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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I need a new computer. The one I'm currently typing on has a 10gig harddrive, can't read CD's, I have to keep the chassis off and press the start button with a pencil because the button on the chassis gets jammed, and I can't run **** on it because the ram, processor, and graphics card are so damn old and out of date. So anyway, I'm buying a new computer. Disregarding the price, does anyone know if Alienwares really are nice computers comparitively, or is that just some bs that they just tell everyone?
 

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It's good that you mentioned "disregarding the price"... Alienware machines are excellent (but rediculously expensive).

As a rule of thumb, if you're spending more than $1000 on a computer, you can get more for your money if you build it yourself--assuming you have the technical skills to accomplish this. (Below $1000, a big-name vendor's bulk discounts and manufacturer agreements can outdo you in bang-for-buck ratio.)

-Ryan
 

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Building your own PC is usually the best route. However if your going for a gaming system Alienware does actually pt together VERY good systems and would be one of the few factory built I endorse as a PC Tech.

Alienware however tends to be fairly expensive, I wouldn't recommend it if you aren't looking for a serious gaming machine, also its good for its excellent cooling systems that can't always be installed in a build at home comp.

Remember, go with AMD.... look at alot of the comparisons between intel and amd. You'll notice Intel is usually barely out performing the AMD which is fairly cheaper.... then read closer and you'll notice the AMD is generally 400-600 MHZ slower CPU then the intel one its compared to. Gee if the AMD lower older model is better then the intel newer model or on about equal playing ground that says somethin :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, Syanis I'm glad you mentioned AMD, I've been looking at both Intel and AMD platforms and I don't really know much about AMD (I've always worked with Intel based systems, in fact I didn't even know about AMD a couple years ago). Well these two are the same price:
AMD Athlon™ 64 3000+ with HyperTransport Technology
Frequency 1.8 GHz
Bus Frequency 2000 MHz


Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 640 w/ HT Technology 3.2GHz 800MHz FSB 2MB
Processor Speed 3.2 GHz
System Bus Speed 800 MHz

I had immediatly thought, "Whoa the AMD is a 1.8g processor, I'd better go with Intel", but then I noticed the bus speed differences and I'm wondering which is truly more powerful now. Everything else about them is pretty much the same, except the AMD has only 512k Level 2 cache while the Intel has a 2mb L2 cache.
 

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I prefer AMD, but i haven't tested them vs intel or anything. Building your own is good too, if you know how. I usually do.. 'cept i'm lazy and it takes me weeks after i get the parts to get around to putting it all together, installing windows, applying the 10 billion security fixes, installing linux, etc.
 

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AMD processors are capable of getting much more work done per clock cycle, but they knew Intel was marketing GHz alone so they added ratings. Their 3000+ rating means it's roughly equivilant to a 3.0GHz Pentium.

AMD processors tend to favor complex applications (game engines), while Intel processors tend to favor linear applications (video encoding). I could go into an explaination of why this is the case if you want some good bedtime reading :)

Athlon totally anihilates the Pentium 4 in two areas:
1) Power Consumption
2) Heat

The most obvious advantage of this is that the cooling system doesn't have to be as intense... so fan noise is reduced.

These advantages are what enabled AMD to be first-to-market with dual-core chips, and it's also why AMD didn't have to reduce their clock speeds to make dual-core work.

-Ryan
 

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Kardax pretty much answered the differences.

AMD generally does a fair bit better in game engines. Intel has its few good points but in the end intel does barely better then amd in some tests while in others amd blows intel away.

I also tend to support AMD since they are cheaper and the little guy. With Intels massive market share and bad practices I'd rather support the smaller guy who does as good and in some cases better. Also if peeps don't use AMD, Intel will end up having the entire market thus prices go up, quality goes down and no competition to make them shape up.

P.S. Isn't it interestying now how AMD's chips at lower ghz do the same or better then Intels chips at higher ghz ;) Athalon 2200+ is a 1.8 ghz which out performs intels 2.2 ghz.... by a fair bit to ;)
 

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Okay well alienware does do nice systems but, Falcon Northwest Anyone? http://www.falcon-nw.com/

Best deal other than building your own system is to buy a Talon for a $1000 bucks. I bought mine 3 years ago and have travelled all over the USA with it, it's still running awesomely and the last time I had a problem my warranty had run out but they spent 3 hours or so on the phone helping me fix it.

They are the best customer support out there, bar none. You can call them on the phone and just tell them what your budget is and what you want to do and they will talk the options through with you, tell you not to get some expensive things et cetera.

I can't recommend em highly enough. And also they always win the benchmarking tests for their higher end ones when faced with alienware... sooo...

Give em a looksee at least, play around with a talon config. Seriously, great systems.

Oh yeah and AMD all the way baby!
 

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Alienware is way overpriced and has had some quality problems as it has adjusted to mass market sales...Falcon Northwest is also good but extremely overpriced...I wanted a custom built computer but didn't know how to build them...I would go with somebody like ABS Computers or Monarch Computers...I got a system from Monarch Computers that I am pretty happy with....You can review all the online retailers at http://www.resellerratings.com Or look at computer game magazines or gaming sites for companies that build custom built computers....Computer Shopper magazine and its online site as well....Monarch is definitely worth considering....As others have said, building your own is the best, but if that is beyond your capability or you don't want the hassle then Monarch, ABS, or somebody else like Puget Sound etc..As of a couple years ago, I liked Monarch and got a computer from them but things might have changed since then....Stay away from store bought computers and Dell...They use cheap, generic components...Dell is okay if you are on a tight budget, but if you have 1,200 or more to spend then I would go with somebody else...Where you can not only choose the video card and hard drive, but also the case, fans, and power supply.... http://www.sharkeyextreme.com is also great, check out their monthly gaming and value computer guides for component selection.... Dave
 

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I bought an Area 51 3 years ago and I am starting to regret it. Back then I was in a serious, unhealthy computer game addiciton and I had to have the best damn gaming PC there was, i just had to get it. I never did any research or build my own PC, i could have saved lots of money.

Now that I am steadily growing out of my computer game addiciton (I play computer games max for an hour a day, I am doing really good) I am just finding this PC useless for what I use it for. Yes, it is a super high performance PC and runs games SUPER smooth, but I mainly use the computer for the internet and music, and typing up school stuff. You dont need a $2500 dream machine PC for that kind of stuff. I am thinking of selling mine to get a good, cheap laptop that can run some of my games smoothly.

All in all I would only reccomend Alienware only if you are a serious hardcore gamer. Even then, as I found out after buying it, there are better PC's out there for the money and you can build your own for much cheaper.
 
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