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Thread: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

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    To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Well the time has finally come for me to get a new gaming system. My old system is now starting to show its age and most of the newer games released only run at low/medium settings.

    I have about £1000 to spend in total and would like a decent monitor out of this budget as well. I'm not decided if I should try my hand at building my own or go for a pre-build system. I know both offer different advantages and dissadvantages and becuase i dont know a lot about building a computer i have only been looking at pre-build systems.

    I have been looking at the Alienware x51 top spec model thats bundled with the Alienware OptX monitor (although I can upgrade the monitor to an UltraSharp U2410 for £45 but I don't know if this is worth it?). I can get this system for £990 with my discount which seems like a good price.

    What do you guys think i should do? Build it myself? Buy a Pre-built system or hold out because something "BIG" is just around the corner??

    Hope you guys can help me, Thanks,
    Rookie

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    For bang for buck build your own. Or a compromise is that Scan or others will build it for a small fee based on your spec. I'm not sure how much it is but probably ~£130 ?

    If you can build lego you can build a PC.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Would I be able to build better than the Alienware system I mentioned for lass money though??

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Can you list exactly what you get for your money ? Just a quick look online and the x51 seems a bit low on GPU.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Hey,

    The Alienwares spec is as follows:

    Alienware X51 Matte Stealth Black Chassis
    Intel® Core™ i7-2600 (3.40GHz, 8MB L3 Cache, 4C)
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium (64 BIT)
    1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555
    8GB 1333MHz (2x4GB) Dual Channel Memory
    1TB Serial ATA (7,200 rpm)
    BluRay Combo (Blu-ray read only, DVD, CD read & write)
    Alienware OptX™ AW2310 23” 120Hz 3D Capable Full HD Widescreen Monitor
    Alienware Optical Mouse
    Alienware Multimedia Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY)

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    If you spend £990 on a home built system you'll get a better spec in terms of the motherboard, GFX Card, CPU Cooler, PSU, possibly monitor.

    The question is do you want the hassle of building yourself and having no warranty or do you just want to buy, use.

    Butuz

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Do you have a need for the blu-ray drive?
    The GPU is not that good, seems way out of balance for the CPU.
    Does that 3D monitor include the glasses?

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    GPU is very poor for that sort of money. I would definitely recommend calling Scan or other retailer with that sort of budget you can get a much better system.
    Something like this for £750 would leave you £250 for a big-arse screen as well like the U2412M
    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1015

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2412m.htm
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    GPU is very poor for that sort of money. I would definitely recommend calling Scan or other retailer with that sort of budget you can get a much better system.
    Something like this for £750 would leave you £250 for a big-arse screen as well like the U2412M
    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1015

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2412m.htm
    Hey,

    I'm not the best when it comes to knowing stuff about computer components but is the scan system really better value for my money? It doesn't have a Blu-ray drive, it comes with a smaller HDD, it doesn't include a monitor, is the i5-2500k an upgrade or downgrade from the i7-2600... IDK?? The only upgrade I can see is going from a GTX 555 to a GTX 560Ti is that really much of an upgrade?? Then to ice the cake the £750 price tag doesn't include VAT so that takes things up to over £900 which doesn't leave me much at all for a good monitor. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm trying to pick your response appart, or if I seem like im some Alienware "fan boy" but from what I can see the Alienware system offers me more for my money.

    Thanks for your advice and help though.

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    If you spend £990 on a home built system you'll get a better spec in terms of the motherboard, GFX Card, CPU Cooler, PSU, possibly monitor.

    The question is do you want the hassle of building yourself and having no warranty or do you just want to buy, use.

    Butuz
    Hi,

    A part of me would love to build my system but then another part of me fears that something will go wrong or that I just won't be able to do it. I would be willing to try and build my own if I was going to see a big enough difference in performance to make it worth it. I had been looking at the Pre-built bundles on scan where u get the mother board, ram, processor and cooler all together, are these a good way to start for a first time builder like myself??

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Do you have a need for the blu-ray drive?
    The GPU is not that good, seems way out of balance for the CPU.
    Does that 3D monitor include the glasses?
    Hey,

    Well yes and no, we have a Blu-ray player (PS3) but it is in the living room so when the wife is watching her crap on tv it would be nice to retreat to my games/computer room and watch a Blu-ray.

    I'm not up to date with today's components but my old gaming system has a GTX 260 in it, how would the GTX 555 compare to this?

    No the monitor does not include the glasses as far as I'm aware.

    Thanks,

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    1) Unless you have a massive monitor the Blu-ray is pointless.
    2) The 550 is about half the performance of the 560
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/541?vs=547
    3) The only difference between the 2500k and the 2600 is that the 2600 has hyperthreading. The particular 2600 chip in the Dell is locked (no k suffix) and cannot be overclocked. An overclocked 2500k will completely destroy the 2600 in games performance.
    4) If there are any features that you specifically want upgraded, like a 1tb HDD then Scan would also do that for a minimal upgrade cost.

    Like this at £777.
    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1209
    The Alienware offers distinctly worse value for money.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Quote Originally Posted by Rookie1986 View Post
    Hi,

    A part of me would love to build my system but then another part of me fears that something will go wrong or that I just won't be able to do it. I would be willing to try and build my own if I was going to see a big enough difference in performance to make it worth it. I had been looking at the Pre-built bundles on scan where u get the mother board, ram, processor and cooler all together, are these a good way to start for a first time builder like myself??
    Hmm I can't decide that for you really. Buulding a PC is not difficult - but if you don't have the built in inclination to fiddle with things and take things apart, and you've never built a PC before from scratch then it could prove difficult. Only you can decide if you want to risk it.

    Either way - Phage is totally right. That alienware PC is a poor spec for gaming - it is unbalanced, they have spend too much on the CPU and not enough on the GPU. GPU is much more important than CPU - you can pick a top end GPU and fit it to a 3 year old mid range PC and it will still perform good. On the other hand if you buy a top end CPU and use it with a 3 year old mid range GFX card performance will suck the big one.

    What Phage is correctly saying in his comparison with the i5 2500k and i7 2600k is that FOR PURELY GAMING the i5 2500k is a better bet, especially if it is pre-overclocked. Think of the difference as this way - the i5 2500k has 4 x very fast processors, the i7 2600k has 8 slower processors. Games generally make much better use out of less, faster processors (2500k) than they do out of more, slower processors.

    So in summary, dirctly comparing the alienware - find a nother system with a lower end processor but a faster graphics card. A £160 Geforce GTX 560 ti is MUCH faster than the alienware spec GTX555 (probably not far off twice as fast).

    Butuz

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    1) Unless you have a massive monitor the Blu-ray is pointless.
    2) The 550 is about half the performance of the 560
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/541?vs=547
    3) The only difference between the 2500k and the 2600 is that the 2600 has hyperthreading. The particular 2600 chip in the Dell is locked (no k suffix) and cannot be overclocked. An overclocked 2500k will completely destroy the 2600 in games performance.
    4) If there are any features that you specifically want upgraded, like a 1tb HDD then Scan would also do that for a minimal upgrade cost.

    Like this at £777.
    http://3xs.scan.co.uk/ShowSystem.asp?SystemID=1209
    The Alienware offers distinctly worse value for money.
    Hey Again Phage

    Well I have to agree and disagree on point number 1, yeah your right having a blu-ray play on a small screen wouldn’t give me the full blu-ray experience but due to use having the PS3 in the main sitting room we have moved over from DVD to Blu-ray purchases meaning almost our entire movie collection amassed in the last 3 years has been on Blu-ray so it’s not a need based on quality but more because we don’t have much on DVD anymore.

    Is the GTX 555 the same as the GTX 550 you linked?

    Firstly, what’s hyperthreading? Also why would I want to overclock, isn’t the standard out of the box clock speed sufficient and if not then why do they ship them this way?? Would an un-overclocked 2500k be better than the 2600 though???

    I wasn’t saying I needed the 1tb over the 500gb my point was just that it included more from what I could see in the Alienware but like I said, I’m no expert on this, in fact I know very little about computer components and the inner workings.

    I really appreciate the help and I hope you don’t take my replies as some type of “personal attack” against the things you are saying

    Quote Originally Posted by Butuz View Post
    Hmm I can't decide that for you really. Buulding a PC is not difficult - but if you don't have the built in inclination to fiddle with things and take things apart, and you've never built a PC before from scratch then it could prove difficult. Only you can decide if you want to risk it.

    Either way - Phage is totally right. That alienware PC is a poor spec for gaming - it is unbalanced, they have spend too much on the CPU and not enough on the GPU. GPU is much more important than CPU - you can pick a top end GPU and fit it to a 3 year old mid range PC and it will still perform good. On the other hand if you buy a top end CPU and use it with a 3 year old mid range GFX card performance will suck the big one.

    What Phage is correctly saying in his comparison with the i5 2500k and i7 2600k is that FOR PURELY GAMING the i5 2500k is a better bet, especially if it is pre-overclocked. Think of the difference as this way - the i5 2500k has 4 x very fast processors, the i7 2600k has 8 slower processors. Games generally make much better use out of less, faster processors (2500k) than they do out of more, slower processors.

    So in summary, dirctly comparing the alienware - find a nother system with a lower end processor but a faster graphics card. A £160 Geforce GTX 560 ti is MUCH faster than the alienware spec GTX555 (probably not far off twice as fast).

    Butuz
    Hi

    Thanks for replying again Butuz,

    The main reason for wanting the Alienware was because of its size and that at some point I would have been able to move it down in to the living room and slip it in to the TV cabinet allowing me to play Diablo III on the big TV…… and let’s be honest the case looks awesome in comparison to most mid-sized towers.

    So anyway to take this thread forward and leave the Alienware idea behind, I think it might be best for me to build my own from scratch…… a scary thought I know but it should give me more options in the long run and with a little help for you guys I can’t go wrong…… can I?

    If I was to be building it myself it would mean that my budget could be extended from the £1000 up to about £1500 because I will have a few months more pay while I build everything. If I was to be building it myself then I would defiantly want a double or maybe even triple monitor set up… can this be done for my budget or would I be better just starting out with one monitor and then adding the others at a later date?

    I guess this brings me to the questions of AMD vs Intel and ATI vs nVidia.

    Where would you guys say the best starting point is for me with putting together a new system or should I scrap the idea and wait for the new Ivy Bridge and nVidia 6## series tech releases to see how that impacts the market?

    Thanks,
    Rookie

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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Ok, I’ve had a little play around on Scan and came up with this:

    Dell 24” U2412M Monitor
    Intel Core i5 2500k – Overclocked to 4.7Ghz
    EVGA GTX 580 GPU
    16 GB Corsair DDR3 Vengeance RAM
    Corsair H60 Cooler
    Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P Motherboard
    Microsoft Windows 7
    NZXT Phantom 410 White Case

    £1158.69

    How does that look for starters guys??

  17. #16
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    Re: To Build or Pre-Build.....??

    Half the RAM, change the GPU to a 7950.

    Unless your going to run a lot of VMs or edit mahoosive photoshop files....the 16GB is wasted...in most cases 8GB is overkill.
    Main PC: Asus Rampage IV Extreme / 3960X@4.5GHz / Antec H1200 Pro / 32GB DDR3-1866 Quad Channel / Sapphire Fury X / Areca 1680 / 850W EVGA SuperNOVA Gold 2 / Corsair 600T / 2x Dell 3007 / 4 x 250GB SSD + 2 x 80GB SSD / 4 x 1TB HDD (RAID 10) / Windows 10 Pro, Yosemite & Ubuntu
    HTPC: AsRock Z77 Pro 4 / 3770K@4.2GHz / 24GB / GTX 1080 / SST-LC20 / Antec TP-550 / Hisense 65k5510 4K TV / HTC Vive / 2 x 240GB SSD + 12TB HDD Space / Race Seat / Logitech G29 / Win 10 Pro
    HTPC2: Asus AM1I-A / 5150 / 4GB / Corsair Force 3 240GB / Silverstone SST-ML05B + ST30SF / Samsung UE60H6200 TV / Windows 10 Pro
    Spare/Loaner: Gigabyte EX58-UD5 / i950 / 12GB / HD7870 / Corsair 300R / Silverpower 700W modular
    NAS 1: HP N40L / 12GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Arrays || NAS 2: Dell PowerEdge T110 II / 24GB ECC RAM / 2 x 3TB Hybrid arrays || Network:Buffalo WZR-1166DHP w/DD-WRT + HP ProCurve 1800-24G
    Laptop: Lenovo Flex 2 / 12GB RAM / 240GB Corsair Force 3 Printer: HP CP1515n || Phone: HTC One U11 || Other: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Pro 10.1 CM12.1 / Playstation 4 + G29 + 2TB Hybrid drive

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