Desktop Computers: Build v Buy

BobcatBomber

Active member
We're converting an open room in the house into an office, and I am going to add a desktop to the mix.

Can you still maximize value by building your own tower, or are the packages you find at Best Buy or Micro Center gonna be just as cost effective? If the answer is build, where do you recommend purchasing from?
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
Because you get a lot more computer for the price. And with kids, they can use it in a place that can be easily monitored.

Is that all ya got, recently? :)
 
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Crusaders

Moderator
Mine cost me about $800 to build 4 years ago. It has the specs of a computer that would have cost about twice that from a store at the time.

The cost depends on what you need it for - I need mine to run 3d modeling and various Adobe software. If you don't need it for things that demanding you won't need to spend as much as I did, but you'll still get a better value building one yourself.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
We're converting an open room in the house into an office, and I am going to add a desktop to the mix.

Can you still maximize value by building your own tower, or are the packages you find at Best Buy or Micro Center gonna be just as cost effective? If the answer is build, where do you recommend purchasing from?
If you have a Costco membership already, check there and follow them to keep checking deals until you finally settle on whatever. They come up with outstanding prices occasionally.

If you can add one of those deals to the facts that -
1) they often bundle in complete software packages
2)they augment the factory warranties with an added year or even two on the back end of the manufacturer's term
3)they have a very capable and responsive English-as-a-first-language Seattle-based IT "Concierge Service"
- you may find them the best choice for you if you aren't really tech-savvy.

You could find something "almost perfect" that requires you to order an extra stick of RAM from Microcenter for one of your geek buddies to add in, but that might negate the extended warranty, if that matters to you.

One of the best thing about the desktop is the ability to look over your child's shoulder from time to time. :)

Good luck.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
Yeah the only people I know who need desktops are gamers and those who need it for work(ie Crusaders and his 3d modeling software).

Laptops can probably do what BcB wants it for, and are portable.
A dock can give you the nice big monitor in a fixed location, too.
 

eastside_purple

Well-known member
I've always been able to look over my son's shoulder when he uses his laptop; plus there are always firewalls and software trackers, if you are that concerned about their computer usage.
 

cabezadecaballo

Well-known member
I've always been able to look over my son's shoulder when he uses his laptop; plus there are always firewalls and software trackers, if you are that concerned about their computer usage.
Yeah, I've got all that via both router software and security suite. As much as anything else, it is a reminder of accountability to the kids.
 

Michael Bluth

Well-known member
Unless you really enjoy building your own electronic devices, then you should buy. The time and money spent doing it yourself is not worth the benefit. You can get fast computers with a lot of memory for relatively cheap these days
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Figure out how much you want to spend, then compare store PCs to what you could build yourself. Chances are you'll get a better machine out of the custom build.

It only took me about 3 hours to put mine together and install the OS. It was my first time building one. You also have the bonus of not having your hard drive filled with dumb software the computer and retail companies put on them.
 

eastside_purple

Well-known member
Yeah, I don't see a need for a desktop, much less to build it myself, unless I was a total geek like Crusaders or a wannabe total geek like BCB.
 

BobcatBomber

Active member
Unless you really enjoy building your own electronic devices, then you should buy. The time and money spent doing it yourself is not worth the benefit. You can get fast computers with a lot of memory for relatively cheap these days
I'll probably end up going that route...but I'm not afraid of the technology, so if there was significant savings, I'd consider it a project.
 

Termite2

Well-known member
I have built about 10 computers, mainly for gaming where the components make a difference, if it wasn't for that reason, would just buy off the shelf.
The biggest difference in buying versus building is quality and especially the PSU and motherboards.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Like I said, if you're buying because you need something powerful (like I had to), custom build is the way to go. You will get more for your money and won't have to put up with the extra crap software that comes with off-the-shelf computers that tend to slow computers down. But if all you're needing it for is normal tasks, an off-the-shelf PC will do.
 

Michael Bluth

Well-known member
I'll probably end up going that route...but I'm not afraid of the technology, so if there was significant savings, I'd consider it a project.
Depending on what you're going for, it can actually end up more expensive to build your own. I think the main incentive should be for higher performance (speed)
 

Yellow_Jacket06

Moderator
It's cheaper to build. Plenty of sites like newegg where you can get good deals on parts. I've never bothered though. My custom gaming rig was near 2k about a year and a half ago. I already need to upgrade the graphics card though.

I really hate technology sometimes. It's impossible to stay 'current' unless you are a millionaire.
 

MrSams1956

Cooling Off
I just baught one on CL. $130 for an almost new in box 1. I had to have the memory wiped and installed all new software but it runs like a peach
 
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