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Help with specs on new PC

By gamerguy79 · 41 replies
Jan 25, 2008
  1. Hopefully this is the most appropriate forum for this. I have a PC that is about 4-5 years old, and while it has been upgraded many times, it's showing its age when I try and run any of the new games. No surprise there.

    I have a bit of money to spend, and am considering going the Alienware PC route (I already have an Alienware laptop and am happy with it). I customized the PC I'd like, and it came out to $3900 with shipping and taxes. Below are the specs - do you see anything that would be worth waiting a month or two to drop in price? The price is crazy, but I want a system that will be future-proofed for at least a year or two.

    What do you think? Are there any new GPUs or processors on the horizon that would be worth waiting for (if only to make the below specs cheaper)? Thanks in advance!


    Area-51® 7500

    Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz 8MB Cache 1066MHz FSB
    Alienware P2 Chassis: Alienware® P2 Chassis with AlienIce™ 3.0 Video Cooling - Conspiracy Blue
    System Lighting: Alienware® AlienFX® System Lighting - Astral Blue
    High-Performance Liquid Cooling: Alienware® High-Performance Liquid Cooling
    Acoustic Dampening: Alienware® Acoustic Dampening
    Power Supply: Alienware® 1000 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
    Graphics Processor: Dual Graphics Processors - Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 GT - SLI Enabled
    Video Optimizer: AlienAdrenaline v1.0: Video Performance Optimizer - More Info
    Memory: 2GB Low Latency Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 x 1024MB
    Motherboard: Alienware® Approved NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard
    Operating System (Office software not included): Windows Vista® Home Premium – DirectX 10 Ready!
    Desktop Tuners and Remotes: Without Media Center Remote Control
    System Drive: Single Drive Configuration - 160GB SATA 1.5Gb/s 10,000RPM 16MB Cache
    Storage Drive: Additional Storage Drive - 750GB SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM 16MB Cache
    Optical Drives : Single Drive Configuration - 20X Dual Layer Burner (DVD±RW) w/ LightScribe
    Enthusiast Essentials: Dual High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer High Definition 7.1 Audio - More Info
    Monitor: No Monitor
    Keyboard: Premium Keyboard - Alienware® USB Full-Size Keyboard
    Mouse : Premium Mouse - Standard Optical 3-Button Mouse with Scroll Wheel
    Warranty: 1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service
    AlienRespawn: AlienRespawn v2.0 Recovery DVD – Windows Vista® Edition
    Removable Storage: Alienware® 28-in-1 Digital Media Reader / Writer
  2. wanna be geek

    wanna be geek TS Rookie Posts: 77

    go to this site and get all that same stuff for about a 1/4 fo what you would pay... www.geeks.com
  3. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, but ...

    I'm plenty comfortable upgrading an existing system - I've replaced every part in a computer except the Mobo and processor. But I am not confident enough in my ability to build a rig from scratch.
  4. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 840   +6

    That is WAY too much to spend on a gaming PC that will have a few outdated parts in a year or two. If you don't want to build it yourself at least shop around.

    Nvidia and Intel have new products coming out in Jan and Feb, it would be worthwhile to wait.
  5. wanna be geek

    wanna be geek TS Rookie Posts: 77

    I don't know you but I think you could do it... It is so easy I will never buy one from the store again or pay someone to fix it... I build computers all week and sell them to people in my town... Heck, you could take that amount of money and go to that site and buy 10 barebones kits that even come with speakers and keboards and an optical mouse and slap them together and go into buisness!!!
  6. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hmm, okay

    You suggest shopping around - I've researched a lot of the custom PC builders, and pretty much all of them have a statistically significant percentage of complaints (based on www.resellerratings.com), except Alienware. That's why when I needed a powerhouse laptop for work and play, I bought one from them.

    So are you suggesting that I buy a barebones system that has a high-end mobo and processor, and then buy all the rest of the parts and install them myself? That seems reasonable ... except I have one noob question re. that: how do I create my own restore disk? It's inevitable that I'll screw something up past the point of no return and will need to start over at some point.

    Where would you suggest I look for barebones kits? I wish I was more confident about the mobo and processor ...

    More to the point - do most of the newer motherboards fit in most of the newer, available cases? I would hate to end up buying a nice mobo, and find it doesn't fit in the nice case I got. Or the layout of the board prevents me from doubling up on GPUs. These are the things that would keep me up at night if I built my own rig.
  7. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    the alienware is a goodspec but building it will save u alot of money..u might be better of getting a dell xps since they r the same...dell and alienware share the same parts and dell is cheaper.
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,375   +611

    For your new PC you will need to buy a new Windows installation CD or DVD (Vista). That CD will be used to reinstall Windows later if needed.

    Installing the motherboard into the case is very simple. Installing the processor onto the motherboard is as simple as placing it into the socket and locking it down. Installing the heatsink and fan is not rocket science. After that you've done everything else already. The only tricky part is connecting the front panel case connectors (on button, reset button, hard drive LED light, etc. You will need to read the motherboard manual for the correct placement and orientation.

    Look at the form factor of the case and motherboard and make sure they match up. For example, a case could accommodate an ATX mobo or a micro ATX mobo. That means you have a choice of either type. If you bought a smaller micro ATX case, you won't be able to fit a full ATX mobo, just a micro. Just pay attention to the form factors and you will be fine.

    As for mobo layout, study the layout from pictures you can find at online vendor's sites and manufacturer's sites and try to find reviews that might highlight any interference issues with dual graphics cards.

    For further information you can find several websites, if you google for them, that will explain how to build a new PC AND how to install the operating system (just as important). They will help you to size up the job and give you confidence to proceed.
  9. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    i wod agree with mailpup 100% becasue the thing is pc companies charge u sooo much more then what ur pc is really worth and building ur pc will have alot of difference as you will know how everything is running and working and so will have more confindence in ur system..
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    gamerguy79 or Beugnen I'm concerned about what you want here
    What information exactly you need
    Different models
    Different parts
    Who can do it
    Board Info ?

    If it comes down to board info, then after many years of visiting hundreds of different boards, I find TechSpot to be the most open and fair.

    Can you please just say exactly what you need - technical info has many different avenus, and there are many different minds here.

    It would be better to go to the source don't you feel ?

    I would be very interested in your reply, better to start again with what you want.

    (I have posted in may places, eventually arriving here at TechSpot)
  11. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    okay then

    Kimsland, I am looking to get as good as PC as I can afford, and I've already given my hesitations. I like Nvidia over ATI, Core 2 Quad over AMD. The rest of the specs are basically "what can I get for what I can afford"?
  12. wanna be geek

    wanna be geek TS Rookie Posts: 77

    As far as a OS goes... You do not have to buy it... I can tell you how to get a FREE copy of any addition of Vista WITH a genuine product key from Microsoft... I did it, I have helped others do it, I will help you... I will not post it here because I do not want everyone in the world doing it and I lose a good thing. Like I said, I am a builder so it not only saves me $, it makes me $... Contact me if you are interested.....
  13. jimh33

    jimh33 TS Rookie Posts: 33

    help with the os and key

    sounds like what i need could you tell me how to get it and how to contact you.
  14. wanna be geek

    wanna be geek TS Rookie Posts: 77

  15. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    lol guys nice workin for the os but as gamerguy got a solution to his pc/???
  16. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorta kinda. So far I know to check around for prices on buying stuff myself (which would obviously be cheaper), but I'm still not terribly confident in my ability to match mobos with cases, how to set up all the wiring efficiently ... and let alone adding liquid-cooling or anything fancy. Being that I want a high-end gaming machine, I would hate it if I saved money by buying things myself, and then it blew up because it didn't stay cool enough.

    I guess I'm still leaning toward buying a custom-built PC, but wondering if there is any new tech on the horizon that would be either worth waiting for, or worth waiting for so what I want to buy now is cheaper. My timeline is in weeks-months, not months-years.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    If It's Gaming You Want Then........

    At this time even the hottest new games are (I believe) single or dual threaded. There is not as much benefit to a Quad core processor as you might expect. You might consider the E6850 C2D.

    One of our members had a machine based on a Quad Extreme which he apparently abandoned for one of the new E6X50 dual cores, which he said out performed it. He still kept pitching the quad to everybody who would listen. Go figure. What does this all mean? Damned if I know.
  18. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Yahh captain is right ur like better of now getting somthing like the new ATI 3870 X2 now and get maybe the new phenom as they work really well together and the phenom is alot more powerful in term of desktop performance. Even though alot of people are getting the new intel they arnt as good as the amd for day to day use. But yeh things r gonna always move forward so it doesnt matter what ever u get in 6 months or 5 months somthing new is always out there so u cnt really keep high hopes on that factor.

    So just make a choice as the people here before u get it LOL and u shud have a good system
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,402   +38

    A lot of misinformation floating around in here. Just to clarify things:
    1)Intel CPUs are the best right now. Any current-gen CPU you get from Intel will be a wise investment. I'd recommend the E8500.
    2)Do not bother with SLI\Crossfire unless you have a monitor capable of running resolutions including and above 1600x1200, since that is where the real performance benefit from SLI shows.
    3)As said before, a system built by you will give you the advantage of putting in parts that you know are of good quality, besides working out cheaper. Also, you will get warranty on each individual component instead of getting a blanket warranty of 1 year for the whole system as is the case with Alienware. Lastly, you can choose any retail OS to put in your system, as opposed to Alienware who only offer Vista OEM.
  20. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    rage you are right about intel cpu being better for gaming but for like using photoshop and programs like that amd is better but if he is using is just for gaming then intel would be the best choice
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,402   +38

  22. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    i am not trying to prove anything im just trying to help him. And maybe you are right but the amd phenom are buggy at the mo so u cannot use those stats as gospal anyway but yeh go for intel
  23. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,402   +38

    Never said you were mate. Sorry if I sounded rude, but I was just trying to get the facts straight, that's all. As you might have seen, the Core 2 Duos are the current performance kings and thus the best choice when going for a new system.
  24. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    Where does quad come into the equation
  25. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Yeh i guess so but to be honest quads are useless at the moment but i guess if its a long term system then quad is ok
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