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Buying a new desktop PC. Any and all suggestions welcome.

redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
So, I have had this Toshiba laptop since about 2008 or so. Has been good to me, but I have never been a PC gamer. It was able to play Minecraft in the early days, but even Minecraft chugs along nowadays. I usually get AAA titles on console and stick to indie/less known games on PC (well, I will once I can play them no problem).

Anyway, I am looking to buy a desktop. I want to be able to stream games (PC and console) with no issues. That is my main use (besides photoshop and possibly video editing).

My friend linked me to this site and I am currently looking at the $1,059 Vanquish. Another friend said that the $1,399 Vanquish is a rip off for what you get and she linked me to here and suggested the white desktop ($1,569) on the right. I'd prefer to keep it closer to $1,000 though.

Everyone always tells me to build a PC, but I know nothing much about them. I don't want to have to depend on anyone, friend or PA member, to build something specifically for me and put it together. I'd much rather order what I want and be done with it.

Basically I am asking you all if there are any other prebuilt PC sites out there that you know of or have used that might be a better deal. And I guess I am asking what is a better deal out of the stuff I linked to above.

Thanks for any help.

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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    First, I'm going to highly recommend building one for yourself. Join us in the build thread, we are nice, helpful, knowledgeable, and addicted!

    But, since you already said you don't want to particularly build, then the questions for what is a better deal is sort of complicated. When you are buying pre-built things from reputable companies, you can't really go wrong, you just want to find the best deal so you want to look for sales on the most current equipment you can find. I'd be tempted to wait a few weeks for black friday sales.

    Is the budget $1,000, or are you willing to push to those higher prices? Do you need a monitor included in the price? Keyboard, mouse?

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    RoyceSraphim
  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Alienware might work if you're set against building one yourself, but honestly, I'd recommend having a friend do it for a few bucks/beers. Since you've been running on a laptop, I'm assuming you need a monitor and stuff?

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    @davidsdurions - I'll check out the thread and probably ask around in there and have my friend check it out since he is on the forums as well.

    I'd REALLY like to order one next week or so. I have been selling things online to get enough to buy one and I can probably push for a little over a grand if I need to. I've been working toward this new PC for about two months now and am chomping at the bits to get it.

    I'd say budget is around $1,300 if I truly have to (which I don't think I will). If I can get something for a grand or just under that would do what I want, I'd be fine with that.

    I have an HDTV hooked up to my laptop that I use as a second screen (small and fits on my desk), so I should be good there. I have an old monitor I can use as a second one in the meantime. I'll wind up just getting a reasonably priced new mouse. My main concern is just the new PC and then I'll get new accessories over time. Probably a headset too.

    I guess I don't need to ask about building one here. I'll jump over to the thread this weekend.

    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?

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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?
    Any computer you build yourself is going to be better than a prebuilt computer of equal value.

    davidsdurionsEsseeLostNinjaZilla360VeritasVRSkeithchrishallett83SummaryJudgmentA Dabble Of TheloniuszagdrobRoyceSraphimDedEye
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    I have three general suggestions.

    First of all get an SSD drive to hold the Operating system and the main applications you use. Secondly if you can fit in the budget then look at 27" monitors as the extra desktop is totally worth it. Dual monitors is also sweet but not so much for gaming where three is a better number. And finally if you go the DIY way the make sure to get a quality PSU(power supply unit).

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    A prebuilt PC at a grand is probably in the neighborhood of 600-800 if you build yourself.

    Definitely get the advice from the thread, they can do wonders finding you the best deals.

    Edit: mobile posting lol

    davidsdurions on
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  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    I was thinking of getting the base Alienware aurora since my wife's work has a deal with dell through work. I try and compare building my own with using comparable parts/OS and I come out to pretty much the same price.

    PSN: Canadian_llama
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    Yea, I posted in the computer building thread and was given these as a quick suggestion. (uno & dos) I'm gonna show my friend and see what he has to say. Both of those are cheaper than what the prebuilt ones are going for. I think I am going to go this route (building) since I could use the extra cash for some other PC equipment (capture device, nice headset, mouse, etc).

    My current setup is my laptop screen and a decent size HDTV that wasn't being used, so I am always using dual monitors. I can't go back to one screen. The links in this post have a 21.5 inch for about $99.99. Is that decent or should I search/wait for black Friday?

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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    If it were me I'd wait for the deals on at least a 24" 1080p on Black Friday/cyber Monday.

    Actually, if it were me I'd be buying 30" monster 1600p but that runs you the cost of the rest if your system put together. ;)

    But especially with your photoshopping a dual monitor setup is best or as big as you can afford. 27" 1440p ips might be a sweet spot.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    I'd get an HP Envy 700-series, and add your own video card (which is very easy). Shouldn't be more than $1000 including the card. You would still need a decent monitor, although HP offers discounts if you buy a PC at the same time.

    Here's a direct(ish) link: http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Desktops/HP-ENVY/E9G99AV?HP-ENVY-700-210xt-Desktop-PC

    I'm unique. Just like everyone else.
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?
    Any computer you build yourself is going to be better than a prebuilt computer of equal value.

    Or a mess of parts on the rug. It's not all that easy. I've tried it. It's easy enough if you are good with building things, though.

    Alienware is a ripoff. Try cheaper alternatives.

  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?
    Any computer you build yourself is going to be better than a prebuilt computer of equal value.

    Or a mess of parts on the rug. It's not all that easy. I've tried it. It's easy enough if you are good with building things, though.

    Alienware is a ripoff. Try cheaper alternatives.

    Yea, the only reason I am considering building one is because I have a ton of tech friends that will build it for me when the parts arrive.

    I'll wait on the monitor until Black Friday or whenever. No rush for that (I have an old monitor from college that can work as a second screen until then).

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »
    redfield85 wrote: »
    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?
    Any computer you build yourself is going to be better than a prebuilt computer of equal value.

    Or a mess of parts on the rug. It's not all that easy. I've tried it. It's easy enough if you are good with building things, though.

    Alienware is a ripoff. Try cheaper alternatives.

    Yea, the only reason I am considering building one is because I have a ton of tech friends that will build it for me when the parts arrive.

    I'll wait on the monitor until Black Friday or whenever. No rush for that (I have an old monitor from college that can work as a second screen until then).

    Oh, if friends will build it, do that. If you get them to teach you as they go, even better.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    In my experience the amount of research you have to do about a prebuilt is greater than if you'd just picked out the parts individually at a price point you can afford and have a friend verify compatibility.

    Establish what the minimum specs are and how high you're willing to go on the price and just sift through newegg.com for bundles to see what you can do. cpu + mobo + ram is a common combo deal, for example and they don't combo items that wont work together.

    If you're willing to spend a little time looking into the parts, and have a friend willing to put it together and show you some stuff for the future, you can easily build what would cost 1700$ at alienware for 950$

    You don't need a bleeding edge soundcard and video card for the premium they cost just as a tip.

    dispatch.o on
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    compatibility isn't a big deal, as these days you can use the onboard sound chips/spend the money on a USB headset for sound processing. You really only have to worry about matching up CPU/Mobo/RAM and getting a big enough power supply. For Vid card, just buy the nicest one you can for the amount you budget, but don't worry about spending more than 200.

  • iRevertiRevert Tactical Martha Stewart Registered User regular
    redfield85 wrote: »

    Do you think it is possible to build one for a grand or under that is almost the same as those prebuilt ones?

    Doing a very quick toss together on newegg and I'm coming up with around $950 for the "Vanquish Level 3" or whatever non-sense. That's before rebates and combo deals or price shopping so you could very easily put together an excellent system for $1300.

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    I would find a shop that builds them. Go buy the parts you need and bring it to the shop to assemble it. The cost of the parts and him assembling it will still save you hundreds. I built (my friend did actually) a computer for $600 that would have cost me about $1300 for a comparable prebuilt machine.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    You can buy a relatively economical prebuild; good assembly and general warranty and so on aren't nothing, especially to a less-experienced buyer. I would avoid the high-end brands though (alienware, a few others); all you're really doing is paying a premium for the name and case mod.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    You do get warranties on all the products you buy when you build yourself. In fact, I find the individual companies are pretty good at wanting to keep you happy so if you have trouble with, say, a particular chip of ram, they will send you a new one without blinking an eye.

    Whereas, with a prebuilt computer, you'll have to go through the tedious task of phone support where they make you do all the diagnostics you just did the past three days, and hopefully come to the same conclusion you have, and then hopefully your bumper-to-bumper warranty covers this particular issue, and then they take your whole machine in and a few weeks later you get it back but you're not sure if it's really the same machine because all your stickers aren't on it anymore.

    Bottom line for me: the top line of this post. Every part is warrantied, and the specific companies care more about your satisfaction than the company that assembles them all together does.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    But especially with your photoshopping a dual monitor setup is best or as big as you can afford. 27" 1440p ips might be a sweet spot.
    I would second this advice. You look at your screen every single time you get on your computer. Don't skimp on your screen.

    A 27" 1440p monitor is a lot nicer to look at than a 1080p monitor of a similar size, and is absolutely stunning to look at compared to smaller monitors.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy. If you're especially worried, spend $50 on a crap computer (or use an old one you have), take it apart, then put it back together.

    kaliyamaGaslightdavidsdurionsEsseeSkeithXaquinzagdrobDedEye
  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    The only-- ONLY-- "tough" thing about assembling computers is properly putting in the CPU with correctly-spread thermal paste. I guess if you don't know that you need to put those little struts under every hole in the motherboard (to keep it from touching the case), that can cause you some trouble, too, though that's also not hard to do if you know about it. But literally everything else is putting Chip A into Slot B or Cable A into Outlet B until it's all securely fastened. So easy!

    Essee on
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Essee wrote: »
    The only-- ONLY-- "tough" thing about assembling computers is properly putting in the CPU with correctly-spread thermal paste. I guess if you don't know that you need to put those little struts under every hole in the motherboard (to keep it from touching the case), that can cause you some trouble, too, though that's also not hard to do if you know about it. But literally everything else is putting Chip A into Slot B or Cable A into Outlet B until it's all securely fastened. So easy!

    Even those things aren't as bad as they used to be, when chips weren't protected by heat spreaders (AMD wtf) and you had the possibility of chunking your CPU when installing your HSF.

  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    I had never built a PC before building mine. I ended up getting a case that had plenty of room for me to work (and for upgrades) and hitting Microcenter for a sale on the GPU, CPU, Motherboard and stuff.

    The best part of building your own PC is picking out your case. I love mine. Best money I spent on my computer. http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Tek-GD08B-Aluminum-Extended/dp/B007X8TQYI/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_0_2

    Plenty of cooling, plenty of space, and really, really easy to work in. Plus, it looks like a stereo component.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    CelestialBadger on
  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    Really? I don't think it's about hand strength or screwdrivers (as far as I know, you just need a normal-sized Phillips screwdriver for all parts-- or you could maybe get away with a flathead) from the way you describe it. You don't really need to be strong to put the parts together... I say this as a wussy little girl weighing just over 100 pounds. Sometimes you need to put your weight on a card to make it snap in properly, but that's about it. It seems like your issue was maybe that you didn't have enough room to put your parts in, and on that a small lady-person WOULD have an advantage. :P There's really nothing worse than a tiny case-- so I've always worked with full-size cases, none of that micro stuff. I've still sometimes run into a few challenges because either the motherboard or the case was designed stupidly, so I didn't have much room to work, but that was more time-consuming than complicated!

    Essee on
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Oh god, the tiny cases where you have to crane your hand around with a mini-screwdriver...

    Seriously though, in the modern era, you have the following:
    1. Small amount of drives - no floppy cable getting in the way, SATA cables = EZ
    2. Strength - for what? Learning how to slot cards is an acquired skill, but takes all of 5 minutes to acquire
    3. Screwdrivers - since nothing has to be heavily torqued, you just need phillips and flathead.
    4. Drive caddies/rail locks - half the cases I've worked with lately you don't even need to screw anything in to mount drives or cards.

    I will say that buying a nice case helps, but I've built multiple comps on a carpet while drunk.

    bowen
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    It's not hard to build your own PC, though you do have to look out for gotchas for the uninitiated like making sure to pick the right motherboard for a processor. If you are still hesitant you can check out this video where the guys from Newegg show you how to assemble a PC; that way you can get an idea what you are signing up for. You can find help at the Computer Build in the Moe's subforum here, or at the /r/buildapc subreddit.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    ?? What was your issue, exactly?

    fwKS7.png?1
    chrishallett83
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    I don't mean to be impolite but I believe very strongly you are an edge case.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
    chrishallett83
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    You do get warranties on all the products you buy when you build yourself. In fact, I find the individual companies are pretty good at wanting to keep you happy so if you have trouble with, say, a particular chip of ram, they will send you a new one without blinking an eye.

    Whereas, with a prebuilt computer, you'll have to go through the tedious task of phone support where they make you do all the diagnostics you just did the past three days, and hopefully come to the same conclusion you have, and then hopefully your bumper-to-bumper warranty covers this particular issue, and then they take your whole machine in and a few weeks later you get it back but you're not sure if it's really the same machine because all your stickers aren't on it anymore.

    Bottom line for me: the top line of this post. Every part is warrantied, and the specific companies care more about your satisfaction than the company that assembles them all together does.

    every part has a warranty, but it still leaves you responsible for figuring out what the problem is and which part(s) need to be replaced. With a prebuilt if there's a problem, you just RMA the whole thing under general warranty. It ultimately depends on who builds your machine of course; nobody's pretending that the ibuypowers of the world have a great reputation for customer service.

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    or do you believe?
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    kaliyama wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    ?? What was your issue, exactly?

    Dunno really. I took the computer apart to put in a new case but it wouldn't go back together again. The new case was smaller but not that much smaller. My boyfriend couldn't figure it either, so it's not just me being a klutz. I got a PC shop to fix it.

    Essee wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.
    You don't really need to be strong to put the parts together... I say this as a wussy little girl weighing just over 100 pounds. Sometimes you need to put your weight on a card to make it snap in properly, but that's about it.

    There's actually a surprising amount of skill in knowing which components you have to put your weight on, and which ones will snap like a twig if you do that. The OP will already know if he is the sort of person who knows that or not.

    CelestialBadger on
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    I didn't look at prices but ibuypower is one of woots deals right now on their tech site I think

    camo_sig.png
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    kaliyama wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.

    ?? What was your issue, exactly?

    Dunno really. I took the computer apart to put in a new case but it wouldn't go back together again. The new case was smaller but not that much smaller. My boyfriend couldn't figure it either, so it's not just me being a klutz. I got a PC shop to fix it.

    Essee wrote: »
    schuss wrote: »
    If you can put together legos, you can build a computer. Seriously, it's really easy.

    Bollocks. I listened to people like you and ended up with a pile of parts on the rug. I knew they went together but I didn't have the right screwdriver or sufficient hand strength or something.

    Badpoet's point about making sure the case is roomy to work in is a good way of avoiding my fate.
    You don't really need to be strong to put the parts together... I say this as a wussy little girl weighing just over 100 pounds. Sometimes you need to put your weight on a card to make it snap in properly, but that's about it.

    There's actually a surprising amount of skill in knowing which components you have to put your weight on, and which ones will snap like a twig if you do that. The OP will already know if he is the sort of person who knows that or not.

    But you don't. You should never have to actually lean on a component for it to fit. if you have to use more than a couple of fingers to press something in, there is a problem. Even installing cards into PCI-E slots shouldn't take more than a light pressure. RAM you just press in with one finger until the clips on the end click. It's pretty much a LEGO kit.

    Gaslight
  • redfield85redfield85 Registered User regular
    I'm not worried at all about building. @puffycow has built plenty of PCs and it very knowledgeable. Plus, even if he himself has a question, we have TONS of programmers/IT guys in our friend groups. No worries there.

    I'm sure this coming weekend we will finalize my exact specs and what to buy. I'll surely post what we decide on.

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  • puffycowpuffycow Registered User regular
    Damn right we are doing it this weekend. Mainly because I want to force you to buy all the games.

    FrankForum-1.jpg
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Want to avoid shitty cases?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139018

    There you go.

    You'll never have to be upset with a case again.

    Just make sure you have a standard phillips head screwdriver, I think size 0 or 1 should do fine there (which anyone should have for around the house stuff anyways).

    Other than that you may want to pick up some pliers in case you need to remove a standoff from the case if you've got a non-atx motherboard.

    Ladies.
    chrishallett83
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2013

    There's actually a surprising amount of skill in knowing which components you have to put your weight on, and which ones will snap like a twig if you do that. The OP will already know if he is the sort of person who knows that or not.

    But you don't. You should never have to actually lean on a component for it to fit. if you have to use more than a couple of fingers to press something in, there is a problem. Even installing cards into PCI-E slots shouldn't take more than a light pressure. RAM you just press in with one finger until the clips on the end click. It's pretty much a LEGO kit.

    This was a thing with virgin slots in the PCI era. Sometimes you needed 200 lbs of weight to get a card into the slot.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
    chrishallett83Essee
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Ha! PCI... May as well start reminiscing about AGP!

    bowen
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »

    There's actually a surprising amount of skill in knowing which components you have to put your weight on, and which ones will snap like a twig if you do that. The OP will already know if he is the sort of person who knows that or not.

    But you don't. You should never have to actually lean on a component for it to fit. if you have to use more than a couple of fingers to press something in, there is a problem. Even installing cards into PCI-E slots shouldn't take more than a light pressure. RAM you just press in with one finger until the clips on the end click. It's pretty much a LEGO kit.

    This was a thing with virgin slots in the PCI era. Sometimes you needed 200 lbs of weight to get a card into the slot.

    Nothing like that satisfying *crunch**snick* coupled with the abject fear you just snapped your mobo.

    bowenzerzhulEsseeSkeithzagdrob
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