Thoughts on my theory of building a new gaming rig

spotdog14

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So after a few year hiatus of not computer gaming much (only on my laptop with an Nvidia 9500m not bad but cant play any new games) I decided to look into building a new gaming rig since my old "gaming" rig is a P4 3ghz with a gig of ram and an Nvidia 7900GS.

So I put some numbers together on how much the minimum would be to get me a decent gaming rig and it turned out to be around $900, what ever happened to building your own computer meant you could slash the price of the box store computers in half? So then I took my specs and went to Dell, HP, Gateway, etc and could build it for the same price except they included stuff that I was skimping on like optical drive, PSU, case, keyboard, etc.

Then I remembered Dell Outlet and here is my theory. I can get my specs or better (its a give and take type thing, more ram shittier graphics card, etc) for about $579 that leaves me enough room to pop in a top of the line video card and still be around $779. What do you guys think?

What I am looking at is a Dell Studio XPS 435:
Core i7 - 920
2 GB RAM
250 GB HDD
Radion HD 3450

Obviously I would replace the Radion with something like an Nvidia GTX 260 for around $200 and possibly add another 2 gig stick of RAM for around $50 to bring me to a total of 4 gigs (since its only a 1 DIMM stick).

What do you guys think?

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Gaming will be the primary purpose
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
I would like to keep it under $900
3) Where do you live?
Michigan
4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. Please be very specific.
Everything, but could canabalize my old rig that includes nice PSU, case, optical drive, HDD
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
See above
6) Will you be overclocking?
Not my first intention
7) What size monitor do you have and/or plan to have?
Its a Dell 24 inch I think the resolution is 1920x1200 or something like that
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
Planning on using my xmas bonus so I have what 9 months?
9) What features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Firewire? Crossfire or SLI support? etc.
Firewire would be nice but the rest are just nice features I will not use
10) Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? 32bit or 64bit?
No, will need new OS
 
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Shadowssong

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An i7 with 2gb of ram? WTF?? 250gb hd? hd3450? Not good at all, also the gtx 260 is a terrible buy at $200, you can get a used one for around $130 or less.

For $900 you could go with a phenom build with a 5770 or possibly a 5850. Also could you fix your text, you have a bunch of html or some crap in it, makes it hard to read :(
 

gwarren007

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That is a very sad computer.

You would need to upgrade the ram to run in triple channel, upgrade the harddrive to a 500gb samsung (performance)
 

engiNURD

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Please fix your coloring. ;)

I think you'd be better off building it, since you have a $900 budget and this is for gaming. You can actually build a decent gaming computer for around $700, but since you have a 1080P monitor, you'd be better off with your original $900 budget.

If you want to go cheaper, the best thing would be to find a good pre-built deal, like the dell deals on gotapex.com (e.g. Vostro 220 E7500/4GB/320GB/DVDRW/Win7/20" LCD for $450+shipping), and add in a vidcard -- however, with that Vostro example, you'd be limited to the 9600GT, since it only has a 300W PSU, which is probably terrible for gaming at 1080P, lol.

Just read your 9month build schedule. It's way too early to start planning a build, as there will be a bunch of new things coming out this year and anything we suggest will most likely be irrelevant by then. Revive this thread 2-3 weeks prior to your build target date.
 

lt_shiro

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I am surprise no one notice the xmas time frame for the ordering of these parts.
 

engiNURD

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I am surprise no one notice the xmas time frame for the ordering of these parts.
No one is perfect. :p I guess I'm no one, since I noticed it. :D I didn't notice it until i fixed his coloring issue so i could actually read his answers.
 

billy.blue

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If you are considering a Dell deal, you have got to wait until a real one pops up on the Slickdeals front page. Clearly, the Dell is going to be inferior to a system that you built yourself, but it will be considerably cheaper. I say it all the time, but a 40% reduction in budget is likely going to cost you about 5% performance (if you know what you are doing). You also want to consider that with the cheap Dell, you will be limited in upgrade options. But if what you want to upgrade is factored into your purchase, you should be able to pull it off. On the other hand, buying a cheap Dell is hardly [H]ard.
 

spotdog14

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I am surprise no one notice the xmas time frame for the ordering of these parts.

Its never to early to be looking at the Dell Outlet for prices to see if you are actually getting a good deal.

If you are considering a Dell deal, you have got to wait until a real one pops up on the Slickdeals front page. Clearly, the Dell is going to be inferior to a system that you built yourself, but it will be considerably cheaper. I say it all the time, but a 40% reduction in budget is likely going to cost you about 5% performance (if you know what you are doing). You also want to consider that with the cheap Dell, you will be limited in upgrade options. But if what you want to upgrade is factored into your purchase, you should be able to pull it off. On the other hand, buying a cheap Dell is hardly [H]ard.

True, but to the person that recommended the Vostro, wouldnt the Studio XPS and regular XPS be better that I was talking about? Also I have been looking at a refurb XPS 630 that comes with I believe a 550watt PSU.
 
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lol man you're planning a build 9 months in advance? if you're buying a Mac i'd say that makes sense, because they price fix everything and even when components drop in price Macs stay put. But what you'd get for 900$ in 9 months is going to be different from today.

anyways that prebuilt system looks awful. your monitor looks decent, you should post the correct resolution (1920x1200 or 1920x1080)... either way that's fine
 

Dan_D

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Not only is the RAM sad but that video card is pathetic for a monitor that runs at 1920x1200. Unless you plan on playing games that are 5 years and older I wouldn't bother with that. As for recommendations in the realm of $900 I'll leave that to some of the other guys on here. I'm not exactly what you'd call a budget minded guy when it comes to computer builds. :cool:
 

Dangman

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Its never to early to be looking at the Dell Outlet for prices to see if you are actually getting a good deal.
Still too early to be planning a build in general. Even with Dell Outlet, 9 months from now, those will be completely different parts so all your research is basically all for naught now. Either A) move up your build schedule or B) wait until two weeks before you buy and post a build thread then. Believe me, it's gonna be a waste of time doing it your way.

True, but to the person that recommended the Vostro, wouldnt the Studio XPS and regular XPS be better that I was talking about? Also I have been looking at a refurb XPS 630 that comes with I believe a 550watt PSU.
He was just providing a cheap example. But it depends on how much XPS or Studio XPS costs in relation to the Vostro. If the price difference is large but spec wise is similar, it might actually make more sense to go with a Vostro, upgrade the PSU to quality PSU and then upgrade the video card. The PSUs that comes with all Dells, while ok, are still not as good as some 3rd party PSUs out there.

Also a GTX 260 would be crap in 9 months from now. Hell even now it's still a bad buy from a price to performance perspective considering that the faster HD 4890 can be had for $200 and the similar performing HD 5770 can be had for $160. These days, I would only recommend getting the GTX 260 for $130 to $140 max. In addition, we honestly can't say whether or not the included PSUs with those Dell PCs would be enough for any future video card upgrade

Anyway, if you were buying that XPS 435 setup today, I would say not THAT good of a plan. Here's why:
Assuming you mean that $579 price for the XPS 435, that's another $50 for another 2GB set of RAM. That's $629. Now you would have to get a new PSU for a higher end video card like the HD 4890 or a lower end video card like the HD 5770 to fit the included Dell PSU. A new PSU would cost an additional $75 for something that can power the HD 4890, HD 5830, or HD 5850. The HD 5770 is beaten by all three of the aforementioned cards in a high resolution such as 1920x1200.

Assuming that you go with the path of least hassle, you get the HD 5770. That's $160. So $789 total.
Assuming that you want a good video card for 1920x1200 gaming, you upgrade the PSU and get the HD 4890. That's $914 total.

Now if you were building today, I would recommend the following for a gaming PC:
$238 - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition CPU + GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 Motherboard combo
$105 - G.Skill Ripjaw Series F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL 2 x 2GB DDR3 1600 RAM
$210 - XFX HD-489X-ZSFC Radeon HD 4890 1GB PCI-E Video Card
$56 - Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$25 - LG GH22NS50 DVD Burner
$105 - Antec 200 Case + Antec Neo Eco 620C 620W PSU
$105 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM
---
Total: $844 plus tax and shipping.

It's $70 less than the Dell XPS 435 + HD 4890 and only $60 more than the Dell XPS 435 + HD 5770. The Phenom II 955 and Core i7 920 trade blows in many games. You get 4GB of RAM right off the bat. That 500GB drive is twice the space and twice the speed of that 250GB drive. Not to mention, you get a decent quality PSU capable of powering most single GPU setups. Since the BIOs isn't locked as with the Dell, you would have significantly more of a CPU upgrade path. And finally, that Gigabyte mobo itself has SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 making it more compatible with future hardware and devices. More than likely, that Dell won't have another of those two features.

Hell you can drop the video card down to the HD 5770 in the above build list and it would only be $10 more but the above advantages still apply.
 

maximus87

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Man, I can't fathom planning a computer upgrade/build 9 months in advance. Things (especially prices) just change way too much. Things that might be out of your range now will probably be within it then. My advice is wait till you are within a month.
 

Dan_D

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I'd only plan the build the week I was going to order it. Building computers and planning out what parts to buy isn't difficult.
 

polonyc2

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how can you plan a computer build 9 months ahead of time?...in 9 months Intel's Sandy Bridge will be almost ready...AMD's Bulldozer will be close...wait until November and then start deciding
 

jadams

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wow.... i had something really elaborate typed out but it offered way too much information for a build 9 months from now.

but for 900 you can build yourself a VERY good computer, especially considering SSD's and DD3 will/should/hopefully be less expensive by then.

what i would be doing now is buying some parts on sale that wont change much. you have the next nine months to find awesome deals. things like case, memory, and psu. these things really wont be changing much in 9 months and could work perfectly well in a system then.

for instance newegg has an ocz stealthxstream 700w for $49 after rebate on sale from $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ..._re=ocz_stealthxstream-_-17-341-019-_-Product
this psu will work just fine in your future computer.

like the rest said its too early to be thinking about the specifics but i dont think its too early to be making SOME purchase. come ask again in 6 months :)
 

Dangman

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jadams

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maybe so, but my point was that he has loads of time to look around and save himself some money.

i came up with that by choosing 3 quick options on newegg. plus i have the 600w version and it has served me well thus far.
 

engiNURD

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... i came up with that by choosing 3 quick options on newegg. plus i have the 600w version and it has served me well thus far.

indeed, it may serve you well, but if you load it past 500W, you may start killing your parts over time. nobody wants to buy a psu like that. there are better options for the same amount of money. ;) for those that already have an infamous fsp-epsilon-based psu, just don't load it past 500W (not a big deal, since mose people who buy OCZ PSUs don't even load their systems past 450W, I'm guessing). :p
 

jadams

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for instance newegg has an ocz stealthxstream 700w for $49 after rebate on sale from $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ..._re=ocz_stealthxstream-_-17-341-019-_-Product
this psu will work just fine in your future computer.

do you notice how i was selling the SALE rather than the ITEM???

point was that there will be SALE items in the next nine months?

did i really need to spell this out?

can we get back on topic and actually help this guy with his question?
 

engiNURD

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can we get back on topic and actually help this guy with his question?

Do you notice how I quoted the part of your post that I was replying to? My post was not regarding your sale point. I quoted the part it was regarding. Why? Because more people than just the OP read this thread. I felt that info would be helpful to everyone, simply because despite all the thousands of posts regarding the infamous FSP Epsilon, uninformed people still buy them instead of the better options out there -- yourself included. So, in case they stumble upon this thread, I wanted them to get more info on it aside from "it served me well thus far."

As for helping the OP, its been said many times already, it's too early to start planning a build.
 
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