A suggested good way to put together a fast R7 right now is:
1. buy the R7 on sale with the i5-8400, 850w liquid-cooled ps, 1080ti GPU, single 1 TB drive, and 8 GB 2666 ram ($1567)(and potential $141 rebate on more stuff).
2. pull out the cpu and put in an 8086K ($425). This is just a 8700K selected for speed.
3. pull out the ram and replace with 2x8GB GSkill Ripjaws V 3000 ($170); they work fine dual-channel in my R7.
4. add a Samsung 970 EVO 250GB M2 PCIe NVMe ssd ($115). Very fast.
For a tad under $2300, you should have a solid 5GHz machine with dual channel 16GB ram, fast boot drive and GPU, and adequate power/cooling, with about $250 worth of leftover parts to sell (or keep for warranty purposes). I don't work for Dell; I'm just sayin'.
Good that you can do that work (and it works in the end) ... but most people here can't. Yes, I can, but do I have time to or what to hassle with selling old parts? No, I do not. If I want to do a custom-build, I just do it ... why start with a pre-built?
I can pre-config practically the same build at Dell.com. I don't have to do any hardware-work, and it comes with a 1 year hardware/software warranty.
- Wait for an Alienware sale (10-20% off)
- Look at higher-configs (you get a lot of upgrades for cheap)
- Sign-up for Dell Advantage Rewards first (yes, the gift-cards are real). Use them to buy your APC-UPS, speakers, USB-HDD, or whatever you need.
To other users, my advice is to always watch your "net cost" and if you come-up with some convoluted upgrade-scheme, be sure you can execute it 100%.
All that said, nice custom-build. Good you started with 850w PS and Liquid-Cooler.
Directions are in the tech manual. It would require knowing how to avoid damaging pins in the CPU socket, and re-apply heat-conductive paste to the cooler head, but there are plenty of YouTubes on these, and they are not difficult.
I've moved on to custom i7 and i9 builds in boxes with more room for fans and GPU cards, and MB's friendlier to overclocking, but if I wanted another 5 GHz machine, I'd do the above for maximum bang for the buck in a compact package.
1. Directions are in the tech manual. It would require knowing how to avoid damaging pins in the CPU socket, and re-apply heat-conductive paste to the cooler head, but there are plenty of YouTubes on these, and they are not difficult.
2. I've moved on to custom i7 and i9 builds in boxes with more room for fans and GPU cards, and MB's friendlier to overclocking, but if I wanted another 5 GHz machine, I'd do the above for maximum bang for the buck in a compact package.
1. Right. However, I think you are over-estimating the technical-abilities of the typical Alienware customer. Most of them just want a nice pre-built, warrantied, Windows gaming machine.
This forum (and the Internet in general) is littered with users with dead machines ... users trying to follow a YouTube video (about computer upgrades) for the first time. Don't down-play your technical expertise.
Sounds like your Aurora-R7 still has Dell motherboard, so it's still "an Alienware". Your knowledgeable posts are welcome around here.
My Aurora-R6 is running heavy gaming about 6 hours a day (by either myself or wife) for about a year now. It's been rock-solid ... great little machine for the money.
I'm waiting to see new 2019 MacPro Desktop and a possible Apple MacMini re-vamp. If both are lame or too expensive, I guess I'll go back to WinTel custom-builds. Nice motherboard, Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU ... $2500 budget. I'm also in the market for a new (high PPI) large high-end monitor ... another Dell UltraSharp or similar.