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Thread: Build or Buy?

  1. #1
    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Build or Buy?

    Okay, hopefully my final comparison post with which to bother you gentlemen!

    The best of the pre-built PC's I can find is a Compaq available through Costco (US warehouse store).

    The asking price comes to a total of about $1070
    (628.263 sterling)

    I put the assitant through his paces and got him to dig inside the rig so I could figure out what's making it tick. What did I find?

    Athlon XP 2600+
    2x256MB Samsung PC2700 DDR SDRAM
    Seagate ST3800 80Gig 7200Rpm Ultra DMA
    Asus A7N8X-VM - Specs available
    here
    Bestec 250W PSU
    Taisol HSF
    16x DVD-ROM
    48x CD-RW
    Built-in graphics Nvidia Geforce4MX 64MB
    V.92 Modem
    17" LCD (flat screen) monitor
    Compaq Keyboard and Mouse
    Win XP Home
    Works, Money 2003, Encarta Online
    Norton Antivirus 60 days
    1Yr warranty

    (I think that's about it)

    My build, costing $863.43 to 897.43 (depending on variations):
    (506.950 pounds sterling - 526.936 sterling)
    WD 80GB 7200Rpm 8MB Cache ATA/100
    (Alternatives -
    Seagate, same spec, SATA 150
    Maxtor, same spec, ATA/133)

    Corsair/Kingston PC3200 DDR SDRAM 2x256
    Asus A7N8X Deluxe
    (Alternative - MSI K7N2 Delta ILSR)

    Athlon XP 2500+
    (alternative XP 2600+)

    Radeon 9600Pro Atlantis
    Antec SX630II Case w/PSU

    Volcano 9 HSF
    (Alt. Volcano 11)

    17" CRT monitor
    Creative V.92 PCI Modem
    Artec CD-RW 52x24x52
    1.44 Mitsubishi Floppy
    Mouse
    WinXP Home
    Thermal Paste

    So, what do we think? Build or buy? Other suggestions?

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    build... when you buy a computer you end up paying for all the rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbishty software they put on it and never use. and when you build you get exactly what you want, so it works out better in the long run.

    p.s most of the parts in the tops system are crap!!! number 1 being the psu

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    crap 230+ post, thought i would never get a double post. My bad sorry
    Last edited by evildoc614; 21-11-2003 at 11:25 PM.

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    Build your own without question, as for that psu I wouldn't feed it to the dog

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    Around here I doubt you'll find anyone pointing you to buying it pre-built. There are benefits to buying pre-built but check things like if you're allowed to upgrade (warranty) and how much support costs. Basically that system isn't bad but onboard GF4MX are dire for anything more than very basic gaming. You get an AGP slot so can throw a $120ish Rad9600PRO and should find they use a std PSU so can add your own Antec too (if needs be). Up to you really, I've seen plenty worse pre-built and certainly plenty pricier too!

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Thus bumping the price up!

    Would rather not!

    How about the alternatives on the build?
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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    King of the Juice Platinum's Avatar
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    • Platinum's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X99 Deluxue
      • CPU:
      • Core i7 5930k @ 4GHz
      • Memory:
      • 32gb Crucial 2400MHz
      • Storage:
      • 256gb Samsung SP941, 1tb MX500 Crucial SSD, 240gb Intel 730 SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 Fury OC
      • PSU:
      • 750 Watt Corsair HX
      • Case:
      • Corsiar 750D
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2408WFP
      • Internet:
      • 18Mb
    Build defo, that way you can get all the parts exacly to your needs, + its more fun
    Salazaar : <Touching wood as I write this...>


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    the build you got there is nice.. and iam sure it will run circles around that pre-built system. almost every time you buy a pre-built its got some type of goofy ass motherboard w/ 1 ram slot or just 1 pci slot which limits you on what you can do i the future. I use to work at Best Buy believe me all your paying for is the software on that computer. the Hard ware could be build for less then 600 bucks. there is no other way to say but PRE BUILT SYSTEMS suck a@@. Only way i would buy one is if it was a Voodoo or Falcon, but even then the price you would be paying for it doesnt really make up for it.

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    Originally posted by Galant
    Thus bumping the price up!

    Would rather not!

    How about the alternatives on the build?
    Glad to hear it, so it's self built you're going for then? Alternatives ...

    Not on your list but I'd consider paying that little bit more for a 120GB over 80GB, it will fill up surprisingly quick and the cost diff is very minimal anyway. I'd definitely rec Maxtor or Seagate over WD, no need for SATA and little need for 8MB cache really, see how prices differ.

    Asus A7N8X Deluxe is above the MSI IMHO, MSI is still good but I would certainly take the Asus over it. XP2500+ should be as good as XP2600+ or even XP2800+, just buy the cheapest. The newest Barton are being super-locked (no multiplier adjustment) and rumour has it they have some failsafe to prevent 400FSB too, still I'd say XP2500+ is the chip to go for. If you can ensure a pre week 38 Barton you should be perfect! Volcano9 is decent but Volcano11 (or 12) is much better and well worth the little extra cash.

    PS. Buy from www.newegg.com

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    Well, I've just made about 8 phone calls to suppliers all over the place (going down the list on pricewatch) and getting someone to be nice enough to check the CPU is proving a rather large problem. Of course, were I ordering 100 of them, they'd be happy to check. So much for customer service!

    I could buy all from newegg, but it would bump the price. Trying to keep it as low as possible.

    Any idea on how the locked 2500's OC?
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    Build for sure!!

    If you cant build for some reason (you have no arms) then DONT get a compaq!! they are seriously bad, unless they have changed from the celeron 600mhz we got. It is proper crap, it wont even stay just turned on without crashing!! this is with a fresh install of the compaq software.

    anyway, building is far more fun, you know what you have in there, and you should be able to replace items becuase you put it together, not like a fiddly hard drive rack or something....You look to be getting a much much better system for less money with building.

    I notice you are missing a PSU in your build one, dont go cheap on that!! else it could blow the rest of your system, a good branded 350watt is succfficent. But 400+watt would be better, especially for upgrading/overclocking.

    Will
    | XP1600-m | ASUS AN78X Deluxe | r9700 pro | 2x512mb pc37000 |

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    Originally posted by Galant
    Any idea on how the locked 2500's OC?
    Biggest limitation seems to be the locked multiplier but with an XP2500+ or XP2500+ that really isn't overly limiting. Biggest pity is that you have to guess what you'll need when you buy your RAM and mobo (to a degree) and may fail to get the maximum potential out of your RAM, mobo or CPU. Details are sketchy but it seems you can expect a minimum of 2.1ghz (380FSB). It is still uncertain whether there is something shifty regarding hitting 2.2ghz+ or 400FSB+.

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    LUSE Galant's Avatar
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    What I'll need from them?

    If I'm going for the Corsair PC3200 2x256 RAM and the Asus mobo - would that work, or would I have to upgrade?
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    No hes not. He says he is getting an Antec with a PSU, so should be a quality PSU in there
    Desktop: AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Barton, 1024Mb PC-3200 TwinMOS w/Winbond, MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR, Radeon 9800SE AIW, 40 GB 7,200 Rpm Hitachi Deskstar, 120GB 7,200 Rpm 8mb Cache Maxtor Diamond 9, 160GB 7200 Rpm 8mb Cache Seagate 7200.7 SATA, Plextor 708A 8x DVD-RW, 550W PFC Q-tec PSU, Casetek 1019SM Silver Case, Camdridge Soundworks DTT2200 Speakers

    Laptop: Clevo D470W - 17" Widescreen TFT, Intel Pentium4 3.06Ghz 533FSB, 1024Mb PC-2700 Hynix, Radeon Mobility 9000 64Mb, Fujitsu 80Gb 4,200rpm, 250Gb 7,2000rpm 8mb Cache Maxtor OneTouch, Toshiba SD-R6372 DVD-RW +/- x4, Built-in Four speakers, webcam and microphone

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    Sorry, my bad. Thought it was just the case. Reading to quick again
    | XP1600-m | ASUS AN78X Deluxe | r9700 pro | 2x512mb pc37000 |

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    I have a locked 2500+ on an NF7 clocked at 410fsb 11X very stable. Crucial PC3200 cl3 ram. Everything is rock solid. Just need plenty of cooling.

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