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Servbot # 13's avatar

Shy Borg

Hello C&T,

To get straight to the point, I'm planning to invest in a gaming PC. Unfortunately, I'm at a loss when it comes to actually building and/or planning a PC. I'm interested in any suggestions or successes people have had. I've set a list below of all the things I'm looking for, which isn't very much at all!

-Budget: About $1500

-Graphics: Preferably the best

-Goal: Stability while playing games

That's about it really. As I posted above, I'm looking to get the best graphics out of a game, however I'm mostly focused on stability. I play just about everything on PC, so there isn't an exact genre of games to list. However, I'm more about stability than graphics.

Sorry if this kind of thing is asked a lot! I just don't know anyone around my area who could give me a straight answer.
Servbot # 13's avatar

Shy Borg

Oh! I forgot to ask another thing:

Once I get all my information, is there perhaps a place that I could have this PC built? Perhaps a website or something?
Saruwatari Kooji's avatar

Friendly Phantom

Servbot # 13
Oh! I forgot to ask another thing:

Once I get all my information, is there perhaps a place that I could have this PC built? Perhaps a website or something?


You can always go talk to a smaller local computer shop and see if they can assist you. Often times the small shops will go above and beyond with stuff like this. They might even assist you in picking out the parts and tailoring it to your needs...especially if you're willing to dump $1500 into their business.
Case: CM Storm Trooper
PSU: Antec 900W 80 Brozne (non modular)
Mobo: Asus Crosshair Formula V
CPU: AMD FX-8150 (3.6Ghz 8 core, 4.2ghz Turbo)
Cooling: Corsair H60 Liquid Cooling
RAM: 16GB (4x4gb) G.Skill RipJaws Z Series DDR3 1866mhz
GPU: XFX Radeon 7970 Black Edition (GPU@1050mhz)
Storage: 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black Editions

Last time I checked, my rig was about $1300. Its been super stable since I did the major overhaul on parts about 7 months back... Well not counting the whole updating to beta drivers for my videocard and having it BSOD.


If you want to just price stuff out, you can use this site: PC Part Picker

Saruwatari Kooji
You can always go talk to a smaller local computer shop and see if they can assist you. Often times the small shops will go above and beyond with stuff like this. They might even assist you in picking out the parts and tailoring it to your needs...especially if you're willing to dump $1500 into their business.


While you may see it like you're dumping that money into their business, very little goes to them. Even with OEM parts (with markup), you're looking at very low margins. Most of the money they are going to get is the $150-200 they'd charge you for assembly and support.
Pubstar Hero
Case: CM Storm Trooper
PSU: Antec 900W 80 Brozne (non modular)
Mobo: Asus Crosshair Formula V
CPU: AMD FX-8150 (3.6Ghz 8 core, 4.2ghz Turbo)
Cooling: Corsair H60 Liquid Cooling
RAM: 16GB (4x4gb) G.Skill RipJaws Z Series DDR3 1866mhz
GPU: XFX Radeon 7970 Black Edition (GPU@1050mhz)
Storage: 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black Editions

Last time I checked, my rig was about $1300. Its been super stable since I did the major overhaul on parts about 7 months back... Well not counting the whole updating to beta drivers for my videocard and having it BSOD.


If you want to just price stuff out, you can use this site: PC Part Picker

Saruwatari Kooji
You can always go talk to a smaller local computer shop and see if they can assist you. Often times the small shops will go above and beyond with stuff like this. They might even assist you in picking out the parts and tailoring it to your needs...especially if you're willing to dump $1500 into their business.


While you may see it like you're dumping that money into their business, very little goes to them. Even with OEM parts (with markup), you're looking at very low margins. Most of the money they are going to get is the $150-200 they'd charge you for assembly and support.

You didn't do your bulldzoer research did you?
Disconsented
You didn't do your bulldzoer research did you?


You mean the fact that I bought one or did I type the clockspeeds in wrong?
Pubstar Hero
Disconsented
You didn't do your bulldzoer research did you?


You mean the fact that I bought one or did I type the clockspeeds in wrong?

Brought one.
Disconsented
Pubstar Hero
Disconsented
You didn't do your bulldzoer research did you?


You mean the fact that I bought one or did I type the clockspeeds in wrong?

Brought one.


I bought it when I was upgrading from a 965BE. I had bought the motherboard prepping for it prior (990FX chipset was out before the bulldozer platform). I heard the terrible reviews, and the 1100T prices spiked to hell, so I just picked up the 8150FX for $180 with a $25 frys gift card (So $155).
Pubstar Hero
Disconsented
Pubstar Hero
Disconsented
You didn't do your bulldzoer research did you?


You mean the fact that I bought one or did I type the clockspeeds in wrong?

Brought one.


I bought it when I was upgrading from a 965BE. I had bought the motherboard prepping for it prior (990FX chipset was out before the bulldozer platform). I heard the terrible reviews, and the 1100T prices spiked to hell, so I just picked up the 8150FX for $180 with a $25 frys gift card (So $155).

Ahhhh 1100t prices. I can accept that. Got nothing on my 550BE :p
Disconsented
Ahhhh 1100t prices. I can accept that. Got nothing on my 550BE :p


Yeah. I was dissapointed, but I already blew $225 on the motherboard, so I just went with it. If I would have known how bad it would have been in advance, I would have gone right for an Intel setup.
Pubstar Hero
Disconsented
Ahhhh 1100t prices. I can accept that. Got nothing on my 550BE :p


Yeah. I was dissapointed, but I already blew $225 on the motherboard, so I just went with it. If I would have known how bad it would have been in advance, I would have gone right for an Intel setup.

The piledriver chips aint that bad might get one myself depending on how Haswell turns out and their price.
Servbot # 13's avatar

Shy Borg

I wanted to thank you all for replying. Sorry I've been away! Work keeps me busy.

@:Saruwatari Kooji: While I'd love to go to a local computer shop, I don't have any. I live in a small town, where the computer is considered a majestic creature, akin to a unicorn really. Though, I have been looking around in the various towns around me to see if they have anything!

@Pubstar Hero: Thank you for the specs. I'll look into them. And at $1300? Certainly within my budget!

Unfortunately, you two seem to have gone into a conversation that boggles my mind. I'll observe a bit and try to decipher it. Haha.
Servbot # 13
I wanted to thank you all for replying. Sorry I've been away! Work keeps me busy.

@:Saruwatari Kooji: While I'd love to go to a local computer shop, I don't have any. I live in a small town, where the computer is considered a majestic creature, akin to a unicorn really. Though, I have been looking around in the various towns around me to see if they have anything!

@Pubstar Hero: Thank you for the specs. I'll look into them. And at $1300? Certainly within my budget!

Unfortunately, you two seem to have gone into a conversation that boggles my mind. I'll observe a bit and try to decipher it. Haha.
If you're not interested in building the system yourself, then Pubstar Hero's list of parts doesn't help you all that much.

If you want someone else to build it (a boutique builder like Digital Storm, or Origin PC, etc) then you will generally be paying a premium on that product. Not only are these computers better tested than off-the-shelf systems, but they also tend to be better built, use higher end hardware, and have very good customer service and tech support. All of this is thanks to that price premium. Cheaper boutiques (CyberpowerPC, iBuyPower, etc) fail on those fronts but pass the savings along (to an extent) to the consumer. They definitely have some of the cheapest custom systems available, but with that accompanies horror stories of horrendous (as in destructive) builds and horrible customer service.

With all that said, let's look at some options.

This Digital Storm Marauder configuration comes in at $1300. Digital Storm systems come with lifetime phone support and a three year warranty, so you'd be well covered. The hardware included isn't high-end, but it's nothing to scoff at. A GTX 660 TI will handle any game very well. You won't be able to just max the settings on any and every game - there will always be games like Metro 2033 that just require absurd amounts of power. However, you will have a very good experience as the 660 TI is a very powerful card by most people's standards, and is a card you generally will not find in off-the-shelf OEM systems (ala BestBuy for example). That Core i5 is also an overclock-able processor, and since the system comes with a normal, retail motherboard you will be able to overclock it quite easily should you choose to do so.

Another good option would be the Alienware X51. It's a compact system, and while it uses a completely custom chassis it uses mostly standard parts and was designed to be entirely user serviceable. It is also very portable making it great for LAN parties. The $1079 configuration comes with a Core i7-3770 which is a very solid processor. It's not overclock-able (that would be the 3770K) but that's hardly the end of the world. The graphics card is a step down from the previous Digital Storm system though - the GTX 660 isn't as powerful as the GTX 660 TI - but it's still a decent card. You also don't get as good coverage as the Digital Storm system; it comes (by default) with a 1 year warranty and phone support. To match the Digital Storm system with 3 years of coverage would bump the cost up to $1249. Alienware offers accidental damage protection though, something Digital Storm doesn't offer.

Looking around at various other boutiques, whether Falcon Northwest or Maingear or whoever, there definitely seems to be a trend for your price range - targeting $1300 (to leave room for a monitor and such) you can't really get anything better than a GTX 660 TI. Again, it's a good graphics card, but it's not super high end. I did find this AVA Direct build that comes to just over $1300 when paired with a GTX 670. When it comes to high-end boutiques you are definitely going to pay for a high quality product, which is something all of these companies offer.

If you don't care about warranty or phone support, and just want to pay a company to slap some parts in a chassis, you can't deny that iBuyPower and CyberpowerPC end up being a lot cheaper.

For a point of comparison, iBuyPower has their Revolt line coming out very soon. They are increasingly moving away from standardized hardware into more custom and proprietary designs. That makes servicing and upgrading more difficult, but it all helps reduce their costs and offer more unique products.

The Revolt chassis is similar to the Alienware X51, albeit not as small, but can be configured with much higher end hardware. Upgrade only three things in that list - 8 GBs of memory, a 500W PSU, and a GTX 680 - and you end up with a very high-end gaming machine for only $1264. Regardless of what you may think of their build quality or support, that's pretty cheap.

I hope this wall of text isn't off-putting. I'll stop typing now.
With your budget, the Intel i7 is the best choice considering your lack of restraints. I would also suggest EVGA for the video card.

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