Custom PC Builder Recommendations and Advice

I am in the process of determining what type of PC I'd like to buy in the next few months. I've built myself in the past, but I am more willing now to pay the premium for a professional PC builder for peace of mind, support, and warranty.

I've been mostly looking into Dell/Alienware and Origin PC and would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has had experience using them in the past. If there are other builders that you would recommend, I would appreciate hearing about them as well. If I were to choose today, I'd probably go with Origin, even though the price is a little higher.

Additionally, I am thinking that the sweet spot right now is the i5-7600 (not sure if I want the unlocked K version or not) in terms of CPU. The other major decision is to go with a 1080 or a 1080 Ti. The goal is for this machine to last 4-5 years if possible, so I am thinking the price difference between the 1080 and the 1080 Ti may be worth it.

Appreciate any and all insight regarding this, from builders to whether or not my thoughts around CPU and GPU are accurate given my need to buy a machine that can last 4-5 years.

If there are local whitebox builders where you are, you'll typically pay less of a premium buying from them, and can give them a list of exact parts to use -- which we can, in turn, provide. They'll add a fair bit over building it yourself, but most places will then serve as a warranty hub for you in exchange.

Details matter, though, so find out exactly what the deal is, preferably in writing.

Tough to pass on the Corsair One if you are looking for a reasonably priced custom built PC.. only issue is that they are pretty much sold out (the high end versions)

Sorry for the thread necro, but I've been really trying to think through which PC to get and I'm between the Dell Alienware Aurora with a 1080Ti versus the Corsair One with a 1080.

This is a purchase that is meant to last me for quite a while (4-5 years). I currently game on a 24" Dell UltraSharp Monitor (1920x1200 60 Hz).

I've configured the Dell to be similar to the the Corsair One in terms of all other parts save the GPU and it's coming out to be a similar price to the Corsair One (Thanks to a Dell Discount of 10% currently being offered). Normally, the price difference for a 1080Ti with Dell Alienware is $300 ($200 for the card upgrade and $100 for the forced PSU upgrade to 850W w/Liquid Cooling).

In addition, if am able to persuade my wife, I'd also like to get a new $500-600 TV (would most likely be 4K, but I imagine I won't get much in the way of HDR at that price point) for the basement to hook the new computer into (want to do some couch PC gaming).

I'm thinking that the build quality of the Corsair One is superior to the Dell Ailenware (I keep seeing horror stories online that have increased my wariness) and I really like the form factor of the Corsair One.

Given that I'm gaming on a 1080p 60hz monitor and that I may (emphasis on may) be getting a lower cost 4K TV (or possibly no new TV (current TV is a 720p set))--is buying a 1080Ti worthwhile?

Since I won't have the monitor/TV to benefit from a 1080Ti, am I better off sticking with the better build quality of the Corsair with a 1080 versus taking a risk with Dell for the 1080Ti?

Would appreciate any advice, my gut is to get the Corsair One because of the build quality and the form factor.

Corsair makes pretty good stuff.. that being said I've had great luck with Dell and Alienware. I have a current Alienware 13" Laptop and it seems rock solid in build quality.

Formfactor you can't beat the Corsair One... especially as a living room PC. In terms of 4K both will struggle hitting full details at 4K but the 1080Ti will be 10-20% faster.

I'd probably get the Corsair One with the 1080Ti

TheGameguru wrote:

Corsair makes pretty good stuff.. that being said I've had great luck with Dell and Alienware. I have a current Alienware 13" Laptop and it seems rock solid in build quality.

Formfactor you can't beat the Corsair One... especially as a living room PC. In terms of 4K both will struggle hitting full details at 4K but the 1080Ti will be 10-20% faster.

I'd probably get the Corsair One with the 1080Ti :)

I would, but I don't think they are selling that version anymore, it was a very limited run (even though they stills show it on their website) --also I don't know at $2599 if I could swing the 1080Ti version, I think $2200 is the very top of my budget.

I'm not really 100% sold on going full 4K gaming, I would really want solid 1080p gaming on both my monitor and the TV. Other option would be considering a 1440p GSync monitor down the line if I don't do the TV thing now. Most likely, whatever I buy in the coming weeks would be used on my 24" 1080p monitor for the foreseeable future.

I tried a single 1080Ti for my HTPC for 4K gaming and eventually added a second.. so there is that.. but I have the PC gamer's curse where I spend more time fiddling with trying to get the max settings to work at an acceptable frame rate than actually just playing games and saying f*ck it.

Probably why I game mostly on consoles these days.. Can't wait for the Xbox One X One XXtreme

Apollo0507 wrote:

I'm not really 100% sold on going full 4K gaming, I would really want solid 1080p gaming on both my monitor and the TV. Other option would be considering a 1440p GSync monitor down the line if I don't do the TV thing now. Most likely, whatever I buy in the coming weeks would be used on my 24" 1080p monitor for the foreseeable future.

You might be happier with the 1440, 120hz, Gsync option in the long term. 4K gaming is still pretty niche and, as you see, you have to spend the big bucks to get to 60FPS on medium settings. 4K isn't really noticeable unless you want to go above 65 inches at less than 10 feet away.

TheGameguru wrote:

I tried a single 1080Ti for my HTPC for 4K gaming and eventually added a second.. so there is that.. but I have the PC gamer's curse where I spend more time fiddling with trying to get the max settings to work at an acceptable frame rate than actually just playing games and saying f*ck it.

Probably why I game mostly on consoles these days.. Can't wait for the Xbox One X One XXtreme

I think I want to get to the point where I can just say screw it and play PC games without worrying about settings and temperatures (part of what freaked me out when I built my own for my first PC), which is why the Corsair One is so appealing even if it means I don't get a 1080Ti and instead have a 1080.

I guess my only concern is if a 1080 is a 4-5 year video card or not, given that it's a year old at this point. My understanding usually the --80 series of Nvidia cards usually can "hang" longer than the --60 and --70 cards, so really trying to get a sense from you all fine goodjers whether or not I'm making a big mistake by not getting a Ti.

@Delbin--I think you're probably right, if I went the TV route it would be only to play at 1080p, not at 4K. However, the appeal of sitting on the couch versus sitting at a desk has me thinking about the TV versus a GSync monitor (plus I just got the current Dell monitor last year when we moved and my wife and I started to work from home more).

I guess it depends on how often you want to upgrade. It sounds like you just want a good computer that works. In that case, I'd go with the 1080ti. I've personally used my 780ti for 4 years now, and there's only a handful of games I can't play at high settings. My only complaint is that it's not fast enough for VR.

Here's an odd solution. You can get the 1070 version, buy a 1080Ti, and try to sell the 1070 for at least $300.

Supposedly Nvidia's next gen is just around the corner.. that being said I would guess its a 4Q or even a 1Q 2018 card.

Delbin wrote:

I guess it depends on how often you want to upgrade. It sounds like you just want a good computer that works. In that case, I'd go with the 1080ti. I've personally used my 780ti for 4 years now, and there's only a handful of games I can't play at high settings. My only complaint is that it's not fast enough for VR.

Here's an odd solution. You can get the 1070 version, buy a 1080Ti, and try to sell the 1070 for at least $300.

That's an interesting idea, however, my understanding based on what I've read that since the GPU is also water-cooled that upgrading it is difficult. Plus I don't know if I want to go through the hassle of trying to sell a 1070.

Also, I'm trying to avoid opening it up as little as possible, since when I built my first PC going under the hood gave me a lot of anxiety and created problems (I either shorted out my first mobo when I built it or it just randomly failed 2 days after I built the PC and later two years ago I ended up damaging my mobo when I installed a newer Cooler Master CPU Cooler).

Though maybe my thought that Corsair's Support > Dell Premium Support may be a bit unfounded, plus these reports seem troublesome: Terrible Experience with Corsair One Pro Support and RMA

Guess at the end of the day it's all a dice roll and I shouldn't believe that on may be better than another.

I would not suggest attempting to swap the 1070 in the Corsair One with a 1080Ti.. given the differences in PCB layout there is no certainty it would be cooled correctly or even fit.

Yeah, if you buy a One, you should treat it more or less like an appliance. When any part gets too slow, it's time to buy a new computer.

If you're really worried about assembling it yourself, maybe see if a whitebox builder in your area will work from a parts list you give them? I like working on my own PCs, so I'd never do that, but if it really worries you, that might be a way to get most of the same benefit. And that will let you upgrade your video card in a couple years, which you will usually want to do. CPUs last for ages, but video cards are still moving fairly quickly, and the occasional replacement is almost like getting a whole new computer.

I think I've now got the hint that there are most likely local builders who can build what I want (to the T), I've started reaching out to them to start gathering quotes.

I'm starting to feel like working with them will give me more of the piece of mind that I am looking for and as long as I do my homework, that they will be reputable and stand by their products (as in providing a warranty).

I also think I'm going to go ahead and go with the 1080Ti, since my goal is to get the maximum amount of time out of a card versus trying to upgrade 2 years in and I think my wife would rather have me make the investment upfront versus trying to get an upgrade 2 years in.

I'll keep the Dell Ailenware idea as a backup, but right now I think I am going to go the local builder route.

Thanks to all for the advice!