Who makes reasonably priced pre-configured gaming desktop PCs?

#1

Hey Guys,

I’m an old grumpy gamer at this point with little interest in making my own ultimate rig. I hear nothing but great stuff about Falcon Northwest but I’m not looking to pay a premium for the ultimate bleeding edge.

So who can vouch for another solid gaming system provider a bit more budget conscious?

#2

I bought a Cyberpower from Costco which was good (online only), if you have a Costco membership. I built my own afterwards tho.

I’d stay away from Dell/Alienware however. Alienware hasn’t been the same since that takeover, IMHO. FWIW I had a bad experience with drivers on my Alienware m11x - dell just wouldn’t release updated drivers and stopped supporting it, and ever since, I don’t trust them. Others may have had a different experience.

#3

Yeah, I have no faith in Dell or Alienware.

Anybody have any feedback on Lenovo?

#4

Lenovo is never a brand I’ve associated with gaming.

If you’re near a Microcenter, I’ve been extremely happy with their PowerSpec line. They’ll also build a custom system with whatever parts you want (purchased from them, obviously) for a reasonable price.

#5

Are you comfortable with the actual building? I don’t mind putting parts together, but the thought of researching makes me tired. There’s a subreddit called buildapcforme where you post the specs you want and a price range and someone will send you a build with a cart that has all the parts. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out the form and post it, and you’ll usually get a response within an hour or two.

#6

Another vote for Microcenter, if you live near one. They make great custom PC’s, and their service is excellent.

#7

If you’re not near a Microcenter, do what I did. Do the research, use PCPArtPicker to find the best prices, then pay a local shop to build it for you.

#8

It’s been awhile, but I had a very good experience with Digital Storm. Their pre-ship testing is particularly outstanding.

#9

iBuyPower isn’t too shabby.

— Alan

#10

I’ve had a Dell XPS system for a little over a year. Zero issues.

#11

On the other hand, had to call their support for 3 different XPS 13 models in the last two years, a couple for motherboard replacements and another they couldn’t figure it out and replaced the entire laptop.

Regardless of the quality, their entire NBD support method is completely awesome.

#12

One habit of Dell’s is that the Power Supply/Case usually don’t play well with component upgrades (PS not powerful enough, Cases can’t fit newer video cards. Not sure if this is the case with the current XPS systems however.

#13

I bought an Alienware Area 51 systems from dell outlet a while ago, no issues, especially considering the price I paid (unlike the new Alienware system with same configuration but much inflated pricing). Sometimes Dell has those additional %off deals in the outlet, you can really get good deals on the system. The only thing is if you can stand the ugly triangular case, however the case is surprisingly roomy inside, makes upgrade a breeze.

#14

Whatever you do, don’t overpay for RAM:

And if you need some new RAM to go with your new processor, then this $40 8GB stick of 2400MHz HyperX Fury DDR4 RAM is the cheapest it’s been since the end of 2016 . Finally, RAM prices are falling, making now an excellent time to upgrade.

#15

I have an Alienware Aurora. Apart from PSU not beefy enough, I have no complaint of the case construction. It is designed modular enough so individual components can be swapped easily, even PSU. One of these day, when RTX price come down, I will stick a 2070 in my rig along with a beefy PSU. Should be just 2-3 hours of work.

The price they are asking is very steep though, so IMO don’t bother unless they are on steep discount.

I’ve looked at HP Omen brand for prebuild gaming desktop. Their rigs look good on paper though.

#16

Look at ecollegepc. I’ve heard good comments about them.

http://www.ecollegepc.com/

#17

Yeah, I’ve been happy with the rig I bought from them 2 years ago. Haven’t needed any service so I can’t speak to that. And it didn’t come with any shovelware or free trials.

#18

Another thing about them, on Amazon at least, would be if you kinda wanted to not drop all of that money at once, you can get a lot of models on Amazon’s 5-month payment scheme (0% interest, first payment + tax for the start). Makes it nice and convenient. I’m not entirely sure how to clean the front grill fans though since they’re behind a layer of tempered glass and a half inch gap. Doesn’t look like I can get it off…

— Alan

#19

I bought this Alienware Aurora R5 from Best Buy in November of 2016.
It has never yet let me down in any way. Rock solid, and still performs well.
I was worried that the 480 watt PSU would be a bit under-sized, but this rig gets used every day, and I’ve added two more hard drives, and no problems. Since I bought it, Dell has released two BIOS updates for it, which installed smoothly just by clicking the button.

Four complaints I have though (even though they’ve never affected me negatively):

  1. Single stick of 16 GB ram was used. Plenty of open channels, and yet they used a single stick.
  2. PSU seems small, but works just fine.
  3. Case uses too much plastic.
  4. Came with one m.2 ssd and one hard drive, but no physical place to mount additional desktop hard drives. Plenty of places to install SSD’s and/or laptop drives though, so I installed two more laptop drives.

EDIT: Best Buy apparently doesn’t sell the same Aurora R5 as the one I bought anymore, so the one I linked to is actually the updated version, the Aurora R7, which has the Intel core i7 8700, and also fixed the single channel memory problem I mentioned by using two 8 gig sticks. It is also clearance priced.

#20

My cyberpower offnof Amazon is still doing great after a couple of years. I just swapped out my fans is all. The case has tons of room and good venting. Quite happy with it.