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Buy vs. Build Dilemna!! Sorta Newbie

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February 18, 2014 11:02:18 AM

Build vs. buy dilemma

Currently have a 10 yr. Dell XPS that runs great for what it is... Need to update for Photoshop CS6, web setup, surfing, and home office. Maybe some light gaming. Video editing will come later after a camera upgrade. I realize the argument for building vs. buy and better parts can be obtained via build, BUT will I really notice the difference in performance, all things being equal except the quality of parts? My other dilemma is when I read about others’ builds I see; “Runs great!! Only minor problem is XYZ, or everything is smooth but I had to do this or that, or redo the BIOS, or other things that I can probably handle but don’t have a lot of time to mess with. I need out of the box operation with little or no adjustments save for maybe driver updates. My budget without monitor but with Windows disc is $800. looking at 16mg ram (8 will do for now if necessary,) 1 tb HDD, maybe SSD for scratch or OP, decent power supply (min. 430 watts) DVD burner, I5 processor with onboard graphics for now, or mid grade card. Both must be upgradeable of course as I know video editing will need a decent card. Targeting Lenovo KS450, or HP Envy 700. The Envy is a prime example of “post purchase adjustments”. I have read about the issue of crashing upon waking up from sleep mode, and sometimes installation of 8.1 cures the issue, sometimes not… I know the KS450 will need a power supply and card later… your expert thoughts and opinions please!! Thanks!
February 18, 2014 11:24:22 AM

You will probably save a little with a prebuilt, but they are hard to compare.
The 2 main differences will be the power supply, and the Motherboard.

The power supply in a decent brand name like HP or Lenovo will be quality, but just big enough.
You will probably have to upgrade it with a video card addition.

The mother board will not have all the bells and whistles, and you are confined to the layout they provide,

When you build your own, you can pick the mother board tailored to exactly what you want, and want for upgrades in the future.

If you are doing video editing, and you might want to look into the performance of the 8 core AMD, as a cost effective way of getting 8 cores.

Not positive how they compare to an i5, but I hear a lot they they are good for that.

Also photoshop, and video editing can use the extra RAM

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February 18, 2014 11:36:07 AM

If you buy all good quality parts, there is rarely a problem.
DOAs do happen, but are also rare.

You are just seeing the problems in the posts.
People without problems don't post.

It is just a hobby with me so I only buy a couple dozen components a year, and in 27 years, I have never had a DOE.
I've wrecked a few, but that was my fault.
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February 19, 2014 6:31:41 PM

Thanks millwright for your response; I haven't read a lot of problems just the minor (to them) problems from a perfectly running system. BUT is should be a straight forward process, build and run. I am comparing some barebones pre-built from other builders like Portatech, etc. Also price is very important, need other photo equipment also. I look at my 10 yr. old PC with very little mods other then memory, and i want the same reliability and something i don't have to tweak. I will make a decision and post a build or custom maker pre build and see what you think.
thanks again!
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February 19, 2014 7:54:36 PM

Just retired my 11 year old system.
I just built a Intel system 2 weeks ago. and haven't had the slightest problem, so far. ( not even a hint of a problem)

MSI B85-G41 Motherboard
i5 4670 Processor
Gskill 1600 MHz memory
Win 7 OEM
Corsair CX 500 Power Supply (Cheapest I would go)

No video card yet, plays FSX on ultra high settings.


If you don't overclock, this is a good board, and cheap.
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February 20, 2014 10:23:34 AM

That's on the order of what i would want. I dont need ultra fancy; 16 gb ram, dvd burner, integrated graphics for now, and a decent number of ports. I ruled portatech out as they are west coast and i am east. I read here its a good ruleof thumb to stay on the same coasts for that plus i have read of some bait and switches with them... for now its the Lenovo or build. Hp scares me with sleep/boot problems...
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