What's a good place to order a custom PC?

Prepper

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Don't get hung up on the interfaces. It's like a speed limit. Do you care if the speed limit is 55 mph or 75 mph when you're riding a bicycle? The speed of the drive is what's important, and with SSDs it's unlikely you'll notice the differences, they're all fast these days.
Mainly I just want to know what they have so I make sure stuff is compatible. My existing PC with the SSD I installed is impressively fast, and IIRC it's only SATA 2... didn't have SATA 3 back then or it cost too much or something.
 

Prepper

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Well now that's a funny question.
Because I could swear I'd posted about that precise system.
Guess I diked out a bunch of stuff before posting.

The G355 is the upsell of our new desktop system, the B742.
For $350 more, you get a $349.99 video card, but no $16.99 DVD drive.
Do you need a $350 video card,
or are the VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI ports on the motherboard enough?

[wave]
It's hard to keep track of them all, and yes you did. I'm not sure if I need the graphics card. But, the lower priced G317 is a total of only $900, which seems pretty good. I don't play games, but I guess it's good to know that if I wanted to play a game, I could play a game.
 

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Mainly I just want to know what they have so I make sure stuff is compatible. My existing PC with the SSD I installed is impressively fast, and IIRC it's only SATA 2... didn't have SATA 3 back then or it cost too much or something.
Everything should have SATA, and you can also get an external enclosure and put it in there, connect via USB 3.0. It's overkill for a backup drive but it'd certainly be fast.
 

AHM

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It's hard to keep track of them all, and yes you did.
Huh; guess my https://www.northeastshooters.com/xen/search/-fu is failing.

I'm not sure if I need the graphics card.
I don't see myself upgrading,
(and I sure hope the motherboard graphics aren't the weak link in reliability),
but it is a slight salve to think that at worst I can add a card afterwards.

To underscore: I didn't skinflint on the system hoping to add a card later.
Hell, it's uncharacteristic that I just blew off the concern.

Especially since the XP Media Center the desktop is replacing
had a two-headed DVI+(VGA/S-video) card
that I used to drive the living room TV.

The bloom was off that rose when the original video card blew up
(card fan wedged/card cooked, and failed to 640x480 mode on all ports).
Found a successor card at MicroCenter, only to discover that nVIDIA
had "improved" the firmware all the way into desupporting S-video TV-out. WTF?
My reaction.
Luckily I found a VGA=>video converter black box
for short money at the Dayton Hamvention: asking $40, paid $30.
All the blear of 1024x768 on a 32" TV, with all the portability of VGA.

But, the lower priced G317 is a total of only $900, which seems pretty good.
Slightly faster CPU with fewer cores (6 vs 8).

(I ignorantly went for slower CPU with more cores,
on the fantasy that as and if the code base leveraged parallelism,
then I'd have moar of that; because moar.

My advisor in Tennessee thought that was a plausible rationale.
In particular, he did not scream,
"You eediot! Parallelism is a pipe dream:
Windoze is hopelessly bottlenecked -
always opt for more speed over more cores").

Also, G317 ships with slightly slower RAM than B742 and G355;
albeit on the same motherboard.


BTW, there are two competing things to keep in mind
relating to NES advice not to obsess over trivia.
The poor underpaid bastards that do web feature data entry
on these products Do Not Care if they get something wrong.

So for instance if I compare our B742 with either the G355 or G317,
I'd think that the Gs' back panel has...
4 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1 Type-A)​
...but the B has...
2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1 Type-A)
1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 2 Type-C)
1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 2 Type-A)​

And since we were getting a pair of Pixel 3 XL's,
who have USB C ports,
one might think it would be nice to have a C/C sync cable
plug directly into the PC for rooting, etc.

If I'd had that much situational awareness,
I might have dropped centabux on the gaming systems.
Which would have been pointless,
because all three have the identical motherboard.
(And no one at the PC factory is jamming epoxy into one port or another
to neuter them for some mysterious purposes).


On the other hand, if some specification is truly crucial to your requirements,
and the spec table seems to indicate two models are identical on that axis
even though other information (say, looking at the component manufacturer's site)
ominously hints otherwise, then act like the Gipper and trust-but-verify.

I don't play games, but I guess it's good to know that if I wanted to play a game, I could play a game.
Somehow Simple Soduku and XP-class Freecell
don't seem to tax the motherboard video on our B742,
LOL.
 

Dench

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Huh; guess my https://www.northeastshooters.com/xen/search/-fu is failing.


I don't see myself upgrading,
(and I sure hope the motherboard graphics aren't the weak link in reliability),
but it is a slight salve to think that at worst I can add a card afterwards.

To underscore: I didn't skinflint on the system hoping to add a card later.
Hell, it's uncharacteristic that I just blew off the concern.

Especially since the XP Media Center the desktop is replacing
had a two-headed DVI+(VGA/S-video) card
that I used to drive the living room TV.

The bloom was off that rose when the original video card blew up
(card fan wedged/card cooked, and failed to 640x480 mode on all ports).
Found a successor card at MicroCenter, only to discover that nVIDIA
had "improved" the firmware all the way into desupporting S-video TV-out. WTF?
My reaction.
Luckily I found a VGA=>video converter black box
for short money at the Dayton Hamvention: asking $40, paid $30.
All the blear of 1024x768 on a 32" TV, with all the portability of VGA.


Slightly faster CPU with fewer cores (6 vs 8).

(I ignorantly went for slower CPU with more cores,
on the fantasy that as and if the code base leveraged parallelism,
then I'd have moar of that; because moar.

My advisor in Tennessee thought that was a plausible rationale.
In particular, he did not scream,
"You eediot! Parallelism is a pipe dream:
Windoze is hopelessly bottlenecked -
always opt for more speed over more cores").

Also, G317 ships with slightly slower RAM than B742 and G355;
albeit on the same motherboard.


BTW, there are two competing things to keep in mind
relating to NES advice not to obsess over trivia.
The poor underpaid bastards that do web feature data entry
on these products Do Not Care if they get something wrong.

So for instance if I compare our B742 with either the G355 or G317,
I'd think that the Gs' back panel has...
4 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1 Type-A)​
...but the B has...
2 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1 Type-A)
1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 2 Type-C)
1 x USB 3.1 (Gen 2 Type-A)​

And since we were getting a pair of Pixel 3 XL's,
who have USB C ports,
one might think it would be nice to have a C/C sync cable
plug directly into the PC for rooting, etc.

If I'd had that much situational awareness,
I might have dropped centabux on the gaming systems.
Which would have been pointless,
because all three have the identical motherboard.
(And no one at the PC factory is jamming epoxy into one port or another
to neuter them for some mysterious purposes).


On the other hand, if some specification is truly crucial to your requirements,
and the spec table seems to indicate two models are identical on that axis
even though other information (say, looking at the component manufacturer's site)
ominously hints otherwise, then act like the Gipper and trust-but-verify.



Somehow Simple Soduku and XP-class Freecell
don't seem to tax the motherboard video on our B742,
LOL.

holy f***ing shit dude [rofl] what did I just read? Are you using VGA to S video on your tv? wat? Why not DVI to anything but S video or VGA?

Theres a lot of wierd shit going on in this thread.

1st things 1st. Unless you are scrubbing around 4k video editing, you do not need an insane speed HDD/SSD/M.2. Most normal M.2's and SSDs will let you watch most pornography, and will also rarely get involved in MS Paint meme generation. Serious business, not to be balked at. SATA 2 boots windows fine becuase Windows in the RAM isnt exactly a massive huge file, and the SSD is pretty fast. Even the shit ones are. Windows 10 is probably hanging out around 2-3gb most in the memory. A decent rule of thumb is buy the mid level speed RAM and use 16gb. This will be plenty for the majority of people. You can even skimp and go with 8gm but the savings is minimal and I suspect most people would notice eventually if not immediately.

Looking at AHM's new desktop, the B742:

Proc: i7-9700k $360 holy f***ing shit why? WHY? This proc is completely unintended for this system.
RAM: 2 sticks of 8gb DDR4-3000 $80. This is fine
SSD: 500gb $60? Who knows. It's way to small.
Videocard: no video card
sound card: no sound card (only really needed for audiophiles)
DVD Drive: yes. Why?

Anyway, the cost of this mess is $800. I didnt see what mobo it was so assume its $140. Case is worth 100 tops.

Who is this system even designed for? It's not a complete horror show with markup (its about $50) but it has a completelty over powered processor made to overclock and it has a stock cooling fan.. so that's not exactly a thing. And then it has no video card, so thats a major problem if you are going to do anything gaming/video without wanting to blow your head off. SSD is inadequate and not a good price point (500gb price points blow, seems to be a catch all for clueless people so it's priced up). And most of the huge case is empty. Why an ATX case? WHY. WHYYYY
 
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Prepper

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Who is this system even designed for? It's not a complete horror show with markup (its about $50) but it has a completelty over powered processor made to overclock and it has a stock cooling fan.. so that's not exactly a thing. And then it has no video card, so thats a major problem if you are going to do anything gaming/video without wanting to blow your head off. SSD is inadequate and not a good price point (500gb price points blow, seems to be a catch all for clueless people so it's priced up). And most of the huge case is empty. Why an ATX case? WHY. WHYYYY
What is wrong with an ATX case? I don't build these for a living, so I have utterly no idea what the issue might be. They're all the same to me until I get one and then I'm like "well this is annoying, could have made it easier to insert a card in this spot", etc.

Anyway, now I'm questioning if I should get one of these PowerSpec systems. They're apparently a mess but I don't know why or what the appropriate alternative it. I was thinking of getting the G317 this Saturday.
 

Dench

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What is wrong with an ATX case? I don't build these for a living, so I have utterly no idea what the issue might be. They're all the same to me until I get one and then I'm like "well this is annoying, could have made it easier to insert a card in this spot", etc.

Anyway, now I'm questioning if I should get one of these PowerSpec systems. They're apparently a mess but I don't know why or what the appropriate alternative it. I was thinking of getting the G317 this Saturday.
ATX cases are huge and the majority of people never need 1/3 of the case.

The G317 will be fine for you I suspect.
 
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What is wrong with an ATX case? I don't build these for a living, so I have utterly no idea what the issue might be. They're all the same to me until I get one and then I'm like "well this is annoying, could have made it easier to insert a card in this spot", etc.

Anyway, now I'm questioning if I should get one of these PowerSpec systems. They're apparently a mess but I don't know why or what the appropriate alternative it. I was thinking of getting the G317 this Saturday.
Nothing, just like there's nothing wrong with this phoen either... But you know, there may be a more modern option.

 

Dench

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Which case is more modern? I will see if they have systems available with it.
It's just a large form factor that is full of drive bays and shit like that. If people were to actually use all the crap in an ATX case they'd be better off with a 4U rackmount which would be cheaper and easier to work on.

Micro ITX is reasonable to work with. The one I did was Mini and you have to buy parts specifically with size in mind as a lot of things wont fit. The power supply has to be low profile, the CPU fan has to be low profile and the video card has to be low profile.
 

Spanz

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Slightly faster CPU with fewer cores (6 vs 8).

(I ignorantly went for slower CPU with more cores,
on the fantasy that as and if the code base leveraged parallelism,
then I'd have moar of that; because moar.

My advisor in Tennessee thought that was a plausible rationale.
In particular, he did not scream,
"You eediot! Parallelism is a pipe dream:
Windoze is hopelessly bottlenecked -
always opt for more speed over more cores").

.
i too used to think more cores were the balls. Then i got a machine with a shitload of cores...and found my computational intensive programs were NOT using the cores hardly at all. They WERE dependent on clock speed, so the higher the better. I once had a job that was taking 24 hours to run, and i found if i could pump airconditioned air into the case, i could overclock another 10% stabily, and cut 3 hours off of the time to complete.

I guess a computer program has to be specifically written to use multiple cores for a multi core system to work.

But if you really need that type of computational power, go massively parallel gpu with cuda or tensor cores and software specifically written to use it. otherwise...you are just kidding yourself.
 

AHM

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holy f***ing shit dude [rofl] what did I just read? Are you using VGA to S video on your tv? wat? Why not DVI to anything but S video or VGA?
  1. The Media Center started bluescreening on 27-Mar'19. It's not doing jack to any TV any more.
  2. I reserved the DVI-D for the monitor.
  3. TV manual says: "Digital Visual Interface (DVI): Can accommodate a copy-protected digital connection (HDCP *) to other devices (such as digital set-top boxes) that have compatible interfaces. The DVI-HDTV input terminal is compliant with the EIA-861 standard and is not intended for use with personal computers.
    *High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection". In 2003, a couple of users tried it anyhow; the TV wouldn't play with DVI at greater than 640x432 resolution.
  4. I haven't watched (or recorded) a solid hour of broadcast (well, cable) TV in our house since August, 2015. Not sure the last time I watched a half hour program. So since I've been off that teat for over 4 years, why would I obsess about driving a TV from a PC in 2019?
Looking at AHM's new desktop, the B742:

Proc: i7-9700k $360 holy f***ing shit why? WHY? This proc is completely unintended for this system.
RAM: 2 sticks of 8gb DDR4-3000 $80. This is fine
SSD: 500gb $60? Who knows. It's way to small.
Videocard: no video card
sound card: no sound card (only really needed for audiophiles)
DVD Drive: yes. Why?

Anyway, the cost of this mess is $800. I didnt see what mobo it was so assume its $140. Case is worth 100 tops.

Who is this system even designed for? It's not a complete horror show with markup (its about $50) but it has a completelty over powered processor made to overclock and it has a stock cooling fan.. so that's not exactly a thing.
I think the system is an almost-gamer.
Bet you can see that in retrospect.
ETA: To wit: take the gaming system, shave off some big-ticket items, drop the price.

And then it has no video card, so thats a major problem if you are going to do anything gaming/video without wanting to blow your head off.
Like I said, I'm not currently worried about video performance,
so why would I piss away money on a gamer card?

Are high-performance video cards going to cost more
if I decide to add one a few years from now?

SSD is inadequate and not a good price point (500gb price points blow, seems to be a catch all for clueless people so it's priced up).
C: partition is 10% full.

All systems sold by MicroCenter (PowerSpec or name brand)
with bigger (~1TB) SSDs are cheep refurbs/open box,
or gamers that cost 50%-400% more.

Note: that means you can't simultaneously
get a cheaper CPU and bigger SSD at MicroCenter.


Tried what-iffing at Newegg,
but my brain exploded.

And most of the huge case is empty. Why an ATX case? WHY. WHYYYY
All the drive bays are full and all the SATA ports in use.
That includes the previous PC's HDD,
a 2TB user HDD,
and a pair of 10TB WD Red HDDs in a RAID 1 array, for backups.

The disks are running 89°F-93°F, for a room temp of ~81°F.
The system exhaust has always felt cooler than room temp, LOL.
Man is that different than the XP Pavilion.

I could (and may yet) get an external storage enclosure.
But the case drive bay capacity meets my immediate needs.
 
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AHM

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Interesting, but those options really mount up.
I'd take it in the shorts with that "build your own pizza (box)" product family.

i too used to think more cores were the balls. Then i got a machine with a shitload of cores...and found my computational intensive programs were NOT using the cores hardly at all. They WERE dependent on clock speed, so the higher the better. I once had a job that was taking 24 hours to run, and i found if i could pump airconditioned air into the case, i could overclock another 10% stabily, and cut 3 hours off of the time to complete.

I guess a computer program has to be specifically written to use multiple cores for a multi core system to work.
If I was developing a serious application that could be parallelized,
and could benefit from it -
I could code it.

My crude thought is simpler:
as Microsoft invents more and more background crap -
dueling services -
there's some faint hope the services
can knife fight over monopolizing some cores,
leaving a smattering for the end-user.

If not, well,
my favorite Roseanne line has prepared me well:
...
Jackie:
Go to hell!​
Roseanne:
This is hell!​
 

Dench

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Those are cute and I thought about getting a mini PC. I can't bring myself to do it though, maybe if it only cost $300 for an I5 Gen 8 or 9 I would.
You'll be paying a premium for its firm factor and limiting yourself on performance. And if it's powerful it will have heating issues
 
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Those are cute and I thought about getting a mini PC. I can't bring myself to do it though, maybe if it only cost $300 for an I5 Gen 8 or 9 I would.
There are i7 6 core options. I have about 200 of them here at work. Our developers like them. They're pretty sweet. I used to buy towers a few years ago but never again. These things kick butt and only sip a little bit of electricity while doing it.
 

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There are i7 6 core options. I have about 200 of them here at work. Our developers like them. They're pretty sweet. I used to buy towers a few years ago but never again. These things kick butt and only sip a little bit of electricity while doing it.
How are the graphics? I would need to be able to run at least 2500x1440.
 

Dench

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How are the graphics? I would need to be able to run at least 2500x1440.
Being able to display a desktop is not the same as a GPU rendering something on the desktop. Make damn sure you don't need a video card before you buy something that can't fit one.

Integrated graphics are a nightmare if you ever need a gpu
 
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For most basic uses (browsing, email, basic office and image viewing), I'd say pick up a refurbished system here:
Desktop Computers, PCs - Newegg.com

Just make sure it has a solid state SATA drive of sufficient capacity (500Gb?), 8 Mb of RAM, and onboard everything (USB, SATA, video (HDMI), Ethernet, etc.). And make sure it has a solid OS, or be prepared to run something like Chromium/Neverware.
 

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Wifey and I in Microcenter parking lot now waiting for it to open. Let's see how this goes...
As long as you exited the parking lot before storm created
the puddle lake at the curb cut for Mem Drive,
you probably did well.
 

Dench

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Newegg blows these days and should be avoided at all costs unless theres no alternative. new management.
 

drgrant

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Newegg blows these days and should be avoided at all costs unless theres no alternative. new management.
I haven't bought anything from them in forever, the sundry crap is same price through Amazon or I can swing by mc on the way out from work and their prices are close, they just rape on the tickytack stuff like cables etc... I only go to newegg if they have crap I really want that nobody else sells... but that's rare these days.

-Mike
 

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Okay, I got a PowerSpec G225, with a AOC 32" monitor that has a 16:9 aspect ratio and runs great so far at 3840x2160. So far so good... it will take a while to finish setting it up and putting my other SSD into it, etc.
 
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Prepper

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I have a stupid question, but... this case has 2 places to put a 2.5" SSD. At one end is a little screw that does nothing, doesn't even reach far enough to contact the drive, not that that would matter because there is no screw hole on the SSD at its end anyway. What's the expected way to properly hold the SSD down, other than duct tape? Right now it is flopping around. Don't say the 4 screw holes on the side of the SSD, because they don't line up with what the case provides. To make them line up would require removing the SATA cable so that I can slide the SSD a little further towards the holes. The SATA cable I am using is one of those right-angle ones so it bumps up against metal and can't move any further.
 
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