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Netheris

Anyone good with computers?

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I'm looking to get a new computer and I know basics, but I don't know much more.

Debating a Dell 8500 from

http://www.bjs.com/dell-x8500-4211bk-desktop-34ghz-intel-core-i7-3770-processor.product.226947?dimId=2000073

or a home built

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LfsE

Anyone help me decide? Putting it together won't be an issue. It's picking the right parts for a home built that I have trouble with as I don't have a lot of experience. I also don't know if there's really a huge difference for the money. For uses, I mainly play games about as graphically intensive as wow but would like to have the flexibility to play newer games. However, I would like to play wow on medium/high settings without an issue. I also use our computer as a media center since we don't have cable tv.

Thanks for any help.

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The problem with most DELL desktop machines is that the motherboard is custom-built, so you can't change it and there often is no room for expansion. So if your motherboard fails you can throw away the computer (well, most of it).

If you know how to assemble the parts, then you'll always always always win by assembling it yourself. With that configuration, you will be able to play wow without issues.

For building a rig, I always use http://www.cpubenchmark.net and http://www.videocardbenchmark.net to get a quick glance at the respective values of the CPU and graphic cards I have in mind. Also, the main thing to watch out for is to pick up a motherboard and a RAM that goes with your computer. Also, you may want to check that the RAM you picked is certified for your motherboard. Just google "Asus P8Z77-V LK QVL".

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well, i use an Aleinware Computer and it runs on ultra with ram, it has a 18GB drive and a 2TB memory, it can run WoW on Ultra aswell as streaming,

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As far as WoW frame rates are concerned the i7 in the Dell will make more of a difference than having the slightly faster Geforce 660 in the custom built, but either setup should get you decent performance.

A couple things on your custom build though:

- You don't need a sound card, onboard sound is as good as you'd ever need now unless you're a major audiophile, or you're buying a card with more inputs for recording.

- Western Digital blue drives have some of the worst failure rates of any hard drive. spend a little bit extra for a Western Digital black drive, they're some of the best.

- That i5 in your shopping cart is a retail boxed cpu, so it comes with a heatsink, and they're usually sufficient unless you're going to buy a heatsink much better than whats in your shopping cart.

- You also don't need the thermal paste because the stock heatsink will have it

Even making those changes though the dell will still be over $100 less. and worse case scenario you can buy a better video card in 6 months.

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You'll almost ALWAYS get more bang for your buck if you build it yourself and don't let the idea of building a computer intimidate you. I had ZERO knowledge of how to put one together. One day, I just asked friends and Google how to build one, ordered the parts from Newegg, and then played with it. It was like a big kid's puzzle...but things just fall into place. You almost can't mess it up unless you do it standing on carpet.

That said, building has other perks.

1) You feel accomplished having built your own machine

2) You know exactly what's inside and how to replace parts should one fail

3) You know what's on your hard drive. Pre-built computers usually have a bunch of crap installed you don't really need. A bare-bones hard drive is better for this purpose

4) You gain a skill that should last a life time and could save you tons of money in repairs, labor, and parts.

Hard drive size doesn't matter unless you download movies and crap. I've never used more than 250GB until I started collecting 8 seasons of 24, 4 seasons of Breaking Bad, 8 seasons of Dexter, etc. What you want to invest in, eventually, is a solid state drive. These are well worth the money and should only contain the games you play often. That said, I have the following suggestions:

Power Supply: you'll want more than 600W. I would go up to at least 750. (+$50)

DVD/CD Reader: get a cheaper one. Shouldn't spend more than $20 here. (-$30)

Sound Card & Thermal Paste: remove both of these (-$32)

CPU Coller: remove, unnecessary (-$20)

Check prices on your video card as you think about your purchase. I have a GTX 660 TI and it runs everything flawlessly. I think you're skimping a bit on your motherboard, but that's a personal preference. If you consider an alternative, think about the Sabertooth, also from ASUS.

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Thank you for the very helpful input. I reconfigured the system based on the recommendations and it looks like:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LrEo

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LrEo/by_merchant/

Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LrEo/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($239.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.51 @ NCIX US)

Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($295.98 @ SuperBiiz)

Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.98 @ Newegg)

Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($63.98 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($127.49 @ Amazon)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1194.86

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-22 13:56 EDT-0400)

Of course, the cost difference between that and the dell is pretty significant given that the dell is about $800 without a monitor. Looked at the original mobo based on suggestions and reviews and removed that in favor of the one recommended. The original optical drive was to play blu-ray, but I can always add a second drive later on.

Given that either will play wow with everything set pretty high I'll have to discuss it with the wife. Might be a bit of an uphill battle and might have to make a few tradeoffs to keep it home built. Anyone have suggestions on how to drop this down a couple hundred bucks if necessary? Well, other than to find a much cheaper OS.

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Overall you have a good build. Whenever I build my rig (or expand / update it) I typically do my shopping from Newegg.

Here's a few ideas for you:

  • The stock CPU cooler that will come with your i5 may be sufficient to cool it, yes, but I always prefer a water-cooled CPU cooler. My recommendation (as I currently use one) is the Corsair H80i Water Cooler. It's an all-in-one system; no maintenance required. It covers my i7 and runs extremely quiet even under demanding games (Think Crysis 3 on highest settings).
  • I would upgrade your RAM to 16GB if you can afford it. 4GB is lame. 8GB is alright. 16GB is absolutely awesome, especially if you're (which should be a given) using a 64 bit OS. Another note with your ram is the G.Skill has a heat sink height that could be problematic with large coolers. (It doesn't seem you'll have this issue) but just be warned; a large cooler may interfere with your RAM of choice.
  • Get a full tower case. I purchased a mid tower on my first build and it was unnecessarily crammed. I love my full-tower case now and will probably keep it for a lengthy time to come.
Great rig, though. I'd love to see pics of it when you get it together and running. If you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask. As you can see there is plenty of help here for you.

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Didn't mean to add $200 to your bill of materials, but I think if you're going to invest in this, do it right. This is like deciding between a $20,000 car that gets you 25 MPG and a $25,000 car that gets you 35 MPG. Eventually, it will pay off, last longer, and if you do trade it in for something else, you can cut into the next purchase. I think that rig will last your 4+ years at least, so try to express it to your wife as $250 per year or $20 bucks a month. If you have a decent credit rating, you can work a deal like that with some companies. Obviously interest would kick it up to maybe $24 a month, but that's not a bad payment for what you'd be getting.

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Sorry if I'm a bit late on this, but I feel like your spending too much on the motherboard. Something like that would be for an enthusiast who likes to play with things.

Don't get me wrong, its a great motherboard, but you don't really need that. If you are willing to spend that much and you already bought it, then fine. Its not a huge deal and in the long run it will work slightly better.

I personally have this one and it has done wonders for me with that same processor. I messed with a couple of settings and without even realising it it automatically overclocked my processor to 4.0Ghz and my ram to around 1800Mhz. (I have 16Gb DDR3 corsairs). If you plan on over clocking then I would suggest getting some sort of cooler better then the stock fan.

If you absolutely HAVE to be wireless, then sure.. get the wireless adapter But if you can be WIRED, it would be MUCH better in the long run and for overall performance.

If you want to save money, go for a 1TB (or less, depending on what you want to save) hard drive right now instead of a solid state. You can always upgrade to a solid state later, and use the old mechanical hard drive for storage to compliment your solid state.

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Going with just a SSD is a bad idea. Running the OS off an SSD has been a recipe for disaster for me. I killed two 120gb SSD"s both in less than a year. one in my gf's computer and one in mine by using them as the primary hard drive for the computer. They should only be used as a second drive to store programs.

Honestly though, I'd probably go with the Dell. that price is hard to beat if you have a BJ's membership card. I rebuilt my AMD/Radeon system on part picker with a couple changes to cut some costs and even trying to minimize costs as much as I could, it's difficult to come close to $800 while still building a system that will maintain decent frame rates at ultra settings.

This is about as cheap as your going to get for an Ultra capable system building it yourself

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LsmP

Edited by Storm

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This is about as cheap as your going to get for an Ultra capable system building it yourself

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LsmP

Honestly, I've had worse experiences with AMD then with Intel when it comes to WoW. I'd say Intel just runs wow better since its such a CPU based game.

on this build you wouldn't even need the blu ray player unless you planned on really using it and a non-modular power supply is just annoying and usually worth it to just go modular.

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I only put in the blu-ray because OP originally had one in his system, and the price has dropped so much, you might as well get one for a price difference of $20 vs $50.

And there's no doubt I7's are faster than AMD, but easily $200 more expensive. The Quad core 4.2ghz AMD is +/-5% performance to an i5 3570k and is almost $100 less.

Also if this is OP's first custom build he isn't going to spend enough time/effort on wiring for modular to even matter, so I didn't even bother checking to see if what I picked was modular, I just made sure it was a good brand and something over 700w. But if he could pick up a modular power supply without spending too much more it would be worth it, but then he'll have to learn the art of cablegami so he doesn't waste it.

Edited by Storm

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Going with just a SSD is a bad idea. Running the OS off an SSD has been a recipe for disaster for me. I killed two 120gb SSD"s both in less than a year. one in my gf's computer and one in mine by using them as the primary hard drive for the computer. They should only be used as a second drive to store programs.

Sorry, I want to go back to this. SSD's should not be used as a "secondary" hard drive. They should be where the host OS is installed and then all your other programs are installed on the mechanical one. The only thing I have installed on my SSD is WoW and SCII so that it runs much faster.

If you store your programs on the SSD like you said, it will burn the memory cells quicker then just using it to run your programs.

About Intel/AMD, I suppose it is just a personal preference, but I haven't had experience with the FX series. I use to have an AMD's before cause of the price and recently went to the 3570k and had major improvements with my FPS specifically.

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The psu is modular. how much of a difference is there between

Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

and

Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

I know there are additional ports and slots on the sabertooth, but is really worth the additional $100 bucks in terms of performance? I imagine it definately would be if I were looking to further expand, but I can't image I would do anything more than maybe add an additional hard drive for file storage in the future.

Right now I'm debating that and whether or not to go full atx or mid atx case, but so far I'm looking at:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LtYN

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker....YN/by_merchant/

Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker....tYN/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.51 @ NCIX US)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99 @ Microcenter)

Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($295.98 @ SuperBiiz)

Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($20.98 @ Newegg)

Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($63.98 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Corsair Professional Gold 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($127.49 @ Amazon)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.97 @ Outlet PC)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $1159.85

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-22 21:06 EDT-0400)

Edited by Netheris

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That build looks like it will work great. Like I said previously, you don't have to go for an SSD right away. SSD will improve boot times and some game load time if installed on the SSD.

If you want to go a bit cheaper after losing the SSD you can opt for the non modular PSU. Modular only means if it has detachable cables. It's basically to make it look better or organize better within the PC.

The last thing you could go cheaper on is the gfx card. I'm not sure what the different types of cards are out now. I have an ATI 6850,which works really well for most games, but i would definitely recommend going nVidia instead like your current one. I just don't know what the equivalent is.

A question for you. If you had to go lower what price range would be looking for? If your willing to drop $1000 for that right now, I think you have a decent build.

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Also, do you plan on over clocking? Or is that out of your scope right now?

If you do over clock, you definitely need a higher end fan cooler or liquid cooler.

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I thought about the SSD, but I'd like to keep it. The computer I'm on has two drives. The one running the OS and holding the main files and the second one that holds all my files. I can always transfer that drive and in the future I can upgrade it to the caviar black.

If I remove that drive and remember to remove the wireless card it should be about $1000. I'm trying to keep it not too far off from the 800 that the dell in my original posting is and an extra 200 isn't that bad. I'd prefer a modular psu since I had purchased one a long time ago to replace a dead psu on my old computer. It did make things a lot easier with the smaller case. I imagine if it were a full atx case I probably wouldn't care cause I imagine there's a lot more room.

No overclocking right now. I don't have any experience in it.

Edited by Netheris

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I thought about the SSD, but I'd like to keep it. The computer I'm on has two drives. The one running the OS and holding the main files and the second one that holds all my files. I can always transfer that drive and in the future I can upgrade it to the caviar black.

Well in that case, if you plan on not using that old computer at all, you can just buy the SSD and then use the two other drives for storage.

Though if you do plan on using that old computer then disregard this. lol

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Yeah, we're gonna use the old computer still. we're gonna be converting it into a computer for my kid. Basically just wipe it clean and install educational stuff on it like they have at his daycare.

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I didn't catch this thread early on but I would like to throw two cents in.

I rarely have the money to buy high end parts and when I do it's one part here and one part there. I don't mind being a bit behind the curve and that has always suited me well. I drop some extra cash on the PSU, MB, and one videocard with the knowledge that I can always upgrade later on. PCI-e will be around for a while longer it seems so any basic video card will work for now and if you want to crossfire or SLI it is doable with wow though you don't get the same increase in framerates as some of the FPS'. I also figure on building two computers out of the long haul. . . right now I have five computers that run nearly 24/7 one operates as a file server, one as a video camera caprture computer, my personal machine, my wife's and my mother inlaws. The machine runnign the camera capture was the machine that was a partial build of my current computer.

I bought a cheaper board to drop my old cpu in, some cheap basic ram and used a HDD that was from my FS before a drive was upgraded. If you have a couple people in your home or you like to use computers for other projects or don't mind selling them as whole units or parts this is a nice way to do things. I also have other computers that are older and slower that I built a few years ago which are suitable for use as fileservers among other things. Being old doesn't mean a whole lot as I know they are stable and as long as they are not abused they will likely run for YEARS. . . I acquired an old dual pentium pro compaq proliant that is STUPID stable. . . I had it run for over three years straight without ever rebooting the thing and it still works great. As a router this thing would beat the pants off of anything out there you can buy off the shelf with the right NIC's.

Later on down the road you will find that the coveted parts you want today are more tangible to acquire and you can build two computers for less than the cost of brand name ones new. Each will also have the ability to upgrade more easily should you have the desire later on as well as have better performance.

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Thank you for the input everyone and nightshade, even though you posted probably minutes after I purchased the computer. But I agree with your reasoning. Found some deals and I didn't spend what was listed. It was $957 in total since the ram was free and had a promo code for the ssd.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/MSEr

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker....Er/by_merchant/

Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker....SEr/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($189.98 @ Newegg)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.50 @ Newegg)

Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($189.99 @ Newegg)

Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($97.98 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: SeaSonic 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($128.54 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)

Total: $1019.96

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-28 18:49 EDT-0400)

Edited by Netheris

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LOL, no problem. . . damn bought it all through newegg. Should have dropped a link, I have a commission account, lol.

Seems like it will be a nice setup. . . I am personally thinking about building wood cases for my rigs from now on. . . seems that with the side panels they recycle hot air from the back even if they are in the middle of a room and most are near something. Mine was running way high till I made a barrier to prevent the air from the back from coming in the side panel. World of difference in the temps, nearly eight degrees c lower.

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Of the temp difference, not offhand but will see what I can do. I rolled a towel up and slid it between the side of the case and the wall near the back of the computer. It forces the fans on the side to draw in air that hasn't been heated by the PSU as well as the other fans exhausting out the back. When I get up tomorrow I will pull it out and get a temp screenshot if you like.

As far as building a wooden case, that will be easy. I built a cabinet with a 38 gallon display tank and a 29 sump for a reef aquarium already.

Posted Image

Living in an apartment I built it so that all the plumbing and electrical would be hidden and it would have a built in look. Was easy to move as well as I put casters on the bottom. Interesting thing is that the only internal structure is a set of 2x2's supporting the display tank. The cabinet is built using 23/32 birch veener plywood.

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