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Old 07-10-2009, 02:07 PM
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Default Costco - iBUYPOWER Core i7-920 2.66GHz 1GB ATI 4870 HD Review

*** This analysis is just for informational purpose only and can not be used in any place for any purpose.


iBUYPOWER i7-920 machine selling at Costco seems like priced too high based on its component included. For many parts, iBUYPOWER placed cheap parts like the PSU, RAM, HD drive, etc. My estimate for this machine is about $1141.73 but you have to pay $1497.99 (with 7% tax) at Costco.com.


If you have enough budget to buy the PC, this is not a bad one for your general purpose and especially for your gaming. But if you think about the future expandability and more reliability of the PC, you may need to think about the different options. From the manufacturer's perspective (iBUYPOWER is not a real manufacturer, they are only buying and combing parts from many companies and adding up more cost on it), for this PC, they tried to cut down the cost to build the i7 core based computer and therefore, used some cheap parts. But this computer is also adapting some mid-range parts like Gigabyte mother board, PowerColors' ATI 4870 graphic drivers. From my perspective, using the same amount of money that you spend at Costco, you may build your own PC with your preference.


When I used iBUYPOWER PC sold at Costco, it was really past - of course it should be - and I did not find any noticable defects. Generally it had the great shape with Tuniq 3 case. One annoying thing was the sound of the hard drive. The hard drive sound was bigger than the sound of the case fans. The computer lights inside of the case was too bright. The Powercolors graphic card did not work with the Samsung 26" HDTV monitor. I could use the direct DVI connection between monitor and computer because the computer did not recognize the monitor after the boot. I don't know this is the graphic driver problem or Samsung monitor problem but I had to use analog converter attached to DVI cable to make it worked. Mother board allows upto 16GB memory but usually you'll end up with 8 GB because 6 momory slots are already occupied and only 1 slot left for the expansion. These days, most of the people are using at least DDR3 1333 memory. With the price selling at Costco, they may use the DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) based memories. The memory itself, it's not covered by Heat spreader and it's not recommanded for DDR3 because it's so eash to over-heated. Going further, I found the memory allocation problem when I used this PC for VMWare. I used this PC as a VM Host machine (Vista Home Premium Home x64) and added some guest machines like XP, Vista and Windows 2008 server. When I allocate more than 1024 KB per one guest machine, host machine failed to launch the guest operating system. Even I couldn't launch more than 1 guest system at the same time. This issue could be related with the Visa operating system or VMWare system, but based on my reasearch, it's highly depending on the memory unit.


The following information is the price estimation that I found based on the iBUYPOWER configuration. Of course, iBUYPOWER shoud not spend more than money than my estimate. If you want, make the some comparison between the iBUYPOWER PC selling at Costco and the PC that you may build by yourself with almost same amount of money.


iBUYPOWER PC at Costco


Adata AD31333002GMU – Product mainly available in Australia
$59 (Australian Dollar) -> about $45 US Dollar
$45 x 3 = $135 (I can’t believe this. Adata AD31333002GMU does not even covered with hear spreader. Looks cheap comparing with Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model HY63I1B16T – Retail. HY63I1B16T is about $99.99 at newegg.com. Adata AD31333002GMU’s price would be around of $70.


-$70 (assumption)


LG GH22NS50 DVD Writer - DVD+R 22x, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6x, DVD-RAM 12x, SATA(oem)
-$29.99 from TigerDitect
LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail
-$109.99 from newegg
Sunbeamtech Tuniq 3 Mid Tower ATX Case
- $56.99 from http://www.futurelooks.com/tuniq-3-mid-tower-atx-computer-case-review/
- $50.00 from ebay
POWERCOLOR AX4870 1GBD5 Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card – Retail
-$149.99 from newegg.com
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 – Retail
-$279 from everywhere
Hitachi 1 TB 16MB 7200RPM SATA Bulk/OEM Hard Drive
-$71
SolytechSL-8850EPS 800W ATX
-$70 (assumption) this item is not showing off the internet. Strange thing is SL_8850EPS is supposed to be 850W but it’s 800W. One of the cheap brands.
Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Standard Keyboard - OEM
-$9.49 from Newegg.com
Logitech SBF-96 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel PS/2 Wired Optical Mouse - OEM
-$7.29 from Newegg.com
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
-$184.99
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for - OEM
-$109.99


If you build the same machine, Maximum Total value from end-user perspective = $1141.73(don’t need to pay taxes for online orders)
IBUYPOWER sales value at Costco = $1399.99 + 7% tax = $1497.99

Difference $1497.99 - $1031.74 = $356.26 (You save)


If you build the same price machine, you may get many major upgrades on the mother board, graphic card, memory, power supply, case and hard drive.

ASUS ENGTX275/HTDI/896MD3 GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
-$ $224.99
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - Retail
-$112.99
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
-$279.99
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
-$84.99
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
-$289.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
-$129.99
Zalman GS1000 Full Tower Enclosure (Titanium)
-$186.67
LG GH22NS50 DVD Writer - DVD+R 22x, DVD+RW 8X, DVD-RW 6x, DVD-RAM 12x, SATA(oem)
-$29.99 from TigerDitect
LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L - Retail
-$109.99 from newegg
Logitech Deluxe 250 Black USB Standard Keyboard - OEM
-$9.49 from Newegg.com

Logitech SBF-96 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel PS/2 Wired Optical Mouse - OEM
-$7.29 from Newegg.com
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for – OEM (if you are upgrading from old machine, or already have Vista, you don’t need this money
-$109.99



Custom built option price - $1576.36 (No Tax required, No delivery fee required)
__________________
Thanks for reading,
J.J.

Last edited by JJ; 07-16-2009 at 03:11 PM.
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