Building vs Buying

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Aluniver, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Aluniver
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    Are the days of building your own desktop to save money gone?

    Today, our trusty old laptop died, and while discussing replacements with the wife, I mentioned I wasn't planning on getting another laptop and building a second desktop. She asked, "Why don't you just buy one from dell or one of those companies?". And my response, of course, was that to get a quality desktop, a pre-built machine would simply cost more than building it myself. However, she, stubborn as all women are, didn't believe me, so I said I'd prove it by going online and showing.

    So, I picked out your standard current decent mid-upper range PC on newegg - x58 Motherboard, i7 920, a signle GTX 275, 4g of good RAM, and a 750W power supply, so potential to upgrade to two GPUs would be there.
    The basic parts of a PC, not counting the other minor stuff I'd need like a case, an aftermarket coolant, etc. Total came out to around $1100 before shipping.

    Then I went to Alienware's website, thinking surely I nice expensive overpriced Alienware desktop will make my point. Customized an Aurora with a similar setup (obviously, the motherboard being something you don't have control over, but if its support the same hardware, it should be comparable). To kick things off, I even added a second GPU in SLI right off the bat. The total? $1200!? WTF? A PC of possibly better perfomance, with a better GPU, all the extras I didnt count earlier like a case, etc, a cheap warranty, and ready to go right out of the box, costing only $100 more than my scratch built? (Which, if I really nickle and dimed the differences out, would actully be CHEAPER by several hundred dollars?!?)

    Surely there had to be an error...tried a few more systems on various sites with similar results.

    So, my question is, are the days of Building over Buying over?
     
  2. The Communist
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    I know in my experience store bought PC's never work as well or last as long as one i built myself. Plus since dell has bought out alienware the quality of their computers has fallen. I would still recommend building.
     
  3. Lime
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    Companies that design hardware will usually let other manufacturers create the hardware, usually at a cheaper price and lower quality.

    The question is, are these pre-builts really cheaper, or are the parts just lower quality then the ones you have selected?
     
  4. TheEPIC
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    The pre-builts have lower quality parts. Especially motherboards, which you have no control over the choice.
     
  5. dr_jay
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    Depends where you decide to go. I love cyberpower and their prices are pretty reasonable as well. Plus the warranty (even though most of us are tech savvy) is pretty good to have for the piece of mind.
     
  6. Neptuno
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    you are paying for the same "stats" but not the same hardware. its like comparing cars only on mpg or number of cylinders in the engine. if it costs more, that doesn't mean its better or worse, just that it costs more.
     
  7. Earley
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    Forget the 275, go for the Radeon 4850 X2 or 4870 X2.

    Hell, if you can find a pre-built PC for the right price and you like the warranty then go for it. You can still save money building your own though, it's kind of just a matter of wanting to tinker with it and that being part of the fun or not.
     
  8. confidenceb122
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    i also would recommend buliding one.
     
  9. Tal
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    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

    A good balance of both. They have awesome package deals, but at the same time you can customize everything you want in your computer. I recently bought a new comp, quad core, nvidia gts 260, 3gb ram, etc for $797 with shipping, (I had an OS handy so I didn't have to buy one).
     
  10. Trodan
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    I have a custom built machine but the premades are solid. What i would look for is the following.

    What is the top processer the motherbord can handle. Basicly can you upgrade it later.

    Power supply the 750 wats is great.

    Make sure mother board can handle both Nividia SLI and ati xfire.

    Also slots for Ram make sure you have 4 it makes adding RAM easier.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Vandiego
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    Get an EVGA X58 Classified mobo and 4x EVGA 285's, then you'll have a good foundation. :)

    But seriously, DIY is only beneficial if you're going to spend a fairly large amount of money on your box. When you get a premade machine you are getting cheaper (generic) parts which is obviously done to keep the cost down. But, with an investment of $1200 you go in knowing you're not getting AAA materials, which to most is a reasonable trade-off.

    Something no one has mentioned yet, is can you build your own PC? Have you ever put a PC together before from scratch? We all know what happened when Cox tried to put his box together, and I think we'd like to avoid running into that situation a second time. :)
     
  12. Neptuno
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  13. Kyoji
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    you are so lev.
     
  14. Neptuno
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    perhaps you could contribute to the thread instead of comparing me to some banned member i neither know nor care to know instead of just spamming with a quote from 2 months ago?
     
  15. Earley
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    Yeah especially cause Lev is a nice guy and Kyoji is totally not. God know why you fools banned him.

    Anyway, I think it obviously appeals to more of a hobbyist mindset to build your own computer. So if you feel like you want to learn about how things work and get that feeling of satisfaction then I recommend it. I just built a computer and it was fun. In the end I got a computer that would cost 1000+ bucks for about 500 and my own labor, so yeah the savings is there too.
     
  16. ss_hype
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    Dell now owns Alienware so the quality of the "Alienware" brand pc's are not as good as they used to be... Basically they are just Dell XPS's with a cooler case.
     
  17. Sirius
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    Bet the prices are just as stupid as they ever were though.
     
  18. Sogetsu
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    I totally agree with this, the ability to build a computer "from scratch" have it all hooked up, everything in its place, and then hitting the power button and it "WORKING" is definitely a feeling of accomplishment, at least for me anyway. I've only built 3 and helped build a few others, but the fun in picking out parts, understanding why some are 'better' than others and kinda how they work then assembling it is just pure joy.

    Of course, when it DOESN'T work, well you get a little angry ;]

    Earley, I know your post was about a month or two ago, but what did you build for $500 that would have normally been $1000? I'm starting to look into building a new box soon as was wondering what sites you used, etc.
     
  19. Seven
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    Hey Soge, give a shot to zipzoomfly.com Not as well known as Newegg, but typically lower prices and they usually have deals on shipping. I have used them since 2005 and absolutely love them.
     
  20. Kava
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    Thnx for the share. So far everything I've checked is cheaper and is cheaper shipping. :)

    As far as building vs. buying. Like most everyone is sayin, building is going to be slightly cheaper, maybe not as much as it used to but still cheaper. $100 is $100 am I right?

    Also, people are right about the cheaper parts. Dell can sell for cheap because they buy cheaper parts. You may not see the difference but you will always be more susceptible to hardware failures buying Dell machines.

    If you are a OC like me you wouldn't dare buy a pre-made machine, you want the quality stuff that has been proven to handle those max OC's. This is also a hobby thing, It's a lot of fun turning your 3.0 ghz processor into a 4.0 with some better cooling and some slight tweaking in BIOS.

    More than anything though if you have built before you will pretty much never buy pre-made again since it's just plain fun building your own machine.
    It's so easy nowa days that even if you've never built before just watch a youtube tutorial and make sure you read manuals and you will be just fine.

    Building > Buying. :D
     

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