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DIY Newegg Combo (First Time Builder): Good Deals?

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June 11, 2013 5:26:54 PM

Hey, I really want a new computer so I thought I'd ask for some advice. I'm looking for something that has the best value (performance for price), as I want to spend as little as possible. I'm not really an enthusiast who needs to run everything on Ultra with 2K resolutions, though I am looking to be able to play Okami in Dolphin in 1080p. Due to Steam sales and bundles I have many games that my current laptop is unable to play, so I'd like to build or buy a computer that can play those games. I'd like something that will last a while or be available to upgrade in the future, because I'm hoping to spend as little money as possible initially. Games I'm looking to play: Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, Okami in HD w/ Dolphin (as well as various other GC and Wii games in Dolphin), PS2 emulation w/ PCSX2, The Secret World, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, etc.
I saw that Newegg had a couple of combos on sale.

i5-3570k, ASUS motherboard, Corsair 8GB RAM, WD 1TB HDD, Rosewill 600W PSU - $496 after MIR

DIY Complete Combo: AMD FX-6100, ASUS GTX 650 Ti 1GB, 8GB RAM - $460 after MIR

DIY Complete Combo: i5-3570K, EVGA GTX 660 2GB SC, 8GB RAM - $731 after MIR

I like the 2nd one because it has all of the parts already chosen, so I don't have to worry about parts compatibility, and it is very inexpensive and therefore seems to have high value. I only worry about if it can even run the games I want, and if it will be able to be upgraded in the future (I'm guessing not). If it is able to run the games I want, I see no reason to spend $800 for something else. If it can be overclocked, I think it would be an even better value.

On the other hand, I worry about even building in the first place. My local PC shop is selling a used Alienware X51 that has an i5-3770K and a GTX 660 1.5GB for $800 (that's I think $400 off the original price). If building is too difficult or I buy $800 worth of parts only to make a mistake like frying the cpu/motherboard, I would rather get something pre-built.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week, hopefully, because the sale ends on the 17th
Budget Range: closer to $500, but willing to go for $800 if really worth it (after rebate)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching videos, surfing the web, productivity, amateur use of Adobe applications (Photoshop, Illustrator)
Are you buying a monitor: Already have one (No)
Do you need to buy OS: Not sure. I have windows 7 on an old hard drive that I was hoping I could transfer.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, mostly. Not sure of many others (amazon?)
Location: Northeast USA
Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel and Nvidia, simply because I heard that AMD parts tend to run hotter and louder
Overclocking: Maybe, the idea is enticing but I'm not sure how to do it
SLI or Crossfire: No, not at this moment, maybe in the far future
Your Monitor Resolution: 1440x900, TV is 1080p

So yeah, I'm a complete newbie but I've been reading this site for a while, I don't know much about hardware but the idea of building a computer or having a really nice one has always fascinated me.
June 11, 2013 7:25:24 PM

Most of those combos are not good deals. They heavily skimp on the parts - especially the cases and power supplies, they're about the cheapest you can get. You're better off picking the parts yourself and using PC Part Picker to find you the best deals.
June 12, 2013 4:56:11 PM

Thanks for the reply. I don't know much about PSU or Cases, I picked up on Graphics Cards and CPU from reading articles. That's one of the reasons why these DIY combos are appealing, because I don't have to choose the individual parts, like motherboards, that I don't know anything about.
I was under the impression that Rosewill and Cougar were respected brands.

Anyways, I found out that while the FX-6100 can play Dolphin, it won't be at very high resolutions. To play it at high resolutions fullspeed they recommend an overclocked i5-3570K.

I'm torn between paying as little as possible to get a gaming machine that can do everything I want or spending nearly double to get what I may not necessarily need.
!