UPDATED: Which non-Mac to buy? (no flaming)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TantalizedMind, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007

    Can you guys shop around newegg and give me a list of parts that you suggest and PLEASE make sure they are ALL COMPATIBLE with one another. I'm not sure I'd know the difference.

    I am looking for C2D @ 3.0GHZ, NVidia GeForce 8800 GT or GTS, 2 to 4 GB of ram, and two dvd drives not one. The rest I have no idea on. And please even help me out with the small stuff. Power supply, etc. I think I need to buy "ribbon" to hook it all up together, right?

    If this seems way too hard, that Dell XPS 420 (must be a hit, lol) that blurb23 talked about seemed like a good candidate for gaming.

    Thanks so much guys!


    Original Post:

    Hey guys. I'm looking to get a PC in ADDITION TO (not replace) my G5. I will be using the PC for games (UT III). I just don't know which company to buy from since none of them can compare to Apple in the quality department.

    I was looking at Gateway FX530S. It has... Intel 2 Quad Core 2.4Ghz, 2GB ram, 250GB HDD, two drives (option), and 9-in-1 Memory Card Reader for $1,200. Cnet only has reviewed a higher up model at $4/5k, so thats not an accurate review for what I'm looking at.

    What would you suggest? Gateway FX530, Dell XPS 720, Alienware Area-51 7500? Or something else. Please no all-in-ones. Looking to spend under $1,500.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    PC Business Machines (i.e. IBM Thinkpad, Dell Latitude, Dell Optiplex) have better hardware than Macs.

    Although to be honest if you want to game I'd build my own PC as the OEM's charge a massive premium for what you get.
  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I would recommend that you seriously consider building your own box. It isn't that hard, and you'll have complete control over your system's specs.

    AMD just released their new Phenom CPUs which come in at a very attractive price - you might consider picking one of those up.
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    The Arstechnica System Guides (Specifically for the Hot Rod, which is $1555 without OS) could also be helpful.
  5. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    I'd look at the XPS 420.

    Vista Premium
    3GB RAM @ 667Mhz
    320GB HDD @ 7200RPMs
    20" SP2008WFP Widescreen monitor w/ webcam
    nVidia 8600GTS
    Media reader w/ Bluetooth, etc etc.

    Comes to $1479 US, plus tax.

    You can reduce that price by downgrading the monitor. I picked a higher end one with built in webcam, but you could easily go down to a 19" WS monitor and shave about $100 or so off the price.
  6. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    I'm another one in the built it yourself camp. It can work out cheaper, you get the exact machine you want and you get a nice project for a day or two.
  7. atthecross macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
  8. TantalizedMind thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
  9. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006

    I put together a wishlist with all the needed parts except the case since youll want to pick that out yourself. You can get either a really cheap case or a really expensive case, it wont affect your performance or anything, its just a matter of taste. If you get a case that comes with a power supply then dont use it, case PSU's are crappy.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&N=2010090007 1054808287&bop=And&Order=RATING

    You will also need a copy of Windows, I dont know if you have a copy already or not, if not then just get an OEM copy from newegg. XP = $90, Vista Home Premium = $105.
  10. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I have one bit of advice...

    If you are unable to choose your own parts based on necessity and compatibility, then you should absolutely NOT be building your own computer.

    The models you originally mentioned seem fine.
  11. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Everyone has to start somewhere, people dont learn if they dont try. Building a computer is easier than Legos anyways. Its impossible to mess things up or plug things in the wrong connector, The hardest part is screwing in the screws to connect things to the case since it can be a tight fit.
  12. MyG5MacVerySLOW macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2007
    along those lines...

    okay, what if you don't want/need a great PC system, you just want cheap, fast,reliable PC

    it's to use on those occasions where i need to test a site for appearance, compatibility, operability in windoze AND one where you have a few apps that are win-pc compatible only (and don't suggest bootcamp or parallels or whatever it is cuz i don't have an intel g5 yet either) -- i have an imac g5 ppc -- and i need to run them side by side anyway.

    I just need a cheap fast reliable pc (or laptop) preferably xp since I don't know vista and don't really want to master another OS.

    any suggestions or recommendations?

  13. TantalizedMind thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    Thank you so much. I can't complain about any of those. Is the 8800 GTS (SLI supported) a big difference from the 8800 GT? I know that UT III will be very gfx intensive. What do you think of this gfx card (only has one review though).


    Also, where do I find inputs for "I/O". When looking at cases I noticed that the ports on the back are empty. Do I have to get parts separately, or do I buy something that has all those ports on a surface together....?
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    The GTS is older, slower, and more expensive than the GT. The GT just came out literally a couple weeks ago, it is meant to replace the GTS. The GT is the second best video card you can buy so it will run any game including Crysis or UT3 just fine, the only thing faster is the GTX. Youll definitely want to wait until newegg gets more GT's in stock (they probably sold out thanks to yesterday) since its a better card than the GTS.

    I dont know what you mean. All ATX mid-tower or full-tower cases work (I gave you a link to the mid-tower cases, full-towers are huge). You dont need to buy anything at all extra, everything I sent is all you need.
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
  16. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Rosewill power supply? Thats a no no. Stick with Antec, CoolerMaster, Corsair has some good ones these days as well. I have just found that Rosewill power supplies are cheap all around and just don't provide stable rails.

    Raptors are a waste for the price. If you put Vista, apps, and games on there you will be looking at speeds comparable to a large 7200RPM drive. You would have to keep that drive extremely light in order to get any speed advantage.

    Quad core is a waste for gaming at this point. The E6700 can keep up just fine in real world benchmarks: http://www.techspot.com/review/36-intel-core2-quad-q6600/page5.html

    Personally, I like to go with Intel boards (if I am going with Intel chips of course). I have had too many stability issues going with 3rd party boards. Not to say they aren't fast and that they don't run well. I have never had any problems with Intel boards in terms of stability.

    Cases are personal preference, but man that is ugly. Look at some of the low end Lian-Li line if you want something Mac-like. And the all aluminum construction is good for heat.
  17. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Oh man no flaming...

    ...I just might as well leave this thread right now..
  18. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Did you take a look at the reviews of the power supply? It seems like you didn't, because you would notice that it got 88% of the ratings as 5 out of 5 stars, that's pretty darn good.

    The Raptor would just be for Windows and nothing else, as you would see as I put "Windows hard drive" beside it, and that would give you a speed advantage.

    I personally would rather have 4 cores than 2, but that's just my opinion, you seem to have your own, as is evident from your post.

    The board that I suggested has gotten great reviews and it even got a customer choice award on newegg. Its safe to say that it is stable.
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Not really. See this.
  20. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    How does that prove me wrong? It looks to me like the 8800 GT is the best one there
  21. TantalizedMind thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    This is an example of what I was talking about. The ports for keyboard, mouse, etc are empty.

  22. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Thats because its just a case. If you look at the pictures of the motherboards youll see that those things are on the motherboard.
  23. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    It is cheap. People put it in budget builds so 5 out of 5 doesn't really make it a good power supply. For a $600 build, sure, why not. But if I am looking at a high end video card I want a power supply that provides me with a good rails, and Rosewill does not do that.

    Yes you put "Windows hard drive" behind it. But as you may know, the default programs directory is on the "C" drive. Sure he can install the apps and games on the "storage" drive, but if you are shooting for load times what is the point? Especially with 4GBs of RAM. There is really no need for a Raptor. Any speed boost in Windows load times would be negligible and not worth the Raptor premium. Please show me where a speed advantage would come in when we are putting only Windows on that drive and seemingly not apps and games, which is where someone would want the performance boost? Sure we get a slightly faster swap, but again, with 4GBs swapping would be minimal.

    Well I actually am going to have eight-cores when the new Mac Pro comes out. So believe me, I show no preference for the number of cores. I am going based on usefulness. Your personal preference for cores ignores performance data in the area the OP wants which is gaming.

    Further, the Q6600 is a makeshift quad core. In other words it isn't a "true" quad. It is two Conroes slapped together, just like Clovertown is two Woodcrests slapped together. The new 45nm chips hitting the market are true quads and there will be significant gains by going with that architecture. However it is expensive right now.

    My point is, there is no advantage currently gained by mosts games by having four cores. Maybe later. But there is no point in buying a makeshift quad core when you could simply slap a true penryn quad in later on when the prices fall. It isn't about what you would "rather have," it is about getting the bang for the buck and there are better CPUs out there that will offer you better gaming performance in current conditions.

    Now if the OP wants to multitask some creative apps, then we can talk about Quad. Outside of that it is pointless.

    You should really try to be less sensitive. I did not say the board you picked out wasn't stable. I simply spoke of my preference. My preference, based on experience with building systems, is to use Intel boards as they are generally more conservative and because of that more stable. That is all I said. If the OP buys that board will it be unstable? Probably not. I never said it would be though.
  24. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Under $1500 eh?

    Intel E6850 3.0GHz Dual Core Processor

    Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard

    Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 2 x 1GB (2GB) RAM

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB HDD

    Corsair 450VX 450W Power Supply

    Samsung DVD+/-RW Drive x2

    Now the fun part begins: You can choose your video card (If you can get an 8800GT in stock, that would be a great pick up, or a 3850/3870 depending on how much you want to game/how high you game). Here's one:

    EVGA 8800GT (make sure to register it on their website for lifetime warranty!)

    Also, picking the case you like (both aesthetically pleasing and functional). For a good budget case that works quite well:

    Cooler Master Centurion 5

    All that and your price comes out to $1056.91 before tax or shipping. Add in an OEM copy of Vista or Windows XP depending on what you want and you're looking at $1200 before tax (if in CA) or shipping. Probably $1250 shipped w/o tax. And this isn't even looking at deeper deals w/ possible rebates etc.

    That rig'll blow anything out of the water you can get from any OEM at that price easily.

    Now I'd dig up a guide to build a PC but I don't have time to but I'm sure you can find a recent one. Honestly, building a PC is like a slightly more complex version of Legos but one where you can't put the pieces in the wrong slot (if you need to cut anything, you're probably doing something wrong!). Also, all the cables you need usually come with the power supply and motherboard anyways.
  25. TantalizedMind thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    Thanks guys for all your input. I hope to have everything ordered by sometime in January (if not sooner).

    My one last concern is, well, I don't mean to hate.. but I really am scared of viruses from using Windows. I haven't had a PeeCee in so many years. I don't know what to download/buy/do. What do you suggest are the best methods for keeping viruses away.

    I know at least I'll just download songs from LimeWire and "adult movies" on my Mac.

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