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Thread: To buy or build - that is the question




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    68

    Default To buy or build - that is the question

    Alright, I've got an outdated PC. It runs, but it's time to step up. The only things I'll be taking from it are a Thermaltake SP97 heatsink and a SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro sound card. So - I've gone to New Egg, checked out prices. It's gonna cost me around $600 for something decent, and that's using the same case and PSU. The other thing is that I need to either buy a copy of XP or buy a PC with it alread installed. Then today, I saw the deal over at Geeks: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...5056-R&cat=SYS
    My question is - would it be better for me to buy a set like that and just upgrade the video card (installing new heatsink and sound card from old PC), or spend something like $800 on upgrading what I do have? Would buying that Gateway mess me over at all in the long run?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    anchorage alaska
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    It will have no upgradeability, maybe AGP if you're lucky, defininetely not PCI-e
    "Death solves all problems; no man, no problem."
    -Joseph Stalin


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    cumbria, UK
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    look closely before replying. it has a 16x pci-e slot, and it looks overall like a good buy. dont know about overclocking tho.
    System Specs:
    AMD athlon 64 3200 venice @ 2.4ghz
    Asrock Dual-939SATA2
    Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 chip r430 @ 480mhz core/540mhz mem with 1.6v vcore
    1gb Corsair XMS TwinX PC3200 timings 2-3-3-6 at 400mhz
    250gb Hitatchi deskstar T7K500 SATAII disk
    160gb samsung spinpoint PATA disk
    Asus 1608P2 DVD+/-RW Dual Layer
    Unbranded 500W PSU single 17A rail
    Innovatek and Asetek Watercooling (triple fan radiator)
    LOTS OF METAL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,364

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    DON'T BUY A BRANDED PC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They always have a terrible time with any upgrades and they almost never are able to overclock. For $600 you can easily build a PC that will outperform it too. Just do some research and pricing on newegg and the other sites and post back. NO GATEWAYS/DELLS/HP's.....................
    GIgabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
    AMD FX8120 @ 4GHz
    Patriot 1866MHz EL series 2X4GB DDR3
    Powercolour HD 6970 2GB w/XFX 8800GT 512MB Hybrid PhysX
    Creative X-FI titanium HD w/Technics class A 300W amp and tower speakers
    PC P&C 500W PSU
    2TB Seagate
    Coolermaster 690II w/Corsair H100 tucked under the hood

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by casecutter
    DON'T BUY A BRANDED PC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They always have a terrible time with any upgrades and they almost never are able to overclock. For $600 you can easily build a PC that will outperform it too. Just do some research and pricing on newegg and the other sites and post back. NO GATEWAYS/DELLS/HP's.....................
    Oh REALLY Genious?

    Build me this PC:

    19" Monitor
    1280x1024 NATIVE
    8ms refresh
    500:1 contrast ratio
    300 NITS brightness

    Keyboard, mouse

    Case with:
    Pentium D 805 Dual Core (2.66, 533Mhz FSB)
    Windows XP MEDIA Edition 2005

    512 MB Dual CHannel DDR2 SDRAM @ 533Mhz (2x 256MB)

    80 GB HDD (7200 RPM with 8MB Cache)

    48x CD-R/W / DVD-ROM combo drive

    WITH 3 years AT HOME waranty with nights/weekends

    and FREE shipping...

    Your turn...
    "Amputate a man's leg and he can still feel it tickling. Tell me, mum, when your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Central Alberta , Canada
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    Does this hypothetical prebuilt system also come with a motherboard and a real video card (not onboard)? What about a power supply?
    Antec 900 case (4 120mm and 1 200mm lighted fans + UFO flashing light set + 2 12" and 1 6" Mutant Mods meteor lights) - Aerogate ll thermal controller - Asus M2N-e SLI - AMD 64 X2 AM2 6400+ - Corsair TX650 PSU - MSI 450GTS Cyclone OC - 2 X 2GB Patriot Extreme Performance PC2 6400 RAM - SATA 320 GB Seagate HD, SATA 300GB Maxtor HD and IDE 80 GB Samsung HD - Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo - LG SuperMulti Lightscribe 18x DVD RW - Plextor PX-716A DVD r/rw - Windows 7 Home Premium 64

    Crude but Effective ... it is a way of life.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by mlakrid
    Oh REALLY Genious?

    Build me this PC:

    19" Monitor
    1280x1024 NATIVE
    8ms refresh
    500:1 contrast ratio
    300 NITS brightness

    Keyboard, mouse

    Case with:
    Pentium D 805 Dual Core (2.66, 533Mhz FSB)
    Windows XP MEDIA Edition 2005

    512 MB Dual CHannel DDR2 SDRAM @ 533Mhz (2x 256MB)

    80 GB HDD (7200 RPM with 8MB Cache)

    48x CD-R/W / DVD-ROM combo drive

    WITH 3 years AT HOME waranty with nights/weekends

    and FREE shipping...

    Your turn...
    WOW! A Pentium D, you'll do great with one of those... not. That's a second rate piece of trash. With AMD lowering their prices and all, that machine is worthless.

  8. #8

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    my bud is in the same situation, I found a Dell he liked, and built him one with similar parts. Mine came out a few bux cheaper, but the kicker is that the built machine is more upgradeable and WAY more tweakable. Someone who asks about a computer I always ask them what they will use it for.

    For anything except 3d gaming the branded PCs will do well enough. Any machine that will see some polygons will be much better being custom built.

    IMO, building your own allows personalisation and fun that are not there when you order one.
    Case - CoolerMaster Wavemaster
    Monitor - 37" Sceptre NagaIII @1080p
    PSU - PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
    MB - Asus P5K Deluxe
    CPU - Intel C2D E4300 (overclocks to come ASAP)
    GPU - 7800GTX 256 @ 608/1440 volt mod
    RAM - 2x 1gig Corsair "Dominator" PC2 8500
    Sound - Creative X-FI elite pro
    Klipsh THX certified 4.1
    Sennheiser HD-650 (naked)
    Headroom Micro amp w/desktop mod/Cordas HPI cables
    HDD - 1x 74gig raptor for OS
    3x 74gig raptors in RAID0 for games
    1x 500gig WD for swap file/storage
    Cooling - Appogee CPU/GPU blocks
    3/8"ID 5/8"OD Tygon tubing
    3x 120mm BIE radiator
    Swiftech MCP655 317GPH pump
    Vantec Stealth fans throughout

    Laptop - Dell XPS 2
    CPU - PM 2.0
    GPU - 7800 GTX Go @ 440/1300
    RAM - 2 Gigs DDR2
    HDD - 60G 7200rpm + 160G external
    Sound - Audigy2 ZS Notebook, Sony EX51 budphones

  9. Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    Great, another prebuilt vs. custom battle. Here is a link to a previous thread concerning the same topic: http://forums.tweaktown.com/showthread.php?t=21162

    Out of experience with modifying a prebuilt dell, I know that upgrading it is a pain. Besides, it will be worth it in the end to build it yourself.

    As for the warranty: If you order the good stuff, it will come with a good warranty. If you go further and order everything from Newegg, you are ensured that everything will be ok.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: To buy or build - that is the question

    Okay, looks like I'll be building, which I always thought was better, but I thought I'd run it by the pros.

    Next question is: what socket mobo should I be looking for? The standard seems to be 939. And what's the big difference between an ATI or Radeon mobo?

    Another question - what route do I go as far as HDDs? SATA, PATA...I've been out of the tech loop for about two years and getting caught up is quite a task.
    Last edited by Hawkens85; 09-09-2006 at 08:51 AM.

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