New “Build”: buying prebuilt adding GPU?

enc0re

Weaksauce
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Feb 6, 2007
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A friend is getting a new PC for gaming and creative work (Photoshop, Zbrush, etc). Her budget is $1,200.

She is computer savvy enough to switch out a hard drive or GPU but she is not an enthusiast. She needs this machine to work, no tinkering, and support and warranty would be a big plus. Prebuilt is probably the way to go for her. She also wants a system that will last as long as possible for the money.

I can donate my old GTX 1060 6GB to the cause. My thought is that this would let her afford a better quality system and CPU. Add in the GPU herself. And then in a few years she has a better base for a GPU upgrade. I’m thinking something like a Dell XPS with the 500W chassis upgrade but no GPU.

But is this stupid? I have been building my own computers since 1986. I have never bought a prebuilt desktop and have no experience with them. Would I be giving bad advice and should she maybe just buy a weaker CPU system that comes with a GPU?

Please advise! Especially if you have experience with prebuilt systems and upgrading them.
 

primetime

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A friend is getting a new PC for gaming and creative work (Photoshop, Zbrush, etc). Her budget is $1,200.

She is computer savvy enough to switch out a hard drive or GPU but she is not an enthusiast. She needs this machine to work, no tinkering, and support and warranty would be a big plus. Prebuilt is probably the way to go for her. She also wants a system that will last as long as possible for the money.

I can donate my old GTX 1060 6GB to the cause. My thought is that this would let her afford a better quality system and CPU. Add in the GPU herself. And then in a few years she has a better base for a GPU upgrade. I’m thinking something like a Dell XPS with the 500W chassis upgrade but no GPU.

But is this stupid? I have been building my own computers since 1986. I have never bought a prebuilt desktop and have no experience with them. Would I be giving bad advice and should she maybe just buy a weaker CPU system that comes with a GPU?

Please advise! Especially if you have experience with prebuilt systems and upgrading them.
just build it, or build it with her assistance for her...i wont do this for just anyone these days, but it sounds like you guys are close enough to help each other out. Most pre builts cut a lot of corners and are meant for people that you woulnt want to be involved with when they install a variety of virus and spyware
 
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enc0re

Weaksauce
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just build it, or build it with her assistance for her...i wont do this for anyone these days, but it sounds like you guys are close enough to help each other out. Most pre builts cut a lot of corners and are meant for people that you woulnt want to be involved with when they install a variety of virus and spyware

I like building my own systems. But for someone who doesn’t build their own and makes money with their computer, I don’t know if that’s a great choice.

Also my personal experience over the decades has been that helping someone build a system is not good for friendships.
 

matt167

Gawd
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Configure her a Ryzen system of some sort via a prebuilt service. Have them include some crappy GPU and then substitute your 1060.

She could start with a 3600 but end up with a 3900X when/ if prices come down. 3700x is the territory she might want to start in but a 1060 will be very limiting in 2020
 

primetime

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I like building my own systems. But for someone who doesn’t build their own and makes money with their computer, I don’t know if that’s a great choice.

Also my personal experience over the decades has been that helping someone build a system is not good for friendships.
bad for friendships? :whistle: yea ahh ok....i hadn't run into that myself
 

enc0re

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Configure her a Ryzen system of some sort via a prebuilt service. Have them include some crappy GPU and then substitute your 1060.

She could start with a 3600 but end up with a 3900X when/ if prices come down. 3700x is the territory she might want to start in but a 1060 will be very limiting in 2020

I was thinking Ryzen at first but I had a hard time finding a system from one of the big vendors (for warranty and support) that had Ryzen, could be specced with a decent PSU (for future upgrades), and didn’t already come with a big GPU. Can you suggest something to look at?

Also, is it just me or does the price delta between Ryzen and Intel seem way smaller for prebuilt systems than roll you own?
 

enc0re

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bad for friendships? :whistle: yea ahh ok....i hadn't run into that myself

I hope you never do. I find that if there is a problem now or anytime later with the computer, there is often resentment. Most extreme case I had was 20 years ago. Bad ram or motherboard. When we turned it on for the first POST, there was literally smoke coming from the ram sockets. I never did get to find out what precisely the problem was. He grabbed his things and ran out. Never talked to me again. Wouldn’t even say hello when running into him in town.
 

rhansen5_99

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Honestly in price range you should be able to get rtx 2060 or gtx 1660 super pretty easily, so go turnkey for them, or just build one. Heck I have friend running my old machines all over the place. You really just need to expectations when you sell them a pc.
 

matt167

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I was thinking Ryzen at first but I had a hard time finding a system from one of the big vendors (for warranty and support) that had Ryzen, could be specced with a decent PSU (for future upgrades), and didn’t already come with a big GPU. Can you suggest something to look at?

Also, is it just me or does the price delta between Ryzen and Intel seem way smaller for prebuilt systems than roll you own?
Cyberpower, Ibuypower ect... A local shop might also do a build for her, and she could supply your card to them
 

primetime

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I hope you never do. I find that if there is a problem now or anytime later with the computer, there is often resentment. Most extreme case I had was 20 years ago. Bad ram or motherboard. When we turned it on for the first POST, there was literally smoke coming from the ram sockets. I never did get to find out what precisely the problem was. He grabbed his things and ran out. Never talked to me again. Wouldn’t even say hello when running into him in town.
I always tell em, if there just looking for lowest price, then look else ware. Explain the risk of bad hardware, which we have zero control over. Honestly it wound depend what SHE looked like lol :)
 

travm

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I would recommend to up the budget and buy an HP or Lenovo workstation. Building your own shit is fun, but I've had zero issues with either. Sometimes when you just need something to work.
Good used workstations are also often available.
 

E4g1e

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I would recommend to up the budget and buy an HP or Lenovo workstation. Building your own shit is fun, but I've had zero issues with either. Sometimes when you just need something to work.
Good used workstations are also often available.
Not worth it if it costs three to four times more (new) than the thread starter's maximum budget or if it is equipped with outdated or obsolete core components that may be much older than the system that it would be replacing.
 

travm

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Not worth it if it costs three to four times more (new) than the thread starter's maximum budget or if it is equipped with outdated or obsolete core components that may be much older than the system that it would be replacing.
I would agree, but neither of those conditions should exist. Unless you pick the flagship.
I've built many PC's, and most worked flawlessly for many years. The shit my workstations have been through however. I trust the mass produced and tested product. For work, buy a workstation. I'm sure many on here would disagree. Just my opinion.
 

enc0re

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I agree that a workstation is best for work. She end up spending $1,400, without me pushing her to spend more of course, but that was max. She is just starting out her career. Consumer hardware will have to do.

She ended up getting an HP Omen 25L. Ryzen 7 3700X, AMD 5700XT, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD (transferring her old hard drive over for secondary storage).

Solid choice I think. Thanks for all the advice in this thread.
 

Ready4Dis

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I agree that a workstation is best for work. She end up spending $1,400, without me pushing her to spend more of course, but that was max. She is just starting out her career. Consumer hardware will have to do.

She ended up getting an HP Omen 25L. Ryzen 7 3700X, AMD 5700XT, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD (transferring her old hard drive over for secondary storage).

Solid choice I think. Thanks for all the advice in this thread.
That should get a lot of work done for her!
 

ep3w

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I'm not familiar enough with them, but depending on the vendor would swapping out a video card void your warranty? I'm picturing one those "do not break or your warranty will be void" stickers on the case that prevents you from opening it (if you care about the warranty).
 

E4g1e

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I'm not familiar enough with them, but depending on the vendor would swapping out a video card void your warranty? I'm picturing one those "do not break or your warranty will be void" stickers on the case that prevents you from opening it (if you care about the warranty).
It's too late for that. The new PC she bought already has a higher-end modern GPU installed. So, there is absolutely no need at all whatsoever for the OP to transfer a four-year-old midrange GPU to that system.
 

ep3w

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It's too late for that. The new PC she bought already has a higher-end modern GPU installed. So, there is absolutely no need at all whatsoever for the OP to transfer a four-year-old midrange GPU to that system.

I missed what GPU it came installed with. Sounds like a win-win then and solid setup for the intended purpose.
 
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