Thoughts about home built vs Dell, HP, etc

For the past 10 years I have built my own pc to my specifications and it has been both good and bad. Yes, I can customize it exactly how I want it but it seems there is always at least one or more problems when done. Loud fans, operating system incompatibilities or other minor issues.

I do not overclock but I do enjoy gaming and really like having the best available when I am ready to upgrade. Having said that, do you guys feel that it is worth building your own system in all cases? I have heard it said that if someone is planning on building a low end computer it generally offers no money savings versus buying a ready-to-use system. As for higher end systems what percentage if any do you feel you can save by shopping around, ie newegg, tigerdirect, etc for parts? Lately I have been entertaining the idea of buying a dell. Just plug it in and start using it. No issues with noise, parts problems, troubleshooting, etc. I can just get down to business and gaming and not have to worry about the rest.

The last computer I built was in Jan 07 and included a QX6700, 1GB ram, two 150gb raptor drives in raid, two 8800GTX video cards, etc. This will give you some idea of what kind of equipment I have used. So bottom line, better to build myself or use dell in terms of both quality and cost? Many thanks.

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  1. "dell quality" is an oxymoron. I remember a key popping off the keyboard of my Inspiron on the third day after its arrival. that was it for me.
  2. It's still better to build your own I think. True, pre-built PC's are much cheaper than they used to be, for the most part, but the parts used are crap usually and you also run into the problem of proprietary cases/parts etc. If you ever have to replace a part or upgrade something, it can be a nightmare to do so with one of their cases usually.

    Sure, you can get a pre-built computer with a Quad core and 4GB of RAM for $800 (I just saw one from Acer) but the RAM is probably the cheapest stuff possible, the MoBo is probably an ECS P.O.S., and it would have a frickin 8600 GPU. Not worth it, since you'd want to swap out at least the vid card for something better and end up paying more than you would if you just built it yourself from the get-go.

    Building yourself you can still save quite a bit of money, and at the very least you ensure that you're not getting crap parts. Of course, if you are looking at a Dell XPS or HP Blackbird, then yeah, you're probably getting a pretty good setup with AAA parts, but you're also spending $5000+ for a stupid computer. What is this, 1992?
  3. It's also FUN!
  4. Just my opinion:

    If you're looking for a low-end, general purpose system, buy an off the shelf system.

    If you're looking for a mid-range system, you can go either way as it costs about the same.

    If you're looking for a high-end system, it's best to build your own. Not having looked at Dell/In-Store prices recently, I'd say you could probably save around 30-50% by building your own.

    -Wolf sends
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