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Thread: Pre-configured vs Self Build

  1. #1
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Pre-configured vs Self Build

    Has anyone noticed that in the last few years pre-configured systems have become very comparible in price to "build your own" systems.

    I have always built my own systems rather than purchase a pre-configured unit based on two principles; price and also the satisfaction gleaned by building a system from scratch.

    I am gonna be totally upgrading my current system soon. In fact i will be replacing everything so it will be a completely new system. However the cost is roughly the same price as a similar pre-configured system would be from several large manufacturers.

    The price differential that was apparent a few years ago definately seems to have significantly reduced.

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend
    Has anyone noticed that in the last few years pre-configured systems have become very comparible in price to "build your own" systems.

    I have always built my own systems rather than purchase a pre-configured unit based on two principles; price and also the satisfaction gleaned by building a system from scratch.

    I am gonna be totally upgrading my current system soon. In fact i will be replacing everything so it will be a completely new system. However the cost is roughly the same price as a similar pre-configured system would be from several large manufacturers.

    The price differential that was apparent a few years ago definately seems to have significantly reduced.
    System builders are actually getting really competitive, due in part to the increase in competition... I think.

    I still enjoy tooling around with the components... it's that childish gleam you got when you were a tot playing with tinker toys that still keeps me impishly implored on DIY.

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    I used to like building the whole thing from scratch, but lately I am liking the Shuttle XPC boxes more and more (space and size considerations). I like getting the barebones and adding my own video card, processor,memory and hard drive. As for other peripherals, I really try to stick with USB or in some cases Firewire.

    Badger

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    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    I agree,I have noticed the price drops as well.But i still think custom is always the way to go.Mainly because i guess you could call working on PC's a hobby of mine and i enjoy doing it not to mention i like the feeling of knowing that my system will always have the exact hardware and software that i want in it.Most pre built systems i have owned i always end up wiping the drive clean and installing my own software anyway.I think Barebones systems are a good alternative but nothing beats custom to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member beelzebub's Avatar
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    If you can build a computer do it. I have always found no matter how good the company is prebuilt computers never live up to their cost. One major issue that bhxtyrant brought up was software. You don't get to pick your own opperating system (i am not trying to rehash the recent microsoft debate) because they generally only offer one, windows. Then you have all the other preinstalled stuff like AOL (or as my friends like to say negative internet), or multimedia apps. I think Dell is one of the biggest violators of this. Secondly, OEMs often have very limited hardware choices. Again Dell only offering Intel processors. You might like a certain companies computers except for the fact they use a certain kind of hard drive. Thirdly, people who build computers often like to fix their computers rather than call tech support and or ship their computer back to the OEM. OEM computers are often designed to be complicated and frustrating for a person to deal with. For example the computers I fix at my school open up easily sometimes, but then you have to lift up the PSU in order to release a latch that then allows you to eject the tray the hard drive is mounted on. Lastly, some OEM computers are designed to not be upgradeable. The Dell my mom bought only has PCI ports. The AGP interface had been around for many years before this computer was made. No need to explain further.

    Plus, there is the satisfaction of choosing the parts, putting everything together, and having a computer your can be proud of.

    This all doesn't apply though, if all you want is a word processor, because you can get an ok cheap word processor from Dell or HP. But, for anyone that does anything of importance like gaming or CAD etc., building a computer should definetly be a top option.

  6. #6
    The Beast Master TZ Veteran PIPER's Avatar
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    I agree with u Rev....matter of fact I've just recently purchased a system vs. building for the same reasons....had a few glitches at first, but all is well now and the system runs just fine....I went with the 64bit this time around and the pci-e.....system actually kicks butt.....

  7. #7
    Member Devil's Avatar
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    I love to build!

    I have build all my systems except the 1st one my family got, a 486 I belive it was!

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    Nobody knows I'm a dog. TZ Veteran petard's Avatar
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    I've been recommending Dells to neighbors, etc since they're covered under a warranty and I don't have to fix them. My next box will be a self-built monstrosity.


    Many thanks to egghead for the cool .sig

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    I can't build a good one as cheaply as I can buy one. And as petard pointed out, an all inclusive warranty really helps.

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    rik i bet that i could find u all the parts for cheaper then a bought one also warranty wise if u buy items seperately they all almost always come with at the very least one year warranty

  11. #11
    Member Devil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petard
    I've been recommending Dells to neighbors, etc since they're covered under a warranty and I don't have to fix them. My next box will be a self-built monstrosity.

    For me Dell is the best builded system out there.
    Good Configuration, Good Service, Good Waranty!!!

  12. #12
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
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    In many cases there are deals out there which you cannot match. Some of the Dell offers work out at less than £100 for the hardware when you take the price of Windows out of the deal. When you consider it's prebuilt and ready to go - that's way cheap. I have seen some of the supermarket deals which you can't buy the components at as well.

    Semi built systems are also good deals like the barebone boxes many PC warehouses do. You just get the Case/MoBo/RAM/CPU as one component, add a HDD and DVD and you are away. If it's for games add a Video card too - the 6600GT is hard to beat on performance/price ratio.

    I have a few Shuttle XPCs and they are nice too but a little more expensive compared to normal size PCs - you pay a price premium for the space savings. Look at laptops now too, for a non-games machine they are getting almost to be good value. PC World in the UK have several at under £400 in the Christmas sales.
    I'm using Windows 7 - you got a problem with that?

  13. #13
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Good responses. Thanks for the input.

    Although pre-configured prices have dropped i will take the DIY route because i can hand pick the individual components rather than only have the choice of the 2 or 3 options most manufacturers offer and also as i said in my first post "the satisfaction gleaned by building a system from scratch".

    Haven't ordered anything yet but the specs will be:

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego.
    Mainboard: Asus A8N-SLi Premium nForce4 SLi (Socket 939) PCI-Express.
    RAM: Crucial 2GB (2x1GB) DDR PC4000 Ballistix
    Sound: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS Edition.
    Video: GeForce 6800 GS 256MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)
    PSU: Enermax Noisetaker 600W

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Those Google ads must be doin pretty good huh?




  15. #15
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rik
    Those Google ads must be doin pretty good huh?
    The mere suggestion.

    Actually, the result of a very nice xmas bonus from work.

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