Computer advice/recommendations.

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#1
Okay, so - after making do with a laptop for a few years, I've decided to splurge a bit and buy myself a new desktop. I know it would be a bit cheaper (and obviously more customizable) to build one, but being as I've never done that before and I don't want to a) screw it up or b) spend a whole lot of extra time assembling, I'd rather just buy something that will run out of the box, and that I can upgrade as I see a need.

Basically what I want is a machine that's going to be solid for gaming now, and for a while to come. I don't need absolute top-end by any means, and I'm looking to spend somewhere around $1500. I also have a decent 19" monitor as well, so while a new one would be nice, it's nowhere near mandatory.

Right now I'm looking at this one. I know the graphics card is a bit dated now, and the slower PCI slots makes running crossfire pretty sub-standard, but on the whole it looks like a pretty solid setup for the price. Is there anything else I'm missing with it that should make me reconsider?

Alternately, are there other options available that I haven't found that would be a better value for the money? Keep in mind that I'm in Canada, so shipping and border charges would likely rule out any US retailers.
 
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#2
Nobody has any input? Guess I'll go ahead and order it tomorrow if there aren't any significant reasons not to.
 
E

Element 117

#3
Don't order it until/unless Patrick takes a look. He's like the super computer dude, and his advice saves $$$
 
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#4
Busy. Not enough time in weekend for free consulting & research and still chores and visit with family.

I don't have the time right now to price it all out to know whether or not the price matches the parts, but I do have to say I'm rather surprised at the specs. It almost looks like someone actually sat down and thought it out.
-The power supply is a little low (only 750W) but you only have one full x16 slot available, so you probably won't be using XFire or SLI anyway (you could, but you don't want to. You'd have to go x16 + x4 instead of x8 + x8 to do it...not recommended).
-Usually, premade systems shortchange you on RAM, but this one has 16GB(!).
-Blu-ray is included.
-The CPU isn't underpowered. An i7-860 is still one of the better processors you can buy these days. It doesn't have the Intel integrated graphics on the CPU, so you HAVE to have a discrete graphics card...but it comes with one. And while the 5850 may not be the current top dog, it's right on par with the GeForce GTx 460/470.

Ok, maybe I will make the time to price it out (current prices pulled from Newegg).
$450 - 16GB RAM (4x4GB DDR3)
$300 - i7 860 CPU
$50 - 750W PSU
$300 - Radeon 5850 (doesn't say how much RAM is on board, assuming 1GB)
$115 - Micro-ATX H57 MLB
$100 - Win7 64 Home Prem
$90 - 1.5TB 3.5" HDD
$110 - Blu-Ray burner
---------
$1515 - Subtotal...but we haven't added a case, card reader, cables, nor shipping yet.

Looks like $1600 might not exactly be a steal, but it certainly looks like a fair price. I can't tell the specifics (brand of PSU and HDD, size of GDDR on 5850, make/model of MLB, slow RAM, etc), but on paper it looks like a solid deal. I'm sure that some serious shopping would bring the price of a build-it-yourself version of this computer down far enough that you could use some premium components, and I don't know how many no-name components they chose to get the price that low, but I would expect the computer to at least last the length of the warranty.

It has room and power enough for expansion (ventilation might be another story, but I can't get any views of the inside of the case to tell), so you should be able to sell the 5850 later (assuming it isn't some proprietary config) and upgrade to either a 5870 or GTX 480 (or whatever comes out next) when you're ready without worrying about your power budget. I assume the slots are arranged (top to bottom) x16-x1-x4-x1, so you theoretically could do a Crossfire setup, but the second card would be noticeably handicapped by the x4 slot and 750W is pushing it for 2 GPUs.

Again, I'm surprised at the parts chosen. The specs are surprisingly decent for a mass produced CPU. I can't find any solid reason to dissuade you from purchasing it. Let us know how it turns out.

And now, I'm going to bed. Gotta be to work in 6hrs.

--Patrick
 
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#5
Thanks for putting the time in to sort that out, Patrick. It's very much appreciated.
 
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