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Author Topic: New gaming computer? Where to buy?  (Read 611 times)
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Lee
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« on: March 27, 2014, 06:01:18 AM »

The Alienware I bought in 2011 has had nothing but issues from day 1. Locked up out of the box, which was caused by memory that comes loose if you touch the computer. Its huge, heavy, and just an all around pain in the ass. I hate the thing, worst PC I have bought, but it is pretty, and it is fast when it's working (well, at least it was fast 3 years ago). I hadn't it set up after I moved, but finally got around to it last night and installed all the windows updates, and not much else (4 months of Windows updates takes a long time). Today, it won't even boot. Been trying to troubleshoot for about 5 hours now, and at this point I am just waiting for a fresh Windows 7 install from the disk, which is also taking hours. I have a feeling something is seriously wrong because just trying to troubleshoot means waiting long periods just to get it to load anything.

I am sort of playing with the idea of getting a new PC. I used to build my own, but will not do it again. Not that it was bad, and I built some great PCs, but I just don't care to do that anymore. I am a Mac guy, I buy a computer and just want to unbox it and use it. I know how much cheaper it is, but I also know how much fun researching and troubleshooting can be.

I am scared to buy another Dell, I can't say I have ever been really happy with anything I have bought from them. I looked at Cyberpower PC and they are all these huge flashy things, that I do not want. Where do I buy from where I can get a decent, plain, mid tower, with high quality parts that isn't filled with bloatware? I am tempted to just get a NW Falcon Talon, which is exactly that, but the old builder part of me can't get over how it's twice as much as anything else with similar components.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 12:18:59 PM »

I just got my new Talon from Falcon Northwest about a month ago and I'm very happy with it. It's my second Falcon NW computer, I got my first one, a Mach V, in early 2003 and used it till 2011, although I did have to add more RAM and upgrade the video card. It ran without a problem, I just had to finally replace it because the processor just wasn't able to handle anything modern. After that I got a Hewlett Packard office computer with a entry level video card, but that was a mistake, so that's why I got the Talon.

Yup, it's expensive, but then I figure I'm worth it icon_biggrin. The nice thing about Falcon NW, the computers come with NO crapware, they are tested before they are shipped and the quality, at least in the two I've owned, is top notch. They come with a leather binder thing with all the the extra cables, manuals and disks that came with the individual components:




That little red thing on the right in the last photo is the recovery USB. Just before it's shipped, they image the OS drive and put it on a thumb drive, so if you need or just want to get things back to the original state they came in, just plug her in and follow the directions.

The computer itself it pretty modest, I don't go for painted cases and the like:



I haven't had to use Falcon NW support so far, but on my first computer I did have some questions. They have their own support guys, right at their location, and what's nice when I called was I got a machine, left my number and question, and they called me back pretty quickly on their own dime and the guy I talked to actually knew his stuff. That was in 2003 but they say they still supply support that way.

Let me know if you have any other questions about Falcon or my Talon.


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wonderpug
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 01:23:32 PM »

I'm just glad to see that Falcon NW is still in business and still making great stuff.  My only computer them was a Talon back in circa 1997, and I had a great experience with both the computer and with Falcon.  Even years later when I had upgraded just about every part in the system, they had very loose rules about what it took to still count as the Talon I bought and I had no problem still getting their great customer service.
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 05:51:33 PM »

Great info, especially the pictures, thanks guys. That sounds like exactly the kind of experience I want when buying a PC. I believe they also come with the windows disk, correct? I got in a Dell support chat last night asking about recovery options. They will mail you a recovery disk anytime you ask. "But one doesn't come with the computer, nor does a Windows disk?" I asked? "No". I know this isn't a big deal, you can make your own recovery USB/disk pretty easily, but just the fact they don't include it turns me off. It sounds like Falcon NW goes above and beyond. Have always wanted one since Rich of Gone Gold got one.

The hard drive seems to have died in my Alienware. I shouldn't be surprised, that thing has always seemed like it had to write to the drive often. The drive would never go in to sleep mode because the thing would write to it every 10 seconds even when sitting idle.

Edit: never mind about the included windows disk, I see it in the picture above.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 05:53:40 PM by Lee » Logged
jztemple2
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 06:23:47 PM »

Quote from: Lee on March 27, 2014, 05:51:33 PM

Great info, especially the pictures, thanks guys. That sounds like exactly the kind of experience I want when buying a PC. I believe they also come with the windows disk, correct? I got in a Dell support chat last night asking about recovery options. They will mail you a recovery disk anytime you ask. "But one doesn't come with the computer, nor does a Windows disk?" I asked? "No". I know this isn't a big deal, you can make your own recovery USB/disk pretty easily, but just the fact they don't include it turns me off. It sounds like Falcon NW goes above and beyond. Have always wanted one since Rich of Gone Gold got one.

The hard drive seems to have died in my Alienware. I shouldn't be surprised, that thing has always seemed like it had to write to the drive often. The drive would never go in to sleep mode because the thing would write to it every 10 seconds even when sitting idle.

Edit: never mind about the included windows disk, I see it in the picture above.

Yup, the original OEM Windows DVD in it's case is included. And I also remember when Rich got his. I can't remember if it was before or after I got mine.

About the only complaint I have about that leather (I guess it's faux leather) binder is that it's not deep enough, they had to kind of jam everything in there. I mentioned that in an email to them they requested in lieu of the buyer's survey they used to do. My only other complaint was that there could be more USB ports on the front, as right now there are only two. It's not a big deal to me as I already have an external powered USB hub, but some folks might prefer more.
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Mystic95Z
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 02:56:21 AM »

Yeah lee its a shame most of these gaming PC's are sooo bling on the case now days, I love my plain ole black Corsair 550D case (and its REALLY quiet too). Another good gaming PC builder is doghousesystems.com but as with Falcon NW they aren't cheap.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 03:37:14 AM »

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 27, 2014, 12:18:59 PM

I just got my new Talon from Falcon Northwest about a month ago and I'm very happy with it. It's my second Falcon NW computer, I got my first one, a Mach V, in early 2003 and used it till 2011, although I did have to add more RAM and upgrade the video card. It ran without a problem, I just had to finally replace it because the processor just wasn't able to handle anything modern. After that I got a Hewlett Packard office computer with a entry level video card, but that was a mistake, so that's why I got the Talon.

Yup, it's expensive, but then I figure I'm worth it icon_biggrin. The nice thing about Falcon NW, the computers come with NO crapware, they are tested before they are shipped and the quality, at least in the two I've owned, is top notch. They come with a leather binder thing with all the the extra cables, manuals and disks that came with the individual components:




That little red thing on the right in the last photo is the recovery USB. Just before it's shipped, they image the OS drive and put it on a thumb drive, so if you need or just want to get things back to the original state they came in, just plug her in and follow the directions.

The computer itself it pretty modest, I don't go for painted cases and the like:



I haven't had to use Falcon NW support so far, but on my first computer I did have some questions. They have their own support guys, right at their location, and what's nice when I called was I got a machine, left my number and question, and they called me back pretty quickly on their own dime and the guy I talked to actually knew his stuff. That was in 2003 but they say they still supply support that way.

Let me know if you have any other questions about Falcon or my Talon.




If money isn't a question. That's the best you can buy. Period. I had fnw years ago and the product and the company are simply outstanding.
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Mystic95Z
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2014, 12:25:49 PM »

So Lee, what did you end up going with?
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Lee
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2014, 02:50:20 PM »

Quote from: Mystic95Z on May 04, 2014, 12:25:49 PM

So Lee, what did you end up going with?

I decided on the Falcon NW, but I haven't bought one yet. School started and I have been so busy with homework that if I have time to game it's been Hearthstone, which I can play on my Mac/iPad. When things slow down and I get more free time, or that great new game comes out that I must play, I will pull the trigger.
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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2014, 07:35:31 PM »

I really wanted to thank JZ for reminding me about FNW, I remember coveting them 'back in the day' and came this close to pulling the trigger on a new one before sanity prevailed. Well, maybe not so much sanity as I'm in the same Someday Boat with Lee but more because of some unexpected expenses taking priority.  [sigh]

Someday...
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2014, 08:14:08 PM »

I went with custom Slade model silent computer from DigitalStorm for my last system and have been very happy with it.  Super fast and so silent I can't even tell it's running.  They're not quite as "premium" as Falcon NW but they do a really good job on custom systems and you're not paying that premium either. 

I really liked being able to see updates on where my PC was in the build, test, burn-in and ship process the whole way through.  I mean, if Domino's can do it with pizzas it makes sense they can do it with PC builds too.  smile
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jztemple2
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2014, 08:14:48 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on May 04, 2014, 07:35:31 PM

I really wanted to thank JZ for reminding me about FNW, I remember coveting them 'back in the day' and came this close to pulling the trigger on a new one before sanity prevailed. Well, maybe not so much sanity as I'm in the same Someday Boat with Lee but more because of some unexpected expenses taking priority.  [sigh]

Someday...

You're welcome... thankfully sanity and I are no longer on speaking terms icon_lol
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 02:25:17 AM »

I've always wanted a Falcon Northwest computer, but I could never justify the cost. The closest I ever got was Hypersonic PC, which was a custom builder without the pedigree of FNW.

When I learned how truly easy it is to build your own computer, I just started doing that. I can build a computer about 20 faster than a Falcon Northwest for the same price. But I still always stop by Falcon Northwest's website to see what they are up to. I love the Tiki, for example.

For my builds I grab a high quality Lian Li chassis, Gigabyte mobos, Seasonic power supplies, Samsung SSDs, Intel processors, Micron memory, and Nvidia graphics cards. rock solid stability every time.

Best of luck in your search!
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Fez
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2014, 10:23:05 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 04, 2014, 08:14:08 PM

I went with custom Slade model silent computer from DigitalStorm for my last system and have been very happy with it.  Super fast and so silent I can't even tell it's running.  They're not quite as "premium" as Falcon NW but they do a really good job on custom systems and you're not paying that premium either. 

I really liked being able to see updates on where my PC was in the build, test, burn-in and ship process the whole way through.  I mean, if Domino's can do it with pizzas it makes sense they can do it with PC builds too.  smile

Yep, I've been getting computers from Digital Storm for a while now and they have all been great and the service is solid.  I'm using a Lance "gaming" laptop from them right now because I travel extensively.  I may get a desktop from them soon if I start to end up in the same place a bit more.
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