Topic: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve  (Read 16368 times)

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Offline Khalee1

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buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« on: August 16, 2009, 11:34:28 pm »
From time to time look at the computer sites and I realize after having 4 computers starting with a Tandy color computer three,I still know nothing about them, other than the bare basics.  What I would like to have is one for rendering and modeling first gaming second. I really would like to get my studiomax back up and running but I don't think it would do it on this wall mart emachine I got.

So any advice on what A good computer to get that would do what I want to do with it will be appreciated.   

Offline toasty0

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 08:30:12 am »
My advice--as much as it pains me--is to purchase a pre-built machine. It is no longer cost effective to build your own unless you're doing so for the pure joy of building your own.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 11:36:50 am »
Price isn't the only reason to build your own.

1/ Quality

2/ Customized/optimized for your purposes

I have found that my machines have been much more stable than the "generic" machines others buy off the shelf as I stick to quality components. 

Khalee  as a modeler would likely in a custom build get key components that perform much better for modelling than a "generic" machine would. 
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Offline Lono

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 04:39:32 pm »
I would have to agree with Nemesis - everytime I cut a few bucks off by purchasing a dell or some other pre-made hunk-a-junk I always get messed over in the end...

If it's not the questionable quality of the internal parts - and the constant yet mysterious instability of the system - then it's the utter difficulty upgrading or over clocking minor parts.

IMHO - when you build your own system - not only does it run so very much better all the time - but it basically gets around the normal 3-5 year obsolecence of your machine as you can upgrade seperate parts - at your leisure - when the best deals come along.

(only doing a major comp replacement when a hugh innovation comes through - and even then it usually only requires a motherboard,chip, and basic case replacement)

I also regret that I am not able to overclock my chip on my current Dell - because Intel's Core Duo chips can nearly double their power with very minor and safe tweaking...

Now this pertains much more to desktops than laptops - but sometimes building is better in those cases too (or going with a slightly higher priced but non closed/proprietary model)

New Egg is still the king for me for great Comp Parts - and fatwallet.com and bensbargains.net are great for finding out about awesome (though usually short lived) deals.


Offline Just plain old Punisher

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 04:50:23 pm »
My advice--as much as it pains me--is to purchase a pre-built machine. It is no longer cost effective to build your own unless you're doing so for the pure joy of building your own.

How you figure?

I can get all the components I need from places like newegg.com and get better performance for less money. I can price out a kick ass intel I7 system for around 300 bucks cheaper than I see for pre-build systems from HP or Dell.

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Offline toasty0

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 05:53:19 pm »
My advice--as much as it pains me--is to purchase a pre-built machine. It is no longer cost effective to build your own unless you're doing so for the pure joy of building your own.

How you figure?

I can get all the components I need from places like newegg.com and get better performance for less money. I can price out a kick ass intel I7 system for around 300 bucks cheaper than I see for pre-build systems from HP or Dell.

For Kalee that is not an option. He's better off at his price point, imho, purchasing an off the shelf model than trying to make a top-of-the-line white box.
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Offline Nemesis

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2009, 09:05:49 pm »
For Kalee that is not an option. He's better off at his price point, imho, purchasing an off the shelf model than trying to make a top-of-the-line white box.

You don't have to build at the high end.  You can build mostly to the low end but with crucial components for your purpose of higher (higher not high) quality and get much better performance for your purposes.

As an example of this the first time I did substantial "building" of a computer was a rebuild and when I had replaced only the motherboard and RAM a friend with a machine twice as fast had me run a utility to compare their performance.  My machine though with the same processor at half the clock speed was rated at 90.7% the performance of his.  He was not pleased.  The machine had a superiour video card. L2 cache and RAM the rest of it was older from when the machine had first been built (it was good when bought but was considered low performance by the time of the rebuild).

So Khalee could build a machine with one or two higher end components than an off the shelf machine would have and get much better performance if he chooses well.  If he chose his components well he would be able to do incremental upgrades over the next few years as the weaker components showed their age and higher performance replacements became cheaper.
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Offline Dash Jones

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2009, 09:41:39 pm »
Look inside the emachine you have, if it's the one that was currently at Walmart.  I would imagine that it also has a place for you to upgrade the RAM and the videocard, relatively easy things to do.  Why not combine the best of both, by upgrading the RAM (I think it may go up to at least 4 Gig available) and install a new card?
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Offline NJAntman

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2009, 11:21:45 am »
How about trying a middle of the road approach? Use a build to order shop (last one I used was CyberpowerPC), they offer standardized models for differing uses (gaming, graphics, office), and then allow mixing of components.

For instance I choose a mid level gamers rig that could have cost between $800 to $2000 depending on the components. I cut the price by going with the lowest CPU, minimum RAM for XP, and one card in an SLI video option. Planned ahead for upgrading by getting a bigger power supply and a case with lots of room. Started upgrading a year later by buying the second SLI card, next I've doubled the RAM (since that is now cheap), and next year will upgrade the CPU when the top of the line for that motherboard stops being producing (difference in price just for that is close to a $1K between when I bought and when it will last be offered). This way the computer can evolve over time instead of needing a whole replacement.

Most of these shops have easy to use menus that allow mix and match menus at each step of configuring, kind of like Dell but a lot more informative with better options.
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Offline FCM_SFHQ_XC

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2009, 11:23:05 am »
another thing to consider is buying and building it on its own is that every part will usually come with a much better warrenty that the prebuilt packages at Dell, Gateway, etc.
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Offline marstone

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2009, 10:21:04 pm »
From time to time look at the computer sites and I realize after having 4 computers starting with a Tandy color computer three,I still know nothing about them, other than the bare basics.  What I would like to have is one for rendering and modeling first gaming second. I really would like to get my studiomax back up and running but I don't think it would do it on this wall mart emachine I got.

So any advice on what A good computer to get that would do what I want to do with it will be appreciated.

You guys have to consider the statement made here.  "I still know nothing about them".  The amount of time to compare all the different pieces to buy the better ones would take alot of time for someone who doesn't follow hardware (like myself, tell me a video card and I can give you a funny look). 

Going to a manufactures site and piecing one together from the parts listed is eaiser and makes a fair machine.  Now if one of you guys would contact him, find a price point and give a list of what to buy, it might help more then just saying do it yourself.

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Offline Javora

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2009, 12:09:27 am »
another thing to consider is buying and building it on its own is that every part will usually come with a much better warranty that the prebuilt packages at Dell, Gateway, etc.

When I bought a Dell a few years back it came with a parts warranty.  I had to replace the modem, video card, hard drive, and the motherboard... twice.  When I build my last system, I had a four year old hard drive fail on that system and that's it.  Now your mileage may very, but IMHO if you buy quality parts the warranty doesn't mean as much.

Offline Tulwar

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2009, 02:21:11 am »
Personally, I plan on buying a netbook in the next month.  I need something to store my manuals and parts catalogs on.  An 8 Gig SS HD won't cut the mustard, but 160 Gig HD is overkill.   For $300.00, how can you go wrong?  The plus is that having Win XP as the OS, it should run SFC!  You just aren't going to build a system for that little dough.
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Offline Rod ONeal

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2009, 03:33:18 am »
What's your budget, Khalee? We already know you want to Model 1st, and game 2nd. What size monitor. Are you going to use one you already have or purchase a new monitor as well? With that info it wouldn't be difficult to make a recommendation. If you aren't needing rock bottom price on every component, you should be able to get everything at one location and have it assembled there and end up with a better machine than you'll get from Dell, etc... Buying computer components isn't that hard.

Off the shelf computers unfortunately tend to use the cheapest components available wherever they can. Cheap barely adequate power supplies and motherboards, for example. Not all Intel (or AMD) processors are created equal. Nor are all video cards. Just because it's ATI or Nvidea w/512 meg RAM doesn't mean it'll be sufficient. It's easy for manufacturers to play numbers games.
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Offline Pestalence_XC

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2009, 03:55:42 am »
another thing to consider is buying and building it on its own is that every part will usually come with a much better warranty that the prebuilt packages at Dell, Gateway, etc.

When I bought a Dell a few years back it came with a parts warranty.  I had to replace the modem, video card, hard drive, and the motherboard... twice.  When I build my last system, I had a four year old hard drive fail on that system and that's it.  Now your mileage may very, but IMHO if you buy quality parts the warranty doesn't mean as much.


Lets see..

I build custom gaming machines as a living.. sets check warranty product information based on off the shelf vs build your own.


Dell, standard 2 year warranty (unless you pay the extra $250 for an additional year)
Same for HP, Compaq, Sony, Toshiba, Etc..

2 Years is the standard warranty for the entire computer, which includes all internal parts.

Custom build system

Case, Lifetime Warranty
1000 watt power supply, Lifetime Warranty
2 NVidia Video Cards in SLI, Lifetime Warranty
gigabyte Motherboard, 5 year warranty
intel CPU, 3 Year Warranty
Hauppage TV Tuner card, 2 year warranty
Patriot Extreme RAM, Lifetime Warrany
Asus PCIE x4 Ethernet Card, Lifetime Warranty
3 1/2 Floppy Drive, 3 year warranty
DVD Burner internal, 5 year warranty
DVD Burner External, 10 Year warranty
Western Digital 3gb/s HDD x2 in Raid 0 Striped (1 TB total space), 3 years warranty each drive.

Now the only component that has the same warranty that a pre-built machine has is my TV Tuner card.. the rest of the system exceeds the standard warranty.. and half my system is lifetime warranty.

So what you stated about your pre-built system warranty vs a custom built system warranty holds absolutely no water what so ever.


Now going apples to apples on a decent machine.. Go to the Dell site and find a system that you like.. and I will price out the parts in a custom system that will either meet or exceed the Dell system with a much better warranty option and costing less than what Dell is offering by at least 20%.

Just pick out a system within you current price range.. and with the difference in price, I'll even put in some options that exceed the options that Dell offers.. when I can direct you on the ordering and how to build..

it is pretty simple.. and I am only doing this once.. I am looking for business, not trying to teach others how to do my business..
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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 04:06:37 am »
Not all Intel (or AMD) processors are created equal. Nor are all video cards. Just because it's ATI or Nvidea w/512 meg RAM doesn't mean it'll be sufficient. It's easy for manufacturers to play numbers games.

Couldn't agree more.. for top of the line Vid Cards.. BFG, hands down. Sure you could go with a more popular brand.. but just ask SFHQ about his "Popular Brand" Video Card.. and his is the most widely purchased aftermarket.. ask SFHQ how they treated him on the warranty when the card went bad after 2 years..

with BFG.. I get a replacement vid card with no hassles if mine ever goes bad.. and they upgrade me for free to a newer model of the card if my current card is no longer being manufactured.. My problem is that my Vid Cards from BFG have never gone bad :P

Intel Chips.. I agree.. not all are built the same, you want to check die cast, lot number, as well as chipset series, and then CPU speed, etc.. Dell goes with bottom of the barrel components.. basically Intel's throw away series.

Other sales places online have much higher quality components with similar or better specs for approx the same price with 10x the quality...

So doing your homework does make a difference..

buy a Dell top of the line gaming computer now.. next year it will be similar to the quality of an office machine.. custom build your system for the same price and have a computer that will outperform anything Dell will put out for the next 4 years.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 04:42:19 am by Cptn_Pestalence_XC »
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Offline Age

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2009, 03:53:28 pm »
I would say there some decent prebuilt machines and you can get longer warranty through the store you bough it at.I did buy my first machne being an HP and ordered one for buid at my local cmputer store where they built it.I am like Khalee1 I know alot about them except how to build one.

I would say that my hp performed well for computer that is 8 years old.I did get some extra work done to it.

What about laptops though those are store bought. 

Offline Javora

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2009, 08:35:19 pm »

Lets see..

So what you stated about your pre-built system warranty vs a custom built system warranty holds absolutely no water what so ever.


Ram, system cases, and video cards are more likely to become obsolete before they become defective.  But then most of those parts with lifetime warranties are items that have been tested to handle heat and have no moving parts.  Warranties on items with moving parts are usually based on proven designs, which the companies making those items know exactly how long those parts will last.  Those warranties usually require you to keep the receipt and/or register the part with the company so those companies (and others) can bombard people with spam. That plus most companies are betting that people will just replace the part then try to bother with the warranty.  So IMHO the warranty is more of a marketing gimmick. Thus the warranty doesn’t mean as much to me (remember the IMHO part in my previous post??!? )

On the other hand Dell tries to pack the system with the cheapest parts possible to maximize profits.  Thus the warranty on a Dell is a little more important to consumers.  The fact that Dell only offers a 2~3 year warranty on its systems should speak volumes about the parts quality that Dell uses. 

In my own way I was trying to reaffirm what SFHQ was saying while at the same time cautioning people about the value of warranties.  That is the point I was trying to make, sorry you missed that.  To me (can we say IMHO??!? ) a good reputable company is more important then the warranty itself.

Offline toasty0

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2009, 09:24:12 pm »
Pesty's offering to build you a system I would take him up his good offer. I'm sure he's offering to do so at cost or very very close to it--that's a deal you won't be able to beat anywhere.
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Offline Age

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Re: buying pre made computers or build it yourselve
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2009, 01:45:06 am »
This is really no different than car bought prior 1990s as most just replace it after warranty was up.This is unless you modified the car then warranty was null anvoid.Today most people just lease their cars as what businesses are doing possibly with computers.