Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Do I NEED to build from scratch for my purposes?

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 27, 2012 8:09:20 PM

I'm having a bit of a dilemma.

Basically, I need a desktop for a reasonable price, and I would like to have it soon. I'm going to be doing some gaming, some writing, normal internet browsing, and photo and music storage. It doesn't need to be top-of-the-line, and I'm not planning on overclocking. I have no knowledge about how to build a computer, and I didn't know a lot about specific parts until a few weeks ago when I started looking into this.

I am leaning toward buying a pre-built computer and upgrading the PSU and the graphics card myself. In my opinion, that is a good first step toward learning how to actually build a computer myself (which is a skill I want to have). I think I need that extra step before I would ever attempt to successfully build a computer completely from scratch.

The computer has the i3-2130 processor, which has a speed of 3.40 GHz. I've looked at the motherboard specs, and if that processor isn't strong enough I can upgrade that to an Ivy Bridge too. It already comes installed with 8GB of RAM, although that's it's maximum.

The dilemma comes from everyone (except one person, the person who put this idea into my head in the first place) telling me that it's better to build my own. I'm not sure if they're biased or if that's legitimately the best option for a relevant reason I have overlooked.

I just don't see the NEED to build from scratch at this point.

More about : build scratch purposes

a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 8:23:29 PM

Why you build from scratch is, it is a fun hobby, it is way cheaper, escpecially compared to oem company like hp. Pre built isn't that much more if you buy from newegg though. Also getting a psu and gpu extra is going to be a huge waste of money becuase in the prebuilt you are also paying for those parts. I just started building pc's this year, and it's not that bad. Here is a helpful tutorial for the first time you build one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls
But I don't think I will ever buy a pc from a manufacture again after building one.
m
0
l
October 27, 2012 8:34:35 PM

lt_dan_zsu said:
Why you build from scratch is, it is a fun hobby, it is way cheaper, escpecially compared to oem company like hp. Pre built isn't that much more if you buy from newegg though. Also getting a psu and gpu extra is going to be a huge waste of money becuase in the prebuilt you are also paying for those parts. I just started building pc's this year, and it's not that bad. Here is a helpful tutorial for the first time you build one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls
But I don't think I will ever buy a pc from a manufacture again after building one.


I've done the calculations and it's cheaper to to buy a prebuilt computer and then upgrade it. The most expensive scenario is $1320 (including sales tax) for everything. Literally everything. The cheapest scenario is $994. And there's no prebuild with a graphics card good enough for my purposes that's also a reasonable price.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 8:43:02 PM

What do you need to do with your PC? I bet I can go cheaper.
m
0
l
October 27, 2012 8:55:02 PM

Well the other thing to remember is pre-built rigs do not generally have the best components in them because they are going to keep there cost down as much as possible. All in all it is not that hard to build one yourself. You just need to do the research and find the parts you what and make sure they all work together correctly. Take your time and do not rush it and you will have something you can be proud of that you did yourself. That said you really do not feel comfortable do it your self then buy a good one and upgraded as you go. Later on you can build one yourself and save some money by using some of the parts from the old one. Hard drives optical drives ram and such can be used in the one you build to save some money later on. And if you upgrade the GPU and PSU as you said they can go into the new build to.
Good luck witch ever way to choose.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 8:59:30 PM

I would just get a friend who has built a computer before to watch over you and make sure you aren't messing anything up.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2012 11:11:00 PM

It's been my experience that once you exceed a budget of about $500, it's generally cheaper to build your own system as opposed to purchasing one off the shelf.

The Pros of purchasing an off the shelf system are:
1) Ease of use - Unbox it, plug in the keyboard, mouse, monitor, internet access and power cable into the CPU and you're off and running.
2) Lower cost - Manufacturers such as Acer, HP, Compaq, and Dell often get their components at a much lower cost as they purchase in bulk.
3) Free Software - Most off the shelf systems come with free or trial versions of productivity software packages that may suite your needs.
4) Technical Support/Warranty - Should something go wrong, you have a place to go to for answers and fixes.

The Cons of purchasing an off the shelf systems are:
1) Cost subsidies - In order to keep the cost low for off the shelf systems, you'll see manufacturers cut costs where ever they can. This often includes using sub-standard components (for most people, not a big issue).
2) Free software - Most of the software manufacturers install onto computers, IMO, is resource eating garbage. I always recommend going into control panel -> add/remove programs and getting rid of any and all unwanted software pre-installed on any off the shelf system.
3) Technical Support/Warranty - Should something go wrong with your system, you're usually without said system until the problem is resolved (a few days to over a month).
4) Cost of upgrades - As time passes, you may feel that the system you purchased, just isn't capable or isn't handling the tasks you want as well as you want. Perhaps you need more memory, a better processor, or better graphics. In many cases the cost of these upgrades are exasperated by the limitations of the system you purchased: RAM must be replaced rather than adding to, a new processor isn't supported by your current motherboard, a better graphics card requires a new power supply.
5) False Advertising - I have no idea how many times I've seen an off the shelf system billed as a "gaming" system, when it has a graphics card that is barely able to handle any game above Windows Solitaire.

The Pros of building your own system are:
1) System Design - You know what you intend to use your system for. You can customize your build to meet those needs (i.e. more RAM and a lesser CPU or more processing over graphics).
2) Choice of quality components - Manufacturers of off the shelf systems use quality components. If they didn't, they wouldn't stay in business very long. However, if a component does happen to go bad, it's a lot easier and cheaper for them to replace the faulty component (remember, they purchase in bulk). As a system builder, you do not have that option, so it's a good idea to go with top quality components.
3) You get what you pay for - You put your money into a build, balanced to your needs and use quality components, you have a system that will fill your needs for years to come.
4) No Bloatware - Much of the software installed on pre-builds is really nothing more than advertising. It all starts up automatically when you boot your system. it's only intention is to get you to purchase full fledged versions of it, costing you more money. It steals your system resources and removing it can be a pain. Even removed, your system can be left "tainted" (for lack of a better term).

The Cons of building your own system are:
1) Time investment - You (with the help of your friends or forums like this one) need to spend to time to determine what build best suites your needs and budget. Time investment also includes the time required for the actual build and installation of programs.
2) Technical support - There is none other than yourself and forums like this one. Should something go wrong, it's up to you to determine what went wrong and how to fix it. Again, that's where forums like this one come in handy.
3) Faulty components - Off the shelf systems are fully tested before they arrive at your local big box store. When you get them home and plugged in, they almost always work. If not, you can usually take it back to the store and get a quick replacement. Custom build components are fully tested by the manufacturers when they arrive at your preferred components store. When they arrive and you assemble the system, they almost always work. If not, you generally have to request an RMA process which could take several days/weeks.

There may be other pros and cons for going either way. These are just the ones I came up with off the top of my head. The bottom line (IMO) is if you're looking for a generic computer that can handle most basic tasks (office apps, e-mail, internet access, playing videos), then you should probably consider purchasing an off the shelf system. If you're looking for a system to handle specific tasks (High end gaming, audio/video production, graphic design, etc...) then you should consider building your own system.

Hope this helps

-Wolf sends
m
0
l
!