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DIY vs Prebuilt

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February 17, 2013 9:39:21 PM

Hello All,

I want to put together a new gaming computer for ~$1000. I want to be able to play Tera and Elder scrolls online on high graphics when it comes out. I was always told that building your own will be cheaper that buying prebuilt. I am new to building my own computers. While looking for parts I ran across an add from cyberpower. They are having a presidents day sale 10% off and I found an additional 5% off code. I was able to build the following:

CAS: Raidmax Cobra Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ Side-Panel Window & USB 3.0 [+10] (Black Color)
CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
FAN: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Dual Standard 120MM Fans (Push-Pull) [+9])
HDD: 128GB SanDisk SATA III 6.0Gb/s SSD - 490 MB/s Read & 350 MB/s Write [-15] (Single Drive)
KEYBOARD: AZZA Multimedia USB Gaming Keyboard
MEMORY: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (Kingston HyperX [+0])
MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX/SLI] ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Intel Z77 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ IRST, Lucid Virtu MVP, XFast Technologies, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, 3x PCIe x16 (2 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2x PCIe x1 & 2 PCI (All Venom OC Certified) [+59]
MOUSE: AZZA Optical 1600dpi Gaming Mouse with Weight Adjustable Cartridge
OS: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium [+0] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY: 600 Watts - Corsair CMPSU-600CXV2 Builder Series CX600 V2 80 Plus Certified Power Supply [+33]
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card [+214] (EVGA Superclocked [+0])

Which comes to $1096.25 with shipping. I can't decide if I should still build my own or just buy this premade one which comes with a 3 yr warranty. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

More about : diy prebuilt

February 17, 2013 11:04:29 PM

Id head to newegg or pcpartpicker and price them as individual components .

Drop the watercooler for a CM Hyper 212 air cooler though
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February 17, 2013 11:18:23 PM

Build your own is not necessarily cheaper. The thing is you can put EXACTLY the parts you want into your computer. Most pre-builts skimp on something which you don't realize until you want to upgrade.

With a BYO you need to research each component which some people see as a negative but understanding exactly what is in your computer I think as a positive.

One of advantage of pre-built is the company usually provides a warranty.

In the end the decision is yours. If the parts they put in are close to what you want then go with what you want. Just make sure you know what you are getting.
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February 17, 2013 11:19:26 PM

you can do better on your own
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Ec94

psu. way better than a cx 600w
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=59615&promoid=1257

ram
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74758&promoid=1321

hard drive
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1332

with the part changes

-single thin 120mm rads are a joke. a hyper 212 will perform about the same or even better
-the extreme4 has pretty low quality caps. id suggest the asus instead. has exactly enough features
-much better case
-video card performs about the same, but the 7870 has more OC potential (as it is not a reference design). also note, if you are going to play borderlands 2, ill recommend a different 660ti. its only in borderlands where the 660ti can really show its difference between the 2 cards

if you have room left for a mouse and keyboard, id get this. it may be costly, but id assure you it changes your typing experience
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 17, 2013 11:58:29 PM

What is so special about that keyboard? I am about to order my parts this week and need a new keyboard also.

It seems like the connection on it sucks. Almost every review had something bad to say about the connection.
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February 18, 2013 12:08:50 AM

wevie13 said:
What is so special about that keyboard? I am about to order my parts this week and need a new keyboard also.

It seems like the connection on it sucks. Almost every review had something bad to say about the connection.


It's a mechanical keyboard with linear black switches that are most commonly used for gaming. Red switches are another option that you might prefer, as they have a lower actuation force than the blacks (easier to press down the keys). If you don't want to get a Rosewill, you can look at some Coolermaster mechanical keyboards, but those Rosewills are pretty inexpensive comparatively.

Here's a good place to read about them : http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-g...
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February 18, 2013 12:23:59 AM

TemurAmir said:
It's a mechanical keyboard with linear black switches that are most commonly used for gaming. Red switches are another option that you might prefer, as they have a lower actuation force than the blacks (easier to press down the keys). If you don't want to get a Rosewill, you can look at some Coolermaster mechanical keyboards, but those Rosewills are pretty inexpensive comparatively.

Here's a good place to read about them : http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-g...


That site has a ton of good information. Thanks for that. I have really preferred my flat laptop keyboard over the ones that I have had on my PCs for some time now because the keys are much easier pressed but looking at some of those mechanical keyboards, I think I could find something I like better.
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February 18, 2013 3:16:28 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice. I decided i will stick with a prebuilt system. I did take some part change advice from troll though. Here is what my system will be:


CAS: Corsair Carbide 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ front USB 3.0 [+0]
CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
FAN: * CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo Gaming Cooling Fan [+4]
HDD: 128GB SanDisk SATA III 6.0Gb/s SSD - 490 MB/s Read & 350 MB/s Write [-15] (Single Drive)
FREEBIE_KEYBOARD: AZZA Multimedia USB Gaming Keyboard
MEMORY: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (Kingston HyperX [+0])
MOTHERBOARD: * [CrossFireX/SLI] ASUS P8Z77-V LK Intel Z77 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ IRST, Lucid Virtu MVP, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, 3x PCIe x16 (2 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2 PCie x1 & 2 PCI (Extreme OC Certified) [+28]
FREEBIE_MOUSE: AZZA Optical 1600dpi Gaming Mouse with Weight Adjustable Cartridge
OS: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium [+0] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY: 750 Watts - Thermaltake Smart Series SP-750M 80 Plus Bronze Modular Power Supply [+70]
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card [+214] (EVGA Superclocked [+0])

I chose to keep the ssd because I have an external I plan to use for media storage. I figure I can always wait for some awesome sale to pick up a hdd if necessary. The keyboard and mouse are free and come with the comp. Changed up the power supply. New Total: $1,087.70
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February 18, 2013 3:38:17 AM

My take on DIY vs prebuilt:

Pro DIY:
With DIY you get a sense of accomplishment. You're able to build an upgradeable machine. You can choose where to spend more, and where to spend less. You can sometimes build an equally performing machine for less.

Con DIY:
If something doesn't work, you have to figure out what it is. You have to provide your own support. Risk of breaking/ruining something if you don't do it correctly.

Pro Prebuilt:
Already put together. Generally get dial in support if something goes wrong. They send a technician (depending on the company) to fix your issue. Can sometimes be cheaper.

Con Prebuilt:
You don't choose your own parts. Limited to what comes with it, generally upgrading is expensive. Sometimes upgrading isn't even possible.

I found building my own PC pretty easy, and rewarding.
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February 18, 2013 12:57:15 PM

Sokaz said:
Thank you everyone for your advice. I decided i will stick with a prebuilt system. I did take some part change advice from troll though. Here is what my system will be:


CAS: Corsair Carbide 300R Mid-Tower Gaming Case w/ front USB 3.0 [+0]
CD: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)
CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-3570K 3.40 GHz 6MB Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)
FAN: * CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo Gaming Cooling Fan [+4]
HDD: 128GB SanDisk SATA III 6.0Gb/s SSD - 490 MB/s Read & 350 MB/s Write [-15] (Single Drive)
FREEBIE_KEYBOARD: AZZA Multimedia USB Gaming Keyboard
MEMORY: 8GB (4GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (Kingston HyperX [+0])
MOTHERBOARD: * [CrossFireX/SLI] ASUS P8Z77-V LK Intel Z77 Chipset DDR3 ATX Mainboard w/ IRST, Lucid Virtu MVP, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, 3x PCIe x16 (2 Gen3, 1 Gen2), 2 PCie x1 & 2 PCI (Extreme OC Certified) [+28]
FREEBIE_MOUSE: AZZA Optical 1600dpi Gaming Mouse with Weight Adjustable Cartridge
OS: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium [+0] (64-bit Edition)
POWERSUPPLY: 750 Watts - Thermaltake Smart Series SP-750M 80 Plus Bronze Modular Power Supply [+70]
SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card [+214] (EVGA Superclocked [+0])

I chose to keep the ssd because I have an external I plan to use for media storage. I figure I can always wait for some awesome sale to pick up a hdd if necessary. The keyboard and mouse are free and come with the comp. Changed up the power supply. New Total: $1,087.70


-the ram is most likely going to void the warranty. kingston doesnt make cheap 1.5v 1600mhz ram
-thermaltake psus are bad.
-i have a much faster SSD
-please no crappy keyboards. you will suffer. from what i know, the rosewell keyboard doesnt have any problems. my friend owns 2 of them and i own a similar cooler master quickfire (they are all built by filco) and nothing bad happened
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February 18, 2013 6:08:44 PM

TheBigTroll said:
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-please no crappy keyboards. you will suffer. from what i know, the rosewell keyboard doesnt have any problems. my friend owns 2 of them and i own a similar cooler master quickfire (they are all built by filco) and nothing bad happened


Where did you hear that Rosewill's and CM's keyboards are built by filco? The designs and build quality/materials, from what I've heard, are very different from one another.
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February 18, 2013 6:28:38 PM

from what i heard they were using the same pcb. but i could be wrong
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February 18, 2013 7:56:32 PM

TheBigTroll said:
from what i heard they were using the same pcb. but i could be wrong


I think Filco has a double-layer PCB, and the pictures I found on this random page I came across seem to indicate that they're different PCBs: http://vozforums.com/showthread.php?t=2868999&page=5

Perhaps they are manufactured by the same OEM, however...
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February 18, 2013 8:04:47 PM

vietnamenese doesnt really help me out alot and google translator is being bad as usual. oh well, at least they are both built well in my experience
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February 18, 2013 9:52:59 PM

TheBigTroll said:
vietnamenese doesnt really help me out alot and google translator is being bad as usual. oh well, at least they are both built well in my experience


Yah I didn't understand what they were saying; I just linked that so you could look at the pictures... I'm sure the quality of both is satisfactory.
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February 27, 2013 2:40:24 AM

So after 2 weeks of waiting I call cyberpower to learn that my graphics card is on back order for another 1-2 weeks... also all graphic cards equal to or one step above mine are also back ordered... Luckily they offered me a full refund which I happily took. I am going to build my own which I should have done from the start. I am ordering all parts from newegg because I want everything to arrive at the same time and asap (using the Shoprunner 2 day free shipping) This is what I will be building:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gh9t

Case: Rosewill BlackHawk ATX Mid Tower Case
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Graphic Card: PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card MYST
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Sotrage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)


Comes to a total of $1199 when buying all parts from newegg. The ram is free with the motherboard so I can't change it to 2 4 gb sticks. Will 1 8gb stick be ok? Thanks again everyone for your input. I do not recommend cyberpower to anyone. Unless you don't mind waiting forever for your computer.
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!