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Thread: Is this a good value desktop?

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    Is this a good value desktop?


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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    Looks reasonable. I approximated the system on PC Part Picker and Medion seems to undercut it (and they are building it for you to save labour). My build costs £701 as opposed to the £689 on the offered system. I went for the cheaper options, as I suspect that is what Medion will do but you can review it for yourself.

    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/1qGNF

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    There are some general questions to ask yourself with ready-built systems.

    Part of the reason is that buying a ready-built system gives you ONE place to go to if it dies. Do you feel comfortable with the customer service you expect to get? I know the name Medion, but nothing more than that, so I have no view on that.

    Another question to ask on ready-built machines is, aside from the parts that are specified, what isn't specified? How fast is the RAM? Are there spare RAM slots on the motherboard, if you want to add RAM later? Is the PSU decent, or just the cheapest they can find? Are there spare power leads if you want to add another HD/SSD? Does the motherboard have unused slots for cards, or headers for extra drives, etc, or are they all populated? Does the case have physical space to take another drive, or other device requiring a bay? How configurable is the motherboard? And so on.

    "Good value" can be tricky to define. That system looks decent give the spec we know of, but if you decide you want to add something later, and can't, then it won't have been such good value.

    That's the advantage of building your own .... you can cherry-pick exactly what components you use, including catering for all the above questions. Just don't expect to save money, because you generally won't, compared to companies who can buy hard drives a thousand at a time, etc.

    And if you don't fancy building it yourself, perhaps find a friend that can, or even a small, local system builder that will assemble your components, for a fee.

    But "good value", really, is more than the cost of the parts. It's about whether the machine is powerful enough to do what you need, or perhaps, too powerful for your needs. If all you do is email, web browsing and office work, you don't need a machine with a high end graphics card, powerful CPU or, really, even an SSD. And how I'd configure a machine for a gaming enthusiast would be different to how I'd do it for a photographer that doesn't play games, or not much.

    So, what you want it FOR very much feeds into "good value", as does how you value peace of mind of a single source supplier, as does how averse you are to the inconvenience of carefully specifying at component level.

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    I think that while the PC is good value (cost of parts vs cost of this), it's a bit unbalanced.

    I guess it depends what you want to do with it, but an i7 is an expensive CPU yet the graphic card is fairly low-end. An i5 with a faster graphic card would be better for games, for example. The 660 on some of their other systems can be around twice the speed, for instance.

    Another thing is the 64GB SSD might be tricky. It really depends on how they have set it up I guess. Unless this is set up as Intel Smart Response (SSD caching) I think a lot of users would have problems with a 64GB drive.

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    Thanks a lot guys, deciding between this and the Alienware X51 i5 for £699. Any opinions on the X51?

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    I take it, since you're looking at the Alienware, that you're buying for gaming?

    Then I'd look very very closely at this Medion with i5 and GTX660 (OEM).

    Quick comparison:

    Your medion has an i7 3770k processor but a GTX650 graphics card: this is the fastest processor of the three computers, but probably the slowest graphics card: it has only 384 shaders, although they are high clocked, and the memory is quite fast.

    The Alienware has an i3 3220 i5 4430 processor and a GTX645 (OEM) graphics card. The processor is a decent mid-range quad core, but the graphics card probably isn't much faster than the GTX650 - although curiously it has more shaders (576), they are clocked lower and the memory is slower, which probably negates most of the advantage.

    My medion has an i5 3350P and a GTX660 (OEM). This is a mid-range processor: it's a proper quad core, so better than the i3, and it won't be far behind the i7 in games as most games don't scale much beyond 4 cores. The GTX660 is a different class of graphics card: it has twice the shaders and twice the memory bandwidth of the GTX645 in the Alienware, which means it could be up to twice as fast as either of the other computers at gaming. So it's a much better balanced computer.

    Incidentally, the Alienware X51 is showing as £599 on the UK site, which makes it the cheapest option. But for that you get the worst processor, and a very mediocre graphics card.

    Now I've found the right Alienware - the processor is pretty good, it's a mid range quad core that's ideal for gaming - but the graphics card lets it down: it's mediocre at best, and not ideal for gaming. It's also the most expensive, at £699

    The Medion you selected has a blindingly fast processor, but the graphics card isn't really any better than the one in the Alienware - it's basically the cheapest card that you can get away with gaming on - it certainly won't provide a good gaming experience. That PC is also pretty expensive, at £689.


    The Medion I linked to, however, has a good balance of a fast quad core processor, and a very capable graphics card. The processor is pretty much identical to the one in the Alienware - it's one generation older but a little bit higher clocked, so that balances out. It will be ideal for gaming, and it's reasonably priced at only £629 - £70 less than the Alienware, £60 less than your Medion, and it'll provide a much better gaming experience than either of them.

    Incidentally, you can specify the i5 Alienware with the same GTX660 OEM graphics card as my Medion pick: but it'll cost you £898.

    Bit of a no-brainer if you're set on a pre-built PC for gaming at around £600...
    Last edited by scaryjim; 15-08-2013 at 11:36 AM.

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    If your gaming I would recommend a better graphics card than even a 660, if you can do it yourself, then it might be worth selling the graphics card that it comes with, then buying a 670, which can be had for 190-200, it is really easy to swap. Although I dont know what PSU it has in it, so if it could handle it or not. Its another option though hey
    It all depends on what you want it for and what your happy with really

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    ScaryJim thanks alot man. Helped me out alot there with all that info. Looks like am goin with the Medion for £629. Looking forward to playing some Civ and Total War now. Karl i might upgrade the graphics card
    after christmas but for now i think the GT 660 will be sufficient for now. Thanks

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    Tha's not to bad for whats inside. You have the specification, why not build it on a site and see what it comes to ?

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    They seem to undercut the price which is really good for what you get. 3 years warranty too i think from Medion

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    Re: Is this a good value desktop?

    That doesn't look too bad, especially if it's good for what you need. The warranty and that makes it good too, safer than building it yourself anyway.

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