Buying a premade gaming machine

stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
I have been wanting to upgrade for a long time and due to an unexpected financial blessing I can, could I get an opinion on how badly I am getting screwed financially to buy something like this? https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/gaming-and-games/alienware-aurora-r11-gaming-desktop/spd/alienware-aurora-r11-desktop/wdaurr1130s?configurationid=c7555e8f-5e22-4fa6-8d2d-1f351cf507f9

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    That's a pretty mediocre spec for 2200 bucks.

    Looks like about a 40% brand name tax to me.

    BigityJaysonFour
  • stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
    edited May 18
    Any recommendations on pre-builds that will screw me less?

    stopgap on
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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    If you go for iBuyPower, give it a thorough look over when you receive it. Their retail systems have a bad habit of coming with unseated (or missing!) video cards, the wrong RAM installed, case fans not plugged in... Their quality control is pretty bad.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    NZXT BLD systems are good as well.

    https://www.letsbld.com/

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited May 18
    V1m wrote: »
    That's a pretty mediocre spec for 2200 bucks.

    Looks like about a 40% brand name tax to me.

    So is iBuyPower also massively overpriced?

    Because it looks liketsmvengy kitted out the same specs (or close to it) and it's like 10-15% cheaper (1,850 rather than 2,128).

    Yeah there's a markup for sure, but 40% is a hell of a claim.

    Unless you're comparing to someone building their own, and when talking about a several thousand dollar purchase (especially after shipping) for what may be a primary entertainment system for several years to come, personally I don't mind admitting to being willing to cough up a couple hundred bucks to have professionals build it for me, and at least a year of baked in customer service support.

    And I'd pay an extra couple of percentage points to avoid the QC issues Shadowfire mentions, narrowing that range even further.

    Edit: usual caveats; yes yes, building ones own system is the way and the light, all the pre-builds are over-priced or have some major bottleneck, etc etc, such as is usually the refrain when the topic comes up here in the tavern.

    Forar on
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  • stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
    For me the issue is time and safety, I have built my own systems for years, however they have always been Frankenstein's and I have younger children and can just imagine assembling a system with their "help".

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    stopgap wrote: »
    For me the issue is time and safety, I have built my own systems for years, however they have always been Frankenstein's and I have younger children and can just imagine assembling a system with their "help".

    If you're familiar with how to build but just want to go prebuilt, then I think you would be OK with iBuyPower given Shadowfire's caveats about checking things over when you get it. I have not used them personally, but I have seen others recommend them as a more affordable choice. Given your experience you should be able to give it a once-over and make sure you got the right parts and that everything is plugged in properly.

    Alienware is just plain overpriced though.

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    jungleroomx
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    You are always get hoses to some degree. I think premades were only worth it back in 2018 when the stupid bitcoin surge jacked up the prices of video cards.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx antifa anti american nazi socialist terrorist fascist alien warmonger Registered User regular
    The other thing with ibuypower is you're getting support for 5 years for labor and 3 for parts, which isn't too shabby.

    Yes, there's a "brand name tax", but it's not like they're Snidley Whiplashing away with old timey money sacks with dollar signs on the front of them.

    Make. Time.
    tsmvengyShadowfire3clipseBigity
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    The other thing with ibuypower is you're getting support for 5 years for labor and 3 for parts, which isn't too shabby.

    Yes, there's a "brand name tax", but it's not like they're Snidley Whiplashing away with old timey money sacks with dollar signs on the front of them.

    Agreed, this is exactly what you are paying for when you buy a prebuilt - not just the labor of putting it together but also the benefit of having one entity to go to when something goes wrong.

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    3clipseGnomeTankForarAngelHedgieFiatil
  • stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
    edited May 20
  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    I'm still using a CPU from 2012 and it's fine. I'd say going with the 9th gen is probably fine if there is a cost savings and you don't need the latest and greatest.

    I'd keep on eye on deal sites like Slickdeals or Fatwallet for desktop sales if you're going with Dell. There seems to be a deal right now that is similar to what you are looking at: Slickdeal Alienware Aurora R9

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
    Frem
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 20
    As someone who builds his own PC's, to a pretty exacting standard, I've never really understood the prebuilt hate. A normal build for me takes weeks to order, a day or more to fully test, assemble, do cable routing, install Windows, etc. Plus a week or two of fiddly bits to make sure all the parts I've picked work in harmony with drivers, et al. Assuming a pre-built shop has a better assembly line and parts pipeline than me you're still looking at probably a work day of human labor for most systems.

    If I didn't love the process, if it wasn't a hobby, I would pay someone else to do it. Time is money. Especially when you have multiple young kids. Tag on to that things like total warranties with parts/labor and the hate becomes even more strange.

    Don't overpay (Alienware is a way overpriced), but don't avoid a pre-built if it fits your lifestyle and time budget.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx antifa anti american nazi socialist terrorist fascist alien warmonger Registered User regular
    edited May 20
    stopgap wrote: »

    About 150 watts.

    Oh you mean performance?

    Not 150 watts worth. Get a 9th gen.

    jungleroomx on
    Make. Time.
    Bigity3clipse
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I got a prebuilt system from NCIX US (before they went bankrupt, sadly)--for $40 charge for a neat, clean professional-grade job (it was not a complicated setup), that included testing the hardware and installing the OS. And that's with NCIX's own price-matching scheme from back then.

    I'd pay $40 just to make sure there were no duds in the hardware I ordered, much less all the other labor and experienced cable management.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    As someone who builds his own PC's, to a pretty exacting standard, I've never really understood the prebuilt hate. A normal build for me takes weeks to order, a day or more to fully test, assemble, do cable routing, install Windows, etc. Plus a week or two of fiddly bits to make sure all the parts I've picked work in harmony with drivers, et al. Assuming a pre-built shop has a better assembly line and parts pipeline than me you're still looking at probably a work day of human labor for most systems.

    If I didn't love the process, if it wasn't a hobby, I would pay someone else to do it. Time is money. Especially when you have multiple young kids. Tag on to that things like total warranties with parts/labor and the hate becomes even more strange.

    Don't overpay (Alienware is a way overpriced), but don't avoid a pre-built if it fits your lifestyle and time budget.

    If you followed my adventures in the build thread, yeah, I don't get the hate either. For reference, we finally got the parts for my wife and I's new computers Monday. I got them built and couldn't get her's to boot. No trouble code, no post code, no lights. Swapping parts between them for a couple hours of testing led me to believe we had a DOA motherboard. Cut to me RMAing the board and getting another one sent our way.

    Next morning after the thing gnawing on me all night, I decide to pull the power switch plug from her motherboard and bridge the pins with a screwdriver. Fires right up. Turns out the case had a bad power button. Easy fix, all set.

    A couple hours later she notices that overwatch is running like dogshit. It's only a couple minutes before it just starts running like garbage. Cue us going through all these troubleshooting steps, updating motherboard drivers, trying obscure settings. Nothing. Then I finally realized that I had, in my angry slamming of parts back and forth, managed to get wires pressed against the video cards of both computers, seizing the fans up. A couple zip ties later and we were rocking and rolling.

    So yeah. No hate towards prebuilts.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    GnomeTank
  • stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
    I really like the process of building your own, not willing to try it with a very smart/dumb 3 year old.

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    Frem
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited May 21
    Honestly, building computers can be a fun thing to do with your kids. I won't expound too much here, but it's a fantastic learning experience for both of you.

    One thing to note for future prebuilts: thanks to NVMe drives, most new builds have minimal cabling anymore. All the important parts now reside on the motherboard itself. If you don't have a secondary SSD or a DVD drive, the only cables not from the PSU are from the front panel of the case. (Ok, and case fans)

    This means the assembly process is even more streamlined/simpler.

    Mugsley on
    ShadowfireElvenshae
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Also cases have really smart cuts made in the frame now to run cabling behind the case and out of sight. Mine has an enclosed case on the bottom that holds the power supply and hard drives, and the tempered glass starts just above it so you don't see the mess of cabling that's coiled up below.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx antifa anti american nazi socialist terrorist fascist alien warmonger Registered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    Honestly, building computers can be a fun thing to do with your kids. I won't expound too much here, but it's a fantastic learning experience for both of you.

    One thing to note for future prebuilts: thanks to NVMe drives, most new builds have minimal cabling anymore. All the important parts now reside on the motherboard itself. If you don't have a secondary SSD or a DVD drive, the only cables not from the PSU are from the front panel of the case. (Ok, and case fans)

    This means the assembly process is even more streamlined/simpler.

    I find it funny we've gone full circle.

    In the late 70's/early 80's, everything was plugged directly into the motherboard/expansion bays/daughterboard sockets, or just built directly in to the system board. Then we progressively got more cabled/modular in the 90's and in the early 2000's, you'd have all your bays full and a fucking TON of device cables.

    Having all the PCI-e slots full (and having some stupid novelty 5.25" thing that barely worked) was considered high tier rig building.

    Make. Time.
  • TelMarineTelMarine Registered User regular
    Haven't looked at them since the early 2000s, but I remember Falcon Northwest having nice (but expensive) machines:

    https://www.falcon-nw.com/

    3ds: 4983-4935-4575
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx antifa anti american nazi socialist terrorist fascist alien warmonger Registered User regular
    TelMarine wrote: »
    Haven't looked at them since the early 2000s, but I remember Falcon Northwest having nice (but expensive) machines:

    https://www.falcon-nw.com/

    o4250m31a2gp.png

    Make. Time.
    MugsleytsmvengyShadowfireCarpyElvenshaeBobble
  • stopgapstopgap Registered User regular
    TelMarine wrote: »
    Haven't looked at them since the early 2000s, but I remember Falcon Northwest having nice (but expensive) machines:

    https://www.falcon-nw.com/

    o4250m31a2gp.png

    Just a tad out of my budget!

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    jungleroomxBigityElvenshae
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Okay so that is definitely not an efficient spend of $$ to save time on building it.

    jungleroomxchrishallett83NaphtaliShadowfireBlackDragon480ElvenshaeTrajan45Inquisitor77JaysonFourBobble
  • BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    I've been happy with what I got from Digital Storm if you're still shopping around.

    Aridhol
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Also cases have really smart cuts made in the frame now to run cabling behind the case and out of sight. Mine has an enclosed case on the bottom that holds the power supply and hard drives, and the tempered glass starts just above it so you don't see the mess of cabling that's coiled up below.

    Seasonic has begun to make power supplies with a backplane modular power connector (a long strip that goes on the back of the computer where the power cables connect) that makes cabling even cleaner.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    Shadowfire3clipseAridholchrishallett83
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Also cases have really smart cuts made in the frame now to run cabling behind the case and out of sight. Mine has an enclosed case on the bottom that holds the power supply and hard drives, and the tempered glass starts just above it so you don't see the mess of cabling that's coiled up below.

    Seasonic has begun to make power supplies with a backplane modular power connector (a long strip that goes on the back of the computer where the power cables connect) that makes cabling even cleaner.

    If I had the money for the cost they incur I'd have considered it, they're very slick. But any modular power supply should do the trick since you can just not plug in the cables you don't need.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 28
    I might as well ask: not that iBuyPower doesn't offer a lot of options, but are there any online retailers who do offer a service for basic assembly like NCIX did? I was hoping iBuyPower would offer something using Fractal Design, as their choices in cases are kind of...eh, not my thing.

    Being able to specify your case, your motherboard, and your CPU was really nice.

    Not that I'm in a rush. I still need to replace my old LG UHD monitor before I even think of a new desktop.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

    I'm pretty sure NewEgg doesn't, because they could make a killing if they did.

    I think I've heard that Microcenter does that, but only at the physical locations, and the nearest one is in Marietta. I had no idea about Geek Squad, but it comes to a similar limitation (even though there is a Geek Squad in my area), since their selection would be limited (maybe they let you bring parts in)? As I noted previously, the biggest benefit was making the retailer check the parts as working, and if they weren't, they'd find a replacement (like NCIX would).

    Ideally, you could get the best of both worlds: the selection range of a major retailer, and then pay a fee for them to test and assemble (or even just test) like NCIX, but I guess that's not a service you can find anymore. iBuyPower and CyberPower work sort of like Dell, but with a wider selection of customizable parts for a build. It's better than nothing though, and at least they would test it.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • redundant_pairingredundant_pairing Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

    I'm pretty sure NewEgg doesn't, because they could make a killing if they did.

    I think I've heard that Microcenter does that, but only at the physical locations, and the nearest one is in Marietta. I had no idea about Geek Squad, but it comes to a similar limitation (even though there is a Geek Squad in my area), since their selection would be limited (maybe they let you bring parts in)? As I noted previously, the biggest benefit was making the retailer check the parts as working, and if they weren't, they'd find a replacement (like NCIX would).

    Ideally, you could get the best of both worlds: the selection range of a major retailer, and then pay a fee for them to test and assemble (or even just test) like NCIX, but I guess that's not a service you can find anymore. iBuyPower and CyberPower work sort of like Dell, but with a wider selection of customizable parts for a build. It's better than nothing though, and at least they would test it.

    NZXT, maker of computer parts, will build you a computer. https://www.letsbld.com/ with a fair amoutn of restrictions.

    Those services aren't really around because certain mixes of parts do not work, so the vendors that will do it want to stick with a smaller amount of validated parts.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 31
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

    I'm pretty sure NewEgg doesn't, because they could make a killing if they did.

    I think I've heard that Microcenter does that, but only at the physical locations, and the nearest one is in Marietta. I had no idea about Geek Squad, but it comes to a similar limitation (even though there is a Geek Squad in my area), since their selection would be limited (maybe they let you bring parts in)? As I noted previously, the biggest benefit was making the retailer check the parts as working, and if they weren't, they'd find a replacement (like NCIX would).

    Ideally, you could get the best of both worlds: the selection range of a major retailer, and then pay a fee for them to test and assemble (or even just test) like NCIX, but I guess that's not a service you can find anymore. iBuyPower and CyberPower work sort of like Dell, but with a wider selection of customizable parts for a build. It's better than nothing though, and at least they would test it.

    NZXT, maker of computer parts, will build you a computer. https://www.letsbld.com/ with a fair amoutn of restrictions.

    Those services aren't really around because certain mixes of parts do not work, so the vendors that will do it want to stick with a smaller amount of validated parts.

    NCIX basically checked that your motherboard fit into the case, your CPU and RAM fit into the motherboard, and everything beyond that abided by standards. But they're not around anymore. Their selection was smaller than NewEgg's though, but you could still check from a couple dozen case models they had available from different manufacturers.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

    Geek Squad is pretty dependent on the location. As a company we don't do custom builds because of the liability implied in them. But some precincts will do it anyway. Worth a call, depending on whether yours is even open right now.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm nearly certain that Microcenter at least used to offer that service. I'd guess Geek Squad could do it too. The other place that could potentially do it would be Newegg but I haven't checked.

    Geek Squad is pretty dependent on the location. As a company we don't do custom builds because of the liability implied in them. But some precincts will do it anyway. Worth a call, depending on whether yours is even open right now.

    If I didn't kind of hate my local Best Buy I'd consider it. The Geek Squad guys were pretty nice though.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2
    If you have a membership to Costco, they also sell gaming computers from places like iBuyPower and CyberPowerPC. Something to consider.

    Edit:
    Thanks to this stupid thread I bought this: https://www.costco.com/ibuypower-tra1348gv2-gaming-desktop---9th-gen-intel-core-i7-9700k---geforce-rtx-2080-super.product.100507739.html

    $1,600 for an i7-9700k + GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER is too good to pass up given current conditions (and the fact that my current PC is now 2+ years old).

    Stupid thread. I hate you all.

    Inquisitor77 on
    SynthesisMugsleyElvenshaeFiatilkime
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Yeah, from what I know about the RTX 2080 Super's price points, that's actually...potentially a really, really good deal. It might still be if they didn't even put it together.

    My mother has a Costco membership, and that seems to be literally the only RTX 2080 they're offering, but still...I just bought a new BenQ EW3280U to replacing my aging LG UHD monitor.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    Inquisitor77
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    (and the fact that my current PC is now 2+ years old).

    :sad:

    KetarJimboTofystedethBobble
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Yeah, I've got an Asus Z97-A that's about three times that age.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    BahamutZERO
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