BACKGROUNDWell, first off I'm not someone that is overly interested in building my own rig although my technical expertise should allow me to - but I don't want to deal with the time and hassles that could be involved.
Sooooooo... My last gaming PC came from Dell (and XPS) and although I upgraded some components as soon as I recieved it, it worked for what I wanted and was stable, reliable, etc.
So this time around I thought let me try Dell again. Since they had no Penryn offering, I thought I'd give the XPS 630 a shot. After returning both boxes due to a myriad of issues and just not being happy with the performance vs. cost, I am looking elsewhere unless the XPS 730 comes out in a couple weeks. That said, after my XPS 630 experience, I'm not sure how I would feel about that if I even had the option.
I'm trying to decide between an Alienware and a Falcon Northwest.
Well to be clear, I don't think this would even be a choice if the FNW had ports in the front of their case for headphones, usb, etc. etc.
The way I see it, Alienware has a cool case if you are 21 and younger but for us old folks, somehow that plastic case is less than impressive. Add to it that Dell now owns them and the HORRENDOUS customer service posts I read all over the internet and I'm not too impressed. Also, Alienware, like Dell, hides what manufacturer you will get for some components.
Falcon Northwest has been around as long (longer I think) and seems to use all best-of-breed top-end manufacturer equipment with nothing proprietary. In fact I can literally go configure their system and take each component and read the reviews on NewEgg. So basically the premium I am paying them is for support (marginally useful at best), warranty (more important), and them assembling and testing the build saving me time.
The only con for Falcon that I can find is the lack of ports for headphones, usb, etc. I do like that I can pull out components (including MOBO) and upgrade at any time.
So is there anything I'm missing or another vendor to consider?
Yes, I know there are smaller ones but I will not order from someone that does not have a proven, long track record. Voodoo was ok but now they are under HP and I'm not too keen on the Blackbird PCs.
go with FNW. more established company they have been around since god only knows mid 90's was when I first heard of them marketing late model p1 gaming machines (p 233 and such as well as early p2 266) back when a p2 266 was top of the heap. ever since then always seen them coming out with better and better stuff and hey can't knock the custom paintjobs they put on. if you're in the market for a machine of this caliber where price is no object go with an FNW Mach V completely customized to your specs and with customer service to match I don't think you can go wrong. I don't work for them or anything I just think that with their long established reputation for fast as ninjas gaming pc's they are the clear choice here
If you go to www.slizone.com and go under their "Certified Products" tab and choose "desktops". It comes up with a whole bunch of options. Each one links you to that companies site where you can see your custom options. Falcon is one of the companies on their but there are at least 10 others. Good way to compare cost, components, style and see how long the companies have been around.