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PC Build or Buy

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A friend wants a high performance gaming PC. Anyone hip to what are the high quality components, such as MB, video card, ram...? I'd probably suggest a high spec i7.

Or is just more feasible to buy a pre-built system like an Alienware?

The main issue with self build is when you hit awkward compatibility issues between components. Especially as the suppliers will likely 'play off' one against the other rather than admit they are at fault.  :-BROKE

Prebuild systems might end up more expensive, but you have a warranty on the whole PC not spred on different parts.
I build mine mainly, because it was cheaper for the config I choose and I wanted to have the experience of building it. And also I could choose whatever parts I wanted to have inside the PC.
Therefore I'd say it comes down to money and personal preference to build your own PC, which of course can be quite risky, if you damage say the CPU socket for example.

I've only ever bought one 'budget' PC, it was i7-based and I was lazy as it was a single-purpose PC for controlling some hardware. The CPU was the only useful component inside it. In fact, the PSU blew up within a week, and within a month the whole lot was gutted and replaced with other parts. Then I swapped the case for a decent one (because I could not fit a better graphics card inside it) leaving just the CPU as the only part re-used in the rebuild. A total waste of money. I'll stay with building my own - but not because it's cheaper, it isn't, but then I like to choose quality components rather than the crap they use for budget pre-built machines. You can get a good quality gaming rig if you pay for it, and vendors like Overclockers allow you to configure your own, but it's not cheap.

If I buy PCs these days I get 2-3 year old workstation class machines from HP (z-series). You can get a Xeon E5 for less than a new self build and the thing will work properly because it has decent end to end integration. 


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