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How many people does it take to install RAM?

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July 27, 2007 5:36:24 PM

In the thread about having fun by beating a system builders price, it came up that for the majority of computer users, its wise that they spend the extra $200 having the support provided by a manufacturer because most people simply cannot work on a computer themselves.

Whats strikes me odd though is that building and understanding a computer is relatively simple. Take me for instance. I'm not a chemist, or an computer science major. I have zero understanding of how the processor communicates with the thingamabobs that do stuff inside the computer. I hardly even quite understand what makes a SATA link so fast. In fact, do I even know what SATA means? I think so: Serial ATA. What the hell ATA is, I dont know.

But I can still build a computer and maintain it! Most people who work on their own cars or are mechanics in the field have little understanding of the physics behind how a car works, but they can still change the oil, install spark plugs, fill anti freeze, etc. My point is, that even if Im not a genius, a computer is actually fairly simple to build. And in todays world, all you really need to know is how to turn a screwdriver, and use your fingers.

Installing a processor? Just put it in so that it matches the diagram in the booklet, and you are good. RAM? Do I even have to say to line up the RAM with the slot and press down firmly but evenly? Graphics Card? pop out the old one and press the other one in. Hard drive? Unscrew it from the case, unattach the cable, and then put the cable to the new drive and screw the new drive in to place.

Now I know that there are people who would say "where into place" when I talk about the harddrive. But really, how can those people exist I wonder, and how can anyone of moderate intelligence not be able to read a hardware guide like whats on Toms and do it themselves? Or just look at this forum community: a wonderful place to learn things.

And some people I know will need help with software: not being a software person myself sometimes I run into that. Well, just load up on high quality anti virus, run spybot everyday, and you are good. Mess your harddrive up on P2P programs? Harddrives are as low as $45 for 160 gigabytes, and if you have a retail version of your OS, just wipe out the harddrive. Its literally just button clicking and pressing, nothing is required in terms of intelligence.

I've read about people in tribal regions of Africa who can build a computer. And that has nothing against people living in tribal areas, but it speaks volumes when someone who has never gone to high school (no high school to go to) and may of lived close to starvation most their life can install RAM, and a soccer mom who went to college only to end up carrying the kids of some loser cannot.

Favorite horror story: "Allen, my computer is sparking right after I put in a memory chip. Is that supposed to happen? Umm it looks like it may have some fire on it now"

My response: "NO THATS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, WHY THE HELL WOULD IT? TURN IT OFF!"

Anyone else here ever feel that being of mediocre intelligence makes you smarter than half the world?

More about : people install ram

July 27, 2007 6:16:02 PM

I'm guessing that you didn't start building computers until after the advent of PnP (plug-n-play). The older ISA cards had dip switches on them for memory and IRQ. Getting them to play nice wasn't always easy.

With older Thomas-Conrad ArcNet cards, you even had to build the IPX driver (Netware using IPX/SPX) using utils that came with the card. Every time you changed a memory address or IRQ you had to rebuild the driver.

As for the OS, do you remember having to try and load all you device drivers in high memory just so you could actually run your favorite app?

Things are definately much simpler today.
July 27, 2007 6:18:58 PM

"Anyone else here ever feel that being of mediocre intelligence makes you smarter than half the world?"

That's exactly what the statement means.
Related resources
July 27, 2007 6:19:59 PM

haha Hawkeye22 not many people remember ArcNet! I do.
July 27, 2007 6:20:39 PM

Hawkeye22 said:

As for the OS, do you remember having to try and load all you device drivers in high memory just so you could actually run your favorite app?

Hell yeah! Stupid Falcon 3.0... who has 602 kb of free conventional memory?!?
July 27, 2007 6:26:33 PM

SHHHHH!!!

Your not supposed to let my bosses know that what I do isn't VERY complicated and intricate. THEY are supposed to think that the detailed knowlege I have acquired over my work life = high pay scale.

If you mess that up we're gonna have to give you a good talking to!!
July 27, 2007 6:28:08 PM

scryer_360 said:
Most people who work on their own cars or are mechanics in the field have little understanding of the physics behind how a car works, but they can still change the oil, install spark plugs, fill anti freeze, etc.


If your mechanic doesn't understand the physics behind how the car works, find a new one. I don't mean know the formulas to figure everything out. But they need to understand what is going on or they can't diagnose the problems your car is having.
July 27, 2007 6:29:58 PM

FYI - Arcnet is in use today by many of the ISP's delivering cable modem signal. If you'll look closely at the cabling being installed, it's RG62 (arcnet) instead of RG58 (ethernet).

July 27, 2007 6:52:23 PM

rodney_ws said:
Hell yeah! Stupid Falcon 3.0... who has 602 kb of free conventional memory?!?


:lol:  In those days, QEMM and Stacker were your friends.
July 27, 2007 8:55:22 PM

Whats a dip switch?
July 27, 2007 9:53:40 PM

eric54 said:
Whats a dip switch?


A bit like a dip stick :) 
July 27, 2007 10:44:18 PM

I think you are right about the assembly part of the equation, it really is surprisingly simple but I think you are leaving out 2 critical elements:

A) Many people, and I won't call them stupid, just non-mechanically inclined, don't know, don't care to know, and struggle to grasp the basics of how things work. They don't know how their car engine works, they don't know how a television works, and they certainly don't know how a computer works. Furthermore they lack the mental aptitude and natural curiosity to find out. These are the same people who won't shop at Ikea because they are afraid of having to assemble the furniture and hire someone to plug in their keyboard, mouse and monitor when they buy a new comptuer. If you give a car mechanic, a doctor, hell an 8 year old kid who plays with Legos a box of parts and instruction they'll probably give you back a whole computer. What they won't understand without knowledge and study is how to pick out high value, compatible parts which leads me to my next point.

B) It takes a lot of knowledge to pick out a motherboard, CPU, memory, video card, and OS (thanks to Vista) that will play nice together. I know MCSEs and CCNPs who couldn't tell you if a Core 2 Duo CPU needs DDR or DDR 2 ram. Try explaining to Joe user that his shiny new computer with a 1.86GHz E6300 is a "faster" computer than the 3GHz Pentium 4 you just replaced, trust me it is a tough sell, his eyes will start glazing over as soon as you mention 2 cores and parallel processing. You're average person just doesn't get it.

Most people on this board can spout off the pros and cons of different motherboard chipsets, video card cores, and memory timings with ease. If you want to build a reliable, high value computer you must have this knowledge which most normal people would considered obscure minutia. Building a new computer is 80% picking the correct parts which is why it is still a fairly exclusive club.
July 27, 2007 11:49:12 PM

I buy prebuilt computers. My business is running 100+ PC's so I do have a little experince in buying computers (Ok, I am not huge, but I also know that I don't want to make 100 new computers).

Do I add RAM at a later date, or replace a video card or whatever? Sure I have done that..... to my personal computer. But upgrading an office computer that I have kept in use for 4-5 years old just does not make much sense, and having to upgrade a computer when I receive it does not much sense either. Oh, and I am sure as hell will NOT touch a computer that belongs to my sister..... I might break the valuable 3" of crusty dust that is covering her case.

That said, look what a prebuilt computer can get ya.....

HP has a prebuilt computer for the home buyers on their website:

model: d4990y Price $899.99

Vista Premium

Intel E6420

1GB DDR2-667MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x512)

256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS

320GB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive

LightScribe 16X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

15-in-1 memory card reader

Norton Internet Security(TM) 2007 - 15 Months

Microsoft(R) Works 8.0

HP keyboard and HP scroller mouse

350w power supply.

Warranty and Support:
Convenient in-home serviceĀ± if needed
One year of hardware parts and labor coverage
One year of award-winning, toll-free, 24 x 7 support
E-mail response in as little time as an hour

+ Free Shipping


Now, try to beat the price. Start from scratch, as in having nothing, no reusing parts or keyboards or anything from the old computer or any bootleg or upgrade versions of software. And no substituting parts unless your substitution is an upgrade of the same brand as the original offering.

I suspect your totals will be over $1000. And that ain't counting your time and effort.

And for $899 the HP is going to kick the butt of most computers more than 1 year old. If somebody was upgrading their ancient wreak of a 'puter with these same components (CPU, GPU etc), most Tom's readers would tell them that they had done a good job picking out economical, reasonable (or even high) performing parts.



The real problem with the prebuilt computers is not the price of the computer, rather it is the cost of the add-on's. In many cases the upgrade is sold for full retail price with NO credit for the part that was removed (not used). In some cases the upgrades are for much more than full retail.
July 28, 2007 12:42:06 AM

that gfx card is shit
i felt like stating the obvious there btw
July 28, 2007 1:01:45 AM

spuddyt said:
that gfx card is ****
i felt like stating the obvious there btw


build the same system for less $.
July 28, 2007 1:32:21 AM

NewbieTechGodII said:
Remember vacuum tubes?



Oh Yeh, 1970's Naval equipment was full of them.. :pt1cable: 
July 28, 2007 1:34:26 AM

Quote:
Id say 3 quarters of the boyish clientele here at THG probably never set a dip switch in their life.

I am happy? to say that I have set dip switches before. I am on a robotics team and we have to set our team number using dip switches using binary.

For the main topic, I only need one person to install my RAM :D . I am pretty comfortable messing with the guts of a computer. I get nervous inside them hoping I don't break off a capacitor or something, but I never have. I am not the type that is very careful inside a computer. I never wear the static bracelets and I do some of my own customizations like adding fans to things that don't really need it in my poor 4 year old rig. I run my desktop as a game server and it hasn't died in the 7 months that I have been running it. But basically, I'm not afraid to do my own work, and I'd rather do my own work rather than having a "professional" do it. I had one come out to replace the motherboard (due to my IEE1394 port breaking) in my laptop because I would void the warranty, and he didn't fully seat my processor. I called Dell and they allowed me to take it apart. I never had any instructions and I fixed it within 20 minutes.
July 28, 2007 2:48:47 AM

nazaretian said:
I am pretty comfortable messing with the guts of a computer. I get nervous inside them hoping I don't break off a capacitor or something, but I never have. I am not the type that is very careful inside a computer. I never wear the static bracelets ... But basically, I'm not afraid to do my own work, and I'd rather do my own work rather than having a "professional" do it.


Me too! :) 

And about "dip switches", sorry but I was only a little kid when that stuff was around. I started growing up at a good time, I guess.
July 28, 2007 2:51:05 AM

I can beat it

http://tinyurl.com/26zxeu
plus

Mandrake, Slackware, Ubuntu, or what ever floats your boat

Open office ( better than MS Works)

AVG Free anti virus (gives you > 15 month protection)

about $25 shipping

Subtotal of $635

$899 - $635 = $264 * 100 computers = $26,400 for an on site IT (entry) to not only fix those computers but help all your idiot employees with their questions.

If you don't want to get more than 1 then you just saved $264. Now with that $264 you can hire a tech for all your problems and to even assemble it if you don't want to do it yourself.

If you want you can get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $159 a nice 19' flatscreen


July 28, 2007 3:05:21 AM

StevieD said:


Now, try to beat the price. Start from scratch, as in having nothing, no reusing parts or keyboards or anything from the old computer or any bootleg or upgrade versions of software. And no substituting parts unless your substitution is an upgrade of the same brand as the original offering.

I suspect your totals will be over $1000. And that ain't counting your time and effort.

And for $899 the HP is going to kick the butt of most computers more than 1 year old. If somebody was upgrading their ancient wreak of a 'puter with these same components (CPU, GPU etc), most Tom's readers would tell them that they had done a good job picking out economical, reasonable (or even high) performing parts.

StevieD, read it and weep: (even includes 19" widescreen and speakers, kb and mouse)
http://tinyurl.com/334zrf
July 28, 2007 5:04:51 AM

Archavious said:
I can beat it

http://tinyurl.com/26zxeu
plus

Mandrake, Slackware, Ubuntu, or what ever floats your boat

Open office ( better than MS Works)

AVG Free anti virus (gives you > 15 month protection)

about $25 shipping

Subtotal of $635

$899 - $635 = $264 * 100 computers = $26,400 for an on site IT (entry) to not only fix those computers but help all your idiot employees with their questions.

If you don't want to get more than 1 then you just saved $264. Now with that $264 you can hire a tech for all your problems and to even assemble it if you don't want to do it yourself.

If you want you can get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $159 a nice 19' flatscreen



Wrong, wrong, wrong. No substitions. MS Vista Premium. MS Works. Norton AV. This is not a debate of which OS, or AV or software is better or cheaper, it is a debate of whether you can build an INDENTICAL system for less $. This is a straight up comparision of apples to apples, oranges to oranges.

No substitions. No AMD on the HP build. Try again.


PS: $26.400 per your estimate for an onsite tech? Ouch, talk about an insulting wage. My receptionist and the janitor make $22,500.
July 28, 2007 5:13:37 AM

nitrous9200 said:
StevieD, read it and weep: (even includes 19" widescreen and speakers, kb and mouse)
http://tinyurl.com/334zrf



Try again. NO substitions. You have an OEM MS Vista. OEM's are for system builders, which is fair enough as you are building the system. But remember you must provide support (as did HP in their warranty) for the OS. That means only a retail MS Vista would be acceptable (as MS would provide the support as part of the product price).

By the way, you missed the MS Works, Norton AV and of course shipping and support.
July 28, 2007 5:43:40 AM

Quote:
Id say 3 quarters of the boyish clientele here at THG probably never set a dip switch in their life.


Yeah, and i was being optimistic. More cards had jumpers than had DIP switches. ;) 
July 28, 2007 8:32:32 AM

no you really should know what your doing.
computers aren't really toys.

with the market there are so many choices to parts, if your going to even start throwing a computer together you should look at someone else's tested & working "SAFE BUILD" no bleeding edge stuff, no fresh of the assembly line with alpha drivers / BIOS.

Quote:
Installing a processor? Just put it in so that it matches the diagram in the booklet, and you are good. RAM? Do I even have to say to line up the RAM with the slot and press down firmly but evenly? Graphics Card? pop out the old one and press the other one in. Hard drive? Unscrew it from the case, unattach the cable, and then put the cable to the new drive and screw the new drive in to place.


Simplifying it up like that tends to lead to the whole "reinstall windows" kind of scenario to fixing computers.
July 28, 2007 8:55:12 AM

Don't tell anyone....... a mediocre woman, 68yrs of age can build a computer, if interested. The key is "if Interested". Most people are not interested or feel too intimidated. I used to have to take my computer shop and now I don't. It took time to learn how to build a computer and the company techs were a big help and studying the manuals helped.
I like to prove to myself that I can do the difficult thing. I once developed a roll of color film because I knew it would be difficult or involved.
July 28, 2007 3:38:12 PM

StevieD said:
Try again. NO substitions. You have an OEM MS Vista. OEM's are for system builders, which is fair enough as you are building the system. But remember you must provide support (as did HP in their warranty) for the OS. That means only a retail MS Vista would be acceptable (as MS would provide the support as part of the product price).

By the way, you missed the MS Works, Norton AV and of course shipping and support.


Another thing, that $899 price is after rebate, as stated on the HP website. I can download AVG which is completely free or get a trial of any other security suite. Granted, they aren't 15 months long, but if you were buying 100 PC's for your business you would have opted for an enterprise level solution. MS works is not something I can get easily, ok, but most people will buy Office 2007 or use something else. No substitutions, well, I'm not exactly sure what you mean; you say start with having nothing, which means no speakers, kb & mouse, monitor or anything...The HP bundle includes KB, mouse, and speakers, so I left those in but took the monitor out. As for the retail Vista, i changed that in the new list. Also i forgot the floppy drive, so i included it this time. This system also wouldn't include the trialware on the Hp pc, and Vista has built in software that replaces most, if not all of the "full version" software. Please tell me if this is ok:
http://tinyurl.com/ypbmxb

Edit: forgot to mention it comes to about $800 with shipping.
July 28, 2007 4:13:14 PM

nitrous9200 said:
Another thing, that $899 price is after rebate, as stated on the HP website. I can download AVG which is completely free or get a trial of any other security suite. Granted, they aren't 15 months long, but if you were buying 100 PC's for your business you would have opted for an enterprise level solution. MS works is not something I can get easily, ok, but most people will buy Office 2007 or use something else. No substitutions, well, I'm not exactly sure what you mean; you say start with having nothing, which means no speakers, kb & mouse, monitor or anything...The HP bundle includes KB, mouse, and speakers, so I left those in but took the monitor out. As for the retail Vista, i changed that in the new list. Also i forgot the floppy drive, so i included it this time. This system also wouldn't include the trialware on the Hp pc, and Vista has built in software that replaces most, if not all of the "full version" software. Please tell me if this is ok:
http://tinyurl.com/ypbmxb

Edit: forgot to mention it comes to about $800 with shipping.



This computer is not for me or my business. It is an example of what Mary & John Q Public can buy for their own usage.

Let's be fair. This is not what the builder can do better, it what would it cost the builder to build the same system.

AVG may be your favorite AV, but the system comes with Norton. Norton by the way is the largest AV on the planet. The question is not which one is better OR cheaper. That question is not relevant. The HP computer comes with Norton, therefore so should yours.

MS Works is about $90 at CC, OD etc. Use that price for Works if your parts supplier does not sell Works.

Personally I would never use the current version of Works. I actually bought the original version of Works, way back in 1988. It "worked" for what I needed back then. But the issue is not what would I buy, it is what is on the HP computer. Oh, and Works would work for the average internet browsing, email sending, basic gamer player that buys a computer.

Overall you are getting closer to the HP computer. Using your $800 price, add the Norton AV at $79 and Works at $90 and your price is now $969. Versus the $899 price of the HP.

Oh, and two more things. 1) The HP price is after instant rebate, so it is the price Mary and John Q will pay.

2) You still have to include warranty and support. That MB dies, it is YOUR responsibility to replace the MB. In the business world we call that a warranty allowance. HP has the warranty allowance built into the cost of the computer, you should add your allowance to your price as well.


Bottom line, you are getting closer to building the same computer, and your costs are growing above the price that HP is selling the computer.

PS: And you are doing the installation work for free. HP has actually paid some kid to actually do the assembly work.
July 28, 2007 4:36:48 PM

While it might not take much in the way of general intelligence to build a computer, it does take a certain level of interest and aptitude. More important than that, however, is the TIME required to learn all the ins 'n outs of building an up-to-date system.

After all the time we take to learn, shop around, do the build(s), that extra $200 doesn't look too bad. For a professional who has enough on his/her plate keeping up with his industry, that extra $200 actually represents tremendous value. Time is money. If you love computers and know better, that extra $200 might feel like gouging.

That's how society works. We specialize in our own things (focus on what makes us happy or what we're good at) and trade with others via money to get other things we want. Simple economics and we're all better off for it.

July 28, 2007 6:42:07 PM

StevieD said:
This computer is not for me or my business. It is an example of what Mary & John Q Public can buy for their own usage.

Let's be fair. This is not what the builder can do better, it what would it cost the builder to build the same system.

AVG may be your favorite AV, but the system comes with Norton. Norton by the way is the largest AV on the planet. The question is not which one is better OR cheaper. That question is not relevant. The HP computer comes with Norton, therefore so should yours.

MS Works is about $90 at CC, OD etc. Use that price for Works if your parts supplier does not sell Works.

Personally I would never use the current version of Works. I actually bought the original version of Works, way back in 1988. It "worked" for what I needed back then. But the issue is not what would I buy, it is what is on the HP computer. Oh, and Works would work for the average internet browsing, email sending, basic gamer player that buys a computer.

Overall you are getting closer to the HP computer. Using your $800 price, add the Norton AV at $79 and Works at $90 and your price is now $969. Versus the $899 price of the HP.

Oh, and two more things. 1) The HP price is after instant rebate, so it is the price Mary and John Q will pay.

2) You still have to include warranty and support. That MB dies, it is YOUR responsibility to replace the MB. In the business world we call that a warranty allowance. HP has the warranty allowance built into the cost of the computer, you should add your allowance to your price as well.


Bottom line, you are getting closer to building the same computer, and your costs are growing above the price that HP is selling the computer.

PS: And you are doing the installation work for free. HP has actually paid some kid to actually do the assembly work.
This is ridiculous. :non:  The question is not can you provide the same junk for the same price as HP. If you can provide better for the same price then it is allowed. MS works is complete junk. It is actually detrimental to students that use it because MS Word becomes harder to learn due to bad habits picked up using Works. :pt1cable:  From what I remember with the small amount of exposure to Works crap, I don't even think that Works can open a Word doc or vice versa, I can't remember which. I'm sure that HP and other OEMs get the program for practically nothing so MS gets a foot in the door to an MS Office sale. :pfff:  As far as the Norton pigware that you get 15mo. or whatever free, it's the same thing, Symantec wants a foot in the door so that they can get the recurring revenue, which I'm sure they often do. If I got the free, slow your computer to a crawl, Norton I would immediately uninstall it and replace it with AVG.

Now let's talk about the awesome HP tech support from Bangladesh. Give me a break, you can hear them turning the pages in the manual as they read the responses. I can best illustrate this by explaining what happened when my niece had a hard drive failure. I didn't have the disks because of the super ultimate restore partition on the HD. I called India and told the tech that the HD had failed and that I needed to get the restore disks so that I could reinstall all of their bloat/spyware onto the new drive. He, after a short pause, asked me if I had rebooted and pressed F11 (If I remember correctly). I told him that the drive had failed and that I had gotten a S.M.A.R.T. failure notification in the BIOS. He again asked me to press F11 or some F key :pt1cable:  . I again told him that the drive had a S.M.A.R.T. failure and that the drive had mechanically failed and that pressing F11 would not work because the drive was dead. This went around and around and finally he relented and gave me the number to US tech support. I called them and got agreement to be sent the disks within 1 minute. So, I did get the disks but that was only seconds before I was going to commit hara-kiri. :fou:  There is much more to that story but I won't bore you. It is safe to say that we can discount the value of the free tech support.

I am sure that HP also makes money, very quietly, on all of the other bloatware that they install on your machine. Now I know they only install the pigware in order to improve the consumers computer experience. :lol:  I haven't even touched on the hardware that is provided for whatever amount of money, :pfff:  I'll save that for later.

Clearly, I could go on and on but I will stop now. The only people that should purchase the garbage put out by any of the big OEMs are the ones that have to, and I feel sorry for them. :cry: 

edit: sp
July 28, 2007 7:13:27 PM

spuddyt said:
that gfx card is ****
i felt like stating the obvious there btw


Oh man you need SLI 8800's to run spreadsheets. :lol: 
July 28, 2007 7:43:40 PM

StevieD said:
I buy prebuilt computers. My business is running 100+ PC's so I do have a little experince in buying computers (Ok, I am not huge, but I also know that I don't want to make 100 new computers).

Do I add RAM at a later date, or replace a video card or whatever? Sure I have done that..... to my personal computer. But upgrading an office computer that I have kept in use for 4-5 years old just does not make much sense, and having to upgrade a computer when I receive it does not much sense either. Oh, and I am sure as hell will NOT touch a computer that belongs to my sister..... I might break the valuable 3" of crusty dust that is covering her case.

That said, look what a prebuilt computer can get ya.....

HP has a prebuilt computer for the home buyers on their website:

model: d4990y Price $899.99

Vista Premium

Intel E6420

1GB DDR2-667MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x512)

256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400GS

320GB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive

LightScribe 16X DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

15-in-1 memory card reader

Norton Internet Security(TM) 2007 - 15 Months

Microsoft(R) Works 8.0

HP keyboard and HP scroller mouse

350w power supply.

Warranty and Support:
Convenient in-home serviceĀ± if needed
One year of hardware parts and labor coverage
One year of award-winning, toll-free, 24 x 7 support
E-mail response in as little time as an hour

+ Free Shipping


Now, try to beat the price. Start from scratch, as in having nothing, no reusing parts or keyboards or anything from the old computer or any bootleg or upgrade versions of software. And no substituting parts unless your substitution is an upgrade of the same brand as the original offering.

I suspect your totals will be over $1000. And that ain't counting your time and effort.

And for $899 the HP is going to kick the butt of most computers more than 1 year old. If somebody was upgrading their ancient wreak of a 'puter with these same components (CPU, GPU etc), most Tom's readers would tell them that they had done a good job picking out economical, reasonable (or even high) performing parts.



The real problem with the prebuilt computers is not the price of the computer, rather it is the cost of the add-on's. In many cases the upgrade is sold for full retail price with NO credit for the part that was removed (not used). In some cases the upgrades are for much more than full retail.

I just priced everything out and came up with $600.93 not including the card reader, keyboard, mouse or case which could easily be found for less than $100. That brings the grand total to under $700 which would translate to about a $20,000 savings for your 100+ computers. I didn't use the cheapest parts there are things like a Evga video card, Hitachi HDD, Gigabyte motherboard, Corsair RAM, and FSP power supply which are most likely better components than are in the HP. If you don't want to put them together yourself you could pay me $100 per and still save $10,000 over buying from HP.
July 28, 2007 7:49:12 PM

So I can't provide the same software on my system, but I could provide better alternatives. As Zorg said the big computer makers get money to install crap software on their systems, especially Norton because that's a subscription based product that will keep raking in more and more money. Those instant rebates are nice but unfortunately they don't last forever. Of course I would provide tech support if I built a computer for somebody else, considering I speak the same native language and know exactly how their specific computer works. Second question:

Now, if, for example, a motherboard broke, it would be my obligation to replace it. I would most likely be selling this computer to someone in my local area, meaning I could come pick up the computer and send the motherboard back to it's manufacturer for repair. If I had a serious business, I would probably get special bulk pricing for buying so many products, and also better tech support from the mobo manufacturer (RMAs as well). It may not be quite as smooth as a big maker, but still, it's reasonable. I think i'll end my side of the debate right here; I built an equal computer system in terms of hardware to HP's d4990y, minus the extra bloatware and worthless software. Now let's be friends! :p 

ps: to Ausch30, the guy wants you to provide the software as well, not just the computer. That's the way it is in a perfect world, but things don't matter to a person that builds their own systems. (like me)
July 28, 2007 7:55:35 PM

nitrous9200 said:
ps: to Ausch30, the guy wants you to provide the software as well, not just the computer. That's the way it is in a perfect world, but things don't matter to a person that builds their own systems. (like me)


That price included Vista Home Premium, as for Works and Norton I would assume his computers are using Office so why bother and you could just download AVG for free.
July 28, 2007 8:08:05 PM

Why the hell would you use norton or vista? You want your pc to not work properly from the start and then you protect it's 'functionality' with a firewall made from toilet paper.
July 28, 2007 8:34:31 PM

Rabidpeanut said:
Why the hell would you use norton or vista? You want your pc to not work properly from the start and then you protect it's 'functionality' with a firewall made from toilet paper.
Make that wet toilet paper. :lol: 
July 29, 2007 12:40:34 AM

Like I have said, the question is not what is better, it is whether you can do the same IDENTICAL system for less money.

The computer is not for me, it is an example of what Mary and John Q Public can readily purchase for use by them and their little kiddies.

I agree, I would never buy Works. Not relevant. Would Works work for Mary and John Q? Yes it would. It is included in the HP system. People can argue all day long about the product or any other feature or software, but the simple fact is that Mary and John Q public purchased a computer that works for them and their little kiddies AND you can not build the same IDENTICAL system for less $.

Yes, you can build a different system for less, you might build a system for less that we all agree is better or even far superior, but nobody has been able to match that system with current parts, feature for feature, for less $.


Sorry about my rants, but I witness some very childish enthusiast activity at CC, BB and other places the years.

Usually Maw and Paw and 3 rugrats are trying to buy an entry level computer, printer or whatever. That is all they need. Entry level. The clerks are clueless. Usually the clerk was selling car stereos last week, and refrigerators the week before.

So Maw or Paw are asking questions of anybody within 50 feet that has a pulse and might know the difference between a printer and a monitor.

I have been asked many times. If I got the time I will spend 5 minutes and answer their questions. I am sure many people have the done thing. We all love to have our ego's polished.

But then some smartazz 19yr old greasy hair nerd with a pocket protector and highwater pants will slide over and proceed to bash and belittle Maw and Paw for failing to build their own and save $.

Yea, yea, like Maw and Paw really have time or motivation to build a new monitor and computer from left over parts from their circa 1995 computer system.



Then I get on the forum and I read the same ideas. Build your own out of bailing wire and cardboard and you too can save a buck ninetyfive.

So I gave you decent system to compete against. Not the $500 system, but rather somthing at the upper price range of those off the shelf computers. And you failed. Some failed worse than others.

Next time somebody wants buys an off the shelf basic computer, don't fault them, they really got a fair deal.
July 29, 2007 4:21:01 AM

StevieD said:
So I gave you decent system to compete against. Not the $500 system, but rather somthing at the upper price range of those off the shelf computers. And you failed. Some failed worse than others.

Next time somebody wants buys an off the shelf basic computer, don't fault them, they really got a fair deal.


I didn't fail, sure I can't include the snazzy HP case but there are plenty of better cases out there for $30-$40. Add the OEM version of Works for $9.99 and a nice keyboard and mouse for about $50 and your looking at a grand total of $700. Even if you add a 17in LCD for about $150 your still saving $50 but the system you listed didn't mention a monitor. I agree that most people don't have the acumen to build their own system and a lot of people including my mom and girlfriend are amazed at the fact that I know how to put a bunch of parts together. The point of the thread is exactly that, that if most people knew how easy it really is to build a system yourself the OEM's would go out of business. It's just this magic box that sits on the floor, we don't know what goes on inside there, must be the elves that make it work.
July 29, 2007 5:05:50 AM

ausch30 said:
I didn't fail, sure I can't include the snazzy HP case but there are plenty of better cases out there for $30-$40. Add the OEM version of Works for $9.99 and a nice keyboard and mouse for about $50 and your looking at a grand total of $700. Even if you add a 17in LCD for about $150 your still saving $50 but the system you listed didn't mention a monitor. I agree that most people don't have the acumen to build their own system and a lot of people including my mom and girlfriend are amazed at the fact that I know how to put a bunch of parts together. The point of the thread is exactly that, that if most people knew how easy it really is to build a system yourself the OEM's would go out of business. It's just this magic box that sits on the floor, we don't know what goes on inside there, must be the elves that make it work.


Dude, you are comparing OEM versus retail. This computer is a retail build. Remember, Apples to Apples, Oranges to Oranges. The software included with the computer is treated as retail versions. For that OEM + big builder discount, HP is expected to support the product after the sale. Are you going to install an OEM software and do the support and assembly for free? Then say so. I will buy my next wave of computers from you. But I suspect you will no longer be willing to support the software and computer for free when my stupidest intern pours her cup of coffee into the computer and then uses her sweater to dry the MB and when she discovers there is moisture on the HD she opens the HD and uses paper towels from the restroom to dry the HD.

PS: Think I am joking about the Intern and the computer? Nope! 1986. Compaq XT clone.

PSS: I love that "elves that make it work" statement.


July 29, 2007 6:47:47 AM

In my previous experience with the run-of-the-mill pre-built computers (not mine, BTW), they have been generally acceptable for their intended use. However, each one of them had some special component (weird combo I/O card, integrated video, custom mobo, etc.) that limited their upgradeability. They represent a reasonable choice for John Q. Public, who is typically not a computer enthusiast. If a pre-built machine seems to be very inexpensive, it is largely because there are corners that have been cut. Sure, there will be economies of scale in volume purchases, but for the big money savings, you can bet they skimped on the hardware somewhere. Cheap, low-performance hard-drives, crap graphics cards, etc., etc. Rarely do they use name-brand components.

On the other end of the pre-build spectrum are the enthusiast-class machines from Alienware, Falcon Northwest, etc. You WILL find high-quality, high-performance, name-brand components in these rigs - but you won't get one of these high-end gaming rigs for under $800, either.

I have been building my own, my family's, and my friends' computers for many years now, and will never buy a pre-built desktop machine. I prefer to pick each component individually, based on the intended use of the machine and my familiarity with the components in question. I start with the intended use, work up a quick list of suitable components, and do some power estimates to size the PSU. I stick with reputable manufacturers, and have only had problems with the occasional RAM DIMM (who hasn't?) Once my system is built, I burn it in for several days running Memtest86 and Prime95. My systems are very stable, and I have received few (legitimate) complaints.

Finally, regarding the fact that "almost anyone" can build a computer. That is absolutely true. If they start with a known-good list of components, most people, with a little care, can assemble a working computer. The real trick that separates the men from the boys (sorry, can't think of a non-sexist saying :)  ) is what happens when something goes wrong. That is where the average Joe, despite his mechanical aptititude, has to come here and post his plaintive "My computer doesn't boot..."

Regards,

Altazi
July 29, 2007 7:41:14 AM

StevieD said:
Are you going to install an OEM software and do the support and assembly for free? Then say so. I will buy my next wave of computers from you. But I suspect you will no longer be willing to support the software and computer for free when my stupidest intern pours her cup of coffee into the computer and then uses her sweater to dry the MB and when she discovers there is moisture on the HD she opens the HD and uses paper towels from the restroom to dry the HD.


I am not the person building the machine, but should you have that happen to it I would be perfectly willing to provide the same level of support you will receive from HP in that situation :
"I am sorry, but the fine print on the warranty indicates that Hardware failure is only covered in case of manufacturing defects and not when caused by the user (or acts of god). I would, however, be happy to sell you replacement parts."
July 29, 2007 10:02:50 AM

StevieD said:
Dude, you are comparing OEM versus retail. This computer is a retail build. Remember, Apples to Apples, Oranges to Oranges. The software included with the computer is treated as retail versions. For that OEM + big builder discount, HP is expected to support the product after the sale. Are you going to install an OEM software and do the support and assembly for free? Then say so. I will buy my next wave of computers from you. But I suspect you will no longer be willing to support the software and computer for free when my stupidest intern pours her cup of coffee into the computer and then uses her sweater to dry the MB and when she discovers there is moisture on the HD she opens the HD and uses paper towels from the restroom to dry the HD.

PS: Think I am joking about the Intern and the computer? Nope! 1986. Compaq XT clone.

PSS: I love that "elves that make it work" statement.
First your OEM vs retail argument is fallacious. Second, I never said or inferred that that ma and paw and the rugrats should all build their own computer. Clearly for most of the general population this would be a large mistake. Third your argument about having the identical PC is also fallacious due to reasons stated earlier. Fourth, your argument about the clumsy intern and her coffee is also fallacious because, that it non warranty. That's what is called a money maker.
July 29, 2007 10:09:04 AM

StevieD said:
Dude, you are comparing OEM versus retail. This computer is a retail build. Remember, Apples to Apples, Oranges to Oranges. The software included with the computer is treated as retail versions. For that OEM + big builder discount, HP is expected to support the product after the sale. Are you going to install an OEM software and do the support and assembly for free? Then say so. I will buy my next wave of computers from you. But I suspect you will no longer be willing to support the software and computer for free when my stupidest intern pours her cup of coffee into the computer and then uses her sweater to dry the MB and when she discovers there is moisture on the HD she opens the HD and uses paper towels from the restroom to dry the HD.

PS: Think I am joking about the Intern and the computer? Nope! 1986. Compaq XT clone.

PSS: I love that "elves that make it work" statement.


And if we all knew how to grow milk, we'd not need cows...

This goes to the core of globalization.

Cats and pigeons...
!