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It appears that I now need a desktop too . . .

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by dmc, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, as you may have read in my business laptop thread, it appears that my home desktop PC is dying. As long as it is, I might as well get something that can run current games (my gui was an nVidia 6600, my processor was a mediocre Athlon, in short, it was fine for Diablo 2 and the various BG games, but not so hot for anything current).

    Seeking advice in this regard, as I, again, don't want to break the bank on spending, but want something that will run D3 when it comes out. I honestly have no idea what this is going to cost, so please help.
     
  2. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    First we need a some sort of Cash limit before we can really help. I am currently wiating for D3 and needing a new pc int he process myself. I had to use a weaker Intel Pentium Dulcore machine that I had laying around when my Amd athlon dualcore died.
     
  3. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Ok, DMC. I used to be a computer salesman. :)

    First: Are you going to build it yourself? Or off the shelf already built? If from a retail store, or from an online vendor, do you have a preference for brands? Or do you have a local shop that will put one together for you [a clone]?

    Also, you appear to live in the LA area. So you probably have a good selection of electronics retail stores: Best Buy, Fry's, Micro Center, etc. Do you have a preference for stores if you go this route?
     
  4. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I have all of the big stores around. Heck, I could drive to Newegg if I wanted to. My last machine was built at CompUSA.

    I would prefer at this point to just point and click. "Give me that machine on the shelf" rather than me picking out the components and having someone build it. I also think that I shouldn't be spending a ton of money on this -- remember that I am not a huge gamer, don't need top of the line, and generally want something two levels below top of the line at the best. (The computer that died had a CRT attached to it, so I don't need max eye candy.)

    I would suspect that if I was rating what I needed, it would be middle of the road for most with the high point being the graphics card, but what do I know?

    I don't even know how much I should be spending on this. I would suspect equal to the laptop, because laptops are generally more expensive, but I want the desktop to do more.

    See - not sure I answered anything, but I definitely diplayed extensive ignorance!! :p
     
  5. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    So your price range is around $750-$800 then for the desktop? for that amount you can get a pretty decent desktop thats going to be a decent gaming rig. so no shortage tehre for anything.
    So I went looking at frys.com and found this system. http://www.frys.com/product/6402772?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Its not a bad middle of the raod machine and gives you about $100 to spend on a GPU upgrade as well if you really think you need one.

    And then theres this option with a dedicated Nvidia 315 card in place. http://www.frys.com/product/6275780?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
     
  6. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Topken's first proposed system looks nice. I read Intel chips still consume less power than AMD ones. I always prefer having a comp built. But you can probably get something decent for less.

    These things look nice, but the Atoms they use don't have enough 'oomph' for a 'real computer'. They would probably have less calculating power than your notebook.

    If you get a new comp, you may want to set aside some cash for a niece 16:9 LED-TFT. Having recently done that I can say that it makes a world of a difference. It also consumes some 80% less power than the screen it replaced.
     
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I liked what I saw on the IBUYPOWER and CYBERPOWER sites. They seemed to have the most options that really let you pick and choose. Cool-ass cases too and automatically come with the cooling system, not the fan. I really liked those sites after perusing all the normal Bigs like Dell, Gateway, HP, etc...I would buy my monitor from Newegg.

    Though I ended up buying this http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668417.php but only because my budget unexpectedly increased and I got compulsive, usually a flaw I don't possess, so I think I over-payed a little. There are so many options out there that you really need to decide your budget first. One thing I found when looking was the power supply seemed to be weak in alot of the box stores and the big name products. I have owned 2 other Gateways in the past and the only problem I had with them was the power supply going bad while under warranty. Which tells you how long they don't last... I upgraded my power supply after purchase. Looking back, as I now have more knowledge about PC builds, I wish I just bought one from IBUYPOWER though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2011
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Two points bother me about the system:

    Only a 300 watt PS
    Integrated graphics (big downer for games).

    To replace the graphics card would probably require a PS upgrade, if it can be upgraded at all.

    BoV - Cyperpower looks pretty good, more like a clone. I'm going to take a closer look at them later. I see they have a link on SP as well.

    ---------- Added 1 hours, 47 minutes and 50 seconds later... ----------

    This looks really good. Also, they have a nice website and the machines can be heavily customized. Plus, you can check their estimated FPS on a few of the popular games for your particular build. That's awesome. You would be getting a lot more value with this, rather than something off the shelf, DMC.

    500 watt PS
    Second generation Intel I 5, instead of last year's CPU.
    ATI 5670
    8 Gigs of RAM

    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_P67_Configurator/

    Also, I agree with Ragusa about the LED HD display. I just upgraded to one and I really like it. I ordered this one from NE.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824116447
     
  9. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Perhaps improving the HDD cache to 64mb for sata 600? +28 $
     
  10. Topken

    Topken Elven-dragon wizard

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    I had gotten a $1k Dualcore system from Cyberpower in 2006 for graduation from highschool. The system lasted until last year where both the motherboard and PSU went out and the year before that the GPU went out. So thats all I will be saying about that
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    To honest, I don't know a whole lot about the brand. I don't buy desktops, I'm a builder. I used to sell HPs, IBMs, Compaqs, Digital Equipment, Sony, etc. Any computer is only as good as the parts that are in it. I noticed that they list the actual parts used in the build. Most of the brands that I saw listed are name brand components that you, or I, can buy off the shelf, or from New Egg.

    DMC - You can always use this as a sort of template. Take the list to a BB or a Fry's and tell them you would like to price a computer based around these specs:

    Intel i5 2500, or even a 2300 *2nd Generation [No sense in buying old technology]
    8 Gigs of RAM
    1 TBHD
    500 watt PS
    ATI 5670 or nVidia 450

    * http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/...-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/2
     
  12. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    So it looks like that cyberpower machine is going to really cost around $1100 when you factor in a new monitor and windows. Is that basically what I should be expecting as far as a pricetag goes?
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    DMC - For an Intel based machine, yes. You might be able to shave off a 100.00 or so by going with a different brand than Cyberpower. But I came up with just a little over 1000.00 for what I believe is a system that you would get good use out of.

    However, if that is not your price range, consider AMD as Ragusa suggests. I don't know a whole lot about the AMD line of processors, but they are just fine as well. My own preference is Intel and that's all I ever use.
     
  14. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm likely going to be looking to replace my desktop soon as well. I see that Dell sells Alienware; their low-end machine starts at $1,100.
    http://www.dell.com/ca/p/alienware-aurora-r3/pd
    Comments?

    (The link is to the US site, but Canada sells it as well.)

    Edit: Oops. The link is actually to Dell's Canadian site. Dell's US site links directly to Alienware's site. Anyway, comments would still be welcome.
     
  15. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Alienware, you're paying about 300 quid more for a little Aliens face on the case.

    You're better off building your own, then you know exactly what's in it. And I 'really' would not bother with a dual-core machine. Quad cores are prety cheap these days. You can get a killer i5 2500 Sandy Bridge for not much these, because the i7 is out.
     
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I am not an expert but in my experience it is stupid to buy name brands, you pay more for less. You get most bang for the buck if you choose your different components and assemble yourself, if you can build lego you can assemble a computer (I can't build lego, I need help assembling my computers but I am a technological retard). When I go to the big warehouses and look at computers I see bad computers at high prices. Glorified typewriters sold for 600-800$.
     
  17. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Splunge,
    Barmy is right. With Alienware, you're paying about 300 more for that little Alien face on the case. If you want to spend that extra cash, better do it on better hardware. In that sense, custom computers are always offering more for the money. When I built my machine two years back, it was high-endish, but would have cost me at least 300 more with a brand name on it, in a less tasteful case with inferior components.

    Also, I like building computers. It's almost meditative. I got my components from three suppliers on the same day, and had that cubic metre of packages in my room :bigeyes: It was like Christmas. I opened a six pack, and started to unpack and build at 8 pm. First boot at midnight, no mistakes made. That was fun :xx:

    dmc,
    re:AMD - I understand that their tri- and quadcores routinely beat Intel dualcores. In the lower end segment they are offering very competitive prices and decent performance. As for the higher end segment, check this to build an informed opinion: Phenom II vs Core i7: Gaming Value Comparison
     
  18. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I liked the customization of CYBERPOWER and IBUYPOWER. You can knock off keyboards, mouse, monitor, anything form the build that you already possess to lower the price. And the customiztion is pretty sweet as it is broken down in an easy manner so you can mix, match and compare. But these guys here are right in that you can build it yourself cheaper, if you are comfortable with that. I think the price difference is can be minor when buying direct though. It's all about your feelings on saving a little to do it yourself, which you can screw up and you will be the one eating the cost if so. You wouldn't be the first person to blow a power supply when forgetting to disconnect it to add hardware. Plus, no extended warranty options doing it yourself(if you feel that is necessary), if that matters to you.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 10 minutes and 13 seconds later... ----------

    About AMD vs Intel, AMD is money savings all the way. Many here gave me advice that AMD was the way when I was looking around this time last year. In my daily life, I buy Nike's not the other brands. I like to go the same way with my PCs and purchase Intel, it just feels safer and I have never had a problem when buying new with Intel. The two video cards option of AMD gaming builds makes for awesome gaming if you are into the heavy graphics, but you seem to be like me and play more of the older stuff for the gameplay, not the graphics. I went with one nice Radeon 5850 1GB that is playing NWN2 and Warhammer: Mark of Chaos with with no problems, though they are not brand new games, they have nice graphics. I just wanted to list some of my experiences and thoughts when I was in your shoes last year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  19. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    OK - couple of things. I have no loyalty at all to Intel. My last computer was Athlon, my new laptop is AMD something or other, and I don't care if something in the machine has "Intel" stamped on it so they can put an "Intel Inside" sticker on the case. I also have little loyalty as between nVidia and ATI, although I think, all things being equal, I would lean nVidia's way.

    As for things like keyboards, etc., my stuff is so old, that I would hesitate to salvage any of it. About the only thing that I think might be worth saving is the speaker system, because that is newer than the last machine and appears to work.

    What I am looking to figure out is what my price range should be. I have not played any of the newer games (and that includes NWN2, but mainly because I heard no good things about it). Have not played DAO, but might do that on the new machine.

    So, I am looking for a rig that can run what's out there now and should be able to run D3 and DAO2, just so I am not buying something already obsolete.

    Hence, I need to know what the price range is for that, all in. That means with new monitor, new keyboard, new mouse, win 7, etc.

    It looks like, if I go AMD, it will cost less, although I can plow that money right back in with a second graphics card. Do I need to?

    Again, let's be clear -- total noob alert on these things.

    As for building it vs. buying it built, I think I can adequately address that with a little story:

    When I was a kid, the dentist at the head of our block decided to redo his own basement by himself, to save a few bucks. Because he was a little clueless, it did not occur to him that closing the door and keeping the windows closed while using whatever glue he was using for his carpet might not have been the smartest idea. When the pilot light from the water heater ignited the fumes, his basement basically exploded. He killed two of his kids and basically turned himself into a vegetable. My dad, shaking his head sadly, explained to me that it didn't make sense to do things you weren't familiar with when you don't know the risks, especially when you can afford to pay someone who DOES know what they are doing to actually do the job.

    Sure - I wouldn't be blowing up my kids, but, you know what? I'm sure with a little luck I could fry my motherboard or something else by doing it wrong, so I'll let the guys who actually know what they're doing build the machine -- it's worth the extra couple of ducats on the bottom line.
     
  20. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


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    I have a friend who is an IT guy. I have had a tremendous amount of fun over the past ten years researching parts and building the machines with him. I let him do all the hard stuff (IMO) such as mounting motherboards and power supplies, processors, etc. I know it is silly, but I love plugging in memory and video cards and pressing that power button the first time and having things work.

    If you know someone who knows how to build a machine and is willing to teach/help you, I highly recommend it. Pizza also helps.
     
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