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"Build or Buy?"

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Tue 21/10/08 at 23:18
Regular
"previously phuzzy."
Posts: 3,487
I'm currently in the market for a new PC, however I haven't been following component prices / machine prices for the last few years. I'm able to build my own rigs, and have done in the past, but I wanted some advice as to whether that's still advisable over just going out and buying a fully-fledged machine (manufacturer economies of scale, convienience etc).

My 3 options are:

1 - Build a machine from scratch using all bought components
+ I can pick every single bit, and so know what my machine can do
+ I can shop around for best component prices
- Might not actually be cheaper than buying one
- Alot of effort

2 - Buy a machine off the shelf
+ Easy to do
+ Could be cheaper
- Don't know alot of inside details without opening the thing up
- May not be cheaper

3 - Buy a more stripped back machine and upgrade with my own components
+ Best of both worlds
+ Allows for certain components to be hand picked
- Still a bit of effort
- Might still end up costing more

So, does anyone have any suggestions? I've done a bit of searching, and it seems building is still somewhat cheaper, but not what it used to be. Anyone know of any good deals on either machines or components? Basically, anything to help me decide!
Tue 28/10/08 at 11:19
Regular
"eat toast!"
Posts: 1,466
yeah, build your own and you can get what YOU wanted and save yourself some cash. Hell, it might even open up a load of options when it comes to upgrading and future proofing it. Most pcs that you buy off the shelf come with very cheap parts that suit the needs and not good enough for additional upgrades.
Tue 28/10/08 at 00:24
Regular
"Mooching around"
Posts: 4,248
Building your own is going to be cheaper, with a bit of over clocking and not including the screen you can get a pretty impressive gaming system for around 300 - 400, which is getting a fair few hundred pounds off.

However, if all you want is a pretty fast computer to do general tasks, i.e. word processing, a few programs, maybe a low end game or two, nothing special. Then you're probably going to be spending 200, which makes the pre-built machines much more appealing.

So my opinion is, it's worth building your own system if you're going to be wanting something top end or close to, mid-range might still be viable to build your own, but if you shop around you might be fine going pre-built, low end is definitely a pre-built option.
Mon 27/10/08 at 22:45
Regular
"Eric The Half A Bee"
Posts: 5,347
I'd suggest pricing up a build (see what components you can get for your budget) - Then compare to similarly spec'ed pre-built machines.

I tend to find the prices of pre-built andf home built are pretty much excatly the same - often homebrew systems come in a little more expensive the pre-built (what with system builders buying in bulk and all)

The problem I always have is, once I've speced out the kit I'd buy for a homebrew build, is that I always notice the glaring weakness in the pre-built boxes - a slightly lower end graphics card, processor - or paying for something you know you don't want but comes in the package anyway (tv card or somesuch thing).

But, it always makes me feel better about the choice when I do start handing out my credit card details?
Wed 22/10/08 at 10:40
Regular
"AkaSeraphim"
Posts: 9,397
Dont really know what to say. However building it yourself is cheaper and you know what your putting in it. Then you will get exactly what you want. I get my Pc's built for me. I cant say they are the best thing in the world but then i very rarely do much on it anyway. My kids use the things more then me. As for the price i pay for them, i dont! So that's another good thing. It does the jobs i need it to do so i cant complain :-)
Tue 21/10/08 at 23:18
Regular
"previously phuzzy."
Posts: 3,487
I'm currently in the market for a new PC, however I haven't been following component prices / machine prices for the last few years. I'm able to build my own rigs, and have done in the past, but I wanted some advice as to whether that's still advisable over just going out and buying a fully-fledged machine (manufacturer economies of scale, convienience etc).

My 3 options are:

1 - Build a machine from scratch using all bought components
+ I can pick every single bit, and so know what my machine can do
+ I can shop around for best component prices
- Might not actually be cheaper than buying one
- Alot of effort

2 - Buy a machine off the shelf
+ Easy to do
+ Could be cheaper
- Don't know alot of inside details without opening the thing up
- May not be cheaper

3 - Buy a more stripped back machine and upgrade with my own components
+ Best of both worlds
+ Allows for certain components to be hand picked
- Still a bit of effort
- Might still end up costing more

So, does anyone have any suggestions? I've done a bit of searching, and it seems building is still somewhat cheaper, but not what it used to be. Anyone know of any good deals on either machines or components? Basically, anything to help me decide!

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