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UK buyers - best to import hardware or buy local?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 15, 2006 8:55:21 AM

Hey all!

I've been dreaming of upgrading my PC for years now, but I've never had the cash to do it. I'm currently running a Radeon 9600XT, 2.6Ghz Intel Celeron, 1.5gb ram (low quality to boot), 15" monitor that randomly crashes my PC and a 40gb hard-drive. In other words, my system sucks. In World of Warcraft or City of Heroes I rarely go above 10-15fps when around other players.

But I've decided to get a part-time job while studying at college so I can finally kick this sytem into action again. I'm looking to spend about £1000 (around $2000), and give my system a complete overhaul. I probably won't be able to buy it all until around Christmas, but here's what I'm planning to go for atm:

£186 MSI GeForce 512MB 7900GTO (I'll probably overclock to GTX)
£213 Intel Core2Duo E6600
£159 2GB (1gbx2) Corsair Dual-Channel DDR2
£259 Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20.1" *drool*
£80-£128 Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe Motherboard
£40-50 PC-Case
£50 Soundblaster X-Fi
£50 Western Digital 250GB SATA 3.0 Hard-drive

This adds up to around £1095, which is far more than I originally anticipated spending (I was planning to just upgrade the mobo, CPU and GPU for around £300-400), but I thought - hey, if I'm gonna do this, I'll do it proper. Still, I am hoping that in 2 months the prices might have dropped a bit. I'm also tempted by Nvidia's next-gen graphic cards coming out in November, but chances are they'll priced at like £600 over here in the UK (do stores think we're all rich or something?).

But anyway, after looking at prices in the US I noticed that I could save a fortune if I was to buy online at some US stores. But of course, that involves import duties, taxes, shipping, etc... which might turn out even more expensive.

I've only ever imported small things like games or books, so I was hoping someone here might have some experience with importing hardware from overseas to the UK, hopefully saving some money in the long-run. I'd appreciate any & all replies. Thanks in advance (and sorry if this is the wrong forum, I couldn't decide which would be best). :p 
October 15, 2006 11:57:33 AM

Quote:
£80-£128 Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe Motherboard
£40-50 PC-Case

You should plan on spending more than 40-50 pounds on the case+powersupply, or your new system is going to be just as unreliable as your current one.
You should also think about another MB - the P5N32 has an old chipset. Get the new nvidia 6xx series or Intel 975X or P965 (by christmas the P965 should be rock solid). If you are not considering SLI, get the intel chipsets, if you are, get a MB with the new nVidia chipset.

Quote:
But anyway, after looking at prices in the US I noticed that I could save a fortune if I was to buy online at some US stores. But of course, that involves import duties, taxes, shipping, etc... which might turn out even more expensive.

You will be hit with import duties (both a tariff and a fee for import processing), and most importantly you will pay VAT. The shipping is also a bit expensive, and most US online stores will not ship overseas.
I have earlier on bought from the US, but in the end it is not worth it, now that hardware has become so cheap.
!