Hi, I'm new to the forum. I'm at a point where I should buy a new computer. I've been watching the market for a really good deal for over a month now. I've found a couple of nice prebuilts but if I could build a better machine for less money I would absolutely do that. I just can't see how I could possibly beat the value of a prebuilt.
$400+$15: Gateway: i5-2300, 6gb ram, 1.5tb 5400rpm, dvd-rw, multi-card reader, no video card, no wireless
$450+$35: Dell XPS 8300: i5-2300, 6gb ram, 1tb 7200rpm, dvd-rw, multi-card reader, wireless-n, no video card
If I bought the gateway I figured I would install a wireless card which would be about $25.
In the future I would like to be able to upgrade to a decent video card, blu-ray, upgrade the processor to an i7, possibly upgrade the ram, and install a SSD. No guarantee I will make all these upgrade but I would like to be able to.
I'm not sure but I think the Gateway is limited to 8gb of ram while the Dell is upgradeable to 16gb which makes me think the Dell is built with better parts. I really have no idea though.
I look into building one myself and it almost seems like I could do it for the same price but when I include the price of Windows it suddenly doesn't seem so possible.
So my question is; Should I buy one of the prebuilt computers above (and which one) or is it possible for me to build a better computer (incuding the price of windows 7) for the same?
If you plan on ever upgrading anything do not get a Dell. The company I work for buys Dell computers all the time as do many of their employees and every one I've looked at is very limited at to what could be upgraded. For example, any of them that come with integrated graphics don't have any PCI-e x16 slots to put a graphics card in and the power button connector is non-standard so you couldn't replace the motherboard without replacing the case too.
I don't know about Gateway, I haven't seen one in about 8 years.
If you plan on ever upgrading anything do not get a Dell.
Is Dell really that bad? I don't think I would ever plan on replacing the motherboard or case. I just want something that can handle some more RAM, maybe a new processor and a SSD. That's very interesting what you said about not being able to add a video card to a Dell with integrated graphics. Is that all Dells? This one is an XPS which I thought meant it was like their top of the line model with good quality insides. I'd be interested to hear more on this.
The Gateway I know has a slot for a graphics card but the power supply limits what I can install. The gateway is also supposed to be easy to add another HDD to. But again, the Dell is an XPS and the Gateway is budget line model. In my uneducated opinion I am inclined to believe the XPS would have better and more upgradeable parts than the Gateway. Is there any merit to my reasoning? Or do all manufacturer's just cheap out as much as possible regardless of the model?
What you buy from dell/gateway is what you should be happy with until you replace it. If that is as far as you go, then a pre built is probably cheaper.
Pre builts will come with a psu and motherboard that does the job, and no more. That is OK until you want a good graphics card, and need to replace the psu.
So, say I put in a mediocre (low power) graphics card, add a blu-ray burner, and a SSD. Would a pre built handle that? What about upgrading to an i7 down the road?
Since everyone is advising I build my own I've been trying to piece one together. There are so many questions that pop up as I think through it... are the parts compatible? Do I need special tools to install them? Are all the wires/accessories included or do I have to buy them separate? Anyway, building off that i5-2400/asus combo I linked earlier, I feel I could put something together that's better than either of those prebuilds for about $500. But then I have to buy windows. Boom. Add $100. I saw some tutorials on youtube to get Windows for cheap or free. Those can't be legit can they?
I've been considering changing my career to something in IT so a reason to build my own would be to gain a good learning experience. Although I have zero experience with computer building, I am technically and mechanically inclined. How hard is it really?
Sorry man, sometimes it takes time to get responses, a lot of members are all over the world
if you fill http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/foru [...] ild-advice in for us it can help us help you more easily
I'm going to fill one of those out in a new thread. I'll post a link here. Not sure if I'll do it tonight.. probably tomorrow.
Most of the pre-build systems are limited to what they came with as much as possible, they would rather have you buy a new system from them than upgrade the one you already bought. It also makes it easier on their support if there aren't parts in the case that they didn't put in there.