Can Home Build be better than this Dell for my needs?


Jul 26, 2009
Hello and thank you for looking at my post.

I need a computer for editing video, converting from different formats to DVD and AVI & Multitasking. I use TMPEGEnc and usually have 2 instances of the program going to make 2 DVDs simultaneously. I also watch HD source video on the computer while this is happening and generally multitask. I don't play games on the computer. I also store a lot of DVDs on my hard drive for editing. My budget is $1500

note: in case anyone is wondering what all the DVD video is for, I'm a huge boxing fan and I exchange video of fights with other traders and I edit and put different fights together on their own DVDs. I also use Utorrent to share with others what I've put together.

I don't have experience putting a machine together but would be willing to try if the cost savings were significant. However, I wouldn't mind paying a couple of hundred more for a pre built machine with warranty so I didn't have to mess with it and possibly ruin some parts.

Please give me recommendations of whether I should go pre built from eBay or put one together. I don't mind paying a little more for something that's ready to go. My budget is $1500

Here's one that I found that could probably meet my needs, please let me know your opinions:|66%3A2|39%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

If there are any other pre-built systems you know of, please let me know too.

Intels Core i7 is the best encoding cpu available

This wont be popular with other people on this mb but the dell is the combination of CPU / quantity of RAM / quality of parts that many people would reccomend anyway .

The graphics card in it is an older model but since you are not gaming then its not an issue .

The Dell is hard to beat on price , and the warranty is very useful too



Jul 23, 2009
Provided you take your time and shop around, BYOS will give you much better bang for your money. As far as the warranty issue, keep in mind that most components you buy are also under manufacturers warranty so thats not so much of an issue. Just my opinion.

[edit] then again I'm talking more about gaming rigs so.....


Oct 12, 2007
honestly the price of that dell is hard to argue with. If you don't feel comfortable building your own computer, then don't. And if the warranty is worth the price difference to you, then all the better. You won't be disappointed with that dell, that's for sure.


We already did the comparison. Here is the link to the Dell section of the forum with the selection of a BYO alternative put together by AKM880 to an Dell XPS i7 computer @ $900.

It should be noted that you are buying a refurbished unit on eBay and that the comparable new unit on Dell is probably sells closer to $1,000 with the two large HDs.

The linked page includes a detailed discussion of the cost advantages of BYO. What it does not address as much are the many other advantage of BYO:

1. Ease of upgrading
You know what parts it has and what upgrades it will take
You know how to put in all components so have knowledge to change any
Can enhance later upgrade options in original build - for instance larger PSU
2. You don't have all the bloatware put on purchased systems
3. Membership in the eclectic group of BYOers - a very intelligent, affable, handsome, honest, trustworthy, loyal, kind, and modest group.
4. The confidence and bragging rights - be they as they may - of BYO - and all the chicks it brings- or vice versa if you are vice versa -or even just vice.
5. Ability to overclock and increase performance by 10% to 20%

But still, like Nik says - you still might want a Dell. For you, the Dell advantages of saving the time required to plan and build the system and convenience of having a singple point of contact on warranties might outweigh the BYO advantages of cost, knowledge, upgradility and the others listed above. It really does come down to a question of personal preferences. However they really are not the difficult to build. Just need to have a little time and patience - and desire - to do a little reading - first to determine the right parts for you - then on how to build - and to ask if you run into problems. There easily could be some minor issues you run into - or maybe not.

After 5 purchased systems - the first being an Apple 2e and the last being a Dell Dimension 8400 (purchased new, not refurbished, on eBay for about a $200 savings over the Dell list price) - I finally took the plunge and built my own and am glad I did. If you are interested, I suggest reviewing the system from the other link and seeing if you wanted to make any changes - for instance a different case or if it is worth the added price for a faster processor, or maybe you don't want the same video card. Then post your proposed system here and ask for recommendations - but only if you are serious.


Jul 26, 2009
Thanks for the replies folks, I really appreciate it.

One additional advantage of the Dell from eBay is that I get 8% off using MS so the total comes to $765 shipped.

I do agree though about the upgradability - I'll be stuck with this thing if I need to upgrade and also I would feel pretty good if I built my own system.

One question - Will I be able to upgrade the Video Card on this if I need to? On the other thread some people said that the power supply won't be enough for a better Video card. However, if I purchase say this one:

Can I take the one in the Dell out and put this one in?


Outlander - Perhaps the price for the refurbished system from eBay - with an apparent discount of about $170 off the Dell already discounted price - is unbeatable in terms of the upfront purchase price - and maybe he should go with it if so inclined.

But the originator needs to accept the upgrade limitations of the system and forgoe the savings that might be hand from later upgrades - including a later overhaul of the system in place of a new purchase. As I said on the other thread, the biggest cost advantages of BYI come not with the original purchase but with component upgrades and later by upgrading the mobo, processor, and memory in place of buying a new system - not to mention all of the other advantages of BYO.

Still, it is a good - maybe great - price for an i7 system if that is all that matters and the system as composed will meet his requirements - now and in the future.



Yes, if it has the same PSU -450w - as the system spec, which it most likely does. You might want to confirm that with the seller. More is said about this - and Dell PSU's - on the link referenced above.

You could also easily go up higher to the 4850 which is a much more powerful card for only about $90 to $100 - however if you really don't do any gaming that exta speed will most likely never be used. The 4850 is considered the heart of mainstream (but not enthusiast) gaming.

You aslo might want to first check your editing software and see if any of it can take advantage of the "Cuda" processing engine found only on nVidia cards. This allows the video card to take on some of the processing - certain operations - normally done by the PC and speed it up considerably. Software must be engineered specifically to do this but more and more AV software is becoming Cuda enabled and it might make a signficant difference in the future. This is one area that ATI is way behind and can be a significant differentiator between the two cards if your software uses Cuda. For nVidia, the 9600 GT would be approximately the comparable card - although a little more expensive and faster, on average.

The 4670 is a good card, although if you decide to stay with it I would recommend this card over it as it expels the air outside the case (although this will take up an extra slot) and at 1GB has twice the video RAM - but it does costs $10 more.

HIS H467QSS1GP Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express
I strongly advise NOT to buy Dell.

They have sucky part in them.(low cost/slow quality)

They use to have good computer... but not anymore.

I have lots of complains from costumer that has bought one
Most of them have their motherboard blow up after warranty expire: cost 200-300 $ to repair.

Just from reading your post, I would suggest you buy the Dell. I don't think you are the type to be bothered with building your own. You sound like you want a solid plug and play box, that will do what you need it to, so you can get on with your work, or hobby. You are not a builder, gamer, or enthusiast, you are a user.

I personally would not buy the refurb unit though, I would just go to Dell, and buy new.