How much have you seen prebuilts skimp on parts?

My mom needed a new machine to replace the aging Pentium 4 so she got a compaq, it was onsale at staples for $350 and i simply couldnt build anything that low and still get a copy of windows with it. Well when we get home i discovered how they managed to keep the price down. Here is the same model on newegg

Took it out of the box to find that its motherboard has no PS/2 port, luckily it came packed with a USB keyboard, i wasnt expecting that. It came with a power supply with passive PFC, this is a brand new unit and they cant even put in a power supply with APFC? And for some strange reason they flipped how the motherboard is mounted, its mounted on the left side of the case like a BTX board would be, but its expansion card slots are up top so it seems to just be a mATX board that they flipped.

So whats the most you guys have seen them skimp out on parts?
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  1. every single dell that i have worked on. especially their servers.
  2. Actually, cheap dells are so skimpy they're mostly proprietary parts. I remember one dell that had it's CPU fan double as the only case fan.

    Also, their HD's, RAM and PSU's.... yea.

    There's a reason we don't recommend prebuilt's.
  3. Yeah, this just reaffirms that for me. My older prebuilts from back in 2000-2002 were actually decent parts that werent super crappy like this new one, i hadnt seen a new prebuilt recently to see how much they were skimping these days.
  4. Typically I've found mobo lack of AGP or PCI-E x8 and x16 slots, only old PCI slots. Gets better when you get to $800+ pc's as they may have a GT 210 graphics card that you can swap out. The psu is second biggest skimp item, 280W. Only good for memory upgrade and may lack a 6 or 8 pin connector for higher power graphics card upgrade.
    The $800+ systems skimp on memory speed. It may come with 1TB HDD and 8GB ram but it's only 1066 whether it's DDR2 or DDR3. The $1600+ gaming systems start to use 1333 or 1600 ram, if you can find it in the specs. Wost Buy is notorious for lack of ram speed in their spec cards as it could be 8GB of DDR2 667 for all you know.
  5. Cheap dells and compaqs are the worst for this. I've seen 200W PSUs on computers with Graphics boards and sound cards in them prebuilt (especially on slimline computers). At best they come with 300W. Mobos, fans, and PSUs tend to be chinese brands (i.e. Bestec). HDD tends to be 5400RPM Western Digital.

    If you shell out money for a workstation it isn't as bad as all the parts have to be reliability certified.
  6. banthracis said:
    I remember one dell that had it's CPU fan double as the only case fan.

    That is not unusual. In fact, I am sure that that is part of the BTX specs.

    In fact, in the old 386 and 486 days, that was practically normal.
  7. Well, the last prebuilt I looked at had a junky power supply only supplying 15 amps on the 12v+ rail(only 2-3 years old loaded with vista). And they were using an ecs board. Then the fan on the heatsink of the processor was like halfway thank you.
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