Computer Advice please

Discussion in 'Yellow Pages' started by StuBoy, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    I'm looking to get a new desktop computer (I'm still old school) this month in the sales as my old one is about to give up the ghost. I have an Apple for work, so want to get a Windows based system for my desktop. I have a vague idea about PC's but it's on pretty much a basic level, I do however like gaming and would like to get a system accordingly, so I'm looking at Alienware (I don't want to build it from scratch to be honest). I pulled together some specs and have listed them below. Can anyone give me some advice on this please and let me know if this is a solid setup? All advice appreciated, but remember I'm not fussed about buying all the individual bits and pieces and building it myself! Understand too that it'll probably come with a load of carp on it, but I can remove that. Also fancy an SSD drive for boot up purposes as I believe it's quicker?

    Processor
    Intel® Core™ i7 8700 (6-Core/12-Thread, 12MB Cache, up to 4.6GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology)
    Operating System
    Windows 10 Home 64bit English, Dutch, French, German, Italian
    Video Card
    AMD Radeon™ RX 580 (150W) with 8GB GDDR5
    Memory
    16GB,DDR4,2666MHz up to 64GB (Additional memory sold separately)
    Hard Drive
    256GB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)
    CD ROM/DVD ROM
    8x DVD+/-RW 9.5mm ODD
    Wireless
    Qualcomm DW1820 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1
    Base
    Shadowcat CFL CTO Base
    Chassis Options
    460W EPA Liquid Cooled Chassis, w/ODD
     
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  2. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Would go Windows 10 Pro if possible for the extra tweaks, (as an example you can access gpedit.msc with Pro).
    SSDs are incredibly fast but push it to 512GB if you can as that 256 will get eaten up very fast.

    Where from and how much?
     
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  3. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Cheers Diamond. Looking to get the Alienware through the Dell site as there’s a 12% discount until 15th January. Budget is £1,500 absolute max. I’d say between £1,000 and £1,500.

    Will look into that SSD upgrade maybe.
     
  4. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Alienware are ridiculously expensive. You're paying for the name and not much else these days. I can see that Alienware are charging £1500 for that - check out https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs (I got my PC from them and can highly recommend them) - you might be able to find something a bit cheaper but just as good!
     
  5. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Thanks Reids, I will check it out. Alienware is a premium price, that's for sure!
     
  6. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Spec looks good. Desktops are still where the power is at.

    Seconded on Alienware being steep. My supplier of choice is dinopc.com and for £1500 you're looking at water cooled overclocked monsters from them. I'd certainly look at speccing yourself though as suppliers tened to charge a premium for "gaming pcs" by putting them in a facy box with leds in it.

    Your shortlist is a pretty similar spec to mine except I've got twin graphics cards (I use in a multi-monitor setup) which I'd recommend if you do a lot of 3d gaming. Investigate SLI which splits the processing across 2 cards for one display. I've also been told that there's not much difference i5 to i7 where gaming is concerned and you're better off dumping the saved cash into a better graphics card/s.
     
  7. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Don't bother with an i7 unless you're doing something that benefits from it. The usual example is video encoding, which is very processor intensive. You're basically wasting your money if you're not doing very specific tasks.

    Alienware is very overpriced. You'll get far more bang for your buck elsewhere, even if you don't want to build it yourself.

    Since you're not doing a homebuilt, it's unlikely you'll be overclocking. You'll probably save yourself a bit of money by not getting a liquid cooled rig. You can also skip a DVD drive if you're comfortable with digital software libraries like Steam - there's really no reason to buy physical anymore.

    To sum up, I'd do this:

    Spend more:

    - Larger SSD
    - Best video card you can afford (nVidia 1070 would be good if it fits the budget; note that more expensive vid cards can have power supply implications)
    - Win 10 Pro upgrade

    Spend less:

    - i5 processor
    - No liquid cooling
    - No DVD drive
    - Don't buy Alienware

    Word of caution: make sure you know which motherboard your gear is getting mounted into. Lots of prefab companies focus on things like processor, RAM and video cards, but they deliberately go cheap on the motherboard and don't talk about it. Your motherboard is the bedrock your machine is built on and they are definitely not all created equal. Make sure you get a decent one or the rest of your spend is undermined.

    Don't buy AV, either. There are plenty of free, good quality AV solutions on the market now, so use one of those instead of paying for a suite.
     
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  8. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Thanks Arakel, very very useful. Interesting what yourself and Meister said about the processor, hadn't really thought along those lines before but I will follow that advice (along with avoiding Alienware now!). I think I'll still need a DVD drive for older games/DVD's, and I'm really keen on getting an SSD drive this time as you suggest for the speed factor on boot up more than anything.

    One more question on motherboards, I really have no idea about them and never have. Any advice on this? Recommendations, or ones to avoid?
     
  9. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    At work I have a Dell Xeon X6560 with 48GB of ram and 4TB of disk space spread over a raid 5 set of HD's. It's mine alone to run my test images on. It's got Ubuntu 16.04 and Virtualbox with images of all possible OS's and some I don't need but just want to have a play with, (like Windows NT4 Server).

    Honestly I love it like one of my own kids.
     
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  10. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    If they don't tell you what motherboard it is then it's a clue that it'll be a generic one that may not be up to scratch. I've got an Asus.

    Get this:
    https://www.dinopc.com/custom-pc/extreme-pc/raptor2-extreme-watercooled-pc

    Anything called an extreme raptor carnivore has to be good.
     
  11. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    haha looks very good but just a tad outside my price range...had a look at Dino PC today and played around with a few specification. Quite like that site and they may well get my business.
    If I go with an i5 processor over an i7 do you recommend I get the one with maximum GHz?
     
  12. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    The good thing about Dino is you can let them build it or spec individual stuff yourself. Sheer processing power - faster is better but there's normally a large price to pay for the very quickest over the next one down which in reality is only marginally slower. see what price difference it makes. If you can afford to chuck 32Gb ram at it rather than 16Gb then may as well do so. I'd consider 16Gb a minimum for a fast PC these days.

    Of note.
    My first PC was from Dan computers. 486sx 25MHz 4Mb Ram 210Mb Hd.

    Upgraded myself in the first year to add a sound card and CD Rom Drive.

    Upgraded the processor twice finally to a 486 dx/2 66Mhz 8 Mb Ram 850 Mb Hd by the time it finally got superseded 4 years or so after purchase.

    Built a couple from scratch since then but my last PC purchased 5 years ago was from Dino and it's still a beast. Although I don't game I do do video & graphics work on it.

    i7 16Gb twin Nvidia 550Ti graphics, running 3x24" monitors (one is also a TV). 128Gb SSD for system and programs, everything else stored on a Synology RAID NAS.
     
  13. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    So you're soon going to be:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    I read that some people had issues with the latest version and Virtualbox so I decided to stick with 16.04, (I saw the upgrade button when I came in after the New year). If it aint broke etc...
     
  15. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Ok so I think I have settled on this which is in my budget, thoughts? I wondered about getting 1080 graphics card over a 1070, but think that would be overkill for my purposes. 1070 should work fine.

    Would be interested if anyone thinks I've made a glaring error before I place my order!

    upload_2018-1-4_17-35-2.png
     

    Attached Files:

    hornmeister likes this.
  16. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Looks good - ASUS and Corsair are both good vendors and the 1070 is a good pick IMO. I'm also a fan of Samsung SSDs.

    Only thing I would suggest is seeing if you can get Win 10 Pro instead of Home - as Diamond mentioned, it does give you some potentially useful added extras.
     
  17. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Right it's done! Decided to drop the Blu-ray drive as most things are done online now. For my older games etc.. if I ever want to play them again I can always purchase an external drive at some point. With that saving I upgraded to Windows Pro as suggested and got a slightly better looking case for the whole thing. Looking forward to it arriving now, and have paid less than if I got Alienware! So thanks for the advice, it was pretty helpful!
     
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  18. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Don't think you'll regret it, it's a nice rig.
     
  19. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Ubuntu, or more correctly the unity interface, will be no more. 16.04 LTS will be supported to 2020. The planned 18.04 update is going to be Gnome.
     
  20. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Doh too late. I would have gone for a bigger files HD 1Tb can be eaten quickly if you store any movies, but it's no biggie. My preference to to store everything on a NAS which is backed up and can be accessed by many devices as well as remotely. Sticking a new/extra HD in later if required is relatively painless. Which company did you go with in the end?

    Win Pro was a good idea. I also wouldn't be without a copy of MS Office. I know free versions are available but they just aren't as good. Enjoy, It's a beast.


    I've just taken delivery of a new laptop for my Dad and busy configuring away, taking off some of the junk it comes installed with.
    for £500 is 8Gb, 128Gb SSD i5 1090p screen. For occasional spreadsheets and www work it's going to be quick enough for donkeys years.

    Does anyone know how to remove the tiles from the start menu on Windows 10. My dad is upgrading from Windows 7 and they'll just confuse him (he's doing well for 80). I can unpin them but after a restart they all return which is very frustrating.
     
  21. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    I went with Dino PC in the end. I think 1TB should be fine for me Meister, as films I tend to stream rather than download. I have a 1TB currently (and no extra SSD drive) and it's perfectly fine to be honest. Like you say it's easy to add more at a later date.

    One thing that changed from the order I listed is that I downgraded the graphics card slightly. Still a 1070 but not a Ti Turbo. Should still do the job (I hope!).
     
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  22. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Don't forget to move your old hard drive across to the new PC then! That way you have 2TB for the price of one :)
     
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  23. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    True but do it carefully IIRC putting slower unit as a slave on the same channel as the master will cripple the faster drive. If he's got SSD it should be set-p to have 2 masters on each of 2 channels.

    Mind you things have moved on a pace since I last built a PC.

    if 1TB is enough consider getting a cheap external case for your old HD and use it for backup purposes
     
  24. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    I would, but once I've formatted my old PC etc.. I plan on giving it to my old man to replace his woeful system!
     
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  25. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Make sure you delete your browser history especially the image cache.:cool:
     
  26. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    A total reformat of the system should do the trick ;)
     
  27. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

  28. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Don't think my Dad is that savvy with computers Diamond! That being said, I have no compromising information to be found!!
     
  29. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    In that case your avatar is inappropriate.:p
     
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  30. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    I always use Chillblast to custom build my desktops. All of which are running smoothly even four years after purchase and just ordered a new one last autumn which is still boxed up. Impeccable standards and great customer service as well StuBoy. They will answer any question you have. They even for a charge will tidy the cables in your machine for improved airflow.

    A good PSU that can supply all the power you need, a good cooler, thermal paste are essential as you probably know in addition to the right motherboard which many overlook. For whatever case you choose I look for mesh filters for intakes. Demci are very good.
     
  31. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Not familiar with these, but I've just had a look in their bargain basement and saw this - which I *think* is about the price it would take for me to build one for myself. One of the things about getting "them" to custom build is the warranty issue - I had a mate who ordered a decent chassis (i7, 64GB mem, ssd, 2 * 1 TB hdd etc) and added his own graphics card and a 3.5" fdd (a lot of his historical experimental data was on disks and he aimed to transfer them to something more permanent). It goes "**** up" and he removes them sends back the chassis supplier asking for a replacement mentioning that he thinks that it might be a chip connector. It gets sent back with a note explaining that the case had been opened, thus voiding any warranty...
     
  32. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Dino PC are taking their time. Almost two weeks since my order and it's still processing!
     
  33. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Duh! You should have gone for a higher processing speed.
     
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  34. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Its built to order. Think mine took 3 weeks or so.
     
  35. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Banter
     

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