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Generally how much do you save building it yourself?

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February 23, 2008 4:02:05 AM

I know there are multiple variables here e.g Where one would order their pre-built computer/ parts. Ive been thinking about constructing my own PC but it does seem very unnerving especially when you spend $1,000 on machinery thats dependent on you to function correctly no warranties attached.

Alternatively, I was thinking of Ibuypower.com, but I would like to investigate this matter further to see how much one could generally save building it themselves versus ordering it.
February 23, 2008 4:06:51 AM

It varies. However, warranties aren't a problem as you get a manufacturer direct warranty from wherever you buy it from for the individual part in most cases.
February 23, 2008 4:15:33 AM

you save about 50% if your buying from a company that sells in stores, the ones you can customize online varies a lot
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February 23, 2008 4:31:06 AM

Also, ibuypower is garbage.
February 23, 2008 4:38:05 AM

A best buy gaming crap gaming machine (what they consider high end gaming machine) will cost $2,000 with crappy memory, low end video card, and a no overclocker motherboard. You will save lots of money building it yourself. Building $2,000 your self, you will be building a monster pc, with quad core cpu, faster memory sticks, 2 ati 3870x2 in cross fire, and a good overclocker motherboard.

Best Buy $2,000 plux tax even more (best buy high end gaming pc, what a joke)
q6600
500gb hd
8800 gts 320mb
2gb 5300 Lat:7
DVD ROM
WIndows vista ultimate

Building it yourself
GigaByte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard$97.33
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor $278.00
WD Caviar SE16 500GB Hard Drive$99.00
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 320 Video Card$234.48 (with 6 dollars more can get 8800gt wish outperforms this card)
Corsair 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 DIMM Memory Kit$52.61
Corsair VX 550W Power Supply$93.17
Samsung SH-S203B/BEBN Black Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer$36.30
Cooler Master Elite 330 Mid Tower$50.56
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium$94.93

tax/shipping Total: $1036.38 you save about $1,200
February 23, 2008 4:38:34 AM

Sometimes you don't actually pay less (or significantly more), you just have superior hand selected parts.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2008 4:46:07 AM

rickpcnerd said:
A best buy gaming crap gaming machine (what they consider high end gaming machine) will cost $2,000 with crappy memory, low end video card, and a no overclocker motherboard. You will save lots of money building it yourself. Building $2,000 your self, you will be building a monster pc, with quad core cpu, faster memory sticks, 2 ati 3870x2 in cross fire, and a good overclocker motherboard.

Best Buy $2,000 plux tax even more (best buy high end gaming pc, what a joke)
q6600
500gb hd
8800 gts 320mb
2gb 5300 Lat:7
DVD ROM
WIndows vista ultimate

Building it yourself
GigaByte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard$97.33
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor $278.00
WD Caviar SE16 500GB Hard Drive$99.00
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS 320 Video Card$234.48 (with 6 dollars more can get 8800gt wish outperforms this card)
Corsair 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 DIMM Memory Kit$52.61
Corsair VX 550W Power Supply$93.17
Samsung SH-S203B/BEBN Black Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer$36.30
Cooler Master Elite 330 Mid Tower$50.56
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium$94.93

tax/shipping Total: $1036.38 you save about $1,200

Available at your local Best Buy. http://www.gateway.com/systems/series/529598057.php
February 23, 2008 5:02:42 AM

And loaded with crapware, a crap mobo, and not to mention almost 0 upgrade capability to speak of.
February 23, 2008 5:08:00 AM

The advantage wwarriorww is that you get to hand select what goes into your comp, you arent getting stuck with what the manufacturer put in the comp. Also you can build specifically for your needs i.e. multimedia, gaming, video editing etc. If you do your homework, and check out some forums that give you some direction on how to build your pc, its pretty easy. Another idea is get a friend who knows what they are doing, preferably having built there own, and have them give you a hand. And yes, you will save a butt load of money.
Anonymous
February 23, 2008 5:08:35 AM

Can Not said:
Sometimes you don't actually pay less (or significantly more), you just have superior hand selected parts.


This is very true when building a cheap computer, $600 ish. When you start to pay upwards of $1000 dollars on the parts yourself, the saving go up geometricly with the more money you spend.

So if you are spending a $1000 dollars definitely do it yourself. And dont be scared! Its easier than it looks to put together a pc. Just be well read before you start and of course you have the forums for troubleshooting just in case :) 
February 23, 2008 8:00:22 AM

Anonymous said:
This is very true when building a cheap computer, $600 ish. When you start to pay upwards of $1000 dollars on the parts yourself, the saving go up geometricly with the more money you spend.

So if you are spending a $1000 dollars definitely do it yourself. And dont be scared! Its easier than it looks to put together a pc. Just be well read before you start and of course you have the forums for troubleshooting just in case :) 


Totally agree, last march I didn't know anything about building computers. Now I'm very good at building computers as well as trouble shooting them, see when you start building you gain knowlodge of how each part works in the system. I read everything I could before attemping it though, I researched for three months on my free time.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2008 9:39:10 AM

At the bottom or middle, you just cannot compete with the bulk purchasing power of the commercial manufacturers. At the upper end, you have more wiggle room.

Manufacturers will put in X or QX processors instead of doing what we do - using a midlevel or low end known good OC'ing CPU with an upper end HSF. You can save $500 to $800 dollars right there.

And we tend to do neater work, even in a windowless case because time ISN"T money.
February 23, 2008 5:42:49 PM

Agree with systemlord, when i was getting ready to build this comp all i did was read articles on performance, issues, etc for 3 or 4 months before making my final decision. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and possible compatability issues if you do this. Also you can pick up some hints and tricks to set up your board, since its your first build, i say dont rush into anything before you have thoroughly investigated it. Read up on reviews, problems people are having, how they solved them, and what components caused issues before you buy something.
February 23, 2008 5:58:40 PM

Trust me build it yourself, research the best components for your money and how they will interact with eachother in a system configuration

and BTW those best buy computers... if 6 months from now you wanna upgrade the video card, yuo cant. cause if you open the case you void your stupid one year warranty cause they put a sticker on your case. so you are forced to pay them to upgrade it for you...and btw i have a 5 year warranty on my HDD, 3 years on CPU, and i dont remember the rest but i think its 1 or 2 years on mobo and ram and psu

its ridiculous....i paid just over $600 canadian for this:
e8400
ga-p35-ds3l rev 2.0
2x1 GB corsair xms2 4-4-4-12
ocz stealth extreeme 600w psu
seagate barracuda 7200.11 500gb

and reused my dvd, floppy, case and videocard

PS: that comment about neater work is bang on....i neatly zip tied cables around the case for better airflow, made things perfectly neat just how i like them, put the hard drive and dvd in the slot that I preferred, not some best buy geek tech
all i need now is a 9800gtx/gt
February 23, 2008 6:04:57 PM

I think its fair to say most enthusiasts would rather do there own cable routing even if it is a prebuilt comp, i know i did at one time, before i wised up and started building my own.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 23, 2008 10:14:18 PM

Zorg said:
First, that's not an equivalent machine, not even close. Second, it's a Gateway. :lol: 
Correct. With the exception of the overclockable DS3L MB, and the Corsair PSU, the Gateway is actually superior to the one posted above.

Gateway: Intel DG33 MB, PNY 8800GT, Hitachi HDD.... http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668019.php#di...

A friend has the Phenom version, and it is not too bad for a storebought machine.

February 23, 2008 10:39:13 PM

I never save any money on the computers that I build, but I get all the computer that I pay for. Not having to pay someones rent and utilities to build me a computer.
Some of the fancy paces like Falcon, would be a good place to have the machine of your dreams built.
But I like to build my own machines because I know whet it's built from and how to configure it.




Rattus Viola: Sino non they quisnam operor non have scientia futurus vestri rector.
February 23, 2008 10:41:12 PM

wwarriorww said:
I know there are multiple variables here e.g Where one would order their pre-built computer/ parts. Ive been thinking about constructing my own PC but it does seem very unnerving especially when you spend $1,000 on machinery thats dependent on you to function correctly no warranties attached.

Alternatively, I was thinking of Ibuypower.com, but I would like to investigate this matter further to see how much one could generally save building it themselves versus ordering it.


Sometimes buying a Retail System is Less Expensive.
Sometimes it's more Expensive.

It's best to try and let us know what you want to do with your system, toss out some ideas, and then see what it would cost you to buy that and what the options are.

IBUYPOWER is not something I would recommend.
They have lots of bad reviews of not standing behind their work or honoring warranties.

If you need a really powerful computer with heavy duty graphics and lots of processing power requiring overclocking, then building your own is almost always the right decision.

If you are just more into normal every day computing, many retail systems would likely suit you better.

Another major factor is what parts you may need.
Do you need an OS? This is almost free to the Big Boys so on less expensive systems this can really cut into a home build budget.

Do you need Monitor/Printer? Often combo deals make them a good deal.

If you just need the base computer parts and no OS or Monitor, its even more likely a home build will do you best.
February 24, 2008 12:00:56 AM

tlmck said:
Correct. With the exception of the overclockable DS3L MB, and the Corsair PSU, the Gateway is actually superior to the one posted above.

Gateway: Intel DG33 MB, PNY 8800GT, Hitachi HDD.... http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668019.php#di...

A friend has the Phenom version, and it is not too bad for a storebought machine.
Could you be more specific about what's better. The 8800gt for $6.00 more? the Hitachi HDD? the POS mobo?

How about the fact that you don't get the totally free free free OC to 3G/1333. No increase in Vcore at all, just a change in the FSB frequency. So that's a loss of 600Mhz. The difference in the PSU, I suspect, is a major difference. I don't know where they get their no name PSUs from, but I would be willing to bet they are junk.

Many years ago my parents bought a 386 from Gateway. It kept eating HDs, and Gateway kept replacing them. I decided that I had enough so I looked at it. There was 30V on the ground shield of the monitor. At that point it was out of warranty so I bought them a new monitor, problem solved.

Many years later, my friend went to the cow store to get a computer with his girlfriend. Needless to say he didn't consult me. I found out after the fact that Gateway had foisted a machine with Rambus RAM on them. I told him that Rambus was a dead end and that DDR2 had become the standard, oops too late for him. He just added RAM to the POS not too long ago and it cost him a small fortune.

And now you tell me that your friend got a Phenom from them, instead of a Q6600 and they charged him an extra $120.00.

That's the trifecta.

Gateway can continue to roll in the cow patties as far as I'm concerned.


February 24, 2008 12:10:03 AM

wwarriorww, I haven't addressed your question. You don't build your own to save money, you build your own to have control of what goes into it. If you look around you can save money with a prebuilt. How do you think they do it? That's right by installing junk PSUs etc. If there is a corner that they can cut then they will, and you will find out about it after it's too late.
February 24, 2008 1:38:10 AM

Can you save $ ? Sure. Maybe. In most cases, but not all.

Do computer companies "cut corners"? Yes. Maybe. No.

Let's be realistic, the Q6600 that you buy from NewEgg is the same Q6600 that Gateway sticks into their computer.

An 8800GTX is a 8800GTX if you get my drift.

So where does HP et al cut corners? Oh, the MB is a basic $100 unit without a lot of frills that has locked out BIOS and a propriatary connection or two to make swapouts difficult. Basic unit, not an inferior unit. I looked inside of an HP and the MB says ASUS.

The forced air cooling tower that is in my Dell looks as impressive as any $100 aftermarket cooling tower. Maybe the Dell unit is cheaper and less efficient. Maybe not. Dell's concern is durability as the 3-5 year warranty which could cost them a few bucks if the fan on the cooling tower keeps failing or the unit does not actually cool the CPU.

HD's say WD, Samsung, Seagate.

DVD Burners say Lite-on, Sammy, Sony etc

I have seen Kingston RAM in some machines. Micron in others. I bet Sammy produced RAM is being used on some as well. Maybe it ain't the fastest RAM, but mainstream, durable RAM is just as good as that speedy cutting edge stuff prone to overheating for 99% of computer users.

Oh the PSU's suck swamp water. Sure, it is only rated to 375w. And then Dell and HP connect a $1500 Quattro GPU that requires "400w PSU" into the computer and warrants the whole thing for 3 to 5 years. I bet the Dell/HP PSU is as good as anything on the market. Maybe the fact that you can't buy the PSU from NewEgg is why most people are critical of the PSU's.

Don't like the case? I like basic looking cases. But everybody's tastes are different. Are the cases cheap? Maybe the case is not made out of extruded aluminum, but the fans are quite, the HD's are easy to swap and everything is firmly mounted and rattle free. What else is needed in a case?

Sure "they" cut corners. "They" also buy in real bulk not the 1000 unit trays that the small hobby suppliers buy.

So why build your own?

The number one reason: flexibility with expansions and modifications.

Reason number one is huge. Dell et al is going to lock that MB so you can't easily change it or upgrade the CPU. If you want to change out MB's or upgrade the CPU the I would NEVER buy a prebuilt. Even the choice of cooling tower in the Dell is going to limit your expansions.


The number two reason: ability to re-use parts and stuff from build to build. It is nice to transfer you OS from build to build and who really needs to buy a new DVD burner until that old one has actually died?


Would I buy from Ibuypower? Gosh darn no. There are lots of little custom build shops that will assemble your parts for $60 per hour. Typical build time 2 hours. There are hundreds of guys that will look over your shoulder and assit you build your own. TigerDirect's parent company will build a computer http://www.systemaxpc.com or sell you a barebones or partially finished computer for you to finish yourself. Of course there is always Dell and HP. Personally I like buying a very basic Dell or HP, what I call a stock box, and then finishing the unit myself. With the stock box you get an OS that has been loaded on to a HD and the PSU, MB and CPU are bench tested for proper startup. Sure stuff happens in shipping, but then there is a warranty. And if you buy from the business side of Dell and HP the warranties are usually good for 3 years and can be extended up to 5 years if you so desire. I like 3 year, on site warranties that get to replace my CPU or MB should it gets FU. To the stock box I add my own HD's, extra RAM, GPU and other accessories. The extra's are not hard and the factory warranty covers the real expensive and more difficult to diagnose stuff.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2008 3:31:35 AM

Zorg said:
Could you be more specific about what's better. The 8800gt for $6.00 more? the Hitachi HDD? the POS mobo?

How about the fact that you don't get the totally free free free OC to 3G/1333. No increase in Vcore at all, just a change in the FSB frequency. So that's a loss of 600Mhz. The difference in the PSU, I suspect, is a major difference. I don't know where they get their no name PSUs from, but I would be willing to bet they are junk.

Many years ago my parents bought a 386 from Gateway. It kept eating HDs, and Gateway kept replacing them. I decided that I had enough so I looked at it. There was 30V on the ground shield of the monitor. At that point it was out of warranty so I bought them a new monitor, problem solved.

Many years later, my friend went to the cow store to get a computer with his girlfriend. Needless to say he didn't consult me. I found out after the fact that Gateway had foisted a machine with Rambus RAM on them. I told him that Rambus was a dead end and that DDR2 had become the standard, oops too late for him. He just added RAM to the POS not too long ago and it cost him a small fortune.

And now you tell me that your friend got a Phenom from them, instead of a Q6600 and they charged him an extra $120.00.

That's the trifecta.

Gateway can continue to roll in the cow patties as far as I'm concerned.
The only resemblance current Gateway's have to their predecessors is the name. Everything else is all dictated by Acer. The PSU is a custom job ala Dell and HP. Low watts, but high amps on the +12v. I beleive it was 30a.

My friend only paid $899 for the Phenom after rebate.

Once again, with the exception of the two things I mentioned, and based on quality of components and price, I believe it is a superior rig to the one posted above.

February 24, 2008 3:58:45 AM

So, you are talking about the DVD, RAM, what? I just worked on an HP a730n. It had a name brand mobo, Asus I think. It had zero options, no temp monitoring, no ability to disable the fan controller, etc. This was on a Prescott. The fan didn't even spin up under load. It wouldn't even spin up above 60c I had to use Speedfan to get it to cool. I was surprised it hadn't cooked already. I guess with the Phenom you don't have to worry about the loss of the free overclock. Notwithstanding that, a Q6600 @ 3G is much better than one at 2.4G (and certainly much much better than the Phenom, since w/ the Q6600 you could always change the mobo for cheap). That alone puts the Gateway far below the custom build. If you can't see that, then I guess the Gateway is good for you. Someone has to keep them in business, right?
February 24, 2008 4:38:23 AM

To answer the question posed in the title. I did a calc using http://www.systemaxpc.com versus tigerdirect (their sister company) on a gaming computer with the Silverstone case because most of the parts of that computer can be readily identified. No OS and only the stock (base) computer to keep the numbers clean, except that I upgraded to the popular Q6600 and for ease of comparison I deleted the mouse and keyboard.

Systemax Gaming computer, all parts prices from TigerDirect.

Silverstone TJ09B $280
Ultra X3 800W PSU $200
Q6600 $289
(retail version with stock cooler)
nVidia 680SLI MB $210
Corsair Twinx 1GB PC6400 DDR2 $ 70
EVGA 8600 GT 512mb $140
Seagate 250gb SATA HD $ 70
Generic 20x DVD Burner $25
Generic Floppy and Media Reader $15

No mouse or keyboard.

Parts purchased separately $1299

Assembled basic computer $1456

Assembly fee + 1 year onsite warranty $157


That $157 premium over the cost of the parts is pretty consistent for $1300 in parts. At $2000 in parts the premium might be $250 or even $275. In the competitive lower price computers, for $1000 in parts the premium might be only $75.

February 24, 2008 4:48:40 AM

The Systemax computer that I previously listed has problems. Everybody will pick on the computer. Expensive Ultra PSU that could be replaced with a better PSU for less $. Case is nice, but very expensive. Somebody won't like the stock cooler. Not enough RAM, Etc Etc.

Neverless that same configuration or something close to it can be found in 1000's of homes.

In otherwords I did it to show the direct comparison between build your own and assembled computers.

Now, if you were building your and using that config you could save some money just because of swapping out parts. For example the stock RAM is insufficient. So don't buy the stock $70 of RAM. Instead buy 4GB of RAM for $100. $30 upgrade to the base unit. The HD is the same way. Drop the $70 HD and upgrade to the $80 HD that is twice as large (and most likely faster).

The swapping out of parts doesn't save ya money per se, it just keeps you from wasting money for stuff you don't want or need.
February 24, 2008 5:32:37 AM

Sometimes you really can save a lot of money on buying a really top of the line computer. If you go budget it is better to go with a Dell. Buying and building your own computer can get you quality parts that will last and can upgrade next gen computers.
February 24, 2008 5:35:56 AM

If you want flexibility with your computer, the ability to open it up and upgrade it without the warranty being voided, and the piece of mind you have quality parts, build you own. If all you care about is it running by a comp from a store. The whole warranty argument is a little weak, since most manufacaturers these days offer great waranties for there products. Also if something fails, your out a comp for what, a few weeks to a month? With custom parts your looking at a week most, as a majority of the venders are pretty quick with getting your parts returned, since there name is riding on there ability to keep people happy. There is going to be arguments to both sides as you see. It all comes down to personal preference, and your ability to follow instructions.
February 24, 2008 2:26:17 PM

rma is a week ? right
February 24, 2008 3:11:50 PM

1st: what is your planned budget if you build or buy pre-built?

2nd: what will you want to use the PC for exactly?

if you only expect to just surf and check e-mails then pre-built all tha way (and make sure it's an el-cheapo too)

plan to do more? (especially gaming) then it would be wise to build your own PC because in the end you will find yourself very pissed off if ya bought a pre-built and then got into gaming and find the pre-built machine restrictive in the way of upgrades and modifications.

i learned this the hard way back in '04! good luck with your decision.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2008 3:53:58 PM

@OP: If you truly want a highend GAMING PC look in to Falcon Northwest. YOU will pay more for a Falcon PC vs a DIY but if you are concerned about things going wrong, Falcon has one of the really "true/best" customer services.
February 24, 2008 4:21:28 PM

Ive seen rma's with xfx, where you ship, give them a tracking number, and they send your board on the way, without recieving it, either way, the downtime is alot less then sending in your whole comp, and until then, unless its a cpu problem, you can atleast browse the web still.
February 24, 2008 7:00:54 PM

$1000 huh? You could go either way and get a nice computer. I'd recommend looking at HP if you're going to buy. They're selling Quad core machines for $850 w/o monitor.

If you build the individual parts are warrantied (normally) to different lengths in time that can be longer than your basic box buy. The downside is you have to find and fix problems on your own or with the help of buddies/forums.

I'm saving about $1000 on my build compared to a similar built HP. However I will say that $800 of that is because they overcharge on the ram.
February 24, 2008 10:23:32 PM

Having the power to pick and choose every component that go's into your new system build is worth it aloan to build your own comp. You have control over everything, overclocking, adding a huge heatsink to cool your overclocked processor and picking what case you components go into. Also the feeling that comes after building your first successful comp, learning how to trouble shoot you comp when something isn't operating correctly. I had a RAM failure a month ago and the first thing I did was remove one of my Crucial dimms and problem was gone, so I put it back in and errors. Problem solved on my own not needing to take my comp into some repair shop was golden! :D 
February 24, 2008 11:20:52 PM

1st, you have waranties, you just have to figure out were the problems lay.

on a stripped down piece of crap, you spend more, but get better components and the chance to upgrade.

On a high end gaming machine, you spend much less.

I helped a co-worker speedup her computer, Basicly I got rid of bloat ware and spyware, cleaned out dust bunnies and told her to get another memory chip (and showed her where to plug the memory in)

that computer's mobo was missing the graphic card slot and 2 memory slots. the CPU heatsink would only work in that case on a mobo with the cpu in that posiiton and that orientation. basicly any upgrade at all requires a whole new machine.

I've build my last 2 computers. it sure is nice having a great motherboard as a foundation to OC a $60 CPU to work like a $400 CPU.

I've also planned out my upgrade path so I buy a little here and a little there and not waste stuff.

My first modern computer (vs. the Appple IIc and the 486DX33) was a prebuilt pile eMachine 633 Celly3. I upgraded memory, a decent PCI graphics card (they left out the AGP slot), and an IDE HDD.

My first home built came next. a hyperthreading P4, I carried over the upgraded HDD and PCI graphics. I upgraded it as I owned it by adding AGP graphics, more memory (originaly bought 512 for it) a SATA drive, and a TV tunner.

My mom needed a new computer so I pulled the SATA HDD and the TV tunner.

My current build started with the then new AM2 socket mobo with decent OBG (nvidia 6150) and a $40 semperon CPU. and a fresh copy of XP. I soon added a Nvidia 7900gs graphics card, a couple of sata2 drives in Raid0 loaded up with Vista, and upgraded to a dual core.

now I'm getting ready to build another system based on the AM2+ w/ pcie2.0. I'll carry over the raid0 (with vista), the dual core, the 7900gs, and maybe the tuner. that will leave me with a functional second computer (gift, HTPC, torrents and folding, or maybe a security camera system) for the price of a MoBo and some memory. the new computer will ba able to handle new CPUs and graphics cards for a couple of years. As the graphics and CPU get updated, they will got to the secondary machine.

Its all planned out with very little waste and no big purchases to break the bank. Thats the beauty of picking out specific components. Its also nice having stable machines as aposed to the constantly crashing pile of crap I started out with. The emachine lasted me a year, the other 2 lasted me about 2 years, that alone justifies the price difference.
February 25, 2008 9:05:07 PM

jsc said:
At the bottom or middle, you just cannot compete with the bulk purchasing power of the commercial manufacturers. At the upper end, you have more wiggle room.

Manufacturers will put in X or QX processors instead of doing what we do - using a midlevel or low end known good OC'ing CPU with an upper end HSF. You can save $500 to $800 dollars right there.

And we tend to do neater work, even in a windowless case because time ISN"T money.


But at the low/mid end, you'd have to spend an extra $100 for a good overclocking motherboard or $200 for a graphics card.

And all your RAM is DDR2 667 5-5-5-15 instead of DDR2 800 4-4-4-12...
February 25, 2008 9:11:08 PM

It varies depending on which price range you choose. You do actually have warranties until you overclock the parts. It depends on how much money you have, what you're doing with it, and how knowledgeable you are.
February 25, 2008 11:42:57 PM

Building higher end PCs saves you more money than building a low end machine. If you got a tight budget then it's probably best to just buy brand name.

Personally, I build my own PC because I want specific parts and I estimate that it actually costs more to build what I want than buying a similar spec PC.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2008 12:34:24 AM

Whay do I build my own PCs?
:D  :D  :sol:  BECAUSE I WANT POWER AND PERFORMANCE WITH OUT BREAKING THE BANK :D  :D  :D  :sol: 
March 1, 2008 12:33:14 PM

Building yourself (if you can magage to do it) surely seems to be the better way to go. I've got a shopping list I haven't pulled the trigger on yet, but I will this month after some more reading.

I've always picked my own parts and had a company build it, this year I'm doing it myself.

Company Quote-
-RAIDMAX Smilodon Tower
-Thermaltake Toughpower 850W Power Supply
-EVGA 780i Motherboard
-Intel Q6600 Quad-Core Processor
-120mm Cooling Fans
-4GB Mushkin Redline DDR2 1000
-320GB WD SATA II 16MB buffer 7200rpm
-(2) Pioneer 20x Dual-Layer DVD Burner IDE
-1.44 Floppy Drive
(installing your video cards)
-Onboard Digital 7.1 Sound
-Gigabit 10/100/1000 Ethernet
-Microsoft Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
TOTAL - $1650 and that's with no sound and my two current cards.

Here's whats in my cart now-
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 - Retail
SILVERSTONE OP850 ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS12V 850W Power Supply - Retail
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium DVD - Retail
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA-150 Hard Drive
RAIDMAX Smilodon Extreme
mushkin 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel REDLINE
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
TOTAL- $1700 Includes video card, faster HDD, better PSU and includes PCI sound instead of onboard. Getting the 8800GT alone makes it a better deal and I'm getting the retail Vista rather than the OEM with a restore disk.

I just hope I/we can find the support we need when we hit that building brick wall lol.
March 1, 2008 3:01:15 PM

wwarriorww said:
I know there are multiple variables here e.g Where one would order their pre-built computer/ parts. Ive been thinking about constructing my own PC but it does seem very unnerving especially when you spend $1,000 on machinery thats dependent on you to function correctly no warranties attached.

Alternatively, I was thinking of Ibuypower.com, but I would like to investigate this matter further to see how much one could generally save building it themselves versus ordering it.


I would say if your not to picky Ibuypower is probably the best on performance per $$$ in computer building. Dell is a flipping joke and I cant believe anyone with any computer knowledge would give them any money but if you are that desperate there are some good deals on scratch and dent models at outlet.dell.com.

Other then that I would say build your own. Avoid EVGA, BFG, and MSI products and stick with Asus or Gigabyte for the best results on warenty. Patriot is the best supported Ram vender imo and will cross ship with 1$ down overnight for any order that costs less then 200$.

There is also the local builder option if you can find a good one that is legit. The guy I work for is slowly draining the 3 local Bestbuys of all there biz just because of referals. Its not hard to do as we dont have much to compete with around here but thats a nice area to cover.
March 1, 2008 4:24:02 PM

Quote:
Avoid EVGA


Wow. I'm not sure where that is coming from but after exhausting amounts of reading, I have to totally disagree. EVGA has been one of the most recommended brands. I have lots of ASUS stuff myself, but their support isn't said to be as good as evga and evga even has the step-up program which is almost impossible to beat.

Did you just have a bad experience or what?

When I build mine, I may try to have a local look it over before I plug it in lol. I'd hate to let the magic smoke out! :non: 

I built my system on ibuypower and it was over $2K and I did not get to pick the brand of the PSU, the video card, no sound etc. Home built or taking your parts to the local guy is still a much better way to go.
March 1, 2008 7:59:18 PM

If someone came to me and said they wanted to build their own computer to save money I would advise against it. The amount of time that you spend on research, buying, assembling, and troubleshooting and the headaches wouldn't be worth it. I would recommend that they go to consumer reports and find a reliable computer from someone with a good record for customer support.

I've done around 8 builds or major upgrades and I do it because of the satisfaction I feel in knowing the computer inside and out and the pride in solving the problems that arise and having a computer that works well because I did it myself.

People that get into this to save money without the ability, desire, or patience to deal with what you have to deal with are probably going to regret it.

March 1, 2008 8:41:28 PM

The downside apparently is so many manufacturers making garbage lately. In 13 months I've had an eVGA card die, two case fans, a Seagate Barracuda, and most recently, a Samsung DVD burner (still works, just howls and fails when attempting to burn). No wonder most warranties are now one year instead of three.

At work it seems all I do lately's call for warranty support on systems.

I have a couple of machines over ten years old that're fine. This one I mentioned first has never had a temp over 50C and isn't exposed to cigarette smoke or anything like the older ones were.
March 1, 2008 9:38:27 PM

wwarriorww said:
I know there are multiple variables here e.g Where one would order their pre-built computer/ parts. Ive been thinking about constructing my own PC but it does seem very unnerving especially when you spend $1,000 on machinery thats dependent on you to function correctly no warranties attached.

Alternatively, I was thinking of Ibuypower.com, but I would like to investigate this matter further to see how much one could generally save building it themselves versus ordering it.


You save about $150 by building it yourself, but most of the parts you buy come with a 3-year warranty wheras the prebuilt comes with a 1-year warranty in its base price. Check out the XPS 630 review as an example.

*Notice that the Dell XPS 630 is a standard ATX machine with a good power supply, a mediocre 650i SLI motherboard, and mostly mid-grade parts.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
August 14, 2010 9:22:08 AM

Crashman said:
You save about $150 by building it yourself, but most of the parts you buy come with a 3-year warranty wheras the prebuilt comes with a 1-year warranty in its base price. Check out the XPS 630 review as an example.

*Notice that the Dell XPS 630 is a standard ATX machine with a good power supply, a mediocre 650i SLI motherboard, and mostly mid-grade parts.


Hi,

Thanks very much for this comment. It help me to think about my ideals.

Tks again and pls keep posting.
August 14, 2010 12:18:12 PM

I ended up building mine and have not had a single issue after some initial RAM problems. OCZ took care of the RAM and everything else has run perfectly since. It's OC'd at from 2.4 to 3.4 on air and other that running Vista 64, is a perfect box!

I'm very glad I built it myself and will build all my future boxes.

Good luck! It is VERY rewarding!

Rik
October 16, 2010 7:44:27 PM

I put just put together an and x6 core that had an exp rating of 7.4 7.4 6.9 6.9 and 5.9 on the disk. It only cost me 800 to put together. It has 8gb ddr3 10666 dual ocz sticks evga 1gb geforce 250gts. 1 tb sata barracuda and the phenom x6 amd with gigabyte motherboard. I bought all parts from tiger direct . Barebones had all but win 7 64bit os $99 , graphics card , 4 more gb memory cooling fan and barebones $399 windows 7 $99 , 4gb $79 , graphics card $129. This machine was the best bang for the buck easy to assemble.
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