Author Topic: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide  (Read 3892 times)

Ari Altman

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The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« on: March 03, 2014, 06:43:08 PM »
Here's the thread to discuss the "Desktop Buyer's Guide", updated quarterly on The Tech Buyer's Guru.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 05:00:49 PM by Ari Altman »

Krafko

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 07:57:47 AM »
When backpack PC's are gonna be a thing, are you gonna add them?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 08:32:21 AM »
When backpack PC's are gonna be a thing, are you gonna add them?

When they go mainstream, that's definitely a possibility. All the backpack PCs announced so far are just prototypes. You can already build a powerful PC that will fit in a backpack, so the only reason you need a PC that will run inside a backpack (which requires special cooling and a battery), is to play room-scale VR. That means you're running the $800 HTC Vive, so it's a pretty niche audience.

Note that all backpack PCs announced so far will only run about an hour on batteries, which simply put is not ready for a mass audience.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 10:05:48 AM by Ari Altman »

hhh2260

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 07:52:57 AM »
The cyberpower pc you suggested in the article has similar specs with the $2000 build you suggest (http://techbuyersguru.com/2000-premium-gaming-pc-build) but the price is much lower. Does that mean the quality of the parts in the cyberpowerer pc is worse and it is unreliable?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 08:30:06 AM »
The cyberpower pc you suggested in the article has similar specs with the $2000 build you suggest (http://techbuyersguru.com/2000-premium-gaming-pc-build) but the price is much lower. Does that mean the quality of the parts in the cyberpowerer pc is worse and it is unreliable?

Welcome to the TBG Forum, hhh2260!

You've asked a great question, and indeed, CyberPower PC offers some amazing values in pre-built machines, and the SLC8320BH is an exceptional example of that. That's why it's in the guide.

First of all, note that it's on sale and may go back up in price soon, at which point it won't be quite as amazing a value. But there are in fact a few areas where it cannot equal TBG's $2,000 Premium Gaming PC. First, it uses a 480GB SSD that's half the size, and no doubt significantly slower than the 850 Evo 1TB, the fastest SATA drive available. Second, it's using a nice but cheap NZXT S340 case, which is no match for the $100 Phanteks Enthoo Pro in terms of cooling or ease of use. Third, it has a 1000W power supply, but it's likely a second-tier unit, almost certainly semi-modular and Bronze-rated, rather than the Platinum-rated fully-modular 750W unit in TBG's build that's a much better pick for a build like this. Finally, while not specified, the 32GB of RAM is almost certainly 2133MHz, rather than the 3200MHz kit recommended in TBG's guide. This will reduce performance by 3-5%.

So, there's nothing wrong with the Cyberpower PC at all, it's just that it uses cost-optimized parts, rather than performance-optimized parts, but they'll work fine. The great thing is that it comes fully assembled, and given its sale price, it's a serious bargain. If you don't want to spend the time building your own PC, this is a fantastic option.

hhh2260

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 08:45:29 AM »
The cyberpower pc you suggested in the article has similar specs with the $2000 build you suggest (http://techbuyersguru.com/2000-premium-gaming-pc-build) but the price is much lower. Does that mean the quality of the parts in the cyberpowerer pc is worse and it is unreliable?

Welcome to the TBG Forum, hhh2260!

You've asked a great question, and indeed, CyberPower PC offers some amazing values in pre-built machines, and the SLC8320BH is an exceptional example of that. That's why it's in the guide.

First of all, note that it's on sale and may go back up in price soon, at which point it won't be quite as amazing a value. But there are in fact a few areas where it cannot equal TBG's $2,000 Premium Gaming PC. First, it uses a 480GB SSD that's half the size, and no doubt significantly slower than the 850 Evo 1TB, the fastest SATA drive available. Second, it's using a nice but cheap NZXT S340 case, which is no match for the $100 Phanteks Enthoo Pro in terms of cooling or ease of use. Third, it has a 1000W power supply, but it's likely a second-tier unit, almost certainly semi-modular and Bronze-rated, rather than the Platinum-rated fully-modular 750W unit in TBG's build that's a much better pick for a build like this. Finally, while not specified, the 32GB of RAM is almost certainly 2133MHz, rather than the 3200MHz kit recommended in TBG's guide. This will reduce performance by 3-5%.

So, there's nothing wrong with the Cyberpower PC at all, it's just that it uses cost-optimized parts, rather than performance-optimized parts, but they'll work fine. The great thing is that it comes fully assembled, and given its sale price, it's a serious bargain. If you don't want to spend the time building your own PC, this is a fantastic option.

Thanks a lot for the response. Your articles are very helpful.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 07:35:54 AM »
Well, believe it or not, that Cyberpower PC that was on sale yesterday is now listed as sold out and discontinued. Told you it was a good deal!

It might return, but if not, we'll have to wait for a replacement model to arrive, which likely won't happen until the release of Intel's Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K next month.

For now, I did find a substitute at the same $1,700 that the CyberpowerPC was selling for: the Asus G11CD, which has similar specs, but drops down to a Core i7-6700 rather than the overclockable 6700K, while also dropping the hard drive. Not quite as good a deal, but sometimes a sale price like we saw on the CyberpowerPC really does mean "buy now"!
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 08:24:55 AM by Ari Altman »

Mcollin6

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 02:50:54 AM »
Would love to see a gaming PC recommendation that is "silent" or "quiet" for all the people out there with 4K TV's in their home theater who would really love to use that screen for their PC monitor but don't want a screaming box of fans sitting in their living room.  Maybe if you knew the dB of the units at idle and under load that you currently recommend.     Thx!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 08:30:09 AM »
Would love to see a gaming PC recommendation that is "silent" or "quiet" for all the people out there with 4K TV's in their home theater who would really love to use that screen for their PC monitor but don't want a screaming box of fans sitting in their living room.  Maybe if you knew the dB of the units at idle and under load that you currently recommend.     Thx!

Silence is definitely important when it comes to an HTPC. Of course, the more powerful the components and the smaller the case, the harder it is to achieve.

I think you'd find that MSI's Trident 3 provides an excellent balance of speed and silence. MSI had chosen components that are fast but extremely efficient. CPU overclocking is not supported, but that allowed MSI to use a very silent CPU cooler. And the GTX 1060 is cool enough to run in laptops, but here gets an oversized cooler to allow quiet operaton.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 10:05:16 AM by Ari Altman »

Mcollin6

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 05:19:22 AM »
The Artic version looks perfect but doesn't come out until later this month.    One of the things that. I am looking for in a box like this is the ability to turn it on using a remote.   My equipment is all hidden.   Would this take an aftermarket IR/RF power module like the silver stone remote power switch, or do you know of other options?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 06:18:48 AM »
The Artic version looks perfect but doesn't come out until later this month.    One of the things that. I am looking for in a box like this is the ability to turn it on using a remote.   My equipment is all hidden.   Would this take an aftermarket IR/RF power module like the silver stone remote power switch, or do you know of other options?

The MSI Trident 3 Arctic was just announced a few days ago. It does indeed look pretty awesome!

I've tested the SilverStone ES02-USB remote power switch. It works wonderfully, but you need access to both a USB header and the front button power lead. Given that that Trident 3 is using a completely custom motherboard, I can't say for sure whether the power lead is accessible. There does appear to be at least one free USB header, however.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 05:23:09 PM »
This guide has been updated for Summer 2017. Note that the cryptocurrency tidal wave that wiped out worldwide stocks of all Radeon video cards and most GeForce video cards has clearly impacted OEMs as well, which means, for example, that we've had to work around the absence of systems with the RX 580 and GTX 1070 video cards. Even so, there are still some really great options out there for anyone looking to buy a pre-built system.

Hex7CD

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2017, 04:46:50 PM »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Desktop Buyer's Guide
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2017, 05:01:11 PM »
Link in OP is broken.
Redirects to "http://desktop%20buyer%27s%20guide/" instead of "https://techbuyersguru.com/desktop-buyers-guide"

Thank you for catching that - I probably would have never realized it!