BIOS And Overclocking: Now There’s Your Problem
Overclocking is such a big reason that we're able to demonstrate such massive performance boosts on a limited budget. Most of the time, the gains Paul is able to procure are downright impressive. He was able to achieve impressive 10% boosts in both of the last two $500 Gaming PC configurations.
Those speed-ups don't just apply to synthetic benchmarks. He also realized them in his gaming benchmarks.
BIOS-based flexibility is where pre-configured systems fall short. The top-tier vendors selling to mainstream users don't want those folks overclocking their machines. Overclocking creates support nightmares, if not from fried components then from general system instability. It's not that those manufacturers are out to prevent anyone from getting the most from their hardware. Rather, it's all a matter of minimizing the number of frustrated phone calls to operators with limited knowledge of enthusiast-oriented features.
As a result, it's not a surprise that our canned machines give us zero flexibility. If you want to overclock, you need to build your own computer.
I just configured an iBuyPower rig for $489. It has Athlon X2 250, 4gb Ram, 500GB HDD, 500w Power Supply, Liquid cooling, Radeon 6570. For $24 more bucks I could get a 6670.
I know its not a killer machine but it puts these big box vendors to shame.
Also if you already have windows OEM you can get it reactivated on a new PC if you get the right Microsoft rep, also lie about motherboard dieing and not replaceable... Some will choke up a code.
I know you mentioned the discrepancies in the article, but if you aren't going to try a little harder to make a good comparison you shouldn't even make the article. Shop around online at better retailers than Best Buy, find the very best systems you can that cost about $550, THEN compare those to your own system.
I still expect the prebuilt systems to fall behind, but the article we have here isn't even a real comparison.
All you did was compared the systems performance and then list the Custom-built specs at the end without any benchmark comparison.
I was going to use this article for ALL of my friends to understand why they should build their own. But, since you guys compared the rainbow of feces available at Best Buy without showing the splendor that is home build, it's useless.