Newest Review: ... good; the screen is excellent (out of the box the gamma needed adjusting slightly but that's it) but only when viewed square ... more
I guess i was unlucky
Member Name: 2956derby
Disadvantages: Kinda slow
I had my old computer for nearly 4 years now, so decided it was time for a change.
There were several options here:
1. Buy all the parts and build it myself, like i had always done in the past.
2. Get something from a big name like Dell who would probably not let me down.
3. Try out this company i had heard raving reviews about from several friends.
In the end i opted for option 3, which just so happened to be PC specialist.
After weeks of getting together the spec i wanted that fitted my budget (and i could convince my wife i NEEDED it), this is the spec i went for:
Case COOLERMASTER HAF 922 MID TOWER GAMING CASE
OVERCLOCKED AMD PHENOM II X6 1090T (3.20GHz @ MAX 3.80GHz)
ASUS® M4N98TD EVO: DDR3, 2-Way SLI, SATA 3.0GB/s
8GB CORSAIR XMS3 DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz (4 x 2GB KIT)
1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX465 GDDR5 PCI EXPRESS - DirectX® 11
Hard Disk 500GB SERIAL ATA 3-Gb/s HARD DRIVE WITH 8MB CACHE (7,200rpm)
1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Memory Card Reader INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER
Power Supply & Case Cooling 800W Quiet 80 PLUS Quad Rail PSU
Processor Cooling COOLIT ECO A.L.C (ADVANCED LIQUID COOLER)
Thermal Paste STANDARD OVERCLOCK THERMAL PASTE
Sound Card ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO
Network Facilities WIRELESS N 300Mbps PCI CARD (£16)
USB Options 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS)
All of this for only £1066, much cheaper than even getting the parts seperate and building myself.
Payment: After setting out the order, payment was nice and easy, just the stant e-shopping debit card stuff. Lovely Jubbly.
And from that point on, nothing really went smooth. Originally, the estimate delivery date was 7-9 working days.
So on the 10th working day, i phone up to see what is going on, and i'm told it's still in building phase and will be pushed out to testing and dispatched ASAP.
12th working day...same story.
13th working day, i was told that it had gone into testing a week ago, the motherboard failed, and they were waiting for a new motherboard to come in stock.
For one, why are core components being allowed to run out of stock? And more importantly, why wasn't i told about this sooner?
Anyway, i can live with that. It happens. So finally, i see it has gone into testing, and quality control. I call them up again and ask if i can have next day delivery, seeing as it is already well overdue.
Because it hasn't quite been 30 days yet (it was 28 at this point) i was not entitled to free next day delivery, but by this point i just wanted my new rig, so coughed up the £9 half price next delivery.
The next failure, to be fair, was not the company's fault. DHL couldn't find my address so i had to run round like a headless chicken on saturday morning trying to find out where the hell my PC was and picked it up myself from the local DHL depot.
Sweet, i've finally got my beast! So i get it home, plug it into my new monitor that's been kinda lonely since i bought it a week ago. All looks good, the trial version of windows 7 loads up nicely.
So i install 3D mark vantage, to see what this baby can do.
30 seconds into the first graphics test, and it crashed, windows displaying a TDR error (device driver has stopped and recovered).
I run it again, same thing happens. I install a mid-spec game, same thing happens.
Being the PC geek that i am, i investigate into why windows is stopping the device driver, and i find that once the graphics card gets to 65 degrees celsius, it just can't handle life anymore, and kinda freezes up.
So i ring PC Specialist up. I'm told that even though i've thoroughly tested this out myself, i have to run a diagnostic test, so the guy on the phone says he has emailed it to me.
I get back from work, and go to run this check. There is no email. he lied to me.
I ring back the next day, and this time check on my lunch break that it has been sent. It has this time.
So i get back home, and go to run the test, however the problems are now worse. I can't even load into windows before it freezes up. Even a fresh install of windows has no effect.
So once again, i call back the next day. Thankfully i know what i'm talking about when it comes to geeky stuff (it's kinda my job) so i think that may be the reason the compant sent me out a replacement graphics card, picking up the old one. To be honest i was amazed that kind of thing was allowed, that a customer would be trusted to remove a component.
This time, DHL did not disappoint, and i got the new card the next morning. Slapped it in the PC, and woopdy woop. It finally works.
The end product, to be honest, is kinda awesome. Really quiet, really fast, and does everything i could want from a computer.
The customer service has always be good, been treated well over the phone, i just still have a few questions that were never answered.
1. Why was i never told that a replacement motherboard was out of stock?
2. Why, when this PC was supposedly in Quality Control, was it not picked up that the graphics card could not operate under any kind of load? Quality Control in my eyes does not mean leave the computer on doing nothing for a few days.
In conclusion i would say that this is a good company, and i think i was just unlucky with faulty components. I probably would order from them again, but it would be a one-last-chance kinda thing.
Summary: Good value for money, but communication leaves something to be desired...