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Cyber Monday/ Black Friday Deals
11-26-2012, 11:40 AM,
Cyber Monday/ Black Friday Deals
I am a longtime reader of the site who has been anxiously awaiting having the time to build my own computer for the last two years. This site makes it all so easy and even though I haven't been in the position to build my own rig for the last two years I avidly read this site and enjoy learning via the well written articles explaining in laymen's terms the different options.

Now that I finally have enough time to devote to this project I have selected all my parts and spent the last few days scouring newegg and tiger direct for applicable black friday and cyber monday deals. Much to my surprise, I found this rig ( selling for just $750, Windows included. To compare, here is what I was planning on building based on the mid-range gaming PC model build on this site:

Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4-3.8GHz Turbo Unlocked Multiplier 77W
BIOSTAR TZ77XE3 Z77 SATA6Gb/s USB3.0 Better for CPU OC
Corsair 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600MHz CAS 10 1.5v
Radeon HD 7850 2GB
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III
Sony SATA 24X DVD Burner
Corsair Carbide Series 400R USB 3.0 x2 3 fans
Corsair GS Series GS700 CP-9020013-NA 700W Power Supply - ATX, 80 Plus Bronze, 140mm Fan, Quiet Cooling, LEDs (got a good deal on this which is only reason I departed from the build suggestions)
NZXT Havik 140 Dual Fans CPU Cooler
ASUS Xonar DG 5.1 PCI Sound Card

I got some great deals and managed to shave about $150 off the price so far, although I still have a few things to buy (namely the CPU and the Video Card) I was shocked when I found the computer for sale above for such a low price. Although much of the reason that I want to build my own computer is for intellectual and hobbyist reasons, I am very frugal and the idea of saving money appealed to me. From the looks of it, even with my savings building the rig I planned would cost at least a hundred dollars more ($270 more when you add in Windows 7) than the above pre-built model which seems to surpass mine in everything but ram (i would have 8gb more) and video card. My question, is should I just buy a better video card and the above pre-built computer and just switch out the card? Am I missing something that Mat's plan has that this HP pre-built computer doesn't (other than the satisfaction of assembling it myself)?

Sorry to be so long winded. If anyone could help me out here, I really want to build my own computer but the frugalist in me is having a hard time paying more for a slower processor.
11-26-2012, 12:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-26-2012, 12:18 PM by MathieuB.)
RE: Cyber Monday/ Black Friday Deals
Simply put, the video card in the HP PC is no where as powerful as the Radeon HD 7850 in your custom build. This will make a massive difference in performance in video games, so if you intend to use your PC for gaming, a 7450 isn't going to cut it.

The i7-2600 is not faster than the Core i5-3570K, for two reasons. One, it's a generation behind, so it suffers a 5-10% performance penalty vs the newer generation. Two, it's a locked processor, so if you intend on overclock your CPU, the i7 2600 won't allow you to do that much overclock.

The only cases where the i7-2600 will be faster than the Core i5-3570K is in heavily threaded applications, think heavy photo/video editing. For gaming, the i5-3570K is faster.

The HP PC has no USB 3.0 ports, only USB 2.0, so any file transfer to an USB 3.0 external drive will be far slower, up to 10x slower.

The HP PC will use a stock Intel Cooler, which is noisier both at idle and especially more noisy at load.

Integrated sound won't sound as good as the sound coming out of the ASUS Xonar sound card.

The other main issue is that we don't know the brand/model of the hard drive and power supplies, two components that you don't want to skimp on quality, otherwise you get reliability issues (early failures, freezing, BSODs, etc.) and that pre-built PCs usually do skimp on to cut off a few bucks.

So you save money but suffer a massive performance drop in video games, lose overclocking potential, get a noisier/hotter PC that's no where as reliable. Not a great deal if you ask me.

That's the joy of custom building your PC: You hand-pick each part to ensure that it fits your needs and that it's reliable. Wink
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
11-26-2012, 12:24 PM,
RE: Cyber Monday/ Black Friday Deals
Your the man! Thanks for all your help and I really appreciate and admire your work on this site. Makes it so much easier for the less technically knowledgable.

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