Buy or build for a college student?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
sudden his current PC has failed.

Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
build one.

I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
he will be away from home

What do you all think?
17 answers Last reply
More about build college student
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "support"

    #1 selling point for buying(even though they offer little at
    times)......OTOH did the PC failed because of tinkering? As the
    commercial machines go, if left alone they perform the tasks a student
    would use it for. However, if he wants to do specific things(games,
    graphic editing, animation) and you convey this to the 'sales person'
    your not going to get the 500$ bargain model and your not going to
    have a lot of upgrade choices if you go with the base model.


    <me6@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:tk7uc01uq1r7ebr2nlvm4h52d4f20onk22@4ax.com...
    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Buy...a laptop, if your goal is to assist in college work. It can go to
    class, to other students dorm rooms for homework, etc.
    Additionally, many schools are on Apple comps, and if that was the case at
    his college, having an Apple would make interface much easier.

    Build...if you want to get him a comp that will entertain him while waiting
    for lazy profs to finally hand out some work assignments.

    Fitz
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    If he is going to be in college, why not a laptop?

    hawk

    me6@privacy.net wrote:
    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?

    Well, since you're asking on a "homebuilt" forum what do you think we're
    gonna say? :p

    I started building my own because the "support" I should have gotten from
    Dell wasn't there. I had a hard drive fail in the first 2 months of owning
    a Dimension desktop and they would not help me. I had to replace it myself.

    If he only needs to do basic student stuff you might be able to get a used
    one off eBay very cheap. If you are intent on having a new one for warranty
    reasons, remember that all the parts will have their own warranty, and you
    will usually get better tech support for a malfunctioning part than for a
    whole system.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >If he is going to be in college, why not a laptop?

    Well.... my reasons against a laptop is you're getting
    into even more proprietary parts and design. And
    laptops generally all start developing problems after
    some use, no? And if they DO develop problems I cant
    fix it....it MUSt be sent in the factory to be fixed.
    No?

    I duno.....Im just "ambivalent" abt a laptop not only
    for above reasons but also for reasons of easier
    theft..... easier to lose..... etc.

    I might be wrong tho
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me6@privacy.net wrote:

    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?

    Well I'm the father of a college student (and a college faculty member
    who teaches computing) and I say buy. Why because notebook computers
    are flexible, powerful, and relatively inexpensive. And having a
    machine that you can take to the library or a friend's room or home for
    the weekend to sit on the living room couch with the books that you
    brought home until it's time to go back to school :) is nice. I don't
    think that the ability to bring a computer to class is particularly
    important. And lots of campuses are wireless which makes notebooks even
    more convenient. So unless you can build a notebook, my advice is buy.

    As a side note this past year I polled the students in my computer
    literacy class and found that almost half of them now bring notebooks to
    college. The year before the numbers were about 1/4 for notebooks and
    the year before that 10% or so was typical. I attribute this to
    increased power and flexibility and a big drop in price.

    dick
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    just to add another side... don't skimp on the power when it comes to
    a notebook..especially if graphics is going to be primarily used. My
    son had a PIII and 256m ram( state of the art back then) and it
    struggled running Adobe products simultaneously. We ended getting a
    desktop to use in conjunction with the laptop.


    "Dick Sidbury" <drjamessidbury@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:2j8sh7Ftktg4U1@uni-berlin.de...
    > me6@privacy.net wrote:
    >
    > > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > > sudden his current PC has failed.
    > >
    > > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > > build one.
    > >
    > > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > > he will be away from home
    > >
    > > What do you all think?
    >
    > Well I'm the father of a college student (and a college faculty
    member
    > who teaches computing) and I say buy. Why because notebook
    computers
    > are flexible, powerful, and relatively inexpensive. And having a
    > machine that you can take to the library or a friend's room or home
    for
    > the weekend to sit on the living room couch with the books that you
    > brought home until it's time to go back to school :) is nice. I
    don't
    > think that the ability to bring a computer to class is particularly
    > important. And lots of campuses are wireless which makes notebooks
    even
    > more convenient. So unless you can build a notebook, my advice is
    buy.
    >
    > As a side note this past year I polled the students in my computer
    > literacy class and found that almost half of them now bring
    notebooks to
    > college. The year before the numbers were about 1/4 for notebooks
    and
    > the year before that 10% or so was typical. I attribute this to
    > increased power and flexibility and a big drop in price.
    >
    > dick
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    David Besack wrote:
    >
    > > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > > sudden his current PC has failed.
    > >
    > > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > > build one.
    > >
    > > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > > he will be away from home
    > >
    > > What do you all think?
    >
    > Well, since you're asking on a "homebuilt" forum what do you think we're
    > gonna say? :p

    You know?

    >
    > I started building my own because the "support" I should have gotten from
    > Dell wasn't there.

    Thank you. The big-name PC guys aren't all that great about support. I
    hear horror stories all the time.

    Best gift you could give your nephew is to build one with him, and teach
    him what you know. I taught my collage student son what I know, and now
    he works building and repairing PCs for other students for cash, as well
    as keeping his own in top shape.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me6@privacy.net wrote:
    >
    > >If he is going to be in college, why not a laptop?
    >
    > Well.... my reasons against a laptop is you're getting
    > into even more proprietary parts and design. And
    > laptops generally all start developing problems after
    > some use, no? And if they DO develop problems I cant
    > fix it....it MUSt be sent in the factory to be fixed.
    > No?
    >
    > I duno.....Im just "ambivalent" abt a laptop not only
    > for above reasons but also for reasons of easier
    > theft..... easier to lose..... etc.

    Good reasons.

    Why not build yourself a new one and give him your old one? :)
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    <me6@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:tk7uc01uq1r7ebr2nlvm4h52d4f20onk22@4ax.com...
    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?

    Build. You pay for the parts and a good book on
    building PC's, and let him build it.

    -- Bob Day
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me6@privacy.net wrote:

    >>If he is going to be in college, why not a laptop?
    >
    >
    > Well.... my reasons against a laptop is you're getting
    > into even more proprietary parts and design.

    Why do you say that? My notebook has ATI video, I have no clue what the
    original RAM is but I added a stick of standard ram. My hard disk is
    relatively standard.

    > And
    > laptops generally all start developing problems after
    > some use, no? And if they DO develop problems I cant
    > fix it....it MUSt be sent in the factory to be fixed.
    > No?
    >
    Yes, that's why EVERYONE who buys a notebook should ALWAYS buy the
    extended warranty for 3 years. It;s usually about 100 dollars more
    and well worth it.

    > I duno.....Im just "ambivalent" abt a laptop not only
    > for above reasons but also for reasons of easier
    > theft..... easier to lose..... etc.

    You can buy a chain and padlock especially for notebooks. It doesn't
    prevent theft but makes it more difficult. It's easier to steal a
    desktop from a dorm room than a notebook that's chained to a chair or desk.

    dick
    -- and I have lots of literacy students who manage to mess up their
    systems and it's very easy for me to help them if they can bring their
    machine to my office.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me6@privacy.net said:

    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.

    I agree with the majority, if you buy, buy a laptop; if you build, teach
    him to do it.
    --
    Mac Cool
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Tue, 15 Jun 2004 11:07:00 -0500, me6 wrote:

    > Nephew will be going to college next fall and all the
    > sudden his current PC has failed.
    >
    > Debating whether to buy a PC such as Dell..... or
    > build one.
    >
    > I can see merit to buying one that has "support" given
    > he will be away from home
    >
    > What do you all think?

    Buy the parts and make him put it together, under supervision if needed.
    Kids are given wy too much these days as it is. it will benefit him to
    learn how to do it himself.

    --
    Abit KT7-Raid (KT133) Tbred B core CPU @2400MHz (24x100FSB)
    http://mysite.verizon.net/res0exft/cpu.htm
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    A laptop is the answer.

    I got a used one at a computer show 4 years ago and still use it all the
    time. It's a compaq armada. P2 266. It was still under warrenty, a 3 year
    warrenty, when I bought it. About a year later the optical drive went
    south, and a couple of emails to Compaq support was all it took to set up a
    repair. They sent a box to my house via Fedex to use when mailing it back,
    that arrived at 8 AM on a Tuesday, I had it packaged, and called for a pick
    up between noon and 4 and left it on my front porch. When I got home that
    night it was gone. I got an email that night saying they had it in transit.
    Wednesday I got an email describing the contents of my hard drive and asking
    for confirmation that it was my computer. I emailed a reply saying yes it
    was. Thursday morning around 10 AM Fedex delivered my computer back with a
    new cdrom. The entire repair took only 2 days.

    Based on my experience, I'd go to a computer show with him, and look at the
    used laptops.

    Oh yeah, the only bad thing was the battery only lasted about a year in it,
    and since then I've been using the AC power supply. Not that big a deal for
    me, but it may be for him so you may have to buy a new battery, too.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Check with the school, see what deals they may have, and what kind
    of support exists on campus.

    In article <ybudnQpQYbl6q03dRVn-sQ@comcast.com>,
    -Alby Hewlet <bogus@nowhere.net> wrote:
    >A laptop is the answer.
    >
    >I got a used one at a computer show 4 years ago and still use it all the
    >time. It's a compaq armada. P2 266. It was still under warrenty, a 3 year
    >warrenty, when I bought it. About a year later the optical drive went
    >south, and a couple of emails to Compaq support was all it took to set up a
    >repair. They sent a box to my house via Fedex to use when mailing it back,
    >that arrived at 8 AM on a Tuesday, I had it packaged, and called for a pick
    >up between noon and 4 and left it on my front porch. When I got home that
    >night it was gone. I got an email that night saying they had it in transit.
    >Wednesday I got an email describing the contents of my hard drive and asking
    >for confirmation that it was my computer. I emailed a reply saying yes it
    >was. Thursday morning around 10 AM Fedex delivered my computer back with a
    >new cdrom. The entire repair took only 2 days.
    >
    >Based on my experience, I'd go to a computer show with him, and look at the
    >used laptops.
    >
    >Oh yeah, the only bad thing was the battery only lasted about a year in it,
    >and since then I've been using the AC power supply. Not that big a deal for
    >me, but it may be for him so you may have to buy a new battery, too.
    >
    >
    >


    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  16. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >Yes, that's why EVERYONE who buys a notebook should ALWAYS buy the
    >extended warranty for 3 years. It;s usually about 100 dollars more
    >and well worth it.

    Really?

    I should DEFINETLY get extended warranty on ANY
    laptop.... regardless of brand or model?
  17. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me6@privacy.net wrote:

    >>Yes, that's why EVERYONE who buys a notebook should ALWAYS buy the
    >>extended warranty for 3 years. It;s usually about 100 dollars more
    >>and well worth it.
    >
    >
    > Really?
    >
    > I should DEFINETLY get extended warranty on ANY
    > laptop.... regardless of brand or model?

    Well IMHO yes. I've had two gateways, one Toshiba, and other people at
    the office have had IBM, Toshiba, Dell and Compaq. We've had several
    problems, many of which were minor after the warranty ran out. My
    daughter also had a problem with her Toshiba.

    And as someone pointed out if you have a problem with a laptop you
    basically have to send it back to the factory or dump it. When my
    Toshiba went bad the cost was 200 dollars to open the case just to tell
    me what the problem was. And we just junked the machine for parts to
    use in our other machines.

    Obviously YMMV.

    dick
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