Have you ever claimed you could build a faster machine than top-tier vendors, but needed proof? We dig into five off-the-shelf sub-$500 configurations to figure out what they can and cannot do. The results probably won't surprise Tom's Hardware regulars.
Test Set: High Quality, Fraps, DirectX 9 Rendering, A Walk In The Park
Just Cause 2
Steam Version, Built-in Benchmark "Concrete Jungle" Test Set: Custom High Details, No AA, 8x AF
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Fair Quality Settings, No AA, From Crushblow to The Krazzworks, Fraps, DirectX 9 Rendering
Also, on another note, the money that you have to pay just to get an operating system like Windows simply takes too much out of your budget if you are going for $500 as your max. i wouldn't suggest building unless your budget is >$550
On a real budget I wouldn't get a 6850. Even more so if you are staying below 500 clams. There are power house GPUs that can be had for less then 100 dollars. My 4850 still runs strong and as shown by Tom's very own review a Athlon x4 will compete with the Phenom x4.
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 have a real problem with this article. It isn't comparing a $500 prebuilt system to a $500 home build at all. It compares 5 computers from Best Buy that range from $299 to $409, versus a $500 machine that lacks an OS, mouse and keyboard. Factor everything in and the home build costs almost TWICE as much as the cheapest competitor.
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.
If you're a serious FPS gamer, don't waste your money on a pre-build. Do the research and have a computer built for you or build it yourself. You'll spend the same price most likely and come out with a much better machine. The difference is the cost of the name brand.
Why wasn't the $500 Homebuilt PC placed on the chart to show 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.