Boutique Gaming Computers

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Boutique Gaming Computers

Postby jtm55 » Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:48 pm

Hi All,

Before I ask this question I,d like to thank Capper, Gvblake,Infinitevalence, Apoptosis, & everyone else that helped me put together this machine. You Guys are the Best.

I wanted to get folks opinion on some of the Boutique Computer Sites Like Voodoo & Falcon Northwest. Do you think that the machines they build are so far and above what we Enthusiast build that justifies them charging astronomical prices?
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Postby Illuminati » Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:52 pm

nope... build your own if you know how. Falcon Northwest et al probably have close to $1K - $1.5K of overhead in their prices. The only reason I think they add that much overhead is for their custom cases... if you can find a case anywhere else you like, or even mod one yourself, then you'll save a butt-load of $$.
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Postby LVCapo » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:06 pm

I totally agree with Justin,
Falcon and others just charge crazy prices because they can..... not a lot of people can build their own, or so they think, and they want the best system they can get, and only a limited number of "boutiques" offer those systems.
You are much better off building your own system
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Postby gvblake22 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:39 pm

Yeah, they both hit it on the nose. Thier systems are highly overpriced because they can do it and people evidently still buy them, probably mostly because they have the "cool" custom cases :roll:

Honestly, I say pick your own components and build your own. Not only because you can save money, but also because you earn valuable knowledge, skills, and confidince from doing something yourself that you would otherwise lack because you paid premium top dollar for someone to do the thinking for you. Building your own rig (to me) is more than just being able to have and use a computer for the cheapest possible price; it really allows you to explore your creative boundaries and completely customize a machine for your exact personal needs. Noting you don't want and everything you do want. And if you decide later that you want to upgrade, you have now built enough knowledge for yourself to do something like that. And you can even turn around and either sell your old components to make the upgrades as painless as possible or even help out a less-knowledgable friend or family member with building a computer of thier own.

And as capper mentioned, if you have a thing for the flashy cases, you can buy one and mod your own. Again, if you have the time, ability, and/or resources to do some case modding, you will be greatly rewarded. I personally bought a cheapo steel case that was pretty ugly just because it was really cheap and it had a cool built-in handle thing (I know, I was a n00b). I decided to cut my own window and strategically place fans where I needed them. And instead of cutting a plain circle or a rectangle, I got as creative as I could and designed something that no one else in the entire world has ever seen or made. And it sits in my room right next to me and I actually have something to be proud of. I can look over at it and say, "Yes, I dreamed up and created this piece of 'functional art'".

Anyway, that's my take on the whole "buy or build" controversy. Two or three years ago I barely had the confidence to install RAM, let alone buy some that would work or even dream of building my own computer. But now, I have learned SO MUCH it is incredible and I still amaze myself sometimes when I can look at something and make a statement and actually know what I am talking about and be able to back up my words with facts and experiences. And even (god help us) teach other people willing to learn!

Good Luck With Your Build! :mrgreen:

My Rig:
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More (but older) pics HERE
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Postby Apoptosis » Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:04 pm

Falcon and other high-end computer builders do nothing different than "us" enthusiasts when it comes to building PC's. They get the same hardware that we can order from Newegg... They only thing they do better than us is wiring and the paint. Most high-end PC's come with a base/clear automotive paint job. Knowing the pricing on some of these PC's I know that paint is $600-$800 of the $4,000-$5,000 price tag. The suckers are nice don't get me wrong, but nice paint doesn't make the darn thing faster.

About two years ago I was having dinner with Mark Walden who is one very sharp guy that does international biz like no other. He started up the Asian Body Glove line and is a multi-millionare with his patent work and IP stuff. He is also the brains behind the ABIT Fatal1ty line. Originally the Fatal1ty line was based around a complete system... The "Fat Box" is what the marketing lingo was back then. One of the selling points was going to be the power supply... As you know most PC's come with a standard ATX 2.01 PSU on the top of the case... The Fatal1ty system was going to have a PSU that was on the bottom of the case. Mark told the press that by lowering the power supply it helped gamers lower the center gravity of their cases and thus making the cases less top heavy. This would make them easier to carry and more stable on the table top during LAN Parties. He then went on and talked about F1 race cars and how lower gravity makes cars and objects faster. I'd say 90% of the press was impressed by design features like this, but we all know moving a power supply from the top to the bottom of your case does nothing in terms of improving performance. Six months later I saw a demo unit featuring this PSU... It was nothing more than a 1U rack mount PSU which is just over an inch thick and was prone to failure during Quakecon 2004. Two of the three systems were DOA and they brought half a dozen PSU's to power the display units during Quakecon 2004. To make a long story short when you pay top dollar for the "high-end" gaming systems you are nearly paying for marketing hype and bragging rights more than anything. The above year old story is just a behind the scenes look at the marketing thoughts that help create high prices for consumers.

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This picture was taken at Quakecon 2004 and shows them wiring up one of the systems that has been in the works for 3 years, but never produced. I'm going to Quakecon 2004 and it will be interesting to hear what the sales pitch is these days.
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Postby jtm55 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:18 pm

Hi Guys,

I had already came to that exact conclusion. What it is, is that my Cousin has a Falcon Northwest computer, & He thinks it's so much better than the one that I built. Don't get me wrong the paint job is absoloutely beautiful, however, I have the satisfaction of having built my own machine for less than a third of what He spent on His.
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Postby Illuminati » Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:34 pm

Precisely! nuf said then.
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Postby -mogwai » Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:43 am

there's a dude trying to sell a couple of nicely painted cases for $440 a piece over in the hardocp forums (you know, the forums where the creamy jifbags banned me for nothing?)

building your own computer is so the way to go... slices at LEAST 1/3 off the tag price.
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Postby shwA » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:56 pm

audiophile wrote:there's a dude trying to sell a couple of nicely painted cases for $440 a piece over in the hardocp forums (you know, the forums where the creamy jifbags banned me for nothing?)

building your own computer is so the way to go... slices at LEAST 1/3 off the tag price.


Yeah, not to mention the satisfaction you get of doing it yourself.

As far as HardOCP goes, its simple. LR > HardOCP. 8)
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Postby -mogwai » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:35 pm

shwA wrote:Yeah, not to mention the satisfaction you get of doing it yourself.

As far as HardOCP goes, its simple. LR > HardOCP. 8)


agreed^2
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Postby Antonik » Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:27 pm

With the help of forums like this, it will be really easy to build a PC. just mkae sure before you buy a component, that there is alot of support online for it. Like DFI and OCZ, they got amazing forums that go way over their heads to help people out.
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Postby gvblake22 » Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 am

Antonik wrote:With the help of forums like this, it will be really easy to build a PC. just mkae sure before you buy a component, that there is alot of support online for it. Like DFI and OCZ, they got amazing forums that go way over their heads to help people out.

Good call, always a good thing to check and know where you can find the resources and support concerning your hardware (and software) purchases.
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Postby CTSxViper » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:09 am

Absolutely build your own. You can utilize the best parts and save lots of $. Just do your resarch up front. I remember I bought my first Compaq PC years ago.. Never again. :)
Does life get any better then this!!
:)
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Postby killswitch83 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:14 pm

PC building is, by far, the most personally rewarding things I have done for others (haven't built my rig yet, but it'll come); it's not all about the price, though it's a big factor; there is also the fact that blake made abundantly clear: there is a wellspring of knowledge to be gained, as well as confidence, in building your own system. Sure, your first build may be a pain in the rear, and fraught with problems, but that's the learning process. It's always a good thing to buy parts from well-reputed companies such as OCZ, DFI, Corsair, and the sorts. Personally, I can't wait to get started on my rig :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Postby daftpunkit » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:54 pm

I have a Falcon-NW going on 4 years. They do charge tons of overhead, but overally I am thoroughly satisfied with what I got because their warranty is pretty good, I had 3 yrs of good warranties and had to use it 2 times for me fiddling around and they were surprisingly understanding, good CS at least.

I plan to build a uber rig tho for the amount i shelled out for my Falcon tho. I am sort of happy I waited till the end of the summer because the market flux in prices, WOW.
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Postby killswitch83 » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:28 pm

Well, I might wait until the socket M2 comes out, from what I've been hearing it is pretty promising. Also, as a personal recommendation, I would go with a DFI mobo, because they kick total ass as far as OC'ing is concerned; their boards generally have a lot of options for memory voltage and frequency regulation. There's a lot out there, so it's time for a little homework, I know I'm doing mine :mrgreen:
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Postby infinitevalence » Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:55 pm

M2 is going to bring some new stuff but i dont see it bringing much over the A64 platform as it exists right now for some time. I would say that any $$ spent now or in the near future on 939 is a decent investment, your going to get at least 2 more years if not 3 of 939 cpu's and pci-e gfx cards. and DDR is going to be around a while longer, even if they stop making new DDR as we switch from DDR to DDR2 lots of people will sell the old DDR at rock bottom price.
"Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air? You don't know!"
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Postby killswitch83 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:19 am

Hmm, I didn't know that infinitevalence, looks like my original idea to go with that 3700+ San Diego was the best route after all, coupling that with a Lanparty UT NF4 Ultra-D and OCZ Platinum Rev. 2. Only one thing though, I priced how much my system was going to cost to build, and I just about had a heart attack, but I know there are cheaper vendors than Newegg out there, and I'll do my research to find those sites, not to mention how their customer satisfaction pans out. BTW, I estimated it to be around $1800, but what a hell of a system though, lol.
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Postby LVCapo » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:56 am

Newegg isn't the best way to go anymore....with their popularity and partnering up with websites, they ahve gone from a good place to shop to just another online vendor. I'd recommend Zip Zoom Fly, much better prices and comparable shipping times.
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Postby killswitch83 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:50 am

I was looking at them, and they have some pretty decent prices, I just didn't know how they rated in concerns to customer service and ship times. That's useful info, I'll give them a try when I start ordering my parts then :)
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