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Thread: Store bought computers vers build your own

  1. #1
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    Store bought computers vers build your own

    What are the pros and cons of building your own computer vers buying one form the store that offers rebates. I look at Best Buy & Office Depot and see various computers with rebates. They look like that have good prices. Some prices can be as low as 3??.00 for a desktop. A person could build their own computer but can the be comptetive on prices.
    As for as software Activations, would it be better to build your own
    computer. Building you own would allow you to buy software that you
    can have some control over and move to a differert machine. With a
    store bought compter packages I don't know if software activations willl
    allow software to be moved different machine? I think that store bought computer package software is classified as OEM software and can't be
    moved to a different machine? I think that is true??
    thank you,

  2. #2
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    I used to buy pre-built PC's when I was a beginner. Now I build my own and will never go back to pre-built. Pre-built PC's have really limited upgrade options plus they do cost more.

    Con's would be that you really have to know what you're doing, but sometimes this hit or miss process is what contributes most to the learning experience. I suggest to get some assistance from a friend who's knowledgeable with hardware.

    Don't be fooled with low prices, you get what you pay for. As for software activation, I try to avoid software that needs to be activated.

  3. #3
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    well if you already have a software collection building your own is the way to go. because I customize the pcs I build to suit the user. so for gamers I put better video card, more ram etc, and for the mom and pop I use just the semperon amd chip with lower end mobo and less ram. but with store bought pcs you mainly are paying for the software and you usually have free tech support and/or warrenty. they usually bundle up the software, but they save money by putting in generic hardware.
    So if I were you I would build my own and come here for your free tech support. keep us rusty ol' farts busy.



  4. #4
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Lets not scare people away by using the phrase "build your own". There are a number of companies that have configuration pages that allow the customer to choose virtually every component in his/her new computer. In this way, you don't have to physically put the components together. It will come to you, built and tested. It can be purchased with or without an operating system although typically there is a longer warranty when the unit is purchased with the OS. If you purchase with the OS just connect cables and turn it on. Below are a couple companies that I have bought from in the past.

    ibuypower.com

    cpusolutions.com (choose type cpu and go to custom configurator)

    You can often save money by using components from your old computer. As Conan said, if you use the "build your own/build to spec" method once, you will probably never buy a ready built computer again.
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  5. #5
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    For the majority of PC users pre-built's are the best solution. They're cheap and they get the job done (except gaming ). Face it the average PC user spends most of their time surfing the net, you can do that on anything Throw in a little MP3 encoding, CD burning, Office work and the store bought keeps most happy. When I'm surfing the net I still use an old PII Compaq Deskpro, it's quiet and matches the speed of my dial up

    The software bundles that comes with pre-built's are comprehensive and cover most needs, figure in the software and total price of the pre-built and it's a good deal. The PC user that pre-built targets aren't interested in transferring the software to other PC's.

    Now there's a reason the low cost PC's in stores don't cost much, they have the cheapest hardware possible and most of it is out dated. They trick you with the "Power of AMD Athlon or Intel P4" processor thing the problem is what the CPU is plugged into....most of these low cost PC's have $10 Celeron CPU's. Is this bad ? NO because it's all that most people need to do what they do

    The build your own PC is the best IMO, it may cost more with the initial setup but it's cheaper in the long run if you're a person who upgrades. You control the hardware and it's quality. If you already have a PC you can save money building you own by using parts you already have.

    Conan, phishhead and efc pretty much touced on the benifits of "Build your own" I think the simple fact you've asked the question about the diffrence between the two suggest your ready for the next step.....build your own
    Last edited by FastGame; October 28th, 2004 at 16:25 PM.

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    ........or you can buy someone's home built real cheap ($390) - with a few scratches and dents (and smells badly of cigarette smoke when delivered) but still seems to run like a top 24/7 (hardware) - and can be upgraded easily.
    Last edited by lynchknot; October 28th, 2004 at 16:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynchknot
    ........or you can buy someone's home built real cheap ($390) - with a few scratches and dents (and smells badly of cigarette smoke when delivered) but still seems to run like a top 24/7 (hardware) - and can be upgraded easily.
    Lynch - While your suggestion is a possible source, I don't recommend it. Often people are just getting rid of their junk. Anyone asking the question whether it is better to buy a "Store built" or build their own, may not be able to determine whether they are getting shafted.

    Two weeks ago I went to help a friend with one of his computers. This is an individual that only knows how to turn the power on and off, nothing else. He had bought a second computer for a grandchild for $100. It was a Pentium 133MHz, 3.7 GB HD, 32 MB 72 pin memory on an AT MB, and a dim 15 in monitor. The owner had convinced him it was a great buy. This machine was so old that the case will not even accept an ATX motherboard.

    Even people on severe budgets can buy very capable computers via the internet. My last system was $39 after rebate. It included case with a 400 watt PS, an AMD 2400XP cpu on a motherboard that is upgradeable to 3000XP. I installed an extra 40 GB HD and a 256 MB stick of PC2100 memory that I had salvaged from a previous memory upgrade. I also installed a video card even though video came on the MB. Eventually I will add additional memory.

    This was not an ebay purchase. I was from TigerDirect.com
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    What I was sort of suggesting (I know does not sound like it) is from someone like fastgame or egghead - I think fastgame smokes - lol

    Even people on severe budgets can buy very capable computers via the internet. My last system was $39 after rebate. It included case with a 400 watt PS, an AMD 2400XP cpu on a motherboard that is upgradeable to 3000XP. I installed an extra 40 GB HD and a 256 MB stick of PC2100 memory that I had salvaged from a previous memory upgrade. I also installed a video card even though video came on the MB. Eventually I will add additional memory.
    - damn, that's twice the cpu i have - except mine came with a DVD RW+

  9. #9
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynchknot
    ........or you can buy someone's home built real cheap ($390) - with a few scratches and dents (and smells badly of cigarette smoke when delivered) but still seems to run like a top 24/7 (hardware) - and can be upgraded easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynchknot
    What I was sort of suggesting (I know does not sound like it) is from someone like fastgame or egghead - I think fastgame smokes - lol
    I'm , are you saying if someone gets a PC from egghead or myself it'll have dents and smell like cigarette smoke ?

    Make no mistake about it ! if you get a PC built by egghead/FG thats not cigarette smoke you smell it's the smell of fresh artic silver taking a hold on the screaming AMD CPU and mother board PCB baking hard around the north bridge chip dents ? I only beat one case with a hammer cuz the ram wouldn't do 250 fsb, that was a long time ago

    [edit]=sorry egghead smokes Intel not AMD
    Last edited by FastGame; October 29th, 2004 at 16:52 PM.

  10. #10
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    Somehow I knew I would get a hearty laugh out of your response - thanks, you did not disappoint!-
    Last edited by lynchknot; October 29th, 2004 at 19:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Lynch - I also understood that your hand-me-down would be just one step below the bleeding edge. My comments were for people that just don't know the difference.
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  12. #12
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    i dont think thats artic silver smoking. and I dont think thats a watercooler bubbling



  13. #13
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phishhead
    i dont think thats artic silver smoking. and I dont think thats a watercooler bubbling
    Man this is a wonderful day thats two names I can cross off the FREE ATI 9800pro list hehe J/K or ???????

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    Senior Member beelzebub's Avatar
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    I guess it comes down to kind what fastgame said. If you plan on only doing spreadsheet, internet, music kinds of things then go with prebuilt in most cases you will not need a superfast processor or kick-ass video card. But, if you plan on doing any gaming, other than solitare and similar games, then build your own. Most "gaming systems" prebuilt by companies suck and cost too much for what they are.

    For example, the Dell XPS gaming system:

    P4 3.4 GHz 800MHz FSB HyperThreading Technology
    Microsoft WinXp Pro
    1 GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM *unknown DDR#*
    240GB SATA RAID 0
    19" Dell Flat Panel Monitor
    ATI RADEON 9800XT 256Mb
    16x DVD-ROM
    8x DVD+\-RW
    Sound Blaster Audigy 2
    Dell 5650 5.1 Surround Speaker System with Subwoofer
    Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003

    $3999 USD

    Dell gets their motherboards from some provider so they don't use a "on the market" board. Their case is also custom that has two front side USB and ine IEEE 1394 port.

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