Author Topic: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?  (Read 3534 times)

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Offline steve58

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Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« on: December 07, 2019, 03:22:01 PM »
The time has come for me to finally start looking to replace my 11 year old PC :'( with something with a little more pep. I see lots of sites that do custom/pre builds like IBUYPOWERPC and CYBERPOWERPC (somewhat familiar with them) and several that I'm not so familiar with. 

Just looking for some feedback from those who have used such sites.  I could probably build my own, but as I get older, find I'm less inclined to go that route. I've always tended to stay with Intel CPUs and nVidia GPUs, but from what I've been reading the differences between Intel/AMD and nVidia/Radeon has gotten lots grayer. 

Thanks for any info you care to share.

p.s. and for those who care, I'm looking for something in the $1000 +/- $100 range.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 03:29:47 PM by steve58 »
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.   Thomas Jefferson

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.   George Orwell

If you ever find yourself in need of a safe space then you’re probably going to have to stop calling yourself a social justice warrior. You cannot be a warrior and a pansy at the same time.   Mike Adams (RIP Mike)

Offline airboy

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2019, 07:42:39 AM »
I've bought several Falcon Northwest machines and have never been disappointed.  If you do not play virtual reality or shooter games competitively, then the base Talon machines are excellent.  They are also water cooled and are amazingly quiet.

Others will argue that Falcons are more expensive than building your own - and they are right.  Few, if any, will argue that Falcons work as they should right out of the box and are very reliable.

Jason Pratt has also owned multiple Falcons and has enjoyed them.

I'm not a shooter/flight sim/VR guy - and my Falcons have held up until either the technology changes enough that I want an upgrade or the video card fails.  I usually keep them 6-8 years before replacing.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2019, 08:39:22 AM »
Everything AB said. You get what you pay for, and that's performance with peace of mind. Tech support, on those occasions you need it, is very reliable -- even the guys who just pick up the phone in the office will help with tech support, and know what they're doing!

They are very much what might be called the "trope codifiers" for boutique rigs.

My current rig (a black 70 lb matte-black monolith I call "the Presence") was top-of-the-line back when I got it with an NVidia SLI 680 series (or something like that, a top-line dual-slot card at the time). I eventually had to upgrade to a 1080, near-top-of-line, and haven't had performance problems since. The only thing I've had to replace with some regularity (I think three times in ten years) is the top cooling fan, and that's only because I almost never dust it and it gets out of balance and shoots the bearings.

That being said, I'm unsure there's a price-point around $1000 for a FNW. I paid real money for this thing (and for all my previous Falcons), and that's coming out to around $700 a year so far. But I suck at putting hardware together, and they know how to do that to maximize stability with performance.

I would one thousand percent replace our shop computers (which need replacing someday soon) with (lower-grade) Falcons if I could figure out how to convince for the expense (plus a higher grade one so I can do shop drawings).

A Fragbox starts at just under $2K. They scale up from there. I'll see what options there are for dialing down to $1Kish later...
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Online Dammit Carl!

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2019, 10:05:24 AM »
Got a Cyberpower rig in late '17 after last deployment.  Think it was on the lowish end at 300-400 dollars. 

Can't complain about it too much - yeah, it aint the beefiest  (i5 quad core at 3.2 ghz, 8 gig ram and no idea about video stuffs) but it offers a huge case that allows for tinkering and upgrades and that's okay by me.

Offline Millipede

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2019, 10:45:21 AM »
Add me to the Airboy and JP pro FalconNW list. I've been buying their machines for 20+ years and I'm on my 5th system now. I've considered building my own from time to time but have always decided that the experienced folks at FalconNW can definitely build a better and more reliable system than I can. They are the folks that started the boutique gaming computer category and there may be newcomers that can build a comparable machine but I wouldn't bet on it. In all the time that I've owned Falcons I've resorted to calling their support folks 4 or 5 times and you may have to wait for a day or so but they will call you back as soon as one of their techs is available and that tech will spend as much time as it takes to solve your problem. They are actual humans that know what they're talking about and they don't dump you off into telephone limbo. The first time I resorted to calling tech support it was eventually determined that I had either a failed HD or the HD cable was bad. The next day (I'm about 200 miles away from FalconNW's home) UPS delivers a new HD and two different cables. FalconNW didn't ask for a deposit or anything, they just asked that I return what I didn't use. It turned out to be one of the cables and I returned the HD and other cable. These are not inexpensive machines but as JP said above... you get what you pay for and I will never own anything else.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 10:47:24 AM by Millipede »

Offline Grim.Reaper

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2019, 11:00:18 AM »
add me to the build your own crowd...if you have the ability to do so.  only takes a couple of hours, typically cheaper, and you can build to your exact spec....but if your not comfortable, the of course could pre built

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 11:46:56 AM »
Building your own is definitely the most cost-effective way to get performance, no doubt!  O0

Then again, I have a nice desktop-replacement laptop (basically a very portable desktop-comparable with its own built-in screen, can't really use it as a laptop, I always used it mounted on its aluminum suitcase as a heat sink), bought back when Windows XP Service Pack 2 was the new hotness. And it still runs XPSP2 great. (XPSP3 breaks the wireless internet, of course, but that's just SP3.) I still use it occasionally! -- just not on an unsecured line.

Last I checked, Falcon still features that specific laptop on their photo gallery with an amusing explanation that it was so black and shiny it was nearly impossible to photo due to sucking up or reflecting back all the lighting rigs!  :smitten:  :coolsmiley:
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline steve58

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2019, 11:47:48 AM »
Thanks all.  I have checked out FalconNW and find them to be out of my $$ range for what I want. 

CPU - AMD/Intel 3.5+ Ghz
GPU - GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
RAM - 16 GB
SSD 256/512 GB
HDD 1+TB
PSU 650+W

I can get the above or similar from IBuyPowerPC and CyberPowerPC for ~$1100.  Going to keep shopping around for a bit longer.
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.   Thomas Jefferson

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.   George Orwell

If you ever find yourself in need of a safe space then you’re probably going to have to stop calling yourself a social justice warrior. You cannot be a warrior and a pansy at the same time.   Mike Adams (RIP Mike)

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2019, 12:02:07 PM »
Hm, Falcon isn't even allowing customers to configure a MachV right now! -- which is very weird. I can understand them saying "No more MachV orders until after the holidays," but not even allowing configurations?  :o

This suggests they're about to launch a new product line to replace the MachV (or redesigning them so radically that they might as well be replaced).

CPU - AMD/Intel 3.5+ Ghz
GPU - GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB
RAM - 16 GB
SSD 256/512 GB
HDD 1+TB
PSU 650+W

Yeah, I'm not sure they even offer a custom build that far down. Their minimum Fragbox (which is the least expensive I've found this afternoon so far) runs a little over $2K, and has a data drive four times as large and a 4.2Ghz 9th gen processor.

I'll see what else they've got. The Fragbox is still a little more "l33t" than their Talons, so maybe there....
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2019, 12:10:31 PM »
Nope, not in Talons either (or the little Tiki box which is designed like a gaming console). Fragbox is the least you can get in a tower, and it's gonna be $2025 (plus shipping).
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline SirAndrewD

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2019, 12:44:49 PM »
I've had good luck with Cyberpower rigs in the past. 

Trick to them is to make sure you get all name brand parts.  It pushes the price up but it's worth it.  The generic RAM, PSU's and Hard Drives they list as default have a pretty bad reputation. 

Especially the PSU's.  If you get a generic PSU from them you're guaranteed to need to replace it.

Good news is they carry most of the good name brands like Corsair, Thermaltake, WD, Segate and Kingston

Online Jarhead0331

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2019, 10:38:18 AM »
I only buy pre-built. Do not have the time, patience or expertise to do a custom build.

I typically buy from Newegg, but picked up my most recent rig from Bestbuy. Their price actually beat out Newegg on the same rig. Go figure...

In any event, over the last 6 years or so, I've had Asus, Acer, Cyberpower, ABS and *gasp* a Dell system, and have been fortunate enough to never have any serious issues. I always bargain shop for these rigs so I understand that sometimes the internals of the bargain pre-built systems can be generic or be lower end components. Still, the significant savings justify what has so far been relatively low risk for me.

With the way technology advances these days, I only have a few years with each rig before I no longer feel they are cutting edge and I start looking for a replacement or upgrade. I view them sort of like a lease on a car. I'm only going to be using them for 3 years or so before I turn it in for a newer model. 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 12:30:53 PM by Jarhead0331 »
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2019, 11:22:17 AM »
The lease analogy/strategy is reasonable!

What's the current situation with Dell's boutique systems? Originally they were going to compete directly with FNW and peers, and then I lost track of them. Did they just give up and buy Alienware, and market some of that product under the Dell brand?
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Online Jarhead0331

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2019, 12:35:53 PM »
The lease analogy/strategy is reasonable!

What's the current situation with Dell's boutique systems? Originally they were going to compete directly with FNW and peers, and then I lost track of them. Did they just give up and buy Alienware, and market some of that product under the Dell brand?

Not sure...about 2 or 3 years ago I picked up one of their XPS desktops...hey, after all, they say XPS "stands for exceptional build quality, unique materials and powerful features..." It was a 7th generation i7 with 16GB Ram and GeForce 1070, 500GB SSD and 2 TB Sata. My back-up rig crashed and my main ABS system was giving me some problems too, so in a panic I bought this so I wouldn't have to suffer for a day without a gaming rig...heaven forbid! I think I spent under $1200, which at the time was a fairly good deal.

Its all in a very small tower, runs extremely quietly and has served its intended purpose. I'm still running it off of a KVM switch with that stronger ABS system.
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Offline Labbug

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Re: Prebuilt Gaming PCs?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2019, 01:35:34 PM »
I have had good luck with Digital Storm.  They have several lines of custom built PC's.  They also have a ready to ship model, the Lynx.  Looking a the Lynx Ultimate for $1579, this includes the following:

Intel Core i7 9700F
NVIDIA 2070 Super 8 GB
16 GB DDR4 Memory
500 GB M.2 SSD
2 TB 7200 RPM Storage
Windows 10 Home