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Buy from one or multiple retailers?

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  • Graphics Cards
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Last response: in Systems
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December 27, 2012 7:37:12 PM

Hello all,

This is the system I plan to build:
http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/uuHK

I plan to purchase a video card at another time; I do not need it atm.

If I purchase from 3 separate retailers, I can save $100 (which is very appealing). On the other hand, if I am going to be stressed out from these companies from their service, I may decide to pool my money to one retailer and save me some trouble. What are your thoughts? Please also note I live in Canada.

**
On a side note, should I bother waiting for haswell? Will the several month wait extend my pc life more than 1 year?

More about : buy multiple retailers

a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2012 7:49:08 PM

As always, it depends on the retailers that you are doing business with. I do most of my business with Microcenter and Newegg. Microcenter has been getting consistantly better with their customer service/support, while Newegg is simply OK but not as awesome as they use to be. I have just started dealing with NCIX, and all 3 of the purchases I have made from them have had prices that are 'too good to be true', but no failures or returns yet.
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a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2012 8:11:43 PM

When I built mine, even though it cost an extra £50 I decided to get it from Amazon, then if anything went wrong I knew where to go, although in the end I guess it was fine as I didn't have to pay for P&P.
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Best solution

December 27, 2012 8:58:09 PM

I'm also in Canada.

If you want to save big bucks, it will cost you in time and effort. So weigh out which is worth more to you. What I did for my $2000 PC a number of years ago was getting the big 3 here in Ontario (TigerDirect, NCIX, and CanadaComputers) to compete against each other.

As they stand as far as retail prices go, in order of least to most expensive, they are ranked CanadaComputers (CC) = NCIX, TigerDirect. However, they all have markup that they are willing to negotiate.

Here was my SOP:

1) You start off at CC/NCIX and you get them to give you a paper copy of your system build with their accompanying prices for each component. You tell them that you'll think about it, and take said printout to the next store.

2) You tell them that the previous store is offering you these prices for these components, can you beat it? They will huff and puff but will eventually beat it. Tell them to print out a NEW paper build, and will come back after some more deliberation. Take the new sheet to the next store and repeat.

3) After the first round of negotiations, go back to the first store you went to, and this is where it will be up to your judgement of how much more time to invest in the process. They will either beat it, or not, because you will have chipped off so much of their markup that you're approaching "at cost" prices. You stop the process when you feel they really can't do any better.

Note - keep in mind that some individual components may cost more at one store than another, but as long as the WHOLE build cost less at that one store, it is fine. Get the whole build done at that one store.

I priced my i7 920 Crossfire build off newegg at ~$2000 at the time but finally paid ~$1600 for the whole thing at TigerDirect. It was quite comical because one manager signed off on the build at ridiculously low prices, but when I returned to agree to it, it was another manager on site, and he was furious, saying "WTF, who signed off on this? We're not making any freakin money." But they had to honour it. Cashing out took a while because the system wouldn't let the cashier check out at the prices I got, almost everything needed a special manager's override code.

In the end, it takes tough skin (leave your dignity at home lol) and patience - it took me a week, but I saved $400 off retail prices. Weigh out if it's worth it for you. Maybe do 2 stores to save time?
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December 27, 2012 9:26:40 PM

djridonkulus said:
I'm also in Canada.

If you want to save big bucks, it will cost you in time and effort. So weigh out which is worth more to you. What I did for my $2000 PC a number of years ago was getting the big 3 here in Ontario (TigerDirect, NCIX, and CanadaComputers) to compete against each other.

As they stand as far as retail prices go, in order of least to most expensive, they are ranked CanadaComputers (CC) = NCIX, TigerDirect. However, they all have markup that they are willing to negotiate.

Here was my SOP:

1) You start off at CC/NCIX and you get them to give you a paper copy of your system build with their accompanying prices for each component. You tell them that you'll think about it, and take said printout to the next store.

2) You tell them that the previous store is offering you these prices for these components, can you beat it? They will huff and puff but will eventually beat it. Tell them to print out a NEW paper build, and will come back after some more deliberation. Take the new sheet to the next store and repeat.

3) After the first round of negotiations, go back to the first store you went to, and this is where it will be up to your judgement of how much more time to invest in the process. They will either beat it, or not, because you will have chipped off so much of their markup that you're approaching "at cost" prices. You stop the process when you feel they really can't do any better.

Note - keep in mind that some individual components may cost more at one store than another, but as long as the WHOLE build cost less at that one store, it is fine. Get the whole build done at that one store.

I priced my i7 920 Crossfire build off newegg at ~$2000 at the time but finally paid ~$1600 for the whole thing at TigerDirect. It was quite comical because one manager signed off on the build at ridiculously low prices, but when I returned to agree to it, it was another manager on site, and he was furious, saying "WTF, who signed off on this? We're not making any freakin money." But they had to honour it. Cashing out took a while because the system wouldn't let the cashier check out at the prices I got, almost everything needed a special manager's override code.

In the end, it takes tough skin (leave your dignity at home lol) and patience - it took me a week, but I saved $400 off retail prices. Weigh out if it's worth it for you. Maybe do 2 stores to save time?

Thank you for your thorough response; much appreciated!

I live in the maritimes though so my computer retailer selection is very limited in person (I'm assuming you did the bargaining/negotiating in person). There are some stores here (about 3 I think for computer parts where I live) that I could try. For one example of the markup you mentioned, for my 3570k, one online retailer had it priced near 190, another one by my home had it up to 270!

Would it be possible at all to do this online or would the bargaining be completely lost?
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December 27, 2012 11:12:12 PM

You are right, I negotiated in person. I don't know how you would go about negotiating with online retailers. I've never tried. I've always assumed that with online purchases there were never any people to interact with so it's all point, click and pay.

Can't help you there, sorry.
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December 27, 2012 11:18:22 PM

Re-reading your first post, I think I may have strayed off topic. What is this "service" that may stress you out?

With my computer, because it was my own build from individual parts, there really weren't any service guarantees. Whatever defects come with the parts I had 30 days to exchange at the retailer but beyond that I have to deal with the manufacturer.

Whereas if you bought a whole system say from Dell, they give you technical support and warranties.

So if you're adamant on doing a custom build, my choice would be to just save the money by ordering from 3 different companies and cross my fingers hoping that I won't need to RMA anything.
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a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2012 2:58:08 AM

For your side note on haswell:
Haswell will initially be a mobile release, with desktop CPUs coming out a few months later. There are not a whole lot of reasons to wait with Haswell, but here is what you can expect:
~5% performance increase across the board for general computing, this translates to some 1-5 FPS increase for games... no big deal
major increases in encryption performance (if you encrypt your drives, or do bitmining then this could be a plus)
Hopefully better thermals, Ivy Bridge suffered from the use of sub-par heat spreaders, and I think they will fix this with Haswell.
Much lower CPU power usage, but much higher iGPU power usage (because it is a much better iGPU chip), but none of that is relevant to your build. But the iGPU will be powerful enough to play most games at basic to moderate settings, which is fairly impressive in its own right.
Better North Bridge chipsets (z87?) with features like thunderbolt/lightpeak finally seeing the light of day for normal builds.
A better memory controller which will allow you to take better advantage of faster RAM


All in all, we are not talking about 'life changing' improvements for gaming PCs. For mobile solutions we are talking about much improved battery and GPU performance, so for that market Haswell is a game changer. But for a desktop you don't really need to worry about power usage, nor integrated graphics, so there is very little to talk about.

Broadwell (the next, next gen chip) will also be mobile focused, showing even more improved battery and graphics, with only moderate CPU performance gains. However, Broadwell should introduce DDR4, which is a little exciting, and it will be Intel's first major push to moving to more of an SoC design where the North and South Bridge chipsets essentially get integrated into the CPU which will destroy some bottlenecks, and potentially make for less CPU cycles from the issuing to the execution of a command. This can make computers feel more responsive at slower clock rates, but would have minimal impact on things like gaming performance as they are bound more by CPU performance rather than input response time.

After Broadwell comes Skylake and Skymont. This is where we may see a real emphasis on performance again. Intel will be done with their platform changes of incorporating everything into the CPU, the iGPU will finally be on par with AMD's integrated solutions, and the battle against ARM will hopefully be decided by that point. Intel will also be nearing the end of their die shrinking roadmap, which means one thing: Future performance and power saving increases will be done via better instruction sets, and we will see a new focus on CPU performance increases, and one final look at the desktop platform.

Personally, I do not see any real 'need' to upgrade any time soon. A 4.2GHz Sandy bridge will eat any game that you can throw at it today, and should fair pretty well with the next gen of consoles (provided that the GPU is kept up to date... I already find that my 1GB of VRAM is woefully inadequate). By the time the Skylake/mont CPUs are available I think we will be seeing the last 'hurrah' of the PC platform (which will largely be eaten by the nextbox and other set top computers). In fact, when I built my rig last year I built it fully expecting it to possibly be my last, or next to last rig that I will ever build for myself. But then again, nobody knows the future, this is just my best guess as to where I see things moving.
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January 7, 2013 9:48:35 AM

Best answer selected by feignt.
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