On Budget - Alienware Vs HP vs Systemax vs Cyberpower or keep current


Jan 9, 2010
I need some advice on which pre built system you guys would pick out as the best bang for your buck value wise. I have listed 6 systems after some researching and they are all priced after taxes including shipping. Some of them include discounts that I can get.

Purpose of this computer is for some gaming (New Kings Bounty, Starcraft 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Modern warfare 2), internet, listening to music and watching hulu.

I'm not the type to spend much money on a computer since I'm not a hardcore gamer or photo editing person etc. I also have no plans to really OC unless I get the MSI P55 board.

In the future I do plan to upgrade to a Direct 11 card so all the systems I picked have Power that is at least 500 Watts.

I also would like to get ram up to 6 GB since most of these systems only have 4GB so thats not a big a issue since I can order that anytime.

Option 1)

Systemax SG-1150 Gaming PC Intel Dual Core E5300 2.6 GHz, genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, 4GB DDR2, 500GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 9800 GT Video Card. FREE Crysis Game! FREE Far Cry 2 Game!
650 watt power supply, MSI P-43 NEO motherboard.

$634 to my home.

This seems like the best bang for your buck but I'm concerned about the E5300 processor. Is this decent nowaways?

When I went to upgrade in the future, Is it a matter of just swapping in the CPU for a quad core?

Option 2)

Systemax P55 - Intel Core i5 750 Quad-Core 2.66 GHz, genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 Bit, 4GB DDR3 1333, 640GB Hard Drive, DVDRW, 9800GT 512MB Video Card, 500W Power Supply.

$888 to my home.

I do like this one due to its MSI P55 motherboard. There is a simple button you press "OC genie" which gets you up to 3.2 - 3.7MHZ.

Option 3

CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 8268 Desktop PC - AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz, 4GB DDR2, 500GB HDD, ATI Radeon HD 4850, DVDRW, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
700 watt power supply

$763 to home

Option 4

Dell Alienware Aurora

I7-920, 6GB Triple Channel 1067MHz DDR3
, 5870, 640GB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200RPM, 16MB Cache HDD,windows 7 home, 525 watt power, 24x cd/dvd

This is probably the strongest system. I probably wouldn't touch anything on this one. It also has 6GB of RAM and the video card is just awesome. No need to upgrade for a long time.

But is is worth the premium over the other systems when value is more important to me than performance?

$1374 to my house

Option 5

HP Quad processor Q8300 [2.5GHz, 4MB L2, 1333MHz FSB], 4GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM, 640GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive from 500GB,
1GB ATI Radeon HD 4850, LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive, Windows 7

$840 shipped to my house

I do like the fact that it has a Quad core processor so it should be fast for a long time to come.

Option 6

Asus I7 920, 9GB DDR# Ram, 1 TB SATA (7200 rpm) HD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 896MB, Windows 7, DVD/CD.

$1200 picked up at Best Buy

Option 7

Just upgrade my current p4 – 3.06mhz to a Pentium D 945 3.4ghz along with adding an ATI HD 512mb 4670 video card and add another .5 of ram for a total of 2.5 gb ram.

Total cost is about $141
I don't see much reason to upgrade your P4 to a Pentium D. And upgrading to a 4670, when you're planning on eventually going to DX11 card probably isn't the best upgrade path.

Out of those options, I think the best for you would be #2. Even if you wanted to get a DX11 card, something like the 5770 is only ~ $165. I don't think you'll need more than the 4GB of RAM. But if you wanted more, it wouldn't be much more than $50. It's still less than #4.

The e5300 and p43 motherboard are a bit outdated.


I agree with aford. On your list, #2 is the best value for the long term.

But you might also consider this option - a system plus a DirectX11 card now:

CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme 1030 Intel Core i5 750(2.66GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Retail - $750

XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - $140

Total - $890 - about the same as the preferred option above.

If you can add $30 more to the graphics card, you could move up to the HD 5770:

XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - $170


Jan 11, 2010
I am not sure but does that p55 mb support sli? As the 9800gt is getting a little on now days, it may be more effiecient to sli from the beginning!

If not a gtx 275 is reasonably cheap solution to that for the future.

I forgot about opt 7 lol. if you wanna save some coin re use that case and get a mb card ram and cpu if it works out cheapest, i think i may, depending on your choices, AMD cpus are cheaper and have reasonable comparisons to intel (by no means equal) but a amd quad core is no more than 200 bucks down my way, an amd boad and 2 ati cards would be wicked and less than 1000 bucks.

Also ensure that stock is available before you make an order because you may be stuck in a queue waiting for your rig!


Jan 11, 2010
you are right that the ati 4800 series is cheaper than they new nvidias, ati is alway cheaper.

i just mentioned it as it will be more than what is required and will last longer. He seems to keep his computers long term
There's a lot of old Radeons still around. They seem to hold up just fine. Nvidia may have had the upper hand for a while in performance, but that gap has closed. ATI has really put out some nice cards to go toe to toe with Nvidia. While the gap has closed in performance, the price gap hasn't.


Jul 16, 2008
upgrading the Pentium 4 to a pentium D 3.4 ghz isn't going to be any kind of mind blowing upgrade :(

If you're considering upgrading though you may want to look at other options. You can probably get away w\ a good complete overhaul for $450ish ( mobo + cpu + ram + video card )


And add at least another $50 for a PSU - I bet his is not large enough for the graphics card he wants and maybe $100 for a new operating system to upgrade - or because the old OEM - for a particular manufacturer one wont accommodate so many changes. That only leaves the case and DVD. And who wants to hide fancy new wine in an old bottle?

Well Gummy - are you going to provide any feedback about the responses to focus the discussion?


Jan 9, 2010
Thanks all :)

In the end decided to go with a custom build. AMD 955 and OC it. ATI 5770 with 4GB of DDR2.

Complete system build with all quality components and windows 7 should run around $700-$790 after taxes and shipping.

Still waiting for a few more sales before I buy all the items to see if I can get total lower.

Should be fun to build it.