Which is Cheaper Build or buy - plus x2 new builds

I live in the UK -- really interested to know which is cheaper -- Build or buy?

I know that PC world is vary to expensive for both components and Systems - but what else? Two friends of mine want me to help them-

Friend 1) Has an old machine of which i can save the Monitor, keyboard, mouse and possibly the graphics card -- for what they need it for I can create a pretty good general home use system - thnking an athlon dual core 64 x2 4000+, Asus M2V Socket AM2 VIA K8T890 SATA2 Onboard Audio ATX MOBO with 1GB 5400 RAM - all for about £109 - this I know will be a far cheaper option.

Friend 2) requires a complete system for general home use and to play C&C3 -- this is the one that I am not sure about thinking-- 64 x2 6000+, 2GB 5600 RAM, 8800 320MB graphics card, standard no frills MOBO, case and 17" monitor - £650 including OS....

Leading to a few questions:

1) What do you think of the above systems and upgrades?
2) Is it really cheaper to build for friend 2 than buy a pre-built system?
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  1. The build for friend 2 is more than he needs if the most taxing game he is going to play is CC3, but I would say build what you listed anyway for future proofing. Make sure you consider the cost of keyboard, mouse, speakers, os, etc in there too. I would say to go intel right now. They are a much better value than AMD at the moment, but if you are a AMD fan then it's your choice.

    It is always cheaper to build a computer yourself, and you will have better parts that you personally choose and your cheap upgrade path will save you a ton of money in the long run, but you also have to factor the value of your time and effort into the equation.
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