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Build my own or buy alienware x51 for $949?

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May 24, 2012 7:16:29 PM

ok i was thinking about getting a desktop to play guild wars 2 on ultra settings. i looked up site that show requirements for games (game debate.com) i found this dell x51 would do it for $949. my question is would building my own be better and cheaper? the dell x51 with an i5 processor 2320 3ghz, 8gb of ddr3 dual channel sdram 1333mhz, windows 7 home 64bit, nvidia geforce 1gb gddr5 gtx 555 gpu, 1tb sata 7200rpm hd, dvdr/cdrw, dw1502 wireless n wlan half card. it also comes with mouse keyboard and 1 year service plan. ive got speakers, and was planning on buying a dell ultrasharp 21.5 inch led screen for $220 to go with it. ill also need a mic to talk on vent.

if your answer is build my ownn, please give me a list of parts to buy.
May 24, 2012 7:40:45 PM

You could build this for about $600. Just get the parts that are listed by you. Ripsaws memory. And a corsair 600 watt psu and you should be good to go.
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May 24, 2012 7:47:32 PM
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May 24, 2012 8:40:41 PM

ok building seems the way to go. my only questions are would the gtx 560ti 2gb be better? its only 20$ more. and would the psu need to be better than 530? would changing the mushkin for g skills ram matter? and would a small ssd hd be better (120gb) i think they are similar price and i dont need alot of harddrive memory( just enough for games) isnt ssd faster?.
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May 24, 2012 8:45:38 PM

2gb should be good at higher res, but atm, no.
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May 24, 2012 8:47:37 PM

No, the 560 Ti is worse and the 7850 already has 2 GB, why are you even asking? :lol: 
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May 24, 2012 8:50:11 PM

7850 is the stronger card by a good margin.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

No the MB linked will be just fine.

That is a budget PSU that will work. See my PSU guide for details. If you want to spend more on a PSU I can recommend many, or you can see a list here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/322966-28-list-recomm...

No but if you want to by G.skill modules of the same specs that would be fine. 1.5V CL9 1600Mhz.

SSDs cost a bit more, but yes you could use one in place of the HDD. A 128GB Crucial M4 would be good. You will fit about 3 games an the OS on one comfortably.
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May 24, 2012 8:54:26 PM

Not on the Tom's Hardware test which I would say is a lot more reliable and convincing scientifically.
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May 24, 2012 8:58:44 PM

It is not more reliable just because it is THG. That is a GPU comparison chart. Read the card specific reviews on anandtech before judging.
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May 24, 2012 8:59:34 PM

ok so ill stick with all the items on the list. is a ssd worth it? and u said the psu would work but would it be worth it to pay more for a better one?
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May 24, 2012 8:59:59 PM

I'm OK with Anandtechs results, but given the apparent edge the 7850 has in general, I have to think it's the better card and those are just driver issues. Still, it's interesting. I'm low on time now but perhaps someone could locate a more recent review? There is probably a fresh 7850 review out there somewhere, and most use BF3.

Always good to look these things over.
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May 24, 2012 10:37:44 PM

azeem40 said:
It is not more reliable just because it is THG. That is a GPU comparison chart. Read the card specific reviews on anandtech before judging.

I didn't say it's reliable because it's THG, I said it's reliable because it's actually a written article where I can see what was done and under what conditions which is the basics of scientific writing.
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May 24, 2012 11:13:43 PM

While the 570 and 7870 are both better (and both will work well with the part list Proximon put together), there's the significant cost increase to be mindful of - the 570 is $80 more than the 7850, and the 7870 is $110 more. Also keep in mind that the 7850 will dominate GW2 - even my low-end, $500 laptop can run GW2 at low/med settings at around 45 fps (on integrated grahpics). If I were you, and I were looking for a DIY build to compete against that X51, this is what I'd go for:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Phantom (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($68.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH22NS90B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $886.90
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-24 18:56 EDT-0400)

Some things to note about the list:
- It does not include any combo deals or rebates into the total price; it totals the cost minus promos plus shipping only. If you scroll towards the bottom of the page on Newegg, you'll find a link for all the combo deals including the item you were looking at - browsing through those can save you a handful.
- If you're looking for a bit more computing power, then spend an extra $50ish and buy the i5-2500k and the CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ or Hyper 212 Evo and go for a good overclock.
- Feel free to change the case as you please; I like the NZXT Phantom for its combination of aesthetics, features, and quality. I thought you might like it in comparison to the Alienware.
- The XFX 7850 comes with both DIRT Showdown and DIRT3.
- I honestly haven't looked much into Ivy Bridge past its price and some THW benchmarks for it, and I really don't know that it's worth the premium for the extra efficiency. If that's your thing, look into getting the i5-3570k (or 3450 for a more affordable option) and I'd recommend one of ASRock's Z77 motherboards to go with it.
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May 25, 2012 12:14:43 AM

thanks guys that helps me a ton.
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May 25, 2012 2:03:09 AM

If your build is going to be very similar to the X51 than no since the price difference between an X51 and a custom built wouldn't be very big, but what you want to build you is not very similar you could get a pretty powerful fulltower
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