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My Cougar-extreme review (June 2012)
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Posted June 26, 2012 at 3:04PM
**TL;DR at bottom
I have recently had dealings with Cougar-extreme.co.uk, i had customized a mid-entry level gaming PC using their very user-friendly website, and i am very new to the world of computer hardware, assembly and components. So what i did was a good solid months research, benchmarks, price comparison, performance indicators and such.
I also found 3-4 potential businesses whom i wanted to deal with and checked out their reputations and of course, customer reviews.
One of those short-listed who came out on-top were the Cougar Team from Nottingham, aside from one recently albeit nightmarish review from one gentlemen on a few websites, their general review-score was solid.
So i emailed them to see how their customer service was and response time, it took one-day to reply, that seemed appropriate considering their prices are the best i had come across during my research - they probably where dealing with alot of enquiries which compounded over the Jubilee weekend, and understandably so, their rates are very good value.
They even gave me some feedback on a potential system i was drafting very quickly - after i mentioned i was committed to their business, so they took me more seriously.
I made some final tweaks customizing then proceeded to pay for a system for their team to assemble (11pm i placed the order) i had a phone-call the next morning, less than 12 hours, confirming they had received my payment but to tell me my graphics card was very power hungry (256-bit Radeon 6850) makes sense, so i should of stuck with the original PSU that i had emailed them with.
Just to be clear, the gentleman on the phone wasn't after more money, he actually told me the memory stick that i had selected was too powerful for my motherboard so i should get a smaller memory stick and use the difference to invest on a more efficient PSU. Sound advice, i liked the feeling i was getting from these guys. I changed the system accordingly.
8 days after i had talked with the man on the phone my PC had arrived (i live in London) this was very good timing, the PC was well packaged and secure. I also found out to my delight that all the driver-software and even windows 7 was all installed for me, literally..plug-in and play. Some websites charge £20 for installing windows 7, they did it for free.
The PC itself is fantastic, very well built and all credit goes to the Cougar-extreme fella's up in Notts, great customer service, fantastic build! 10/10!
If anybody is curious to my system just ask me to post it and i will (it came to £489)
**TL;DR: Cougar-extreme built my PC and delivered it within 8-days of receiving my order, their customer service and feedback was honest and accurate and friendly. Their prices are disgustingly good value, their build quality is fantastic.
Thanks for reading hope it helps.
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Posted June 27, 2012 at 9:56AM
Would have been useful to have posted a list of your components as it is difficult to assess your purchase.
I am not sure what you mean by "the memory stick that I had selected was too powerful for my motherboard." Are you talking about RAM? As for the HD6850 that is certainly not a power hungry GPU so 500W would be plenty. Again it depends on your other components.
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Posted June 27, 2012 at 2:26PM
Chronus: Yeah i was talking about the RAM, i originally wanted a 4GB corsair vengeance 1600 but was informed it wouldn't fit in my motherboard, he said only 1333's would fit and they go all the way up to 32GB.
Intel i3-2100, 1155 AsrockH61M-VS (H61Mchipset - 2 x DDR3 1333 - 10/100 Lan - SATA 2 - USB2), 4GB DDR3 Kingston 1333 single module, 250GB SATA Hard Drive MDT, ATI HD 6850, Powercool 650W High Efficiency Black PSU, TP-link Wireless PCI N adapter TL-WN851N, Windows 7 64-bit, CiT Vantage black case
Hope it answers some of your questions
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Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:26PM
Well, I certainly do not want to get into a disagreement with you as you are obviously happy with your purchase but can I just say that customer service must have been having an off day. As you can see by the specs for your motherboard here it certainly takes DDR3 1600 and as I said earlier your GPU is certainly not power hungry. You have Windows 7 64BIT but only 32BIT RAM, you should have a least double the 4GB.
If you do not mind me asking how much did you pay for the PC, I build my own but am also interested in what people pay for their PC's, would it be around £450?
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Posted June 27, 2012 at 3:59PM
Yeah i had to pay £20 delivery, so it was around £479-89, it's interesting to find out my original would of worked, it was actually more expensive as well.
About the PSU i think the others (CiT) which where more cheaper have quite mixed reviews: http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18232263
Upgrading the PSU and downgrading the RAM cost me £7 total, so i wasn't that bothered about going for what they had recommended, i don't think either way performance can differ with £7.
Ironically i did infact post on this forum a month or so ago to get some impartial feedback to some builds and suppliers i had come up with, but got no replies.
If i could build my PC i would and save myself at least £100, but i am not confident enough or capable to even go near that idea right now, and there is alot of people in the same position i think.
It's ok for you to express your opinion, i welcome it, perhaps one day i will be able to upgrade and make my own improvements if i get the time!
If you build this system yourself how much would it of cost you? And what should of i purchased for the most efficient pc?
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Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:35PM
That is a difficult question to answer as it depends on what the main use of a PC is going to be. In my case I am a gamer so am looking for the best components I can afford to that end. I have the i5 2500K a fantastic CPU, I have just upgraded to a GTX 670, expensive but a really good graphics card. I have a 128GB SSD for my operating system and programs with that I have 2 x 1TB hard-drives one just for my games/Steam and the other for my music films etc.
But back to your PC I think what you paid is fair and I doubt I could have built it that much cheaper, I would advise doubling the RAM to make use off the 64BIT OS you have.
As for building it is a lot easier now than when I first started out,If indeed you are looking for upgrade advice post your thread in the Helproom or Absolute Beginners forum as that's where I usually lurk.I very rarely come to this part of the forum so you were either lucky or unlucky depending on your point of view.
Enjoy your PC.
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Posted June 29, 2012 at 9:42AM
the link to the mobo clearly states 1600mhz RAM is only available when using Ivy Bridge CPU and 1333mhz with Sandy Bridge CPU, so the original advice was correct.
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