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Thread: To Build or Buy, that is the question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Red face To Build or Buy, that is the question

    Hello everyone,

    I see on this site all the time folks saying to build your own system vs. buying a pre-made one. My questions is why? I use my system mostly for home budget, kids homework and online gaming, I have previously purchased systems online from Dell and they work fine.
    I will be upgrading both of the systems that my wife and I have in November (after our house sells and we finish moving) and I've started looking around at what's new and best to get. The idea of building my own system is intriguing but it certainly doesn't look like it would save me any money with the deals you can find from HP and Dell right now.

    So help me out here..... why the push to build it? I can understand the 'fun' and 'satisfaction' arguments but I'm not looking for a cutting edge, OC'd setup for LAN parties, just something that works and works well.

    Budget: $2000-$2500 per system (I looked at the nice article on this site regarding various systems but I'm between your 1k - 1500 and the "unlimited" prices)

    What do I want? I want something that can play online games without much concern over lag or low FPS. Also, I'd REALLY like to know why I should build vs buy.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: To Build or Buy, that is the question

    The first reason is arguably price. A self-built system will almost always use faster hardware (meaning you games run smoother, your applications open faster, etc.) for a lower price. A $1500 Dell system would cost around $900-$1200 if you were to build an equivelent system, depending on specifically what you would get.

    The second reason is choice. The OEMs are extremely restrictive on what you can get. You're usually restriced to an Intel processor, which is the primary cause of the price difference between OEM and self-built systems since AMD processors offer much more power for their price. You're restricted to whatever CD/DVD drives they offer, which can mean you get a drive that is either inferior or more expensive to what you'd get with your own system. You're incredibly restricted in regards to video card, which is the primary piece of hardware for making your games run smoother and look nicer (and for this reason getting an OEM's system for gaming is just a poor choice). You're restricted to whatever RAM they want you to use, which can often limit performance, drive up the price, or (more likely), do both. In general, you're extremely restricted to what you can get, and often the options simply aren't suitable for what you need. This becomes all the more true when talking about a gaming system. The video card and monitor they try to sell you are likely to worsen the gaming experience significantly over what you'd get if you build it yourself.

    Regardless of all that, when it comes down to it, the only reason that you'd want to buy instead of build is that you don't know how to build one. Once you learn (which is easy), there's absolutely no reason to buy a computer instead of build one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: To Build or Buy, that is the question

    That could not have been put better. Absolutely DO NOT buy a Dell, Compac, HP, or whatever other branded pc. Building them has gottem very easy and you can easily put together a nice system for less than the major brands charge. Do your homework and it will pay off. Sites like Newegg or NCIX sell stuff so cheap now adays. For $2500, you could build an insane gaming PC that would easily handle all other aspects of your PC use. And look into the AMD64 CPU. It is cheaper and faster than the Intel CPUs out and you will never regret it.
    GIgabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
    AMD FX8120 @ 4GHz
    Patriot 1866MHz EL series 2X4GB DDR3
    Powercolour HD 6970 2GB w/XFX 8800GT 512MB Hybrid PhysX
    Creative X-FI titanium HD w/Technics class A 300W amp and tower speakers
    PC P&C 500W PSU
    2TB Seagate
    Coolermaster 690II w/Corsair H100 tucked under the hood

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: To Build or Buy, that is the question

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. I'll be back when I've done my research and I'm ready to buy parts to get some more input

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