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Old 10-29-2012, 03:05 AM   #1
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Post Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

Hi. I am a new user to this forum and was hoping for some help in regards to a decision I need to make. I have just finished high school and am rewarding myself by upgrading my crappy dell inspiron 1525. However, I am at a loss as to what I want to upgrade to: a DTR or a full desktop.

If I get a laptop, I will spend $2750 on an Alienware m17x R4 with the following specs:
CPU = i7 3740QM
OS = Win 7 Premium
Memory = 12GB DDR3 1600mhz
Hard Drive = 64gb mSATA SSD + 500GB 7200rpm HDD
GPU = 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon HD 7970M
Optical Drive = Blu-ray RW
WiFi = Intel Centrino Wireless-N w/ Bluetooth 4.0

However, I have been contemplating buying a desktop and getting one of the new hybrid tablet/ultrabooks to take to uni. I expect to spend about $1000 on the tablet ultrabook which leaves me with $1700 for the desktop. Will this $1700 be enough for a computer to match the above laptop specs in performance? I've been looking at the i7 3770K and nvidia 670. But should I wait for the new haswell chips to come out? I'm really looking for a combo of power and upgradability, because I plan to study IT and Mathematics (who knows what I might need to do) and playing games at 1080p would be nice as well. Anyway For the MoBo i was thinking Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 and I would build around that with the 3770k and the nvidia 670.

Thanks for your help,
Sup
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

The Z77, 3770k, 670 build you suggest will most likely handle anything you throw at it, and is a good choice. However, with a $1,700 budget, you may want to consider an LGA2011 build which can still be accomplished within your budget, and provide far more processing power should you need it.

The Sandy Bridge-E now, will also give you an upgrade path to Ivy Bridge-E down the road. Just a suggestion. If you feel that's more than you need, I'd say your 3770k build would do just fine.

Just don't make the mistake that so many folks make regarding a PSU. Make sure you purchase a quality brand, with plenty of headroom for future upgrading, including SLI down the road.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

I've been having a look at the LGA2011 and I like the look of them, the main problem is the price. If i do go for an LGA2011, then the motherboard will need an upgrade. I was thinking the 3820 (i know about the OC limitations) until the ivy bridge-e comes out, as thats about 50% price of the 3930K. But I am not quite sure what MoBo to bundle with it. I do plan to use the gtx 670, which will cut me down about $400, plus $300 for CPU, I really don't want to spend more than $300-$350 on the MoBo. any recommendations?

As for the PSU. I have read a lot about the importance of a good PSU. So Ive decided i want to go with the antec truepower 750W. any opinions?

As for the rest of the Computer Build. This is what I have:
OS = Win 7 Premium
Memory = 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz (4x4GB)
Hard Drive = 64gb OCZ Agility 4 + 500GB WD Caviar Blue
Optical Drive = Blu-ray RW

I'm still deciding on a case and cooling is dependent on CPU.

But to come back to my previous question: Should i goto DTR or Desktop+Tablet/Ultrabook?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

Lots of folks seem satisfied with this board, but I don't know how much it will cost in Australia.

Newegg.com - ASUS P9X79 LE LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS

This seems to be the most popular, but again, the price.

Newegg.com - ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I personally prefer either Antec, or Corsair. They are both high quality products. 750 watts is fine if you never intend to add another 670 for SLI. If you do, then purchase at least an 850 watt supply.

A 64GB SSD is really very short on capacity. The 256B solid state drives have come down in price so much, you may want to give that some thought.

Everything else looks fine to me. If you have the room for a full size case, and can afford it, that's the way to go. Much more air flow, far better cable management, and easier to work on.

As far as your question ..."Should i goto DTR or Desktop+Tablet/Ultrabook?" That's really a matter of personal choice, and need, is it not?
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hameister View Post
Lots of folks seem satisfied with this board, but I don't know how much it will cost in Australia.

Newegg.com - ASUS P9X79 LE LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with USB BIOS

This seems to be the most popular, but again, the price.

Newegg.com - ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

I personally prefer either Antec, or Corsair. They are both high quality products. 750 watts is fine if you never intend to add another 670 for SLI. If you do, then purchase at least an 850 watt supply.

A 64GB SSD is really very short on capacity. The 256B solid state drives have come down in price so much, you may want to give that some thought.

Everything else looks fine to me. If you have the room for a full size case, and can afford it, that's the way to go. Much more air flow, far better cable management, and easier to work on.

As far as your question ..."Should i goto DTR or Desktop+Tablet/Ultrabook?" That's really a matter of personal choice, and need, is it not?
A wee bit cheaper atm as our AUD is worth a few more cents more than the greenback.
it was when I last checked.

Our prices on hardware over here a competitive, we only get ripped off on the software.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

If you're wanting to spend around $2,750, you could do pretty much exactly what I did when I got back from Afghanistan:

Built a custom desktop: i7-2600k OC'd to 4.8-5.1 ghz, 4GB Kingston HyperX 1600mhz (if you want more, no problem. RAM is cheap. I eventually put 8GB G. Skill Sniper in it.), 2X 60GB OCZ Vertex III in RAID0 (~112GB total space...STUPID fast...), Corsair H60 liquid cooler, 1TB spinning HDD, MSI MoBo, Rosewill 700W PSU.

Ordered an HP dv6 to my specs: i7-2720QM, Blu-Ray, Bluetooth, 8 GB RAM, 750GB HDD (which I swapped out for a 500GB hybrid solid-state drive).

Total cost for both? Roughly your budget. Since you want a GPU in your desktop and don't necessarily want a laptop to game on, the exact opposite of me, you should be able to stay in budget no problem. For the desktop, cruise the "DIY Combos" page on Newegg. That's where I got mine. Got the majority of my machine from them for $600! For the laptop, I'd recommend the HP site...go to their laptops page, click "high performance" and "ultrabook and sleekbook" on the left along with "intel" for the CPU. They have a HUGE selection of surprisingly good hardware (which now comes with Windows 8...hmm...) for under a grand. You can customize like I did, too and get exactly what you want.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Desktop Equivalent of Alienware Laptop

Thanks everyone for their replies. I am pretty confident now that I will build myself a desktop. There are of course other threads which i can read for this. so I guess a mod could close this thread? again thanks for your help everyone.
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