Looking to Purchase a New Desktop

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Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
So I'm looking to purchase a new desktop that I would like to use for gaming. I'm looking for something that could potentially run Skyrim with sexy graphics. Maybe even something that could run Skyrim with the HD texture pack? My price range is somewhere around $1000. I will probably be playing most of my games on a television through an HDMI cord.

One computer that has caught my eye is the new Alienware X51. I particularly like it because it's small, and because even the most expensive ones seem to be reasonably within my price range.

Could anyone help me to compare the practical differences between these specifications? Specifically, I am unsure of the differences between i5 and i7 processors. I am also unsure of the difference between GTX GPU's and the more inexpensive ones. Could someone please take a look at these and give me some pointers?





This is the big expensive one for $1150. A little pricey, but I might be able to splurge a bit if it's worth it. That's the problem though, I'm not sure if it's worth it.

PROCESSOR | 3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7-3770 (3.4GHz, 8MB Cache, w/ Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost 2.0)

MEMORY | 8GB2 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz

HARD DRIVE SIZE | 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

OPERATING SYSTEM | Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

VIDEO CARD | 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555

OPTICAL DRIVE | Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)

WEIGHT | 12.10 lbs (5.49 kg)





This is the one for $900. As far as I can tell, the major differences are the processor and graphics card. The memory is also different (run at 1333MHz rather than 1600).

PROCESSOR | Intel® Core™ i5-2320 3.0GHz (6MB Cache) with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

MEMORY | 8GB2 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz

HARD DRIVE SIZE | 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

OPERATING SYSTEM | Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

VIDEO CARD | 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 545

OPTICAL DRIVE | Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)

WEIGHT | 12.10 lbs (5.49 kg)





This one starts at $950. It offers an updated graphics card (the same as the expensive one), but less RAM (6GB at 1333 MHz). However, there is currently a deal where I might be able to up the RAM to 8GB at 1333MHz for free.

PROCESSOR | Intel® Core™ i5-2320 3.0GHz (6MB Cache) with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

MEMORY | 6GB2 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz

HARD DRIVE SIZE | 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

OPERATING SYSTEM | Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

VIDEO CARD | 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555

OPTICAL DRIVE | Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)

WEIGHT | 12.10 lbs (5.49 kg)





So can anyone help me figure out which one of these is worth it, if any? Specifically I'm looking for the difference between i5 and i7 processors, the difference in RAM (both overall and the MHz) and the difference in video cards? Thanks. I can post more specs if necessary.
 

Kevlar

Baron
M&BWBWF&SNW
Moose! said:
So can anyone help me figure out which one of these is worth it, if any? Thanks. I can post more specs if necessary.

Be cheaper to build it yourself. I laughed at the first one since it isn't all that great, using a non overclockable cpu as well as an older generation GPU.

Without buying anything on sale I could probably whip up a better computer. So unless you like the look of their cases or something I wouldn't really bother getting an alienware and would highly recommend building on yourself. It is super simple and can be taught in less than ten minutes really.

Moose! said:
Specifically I'm looking for the difference between i5 and i7 processors, the difference in RAM (both overall and the MHz) and the difference in video cards?

Difference between those i5's and i7's is the i5 uses 4 physical cores, the i7 has 4 physical cores and 4 hyperthreaded cores...basically, unless you do a lot of video editing the i5 is the better choice, usually about $100 cheaper (at least retail wise).

Difference with the ram is you will pay more for a higher latency (the mhz), not much of a difference past 1600hz at least for gaming so anything higher then that is usually just for show.

The video cards in most of those systems (gtx 550) are worth maybe $150.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130625
Decent for 1080p gaming at medium settings I would imagine and not very future proof. If your wanting to use this for gaming you would want to spend most of the budget on the gpu>cpu>motherboard>ram>case basically.
 

Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
Kevlar said:
Be cheaper to build it yourself.

Not gonna happen.

Kevlar said:
I laughed at the first one since it isn't all that great

I didn't ask for a great computer, I asked for one that could run Skyrim with sexy graphics.

Kevlar said:
Using a non overclockable cpu as well as an older generation GPU.

Can you explain what this means and why it's bad?

And also, any clue as to the difference between the GT545 and the GTX555?

Kevlar said:
Without buying anything on sale I could probably whip up a better computer.

Yeah, but I bet you're not willing to do it for me, so that doesn't help.  :razz:

Kevlar said:
So unless you like the look of their cases or something I wouldn't really bother getting an alienware and would highly recommend building on yourself. It is super simple and can be taught in less than ten minutes really.

I mentioned before that I liked the compact size.

Moose! said:
Specifically I'm looking for the difference between i5 and i7 processors, the difference in RAM (both overall and the MHz) and the difference in video cards?

Moose! said:
Difference between those i5's and i7's is the i5 uses 4 physical cores, the i7 has 4 physical cores and 4 hyperthreaded cores...basically, unless you do a lot of video editing the i5 is the better choice, usually about $100 cheaper (at least retail wise).

That's kinda what I figured, but I wasn't sure. What about the difference in MHz?
 

Kevlar

Baron
M&BWBWF&SNW
If you want to look up different video cards just google their names and type in benchmark, if they are from the same generation it should have a benchmark with a list of games and what frames you can expect to get from the card, you could also just look up skyrim benchmark and then the gpu to see what it would do in skyrim. Most benchmarks are done when the card first came out though so you will get better performance then is listed due to newer drivers being available now.

You can also get a general sense of what something is worth by just going on newegg and looking for that part.

You said you liked the alienware cases because they are compact, well, you can get basically any size case you want now a days. Most cases are just ATX size which is probably what the alienware is unless it says so otherwise.

As for memory, bigger size means you can have more applications open, the speed (mhz) is just how fast it will run it. Bigger doesn't mean better either as most people probably don't use more then 4gb unless they try (or do video editing).

I would highly suggest just watching a quick video on youtube of how to put together a computer. There isn't very many steps and building one yourself often leads to much better components since most desktop manufacturers cheap out to get a bigger profit.

I was trying to put something together on newegg for less than a grand but I am on my phone and it keeps lagging out since I have to many windows open.
 

Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
Kevlar said:
You said you liked the alienware cases because they are compact, well, you can get basically any size case you want now a days. Most cases are just ATX size which is probably what the alienware is unless it says so otherwise.

I doubt it.

Front-Height: 13.504"  (343mm)
Rear-Height: 12.54" (318.5mm)
Depth: 12.52" (318mm)
Width: 3.74" (95mm)
Starting Weight: 12.1 lbs (5.49 Kg)
 

Splintert

Count
M&BWB
If you're not going to build a computer from scratch, you're better off buying something with a top-tier i5 and no graphics card and getting your own to put inside. RAM isn't an issue either since it's so cheap.

Just make sure it comes with an extra PCIe 3.0/2.0 slot or 2.
 

Kevlar

Baron
M&BWBWF&SNW
Moose! said:
Kevlar said:
You said you liked the alienware cases because they are compact, well, you can get basically any size case you want now a days. Most cases are just ATX size which is probably what the alienware is unless it says so otherwise.

I doubt it.

There are hundreds of different cases, alienware cases aren't even that great anymore. If your getting a prebuilt then there isn't much people can help you with that google cant.
 

Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
Splintert said:
If you're not going to build a computer from scratch, you're better off buying something with a top-tier i5 and no graphics card and getting your own to put inside. RAM isn't an issue either since it's so cheap.

Just make sure it comes with an extra PCIe 3.0/2.0 slot or 2.

Yeah, the one I was looking at says it's easy to upgrade, although I know there's a maximum wattage that it uses which might be a problem down the road. Also, what does an extra PCIe slot do?

Kevlar said:
There are hundreds of different cases, alienware cases aren't even that great anymore. If your getting a prebuilt then there isn't much people can help you with that google cant.

I just tend to trust the expertise of most people around here. If you don't want to help answer my questions, then that's fine, but you don't have to complain about them.  :neutral:
 

Kevlar

Baron
M&BWBWF&SNW
Moose! said:
Yeah, the one I was looking at says it's easy to upgrade, although I know there's a maximum wattage that it uses which might be a problem down the road. Also, what does an extra PCIe slot do?

Extra pci slot would just allow you to install more stuff onto the motherboard if you so choose, like a graphics card or something. Most motherboards have at least 2 pci x16/x8 slots and a few regular pci or pcix1 slots.

As for the wattage that would just depend on the power supply they give you which would only be a problem really if you choose to do sli later but unless they are giving you a 500w or something I don't think it would be much of an issue.
 

Moose!

poorly-drawn
Duke
I believe the options are 240W and 330W, with the 330W being more expensive.

And for future reference, why would a 500 Watt power supply be an issue? I'm looking at the Gateway FX6860 right now for $900 and that's also looking like a possible choice too, (i7 2600, ATI Radeon HD 6750, 8 GB RAM) but it uses a 500 Watt.
 
Don't some shops offer service warranty if you buy the parts in their store and let them build it for you?

That might be a better option than getting an Alienware. Nowadays they feel like Dell's trying to sell me old gen stuff under a cover of AWESOME.
 
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