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Decisions decisions

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December 29, 2012 6:20:06 AM

So I'm down to the wire on building (or buying) a gaming computer. Her is what I'm looking at for building.

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77E-ITX LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100351SR Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card OC with Boost
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital WD Blue WD7500AZEX 750GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The option for buying is a alienware m17x with a 7970 gpu.
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-M17x-r4/pd.aspx

My question is will I really see much of a differance in these two or will they play about the same? Building will save me about $500 but take down the portability a bit. Also if I have put anything on this list that can be replaced with something that is just better please chime in. This is my first time building so I would like to make sure every thing here works together and will fit in the case. Thanks

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December 29, 2012 6:27:57 AM

Oh god yes there will be a difference. Your comparing a desktop with a 7970 in it to laptop, expect the laptop to be completely smashed.
Despite the similar names, laptop graphics cards are very much inferior to their desktop counterparts.

Also if you want better portability, get a case with handles.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also there are better PSU's for the price that Antec is.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 29, 2012 6:46:45 AM

I know that just because they both say 7970 doesn't make them the same, but will the laptop really run that much slower. To the point where I will notice it playing games like LOL or gw2? I know that I can get a case that is easy to move, but its just not the same as a laptop. Having to tote a monitor and all that is a pain and not something I can always do. I'm very torn on the whole thing. Don't want to spend the money on something that I will regret. Thanks again
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December 29, 2012 7:12:50 AM

I guess it depends on how portable you need this system to be.

If your a LAN gamer primarily, I can imagine a small form factor build working quite well. Because it give the power of a desktop and will have relatively better mobility than a standard desktop (my case weighs 15kg when empty, not taking that to any LAN sessions soon).
If you want to game on the train or abroad then the laptops a better option, if only because you cant bring a desktop computer through customs (probably).

Chances are for the games you described there wouldnt be much of a difference between the two systems, but when you hit the more powerful games like BF3 you'l run into performance issues.
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December 29, 2012 7:43:50 AM

I have one of those bitfenix prodigies... I actually rebuilt my computer in one because I LAN a large amount. Sure, it's not nearly as portable as a laptop, and you get very strange looks taking it as a carry-on on an airplane (which was rather fun and novel, for me), but with an i5 and 670 in it, it's a good three to four times more powerful than any but the $3000 gaming laptops.

Mobile parts have to adjust for the fact that they get very little cooling... what that means, in the long and short of it, is that they SUCK. Think... half as powerful as the desktop versions, in the high-end cards. (It gets less extreme as one goes lower, due to lower heat expenditures on the desktop cards as they provide less speed.)

For the two games you mentioned, though, you want a desktop more than any other game. This isn't because of the GPU, but rather, because of the CPU. "Mobile" CPUs are also neutered when compared to desktop computers, and those games are CPU dependent.

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December 29, 2012 7:53:24 AM

So you can bring a computer through customs!
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December 29, 2012 9:02:56 AM

Money saved would also leave room for this. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Making moving it that much easier. Did everything I listed in that build look like it could take what ever I throw at it okay and is it all able to work well together? I'm worried I will put something in there that's not compatible. Also this shouldn't fry anything being in a smaller case right? Don't want to melt the CPU or anything. Sorry for all the questions just scared I will mess up.
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December 29, 2012 6:30:21 PM

Will everything I listed fit in the q08 or prodigies I'm about to buy this. The case is the last thing I need to pick.
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December 30, 2012 3:23:54 AM

I know in the Prodigy it will be fine, its pretty amazing what you can fit in there.

For the Lian Li I'm not so sure, if only because I haven't seen it before. On paper everything should fit though.
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