Question Is getting a decent prebuilt PC just too difficult?

mike2012

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Mar 15, 2012
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I've tried to buy prebuilt gaming PCs in the past, but they always seem to have issues. I got a Dell prebuilt once which was decent except for the CPU overheated. Okay, took that back got a custom prebuilt from Microcenter recently.

Everything has good temps, but with this one it has a problem where you'll be completely idle and the computer will lock up; requiring a restart.

Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong companies?

Perhaps I should look at something like Digital Storm or OriginPC?

Is getting a decent PC for gaming that you don't have to build yourself too much to ask?
 

InvalidError

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It shouldn't be too much to ask. But then again, parts distributors are doing forced bundling between parts people want and parts that have been sitting in warehouses for a long time, so less scrupulous integrators are trying to get rid of some of their crap on people desperate to get rare parts like GPUs.

Random lock-up at idle could be an issue with the PSU or a flaky RAM bit hitting a critical spot as things get shuffled around system memory over time. The first thing I would do with any new system and any new RAM is run memtest86+ for several hours to make sure there isn't any obvious memory-related issue. When I put my i5-11400, I under-volted the memory from its 1.35V XMP to only 1.2V to increase the likelihood of weak bits showing up, let memtest86 run a couple of passes and when no error came up, I called it good to go at 1.25V.

A full parts list would be handy for determining if you got anything outlandishly bad in your pre-built.
 
I've tried to buy prebuilt gaming PCs in the past, but they always seem to have issues. I got a Dell prebuilt once which was decent except for the CPU overheated. Okay, took that back got a custom prebuilt from Microcenter recently.

Everything has good temps, but with this one it has a problem where you'll be completely idle and the computer will lock up; requiring a restart.

Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong companies?

Perhaps I should look at something like Digital Storm or OriginPC?

Is getting a decent PC for gaming that you don't have to build yourself too much to ask?
What cpu and video card came with your most recent prebuilt and how much did they charge you for the system if I might ask.
 

Karadjgne

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There's 3 kinds of prebuilts and all 3 have drawbacks of some sort.

1. OEM. That's ppl like Dell or HP or Lenovo etc. They are generally the lowest in price. Bonus. They also are not very customizable or configurable and often too proprietary to really upgrade later. That includes everything and anything from gpus to psus to cases and most definitely cpus. Serious drawbacks.

2. Big-box boutique. That's ppl like CyberPowerPC, ibuypower etc. Nothing like #1. Generally relatively on the cheaper side, fully aftermarket parts, no proprietary anywhere. Bonus. They are also slim pickings on what they offer, only a few brands, specific options, and to really get something good from the base model puts the price way above where you started from. Can be serious drawbacks, especially on quality control, you'll often get connectors loose, screws loose, drives not initialized, undersized cooling, bios settings haphazardly done, if at all.

3. Custom boutique. This is the most expensive option, usually by a fair gap. Ppl like DigitalStorm, Falcon Northwest etc. Long way from #1 and still a good bit above #2. Sort of a drawback, especially to the wallet. They also deal with higher end. You won't find cheap stuff here. No Corsair VS, no value ram, no bottom shelf motherboards or cheap SSDs. And these are custom built machines with the widest assortment of parts and the best by far customer service and tech support because you talk to the actual ppl who built your pc, not some customer service rep in a call center who needs to read scripted prompts from a computer screen. Serious bonus, the drawback being you will pay for that level of service when buying the pc. And it will be immaculate. No rush-job, build it fast to save on labor costs, if it's not showroom quality it doesn't leave the shop until it is.

So pick your poison. #1 guaranteed to have flaws you can't fix, can only live with but is cheap or #2 which has fixable flaws, is relatively decent in price to start with but fixing the flaws gets frustratingly more expensive, or #3 whose only real flaw is the empty feeling in your bank account but won't have anything that needs fixing, unless it's something you chose in the first place.
 

Karadjgne

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Ambassador
I was thinking about those videos lol.

If I was going to get a pre-built, it'd most likely be from MainGear. As InvalidError mentioned, most all of these builders can only get gpus if they also get them in a combo package with other assorted garbage like 120mm aios, cheap coolers, bottom line motherboards etc and then they pass those onto unsuspecting or uninformed buyers.

MainGear doesn't. Takes them longer to get a gpu, but that's all they get, no junky combos. They refuse to deal with the trash. You'd pay more, have to wait longer, but when you do finally get your pc, it'll be something worth owning as is, not something bought for the gpu and waiting to be sold or parted out.
View: https://youtu.be/VRFEr3rAizY


The first 3 videos he did were crazy.
 
Last edited:
May 26, 2021
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I've tried to buy prebuilt gaming PCs in the past, but they always seem to have issues. I got a Dell prebuilt once which was decent except for the CPU overheated. Okay, took that back got a custom prebuilt from Microcenter recently.

Everything has good temps, but with this one it has a problem where you'll be completely idle and the computer will lock up; requiring a restart.

Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong companies?

Perhaps I should look at something like Digital Storm or OriginPC?

Is getting a decent PC for gaming that you don't have to build yourself too much to ask?
Just the way it is.

Every PC i've ever bought (including custom spec ones, built for me, ones i've spec'd, ordered the parts, and built myself, or my new pre-built system) have always seem to come with errors or issues that other users don't have.

For instance one of the last PC's refused to overclock, no matter what I tried, even when I got it working, with voltage, it would eventually blue screen, or just freeze and not respond, forcing a restart, sometimes after 2 hours of use, sometimes after 8 hours, and sometimes i'd leave it on standby overnight, i.e the system up time was about 23 hours and then come to use it in the morning to find that it had frozen overnight.

The PC before that, had an issue whereby every so often it would start up, but not boot into Windows, it would simply refuse and just sit on either a black screen, doing nothing, or a black screen with a flashing underscore, as if command line had been launched. Sometimes that same PC would boot fine.

That same PC also refused to work with XMP enabled on the RAM. My current PC had the same issue to a slightly lesser extend, it only had 1 created XMP profile (a lot of them supply 2 profiles) which didn't work for my system, XMP is usually a "one click overclock" and that's normally all you need to do.

XMP failed to work, so I ended up disabling it, and manually entering the timings, DRAM frequency (3200MHZ) and increasing the CPU SA voltage from 0.925V to 1V.

Eventually I got it working, and it's now working fine.

Some people are just naturally unlucky I guess with their builds.... i'm one of them, perhaps you're the same.

It's often a case that certain parts work better with other parts, i.e a certain brand motherboard works fine with a CPU, but using another CPU that is supported introduces an error somewhere.

I've even heard of people with the exact same components suffering, one person has no issues at all in perhaps overclocking, yet someone else will have issues. XMP won't work for someone (like me) and will work fine first time for plenty of others.
 

Karadjgne

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Ambassador
Ram, cpus, gpus, motherboards, add on cards, anything and everything that has a chip or chipset is subject to One universal, overriding, definitive factor, the Silicon Lottery.

There's no getting around it, past it, through it. It is what it is and is never exactly the same. There isn't a single identical piece of silicon, every one is unique in some way. Some are just more obvious than others.

Take your chances, results may vary.
 
Reactions: CountMike
May 26, 2021
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Very accurate, and an excellent way to sum it up. You'd think that all systems, built with the exact same spec, would be "the same", but unfortunately it's clearly not the case. As you've said, you're basically buying a lottery ticket. And in my case, I quite often buy a loser.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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I got a Dell prebuilt once
(I) got a custom prebuilt from Microcenter recently.
Maybe I'm just looking at the wrong companies?
Perhaps I should look at something like Digital Storm or OriginPC?
Yes, yes you should.
Is getting a decent PC for gaming that you don't have to build yourself too much to ask?
No it isn't, but it is too much to ask for the price that Dell or MicroCenter charge. To get "decent" you have to pay quite a lot more.
 

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