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Alienware vs Custom Build

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December 20, 2012 5:25:11 PM

Ok..I know I'm as new as can be on toms hardware, but I do know a few things. One of those things is that Alienware is a complete rip-off. So why am I even asking this question you ask?

I decided I wanted to get a new PC for gaming. I gave myself a $1500 budget and I had a pretty good idea of what parts I wanted. I won't get too specific, I'll just give you the general outline.

Cooler Master HAF, full ATX tower
i5-3750k
16gb DDR3 ram
1TB HDD 7200 rpm SATA III
256 GB SSD
GTX 670 FTW
24x DVD Reader/Writer
ASUS Z77 mobo
700 watt PSU

The day before I am about to purchase the parts, I hear my buddies brother is selling his Aurora R4 that he purchased in September of this year. Only reason he is getting rid of it is because he lost his job. Specs:

Non alx case, standard
i7-3820
Gtx 690
8 gb DDR3 Ram
Blu-ray 8x reader/writer and super mutli dvd.
3 tb HDD 7200 RPM SATA III
850 watt PSU
Sound blaster extreme audio card
Wireless/bluetooth ready, not sure if it's a PCI express or USB adapter.
Also, he purchased an extended accidental damgage warranty that goes through sept of 2014 that CAN be transfered in my name.

What intrigues me about the alienware is obviously the GTX 690, but also the fact that the processor uses the LGA2011 socket, so upgrading to a hex core or even octo core in the future would be less expensive sicne I wouldn't need a new mobo. One thing I don't like about the alienware is the case space. Running dual gtx 690's in this case would require a custom liquid cooling system as the spacing on the PCI slots is too close and the cards would defintely overheat otherwise. I am truly at a loss here. Both systems will cost 1500, I just dont know which option to go with.

What do you guys think?

More about : alienware custom build

December 20, 2012 5:40:23 PM

Quote:
What intrigues me about the alienware is obviously the GTX 690, but also the fact that the processor uses the LGA2011 socket, so upgrading to a hex core or even octo core in the future would be less expensive sicne I wouldn't need a new mobo.


The 690 is ridiculous overkill - two 670's will give you identical performance for $300 cheaper. You'll probably never use a hex or octo core CPU to its' full extent even several years from now. Build your own, Alienware systems are pretty much crap to what you can get if you build it yourself. Builders like Dell (who owns Alienware now) use proprietary form factors to prohibit upgrading, water down the BIOS and prohibit access to the multiplier. They also load the operating system with a lot of junk you don't need and then don't give you the proper backup and restoration software.

For $1500 here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($90.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($184.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($366.97 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($135.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.89 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1347.31
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-20 14:39 EST-0500)
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December 20, 2012 5:43:11 PM

I'd go with alienware as it has superior cpu and gpu.
Also, don't know why you're thinking you may need to add/change gpu/cpu. This build will last until it's time to get a new build. Imo
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December 20, 2012 5:49:01 PM

butremor said:
I'd go with alienware as it has superior cpu and gpu.
Also, don't know why you're thinking you may need to add/change gpu/cpu. This build will last until it's time to get a new build. Imo


The 3820 is not superior to the 3570K, X79 isn't really all that it is cracked up to be.
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December 20, 2012 5:54:01 PM

Alienware is only good if you want aesthetics.

But if you don't want to launch a napalm strike against your wallet, you can mod your own case if you have some basic metal working tools.
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Best solution

December 20, 2012 5:56:17 PM

ChromaMatic said:
Ok..I know I'm as new as can be on toms hardware, but I do know a few things. One of those things is that Alienware is a complete rip-off. So why am I even asking this question you ask?

I decided I wanted to get a new PC for gaming. I gave myself a $1500 budget and I had a pretty good idea of what parts I wanted. I won't get too specific, I'll just give you the general outline.

Cooler Master HAF, full ATX tower
i5-3750k
16gb DDR3 ram
1TB HDD 7200 rpm SATA III
256 GB SSD
GTX 670 FTW
24x DVD Reader/Writer
ASUS Z77 mobo
700 watt PSU

The day before I am about to purchase the parts, I hear my buddies brother is selling his Aurora R4 that he purchased in September of this year. Only reason he is getting rid of it is because he lost his job. Specs:

Non alx case, standard
i7-3820
Gtx 690
8 gb DDR3 Ram
Blu-ray 8x reader/writer and super mutli dvd.
3 tb HDD 7200 RPM SATA III
850 watt PSU
Sound blaster extreme audio card
Wireless/bluetooth ready, not sure if it's a PCI express or USB adapter.
Also, he purchased an extended accidental damgage warranty that goes through sept of 2014 that CAN be transfered in my name.

What intrigues me about the alienware is obviously the GTX 690, but also the fact that the processor uses the LGA2011 socket, so upgrading to a hex core or even octo core in the future would be less expensive sicne I wouldn't need a new mobo. One thing I don't like about the alienware is the case space. Running dual gtx 690's in this case would require a custom liquid cooling system as the spacing on the PCI slots is too close and the cards would defintely overheat otherwise. I am truly at a loss here. Both systems will cost 1500, I just dont know which option to go with.

What do you guys think?


Alienware, you'd be helping him out and getting the better comp at the same time. Think about it this way. 690 is 1000, Processor is 300. Mobo is 200. Just the base 3 parts make that deal a steal. Granted with that build you'd need to hold out a while for an SSD but I would still take that over me building a custom. Not to mention its 2011 socket, which is gg for ivy-e. Get it, don't listen to anyone who says otherwise. Worst case scenario, has comes out 3 months from now and is amazing. But wait you already build an i5 670 build xD. So in that worsecase scenario, you are better off with the 690, i73820.
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December 20, 2012 5:56:22 PM

Since dell acquired Alienware, their build quality has declined significantly.

But that’s a lot of $$ to make a mistake with. Unless you’ve put three or five machines together you might want to start smaller and work up to a premium gamer build.
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December 20, 2012 6:04:47 PM

Alienware sucks, but that is a really good deal, I would take it
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December 20, 2012 6:08:42 PM

Prax is right. Just with those 3 things you're getting your money out of it. Sure they maybe a tad used, but at the same time it's pretty easy to see it working and you don't have to deal with the hassle.

So those 3 parts make it worth it, and then add in everything else (other parts/warranty) obviously you should go with the alienware.

I think most people here automatically see alienware and think it's a rip off, but in this case you're getting a good bargain. If you don't jump on it let me know lol.
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December 20, 2012 6:15:25 PM

Best answer selected by ChromaMatic.
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December 20, 2012 6:22:21 PM

Thanks everyone for the input! I'm going alienware even though I thought I'd never in a million years own one, at this price I can't say sh*#!

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January 24, 2013 7:10:15 AM

Wow Dellianware, sounds like a comunicable disease, I used to recommend Alienware before the Dell coruption; they used to be worth the price because the components were pretty solid now who know what crap they'll have in them and good luck finding real detail specs without a marketing twist. :pfff: 
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