$2500 for a PC? Is every piece you're buying made out of pure gold? I build high-end gaming machines for fun (for myself/friends) and they're around $1100 after monitor, peripherals, tax, and shipping. Also, a $900 PC will always be able to out-media and out-multitask a PS3.
Dude, I don't know where you've been getting your parts, but I really like to know. And also like to understand what is a "good" gaming PC to you. $2500 for a kick *** rig with 22" LCD and nice speakers plus gaming grade peripheral devices is not a push over, not at all. In fact, for extreme FPS gamers, $2500 is probably not enough (way off really).
Unless you're talking about getting a Lynnfield or Arrandale chips, a low end Nahalem chip alone cost about $280 bucks. A performance 200 series Nvidia graphics card can easily cost up to $300+ bucks. The CPU and graphic card together would already cost well over $600 with tax. DDR3 memories are becoming cheaper, but won't be in the range of DDR2 for at least another year. A good name brand set of DDR3 1600 (6 gigs) will cost over $200 bucks. High RPM or Solid State hard drives are both equally expensive as well $200 to $400 easily.
Spending $2500 to get the newest technology on the market, keep the rig for 3 years before changing is better off than spending $1000 on technologies that are already obsolete and needs to be replaced every year. $2500.00 every 3 years is actually not a bad investment. I'm sure there are times where you blew off $2500 for something that did not last you 3 years long.
Good for you! Building a desktop computer for high end use is always a wiser than buying a pre-built one. Pre-built desktop computers are good for one thing, and one alone: mass purchases of low-end desktops for businesses.
That really depends. My current rig was a pre-built. I tried to obtain all the parts individually to build the rig myself, through NewEgg, Directron etc. The dollar amount ended up higher to purchase each component at retail price. If I purchased through NewEgg, I had to pay for tax as well. I bought the pre-built rig through AVA Direct, with all custom parts, for $2300, no tax and free shipping. Intel i7 920 chip, CoolerMasters V8, 2gigsx3 Corsair Dominator DD3 1600, EVGA GTX 285 Super Clocked, WD Raptor 10k rpm 300g HDD, SB Titanium Fatality Professional, etc. All components are detailed picked by myself, all parts were assembled and tested, cables are neatly tucked, 3 years parts and labor warranty. If a hardware fails, no need to diagnostic the thing yourself, send it back to have them fix/replace it, no need to RMA individual parts with their manufacturers. After getting the rig, I overclocked it myself, tweaking the bClock, QPI, voltage, etc. Got the 920 from 2.66 to a stable 3.66, went to 3.8 at one point but backed it down because I have only an air cooler. Got the memory to hit 1600Mhz. Getting a $280 chip to run like a $1000 chip is really fun.
Although it's more common for hardcore or gamer enthusiasts to build their own rigs from scratch, sometimes it's just more convenient to have someone else do it for you and take all responsibility of any problems.
Both iBuy Power and Cyberpower are good system integrators, but generally speaking, if you're looking for specific parts, and combination of components, AVA Direct offers the best choices and pricing of course. Edited, Jul 1st 2009 3:49pm by AliensAreHere