Cheaper to buy a complete machine or build one?

  • Thread starter CharlesBlackstone
  • Start date

C

CharlesBlackstone

I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much....
 
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J

John Doe

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save
money building it myself?
I think you can buy a prebuilt system cheaper than you can build it
yourself, with much less difficulty.

Big manufacturers/assemblers like Dell buy thousands if not hundreds
of thousands of parts at a time. That means they pay probably a
small fraction of what we pay per part.

In my opinion, building your own system is an art. You have to know
what you want, and I mean the details, you have to know exactly what
you want. Building your own system provides a custom solution
tailored to your specific needs. That takes some expertise.

If your question were "how can I get the best system for me", then
the answer would be to build it yourself, but that would require a
lot of knowledge, skill, and experience. In my opinion.

Good luck and have fun.
 
C

caterbro

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much...
yes. buying and assemblying high end components will save you money.

spec out top of the line Dell PC ( for the best of the worst ) and then
a DIY rig. you will find you can easily beat their price, and, to boot,
you won't have a Dell computer, which would be worth it for me.

power, also, is relative. computers do different things- a best of
breed gaming PC is not equivalent if you need a domain controller or a
PVR.

best is to get a budget and decide what your goal is.

carl
 
P

pcdrny

or have someone build it for you. call these guys or drop them a email
there custom pcs are dirt cheap compared to all the others i called and
my pc was built with a fx-55
 
J

John Doe

caterbro said:
yes. buying and assemblying high end components will save you
money.

spec out top of the line Dell PC ( for the best of the worst ) and
then a DIY rig. you will find you can easily beat their price,
and, to boot, you won't have a Dell computer, which would be worth
it for me.
Maybe if you pirate all of your software.

Whenever I do the calculation of the parts and software I use, it
never comes out to less than what I would pay for the same or faster
prebuilt system.

Besides price, there are plenty of advantages to buying prebuilt.
You don't have to worry about the complications. You don't have to
do the work and risk breaking something. You automatically get parts
that work well together. You get legitimate software without paying
retail price.

The proof is in the pudding.
 
C

Compfix

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much....
It may not be cheaper, but you get to choose what components go into it, and
you are entitled to buy OEM/System builder software. Prebuilt machines are
a compromise of quality against price and some parts are not the best
quality.

Bob
 
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P

Paul

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much....
The main benefit of building your own system, is getting to choose
exactly what will be used to build it. So customization is
the benefit.

At the low end, it is pretty hard to beat the price of a box
at Walmart. High volume builders get a 30% discount if they
buy a large enough quantity of stuff, and that is the advantage
they have over you.

At the very highest end ("boutique gaming systems"), there
can be up to $1000 of profit per system. It is pretty easy
to beat the price on a system like that.

To convince yourself one way or another, identify the system
you would like to compete with, then price the components
on Newegg or another site with a large component selection.
In a couple hours work, you'll have some idea just how
easy it is, to compete.

Paul
 
J

Johanna

Building yourself is TIME consuming.
Do not do it unless you can see yourself happily spending time reading
up and improving your skills in this area.
Often, you won't get it right the first time you do something, and you
need the patience to try again and learn as you go along.
You also need the patience and subject matter interest to be prepared to
read instructions and manuals carefully.

If this is something you can see yourself reasonably happily doing, then
you should probably try it out.
You will have more control, and certainly get an awful lot more for your
money, particularly if you are aiming at something like the very top
echelon of machines that are sold by certain high-end niche vendors.

One of the advantages with a self-built system is that you can upgrade a
little at a time, instead of having to buy a whole new system every 3
years or so. You are spreading the expense and pain of upgrading.

But if you want a box for browsing the web, playing some average games
and doing a bit of MS Office, and if you are short of time to boot, then
really - it's not worth your time.

I sometimes wonder if I strictly speaking need a bespoke system. But I
enjoy the experience as a whole, I want a fast system, and I easily have
a nicer system than anyone I know, despite having paid much less money
for it

HTH
Jo
 
J

John Doe

At the low end, it is pretty hard to beat the price of a box
at Walmart. High volume builders get a 30% discount if they
buy a large enough quantity of stuff,
Considering the markup by retailers, I would bet the computer parts
discount for a company like Dell is a whole lot more than 30%.

I suppose the efficiency of online stores causes the difference to
be less, but prebuilt systems are sold online too.
 
C

caterbro

Maybe if you pirate all of your software.
software one of the LEAST expensive components to a new system unless
using specialty soft.
Whenever I do the calculation of the parts and software I use, it
never comes out to less than what I would pay for the same or faster
prebuilt system.
the question asked was about high-performance PCs.
The proof is in the pudding.
OK- here's some pudding:

top of the line Dell XPS 700 with the following specs- the MOR options

Intel® Core™2 Duo processor E6300 (1.86GHz)
Genuine Windows® XP Professional
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 2 DIMMs
Saitek 104-Key Eclipse Backlit Gaming Keyboard
20 inch UltraSharp Widescreen Digital Flat Panel
Dual 512MB nVidia GeForce 7900 GTX
320GB RAID 0 (2 x 160GB SATA 3Gb/s 10,000 RPM HDDs)
13 in 1 Media Card Reader
LOGITECH G5 Laser Gaming Mouse (ships separately)
16x DVD-ROM Drive + 16x DVD+/-RW w/ dbl layer write capable
Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeMusic (D) Sound Card
Dell AS501 10W Flat Panel Attached Spkrs for
PC-cillin Internet Security with AntiVirus a
BTX design motherboard
1 kilowatt Power Supply
Tower Six-heat pipe, Copper base Heat Sink

TOTAL:$3,768.00

speced similar system from Newegg, for argument's sake.

Core 2 Duo 6300 : $180
ZALMAN CNPS9500: $49.99
ASUS P5NSLI: $119.99
2x EVGA 512M 7900gtx: $797.98
2GB Kingston DDR2 677MHz: $214.99
2x 150GB 10K Raptor: $459.98
Enermax 1KW: 349.99
52-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader: $11.99
lite-on DVD-RW/DL: $31.99
SB Xtreme 7.1 :$129.99
Thermaltake Tsunami solid Al case: $115.99
Samsung 20" LCD: $299.99
Saitek KB: 39.99
Logi G5: $22.99
XP Pro: $149
PC-Cillin: $43.99

now, how did we do? calc:

TOTAL: $3018.84

not having a Dell PC? Priceless...
 
J

JamesG

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much....
Charles,
I just built my first computer from scratch (I had previously done
upgrades and moved components to a new case, etc). I would agree with
others and say that it would be hard to beat the price on a prebuilt
budget box but that a higher end machine would be easier to save money
on if you did it yourself. I feel like I probably saved a few hundred
dollars on my machine. I bought a number of components on sale or with
rebates (or scavenged from old computers: floppy, dvd, keyboard,
mouse), if I had bought retail without looking for sales then I
seriously doubt that I would have saved anything building it myself.
There was time expended and some frustration also (one bit of advice:
use Memtest86 once you get your system to boot up to check for memory
problems). I also have some satisfaction when I use the machine that I
built. So I would say that if you are interested in building your
computer then it might save you some money and will probably be a
rewarding experience. If you just want a new computer then it would
probably be a better idea to shop for a good deal on a prebuilt system.

Good luck either way,
James
 
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J

JAD

heres a suggestion NEVER BUY A DELL....they are the biggest screw ups of
all time.....if they got rid of the stupid humans that are their employees,
things would run smoother. Biggest bunch of -confused -know nothing- fools.
How hard is it to QC the machines before they ship? They send you a POS
laptop that, guesss what,,,,has battery charging problems,,,, you call and
are on the phone for hours..they they send everything except the part thats
broken...then when you send the whole rig back:

1 they try and charge you for another laptop
2 don't send you a return label
3 don't extend your time for sending the thing back because they forgot to
send you the label
4 charge you for the replacement laptop(which you already paid for)
5 charge you for the old one that you couldn't send back because you had no
label - they said they would extend the time but didn't)
6 charge you for the battery and charger they sent in an attempt to fix the
first POS, and never sent a return box or label for


pre built? good luck with that
 
A

`AMD tower

I think dell bought voodoo a couple of weeks ago so
you can buy a kickass computer from dell. I doubt very much the dell elves
will get their hands on the hardware.
the voodoo eleves were part of the package, i think.
 
C

CharlesBlackstone

`AMD tower said:
I think dell bought voodoo a couple of weeks ago so
you can buy a kickass computer from dell. I doubt very much the dell elves
will get their hands on the hardware.
the voodoo eleves were part of the package, i think.

How do I get a Dell Voodoo?

Jim
 
J

JAD

CharlesBlackstone said:
How do I get a Dell Voodoo?
gaurenteed when you buy a dell,,,,,some kinda voodoo is going to happen....
and not in your favor
 
J

John Weiss

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?
Possibly... However, according to a recent PC-Magazine article, those who
build high-end computers usually choose higher-end parts than the big mfgrs
like Dell, and so may wind up paying more rather than less.

About 2 years ago I found a custom mfgr that built me one to my specs for
less than I could have bought the parts at Newegg, Monarch, etc.

OTOH, you may get more satisfaction from your own build, so don't make cost
the ONLY decision variable.
 
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B

BobN

I want a very powerful computer, and am wondering if I can save money
building it myself?

Thanks very much....
If you have the patience, build yourself. There are two points that have
not been mentioned here. First, some box makers, certainly Dell, use
non-standard components. If you have to replace a Dell power supply, you
must buy from Dell at Dell's price. Second, you get an OEM operating
system. That means that you can repair only. If you have to do a new
install, you will have to buy the retail operating system anyhow.
 
R

Rod Speed

CharlesBlackstone said:
I want a very powerful computer, and am
wondering if I can save money building it myself?
You can if you know what you are doing and are happy to
wait for particularly attractive offers on components show up.
 
J

justin david

If you have the patience, build yourself. There are two points that have
not been mentioned here. First, some box makers, certainly Dell, use
non-standard components. If you have to replace a Dell power supply, you
must buy from Dell at Dell's price. Second, you get an OEM operating
system. That means that you can repair only. If you have to do a new
install, you will have to buy the retail operating system anyhow.
I don't think you can save much building low end, but you can build a
high end box for about 20% less than a pre-built. You're paying for
labor, software and tech support when you buy a pre-built

Building your own box could be a nervous first experience, but it
really isn't much more difficult than plugging in a lamp and turning
the switch to turn it on since that's all you're really doing,
plugging things into the motherboard and to each other and flipping a
switch to get it going. There are plenty of sites which give
detailed explanations of how to build, and after you've done it,
you'll kick yourself for not having done it before.

The problem might come about when buying components; you may not know
what to buy unless you've done some research and component review
reading. Look at newegg.com and see what people are buying and what
you might be interested in. They have good prices and good service.
Google what you might want to buy and read what's being said about it
so you can make good component buying decisions.

And if you have problems, post them on the relevant newsgroup and
someone usually will help you out.
 
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J

JAD

Rod Speed said:
You can if you know what you are doing and are happy to
wait for particularly attractive offers on components show up.
thats the key...for a 'cheaper' home built performance PC- i agree
 

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