Opinions On This Custom Built Desktop

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Looking to buy this desktop for $300.00 (parts alone are around 375.00
through Newegg) and wondering if it's a good buy. The seller is
including the Microsoft OS disc, the drivers for the motherboard, and
all receipts for all of the hardware. Also, I'm not familiar with
ASRock motherboards. Are they any good?


Re: Opinions On This Custom Built Desktop

Ron wrote:
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Asrock has good hardware.

But, you should read reviews for your purchase carefully,
to see if the BIOS design was of good quality.

My Asrock motherboard cost me $65 (real cheap) and
on inspection, used some good chips and components.
But the BIOS had some serious issues (wrong code
in the BIOS driving the clock generator chip, only an issue
if you needed to adjust it at the BIOS level). And
the company simply refused to fix these mistakes.
I suspect someone from Intel was applying pressure,
to make sure the product was inferior (EIST was disabled too).
I can't see the designers doing this for a random reason.
An external force, must have been the cause of that
BIOS being crappy.

So it's simple, just check the reviews on Newegg or Amazon,
and see what the users think.


Review of your Craigslist item:

1) RAM can be replaced cheaply, if defective. So
    no heavy analysis is needed there.
2) OCZ Vertex Plus R2. Check the reviews. I would
    discount the possibility of receiving a working SSD,
    and assume it was dead. And be pleasantly surprised if
    it still works. You want to find out what other people
    think, because there have been some bad models of OCZ SSDs.

3) Antec 380W. You'd want to verify it was 380D and
    actually made by Delta. I've had two Antecs that
    were actually made by ChannelWell, that failed on me.
    Knowing the actual source, helps predict lifetime.

    The Newegg 380D in this photo, doesn't exactly match
    the Craigslist system and the label on their supply.

    http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/17-371-033-Z04 ?$S640W$

    This doesn't appear to be a Delta, and also doesn't match
    the Craigslist image. So I wasn't able to verify what it is.
    Based on color scheme, the bright yellow bar suggests it's a


4) ASRock H61M-GE. You have no video card, so for gaming,
    the GPU provided would be weak (SIMS level, not Crysis).
    Also, note the very mixed set of reviews. Cost $65.


    The reviewers insist there is something funky about
    the memory slots, and only two of four work properly.
    In which case, read the user manual. I doubt the board
    would support XMP, but perhaps that has something to do
    with it. (Has support for enthusiast memory, where the XMP
    table only specs elevated speed for two sticks present.)
    Note - the Asrock download page, maps links to IP addresses,
    rather than a more trustworthy "asrock.com" address. (7.8MB)

       "This motherboard supports two double-sided or
        four single-sided DIMMs. Therefore, if you install
        four DDR3 DIMMs, you can only adopt four single-sided DIMMs."

    Now, the CPU has the memory controller on board, so these
    limitations should not exist. I do find XMP in the manual,
    but the above text isn't emphasizing that aspect. (XMP is
    mentioned in the spec section of the manual, while section
    2.5 goes to some lengths to explain their "single sided"
    DIMM situation when using all four slots. Very strange.)
    Using two, double sided sticks might be considered the
    practical max for the motherboard, making the other two
    memory slots useless.
5) Celeron G540. To some extent, modern Intel processors aren't
    that sensitive to cache quantity. I have an E4700, and the tiny
    cache it's got, is just as good as my E8400. Clock speed is
    an indicator of performance. So this processor is probably
    OK as duals go.
6) Rosewill MicroATX. Look for sharp edges on the metal. And
    super-thin metal walls. Personally, I like heavier steel cases,
    which are less likely to be totally damaged in shipping. One
    kick from the UPS guy, and there'll be a dent in your Rosewill.
7) Asus 24X. Read the reviews, but I wouldn't expect a serious problem.
    It might cost you $20 to swap this out. With the various balancing
    schemes used on these commodity drives, the noise level varies
    from quiet to unbearable, and mostly at very high media speeds.
8) WD Caviar Green 1TB. Again, read the reviews. Check to see
    whether these last or not.

9) Windows Enterprise x64 (VLK scam)

    Well, that's the difference right there. Using a copy of Windows
    "he got from work" and a VLK license key, means the seller didn't
    just buy the OS at a local computer store. The OS was acquired,
    potentially at zero cost to the seller. That's why he "offers to
    wipe it". That means, you're not really getting a worry free OS.
    If Microsoft blocks that VLK, because it's being abused,
    then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. And would end up
    buying another OS. So in terms of being a valuable part of
    the offered package, that OS copy is worth *nothing* to you.
    So now, is the material value of the hardware worth it or not ?
    Your choice.


Re: Opinions On This Custom Built Desktop

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Thanks for all of the info! The seller is being a bit unreasonable.
Doesn't want me to come to his house to look at/test the computer.
Wants to meet in a public place. OK, well how am I going to test the
computer I asked. Wants ME to come up with a solution. I'm not the
seller! Unless I can test the computer somewhere that has internet
access (no WiFi on the computer) I'm out. So the ball is in his court.

Re: Opinions On This Custom Built Desktop

On 11/8/2012 2:11 PM, Ron wrote:
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If the windows copy is no good, then this system is not
worth the price. You can buy a better system with a licensed
windows for $400 from a reputable maker such as HP or Dell.

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