Buying custom PC from AVA Direct or CyberPowerPC?

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pricek
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What is the general consensus of these two companies? I don't jave the ability to build on myself (physical limitations). I'm looking to spend ~$3000 or so and it would be primarily used for gaming and basic work. Does anyone have any experience with these two companies? Also, should I really go with multiple vid cards? I plan on playing BF3, Crysis, and Planet Side, but I'm mote concerned about the ram and the CPU havin g the power.

Also, is there a device that will allow my to connected an internal IDE HDD to a USB or ESATA? Some sort of converter? My old pc crashed and I have some important files I need to transfer.

Razear
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I've hear some good things about CyberPower, don't know about AVA so I can't comment on that.

You can get an IDE to SATA adapter.

TeeBlack
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build it yourself it's not that hard and would be cheaper.

You dont know me but that's the way i like it!

spawnkiller
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Yeah, if you want to save some bucks, build it yourself, otherwise i heard about cyberpowerpc but not a single word about AVA... As far as i'm concerned, you should pick CyberpowerPC as everyone as heard about them when none of us seems to know about AVA and in this domain, the name that everyone knows is the best of the best or the real crap that you don't want to buy so CyberpowerPC is most famous and should build you a decent Pc with a great warranty service...

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eire1274
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Between the two, CyberPower would be my pick. However, I agree, chances are you could do better buying components and building it yourself.

IDE to SATA converters work well, but for temporary use you may want an IDE to USB adapter so you can do the work outside of the system and remove it easily when done.

An example, includes a power supply as well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1PU0FG8210

Nick McDermott

Mordeux
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Everyone with hands and the ability to use them has the ability to build their own computer. If you decide to go that route, I imagine the most difficult part would be finding the right components (which is what may scare you? no?) If that is the case, pop up a post on component selection on 3dgameman.com. If at least a quarter of the users are like me, we've built and maintained many computers; and let's not forget we are crazy PC nerds that spend unhealthy amounts of hours online pining after the best gear.

To start, you won't need $3000 for a rig. I would barter to say you could probably build one between $900 - $1400 depending on components and whether or not you want a new monitor can also play into the price. You will not need multiple video cards unless you plan on running the latest games at the highest settings @ 2560 x 1600 and higher resolutions. I believe most people fall somewhere between 1440 x 900 to 1900 x 1200. My advice is to look at some of the most recent reviews on video cards (specifically the ones AVA and CyberPower offer) and see the bench results on each respective game.

As an example: The eVGA GTX 660ti can comfortably run BF3 @ 2560x1600 with settings maxed. It is a relatively affordable powerhouse of a video card.

IDE!

Yes. They make converters. An external box or cable will all be the same thing. The FASTEST option would be to purchase an IDE controller card:

SYBA SD-PEX-JM1A1E1S PCI Express SATA / IDE Controller Card

If you don't have that many files to transfer and you don't want to fiddle with the innards, then go for the cable:

Insten 675639 USB 2.0 to IDE / SATA Converter Cable

I don't suppose you live near Pensacola, FL? I bet there would be a lot of people on these boards willing to help you build your first PC. If you'd like, we can try and help guide you through the component selection process.

Anyhow:
If you decide to brave building a PC. The selection process is...

  • Budget - $3000 This means you can afford an Intel Socket 2011/*1155 rig.
  • How am I going to use the PC? Gaming. You will need a decent video card. You will also need adequate cooling.
  • Component selection with gaming/cooling in mind: CASE/Enclosure, Motherboard, CPU (and after-market cooler), Memory, Power Supply, SSD/HDD(to replace your IDE Drive), Graphic Card, Optical Drive (Blu-ray, perhaps), USB Thumb drive(godsend), Mouse and Keyboard, Monitor, Headset/Speakers/ Operating System(Hint: Windows 7/Linux)
  • Scrutinize every component. Read reviews/user opinions.
*The latest 1155 Ivy Bridge CPU comes with a manufacturing blunder where they decided to use a cheap Thermal Paste between the heat-spread and CPU die. This means your CPU will run hotter than it should.

If you decide to have your system built for you, raise this concern as the most likely processor you will get is the Ivy Bridge. If you decide to build your own rig, you may want to consider getting a Socket 2011 just to avoid having to apply your own TIM to the CPU die.

Update:

I've contacted AVA, Cyberpower, Alienware(Dell) and Falcon-NW. I was surprised by the curt response from Falcon-NW. I asked specifically about their burn-in evaluations and if they have found any problems in the Ivy Bridge line. If they have found a problem, how have they addressed the issue.

FALCON-NW

"There has been zero need to do anything about this; if it is even an issue."
(There are several problems with this reply. I won't go into that, though.)

AVA

"AVADirect must follow all manufacturer warranty guidelines, to ensure all
components used by AVADirect retain the manufacturer's warranty. That being
said, AVADirect does monitor temperatures through testing. Should we see any cores hotter than others, we do address the issue until resolved, leading to changes to the cooling configuration, or CPU replacement."

Unfortunately, a lot of companies don't regard small issues like this. The CPU will still function with what they call "Acceptable Levels" and they do not want to void the warranty just to shave a few degrees off the temperatures. In a business model it is normally acceptable, but if your business is to provide the best possible gaming machine for a client, I would consider going further. Zappos.com reps will have your shoe strings replaced with optional colors and even find you the best local delivery pizza to make certain you are happy. It is a shame other companies don't regard their customers in the same way.

CYBERPOWER

Basically, they told me the same thing that AVA told me.

Between the two companies, there really isn't a whole lot of information on CyberPower. AVA has been reviewed multiple times and seems to have a positive track record. I configured a few systems on both sites and it would seem that AVA has a much better selection than CyberPower. They have a lot of the same stuff, but I'd have to tip my hat in favor of AVA.

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pricek
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Thank you all for all of your responses.

So it seems AVA and CyberPowerPC is what I should look at. I've read some reviews of CyberPowerPC and iBUYPower and the reviews... haven't always been that great - a lot of DOA's.

Mordeux wrote:Everyone with hands and the ability to use them has the ability to build their own computer. If you decide to go that route, I imagine the most difficult part would be finding the right components (which is what may scare you? no?)

Just to be clear, I am physically unable to build a computer. I am able to put in cards and make minor installations, but my right arm isn't 100% due to injury while I was in the service, so I choose to buy. I have chronic pain in my arm and doing work with it would be just too much.

Tivon
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Building your own computer can be fun, but sometimes there is a darkside of DOA's, RMA's and long hours of hair pulling when the best highend gear fails to work together. However on the flip-side, building your own PC can be fun and it's a creation of your own design. Taking into account that you are disabled CyberPowerPC or AVA would be a good idea. You could also go with Alienware (Owned by Dell) http://www.alienware.com/Landings/desktops.aspx

"BF3, Crysis, and Planet Side." BF3 is alot of fun and takes a meaty system. Be sure to at least have 4 or 8 cores for the CPU, maybe a nice i7 would be great. I'm not sure dual video cards is needed, but you need a nice card with lots of ram, Stream Processors or CUDA Cores ect..

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Mordeux
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First, the last poster suggested going with an Alienware(Dell). I can confirm that they mark their systems up by 30-41%.

This is one of those times I wished I lived in the same city, I'd offer my assistance. When you configure one online, let us see the specs.

Tivon
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Does it hurt deep inside to think about someone buying a Dell? :P

Personally I would build my own computer, but that's not the answer this guy is looking for in his question. However you said it best Mordeux, if he was in your local area we could just build it for him.

Dorkstar
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I bought a laptop from Cyberpower back in 2007. Within 3 months I had issues with fan noise on my GPU. Since I was in another country at the time, I didn't have the opportunity to RMA it, so I just lived with the god awful noise (that was fixed by slapping my laptop). Anyhow, the laptop was solid for about a year, then slowly began to just degrade. Ever since then I've really heard nothing but bad things about cyberpower (check their facebook page comments).

@Tivon
You should really open up a Dell. In my line of work we use the high end workstations from Dell, and i'm highly impressed with their ability engineer a better product than most companies out there. Recently we picked up a crappier Dell from Sam's Club strictly just to burn CD's, and it had the exact same quality inside of it that the high-end workstations do. However they are often overpriced, it's just a matter of keeping your eyes open to find the better deals, such as using Dell Premier. There's even a dell auction site I've run across a time or two that has outstanding deals.

Mordeux
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Curt Schilling once purchased a $15,000 rig from Falcon-NW. I think that company wins in the over-priced award. Anyhow...

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