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SOLVED Should I buy or build a new computer?

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n8t3

Registered
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
I need to get a new desktop sometime in the next few weeks and I'm trying to decide whether I should buy it from a retailer such as Best Buy or build it myself. Is it still more economical these days to build a computer, or is it just as cost effective to buy from a retailer?

I will do some moderate to serious photo editing in Photoshop, so the processor needs to be pretty good (at least an i5, I would think). I don't play games often, but I do use several CAD packages, such as Autodesk Inventor, which are fairly graphics intensive, so the GPU would need to be pretty good as well. I will be purchasing two Dell U2412M monitors and, as they only have display port and DVI connections, the video card would need to have two display port or DVI ports.

My budget is $600-1k. The cheaper the better, but I'm willing to pay up to 1k to ensure I get a good computer.

What would you advise?

EDIT: Sorry for not providing enough information. Here is some more information for you:

  • I already have a copy of Windows
  • My budget is $600-$1,000
  • I already have all the peripherals I need, so this is only the desktop itself we are talking about
  • I am in the U.S. and would prefer to order from Newegg
  • I've never overclocked before and am not sure whether I will/should do it
  • The size of the desktop does not matter
  • I would prefer that the desktop be somewhat quiet, but I will have an air filter running next to it so it doesn't have to be deathly quiet
  • I would like the computer to be upgradable in the future

Thanks for your advice, guys!
 
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\dev\goat

man /dev/goat
Joined
May 17, 2003
Location
South Carolina
With a retail pc you generally get a weird/cheap motherboard with a locked bios and a very limited upgrade path.

Check out some of Knufire's posts. with $600-1000 you could build a very future proof system that will destroy anything retail that you could buy for the same price.
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
Hey, welcome to OCF! :beer:

When trying to recommend a build to you, there's some information that's extremely helpful for us to know. If you could answer these few short questions, we'd be happy to help!


  • *]What are you planning to do with this compuer? Please be as specfic as possible. - Already answered, Photoshop and CAD.
  • What is your budget?
    1. Does this include a copy of Windows?
    2. Does this include peripheals (a keyboard, monitor, mouse, speakers, etc.)?
  • Are you from the United States or a different country? Are you ordering from your own country or from across borders?
    1. Wherever you may be from, does the store that you are planning to order from have a website? It's okay if it isn't in English, we can manage.
    2. If you are from the United States, do you live nearby a Microcenter?
  • Do you have any specific requests with the build?
    1. Do you plan on overclocking? If yes, do you have a specific goal in mind?
    2. Would you prefer the build to be particularly small?
    3. Would you prefer the build to be particularly quiet?
    4. In general, do you prefer this to be a computer that you can spend money on now and let it rest, or a box built for continuous upgrading?
    5. Do you ever plan on utilizing NVIDIA's SLI or AMD's CrossfireX technologies? These features, with a compatible motherboard, allow a user to link multiple identical graphic cards together for added performance. In real world terms, this lets you buy a second identical graphics card down the line as a relatively cheap and easy way to gain a fairly large boost in performance. However, this requires buying a SLI/CFX compatible motherboard and PSU now, which may result in slightly higher initial cost. - You wouldn't care about this, really only useful for games.

Once again, thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these, and I hope you enjoy your stay at OCF! :)
 
OP
N

n8t3

Registered
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Thanks for your replies, everyone!

Knufire, I updated my original post to answer the questions you posed. Thanks for your help!
 

Knufire

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Manassas, VA
Do you live by a Microcenter?

Note if you were thinking about U2412Ms, you might want to look in a Q270 from Ebay. Same panel as the U2711, but only the price of the U2412M.

Are you using CS6?

Capture.JPG
1.JPG
 
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OP
N

n8t3

Registered
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Do you live by a Microcenter?

Note if you were thinking about U2412Ms, you might want to look in a Q270 from Ebay. Same panel as the U2711, but only the price of the U2412M.

Are you using CS6?

I refrained from answering the Microcenter question because I didn't know what it was :) Looking up their store locations, the nearest Microcenter is about 3 hours away from me.

Thanks for the monitor recommendation, but I actually only have room for two 24" monitors on my desk. Anything larger won't fit..

I'm using CS5.
 
OP
N

n8t3

Registered
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Thanks for your advice! I made some changes to your suggestions; would you mind taking a look and telling me what you think? Anyone else's input would be welcome as well!

After the mail-in rebates and the gift card, the total comes out to $890.94.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130595
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157265
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116501

I have a HDD 1TB 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 from my external HDD that I can use, as well as a Crucial M4 128 GB 2.5".

Unfortunately it seems as though many of the discounts end tomorrow or the day after, so I guess I may have to decide rather quickly :D

EDIT: Hopefully this is OK/the right thing to do, but since my initial question has been answered, and I'm now asking about hardware advice instead of whether I should build or buy a computer, I am going to make a new thread to discuss the build. Thanks!
 
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Conumdrum

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2007
Location
Small town Emlenton, PA
Newegg has the BitFenix cases. Nice stuff. Bit cheaper. I got the Shinobi Window in the mail yesterday for less than the Antec, good quality, well rated. Antec 900 is a nice case though, my wifes PC is the original 900, and still a great air cooled case.

Looks okay by me. Dig up the case reviews on the BitFenix, nice stuff.
 
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