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Buy custom built or package computer??PLEASE READ

Guest

Please could someone give me some pointers.Im going out this week to look for a new computer.My maximum budget is 700.Ive been looking into packages from places like pc world.Then i came accross a few internet companies that custom build for you.I was wondering which is best choice?Also i could get a good package with a ati crossfire set up.But go with exact same computer with nvidia sli technology its much more.Basically i was hoping someone could name a few pc's out there around 700 that will run the latest games reasonably(not always maxed out settings)like company of heroes and mainly,flight sim 2004 and the new release coming out soon.Im getting stuck on,graphics card as the latest nvidia card pushes my budget out the window.Ive heard 7600 card is not bad.The other problem is whether to go for amd athlon or amd athlon x 2 or the pentiums.I want it to be future proof for a while at least.Im hoping someone out there that may have some suggestions on pc and pc spec.Thanks for reading.

Pro Member First Officer
cheechm First Officer

I would advise on a self build, if you are confident enough. Check my guide here Guide.

Some pointers:

#ATi crossfire isn't as good as SLi technology so I wouldn't go for them.

#If you can get Core 2 Duo (Pentium), get one of them, instead of the Athlon X2.

# If you are hoping for your PC to run FSX, with Vista (to get the best graphics with DX10), then what I advise, is for you to wait, for a couple of months until some DX10 cards are realeased. If you don't want Vista then go for the nVidia 7600.

# Some companies like Dell don't put very good power supplies in computers (to keep costs down), and that is a major setback.

Anyway... post back on what your thoughts are, and we can advance from there!

Guest

Why intel,I have heard that amd athlon is better for gaming.
also is there any card under the 7600 that will do a good job.I will be looking for a computer thats vista capable i.e you can upgrade to vista.

jeremy shaw Guest

I read in computer buyer magazine that the new intel core two duo is the best chip for gaming at the moment! (faster than the fx60) ive seen
they supply vista ready pc and it came out cheaper then buying all the parts from eBay. pretty good!

Pro Member Trainee
trailnut Trainee

The following site has good reviews of custom-built computers:

HardOCP

Once you get to the site, click on the tab at the top of the page marked:

[H]Consumer

You can look through many reviews of computers built by small companies. I really like their reviews because they include information about build quality, customer service, support and warranties, and packaging.

Pro Member Trainee
Adrian_Wainer Trainee

Anonymous wrote:

Why intel,I have heard that amd athlon is better for gaming.
also is there any card under the 7600 that will do a good job.I will be looking for a computer thats vista capable i.e you can upgrade to vista.

AMD at one stage was better for gaming in terms of more bangs per buck, but that was when AMD processors were relatively cheap compared to Intel. The 939 Socket AMD Athlons 64 dual cores were very expensive so the price issue advantage neutralized there and whilst there was an argument for buying the AMD Athlon 64 prior to the release of Intel Conroe Core 2 Duo, both the [ the now older ] 939 Socket Athlon 64 and the current 940 AM2 Socket 64 are well outclassed by the Intel Conroe Core 2 Duo in performance, whilst the Intel processor sells for much the same price as AMD Athlon 64.

Speaking about nvidia cards, I would try and go for a 7600GT, I know you said you want a card below that but I do not think there is a great deal of possabilities that will give good frame rates with future software. One the other hand, if you are going the Intel processor route you will probably wish to go ATI, do not get me wrong I am not criticiseing ATI cards, some of their cards are excellent, it is just I am not familar with the models, in which case it might be possible to get an ATI card that perform at least as well as the 7600GT at a lower price point than the 7600GT, I just don't know.

Furthermore you spoke about Vista, which might be an issue if you want to play "legacy" games designed to run under XP e.g. FS2004 will Vista support FS2004 I do not know, what I know is that I have a Windows XP Professional x64 operating system and whilst it has 32 bit emulation, it has problems running 32 software certified for the regular XP [ ie XP home].

Make sure that the mother boards supports PCI Express rather than AGP in respects of the slot[s] for the graphics card[s]. If you want SLI or Crossfire make sure you purchase a motherboard which is certificated to support this and check out that both PCI Express card slots are a full 16.

Best and Warm Regards
Adrian Wainer

RandomGuest Guest

I found the PC I wanted from a recommendation in a Magazine. The magazine did a round up and my PC came out on top at the time. My computer is an Evesham and has been really reliable so far. Mines running an X2, which was top at the time. I have no desire to upgrade to Core 2 Duo since the performance of my system is still excellent.
I have never had much luck with PC world and think their after service sucks, so I could never recommend them.

This looks like a reasonable system, but its only a base unit so a monitor would have to be purchased seperately:

Check magazines and really shop around thats my advice. Core 2 Duo is the prefered choice, but AMDs X2 are still really good processors if you find a good deal on one.

Pro Member Trainee
sox2x Trainee

Beware ! If you are thinking of purchasing Crossfire, it does not support more than one monitor.
I run two monitors and will soon be adding a third.
I completely rebuilt my system and included the x1900xt crossfire video cards....only to discover that the system is useless to me....the crossfire card went back to Tiger Direct.
The good news: at least I have some extra $$ for Vista!

Sox.

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