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Old 02-17-2011   #1
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Default Buy or build

If given the choice, would you buy a ready-made PC from well-known brands (Dell, HP...etc), or would you build your own (by an IT specialist).

I'm asking because my cousin is willing to build me one, but for some unexplainable reason I'm not convinced/comfortable/feel safe with self-made PCs. Maybe it has to do with sub-systems (power supply, cooling...etc).

In my situation, kindly keep in mind that a Dell, for example, would cost double of what people in the US get.

What would you do in this situation.

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Old 02-17-2011   #2
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I'd build my own in a heart beat! Pick your video card sound card- Mother board-which I don't believe you can if you buy from Dell,Your processor cooling etc. If your cousin is in (IT) - this is second nature to him. I've built two myself and I ain't know tech. Most of it's common sense and reading instruction if you need to.

Brady
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Old 02-17-2011   #3
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Default Re: Buy or build

If you buy a "well Known" brand, you have a few options that you will be able to choose and everything will come in a nice box with a color coded diagram that shows how to connect everything. Upgrades to items like the Motherboard are difficult because generic ones most likely will not fit in the case. However, one payment and you have a complete box.

Building the PC will allow you to be very creative. Choose a case, power supply, motherboard, processor, memory, video card, hard drive, optical drives, etc. There are many choices for each component so you aren't limited to what a "well-known" brand has to offer. When it comes time to upgrade, you can usually upgrade individual components. For me, building the first system involved a longer time period and payments to different companies as I purchased the individual parts.

In my opinion, the end results will be a good PC in both cases. If your cousin can build a system with similar or better specifications, in a reasonable time frame, for a lower cost, that would be the direction that I would lean toward.
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Old 02-17-2011   #4
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Default Re: Buy or build

I would build a computer if I were you. I did my first time when I was getting into web design and needed more power then my laptop could provide at the time.

To dispell a couple of the myths that's people get scared by Ill point out a few facts....

Warranty - Most quality components come with some sort of warranty. (Intel CPU 3yrs, Corsair PSU 5 yrs, WD hard drive 3 or 5yrs, most motherboard manufactures offer 1 or 2yr, etc...)

Support- I bet a quick Google search would help you fix whats wrong instead of waiting on a phone forever to talk to someone that has a poor idea of what is going on. There are always websites like Overclock.net - Overclocking.net and others that have a wealth of info and are willing to help

Some advantages too are none of the bloatware that seems to clog up store bought PC's these days. You install the operating system and drivers and you are ready to rock. No deleting all the proprietary 'Welcome to XXXX' junk, and none of those anti virus trials.

So what is your budget you are looking to spend and what is going to be the main use for the computer. Do you already have components in mind or are you going to leave that up to your cousin?
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Old 02-17-2011   #5
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The last system my family bought was our first. It was an apple IIGS in 1986. It is really slow by modern standards. We switched to PC for the open archetecture. The issue ,for me, of building your own systen comes down to can you or your cousin provide provide your own technical support. The web is full of helpful people just pay it foreward.
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Old 02-17-2011   #6
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Default Re: Buy or build

Thank you very much, Brady, Tom, and Jason. Really appreciate your feedback, gents.

Jason, excellent points!

Warranty & support: No worries what's so ever, since I know a lot of people in the IT field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonRussell View Post
none of the bloatware that seems to clog up store bought PC's these days.
That's a HUGE advantage. When I bought a laptop last year (an HP) it came with so much junkware that you won't believe. For example, there were 3 (maybe even 4) pieces of software to burn CDs. Imagine that!
Not being an IT person, it's difficult to clean it beyond a simple uninstall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonRussell View Post
So what is your budget you are looking to spend and what is going to be the main use for the computer. Do you already have components in mind or are you going to leave that up to your cousin?
Budget is not an issue (within reason). I'm fine with up to ~ $3,000 (without monitor).

Main use: Photography, basically. Plus, watching NFL games online in HD. No gaming at all.

Specs: I'll list them in the next post.

Thank you very much, again, gents.
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Old 02-17-2011   #7
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Default Re: Buy or build

Quote:
Originally Posted by aam1234 View Post
If given the choice, would you buy a ready-made PC from well-known brands (Dell, HP...etc), or would you build your own (by an IT specialist).

I'm asking because my cousin is willing to build me one, but for some unexplainable reason I'm not convinced/comfortable/feel safe with self-made PCs. Maybe it has to do with sub-systems (power supply, cooling...etc).

In my situation, kindly keep in mind that a Dell, for example, would cost double of what people in the US get.

What would you do in this situation.
I always build my own. Beware, though, that when you start down this path, you inevitably end up with many more computers than you probably need. Reason: Parts pile up, and eventually you end up with "almost enough" extra parts to build another PC. So you do. Etcetera.

Plus building your own is just fun--and you learn a lot in the process. Certainly takes the mystery out of what's inside.

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Old 02-17-2011   #8
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Default Re: Buy or build

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonRussell View Post
I would build a computer if I were you. I did my first time when I was getting into web design and needed more power then my laptop could provide at the time.

To dispell a couple of the myths that's people get scared by Ill point out a few facts....

Warranty - Most quality components come with some sort of warranty. (Intel CPU 3yrs, Corsair PSU 5 yrs, WD hard drive 3 or 5yrs, most motherboard manufactures offer 1 or 2yr, etc...)

Support- I bet a quick Google search would help you fix whats wrong instead of waiting on a phone forever to talk to someone that has a poor idea of what is going on. There are always websites like Overclock.net - Overclocking.net and others that have a wealth of info and are willing to help

Some advantages too are none of the bloatware that seems to clog up store bought PC's these days. You install the operating system and drivers and you are ready to rock. No deleting all the proprietary 'Welcome to XXXX' junk, and none of those anti virus trials.

So what is your budget you are looking to spend and what is going to be the main use for the computer. Do you already have components in mind or are you going to leave that up to your cousin?
Jason has said a mouth full here! You are getting some great advice!---- Anything else?

Brady
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Old 02-17-2011   #9
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Default Re: Buy or build

Your budget is 3 bones! You're going to have one hell of a Pooter for that!

Brady
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Old 02-17-2011   #10
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Default Re: Buy or build

Cheers, Gene, JD, and Brady (twice )

What I have in mind is something like this:

- Would really like to get an i7 Extreme - 6 Core (i7-980x). But man, that's a $1,000 piece of silicon
- A small SSD to hold the OS (32 or 64 is enough, I think)
- A 10k rpm HD
- 12 GB ram
- Mid-range GPU, since no games will be played in this PC
- USB 3.0
- Other: High-end power supply, lots of cooling, good quality wiring.


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