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If you didn't build your own...

Last response: in CPUs
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Which pre-built would you get?

Total: 55 votes

  • Dell
  • 33 %
  • Compaq
  • 6 %
  • HP
  • 19 %
  • Alienware
  • 44 %
September 26, 2006 6:32:39 PM

I built my first system for a friend and will be building my own system soon, but years ago when I bought computers I went to Comp USA for one of their custom builds or I went to a local computer shop for a custom build.

Anyway, after reading about how much people here do not like Dell I am curious to know which you would choose. I will throw Dell in just for comparison.

Having a custom built machine by a local store is not included as I am sure that would be your number 2 choice if you did not build it yourself.

More about : build

September 26, 2006 7:01:10 PM

HP and Compaq are same-same.
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September 26, 2006 7:02:58 PM

HP has always seemed just a little too "different;" non-standard in unpredictable ways. I do have an HP laptop that has been a decent business machine, although the battery life has always been poor, and the supplied hard drive was only 4200 rpm.
Alienware is pricey, but I've never owned one so I can't say much more.
At work, we've had a lot of the little Dells fry their innards due to insufficient cooling.
I just bought a Dell laptop, on which I got a great deal, but haven't owned it long enough to have reached any conclusions. It has handled anything I've put on it though, but nothing tougher than Guild Wars.
I have owned Compaq. I'm sure their performance is not at the top, but they've been very solid and stable. I just gave away a 900 MHz Compaq PIII I've had for 7? years. Other than a new hard drive, it has not needed anything else done to it.
September 26, 2006 7:08:49 PM

Falcon NW, Voodoo, or even one of those ABS Ulitmate systems would be nice, if I had to buy a custom built system, if I had no limit to spend.

The others, well, I would probably go Alienware, until Dell bought them out. Dell's are okay, but I see them like the others on the list, with little or no difference, except in gaming rigs. Otherwise, the other 3 would be my choices for vendors.
September 26, 2006 7:14:05 PM

Im still gonna say Falcon Northwest above all of those listed.
September 26, 2006 7:15:57 PM

Quote:
Im still gonna say Falcon Northwest above all of those listed.


They do make some nice systems. I think it's their paintjobs that would push me over to them, myself. Those are some amazing work they show on those cases.
September 26, 2006 7:21:01 PM

That is a very interesting question....
I would buy from 'Tigerdirect' or 'Alienware' for a desktop
I purchased an Acer Laptop (still pleased with it)
September 26, 2006 7:22:57 PM

Falcon Northwest
September 26, 2006 7:23:59 PM

I guess you haven't read the less than stellar review of tigers systemax hellcat on hardocp
September 26, 2006 7:24:19 PM

Aw see, Nate is the man sporting the Falcon northwest logo...that should be enough reason to buy from them alone. :) 
And he has a sweet Falcon NW rig. 8O
September 26, 2006 7:26:48 PM

Falcon Northwest, those are all shitty options. Quite honestly you'd be better off with Gateway IMO. I've never had a problem with them, and I've had nothing but trouble with Dell, HP/Compaq, and wel, Alienware is now owned by Dell, so I can't say I count on them for quality ANYTHING anymore. They used to be the top dog and it all went downhill.
September 26, 2006 7:29:16 PM

I've bought approx 8 computers from Dell, 3 from Gateway, 3 from Compaq, and 1 from ABS over the past 8 years?

5 of them were laptops, the rest were desktops.

I tend to like Dell the best, although I never had much problems with Gateway or Compaq. The problems with Dell was the proprietary crap they have in them. I remember I wanted to put in a floppy drive in one of the old Dell's and couldn't do so cuz of some weird adaptor I had to pay a $hit-ton for. But they've always treated me nice (probably because of the sheer number I bought) and offer decent service.

Depends on what your looking for though, if you want a standard home desktop or workstation, I would go with Dell. Anything more high-end, I would choose ABS. My ABS laptop works nicely, although its past its second year. Battery life is below 1hr now, but it just sits on my desk all day anyways.
September 26, 2006 7:29:42 PM

Quote:
Falcon Northwest, those are all shitty options. Quite honestly you'd be better off with Gateway IMO.


Did you really just Dis Falcon Northwest and support Gateway...omg.
Oh well, to each his own right?
September 26, 2006 8:04:58 PM

Alienware may have been bought by Dell, but Dell hasn't screwed them up yet. That's not to say that maybe in a year or so I wouldn't want an Alienware computer, but right now, I would have no problem with them at all. (Except for the fact they take forever to ship these days.)

Other than the fact that Dell had problems with the cooling systems of the XPS700 series of machines which delayed shippment for months, I could live with one. It appears to me that they are using standard parts in that machine.

I am not a fan of Compaq or HP, they have left a bad taste in my mouth in the past and I really have no interest in giving them another chance anytime soon.

I have no experiance with Gateway. I never cared for their performance numbers.

I would love a Falcon NW or a Voodoo. Not sure I can justify the premium of them over an Alienware. At least for now.
September 26, 2006 8:09:27 PM

OMFG. GATEWAY RULES!! 8O 8O

The problem I've seen with Dell, Gateway, and Compaq is all the proprietary $#!t on their computers. I tried telling one of the sales-tards at Dell that I wanted XP installed on "my" computer and nothing else. But they insisted that everything else was free. NO, I WANT MY COMPUTER FREE OF AOL. They wouldn't listen. I'll never buy from them again.
September 26, 2006 8:20:20 PM

Quote:
Im still gonna say Falcon Northwest above all of those listed.


They do make some nice systems. I think it's their paintjobs that would push me over to them, myself. Those are some amazing work they show on those cases.The problem with these "boutique" companies is the ridiculous prices you pay. Yes, they do use top-notch components, but i just want my machine to perform, and hell if i'm gonna pay hundreds of $$ for a fancy paint job. Not all gamers have limitless bank accounts/credit. :?
September 26, 2006 8:21:37 PM

/agree
September 26, 2006 8:27:12 PM

Having spent a year in tech support "hell" for HP computers, I will never buy one knowingly. They were putting the most underpowered proprietary POS's (ever had a computer load the drivers for every single kind of CDROM drive made...on first boot...and take system resources down to 20 percent, I had to deal with that for six months!!!) on the market while I was "in hell" and I doubt they have changed.

I've never liked having to work on Compaq's either. Fifteen years ago Gateway built a solid machine out of parts made by high-end component makers, it doesn't sound like that happens now. My current experience with Dell units is that they make a decent "corporate"/educational units as long as you don't expect anything exotic from them. I guess I would choose a Dell but I wouldn't expect much from it.
September 26, 2006 8:33:48 PM

you don't need to get a fancy paintjob. And the reason you pay the premium is for them to build it, overclock it and have it ready for you when you pull it out of the box. Followed by the wonderful tech support if you ever need it and the option to upgrade your system with newer components for cheaper at the time of an upgrade.
September 26, 2006 8:40:25 PM

IF I had the money to do it. Probably something from Falcon or Voodoo.
September 26, 2006 8:51:50 PM

Quote:
you don't need to get a fancy paintjob. And the reason you pay the premium is for them to build it, overclock it and have it ready for you when you pull it out of the box. Followed by the wonderful tech support if you ever need it and the option to upgrade your system with newer components for cheaper at the time of an upgrade.
I'm not knocking FNW...I read the thread that everyone gave you a hard time about it, and to each his own. :wink: They are nice systems, but they are expensive too. I guess it's like buying a Ferrari/Lambourghini...you're paying for the workmanship/attention to detail...but i'd just as soon have a Viper, or Vette..that performs as well and costs bundles less. :) 
September 26, 2006 8:53:03 PM

I'm quite defensive as you've probably seen
September 26, 2006 8:53:49 PM

Every Alienware I have ever seen or used has been a cheap POS, especially the laptops with the plastic alienware cover over them. Every HP I have ever own'd has been rock solid and all of my friends who when we were in high school 3 - 5 years ago when their rents wouldnt buy them anything but brand name, all bought HP except for one gateway, dell, and Vaio. The HP's performed better on all fronts even though all of them were very very similar in stats, and one of those friends who just bought a new HP about a year ago or so has a motherboard manufactured by ASUS in it, which is way better than anythign that Foxconn is putting out for Dell. I worked at a computer repair store for 3 years and our main 2 customers were gateway and dell owners. I would buy a laptop from Dell or HP depending on which one was offering what, but other than that I would no longer buy from any of them for a desktop solution. I just purchased a Laptop from www.buyxg.com and my roommate purchased one from Dell for $800 more than mine, and mine blows his out of the water the only thing that you may consider better is that his is 12.1' and mine is 15.4'

One last note, yes HP and Compaq are the same company, but if you compare them side by side you will see that HP is much better in just about every area than compaq is!

Best,

3Ball
September 26, 2006 9:02:39 PM

weird, because I got my Core 2 Extreme from Falcon. :roll:

Try going to Falcon-NW.com and configuring a Intel Core 2 system... not an AMD system
September 26, 2006 9:05:47 PM

Even worse than the propriatery hardware is the bundled crap they put on your hard drive. They call it added value software, I call it malware.
September 26, 2006 9:10:58 PM

Quote:
weird, because I got my Core 2 Extreme from Falcon. :roll:

Try going to Falcon-NW.com and configuring a Intel Core 2 system... not an AMD system

Sorry, my mistake. I was just looking at the link provided above which brought me to a configuration page w/ pulldown menu options. Just a bunch of AMD processors and not an Intell in the bunch.

Not that they would be bad computers, but at this stage of the game it doesn't make sense to go that route for a high end system.
September 26, 2006 9:12:12 PM

yeah I noticed that about the link after I posted
September 26, 2006 9:25:20 PM

Falcon Northwest, Overdrive PC, Cyberpower PC, Voodoo PC, or Dell XPS.
September 26, 2006 9:25:45 PM

Quote:
weird, because I got my Core 2 Extreme from Falcon. :roll:

Try going to Falcon-NW.com and configuring a Intel Core 2 system... not an AMD system


How ru liking it so far?
September 26, 2006 9:30:24 PM

jaw to the floor to say the least
September 26, 2006 9:33:57 PM

Quote:
jaw to the floor to say the least


Have you overclocked the CPU, or was it pre-overclocked?
September 26, 2006 9:35:20 PM

Quote:
Im still gonna say Falcon Northwest above all of those listed.


They do make some nice systems. I think it's their paintjobs that would push me over to them, myself. Those are some amazing work they show on those cases.The problem with these "boutique" companies is the ridiculous prices you pay. Yes, they do use top-notch components, but i just want my machine to perform, and hell if i'm gonna pay hundreds of $$ for a fancy paint job. Not all gamers have limitless bank accounts/credit. :?

Of course, 1Tanker, I wouldn't just buy a system because of the paint job, but if I had a limitless amount to spend, and the systems are configured about the same, FNW's paint designs would win me over, let's say, a Voodoo PC or Dell XPS.

Of course, I would rather take the limitless amount and buy a house, car, clothes, food, and then customize 2 multi-display rigs. :D 
September 26, 2006 9:35:23 PM

it came oc'ed to 3.47
September 26, 2006 9:39:42 PM

Quote:
Im still gonna say Falcon Northwest above all of those listed.


They do make some nice systems. I think it's their paintjobs that would push me over to them, myself. Those are some amazing work they show on those cases.The problem with these "boutique" companies is the ridiculous prices you pay. Yes, they do use top-notch components, but i just want my machine to perform, and hell if i'm gonna pay hundreds of $$ for a fancy paint job. Not all gamers have limitless bank accounts/credit. :?

Of course, 1Tanker, I wouldn't just buy a system because of the paint job, but if I had a limitless amount to spend, and the systems are configured about the same, FNW's paint designs would win me over, let's say, a Voodoo PC or Dell XPS.

Of course, I would rather take the limitless amount and buy a house, car, clothes, food, and then customize 2 multi-display rigs. :D 

Voodoo PC has some pretty sweet paint jobs, as well. They'll color-match your display, mouse, and KB, as well. Of course this is all for a price :lol: .
September 26, 2006 9:43:45 PM

Quote:
but if I had a limitless amount to spend, and the systems are configured about the same, FNW's paint designs would win me over, let's say, a Voodoo PC or Dell XPS.

Of course, I would rather take the limitless amount and buy a house, car, clothes, food, and then customize 2 multi-display rigs. Very Happy


Not to get too far off subject but if I have unlimited money, I would get myself on of those 30" Apple cinema displays (b-e-a-utiful)...the only thing apple makes that doesn't work better underwater. 8O ...hehe

And sorry to any mac owners that are trolling this forum...they are just overpriced for the performance you get outta them. My gf uses the new 24" it's great for her web designing, but thats about it.

And to get back on subject, there specialty painjobs are what make FNW one of a kind.
September 26, 2006 10:07:49 PM

........then I'll have someone build it for me. :D 

Okay, I'll take Alienware if I have the money to burn.
September 26, 2006 10:09:27 PM

Well, I can understand the unpleasant feeling that some members feel for Dell-built systems but I have to admit that my dell PowerEdge Workstation, Dimensions (3) and counting, and 3 laptops -Inspiron, XPS, and Latitude- that I utilize at work are very stable. I pre-built them myself through their online store and hand-picked the parts I wanted the diff. machines to have. Now, I cannot overlook that Dell's Customer's services have declined...but that's another topic for another day!

About your question, knowing how much of a premium I will be paying for going with a Dell system, I would hand pick the parts from a respectable computer store and have them put it together for me -in case I don't have the time. Now, in case you are at work -like me- and your boss is the one paying for your work computer, I wouldn't mind purchasing a pre-configured Dell system in case I was given the option of putting it together.

.02
September 26, 2006 10:09:33 PM

I bought an Alienware years ago and it was a great machine. Further, their service was top notch, the best I've seen from any company yet. That said, they don't seem to be what they used to be.

A company that isn't listed is Cyberpower. It offers a large list of optional equipment, so you get to have it built as you would want it. Its cheap, not much more than you'd spend building it yourself. Their service may not be the greatest, but when the Cyberpower I bought last winter had a problem, they fixed it and there have been no problems since. So I have no real complaint about that.

If anyone wonders why I didn't build a machine instead of buying the Cyberpower, it was because a storm wiped out my Alienware and the insurance company would buy a new computer, but not pay for me to buy the parts to build one. With the deductibles, I could quite afford another Alienware. Such is life. At least I had some insurance money.
September 26, 2006 10:25:18 PM

Quote:
Falcon Northwest


Seriously some people need to learn to follow directions...

I'm just waiting for someone to say "I'd build my own"...
September 26, 2006 10:29:18 PM

Neither. For an everyday laptop, Acer, no question. For desktops, if I absolutely had to buy one prebuilt, it'd still be an Acer. Definately the bang for buck winners. HP and Compaq are the same, and Dell just bought Alienware, so you really only have 2 options to choose from.
September 26, 2006 10:30:09 PM

so it's wrong to suggest a company in the same price range as an alienware? Do you always follow directions to a T?
September 26, 2006 10:57:13 PM

Quote:
so it's wrong to suggest a company in the same price range as an alienware? Do you always follow directions to a T?


agreed...

We are just mentioning things that perhaps the OP didn't think about.
September 26, 2006 11:15:10 PM

OK,HP isnt bad tho I would go for falcon nw...Ive got a HP that has good circulation,it was easily upgradible(added psu sound card and a 1900xt) and had no problems with accessibility for installation,Plenty of room for that big gfx card and all temps comparable to those Ive read here.Falcon just has the better options and to some degree pricing putting together a nicer system
September 26, 2006 11:20:49 PM

I've had a few Dell's in my time(most recently the 8300) and have had no problems with them. Their customer service has gone to hell as others have already posted. However, for a fair price if you don't want to bother building one and are knowledgable enough to take care of problems on your own (thus avoiding the horrible customer service) Dell is not a bad deal. Here is a recent review from anandtech on Dell's XPS 410.

http://anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2834&p=11
September 26, 2006 11:33:14 PM

Quote:
Falcon Northwest


Seriously some people need to learn to follow directions...

I'm just waiting for someone to say "I'd build my own"...


'yep that's what I would do too... :lol: 
September 26, 2006 11:36:38 PM

Our dell powered pos systems are horrendously slow. I will never buy a prebuilt computer. And I try to steer my friends away from them.
September 26, 2006 11:37:19 PM

A small shop in my neighborhood (Chicago) I've been going to for years. They have good prices and I can specify every part. But I can still save money by doing my self.

What I like to do, is price the system I want from Dell, and then take the money I save by building my own and spend it on an extra component or 2.

But if I had to pick from the list I would go with Alienware. Their lower end systems are reasonably priced.
!