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Can I build a PC from parts not made in China?

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Last response: in Systems
August 23, 2007 5:01:52 PM

My boss (a U.S. veteran) wants a new computer, which is no problem. But then he added a little wrinkle to his request, he'd like it to not contain parts made in China and would prefer U.S. made parts when possible. Price isn't much of a concern.

My question is: Is this even possible? Do you know of manufacturers who do no manufacture anything in China or that do manufacture in the U.S. Other countries are okay, just no China-made parts...or at least as few as possible.

Any help finding such manufacturers would be greatly appreciated.

More about : build parts made china

August 23, 2007 5:42:06 PM

mrsbytch you should be banned from this forum asap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
August 23, 2007 5:59:25 PM

hmmmmm........
You can make your own brand.....:p 
Related resources
August 23, 2007 6:02:23 PM

It is possible, but you would end up with a system cost on the order of $10k (IMO). It wouldn't operate with a standard PC architecture, so getting many favorite programs to run would be a challenge.

My suggestion: Select name-brand components whose manufacturer's are known for high quality, and paint the case red, white, and blue!
August 23, 2007 6:06:01 PM

that shouldn't be to hard....
a lot of parts are not made in china but made in Thailand.
my seagate HD is made there...
August 23, 2007 6:06:57 PM

Quote:
Man, what a boss he must be.
Good luck my friend.

Why?
August 23, 2007 6:13:52 PM

Bold task. Even if you could do it you will not know whom the subcontractors are. I guess for example he does not wear athletic shoes or off the rack cloths. Things can be made by company X but assembled by company Y. Next you need to find out if he includes Taiwan in his request. If he does it will be difficult and expensive.

Supermicro is the only respectable U.S. motherboard maker. Crucial is Microns (Idaho) memory sales arm. Case you are out of luck. Seagate for disk drives some assembled in China, some in Thailand, some ii think n Malaysia. Samsung for monitors (Korea); Sony (Japan) but I think Sony assembly is in China same for a DVD so look for Samsung on those also or LG. Video cards ATI specifically and not just the GPU that would be Canada. Power supply I would have said PC Power and Cooling but they were purchased recently and I no longer know. Most supplies are assembled in China. Printers HP or Lexmark but double check in a store.

Your boss has to realize that with mainland China's intense industrialization and low wage cost that they have become contract manufacturers to the world for anything that weighs 50 kilos or less. Therefore things like keyboards, mice etc will be difficult.

Touchy subject that you stepped into being your boss and all. I am U.S. vet also but wars generally are like sports games when it is over it is over. I will use what ever gets the job done the best.

good luck
August 23, 2007 6:45:39 PM

azimuth40 said:
Bold task. Even if you could do it you will not know whom the subcontractors are. I guess for example he does not wear athletic shoes or off the rack cloths. Things can be made by company X but assembled by company Y. Next you need to find out if he includes Taiwan in his request. If he does it will be difficult and expensive.

Supermicro is the only respectable U.S. motherboard maker. Crucial is Microns (Idaho) memory sales arm. Case you are out of luck. Seagate for disk drives some assembled in China, some in Thailand, some ii think n Malaysia. Samsung for monitors (Korea); Sony (Japan) but I think Sony assembly is in China same for a DVD so look for Samsung on those also or LG. Video cards ATI specifically and not just the GPU that would be Canada. Power supply I would have said PC Power and Cooling but they were purchased recently and I no longer know. Most supplies are assembled in China. Printers HP or Lexmark but double check in a store.

Your boss has to realize that with mainland China's intense industrialization and low wage cost that they have become contract manufacturers to the world for anything that weighs 50 kilos or less. Therefore things like keyboards, mice etc will be difficult.

Touchy subject that you stepped into being your boss and all. I am U.S. vet also but wars generally are like sports games when it is over it is over. I will use what ever gets the job done the best.

good luck


Thank you for all the details. I'll definitely check into the manufacturers you mentioned.

I think he'd be satisfied knowing that the majority of the parts aren't directly supporting China (if I need to get a couple that do I don't think he'll have major objections). I'm not exactly sure what his specific objection is to China, aside from the fact that some recalls of goods made in China have hit the news lately. I know he'd prefer Taiwan over China, if I do need to get parts from that area.

I'll see what I can throw together...
August 23, 2007 7:01:13 PM

Even the most innocent of items, say a shovel, could be assembled in the USA from components made elsewhere.... the metal for the blade in Korea and the handle from China or Thailand, with glues from Brazil.

The shovel will say "made in America".

Yea, right.

August 23, 2007 7:30:31 PM

build him a PC and stick a "made in america" sticker on it. case closed.
August 23, 2007 8:07:58 PM

This can be done. Now it is true that to find something that has nothing to do with China, you are out of luck. Even if it says "Made somewhere other than China" on the sticker, pieces of it could of came from there, or the machines that made it could of come from China, and so on.

This is why trade agreements tend to get free-er not more restrictive. Whether you know it or not, there is no such thing as a "emerging global economy," its already global. I once tracked the production process for the wheels on my car (Lexani Firestars). Actual assembly was in the US, but the metal was made in Thailand, mined in China, with engineering staff in Canada, and supportive staff (everything from shipping to administrative tasks) in Germany (the ship that carried the metal was german in origin), Switzerland (Lexani's financing), New York (its a country in its own right to me), and of all places the shipping labels, the paper for them, was milled in South Africa!

Or try tracking where a bag of lettuce comes from. The lettuce may be grown in the US even, but that packaging? Who wants to bet the plastic came somewhere else, the ink on it maybe even a whole other place?

Thats why new trade restrictions are so hard to create. It sounds easy to just say "stop imports from China," but then a legal battle ensues as to what what constitutes a chinese product. Something made there, or just stuff shipped from there? And also, how can we be completely cut off from China? The whole world gets stuff from China, and China gets stuff from the whole world. No one, not the Chinese not America not Europe, even properly knows where everything comes from anymore. You pretty much have to track down a product just by itself, but its entirely possible that even products that are the same were made in different places. Those Lexani wheels? Whats to say that although mine were put together here, other wheels in the same style were not put together in China? I could of opened the box and half the wheels were from America, the other half from China!

There is this rosy picture that anyone country actually stands for something anymore, that there are absolutes and that what you make is who you are. I'm sorry to tell you that we have been in Post-Modernism for decades now. The only thing you can be absolutely certain of is that things change. A country may make bombs and preach peace, a peacemaker now owns bombs. What you make does not have to be about you: I know carpenters who love electronics, electronics salesman who dream of a naturalist lifestyle, and CEOs who despise money and affluence (those two guys are particularly charitable, I eat out with them whenever I can because they always pick up the bill!).

And China is much different from what it was even 30 years ago. Its no longer a nation of Mao-suit wearing communists. Today the Chinese people shop at Wal-Mart, wear the latest European fashions in addition to wearing oodles of Denim, and listen to Rap and R&B. Its true there is a particular "China Style" of Hip Hop (mainly hip hop lyrics on top of chinese opera music), but every country has a slightly differing hip hop scene (with the exception being Europe, there they all listen to pop hip hop and nothing else, ick).

The only thing still like the China of thirty years ago at all is the government, but even it has a lot of differences in it. IF the Chinese government tried another cultural revolution, they'd be stoned to death. The leaders were Armani suits and Prada shoes. They drive Buicks and Cadillacs. There is even a slow building movement toward democracy.

And they have American problems, just 50 times worse. Pollution, overcrowding, too many cars (and they dont have many yet!), and overwhelmed social services are the norm there. Just like here. Try getting universal health care in China! Just like America, that'd be tough to pull off.

Tell your boss that it sucks Chinese guns shot at him 30 years ago. But the Chinese eat up American made cars, clothing styles, music, art, and even our way of life. Tell him that they have forgiven America for anything it did way back when, and that in Vietnam today, American is as good of title as any (we have both free trade agreements and diplomatic relations now).

Its a different world. And its easier to accept a good world than change it to a bad one.
August 23, 2007 8:37:37 PM

StevieD said:
Even the most innocent of items, say a shovel, could be assembled in the USA from components made elsewhere.... the metal for the blade in Korea and the handle from China or Thailand, with glues from Brazil.

The shovel will say "made in America".

Yea, right.


exactly, even if he got a mobo that says made in america, where did all the caps, resistors, and ic's come from?

i'd be willing to put money that making a pc COMPLETELY from parts made in the US is impossible.
August 23, 2007 8:47:36 PM

Nice post scryer. Too bad there are Chinese counter parts to OP's boss, and like OP's boss probably wont be inclined to change their views.


August 23, 2007 11:35:09 PM

this is an unreasonably big deal over a straight forward task of buying a new computer. does this boss actually want you spending all this effort and time (most likely company time) looking for a way to build this "china-less" computer?

this is just my opinion on the situation. I don't know your boss, or am i trying to make any judgements on him as a person. But as a boss, it's not the most responsible thing to ask an employee to do.

As for the problem, my suggestion for a solution is to design all your own components and solder them together with "china-less" solder, using "china-less" tools to assemble it. or buy him a dell.....hehe
August 24, 2007 12:25:23 AM

Due to the globalization of demand and supply chain, it would be very difficult to not buy an item that either contains parts from China or was assembled in China. The best you can do is to minimize the chances of buying components with parts made from China.

Some suggestions would be:

Power Supplies - Buy something like Seasonic, Corsair (made by Seasonic), or Power PC & Cooling. Those are premium brands that are more likely to use high quality Japanese capacitors. Non-premium brand names like Antec will likely have higher chances of containing Chinese capacitor. Many Antec PSUs are made by Seasonic, but Antec generally cuts corners here and there to bring the price down.

LCD Monitor - This will require lots of research because the most expensive component, the LCD panel itself, is made by several different countries in many parts of the world. LCD monitors made by CheMei or CPT will be of Chinese origin since those are Chinese companies. Samsung is Korean, AU Optronics (AUO) is Taiwanese, and LG/Philips is a joint Korean/European product.

You will then need to deal with the dreaded panel lottery phenomenon where companies like Dell and Samsung (both are notorious on this issue) substitutes panels of different origins into the same product model. The Samsung 226BW is at the top of the list. Depending on supply and demand this model uses panels made by Samsung itself, AUO, CheMei and CPT. You will not be able to tell which panel the monitor uses unless you take the LCD monitor apart, thus voiding your warranty.

On top of that you will need to do a visual inspection of the sticker to determine which country the monitor was assembled. However, that won't tell if you it (and any other product) if it contains part made in China. The only way to tell is to strip down the LCD monitor (and any other PC component) and do a visual inspection. This process will, again, void the warranty and will most likely render to the part unable.

Motherboard - The only US manufacturer is Supermicro (probably mentioned already), but that does not guarantee zero Chinese parts. As far as I know, they only make motherboards for servers. meaning your boss must buy a Xeon CPU. Asus is a great mobo manufacturer and is based in Taiwan, but there is no guarantee they will not use Chinese made parts or they are assembled in China.

PC Case - It will probably be a bit difficult to find one that is not of Chinese origins. However, a custom PC case can actually be made by a skilled metalsmith.

Floppy Drive - Uhh.... No connection of some sort to China? Yeah, right.

Hard Drive / Optical Drive - See above.

RAM - Crucial all the way. But the PCB board could originate from a Chinese factory.

Video Card - ATI is Canadian, nVidia is Taiwanese. That's a good start, but probably ends there since every thing else could have some connection with China.

I think that covers most of it.
August 24, 2007 1:04:11 AM

Tell your boss you can also build a telephone using two tin cans and some string.

Your going to have about the same luck
August 24, 2007 1:36:30 AM

The keywords are "when possible". Build the best comp you can and tell him you did the "possible".

Why ? because as some said : it's almost 100% certain that you'll have a chinese piece in any parts.

On the other hand I don't think he'll check every capacitor to see where it was made so you might as well follow scryer_360 and jaguarskx advice.
August 24, 2007 2:12:25 AM

Forget the HP printers. Once all inkjets were manufactured in the US, but now they're mostly from Malaysia then moved to Singapore and imported from there.

R&D is also there as much as possible these days.

US owned companies are probably the only way to even get close. Even those usually outsource production, but at least the majority of profits remain within the US economy, if that's the intent.
August 24, 2007 2:15:52 AM

actually china is a high speed computing embargoed country- most high end parts are made in the states or asia (singapora,japan,korea,ect) that said you will not really be aboe to cause even the processor made in the states are shipped overseas for packaging (on die type).
I'd be curious what you are able to dig up though

best of luck.
August 24, 2007 3:35:51 AM

Your best bet would be to just buy regular parts then file off all of the brand names and "Made in China" parts. Slap on a USA sticker on your good.

Otherwise, it really is impossible to build a comp containing 0 foreign parts.
August 24, 2007 4:39:08 AM

If he's already this picky, then wait until he askes you for technical support. Better off and tell him to get a OEM system instead
like Dell, HP, or some other brands.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2007 5:05:46 AM

Let me help you out! There are Made-in-Malaysia_AMD Procs!
DDR2 Kingston made in Korea
etc.
August 24, 2007 5:46:46 AM

Quick story...
I used to work for Honeywell, everthing went out the door with a "Made With Pride in The US" label on it; except all the mechanics were made in China, all the electronics were made in Malaysia, all the software was written in India, the only thing they did in the US was to stick the label on and pack it!

Conclusion...
It's easy to find products that say "Made in ....", and almost impossible to find products that ARE "Made in ...".
April 26, 2011 7:18:19 PM

chowner said:
mrsbytch you should be banned from this forum asap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I believe the point here is that China is about to overtake the United States as the leading economic super power. If they played by the same rules, I'd say that was o.k., survival of the most efficient. The problem is, they don't play by the same rules. They have no labor laws or environmental standards. I'm not talking unions here, I'm talking basic human rights.

All civilized nations should boycott the goods and services provided by any nation whose environmental and human rights standards are below their own.

Economic power builds armies. China will not have any qualms about crushing the United States once they have sapped every penny they can from us (that we spent on cheap goods crafted by slave labor).

It's time for a wake up call to all my fellow American citizens
July 13, 2011 10:44:42 PM

MadHacker said:
that shouldn't be to hard....
a lot of parts are not made in china but made in Thailand.
my seagate HD is made there...


I agree, although you can't be sure where subcontractors are coming from you should be able to find most parts which say they are from someplace other than China. You have to look around and it takes more time.

I always have a preference for stuff not made in China given their propensity for human rights violations and the general bad quality I find in a lot of their products.
July 13, 2011 10:46:35 PM

eviltechie said:
Thank you for all the details. I'll definitely check into the manufacturers you mentioned.

I think he'd be satisfied knowing that the majority of the parts aren't directly supporting China (if I need to get a couple that do I don't think he'll have major objections). I'm not exactly sure what his specific objection is to China, aside from the fact that some recalls of goods made in China have hit the news lately. I know he'd prefer Taiwan over China, if I do need to get parts from that area.

I'll see what I can throw together...


Gigabyte also has some motherboards marked as coming from places other than China.
a c 143 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2011 2:28:03 AM

By a strange quirk of fate China has almost all of the worlds supply of the rare earth elements used to make semiconductors

Some where in the heart of every cpu are minerals mined in China
a c 121 B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2011 3:59:12 AM

Not exactly true. They are just the only country willing to put up with the environmental damage involved in the mining.
January 31, 2012 1:33:29 PM

i hope you haters end up in a chinese factory as slaves! great going america
February 24, 2013 4:17:31 AM

super talent makes it ram in the usa. i just bought 2 4gb sticks and they say made in usa on em
March 2, 2013 5:25:57 PM

you can also see a picture of there facility on there website
a b B Homebuilt system
March 2, 2013 5:40:11 PM

What's going on with you bumping threads from 07?
March 24, 2013 12:19:07 PM

Theoritically possible. Major companies hardware companies (e.g., Intel, NVidia) usually have their engineering samples (product prototypes in various stages, including pre-release evaluation samples) produced in the U.S, even the PCB can be US made! But those things are not available for commercial sale and are very rare in absolute numbers. I have tried for years, and managed to collect only several of those samples.