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Is building a PC yourself really worth it?

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April 16, 2013 11:08:11 PM

I guess I maybe looking in the wrong places, but the sites recommended most for computer components is newegg, tigerdirect, and I checked ebay as well.

I checked out a custom computer from Ava Direct because I heard they're good, and I tried to go to those sites to see what the same basic computer would cost if I built it myself.

On newegg and tiger direct, it pretty much comes out to the same price, around $550. On ebay, I would only save around $80

Everybody always says "building it yourself is cheaper", and I'm just not seeing the money saved as being worth it at all.

Am I looking in the wrong place for computer parts?

Or is that just how it is for this price range? Honestly I don't even want to spend 500, but I'd rather spend an extra hundo to get something from Ava Direct, since they seem to be one of the few brands with good customer service (I've heard terrible things about Cyberpower PC and iBuypower).

I'm guessing maybe you don't start saving a lot of money building it yourself until you get to the higher price ranges, because 600 is just above the absolute minimum for custom PC's from what I've seen

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April 16, 2013 11:18:13 PM

When build a basic internet/office machine there wont be a big difference, but when you start looking at gaming rigs you can save alot. Try using this site http://pcpartpicker.com/ it checks multiple sites for the best price for parts.
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April 16, 2013 11:31:55 PM

"basic" computers built by companies will often have crap Power Supplies, terrible cases, and terrible motherboards. Look Apples to Apples with them.
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April 16, 2013 11:58:38 PM

MasterMace is right. Dell and all those folks have overhead to pay. Once people buy a computer from a system builder, they tend to keep it awhile also. So think of an OEM machine that costs the same roughly, no biggie right, same cost. However, in order to keep the cost down and pay all that, they use lower quality parts than say your average enthusiast board from Newegg. If dell for example used:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

..don't you think they'd list it, they never do brands because they go as cheap as possible. I was going to buy a 2013 Dell "Alienware" Aurora (pretty cool) until I saw that the usb ports/motherboards tend to crap out.

It might COST the same, but you'll be getting generic parts unless you are careful.
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April 17, 2013 12:19:42 AM

Brand name computers usually have a cheap unknown brand of motherboard with a blocked BIOS, low quality hardware and when they add a good quality component, they compensate adding another device of low quality... hardware is mostly of low resources and low to average hard disk space and RAM memory, cheap and low wattage Power Supplies, they install the most basic version of the OS, they charge you for it and keep the disk, and they include the building and installation labor to the price.... So, building your own saves you the assembly costs, you can install all good quality components, the brand and type of motherboard with unblocked BIOS and even dual BIOS, all the RAM and disk space you want, your preferred OS Edition, and if you take your time to do the research, you can buy the exact components you want at the lowest available prices... and in some cases you can buy promotion offers, and save the assembly labor and OS installation costs, an you get to keep the CD/DVD.
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April 17, 2013 12:43:26 AM

Well, most computer manufacturers use 'good enough' components - components that are not stellar, nor excellent /and some not even good/ but do their job right. but the problem lies somewhere else - their builds, which are either:

a/ superb CPU, shitty rest - which is good for... well... office, internet... and creating some video, playing with photoshop/gimp, etc...
b/ shitty CPU, shitty rest - which is an average 'consumer grade' PC - which is good for listening to music, fb, and some office work and watching movies...
c/ superb CPU, superb rest - which is something like alienware would use, but then again, the price is kinda exorbitant. Also the components are kinda overkill too...

Also, they usually lock your computer, so you can not toy with it. At least not without risking your warranty.
Also, the assembly adds an extra $50 - $100 /even more if you get an custom PC from a manufacturer/ to the price of the components :D 

NOW. if you build the rig yourself, you can go with something like this>
> decent CPU, superb rest - a great rig, which will get you through any game you want, at high FPS.
or you can build a completely silent PC... The choice is yours :) 
Also, you can upgrade your PC at any time you want to - need more disk space? Get another HDD... Need more RAM? easy as pie - order it and put it inside...

And the assembly is easy - if one can put together lego, one can build a computer too /but I still recommend to read some how-to guides /or watch them on youtube//. :D 

On the other side> if something fubars - if you build your own PC, then you are on your own - you must diagnose the error and then RMA the faulty component /or pay some money to the repair guy/. If you had your computer build - you just send the box and hope for the best /also - the first thing any repair will do is to ghost the system back, a procedure resulting in loss all of your data :D /.
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April 17, 2013 12:49:36 AM

random stalker said:
Well, most computer manufacturers use 'good enough' parts - parts that are not stellar, nor excellent /and some not even good/ but do their job right. but the problem lies somewhere else - their builds, which are either:

a/ superb CPU, shitty rest - which is good for... well... office, internet... and creating some video, playing with photoshop/gimp, etc...
b/ shitty CPU, shitty rest - which is an average 'consumer grade' PC - which is good for listening to music, fb, and some office work and watching movies...
c/ superb CPU, superb rest - which is something like alienware would use, but then again, the price is kinda exorbitant. Also the parts are kinda overkill too...

Also, they usually lock your computer, so you can not toy with it. At least not without risking your warranty.
Also, the assembly adds an extra $50 - $100 /even more if you get an custom PC from a manufacturer/ to the price of the components :D 

NOW. if you build the rig yourself, you can go with something like this>
> decent CPU, superb rest - a great rig, which will get you through any game you want, at high FPS.
or you can build a completely silent PC... The choice is yours :) 

And the assembly is easy - if one can put together lego, one can build a computer too /but I still recommend to read some how-to guides /or watch them on youtube//. :D 


What actually ruined it for me was the Alienware Aurora USB ports tending to die after 3 months, a lot of owners of that particular machine complained of that. The rest of it looked good except PSU. Still if they fixed those 2 things, I'd consider it next new computer.
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April 17, 2013 12:57:27 AM

royalcrown said:

What actually ruined it for me was the Alienware Aurora USB ports tending to die after 3 months, a lot of owners of that particular machine complained of that. The rest of it looked good except PSU. Still if they fixed those 2 things, I'd consider it next new computer.


Well, if you're in for a scare>
Spoiler
As a past IT techie I've seen some build-in PSUs that should come with a fire extinguisher. The brand of the manufacturer doesn't matter - many of them used these.
I've even saw a PC burned to crisp due to faulty PSU (and according to the customer - the whole room burned down too).
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April 17, 2013 1:06:25 AM

MattBeastblood said:
I guess I maybe looking in the wrong places, but the sites recommended most for computer components is newegg, tigerdirect, and I checked ebay as well.

I checked out a custom computer from Ava Direct because I heard they're good, and I tried to go to those sites to see what the same basic computer would cost if I built it myself.

On newegg and tiger direct, it pretty much comes out to the same price, around $550. On ebay, I would only save around $80

Everybody always says "building it yourself is cheaper", and I'm just not seeing the money saved as being worth it at all.

Am I looking in the wrong place for computer parts?

Or is that just how it is for this price range? Honestly I don't even want to spend 500, but I'd rather spend an extra hundo to get something from Ava Direct, since they seem to be one of the few brands with good customer service (I've heard terrible things about Cyberpower PC and iBuypower).

I'm guessing maybe you don't start saving a lot of money building it yourself until you get to the higher price ranges, because 600 is just above the absolute minimum for custom PC's from what I've seen


It depends, if you just need a basic computer, the dual core package deals at newegg are pretty good. It's when you go to quad that the price jumps.

If you just want an office/occasional gaming computer, maybe a good dual core combo then add your own card, for example:

$277.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
$ 344.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

AMDs are really cheap right now and have better built in graphics as a rule of thumb:

$310.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
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April 17, 2013 1:08:56 AM

random stalker said:
royalcrown said:

What actually ruined it for me was the Alienware Aurora USB ports tending to die after 3 months, a lot of owners of that particular machine complained of that. The rest of it looked good except PSU. Still if they fixed those 2 things, I'd consider it next new computer.


Well, if you're in for a scare>
Spoiler
As a past IT techie I've seen some build-in PSUs that should come with a fire extinguisher. The brand of the manufacturer doesn't matter - many of them used these.
I've even saw a PC burned to crisp due to faulty PSU (and according to the customer - the whole room burned down too).


Yeah, they could just go with a good fortron sparkle OEM unit and problem solved !
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April 17, 2013 7:26:08 PM

bignastyid said:
When build a basic internet/office machine there wont be a big difference, but when you start looking at gaming rigs you can save alot. Try using this site http://pcpartpicker.com/ it checks multiple sites for the best price for parts.

Thanks I'll check that out


To the rest of you, I agree that what you guys are saying applies to most premade brand name stuff, but I'm talking about Ava Direct. They're not like the crap you get from alienware or dell. You decide what parts are put in there for the most part and the PSU I have on there is 585W which I think is more than enough for this rig.

Ok here's the link for it: http://www.avadirect.com/desktop-pc-configurator.asp?PR...

All I changed from the basic setup on it was I added Windows 7 Home Premium 64, changed the mobo to MSI 760GM-P23selected a EVGA GeForce GT 610 2gb, AMD Phenom II x4 3.2, 8gb Crucial RAM, and added a Tenda Wifi adapter.

The price calculator comes to 560, I tried getting the same parts on newegg, tiger, and ebay and only ebay would've saved any money and it was still 500. Ava Direct gives a 3 year warranty and supposedly they do a great job and have great customer service so I think it's a better choice than building one. Unless I'm missing something here, it's a difference of 60, and I think that's worth it to get a 3 year warranty and have it built by people that build PC's all the time

This isn't like buying an alienware or dell, supposedly these guys are legit.
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April 18, 2013 3:02:15 PM

Guys you all forgot the most important thing here, you get the aesthetics that you want (you choose your case) how much your willing to pay per item, way better ability to upgrade, and the pride and joy that swells up and you can go up to friends and say "I put that shit together myself"
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April 18, 2013 3:24:23 PM
April 20, 2013 8:49:54 PM



You forgot the Wifi adapter. I wouldn't by a PC without it, it will be needed at some point, and I use Wifi. So that brings it to 580, through Ava Direct, same basic confifguration (with better PSU, mobo, HDD) it's 643. In my opinion building a PC isn't worth saving 60 bucks, I expected it to be more worth it. Ava gives a 3 year warranty, and the experienced people there can do a much better job that I can.

I do see your point about being able to say "I built that". I made myself a distortion pedal, not because it saved me money, though it did, I just wanted to do it. Well that and it was a school project but I hold pride in that pedal. Even still, when ever I spend more than 100 bucks on electronics, I really like to have warranties, and most components only have a 1 year warranty.

Also, the mobo you chose only has a max of 8gb of RAM. I don't like that. If I upgrade the rig, or if I get a good pro tools interface, I may need the extra RAM and I don't want to have to change mobo's
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April 21, 2013 7:21:05 AM

MattBeastblood said:


You forgot the Wifi adapter. I wouldn't by a PC without it, it will be needed at some point, and I use Wifi. So that brings it to 580, through Ava Direct, same basic confifguration (with better PSU, mobo, HDD) it's 643. In my opinion building a PC isn't worth saving 60 bucks, I expected it to be more worth it. Ava gives a 3 year warranty, and the experienced people there can do a much better job that I can.

I do see your point about being able to say "I built that". I made myself a distortion pedal, not because it saved me money, though it did, I just wanted to do it. Well that and it was a school project but I hold pride in that pedal. Even still, when ever I spend more than 100 bucks on electronics, I really like to have warranties, and most components only have a 1 year warranty.

Also, the mobo you chose only has a max of 8gb of RAM. I don't like that. If I upgrade the rig, or if I get a good pro tools interface, I may need the extra RAM and I don't want to have to change mobo's


i'm sorry if a 150 dollar gpu and a 3x better cpu, as well as a better looks, better airflow isnt worth the 60 dollars, As for the 8gb of ram, what do you expect to be doing eh? Do you use photoshop for a living? if so you shouldnt be making a budget pc. 8gb of ram is more then enough ram to handle anything gaming wise as well as most programs, hell usually 4gbs is more then enough. as for a wifi adapter, spend 5 on a usb adapter, and wallah you got a 5x better computer for cheaper, and guess what, all those parts have manufatures warranties that will cover them, when you send your computer back to get fixed, that's all they do is replace the part and rma the broken one.
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April 21, 2013 7:22:44 AM

oh and who said you had to go with the mobo i chose, this was a just for instance, you can build a computer for far cheaper with way better specs then you would going with a prebuilt.
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April 22, 2013 1:58:27 PM

HillBillyAsian said:
MattBeastblood said:


You forgot the Wifi adapter. I wouldn't by a PC without it, it will be needed at some point, and I use Wifi. So that brings it to 580, through Ava Direct, same basic confifguration (with better PSU, mobo, HDD) it's 643. In my opinion building a PC isn't worth saving 60 bucks, I expected it to be more worth it. Ava gives a 3 year warranty, and the experienced people there can do a much better job that I can.

I do see your point about being able to say "I built that". I made myself a distortion pedal, not because it saved me money, though it did, I just wanted to do it. Well that and it was a school project but I hold pride in that pedal. Even still, when ever I spend more than 100 bucks on electronics, I really like to have warranties, and most components only have a 1 year warranty.

Also, the mobo you chose only has a max of 8gb of RAM. I don't like that. If I upgrade the rig, or if I get a good pro tools interface, I may need the extra RAM and I don't want to have to change mobo's


i'm sorry if a 150 dollar gpu and a 3x better cpu, as well as a better looks, better airflow isnt worth the 60 dollars, As for the 8gb of ram, what do you expect to be doing eh? Do you use photoshop for a living? if so you shouldnt be making a budget pc. 8gb of ram is more then enough ram to handle anything gaming wise as well as most programs, hell usually 4gbs is more then enough. as for a wifi adapter, spend 5 on a usb adapter, and wallah you got a 5x better computer for cheaper, and guess what, all those parts have manufatures warranties that will cover them, when you send your computer back to get fixed, that's all they do is replace the part and rma the broken one.


How is it 3 times better CPU? I picked a Phenom II X4 3.4 Ghz as well, as far as I can tell it's the exact same CPU. And the graphics card, sure it's better, but not worth double the price of a 6670, which I can get for $70. They're both 1gb DDR5, and judging on benchmarks, the 7750 definitely isn't twice as powerful.

And I'd rather not use a USB wifi adapter, they don't work as well and they take up a USB port, allset with that.
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April 22, 2013 3:42:30 PM

MattBeastblood said:
HillBillyAsian said:
MattBeastblood said:


You forgot the Wifi adapter. I wouldn't by a PC without it, it will be needed at some point, and I use Wifi. So that brings it to 580, through Ava Direct, same basic confifguration (with better PSU, mobo, HDD) it's 643. In my opinion building a PC isn't worth saving 60 bucks, I expected it to be more worth it. Ava gives a 3 year warranty, and the experienced people there can do a much better job that I can.

I do see your point about being able to say "I built that". I made myself a distortion pedal, not because it saved me money, though it did, I just wanted to do it. Well that and it was a school project but I hold pride in that pedal. Even still, when ever I spend more than 100 bucks on electronics, I really like to have warranties, and most components only have a 1 year warranty.

Also, the mobo you chose only has a max of 8gb of RAM. I don't like that. If I upgrade the rig, or if I get a good pro tools interface, I may need the extra RAM and I don't want to have to change mobo's


i'm sorry if a 150 dollar gpu and a 3x better cpu, as well as a better looks, better airflow isnt worth the 60 dollars, As for the 8gb of ram, what do you expect to be doing eh? Do you use photoshop for a living? if so you shouldnt be making a budget pc. 8gb of ram is more then enough ram to handle anything gaming wise as well as most programs, hell usually 4gbs is more then enough. as for a wifi adapter, spend 5 on a usb adapter, and wallah you got a 5x better computer for cheaper, and guess what, all those parts have manufatures warranties that will cover them, when you send your computer back to get fixed, that's all they do is replace the part and rma the broken one.


How is it 3 times better CPU? I picked a Phenom II X4 3.4 Ghz as well, as far as I can tell it's the exact same CPU. And the graphics card, sure it's better, but not worth double the price of a 6670, which I can get for $70. They're both 1gb DDR5, and judging on benchmarks, the 7750 definitely isn't twice as powerful.

And I'd rather not use a USB wifi adapter, they don't work as well and they take up a USB port, allset with that.


same cpu sure, better case? better mobo? hardly, 6670 gpu? then buy it off newegg or ebay for that much, you know what,hell do whatever you want it's your money but if saving 100-200 dollars for better parts isnt your deal then that's your choice, and you said with the upgrades that bring you to 650 dollars was it? change the 7750 to a 7790 or 7850 then and tell me the difference. like i said buy your oem parted pc, your just paying more for the same parts then you would buying it online and like i stated before, my price WAS WITHOUT REBATES, there almost 120 dollars in rebates in the items i chose, so have a good day sir.
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