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Rebuilding an Alienware Desktop

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I came across an Alienware Area-51, freshly made in 2008. It was in a throw-out bin of sorts, and I was able to get it for free from a very angry man. He was upset that he had spent 3500 dollars on a rig that broke just a few months later. I never figured out why he didn't try and fix it, but I knew that he had three others that he was using for something. Well, he said I could have it if I could move it, so I ended up with a partially functioning machine trying to run Vista. Well, I figured out that the SATA ports on the Motherboard had fried, so I grabbed a PCI SATA expansion, giving me two functioning SATA ports. I was pretty excited, and brought it back with me to school, where my supposedly "tech savvy" roommate wanted to look at it. He had told me that he had built his laptop from scratch, so I trusted him with my rig. Well, he left one of my sticks of RAM hanging halfway in the slot, which fried it as well, so I decided it was time to upgrade.

I initially started out with a budget of about $800, looking at the new Sandy Bridge i7 and a Sabertooth P67 (if memory serves me) With some new RAM. That ran around $760 off newegg. I'm not sure if I'm interested in spending most of my budget, so I considered the 2500k, which would still be an upgrade from my current system. I'm fairly new to the entire computer universe, and I've been trying to learn, but the differences between a P67 and a Z68 seem minute. My budget has expanded to around $1000 dollars, but that could also be used as food money. So, I seek advice and welcome any shared knowledge. What should I do?
Raging Asian
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Raging Asian
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post #2 of 12
I would highly recommend going the 2500k route, stick with the saber or get a p67deluxe/pro, whatever fits budget best, and then OC the crap out of the 2500 to 4.5 or so. You can get 6-8 gigs of 1600 DDR3 RAM for around $120 now for good RAM, and you could do all of this for around 600. Depending on what else you need, you will have a great start for $400 under budget and this is more than just a "small" upgrade, you will be having a ball.

What are you going to be using the rig for?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sounds great, but i read in several places [on this site, even] that the P67 was unreliable. I know that it had a recall for an issue with some controllers, but I also hear that they are pretty buggy in general. From what I can gather, a Z68 isn't as buggy and has some strange features that I don't quite understand. What is the comparison between the two?

Oh, and the rig is for gaming as well as 3D modeling with Autodesk products. And hopefully programming, but that probably isn't too resource intensive.

And with that extra cash, would anybody recommend a different cooling system?
Raging Asian
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Raging Asian
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post #4 of 12
The issue with P67 has been fixed already
post #5 of 12
I loled at 'left the stick of ram halfway in the slot'

The 2500k is practically the same as a 2600k when it comes to gaming so don't think of it as a compromise.

For a board well, the maximus extreme series is pretty good if thats in your price range.

By the way, what GPU are you planning on throwing in there?
 
A Noisy Box
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A Noisy Box
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Alright, so I can see now that the P67 has been revised (3B I believe), but the price is still comparable to the Z68 (Which has a nice bundle offer on newegg right now)

http://promotions.newegg.com/Intel/0...%2f696x288.jpg

And that flies for both processors. So, I guess I also need to know if the i7 would be beneficial for CADing, which is an important aspect for my computer to be good at.

I was hopping to keep my two GTX 260s at least for the time being, but I will hopefully upgrade to a pair of 460s, even 560s maybe. Is it worth it to hold on to those two graphics cards, or would it be better to shell out the extra cash for a single 460 now?
Raging Asian
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Raging Asian
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
So, i'm selling my current Motherboard, CPU and RAM to another person who is more than happy to take, even with the problems (it still runs Crysis was the logic used), and they said they would pay more for the 260s. They offered 200 for the board, RAM and CPU, plus an additional 150 for the dual GPUs, so that adds an extra 200-350 to my budget.

Is it worth it to drop the SLI for a single 460 then add another card later?
Raging Asian
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Raging Asian
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Bump [24 hours have passed, right?]
Raging Asian
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Raging Asian
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post #9 of 12
i would never ever let anyone other than myself try and fix my computer lol, better to get to know your computer, and id rather screw something up myself rather then someone else screw it up. at least that way you learn what you did wrong and to avoid next time. are you sure he built his laptop? that sounds like bogus too me, i thought no one built laptops because theres pretty much nothing you can do to them...

you should get a gtx 560 ti, if you can get your budget to reach it. the i5 2500k and gtx560ti is what im running, its a winning combo. im considering throwing another gtx 560ti in before BF3, RAGE, etc come out. because i want to get some mean eye candy

ive got the gigabyte version on it, i actually like the windforce cooling on it, i can overclock it to the max i can and squeeze every last bit of performance out of it i can get, and it never goes above 70 degrees.
BF3 RIG
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BF3 RIG
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfBuckeyesBC View Post
I would highly recommend going the 2500k route, stick with the saber or get a p67deluxe/pro, whatever fits budget best, and then OC the crap out of the 2500 to 4.5 or so. You can get 6-8 gigs of 1600 DDR3 RAM for around $120 now for good RAM, and you could do all of this for around 600. Depending on what else you need, you will have a great start for $400 under budget and this is more than just a "small" upgrade, you will be having a ball.

What are you going to be using the rig for?
6-8 gigs of ram for 120?

what are you talking about?
    
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i5 4460 Gigabyte GA-H97M-D3H sapphire R9 290 Crucial Ballistix 1866mhz cas9  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
WD caviar blue 1tb WD caviar black 500gb Samsung 840 Evo stock :^) 
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Windows 8.1 Ubuntu LG IPS 236v Asus 1080p IPS  
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Acer K272HUL Das Model S Ultimate Corsair TX750 Corsair 350D 
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Mionix Naos 3200 // Razer Deathadder  QcK xonar Dx 
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