Help Choosing a Pre-built Gaming PC Please


@coldsteel - I’m going to do the same thing I did before and recommend you get the same mobo/processor/RAM combo a few of us did further up. You’ll get some of the hardware fixes in, you’ll get high clocks speeds, you’ll have stability, and you will also have headroom.

$2310 for what you have is terrible. Your getting middling last-gen for a premium price point.


Yeah, there’s something wrong with that build price-wise.

Just as comparison, I built my own last week. I did not get the two extra hardrives, but I did get a full 1 TB M.2 NVMe. On top of that, I got an i7-9700k and an RTX 2070 GPU. ASRock Phantom Gaming 6 motherboard (so not extreme, but not bargain basement either). Closed loop liquid cooler. Power supply and RAM were essentially the same (for example, mine was a gold standard 750 W power supply).

My total came to just over $1,700.


Okay, I went up though about 100 posts and didn’t see it. Would you mind saying what that mobo/processor/RAM combo is?

I’m looking at AVADirect because of their great reputation for customer service and custom part choices. They’re who I used for my current PC and it’s been rock solid for 6+ years. That said, their prices don’t look as great as they used to back in the day. I don’t like CyberPower or IBuyPower because of their bad customer service and spotty QC. Is there another decent builder out there with good pricing that doesn’t ship a lot of DOA systems?


Alienware / Dell. You usually want to wait for a sale, but you should get well below 2300 for a set-up like that, even a better set-up.


This is the thread I think Jeff was referring to. Seems several folks on Qt3 have been going with Z390 motherboards (ASRock & Gigabyte – I went with the latter – but I’d recommend googling Z390 reviews and pick one that looks good to you) and the new generation of Intel CPUs (I went with 9700K).


Oops! Sorry I forgot we had 2 running threads for this kind of thing.

  • Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro (2 versions, 1 with wifi, and another without for savings)
  • 2x 8 Gig DDR4 sticks of 3200 memory to fit your budget.
  • Intel i7-9700k
  • Samsung M.2 970
  • I used my old AiO Corsair waterblock. But a waterblock with a 120mm x 240mm radiator would be nice.

Then work up from there.

Honestly, that price that was quoted to you is a bit ridiculous when compared to something like this:


Example without great coupon (which do exist infrequently)

Alienware Aurora R7
Aurora R7 Base
8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 8600K (6-Core, 9MB Cache, up to 4.3GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology)
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
Video Card
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X
16GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2666MHz; up to 64GB (additional memory sold separately)
Hard Drive
128GB M.2 SATA SSD (Boot) + 2TB 7200RPM SATA HDD (Storage)
Chassis Options
Alienware™ 850 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply with High Performance Liquid Cooling
Tray Load DVD-RW Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
Qualcomm DW1810 1x1 802.11ac Wi-Fi Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2
No Keyboard
No Mouse
US Power Cord
DW1820 Wireless Driver
Diagnostic CD / Diskette
No Resource DVD
Optical Software
Cyberlink Media Suite Essentials without Media
Regulatory Label
Safety/Environment and Regulatory Guide (English/French Multi-language)
Aurora R7 Placemat
Retail Software Order
Retail Packing Label Order
Shipping Material
Processor Branding
Intel® Core™ i5 Label
Additional Software
Additional Software
Operating System Recovery Options
Thank you for Choosing Dell
FGA Module
Hardware Support Services
1 Year Hardware Warranty with Onsite/In-Home Service After Remote Diagnosis
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed)
Microsoft Office 30 Day Trial
McAfee Live Safe
No Anti-virus Requested


Show savings

  • $250.00
    Item Total: $1,649.99


Okay thanks, I’ll take a look at that. Like I said, I don’t use CyberPower because of their horrible customer support but I can look for that with another builder and see what the price is.


This is $2,200 for example, just the graphics card is half of that:

This is a pretty good deal as well:


Okay thanks. The new CPUs seem somewhat scarce and the pricing reflects that so that’s why I was looking at the 8600K which is supposed to be a good value for gamers from what I’ve read. I’m not against the newest gen CPUS if I can find any value there.

Yeah, the system I had before my current one was a Dell. It wasn’t horrible but it had 8 lane PCIe slots which was NOT what they advertised and limited what I could do with upgrades. I do like them for monitors though. My current monitor is a Dell.

As for Alienware, we bought some of those for work once and they literally arrived in pieces in the boxes and had to be put back together. The packing was that bad. Their customer service was horrible to non-existent. We used the PCs for years but they had to be repaired over and over. I swore I’d never buy another Alienware. Of course this was back before Dell bought them out so maybe they’re better now. Maybe.


I build my desktops, so I have no experience with them. I didn’t have a great experience with Alienware when I got my refurb laptop but… .it’s still kicking just fine. They’re pretty popular on the deal sites too,especially the refurbs. If you dig deeper, you can usually find out with motherboard, the exact one, they are putting in them. I do recall it took some digging in the support section to find it though.

1600 is a reasonable price. 2300, not a chance. There is nothing in your configuration that should make that system you listed anywhere close to 2k, no matter who is building it. Th eonly real premium thing you have going on in there is that R6 case, great case I have it!, and the 970 but even the 970 is the 500GB not their beast 1TB.


@coldsteel I never thought to ask. Are you in the US? Are those U.S. Dollars?


Yep, I’m in the US and those are US $.

Okay, it sounds like I just need to find a builder that has better prices but still does decent quality work.


If you are anywhere near a Microcenter, they have decent prices on components. And you can pick whatever you want, and they will build it for you for an extra $150.

If you don’t want to build it yourself, it still allows you to control the components, buy everything from one place at a reasonable price, and then have the same place build it.


That’s actually great advice and something I’d thought of. Unfortunately, there are only 2 Microcenter stores in my state and neither is anywhere near me.

I do have a mom and pop PC repair store right down the street though and he does custom built PCs. I think I might stop in and talk to him to see how much he’d charge for the build.

I do not want to build it myself. I was a software guy, not a hardware guy and I’m not into the stress of a PC build. Especially since it would be my first one. That stuff is not relaxing to me at all. I did check out a list of top custom PC builder sites and none of them will even let you choose your own case so I think that’s out.


If you are anywhere near South West Connecticut then I can build it for you.


For $2300 he can probably fly you to him.


Hey, thanks for the offer. I’m on the east coast but nowhere near Connecticut.


What we need is a QT3 computer building session. We all build the same rig at the same time and then for like 6 years we’ll have a troubleshooting support group, heh, well until a couple of you impatient folks run out and buy a 1200 sparkly new GPU.

East Coast means trains right, could do a train trip and a new computer and still save!


Interesting idea. I like it, and I think a few of us might actually be interested.
The only problem would be timing it so all of our budgets line up at the same time.
For instance, it’ll be a few more years for me.
But maybe we could make it like an annual thing. A few people each year around a specific time, so we could be saving up for it.

I realize you were partially joking (I think), but I believe this idea warrants further consideration.