This all started back in February/March when my Uni course ended for the year. Due to the house being decorated and stuff being moved around I had enough space to fit a desktop PC in my room.
I was on the train coming back from somewhere and saw a man reading a PC mag with loads of ads for different prebuild companies. I later found out that the magazine was Custom PC. I looked around at different companies and tweaked various builds. For the time being I wasn't even looking at an Alienware. The starting price of the machine I wanted was around double the price of most other companies.
I tried to get the new Custom PC issues when they came out because they were always short of stock in shops. As time went on I began to understand a bit more about what I was hoping to buy, which companies offered good value for money and so on. Each month they also review one really high spec gaming machine. There was one rig that appealed to me in particular. It used the Silverstone TJ07 case which is the only case I actually like. It's simple and stylish but has loads of possibilities. My mind was settled. Or so I thought. I suddenly realised that they were charging for the overclockig service. They had taken Intel i7 920 @ 2.66Ghz and made it 3.8, and decided to charge the price of the Extreme Edition i7. Well that didn't sit well with me at all. I'll pay for the company to build it but not another Â£x00 to do something that most people can do for free. I did look at other companies but nothing really grabbed my attention. I am quite picky. I'm not a big fan of side windows. It's a PC not Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I don't need to see all the fancy wiring work and LED lights all over the place. But if you don't do that then the window is pretty much useless so you go back to square one. For old times' sake I went back to Alienware and they had cut the price of the core machine from Â£1400 to Â£1119. Much better, but still greater than most companies would ask for.
It was coming close to buying time as I needed to decide what to do with all my savings in regards to where they would go come my 21st. Again, I checked AW and the price had dropped to below Â£900. Now we were in business. After some tweaking, finding out the companies that made the AW components and comparing I was actually paying the same price as companies like CyberPower, PC Specialist charged(please note that this was at the time and may be different now). The price did go up after opting for a dual drive with Blu Ray and a bigger HDD but it was still worth it. The machine was delayed slightly due to some out of stock parts but it only arrived two days after the expected date of arrival.
The Dell 23" screen was on sale and is very clear and sharp.
The Logitech Z4 speakers have great audio for a reasonable price (Â£60). Easy to set up. Has a nice volume block too which controls the volume and bass level.
Now on to Razer. I got the Lycosa keyboard and Mamba mouse from play .com (UK) and they both arrived very quickly. However the official store was not so great. I wanted the Sphex mousepad and Megalodon 7.1 headset. Both of these were new items and were selling fast. I had to constantly ask the support where my orders were as their website had a very unclear tracker with the only updates being "processing" and "complete". It took just less than a month to get two items. But it was well worth the wait and cheaper than UK prices. However after a few days of playing I found the Sphex a bit uncomfortable. It has great tracking but I felt as if I needed a bit of support for my wrist. The Sphex isn't a traditional mat, it's actually a paper thin surface that sticks to your desk. It works great and for Â£10 you can't really fault it but after getting the Exactmat and playing for a while I found it much better. It's made of Aluminium and has two surfaces. One is called "Speed" and is smooth, the other "Control", and the surface is slightly rougher. The wrist rest also has a soft, thin, flexible rubber pad underneath to place the mat on so my glass table won't suffer. Great value for just over Â£20.
Overall I'm very happy with the system, I still have my laptop from AW which I enjoy using, I'll most likely use it for things like music now as all my iTunes stuff is on there. PCs are long term investments so you may as well spend the money on something you want. There's nothing worse than the "what if...?" thoughts when things like this come up. Buyer's regret is a harsh syndrome. I'm also planning on using this as a platform to upgrade. I've had the system for a month and have had no issues.
I actually did some calculations and according to products listed in Custom PC I would have saved nothing if I had done this myself. In fact the price was over Â£2000 (with top quality components) and AW were doing it for Â£1557.
Please note that you cannot buy this system anymore as AW have recently released new machines and the new full sized desktops (Area 51) won't be out until DX11 cards come out. The new Aurora machines are out now but are smaller and not so great for hardcore users looking to fully spec out a machine as they use smaller motherboards which take less components. Eg: you can't have dual graphics and a separate sound card.
Other companies I looked at:
CyberPower, Dell, PC Specialist, Beast Computers, Overclockers UK, Novatech
***Nothing against any of these companies.***
Companies I used to order:
Alienware.co.uk, Dell.co.uk, Play.com, Amazon.co.uk, Razerzone.com
It's not the best image but I'll find a better one later. Heres the new Area 51 with the side panel off. I also linked a short video. Just ignore the Dell guy talking.
Please let old threads die and do not reply to them unless you feel you have something new and valuable to contribute that absolutely must be added to make the discussion complete.
Otherwise, please post a new thread in this forum instead.