Custom only wins these days in the high-end or as a hobby. For regular computers, buy a pre-built for the same price with one warranty contact point.
For starters, I currently work in IT and use to build my own boxes all the time. I haven't done one in awhile (>7 years) and it seems that the price advantages have narrowed a lot between building a decent barebones kit, and buying an OEM with Windows and a monitor included.
I want to build a new desktop, and it will mostly be for home/office use with the heaviest use being video encoding/streaming to my Xbox and some multimedia stuff. I probably won't game much on it, and if I do, I would just add a decent dedicated card at that point.
I found this deal at Costco on a Core i7 box w/ 8GB 1333 memory for $750, and it includes a 23" LED, Windows home premium, and a Wireless N card. The 1TB hard drive is even 7200rpm.
Looking at barebone kits, I can't seem to get close to that with an i7 build..only an i5 build, and even then adding Windows ($100) and a decent screen is as expensive.
The only sketchy part is it claims it's only a 300W PSU (not even sure how thats possible with an i7..) but they also have the exact same model with a 2GB Radeon 7570 and 16GB RAM so it apparently has enough power for a good dedicated GPU.
What do you guys think? If you could find me a better deal custom building..I'm all for it.
I don't like HP at all. If you think you would like it, buy it. Don't let a bunch of elitist PC snobs on the internet sway your opinion
Be aware that OEM's take some extreme shortcuts to bring the price down.
It depends on what you want to do with the PC .
If you plan to add a powerful graphics card, extra drives and fans... Then you will need to upgrade the power supply and these proprietary boards tend to hinder some upgrade options.(like a shortage of connections and slots , but.that is also true of normal budget motherboards)
But as is the 300 watt psu should be fine for the system even with an efficient discrete graphics card like an HD 7750.
The Dell XPS desktops are good deals for a more powerful but still affordable system with their 460 watt power supplies and decent case cooling.
Last edited by BRealistic; 08-15-2012 at 04:59 PM.
For what you want, any quad core computer will be just as good. You can get that size monitor all day long for less than $125. So look for the cheapest quad you can find with the same amount of ram and see how much they are. I would go with AMD as the new APU graphics are much much much better than the intel crap. Yes the CPU may not be quite as good as the i7, but wont hardly be noticeable for your usage.
Here is a Costco deal- Dell XPS 8500 with the same CPU as the HP, but with faster ram, a 2 TB hard drive, and an HD 7570 1 GB discrete graphics card (and that 460 watt power supply I mentioned before) and a free 23" monitor for $799.
(it also has more features/open slots)
Seems like a better deal to me. (shrug)
If the OP like HP- then the A-10 APU is a good deal as the on chip graphics has close to HD 7570 performance.
This has 10 GB ram (32 max). But you will have to buy monitor separately.
That was on sale for $499 a month ago.
But I don't think it had the 7200 rpm harddrive then.
They also have a similar A-8 system for $550.
Last edited by BRealistic; 08-15-2012 at 06:26 PM.
Also, this APU stuff..last time I checked the new Intel 3000/4000 IGP's were actually pretty good, and above and beyond any AMD IGP solution. Is this not true anymore? I'm new to the AMD "APU"..and also in disbelief that's its equivalent to a 2GB Radeon card??
should give you some idea how much better the 7660 is than the intel 4000 chips
Last edited by Egilbe; 08-15-2012 at 08:19 PM.
Will the CPU matter? Yes. Will it matter a whole lot? Depends on just how much video work you do. You say it could come in handy. That is not what I would say if I relied on video work as my meal ticket. I would say its the highest priority for my system. And yes, intel will blow away AMD with synthetic CPU performance. The real time difference is usually less drastic than the charts usually indicate. Intel Bar graph is half the size of the AMD one, but that difference is only 15 seconds if you look at the numbers. So, HUGE difference. AMD will be well rounded with the edge to graphics. Intel will be well rounded with edge to CPU. That is if you only use the CPU graphics processor. Once you add a discrete the AMD GPU advantage disappears and the intel is the clear choice if you have the budget.
Last edited by Power5; 08-15-2012 at 09:30 PM.
Thanks for all the advice everyone!
And the on chip AND graphics are excellent for normal use.
But if want to play new FPS games at better than the lowest settings, you will need a decent discrete card.