Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Barebones savings

Last response: in Systems
Share
December 2, 2012 3:32:11 AM

Hello, I was looking at desktops at costco. For ~$800, they had some good systems. Ballpark, how much would I save for a comparable kit?
(I'm not a gamer, so I don't need anything exotic)
I assume for the same price, I can get much better components than I would get from companies like HP?!!

More about : barebones savings

a b B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2012 4:10:46 AM

I am a little confused on your question. Are you asking if you could build a particular system offered at Costco, by HP, for a cheaper price? If so we would need to know the specs or model of the HP offered to tell you that. The "Barebones savings" title is a little confusing.

Also, Typically it can sometimes be hard to build a comparable PC for a cheaper price when it comes to the lower end systems. The OEM's can just build them so much cheaper because they buy in bulk and have custom cheaper components made for them that specifically fit the purpose. If you built from scratch with all good retail parts, you would most likely have a better performing system, with better parts, and much more options to upgrade later.

The question might be. For $800 I can get this at Costco. What could I build for $800 that would be better?
December 2, 2012 4:25:01 AM

We would have to know the exact system you were looking at and than scour the web for the best prices on comparable parts to let you know exactly how much you would save. I can say for sure you would not only save money but you would end up with higher quality components as well. Building your own PC is better 99% of the time than buying a pre built.

For example. When I was buying my desktop a couple years ago I looked at the prices dell was charging. For the same price dell was charging (1400 dollars) I ended up with better parts in every single area from mobo to psu to gpu to cpu to ram to case every single part was magnitudes better then what I got from dell and it was the same price.
Related resources
December 3, 2012 2:48:00 AM

Thanks for the replies. I'm guessing for a mid-quality home-built might be $100-200 less than something similar from a store (for an $800-1200 computer) - but the more important consideration is the ability to select components. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know the difference, these days.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 3:14:23 PM

^ You would have to be comfortable building a system yourself, unless you have a buddy that knows what he/she is doing. People on here will say "oh it's easy these days to build a system, we will tell you what to buy". That is very true, we can help you select components, but the game changes if you run into issues. We can help with those as well, but it's always good to have someone with some experience building along side of you. If it is a venture you are willing to take, I say go for it. I started when I was 14 and my dad said, "sure you want a project computer". It was back in the day of dip switches and pin jumpers all over the motherboard, but I got it to work just fine. If you have the time to do it yourself and troubleshoot any issues, I say go for it. If you need a working system right away, it may be better to buy one prebuilt. There are also a lot of companies, like iBuyPower and CyberPower, that let you choose components from a list and they will build it for you. Of course you are paying more for that, but could get a decent system for your price range. They also mainly use retail parts, not OEM.
December 3, 2012 5:03:32 PM

Just for comparison sake,

http://www.costco.com/ZT-Desktop%2c-Intel%C2%AE-Core%E2...

Something like that would be, using newegg (not linking, but can if interested):
$280 for a sandy-bridge i7
$60 for an inexpensive LGA 1155 motherboard; will be similar quality at its worst, but likely better than the costco one
$60 for 16GB* of RAM (compared to 12GB; cheaper to just get it in increments of 8 and better for latency; it's a good assumption that the costco is running DDR3-1333 at best, compared to a higher clock-rate from newegg)
$10 for cheap wireless adapter
$70 for a 7200 RPM* 1TB hard drive (not many 2TB drives in a 5900 RPM speed, so I just went with a smaller capacity, faster drive. General use won't see a full TB anyway, but a slower speed will hinder boot time and program load time- smaller and faster>bigger and slower, at least in the world of hard drive performance..)
$70-100 for Windows 7/8 (this goes on sale constantly; 8 was $70 last weekend)
$15 for a DVD burner
$25-40 for a cheap case; Rosewill usually has some decent small towers with good build quality.
$25 for a basic, quality power supply; the one included with the costco one is absolutely a cheap one, and I would say a cheap power supply more than anything is the source of most hardware issues.

Roughly $615-640 depending on if you grab things on sale online.

So you're maybe $50-100 cheaper to build it yourself, though the parts are across the board better quality and faster when you buy them yourself (increase in RAM capacity and speed and increase in HDD speed noted), and I would shave a further $100 off by going with an i5 or even an i3, depending on your specific use. Buying the quality parts is what makes the difference too; buying bottom of the barrel parts could save you a good $100-150 more, but then you'll potentially deal with headaches which isn't worth it in my opinion, and I'm guessing that's what many of these parts are.

However.. this Dell from costco for only $100 more addresses both the RAM and hard drive issues I brought up, has a cheap but better graphics card, and comes with a full version of office home, which can be $100 for just retail alone. I would still prefer to build my own, but I would have a harder time and probably couldn't match the price on this one while it's on sale:
http://www.costco.com/Dell-XPS-8500-Desktop%2c-Intel%C2...
!