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Thinking of ordering a PC


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#1
Jaegan

Jaegan

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To start off, I really don't know much about computers. As for the actual point of this topic, I'm thinking about ordering a pc for gaming use from ibuypower or cyberpower (both of which I've heard good things about). I've thrown together something along the lines of what I'm looking for (again with my very limited knowledge).

Case
Nzxt Apollo Gaming Tower Case Black
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction
None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion
None
Case Lighting
None
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8500 (2x 3.16GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB)
Processor Cooling
Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink
Memory
4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module-Corsair-Value or Major Brand
Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT - 1GB-Single Card
Motherboard
Asus P5KPL-CM -- Intel G31 Chipset w/6-channels, Gb LAN, S-ATA 3Gb/s, USB 2.0, Single PCI-E MB
Power Supply
600 Watt -- Power Supply SLI Ready
Hard Drive
160 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache]
2nd Hard Drive
None
Optical Drive
Sony Dual Format/Double Layer 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black
2nd Optical Drive
None
Flash Media Reader/Writer
12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer-Black
Meter Display
None
Floppy Drive
None
Sound Card
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Operating System
None- Pre-formatted Hard Drive Only
Keyboard
iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard with 18 Internet Hot /Multimedia Keys-Black
Mouse
iBUYPOWER 1600 dpi High Sensitivity Internet Mouse-Black
Monitor
None
2nd Monitor
None
Speaker System
iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System
External Hard Drives [USB 2.0/eSATA]
None
USB Flash Drive
None
Power Protection
None
Headset
None
MP3/MP4 Player
None
Video Camera
None
Warranty
Standard Warranty Service-Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support
Rush Service
Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days


* CASE: New! CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid-Tower Case with See-Thru Side Panel
* Neon Light Upgrade: NONE
* Extra Case Fan Upgrade: Default case fans
* POWER SUPPLY Upgrade: 600 Watts Power Supplies (SLI Ready Power Supply)
* CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8400 CPU @ 3.0GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit
* COOLING FAN : INTEL LGA775 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
* MOTHERBOARD: MSI G31M3-L Intel G31 Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
* MEMORY: 4GB (2GBx2) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair or Major Brand)
* FREEBIES: None
* VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 16X PCI Express (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)
* VIDEO CARD 2: None
* VIDEO CARD 3: None
* Free Game: None
* MULTIPLE VIDEO CARD SETTINGS: Non-SLI/Non-CrossFireX Mode Supports Multiple Monitors
* LCD Monitor: 19" TFT Active Matrix LCD Display (Brand-Named LCD Display)
* 2nd Monitor: NONE
* HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
* Data Hard Drive: NONE
* USB PORTABLE DRIVE: NONE
* Optical Drive: (Special Price) LG 22X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Dual Layer Drive (BLACK COLOR)
* Optical Drive 2: NONE
* SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
* SPEAKERS: Logitech S120 2.0 Stereo Speaker Set (Black Color)
* NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
* MODEM: NONE
* KEYBOARD: Logitech Deluxe 104 PS/2 Keyboard (Black Color)
* MOUSE: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse
* Extra Thermal Display : NONE
* Wireless 802.11B/G Network Card: PCI Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Interface Card
* Flash Media Reader/Writer: None
* VIDEO CAMERA: NONE
* PRINTER: None
* PRINTER CABLE: None
* IEEE CARD: NONE
* USB PORT: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
* FLOPPY: NONE
* OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Basic w/ Service Pack 1 (32-bit Edition)
* Windows 7 Upgrade Coupon: None
* FREEBIES: None
* Media Center Remote Control & TV Tuner: None
* SERVICE: STANDARD WARRANTY: 3-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY PLUS LIFE-TIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT
* RUSH SERVICE: NO; READY TO SHIP IN 5~10 BUSINESS DAYS

Thoughts? Feel free to laugh if anything in here is extremely stupid, and any input would be much appreciated. I'm leaning more towards cyberpower, but feel free to tweak either. Only looking to spend 7-800 (no monitor) so it's not going to be the best around.

Edited by Jaegan, 07 August 2009 - 08:42 PM.

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#2
Ferrari

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Hi Jaegan, Welcome to Geekstogo!

Can you tell me what games you will be playing? Now and possibly the future? That would help, so I know if you need more, or less. Especially when pertaining to the video card. I think you may want more than a Nvidia 9500GT. How much are each of these systems? Are you maxed out on your budget?

Also, the first system by ibuypower does not have an operating system with it. i.e. Windows XP or VISTA. You definitely need that unless you plan on buying that somewhere else. Every new computer needs a new OS.

Here are some things I noticed:

* CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8400 CPU @ 3.0GHz 1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache 64-bit

Stick with this one(theE8400). The E8500 isn't going to do anything much more special for you.

* POWER SUPPLY Upgrade: 600 Watts Power Supplies (SLI Ready Power Supply)

I believe one or both of the sites has an option for a Thermaltake Toughpower PSU. Pick that one if you can afford it. You don't want to go off brand or cheap in this area because this is what all of the computer components rely on to receive good clean stable power. An unstable Power Supply is not what you want. Always look for the 80 plus certified PSU's. The Thermaltake one I mentioned is 80 Plus, I checked. :)

Asus P5KPL-CM -- Intel G31 Chipset w/6-channels, Gb LAN, S-ATA 3Gb/s, USB 2.0, Single PCI-E MB

This is better than the other one(MSI). So lean towards ASUS. I believe one of the sites gave an upgrade to an eVGA board that has the 780i chipset. Go that route if you can afford it.

160 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache]

You will probably need more room than this down the road if you plan on storing a lot of pictures, videos, movies, or music on your computer. Those can take up space quick, however, you can always add another hard drive for storage at a later date. Whether it is internal or external. The 250GB one is better obviously, but remember, you can add more later so this may be an area where you can save money for now.

Everything else looks pretty good. Just wanted to point out some things. Ask questions, I'm sure you have some. :)

P.S. You may want to look into getting that Windows 7 upgrade coupon. I'm weary that they are charging for that even though it is free with a mail in rebate. Windows 7 comes out on Oct. 22nd, this year. As of sometime in June or July???, every PC sold with Vista on it is supposed to come with a free Windows 7 upgrade. I wonder what Microsoft would have to say about them charging for the coupon? You may want to look into that or call Microsoft or the place building your computer and ask them. I REALLY like windows 7 and I think you would love to have that as your Operating System(OS). Similar to Vista, but fixed and better! :)

Let me know...
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#3
Jaegan

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Thanks for the helpful reply. For the moment I'm looking into playing Aion: Tower of Eternity, and farther down the road I'll more than likely play Final Fantasy 14 and Diablo 3 when they get around to being released.

160 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 8M Cache]

You will probably need more room than this down the road if you plan on storing a lot of pictures, videos, movies, or music on your computer.

I tend not to use a whole lot space, so I think that the 160 GB will last me quite some time at least, and like you said I can upgrade it down the road if I do indeed need more.

Asus P5KPL-CM -- Intel G31 Chipset w/6-channels, Gb LAN, S-ATA 3Gb/s, USB 2.0, Single PCI-E MB

This is better than the other one(MSI). So lean towards ASUS. I believe one of the sites gave an upgrade to an eVGA board that has the 780i chipset. Go that route if you can afford it.

What about the [SLI] Asus P5N-D -- Nvidia nForce 750i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB EPU Technology? There's nearly a $40 between that and the 780i you mentioned, so if this would suffice I would love to save that money.

* POWER SUPPLY Upgrade: 600 Watts Power Supplies (SLI Ready Power Supply)

I believe one or both of the sites has an option for a Thermaltake Toughpower PSU. Pick that one if you can afford it. You don't want to go off brand or cheap in this area because this is what all of the computer components rely on to receive good clean stable power. An unstable Power Supply is not what you want. Always look for the 80 plus certified PSU's. The Thermaltake one I mentioned is 80 Plus, I checked.


The Thermaltake are again, extremely more expensive. Would something more along the lines of 650 Watt -- Casegears ECO-Element 80 Plus Certificated High Efficiency Power Supply SLI Ready or 650 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-650TX Power Supply SLI Ready be acceptable?
Taking your suggestions, I rebuilt it on the site:
Case
Nzxt Apollo Gaming Tower Case Black
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction
None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion
None
Case Lighting
None
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8400 (2x 3.0GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB)
Processor Cooling
Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink
Memory
4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module-Corsair-Value or Major Brand
Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT - 512MB Single Card
Motherboard
[SLI] Asus P5N-D -- Nvidia nForce 750i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB EPU Technology
Power Supply
650 Watt -- Casegears ECO-Element 80 Plus Certificated High Efficiency Power Supply SLI Ready
Hard Drive
500 GB HARD DRIVE-[Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache]
2nd Hard Drive
None
Optical Drive
[** Special !!! ***] LG 22X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black
2nd Optical Drive
None
Flash Media Reader/Writer
12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer-Black
Meter Display
None
Floppy Drive
None
Sound Card
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic + [Free 60-Day !!!] Microsoft Office 2007(Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access ....) 32-Bit
Monitor
None
2nd Monitor
None
Speaker System
100W PMPO (RMS: 1W) 2 Pcs Stereo Speaker System
External Hard Drives [USB 2.0/eSATA]
None
USB Flash Drive
None
Power Protection
None
Headset
None
MP3/MP4 Player
None
Video Camera
None
Warranty
Standard Warranty Service-Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support
Rush Service
Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days
Additional Software
Microsoft Works 9.0 (make the most of your home PC)
Mouse
iBUYPOWER 1600 dpi High Sensitivity Internet Mouse Black
Keyboard
iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard with 18 Internet Hot /Multimedia Keys Black

Also I have a question on monitors. I have an old Emachines monitor laying around, would that be compatible with this until I could go out and buy a new monitor?
Thanks again for the input.
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#4
Ferrari

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This is $845. I think you would be happier with a 9800GTX+ graphics card. I believe it is about $38 more. I highlighted all the important parts. Make sure you click 64bit for the Vista OS, a 32bit will only allow you to use up to about 3.2-3.5GB of the 4GB of Ram. 64bit will recognize all 4GB and more if you ever upgrade.

Case
Nzxt Apollo Gaming Tower Case Black
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction
None
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion
None
Case Lighting
None
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8400 (2x 3.0GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB)
Processor Cooling
Certified CPU Fan and Heatsink
Memory
4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand
Video Card
NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX+ - 512MB Single Card
Motherboard
[SLI] Asus P5N-D -- Nvidia nForce 750i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB EPU Technology
Power Supply
650 Watt -- Casegears ECO-Element 80 Plus Certificated High Efficiency Power Supply SLI Ready

Hard Drive
500 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache]
2nd Hard Drive
None
Optical Drive
[** Special !!! ***] LG 22X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive-Black
2nd Optical Drive
None
Flash Media Reader/Writer
12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer-Black
Meter Display
None
Floppy Drive
None
Sound Card
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card
Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic + [Free 60-Day !!!] Microsoft Office 2007(Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access ....) 64-Bit
Keyboard
iBUYPOWER USB Keyboard with 18 Internet Hot /Multimedia Keys-Black
Mouse
iBUYPOWER 1600 dpi High Sensitivity Internet Mouse-Black
Monitor
None
2nd Monitor
None
Speaker System
iBUYPOWER 2.1 Channel Stereo Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System
External Hard Drives [USB 2.0/eSATA]
None
USB Flash Drive
None
Power Protection
None
Headset
None
MP3/MP4 Player
None
Video Camera
None
Warranty
Standard Warranty Service-Standard 3-Year Limited Warranty + Lifetime Technical Support
Rush Service
Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-No Rush Service, Estimate Ship Out in 5~10 Business Days


I really would recommend saving up the extra money for the 9800GTX+ 512MB. Go with the ASUS board with the 750i chipset. That is Nvidia's chipset, so it should suit you well in this case. Make sure you get the 64bit OS, there is no extra charge for that. The Casegears PSU is 80 Plus certified, and that is mainly what you are looking for. Corsair is the Best PSU Manufacturer, if you can afford it, you won't go wrong there. Save money on the hard drive if you wish, but it is very little money to go ahead and get the 500GB, so I would just get it now, and not have to worry about it later.

Concerning the monitor question, yes, VISTA should recognize your monitor and it will work. You may not be able to play at the resolution the 9800GTX+/9800GT can go up to which is probably 1920x1280. But it will work. I think you would enjoy your Gaming experience much better on something 20" or above. So save up for that in the future, or for a quick fix, see if Craigslist or E-bay has any cheap used ones. (Careful, a lot of people ask way to much on Craigslist/ebay) Always research comparable monitors that are new, when buying used.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions.
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#5
Jaegan

Jaegan

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First of all, wow, thank you for the quick and helpful replies. I want to do this right the first time so I won't end up wasting more time and money in the future. As far as the monitor goes, well as long as I have one that works for the moment I can live with it, but that's next on my list of things to fix. I'm actually coming up slightly cheaper than the $845 you mentioned, sitting more around $780. I have a feeling that I won't push the system to its limits, so I'd wager that the Casegears PSU will serve me plenty well. As for the hard drive, I know for sure that I'll never use up 500 GB, but I'll give in a little and go with the 320 GB. Like I said, I'm going to do this right the first time so I'll go with the better graphics card and hopefully not have to worry about it again until I get another new pc. This is all off ibuypower, which as I've said I've heard good things about, but I've also heard of some pretty bad cases. Do you have any personal experience or an opinion about them? I would love to have it if so. Thanks again for the helpful input. People like you are what give me faith in the human race.
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#6
Ferrari

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I'm actually coming up slightly cheaper than the $845 you mentioned, sitting more around $780.

Hmmm, I wonder why? Take a very close look at what I recommend, or what we have come to agreement on. Here is a basic list of abbreviated specs.

Apollo Case
E8400 Processor
ASUS 750i Motherboard
CaseGears 600 Watt Power Supply
4GB of memory, Corsair value or Major Brand
Nvidia 9800GTX+, NOT THE GT, but GTX+
Windows Vista 64bit
320GB Hard Drive
12 in 1 Media Card Reader(I think if you choose not to get this you save $5 or so. They are convenient to have if ever needed.

Looking at this list and I had a few bucks to spare to make this PC "Right" the first time, I would go with the 780i motherboard, and a GTX 260 Graphics card. The GTX 260 is pricey, but worth every penny. Very nice card. Remember, that's if you have some extra money or you are willing to save up a bit more. The GTX 260 will play any game now and in the future very well. The 9800GTX+ is a step down, but it's a large step(Not mind blowing, but a large step). Just letting you know. Keep in mind, you want to Game, and the single most important part of quality gaming would be the Graphics Card.

In regards to your question about ibuypower, I have no experience with them and hadn't heard of them, but that isn't saying much. I prefer to build my own computer, where every single thing is to my exact wants and needs. I noticed while playing with the site, that there was often times they didn't have what I would want or recommend if you were building this computer for your self. Overall, there prices seem competitive, I don't think you are being ripped off by any means. If you don't want to build your own computer, this seems to be a nice place to go. They offer better options than a manufacturer like Dell, or HP. I would suggest using google to find out how their customer service and support staff is if it is a big concern. And remember, you always have Geekstogo!

You will enjoy this computer, and be happy with it, I'm sure of it.
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#7
Jaegan

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Everything seemed to be in order, but before I actually sat down to order my new pc, I decided to spend a couple hours looking at user reviews for both this site and others. The results were less than promising. While I did see a lot of the good reviews from before, I also found a lot of horror stories to go along side them. It sounds like ordering a pc from one of these sites is akin to playing russian roulette with a loaded gun. A friend of mine mentioned in passing that he knows a few people that may be able to build me a computer, so I'm going to look into them before I make any firm decision. I don't want to get screwed, and having 0 experience building a computer myself, I want to check all my options before spending that type of money. Even if I end up not ordering one, I've at least learned some useful information in the future. I extremely appreciate all of the time and help you have given to me.
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#8
Ferrari

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If you can find someone (a friend) that will build a computer for you that would be great! I would say you would stay in the same components listed already. You would be looking at about similar prices give or take some, but you would be able to completely customize your PC. Be sure to start a topic if you decide to build your own. Just list your budget i.e. $800 or whatever, and provide a link to this topic, letting them know you were looking at these components. You get the idea.

Edit: Newegg has the best prices and customer service. That's where most knowledgeable PC guys shop. Tiger Direct can have some decent deals too, but I don't know much about their customer service.

Anyway, good luck, :) I hope whichever you decide works out well for you. Since you are smart enough to have read reviews about that site, the same exact thing can be done for certain graphics card, processors, motherboards, etc. I especially like the ones that give a "versus" i.e. Intel Core 2 Quad vs. Intel Core 2 Duo. See?

Toms Hardware is a nice site and does a lot of comparisons to various kinds of hardware, and just use Google mainly. This topic will pretty much be here forever, so refer back to it if need be. If more than 14 days go by since the last post and for some reason you want to reply again in this topic, send me a Personal Message with a link to this topic. :)

Edited by Ferrari, 08 August 2009 - 11:38 PM.

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