Need Help With a Build

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:21 pm

Hey all, I've been building systems for a while now, I'm the go-to guy for all my friends when they want an "ub3r 1337" gaming computer. I've recently been issued sort of a challenge, a friend of mine was going to buy this: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... =dhs&cs=19

Now, being the somewhat knowledgeable guy that I am, I informed him that most of what he was paying for with an Alienware system was the name brand. Now, the other supposed "system builder" that he was talking to told him to "buyz Alienware 'cause its teh best!" So my challenge now is to build the same or hopefully better system for around the same price (600 to 700 dollars). I know it can be done, and I've been browsing the systems guide for some ideas, but I come to you fellow enthusiasts for some ideas/input. He has a monitor and all the peripherals, just needs a tower that can outperform this Alienware PoS for the same price or cheaper. It's been a while since I've payed any attention to the newest tech coming out, last system I built had a GTX260 inside when they were brand new....

So any ideas, rough builds etc would be appreciated. Probably gonna end up mostly recommending him the Econobox build. Thanks!
phebb889
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:29 pm

You have been very clear about everything except the system we are "competing" against. The link you posted doesn't show any specs, just a very customizable build that can vary largly in price.

So please, if you coud, post the spex like CPU, amount of RAM, HDD capacity, SSD model (if applicable) and video card model. That should be enough.
Last edited by Arclight on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
nVidia video drivers FAIL, click for more info
Disclaimer: All answers and suggestions are provided by an enthusiastic amateur and are therefore without warranty either explicit or implicit. Basically you use my suggestions at your own risk.
Arclight
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:50 am

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:38 pm

Arclight wrote:You have been very clear about everything except the system we are "competing" against. The link you posted doesn't show any specs, just a very customizable build that can vary largly in price.

So please, if you coud, post the spex like CPU, amount of RAM, HDD capacity, SSD model (if applicable) and model video card. That should be enough.


Sorry about that, link didn't work correctly, alright here's the Alienware:

Alienware X51
PROCESSOR: 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-2120 (3M Cache, 3.3 GHz)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
MEMORY: 6GB (1x2GB, 1x4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
HARD DRIVE: 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
OPTICAL DRIVE: Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640 1GB GDDR5
CHASSIS COLOR: Matte Stealth Black with Dark Chrome Accents
WIRELESS DW1506 Wireless-N WLAN Half Mini-Card
Adobe Reader Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
Misc 1 Steam Factory Installed and Steam Extra Content
ALIENFX AlienFX Color, Quasar Blue
PRE-INSTALLED SOFTWARE Steam Factory Installed and Steam Extra Content
AVATAR Alienhead Chrome Blue
AUTOMATIC UPDATES 240W External Power Supply
phebb889
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:55 pm

Does he have already a good enough PSU and a computer case?

If so this can work:
Intel Core i5-3470 >>>>>>>>>

ASUS P8Z77-V LK >>>>>>>>>>

Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2 x 4GB) >>>>>>>>

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3, 1TB >>>>>>>>>>>

ASUS GTX660 >>>>>>>>>

Grand total $718.95

If he doesn't have the parts i mentioned, then the products will have to be downsized to make room for another ~120 - 150 dollars needed for a good brand PSU and case.

Edit
Anyways the system proposal above is like 10 fold he performance of that silly alienware. If you want to go easy on it you could try like a 5-7 fold performance improvement by opting for a current gen Ivy Bridge i3 dual core with hyper threading and a HD 7770 (much weaker than the GTX 660 but still many times more powerful than a GT 640, what a joke) or a 7850 (closer to the GTX 660 but still a noticeable difference).

To help you put things into perspective, take a look at this:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Giga ... OC/27.html
nVidia video drivers FAIL, click for more info
Disclaimer: All answers and suggestions are provided by an enthusiastic amateur and are therefore without warranty either explicit or implicit. Basically you use my suggestions at your own risk.
Arclight
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:50 am

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:20 am

$130 -15 code " EMCXWVV39" -10MIR Asus P8Z77-V LK
or $70 Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H
or $110 ASRock Z77 Pro4-M

$180 Intel Core i5-3350P (3.1 GHz quad-core, disabled IGP)
or $230 Intel Core i5-3570K (3.4 GHz quad-core)
$ 0 Intel cooler included in the box with CPU

$40 2x4 GiB PC3-12800 Patriot PV38G160C9KRD (DDR3-1600, CAS 9, 1.5 V)
or $50 -7 code "EMCXWWN28" 2x4 GiB PC3-14900 G.Skill F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL (DDR3-1866, CAS 9, 1.5 V)

$220 -20MIR HIS Radeon HD7870 2GB H787Q2G2M (1000 MHz stock)
or $207 HIS Radeon HD7850 2GB H785QT2G2M (1000 MHz vs. 860 stock)
or $230 -10MIR EVGA GeForce GTX660 2GB 02G-P4-2662-KR (1046 MHz vs. 980 stock)
or $122 -15MIR Radeon HD7770 1GB (1000 MHz stock)

$60 -10 code "EMCXWVV233" 0.5 TB Seagate ST500DM002
or $85 -15 code "EMCXWVS22" 1.0 TB Western Digital WD10EZEX
or $105 -20 code "EMCXWVV22" 1.0 TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX
or $110 -20 code "EMCXWVS32" 2.0 TB Seagate ST2000DM001
optional $100 0.120 to 0.128 TB SSD

$17 DVD-RW
or $35 BD-ROM/DVD-ROM
or $55 BD-ROM/DVD-RW

$ 0 Audio integrated onto motherboard

$70 -20MIR Antec NSK4482 (ATX case) with EA-380D power supply

$40 Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit

Keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor?

For under $700, the gaming performance of this system will stomp on that terrible Alienware POS.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15385
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:58 am

Yeah, that Alienware is junk because it's powered by the GT 640, which is a very underpowered chip for a desktop;
I have one in my laptop and it's great for low-resolution, somewhat compromised gaming on a laptop but it's no proper desktop GPU.

The GT 640 is an incredibly cheap GPU to OEM's like Dell. I'm not suggesting it as the best option for you, but even a SFF build using an AMD A10 or A8 APU would be in the same gaming performance ballpark for a fraction of the cost of an i3 and GT640.

I would be considering:
  • $120 for an i3,
  • $120 for an HD7770 or 650Ti,
  • $40 for 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3
  • $80 for an H61 mITX board (or $120 for H77 with Wifi)
  • $50 for a decent, low-cost ITX case like the Coolermaster Elite 120
  • $50 for a decent PSU - something like the Corsair CX500 is usually less than this.
  • $100 for a 120GB SSD

That's basically $560 without an OS license (which you may or may not need) and the SSD + HD7770 means it will utterly destroy that Alienware in most things.
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:15 am

Yeah that mini alien system is BOBO. It not very upgradable at all. Stick to a ATX or m-ATX form factor.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
vargis14
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:03 pm
Location: philly suburbs

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:10 am

I don't get what we're supposed to suggest here. The econobox is better than that Alienware rig in every aspect for <$600 and that's without considering any possible savings to be had from re-using components from the old system. If you watch for sales and take advantage of mail-in-rebates you could easily get it below $550 since TR doesn't include MIRs in their prices. Game over.

If its sitting around $550, I'd budget $115 for a 120GB SSD which will DRASTICALLY improve system responsiveness. (percieved performance is more than getting high fps in games, fast application load times and boot times are easy to notice with an SSD) I suggest coming back after your friend has decided to go with a custom PC and we can hammer out the exact component list when you've got a license to buy.

Also, keep in mind the TR system builds don't include a Windows license. You can nab Windows 8 for $40 until Feb. 1st. Otherwise, college students can typically get a Windows disc from school for about that much also.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1633
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:57 am

Allow me to play Devil's Advocate for a moment.

Sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity.

The one thing you get from this Alienware machine that you might not be able to replicate is size. That is pretty valuable to some, so understand that if he really wants the compact system, something like Alienware is harder to beat.

However, as people have pointed out, that offers practically zero ability to upgrade and weak performance per dollar. An Econobox would easily beat it in performance, and you could always drop in a 760 Ti or 8950 down the road for a huge performance boost.

Alternatively, you might steer him toward Cyberpower or Ibuypower if he doesn't want to build. If you can snag a special, the price difference between one of their machines and the Newegg price should be modest (but it would ship as a complete system), and it would still offer better performance/dollar than an Alienware system.
Damage wrote:Don't try to game the requirements by posting everywhere, guys, or I'll nuke you from space.

-Probably the best Damage quote ever.
superjawes
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:49 am

Re: Need Help With a Build

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:42 am

If you want a compact gaming PC, there are plenty of excellent micro-ATX motherboards and quite a few good micro-ATX cases that will accommodate full-height graphics cards. In a typical mid-tower arrangement, I'd suggest the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E or Antec NSK3480. If you want an SFF cube, something like the Silverstone SG02-F allows full-size graphics cards. I prefer the mid-tower cases because they're easier to work in and they have better (quieter) cooling.

You can go even smaller with mini-ITX, but I find the reduction from micro-ATX's 4 PCIe slots to just 1 with mini-ITX to be a bit limiting.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15385
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests