DIY or TigerDirect

I am lucky in that I have a huge TigerDirect outlet store about ten miles away from my house. I have only built one PC before from scratch in the past. TigerDirect charges $120 to build a PC from parts I select which includes the installation of all drivers plus OEM windows. This seems to be a pretty good deal and possibly worth investing in vs. the potential hassle of returning potentially defective parts to/from the store and the DIY installation time saved. Any thoughts on whether it might be worth the $120 to have TD do the install? I have a feeling I know the answer...

I had some problems with the PC I recently built from Fry's components - the Antec P150 case contained an Antec NEO HE power supply that was not compatible with the Intel board which of course we didn't figure out until we had the unit completely assembled.
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  1. $120? Come on dude, you've done it before. You can get OEM Windows for $90 from Newegg, and I'm sure you can put this thing together within an hour. Seems like a waste, to me. DIY.
  2. Whats your total overall budget? By the time you've read the manuals a time or two, done a build run through the time you're investing is probably something like 10 hours, maybe even more. That puts the $120 fee in perspective. The flip side is the $120 is about the difference between a 7900GS and a 7950GT video card, a nice upgrade!

    That problem with the Fry's components isnt all that usual, but you're in the right place to ask for help in spotting compatibility problems like that.
  3. As you probably expected, DIY is probably the best way to go. You said you already did it once in the past, if you do it yourself you'll save yourself more money later on if you keep relying on these system builders and you'll know enough to fix your own computer.
  4. Thanks for the replies - I needed the motivation - I will do it myself. The only part I'm a little iffy on is the cooling unit installation - that I have not done myself - can't be too difficult. My budget is $1500 to $2000 (including monitor) and am thinking of the following components:

    MSI P965 Platinum Mobo, 2 Gigs of P5400 667 mhz memory (is DDR2 800 worth it?), Seagate SATA 400GB 7200.10 drive, Thermaltake Case, Thermaltake 600 watt PS, E6600 Intel CPU, Geforce 7900 GTS video card, Audigy 4 or X-Fi ExtremeMusic, and Windows Vista Home Premium OEM. Not sure on a cooler - I'm not an overclocker so is the boxed Intel fan sufficient or would you still recommend something more robust? I'm more of a console gamer but want the ability to use my system as a gaming platform if something good catches my eye like Unreal Tournament 2007.
  5. The stock Intel HSF is actually a good product. It even supports a decent amount of overclocking - although you'll start to hear the fan get louder before you reach the limit of its cooling ability. The nice thing about aftermarket HSFs is that they run cooler, overclocker higher and are quieter to boot. ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler $30 is an effective and easy to install cooler. AC Freezer 7 Pro review and install guide.
  6. TigerDirect probaly puts useless software on there too. And limits OC ability.
  7. First of all, I would gladly pay $120 for someone to build my computer
    from my spec. - But - you pick and choose only from the parts they
    give you. Which could be fine. Some sites will allow you to make changes
    to what's offer, but you pay the difference in price.

    The advantage of some site doing it, is the warranty is better.

    I was going to build my own, but decided to buy one from overdrivepc.
    (Ordering after R600 and Vista are release)

    I imagine there's a lot of satisfaction in the DIY approach. But,
    at this time, it's not an opinion now (violins playing now).
  8. Quote:
    TigerDirect probaly puts useless software on there too. And limits OC ability.
    Only if you pay an extra fee.
  9. Thanks for the tips - I knew I came to the right place.
  10. Overclocking a little is very easy... can even use the stock hsf... But, if you're not OCing at all, use 533MHz RAM, that's what the core will run at for the memory... And, use a good PS... There are a lot of posts here that ask similar questions, so make sure you read some, you'll learn a lot...

  11. Can you explain the RAM issue when you say the core will only run at 533mhz? So basically any ram purchased above this speed is money wasted?
  12. You can put it together just fine.

    The thing I tell every doubter is this: Take your time! Don't rush it, follow all the directions and if you get frustrated, post here and take a break to have a drink.

    I put together PC's for $20. Takes me less than an hour so I figure it is good money, and I like doing it.

    I have somewhat made a name for myself on campus and have built a fair amount of PC's for a case of beer :P $120 isn't worth it, besides the knowledge you would miss out on gaining by having them do it for you.
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