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-   -   How good are online desktop shops? (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=208468)

Prime 09-23-2011 02:31 PM

How good are online desktop shops?
 
First off, I know most here like to build their own machines, so I've already put on my fire retardant suit. :)

Just wondering what people's experiences are with online sites for desktops. I'm thinking of places like newegg, and so on. How is support if issues arise? Anything else to consider about such places? Does anyone have recommended sites? I'm in Canada if that matters too much...

ChAiNz.2da 09-23-2011 03:32 PM

Places like Newegg and Tiger Direct I've had lots of positive experiences from. They're large enough now to cater to the customer despite being an online vendor.

I've actually returned/exchanged from NewEgg before and it was hassle free so I'm prone (and perhaps biased) to use them for most of my I-can't-find-it-at-Best-Buy needs... hehe

Though I will admit, Astro pointed me to this and will probably be my next adventure non-mac related.. hehe

http://us.shuttle.com/

Prime 09-23-2011 05:00 PM

Thanks my man.

Can you believe I never got around to getting a new desktop?

Q 09-23-2011 05:19 PM

What are you running right now, Prime, if you don't mind my asking?

EDIT: I don't know what kind of deals are available in Canuckistan, but down here in the States Dell is known to throw out insanely good deals on what I consider "fixer-uppers". What I mean by that is that you get a good basic machine with a decent CPU and OS but next to nothing else, and then you buy the stuff that Dell charges an arm and a leg for (like a video card, memory, etc) elsewhere on sale. What you end up with is a good gaming machine that's still covered by Dell for at least a year; oftentimes for less money than what it would cost to build one from scratch (not to mention less hassle).

The better deals are usually offered by Dell Business; not Home.

ChAiNz.2da 09-28-2011 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prime (Post 2791727)
Thanks my man.

Can you believe I never got around to getting a new desktop?

Well, I think the last time you were thinking about it.. you decided to upgrade the Family to 2.1 ;) hehe

Can't say as I blame ya for not getting around to it :D

Prime 09-28-2011 01:56 PM

Mine is probably 6-7 years old now. It is an intel 1.7 GHz, GeF FX 5700 I think, about 750 RAM, and so on. You get the idea. :)

Q 09-28-2011 02:43 PM

Pentium 4 1.7 GHz? :eyepop

I kept my 3 GHz P4 for a "legacy hardware" machine (it's a Dell, BTW), and it has a hard enough time just running Firefox.

Prime 09-29-2011 01:05 PM

Yeah mine chuggs these days for sure. But it has been bearable enough that I haven't been "forced" to change. Plus it plays all the old games I still love. :)

Q 09-30-2011 04:43 PM

Well, needless to say, a new machine will be like night and day for you.

Are you going to need a monitor?

Prime 10-03-2011 10:28 AM

Yeah. I'll probably get 2 actually. I have that setup at work and I miss it at home :)

Q 10-04-2011 04:01 PM

You can get a pair of ASUS ML239H 23" IPS panels for ~$400.00CAD. These are easily the best bang for the buck monitors out there right now.

Note that these are IPS panels and not the more common TN, so the viewing angles and color accuracy will be much better. IPS panels used to only be found on the most expensive monitors, but nowadays they are available at just about any price range, so you don't have to settle for a crappy TN panel anymore.

Darth333 10-04-2011 07:04 PM

I got my last three desktops from here: http://www.sohodiffusion.com/ One I assembled myself . The other two I asked them to do it for me: I chose the parts and they charged $50 to assemble the PC and install the OS and they did a clean job (they did a mistake on the last PC by not including the RAM I asked for though - it was actually more expensive than what I had ordered but not the right amount - I sent them a notice and picked up the new ram to install...and they told me to keep the other sticks as well). They also have some pre-assembled PCs at decent prices for those who don't want to chose parts one by one. Downside is that customer support if you live far away seems limited (ok as I live close by).

And beware if you order from a US website: you can end up with terrible custom brokerage fees in addition to the regular taxes (I hate UPS...)

ForeverNight 10-06-2011 12:23 PM

If you don't mind spending the money, I've had geekbox recommended to me several times. Haven't used them -mainly cause I like building- but I've had a huge amount of rec's from people I'd trust in another community to use them.

Looking over their site though, it get's pretty expensive, but they're supposed to be pretty good.

build it yourself ffs! :xp:

Q 10-12-2011 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth333 (Post 2792490)
I got my last three desktops from here: http://www.sohodiffusion.com/ One I assembled myself . The other two I asked them to do it for me: I chose the parts and they charged $50 to assemble the PC and install the OS and they did a clean job (they did a mistake on the last PC by not including the RAM I asked for though - it was actually more expensive than what I had ordered but not the right amount - I sent them a notice and picked up the new ram to install...and they told me to keep the other sticks as well). They also have some pre-assembled PCs at decent prices for those who don't want to chose parts one by one. Downside is that customer support if you live far away seems limited (ok as I live close by).

And beware if you order from a US website: you can end up with terrible custom brokerage fees in addition to the regular taxes (I hate UPS...)

Yeah, D3's had really good luck with SohoDiffusion. If you could find a place like that near you it would be ideal. You'd be able to pick and choose every single part in your machine, giving you all of the benefits of a build-your-own without actually having to build it.

Prime 12-23-2011 03:30 PM

OK, now that I am on Christmas vacation and not working all day so I can get down to business. I'm looking at ordering from a local place ShopRBC.com. I am using their custom system builder.

I know in general what CPU, vid card, etc. that I want, but I don't really have an opinion about every possible option they have. So far this is what I have:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
shopRBC.com - Custom System (customized)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Price Quantity Total URL
........... ........... ........... ....................................
$1474.12 1 $1474.12 http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/produ...?quoteId=19192

Quantity Product
........... .................................................. .........
1 Intel Core i5 2400 3.1GHz 6MB 4-Core S1155 Processor
1 ASRock Z68 Extreme3 G3 Z68 S1155 ATX Mainboard
1 Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Universal CPU Cooler
1 Corsair Dominator 8GB (4x2GB) PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory Kit
1 Seagate 7200.12 500GB 7200RPM 16MB 3.5" SATA3 Hard Drive
1 Seagate 7200.12 1TB 7200RPM 32MB 3.5" SATA HDD - IN STOCK
1 Asus E818A7T 18X SATA DVD Drive, Black
1 Asus BC-12B1ST 12X BD Bluray 16X DVD-RW Drive, Black
1 Asus GF GTX560 DirectCU 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E Video Card
1 Creative Labs Sound Blaster Digital Music Premium HD USB
1 D-Link DWA-525 Wireless-N PCI Desktop Adapter
1 Coolermaster Elite 371 Mid-Tower Case, Black - NO PSU
1 Coolermaster Extreme Power Plus 600 Watt Power Supply
1 *OEM - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64
1 Basic Assembly - 30 day part warranty only
1 Windows Operating System Install with All Updates & Service Packs
1 Ontario Recycling Fee for Desktop PC

I'm looking for opinions about what things I can go cheaper on, and if there is anything obvious I am missing. Really I am looking to be able to play more or less anything current, like skyrim and TOR, and be somewhat future proof for the next little while.

Also, if it matters, if I can get KOTOR and older SW games, and NWN and BG2 running that would be great. Don't know if there are specific HW considerations that would help with those...

Any suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping to get this finally sorted. Need to play TOR and Shogun 2!

Q 12-26-2011 02:23 AM

1) Spend the extra $30 and get a 2500k. It's faster out of the box, has the full HD 3000 GPU and gives you the option of overclocking it if you decide that you want to do that in the future.

2) That motherboard is a solid choice, as is your choice of cooler. Unfortunately, that motherboard is no longer available. I'm a Gigabyte guy, so I recommend the closest Gigabyte equivalent.

3) Why did you choose that memory? Just get 2x4GB Vengeance or XMS3 and save yourself ~$100.

4) Now is NOT the time to buy a platter HDD of any kind. There is a severe shortage of conventional HDDs due to flooding in southeast Asia and prices on spindle drives have tripled. I'd spend that money on a 128GB SSD instead, and get a spindle drive for storage later on when the prices fall back to reasonable levels. From what they have available, I'd recommend the Crucial M4. It's fast, reliable and they even have it at a reasonable price. If you have any external drives or even an old, unused internal HDD lying around that you could use for storage, you could squeak by until the prices drop. I know it sounds crazy, but you will end up with a far faster computer this way for about the same amount of money.

5) Get a BluRay burner, then spend the couple extra dollars and get a DVD burner instead of just a reader, then do all non-BluRay burning on the cheaper drive.

6) Get a GTX 560 Ti instead of a GTX 560. It's more powerful and not much more expensive. There is nothing wrong with Zotac's hardware (yes, I have personal experience with it), and they have the cheapest one @ $235. As far as Nvidia vs. AMD/ATI, I stick with Nvidia because from what I have gathered, people generally have fewer problems running older games on Nvidia cards. I can say with confidence that KotOR runs fine on mine (GTX 460) with a minimum of fuss. Maybe D3 or stingerhs can chime in about AMD/ATI and older games. I do know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with AMD/ATI from a hardware perspective. Their GPUs are every bit as good as Nvidia's.

7) Do you really need a sound card? On-board audio has gotten good enough that most people leave this option off, now. I don't know anything about the USB box that you selected, other than that it does not support multi-channel analog output. I have the PCIe X-Fi Titanium, which is the base X-Fi model, which they're selling for ~$100 (I got it for less than half that). There are 2 cases where an X-Fi is worth buying:
a) You do a lot of gaming while wearing headphones. X-Fi can deliver realistic surround sound effects to normal headphones. Realtek on-board cannot do this well, and sounds extremely crappy in comparison.
b) You have a digital receiver and want to stream your game audio in 5.1 to it via either optical or coaxial cable. Internal X-Fi cards can take a PC game's PCM audio, encode it into either DTS 5.1 or Dolby Digital 5.1 and then stream it to your digital receiver. Realtek on-board can't do this at all.
That little box looks like it might be able to do the above, but I don't know if it can. If it can't, then there's no point in getting it, IMO.

8) Spend the extra $50 and get a better power supply. The one I chose is good, doesn't have a ridiculous markup and has enough power to allow you to add a second GTX 560Ti if you want to in the future, which is a good idea if you want to run multiple monitors.

OK, here's what I came up with. Merry Christmas, Prime. :)

Prime 12-27-2011 02:02 PM

Thanks Q! Really awesome help, and given me things to consider. What you came up with is pretty much up my alley. I can probably do without the seperate sound card, which would save a few bucks.

I apprecriate that you took the time to do this. Really.

greenwich 12-28-2011 01:48 AM

I truly believe that They are good..!!

Q 12-28-2011 09:49 PM

^K. ::

The only thing I'll add is that the Corsair Force3 is now a viable, faster and cheaper alternative to the Crucial M4, now that, with new firmware, SandForce has sorted out the problems its newest controller was having.


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