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Should I buy, or should I build?

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June 29, 2011 10:13:45 PM

Ok. I am in the process of getting a new computer.
The main usage will be for PHotoshop CS5. But, for my system, I am on a pretty tight budget.
I saw at Best buy, the ASUS Essentio is $830.. and is configured:
Core i7 2600 @ 3.4GHz
8GB DDR3 (expandable to 16)
1 TB SATA 7200
NVidia GT 530 (Oem only... but very similar stats to GT 430)...
Loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit



I am thinking of building my own... with the following parts... (prices per Newegg including shipping.
Core i7 2600 ($300)
ASUS P8P67-LE motherboard ($130)
ASUS GeForce GTS 450 ENGTS450 ($133) -$20 rebate
Patriot Gamer 2 DDR3 1333/10666 8 GB (2x4) ($73) - $15 rebate
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB ($55)
Lite_On Dual Layer DVD ($25)
Corsair Builder Series CS430 V2 430W Power ($40) - $20 rebate
Rosewill Challenger Black ATX Mid Tower ($50)
Windows Home Premium 64 bit OEM ($100)

Total cost $934... after rebates $879.00.

I have never built a system before... so... a few questions...
Am I in for a world of grief building on my own? Or should I just get the system from Best Buy?
I am sure that with the help of a techie friend, I could work out any bugs... is this a decent build? or are there some glaring "mistakes" I am making?
Any suggestions for changes that I could/should make without boosting the price too much?

I intend to, in the near future, add a second HDD... maybe solid state... and boosting the Ram to 16GB... but need to start with low cost...

Thanks in advance for help, advice, critique!

-Steve

More about : buy build

June 29, 2011 10:55:05 PM

Steve/sad39 If you are able to follow directions, hold a screwdriver, and watch instructional vids on line, you can build a computer. It will also normally be better than a boxed one at the same price. If you have a computer now, buy a grounding strap for your wrist and take out one piece at a time and practice putting them back in. Get some thermal paste and clean off your old cpu and re-install it with the new paste on it . Check your temps to see if your application covered well. If at the end of this process you plug your old computer in and it boots up you know you can do it. You may want to go with a little more wattage on the psu.
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June 29, 2011 10:55:16 PM

I would go with building your own computer. It is not that hard and you would not have all the junk that comes with a pre-built. Building your own would give you a lot of insight on what goes into a computer as well as it would be set up the way you want it.. The specs for your home built look good to me. Maybe someone else has an idea about this but the choice is yours. We are here to help all we can and I will admit there are some very smart people on this forum.
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June 29, 2011 11:13:46 PM

There are only two reasons to buy:
1. If you are a commercial user, time is money. It is cheaper to pay someone to maintain your systems.
2. All you want is a bottom end machine. I'd say the dividing line is around $500.

Build it yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

And although this primarily a troubleshooting thread, the first part contains a checklist that will catch most noob mistakes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...
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June 29, 2011 11:15:52 PM

Def. build your own, it is not hard and you got the joy of picking your own parts and also saying hey! I built that!
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June 29, 2011 11:21:27 PM

Welcome to the forums, Steve. Off the bat, the obvious choice is the prebuilt system from BB, but that's only from a dollar amount point of view. However, there are pros and cons to both buying or building. Let's briefly review them.

Best Buy Pros:

Already assembled
In-store Warranty
Manufacturer warranty
Expandable RAM

Best Buy Cons

You have to pay extra for the in-store warranty
If you don't buy extended warranty, you only have 30-day warranty
Opening the case may void warranty
Future upgrades may not be possible, other than RAM

Building Pros:

You'll learn how to build, troubleshoot, and repair PCs
you can choose what parts to build your system with
a lot more flexibility with upgrades
the potential to save money or get more value for money spent (quality of parts)
the typical warranty on the parts you buy is 1yr (vs 30-days at BB)

Building Cons:

You need to assemble the parts (or have someone do it for you)
you have to do the troubleshooting (or have someone do it for you)
a very low percent chance that you screw something up and create an expensive paper weight (but this forum has thorough instructions for first time builders)

Other than those pros and cons, the parts you've chosen are decent. However, you may want to reconsider your PSU choice. 28A with only one +12V rail is a little low.
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June 29, 2011 11:38:25 PM

I would recommend building your own if you are willing to take the time to learn how to do it. I think the most frustrating part would be when one of your parts aren't working and you have to RMA it. Try getting a friend who knows what they're doing and it should be really fast and easy.
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June 30, 2011 12:18:43 PM

Just need to add one more Building Con to T_T's list:

Once you've successfully built your first system, you may not want to stop building them. :kaola: 

-Wolf sends
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June 30, 2011 9:15:45 PM

Hey Steve. My 2nd computer psu blew up and I had to replace it. The local computer store wanted 100.00 to put it in. I said w.t.heck and went to circuit city ( when it was retail) and got an Antec for 40 bucks and put it in myself. Now much older I have repaired my messed up refrigeraters, washers, dryers, stoves, and saved $1000.00 s. Just from having the confidence to to replace a 40.00 psu. Go for it and let us know how you do.
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July 10, 2011 12:45:20 PM

Best answer selected by sad39.
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