PC Died. Build or buy?

leedogg

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So after 6 or so years of faithful service my pc up and died yesterday powering itself off out of the blue, now it wont boot up without cycling through powering on and off...

So it looks like I'll need a new one.

I do some gaming, nothing crazy, but I would like to buy an optimal machine from a price/performance perspective with good upgradeability options.

I'm pondering just buying a system from Dell. Are they the best place to buy prebuilt? Any suggestions or recommendations on whether to build or places to buy? I'm coming from an AMD 2Ghz and I have like 6 hd's I'd like to port over.

I've been out of the HW scene so I'm not sure what a good rig to configure might be...
 

leedogg

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Damn, dell loves to bundle vista in there. Any compelling reason to use vista instead of xp?
 

Perris Calderon

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Damn, dell loves to bundle vista in there. Any compelling reason to use vista instead of xp?
ya, sazar is gonna spank him if he doesn't want vista

true...no, really, he will

but seriously, if he built his old system he has an xp license, he should just dual boot, vista will eventually be a great os and no reason not to get it on a machine
 
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leedogg

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Quad core worth getting over the dual core for about 300 more? What video card to get if I want to support 2 LCDs (do I need dual video cards or will one of the below suffice?)? Here's what I've configured so far:

Dell XPS 420 $1359
PROCESSORIntel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium
MEMORY2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
HARD DRIVE500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
OPTICAL DRIVESingle Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
MONITORSNo Monitor
VIDEO CARD128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO


Dell Inspiron 530 $1039
PROCESSORIntel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6550 (4MB L2 Cache,2.33GHz,1333 FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
MONITORNo Monitor
MEMORY2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs
HARD DRIVE320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
OPTICAL DRIVE16X DVD+/-RW Drive
VIDEO CARD256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT-DDR3


Any opinion on these?
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6750 (4MB L2 Cache,2.66GHz,1333 FSB
Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB + $50
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6850 (4MB L2 Cache,3.0GHz,1333 FSB $100
 
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Dark Atheist

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just tell em you want xp as the os - they still ship it
 

Aprox

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Quad core worth getting over the dual core for about 300 more? What video card to get if I want to support 2 LCDs (do I need dual video cards or will one of the below suffice?)? Here's what I've configured so far:

Dell XPS 420 $1359
PROCESSORIntel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium
MEMORY2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs
HARD DRIVE500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
OPTICAL DRIVESingle Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
MONITORSNo Monitor
VIDEO CARD128MB ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO


Dell Inspiron 530 $1039
PROCESSORIntel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6550 (4MB L2 Cache,2.33GHz,1333 FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows Vista® Home Premium
MONITORNo Monitor
MEMORY2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz- 2DIMMs
HARD DRIVE320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
OPTICAL DRIVE16X DVD+/-RW Drive
VIDEO CARD256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT-DDR3


Any opinion on these?
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6750 (4MB L2 Cache,2.66GHz,1333 FSB
Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.4GHz,1066FSB + $50
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6850 (4MB L2 Cache,3.0GHz,1333 FSB $100

I say build your own system, you will save money. The cost of a Q6600 and the 6850 are exactly the same on Newegg. $279.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115028

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

I really think you would be much happier if you built your own system, plus you would save money. I would suggest getting a 8800 GT video card, its an absolutely killer deal for the performance you get from it. You can find them in the mid to high $200's, but the price should drop some since they just came out.
 

leedogg

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in general how compatible are xp apps on Vista? I'd like to run age of empire games on it, as well as a few other small apps...
 

Perris Calderon

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in general how compatible are xp apps on Vista? I'd like to run age of empire games on it, as well as a few other small apps...
if you have an xp license just make sure you dual boot and you're gold

I believe dell will partition for you, I'm not sure they still do that but I think they do
 

leedogg

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Here's a quick newegg list I put together:

Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price 1 Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: P182
Item #: N82E16811129025
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$169.99 -$30.00 Instant $139.99

1 GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-P35-DS3L
Item #: N82E16813128059
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$93.99 $93.99

1 EVGA 512-P2-N775-AR GeForce 8600GTS Superclocked 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #: 512-P2-N775-AR
Item #: N82E16814130291
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$214.99 $214.99

1 Antec NeoPower 650 ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: NEOPOWER 650
Item #: N82E16817371011
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$154.99 -$20.00 Instant $134.99

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6750 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6750
Item #: N82E16819115029
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy
In Stock
$194.99 $194.99

1 G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
Item #: N82E16820231122
Return Policy: Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy
In Stock
$174.99 -$30.00 Instant $144.99

1 Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFDRTL 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - Retail
Model #: WD1500ADFDRTL
Item #: N82E16822136034
Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$239.99 $239.99

1 Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail
Model #: 70SB046A00000
Item #: N82E16829102005
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$145.99 $145.99

1 ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #: ACFZ7-PRO
Item #: N82E16835186134
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$34.99 -$10.00 Instant $24.99 Subtotal:$1,334.91


Dell Configuration:
PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6750 (4MB L2 Cache,2.66GHz,1333 FSB) edit
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition with re-installation CD edit
MEMORY 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs edit
HARD DRIVE 160GB - WD Raptor 10000RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache edit
OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability edit
MONITOR No Monitor edit
VIDEO CARD 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT edit
SOUND CARD Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeMusic (D) Sound Card edit


Subtotal:$1,559.00


Shipping and Handling:$0.00​


Sales Tax:$77.96​


Total:$1,636.96


After applying a $200 discount code

plus the code gives me another 200 gift card towards a future purchase @ dell.

factor in all the discounts, plus the shipping from newegg and the savings are minimal at best.
 
Last edited:

Aprox

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Fine, do what you want, but $300 is a lot of money in my book. I still think building it yourself is the better value. The money you are paying for an 8600 GT is to much, spend just a tad more and get WAY more performance from a 8800 GT. The PSU might be overkill for what you are building, you could save a bit there. The DDR2 Memory is overkill as well, you can get good memory for much cheaper than that, and unless you are planning on running 64bit, 4GB is a waste of money. The X-Fi is a waste of money, get the xtreme music version and be done with it. The "Gamer" edition adds nothing that will make a difference in your life. Oh, and did you factor in the Mail In Rebates some of those products have? There are some major savings to be had there as well, the case alone as $30 rebate, I counted $45 total.
 
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Sazar

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And don't forget you get a warranty Leedog :cool:

Plus that cool little screen on the top of the chassis :D

Additionally, not sure if you have a Dell Preferred Account but they can sometimes have a 2% off thing with it, if you want to ask the sales rep.

Or, buy through the Employee Purchase Program and get between 2-12% off additionally.

www.dell.com/eppbuy

Select one of the orgs that most closely matches where you work at.
 

epk

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mm.. i think aprox suggestions make a lot of sense....


but... get the new xfi xtremegamer... check the specs here
its the 2nd gen of xfi, and replaces the xtreme music
 

lancer

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Leedog i would swap out the 8600 for the 8800 and get rid of the sound card, most motherboards come with good onboard sound these days.

this is one i spec'ed out for a media machine at work. it came to $1148.42

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Shopping CartQty.Product DescriptionSavingsTotal Price1
$33.99
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-05 - OEM Item #: N82E16827106073 Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$129.99 1

Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail Item #: N82E16811129154 Return Policy: Standard Return Policy -$10.00 Instant

$119.99 1

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM Item #: N82E16822144701 Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $14.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $19.99
$69.99 1

EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS Superclocked 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail Item #: N82E16814130038 Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $39.991 Year Service Net 1 Peripheral Extended Plan -- $39.992 Year Service Net 1 Peripheral Extended Plan -- $49.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $59.993 Year Service Net 1 Peripheral Extended Plan -- $59.99 $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$294.99 1

HIPER HPU-4B580-MS ATX12V v2.2 580W Power Supply - Retail Item #: N82E16817128001 Return Policy: Standard Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $14.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $19.99
$99.99 1

G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5S-2GBPQ - Retail Item #: N82E16820231121 Return Policy: Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $14.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $19.99
$69.99 1

ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail Item #: N82E16813131025 Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $29.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $39.99
$179.99 1

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail Item #: N82E16819115017 Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy Select An Optional Extended Warranty Plan 1 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $39.992 Year Service Net Replacement Plan -- $59.99
$279.99

Subtotal:$1,148.92
 
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Aprox

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And don't forget you get a warranty Leedog :cool:

Plus that cool little screen on the top of the chassis :D

Additionally, not sure if you have a Dell Preferred Account but they can sometimes have a 2% off thing with it, if you want to ask the sales rep.

Or, buy through the Employee Purchase Program and get between 2-12% off additionally.

www.dell.com/eppbuy

Select one of the orgs that most closely matches where you work at.

I honestly don't think a warranty is worth paying more for a computer for. All the products you buy through Newegg have warranty's, most for three years or so. Not only would have to have to pay more for the base system, but then pay more to get the warranty if he went with Dell. I know you have an... interest :D in pushing Dell, but lets be honest the better value is to build a system.

Lancer, good suggestions except for the video card. The 8800 GT is the only card he should be considering at this point. In its price bracket it is unbeatable. It performs better than the 8800 GTS 640MB, and almost as good as the GTX, its 65nm so it runs cool and uses a lot less power than the other 8 series cards. The HD I'm a bit skeptical on, the 150GB raptor he posted before is an awesome HD... but with newer 7200 RPM perpendicular drives its a toss up. Might want to do some research on that one to determine if its worth it.
 

lancer

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to be honest that was just a list of products i put together for a machine at work, but it seemed to fit his purposes, and you are correct regarding the 8800gt, it is better, i was a little slap-dash.

for a quick machine the raptor is a better choice, but really only to house the os on, i would get a regular 7500rpm sata drive to stor programs and games etc...

I also agree regarding the dell, unless you are buying a laptop or a budget computer, a premap machine is NEVER EVER worth it and this is true for the dell.

All parts come with a warrenty, and as aprox explains some are even 3 yrs at no extra cost to you.

So at the end of the day it is a lot cheaper, and generally a better product choice to go with building your own machine, not to mention more fun.

to be honest i thought perris was being sarcastic with the dell stuff, forgot he worked there. :)
 

LeeJend

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Answering your VISTA apps question-

1) You will find much of your existing software is incompatible with VISTA unless you bought an upgrade in the last 9 months or it is freeware. (Perfect Disk, Nero, Office 2000, are just a few from my bookshelf that will not work, ever. That is $650 in software I need to replace if I go VISTA.)

2) Warrantee... Not worth the paper they are written on unless they offer in home service. If you mail a part out it will be 3-12 weeks before your PC is working again. Not acceptable. Last I heard Dell was still offering in home but I think it is extra $$$ to extend it to 3 years.

3) Get the DAMN 8800 GT! It is the only great choice out there and besides, we all want to hear from someone who actually has one in hand and is running it. ;)

4) Do not assume you will be able to dual boot VISTA and XP on an OEM machine if you don't like VISTA or it is keeping you from running something critical. The OEMs are not offering the latest hardware drivers for VISTA and XP on VISTA machines. You may end up with limitations. If you build your own you can be sure of VISTA and XP compatibility.

5) HD's, 6, ... Most new machines (especially OEM) will only support 2 IDE and 4 or more SATA so if you have Optical and multiple IDE HDs then you will have to build your own or add an IDE expansion card (2-4 additional IDE slots for $30). Watch the MB's closely for number of IDE connections!!!

6) Pricing - Dell will offer rock bottom pricing on low end machines but expect to pay extra for a performance machine. That is how they make there money - give away the Barbie dolls and charge a fortune for the dresses. For a decent gaming machine price will be the same or lower if you reuse your XP liscence, case, mouse, kybd, etc and build your own. You will get a decent monitor bundled in with the Dell system.

It's a tough call but I would build my own knowing what I know now, even if it costs a little extra. Control of the subcomponents is crucial to having a long life computer, which with 6 years on your old machine, is what you're into.

7) CPU/MB choice - AMD is limping along and making too many socket changes for my taste, but they are offering about $100 cheaper for similar performance between the MB and CPU prices. The good news is a mid-range CPU/MB will run everything great.

8) Memory - :) DDR2 is dirt cheap and dropping. I've seen 2 Gig of good memory for $50 after rebates.

9) Sound cards - why waste your money unless you are an audiophile.

Good Luck.

PS Why not just fix the old one? It's either the MB ($50) or the PSU ($50).
 
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zeke_mo

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Leejand, perfectdisk works in vista now, has for awhile
 
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X-Istence

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There are also IDE to SATA convertors that you plug in the back of the IDE drive, from there you can plug it into a SATA. Works EXTREMELY well. It has even given me a speed improvement on the drives, with regards to read/write speeds.
 

leedogg

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Thanks for the feedback guys! Most useful indeed. I will be getting the 8800 GT no worries, I only selected the 8600 above because newegg was on backorder for their 8800's and this was a close approximate in price.

I forgot I actually had a (pci?) expansion card for the additional HD support on my old pc. I may try to bring that over.

I may attempt to get the broken pc up and working one day, but it's fairly old and long overdue for an overhaul. Think the mobo died...it partially loaded up once with bios errors.. Actually, I believe building it in the first place was what first led me to this forum...so its about 7 yrs old. It's also been 5 yrs or so without reinstalling the OS even. Anyways I'm definitely stretching it's limits when I have multiple applications + multitabbed browser + AV, etc running...
 

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