In need of opinions for PC purchase

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FluxWaveZ

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#1  Edited By FluxWaveZ

I'm already pretty much set on purchasing this desktop from Newegg.ca, but a few comments on it wouldn't hurt. Is it a good price for what I would be getting with it? Specs are: 
 
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 
Graphic Card: Radeon HD 5570 
Memory: 4GB DDR3 
Hard Drive: 1TB 
Price: ~$500 (including shipping)
 
Second thing: I'd also need a wireless adapter for it as an Ethernet cable is not an option so is this one (again from Newegg.ca) a good one? I'm extremely ignorant when it comes to all of this... Here are a few points just for context: 
 

  • I've never owned a PC of my own.
  • Those I've used have never been good for gaming at all.
  • I've mostly ignored the option of buying separate parts and assembling a DIY desktop as I've never done so before and I didn't even know what CPU or RAM were before today.
  • My budget's around $500.
  • I'd like to play most of the games on the market.
  • I also just found out what "Overclocking" meant. Um, not sure if I'll be doing any of that (if I could, that is).
Thanks in advance.
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FluxWaveZ

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#2  Edited By FluxWaveZ

Aw, no one's got any advice or anything? Oh well, I think I'll do fine with buying that PC anyways. Given its specs, it should be able to run most games well.

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McGhee

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#3  Edited By McGhee

I don't know about iBuyPower, but NEVER buy from CyberPowerPC. Their PCs are shoddily put together and their costumer "service" is the worst I've ever seen. They will straight-up rip you off if they can.

My experience has been that if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

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FluxWaveZ

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#4  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@McGhee_the_Insomniac: Noted. I'm not yet aware of the MSRP on different PC components, but "I f the price is too good to be true, it probably is" is always a good way of thinking to adopt.
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aveonx

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#5  Edited By aveonx

Hi ! Since i bought my new computer from newegg.ca today (!! for real !!), I wanted to share my thoughts about the build you're currently considering :) That said, that build offers good value. Windows 7 64 bits is a must have, 1tb Hard drive offers plenty of space for all of your files and the processor and the amount of ram will be enough to run today's and past games on the market. 4gb of ram is in my opinion more than enough to run all your applications at once and this quad-core processor can easily handle it. For the graphics card, it really depends on what games your planning to run and on what resolution. How big is your screen ? Is it full HD ? This card will run most games on medium settings, and some more carnivorus games at a bit lower settings. You wont be able to max out Crysis for sure, but for that price range you wont find a really better card for gaming. In the case that, in the future, you find yourself more into gaming than you expected, there is alway's the option to buy better graphics card from time to time and to upgrade your system. Since your not really in DIYs, I'd say this computer is a pretty good bang for your buck. Talking about the wireless adapter that youre interested in, it is indeed a really good one, from a trusty brand. The only thing I could say is that you can find cheaper ones in stores ( bought one for friends for 17$ in a small clearance store near were I live). So you do as you wish, but again, you should have no problem wathsoever with this adapter from linksys ! If you want more informations, explanations or if you have other questions that remain unanswered, feel free to ask !

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Kidavenger

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#6  Edited By Kidavenger

You aren't going to find anything better at that budget, but that is barely a gaming computer; you'd be much better served waiting until you can manage a bit more for your budget. Another $200 will make a huge difference in the quality of games you will be able to run, and how long the system will last you.

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aveonx

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#7  Edited By aveonx

@Kidavenger Agreed !

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FluxWaveZ

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#8  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@aveonx: Wow, thanks a lot for the info! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I'll probably look for a cheaper adapter elsewhere before buying the one I linked.
 
@Kidavenger: Thing is, I'm not sure if I'm ready to invest so much into PC gaming just yet as I've been fine with my consoles and it'd really only be for a few exclusives like StarCraft II or Diablo 3. Plus, I need a PC asap for other reasons than gaming so I can't really wait. 
 
How easy is it to build a PC? I was under the impression that building one is much cheaper than buying a pre-built one... Investing more into this is tempting.
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FluxWaveZ

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#9  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@aveonx: Oh, my monitor is a 23" ASUS HD monitor, to answer your question.
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aveonx

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#10  Edited By aveonx

well that means your resolution is likely to be 1920x1080, wich is full hd 1080p. You wont be able to run games at that resolution with decent fps, but you'll be able to run them at 1360x768, at medium settings with AA off, so you'll get a decent gaming experience ! I just want to warn that you'll have less and less chances to run new games as they come out, but you're surely aware of that, since it is the fate of every pc build ;)

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Origina1Penguin

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#11  Edited By Origina1Penguin

You've been around here for a while, so I'm sure you know about Tested. The forum users there were helpful when I was in the market and the Will & Norm PC-building videos gave me a little more confidence before I assembled mine. It's really not hard to build. Everything has been made standardized and simplified. It's still very unnerving during the process though. The worst part was the CPU fan, but once I got past that it was a breeze.

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shadystx

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#12  Edited By shadystx

Should be fine for most games. 
 
You wont be able to max high end games out like the witcher 2 but you should be able to play allot of the newer games at high settings on 1280x720 and even some at 1080p.
 
My pc is a few years old now and I am getting ready to build a new one at the end of the year. 
 
My current PC i built a couple of years ago still plays most games on max settings at 1080p, some games i have to either go down to 1360x768 or 720p and games like the witcher 2 i have to tone down several settings to get a good frame rate. 
 
Intel quad core at 3gGHz 
2x 8800GT OC 
4GB gskill DDR3, recent upgrade as my mobo died so i went from ddr2 to ddr3. 
asus mobo P5QL,  
2x 500gb seagate barracuda 
 coolermaster haf 
hiper type r psu
My high end mobo died and i had to replace it with a cheaper on as i was short on cash but it allowed me to upgrade to ddr3, i built  the intial desktop 2-3 years ago and it has served me well and did not cost very much, the gpu was £180 at launch but i got a 2nd one for £80, i forget what i paid for the cpu but i recently bought a new chassis and I love the coolermaster HAF, I shall be keeping it for my next build later this year. 
  
i have recently been playing deus ex on max at 1080p getting between 45-60fps, mass effect 2 maxed out at 1080p getting 40fps, dirt 3 mainly maxed getting 60fps i turn 1-2 things down to get 60fps, the only games i really have to turn down is crysis to high but that game is not very well optimized, I get better performance from crysis warhead and crysis 2 on high, the withcer I have to tone down and numerous settings but mainly high getting 30fps. 
 
So i would assume you should do ok as the set up is not a million miles away from mine, quad core with 4gb of ram, 1gb gpu memory so do you well if your not looking to run everything at max on very high resolution, and $500 seems like a good price.

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FluxWaveZ

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#13  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@Origina1Penguin: The prospect of buying individual parts and having to put them all together myself without having something like a full warranty scares me, but as long as I don't need to solder anything it might be okay... Thanks for recommending those videos, I think they'll help a lot. I'll make sure to visit the Tested forums if I've got any questions when putting stuff together. 
 
@shadystx: There's so much complicated lingo I've gotta learn that's associated with PCs. I just now learned what "mobo" meant, heh. It's reassuring to know that the desktop I was thinking of buying wouldn't be terrible. 
 
I'm glad I made this thread before buying. I think it's convinced me to up my budget from $500 to $1k and to build it myself.
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aveonx

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#14  Edited By aveonx

 it's convinced me to up my budget from $500 to $1k and to build it myself.


 
Well. I can share with you the parts that I bought for my build :D 
 
Lian li Lancool PC-K62 Case.      
Has good airflow, tool-less design, blue led fans, a huge window on the side and plenty of room. Around 105$ 
  
Asus M5A97 EVO AM3+ Motherboard 
Has USB 3.0, Sata 6gb/s and all of the features you need (UEFI Bios, Lots of USB etc).   Around 120$  
 
Corsair Vengeance 4gb DDR3 RAM stick x2   
DDR3, reliable brand and good looking too. Around 30$/stick 
 
Corsair Gaming Series GS600 600W power supply 
More than enough energy to run my whole build, blue led fan wich looks good in my case, Certified 80+ (energy efficiency), 2 6pin SATA connectors for graphics card that demand alot of juice !    Around 90$, and they currently have a 10$ mail-in rebate. 
 
Seagate Barracuda 1tb Hard Drive 7200rpm 
Plenty of space, good brand and cheaper than Western Digital. You'll really need a 7200rpm drive to put an Operating System on, not those ''green'' ones (cheaper, put slower... 5900rpm or so). Around 65$ 
 
Amd Phenom 2 x6 1090t CPU @3.2 Ghz (six-core) 
Will run anything I'll throw at it, cheaper than Intel, good overclocking possibilities even if I'm not much into overclocking for now. The 20-30$ more that you would spend on it's big brother the 1100t is not worth it, unless you're VERY into OC'ing. 
 
 
I bought my graphics card from Tigerdirect.ca because it came with a Free copy of Deus-Ex Human Revolution and Shogun 2 Total War. (These Coupons were out of stock on newegg.ca) 
 
XFX Radeon HD 6870 1Gb DDR5 graphics card with Eyefinity (for more than one monitor) 
Can run any recent games at high-highest settings. I'd definitely spend the extra to get a 6950 or 6970 since their performances are higher, but since I had to purchase a new monitor too, I went with this one but it's really up to you. Around 190$ with some free game coupons and a 30$ mail-in rebate. 
 
I also finally bought some cheap keyboard and mouse from Gigabyte (15$ each) until I get more money to spend for these electronics. 
 
You should look around, I saw a really good guide on buying DIY pc's on Giant Bomb PC's forum that gave good building ideas on parts depending on the price range. I'll try to find the link ;) 
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FluxWaveZ

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#15  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@aveonx: I took your build into consideration when making a list of my potential, final build, so thanks for that. Here it is: 

Build:

CategoryPartPrice
 Processor Intel Core i5 2500K $220
 Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-P67A $110
 Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) $55
 Video Card Radeon HD 6950 1GB $240
 Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM$65 
 Optical Drive ASUS DRW-24B1ST (OEM) $19
 Case COOLER MASTER HAF 912 $70
 Power Supply CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W $100
 Total  $879

Accessories

CategoryPartPrice
 OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM) $110
 MouseGIGABYTE GM-M6800 $17
 KeyboardMicrosoft ANB-00001 $17
 Wireless AdapterLinksys AE1000-CA $38
 Total  $182
About $1100 in total. I made a thread over at Tested so I'm interested in seeing if anyone there will suggest modifications.
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aveonx

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#16  Edited By aveonx

Maybe you'll want to consider a more gaming-oriented mouse ? Take a look at the Gigabyte M6800, its 17$ ;) I went with crosair for the memory but G-Skill has good reviews too so go for it ! I'm dont really know Rosewill, but I know it's cheap and I suspect that it is owned by newegg. I bought an external Dvd burner for my girlfriend and never had problems. I think it should be good. For the keyboard, my only advice would be to continue looking around, there are lots of cheap keyboards out there, each one with it's own pluses and flaws. Last thing I would add is that you might want to consider the Radeon HD 6950 from XFX since it offers (double, I think) lifetime warranty and has a 30$ mail-in rebate. Also, yo could look on the Nvidia's side and explore all the possibilities. Even if it's less cheap (30-40$ more if I'm right), it offers good value. For equal performance than the 6950, you should take a look at the Gtx 560 ti, or eben the 570 if you wanna spend the extra. The Gtx 580 is the best, but the high cost makes it less accessible. Good luck !

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FluxWaveZ

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#17  Edited By FluxWaveZ
@aveonx: That mouse you recommended seems way better than the mouse I had chosen before and it's just $1 more, so thanks. I also decided to get another keyboard, which I think will suit me just fine. 
 
I think I'll stick with the GPU I've already chosen. According to this site, at least, the GTX 560ti performs a bit less than the Radeon HD 6950 and the GTX 570 is too expensive for my taste. Again, thanks for the help. I'll be buying the parts today, most probably.
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aveonx

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#18  Edited By aveonx

So. Are you happy with your new build ?

Mine is awesome !

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FluxWaveZ

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#19  Edited By FluxWaveZ

@aveonx said:

So. Are you happy with your new build ?

Mine is awesome !

I'm very happy with it. I made a couple of final modifications to my parts:

CategoryPart
ProcessorIntel Core i5 2500K
MotherboardASUS P8P67 LE
MemoryG.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)
Video CardRadeon HD 6950 1GB
StorageSeagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM
Optical DriveASUS DRW-24B1ST (OEM)
CaseAntec Nine Hundred
Power SupplyCORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W

I'm not perfectly satisfied with the keyboard I ended up getting (a Microsoft Chiclet keyboard), but I'm happy with how everything turned out. It took me 7.5 hours to build the PC (because I deliberately took my time and read every single document that came with my components), but it booted on my first try and that was awesome. Nice experience overall.

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Eurobum

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#20  Edited By Eurobum

AMD is set to possibly release their 35nm "Bulldozer" CPU (with no integrated graphics) next month (Q4,2011 officially), they will cost around 200 bucks and compete with core i7.So it is a very exciting time and I wouldn't jump the gun on your purchase just yet.

Also an SSD will dramatically increase boot up and loading times. It's worth looking into, (These things increase random access times 100x fold).

If you decide to roll with an intel CPU, SSD caching is a nice solution if you don't want the hassle of having two drives, but this feature is only available on Z68 chipset mainboards, it also requires a small SSD to go along.

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