Should I build my own or buy refurbished

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DT3, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. DT3


    I'm in the market for a new computer, I run multiple platforms (ninja, esignal, sterling) I usually have about 30 charts up at a time and will be running on two 27" monitors. I was going to finally build my own computer with the following parts.

    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($72.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($140.91 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($111.60 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($134.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($223.98 @ Newegg)
    Sound Card: Creative Labs Audigy SE 24-bit 96 KHz Sound Card ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Wired Network Adapter: Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/100/1000 Mbps PCI-Express x1 Network Adapter ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.98 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

    Total: $1391.38

    I was recently browsing dell outlet and saw they have some t1650s with the following configuration going for slightly less

    Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 Processor (8M, 3.4GHz w/HD4000 Graphics)
    Windows 8 Pro
    Dell Outlet Precision Fixed Workstation T1650, Standard Base Tower
    320 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    8GB, DDR3 UDIMM Memory, 1600MHz, ECC (2 x 4GB DIMMs)
    16X DVD ROM Drive
    16X DVD+/-RW and 16X DVD
    2 GB NVIDIA Quadro K2000 (2DP and 1DVI-I) (2DP-DVI and 1DVI-VGA adapter)

    I'm thinking I can add a SSD drive and upgrade the memory to 16gb which will cost about $250 so we're talking more or less the same price. How do these two compare? I've never built a computer before is it worth my time or just go with the refurbished?
  2. Go refurbished. The main issue is that you have no clue what you do ("i never build my own computer") and while it is something someone can learn quite fast, you really don't want to come here crying you blew some parts.

    And seriously, this is SO low end, what the heck do you even ask?
  3. May i suggest TJ Winston or Scataphagos on this site for excellent low cost builds--- I have purchased several machines from both of these guys and have been overall very happy with the price, build, quality---
  4. Building your own is really not that hard, but it will take a good amount of time to learn. So it is mainly about what you want. Once you learn you can build machines for yourself forever, so the intial time commitment isn’t just for one build but all future builds.

    However, I wouldn’t recommend doing it unless you think you will enjoy it. I just built two 3770k machines, and it was a good experience. Are you within driving distance to a Micro Center? You can get far better prices there.

    Are you planning to oc the chip? You have an ok cooler there and listed a “k” chip, so that would mean ocing the chip. If so I would get an ROG mobo rather than an ASrock but that is just me. Learning to oc a chip is not a quick or easy process either, but it is fun if you are into it.

    So it really comes down to personal preference. I like building computers so I do it, but I hate gardening so I hire people for that. So I think you want building machines and ocing chips to be a hobby you enjoy, otherwise just buy a system.
  5. Building your own is always more fun, and it's a great learning experience...

    And ATX boards are designed so you can't fry them, unlike the old AT boards from the mid-90's (blacks (wires) in the middle (otherwise you'll be having a barbeque)).

    You can check out how your CPU ranks here -

    Be sure to click the sort buttons in the Passmark CPU Mark field so you can see the best to worst.

    As to your specs, here are my thoughts:

    Based upon your expected usage, I highly recommend loading up on the memory. RAM is really cheap, and you get more bang for the buck in this area than any other subsystem.

    Most new motherboards have wired 100-Mbit or GigE interfaces on-board. Is there a reason why you need an add-on card? If your board doesn't have one, switch boards.

    If you need a higher performance card, then you'll want one of the Intel's in the over-$70 range, not the $30 range.

    However, if all you're doing connecting to your DSL router or cable modem, then the on-board NIC is fine. Any add-on card(s) would be a waste. Especially if they're over 100 Mbit, because most DSL routers/cable modems only have 100Mbit interfaces.

    On Newegg, it looks like ASRock boards have low ratings across all their boards. I recommend changing your board to an Asus, Gigabyte, Biostar, or MSI.

    SSD & HDD
    I'd get a 256GB drive so you have enough room for your OS **and** your applications.

    The HDD drive is fine - that's what you'll use for your long-term, non-app storage. But the low-end WD's have a habit of dying within 2 years. So maybe invest in 1-2 more, and mirror (RAID-1) them so you don't lose anything.

    Power Supply
    600W probably isn't powerful enough. Consider bumping it up to 800W so you don't starve your CPU, chipsets, video card, and drives.

    Make sure your PSU has more than one 5V rail. Your CPU, chipset, bridges, and video cards use 5V rails.

    You'll need more than one 5V rail. Preferably 2-4 to reliably power your CPU, chipset, motherboard, and video card.

    Monitor/Video Cards
    Are you buying new monitors? If so, I'd go with HDMI interfaces on your monitor and card. If not, I guess you're stuck with the DVI, eh? The benefit of HDMI is that it includes sound and supports Blu-Ray and HDCP. DVI doesn't.

    I'd get a card with 2 HDMI and 2 DVI. That way, you have an upgrade path if you change monitors later on.

    Consider this card instead:

    Zotac ZT-61103-10M GeForce GTX 650 Ti Graphic Card - 1033 MHz Core - 2 GB GDDR5 SDRAM - PCI-Express 3.0 x16

    Sound Card
    Who buys a separate sound card these days? Do you need "better" sound than what's provided on the motherboard? Can you really tell the difference between the board sound and the $29.99 card?

    If anything, you'll need/want better powered speakers/headphones instead of a separate sound card.

    Optical Drive
    I can't wait for the day when **all** software, games, and entertainment media is sold online or via USB drives. Optical drives, like floppy drives, have survived far longer than their useful purpose.

    Just say no to mechanical devices in your computer!

    Case & Cooling
    Cases with more open spaces, less obstructed paths, and more/quieter fans are preferred. You need airflow to prevent your CPU and video card from overheating. But you may want to consider upgrading the stock fans to quieter versions if your system sounds like a jet engine...
  6. Dell Outlet... YES!... especially for for Precision Workstation if you want to run >2 monitors.

    T1650?... I'd rather THIS.. or similar:

    Precision T3600 •Processor: Intel Xeon Four Core E5-1620 Processor (3.6GHz, 10M, Turbo)
    •Genuine Windows 7 Professional
    •Dell Outlet Precision Fixed Workstation T3600, 425W Tower
    •500 GB SATA, 3.5 Inch, 10K Hard Drive
    •500 GB SATA, 3.5 Inch, 10K Hard Drive
    •8GB, DDR3 UDIMM Memory, 1600MHz, Non-ECC (4 x 2 GB DIMMs)
    •8X DVD +/- RW Drive
    •1 GB AMD FirePro V4900,3 Monitor


    This is a good yard stick for value should you decide to buy other.
  7. ofthomas


    I wonder if people bother to read other threads before asking their questions, this in fact has been answered already more than once...

    in any event... you also can go refurb with HP... and "value" is relative... with HP you get a free24" monitor for the same price dell would charge you... and the NVS 450 will let you support 4 monitors, if you ever decided to expand...

    634355R-999-F8XG Refurbished HP z420 W7P-64 X E5-1650 6X 3.2GHz 1TB SATA 8GB DVD Quadro NVS 450 Rmkt WS $1,629 $1,139 6 FREE Refurb 24" ZR2440w w/purchase
  8. DT3


    ty everyone for the replies, that HP deal does look good. So is there any difference between the Dell and HP workstations and what warranty does HP offer I couldn't find it on that link.
  9. ofthomas


    they are both the same warranty for refurb... 1 year... you can always buy additional years but what I have found is that what will fail for the most part after year 1 are the power supplies and the hard disk...

    it can all be the luck of the Irish... I've never had a PSU failure, and HDD's all fail... so just make sure to have backups for your data or mirrored disks, etc...

    in the end, the workstation lines are "professional" grade, vs. the consumer lines... I wont get into religious wars with regards to DELL vs. HP because it is just really a matter of opinion... I can tell you that I have owned both over the years and I found HP to be better service and more reliable parts... but that is just me...

    regardless, you cant beat getting a free 24" really good quality monitor... I own their ZR2740s and they are just awesome...
  10. For years, Dell and HP have had almost identical workstations/warranty is also similar, I believe... Dell usually about $400 less.
    #10     Jun 25, 2013