at least 500gb SATA 6gb/s and preferably Western Digital.
Video card - Minimum of a GTX 560 Ti (not plain 560) or AMD 6950. This assumes a 23" LED monitor at 1920x1080p which is pretty standard these days.
Power Supply - for the possibility of adding a second card at that level, at least a 650 watt, 80 plus Bronze certified quality power supply from makers such as Antec, Seasonic, Silverstone, Corsair, or XFX. For higher end dual cards, 750 or 850w would be indicated. I doubt they include such quality, and I know Tiger does not.
The cases they are presenting are fine, but they are only in the $50-60 range so they are probably overcharging there.
One advantage they have is that they can include Windows 7 for about $50, where we pay $100.
The other stuff you are paying for is their assembly and a warranty, as opposed to your assembly, and diagnosing and sending parts back for warranty yourself.
With my current employment I work 14 hours/day - 6 days a week on average. Though Sat is typically a short day and I have it off sometimes. I don't have time to do a build from scratch, but would upgrade these over time.
My current PC is over 6 year old. It's an HP, but the only thing original is the motherboard and CPU. Everything else from the optical drive, to the ram, to the GPU, to the PSU has been upgraded.
I ended up getting the $999 SYX-125. You really can't build a better machine for that money. So far it plays well with everything I throw at it. It came with a free copy of Batman Arkham City and Battlefield 3. It is able to run both fluidly with all of the settings turned up. The $500 over the other two leaves plenty of room to upgrade when this is no longer the case.