Which option (home/pre)

okay here's the deal. I'm on the verge of getting a new system. This will primarily be to allow me to play the sequel to my favorite MMO, Guild Wars 2. Now the game has some laughably low minimum requirements, but I'd like to do my best to futureproof my investment, as ArenaNet will certainly reward people with high-end machine, with stunning visuals, including future updates.

I also use my machine for other things, including non-gaming applications like video encoding.

I used to build my own machines back when doing so could easily save you 2 grand on higher end equipment. My last few machine, however have been Dells and I've been completely satisfied with the experience, with my machine lasting very long times (4-6 years).

So I put together this build on pcpartpicker:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($437.86 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($119.00 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($74.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Logitech MK120 Wired Slim Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($20.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $1560.74
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-25 12:30 EDT-0400)

Which has only one concession, which is an i5 instead of an i7 (for encoding). This is a bit pricy, and probably overkill for my gaming needs.

Alternatively, I can get a dell 8500 i7 3770 with a 2GB 7770 for just under $1000 with discounts. It obviously has the 7770 which is far inferior to the 670 I have above, and lacks SSD and BD writter, although those two things are relatively inexpensive. I'm finding I dislike the idea of putting together a machine, only to find it doesn't work correctly, and having to debug and get an RMA for the right part. On the other hand, if I pulled the trigger on either today, the homebuild machine would almost certianly be done first because of Dell's long lead times. I know upgrading the Dell with new video in the future would almost certainly mean a new PSU too, making it considerably more expensive.

I know the general tendency in this group would be 100% home build, but is there any reason for me to do so, if the Dell will fit my needs? I really am on the fence about this, and would like some advice. thanks.
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More about which option home
  1. There's nothing wrong with the dell you mentioned; believe it or not, the dell will have about the same resale value as the homebuilt; it doesn't make sense, but most folks are more comfortable buying a used oem system than a generic homebuilt. It's really up to you if you want to upgrade or start over later on. The ivy bridge will remain current for 2-3 years; plenty of power for upcoming games. This asus is on sale with promo code and has a rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=361116&SID=FWazseth
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