Buy computer or build one?

By Jameson653
Apr 22, 2004
  1. I am a big gamer and before i head off to college I was curious as to whether I should build a computer or buy one from Dell. Isn't going to be a lot more expensive if i build it from scratch? WIll the extra power in the computer be worth it? What about compatibility reasons? Please answer whatever you can, thanks....
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I'd suggest build. You can get high quality parts, and ensure upgradability in the future.
    With Dell you might actually be able to find a similar powered machine to one you can be build to be cheaper, but it wouldn't be by much if at all.
    Compatibility shouldn't be an issue a little research and everything will go smooth.
    Also if you ever wanted to overclock after you've strained all the upgrades you can get out of your system (or are just looking for a "free" boost in power), a custom built one if you bought quality parts will overclock nicely. Dells probably won't.
    Others can give you other opinions, but I think on this board you'll find most people will suggest building your own.
  3. FeTaLDaMagE

    FeTaLDaMagE TS Rookie Posts: 44

    I agree, build your own if your half way knowledgable in computers and have time to build. Atleast you will know what you have purchased is quality and has replaceable parts for future updates. Plus there is no way DELL can compete with a home built computer price/quality in mind. Go for it!
  4. erickdj

    erickdj TS Rookie Posts: 69

    SNGX1275 is right, by all means if you know how to build one, you are better off doing so. There are several advantages to building your own machine if you have the knowledge to do it properly. Like SNGX1275 said, you have control over what components are used, you decide if you want to buy some name brand components and some "generic" components in order to accommodate your budget. You mentioned something about being a big gamer, that's really important when it comes to buying a computer. Buying from Dell or any other manufacturer limits your choices of the hardware the machine will have. A machine that is custom built with gaming in mind will have an edge over a mass produced computer that was intended for anything you want to do with it. Upgrading and tweaking also comes easier down the road, many manufacturers use proprietary parts that can't be easily replaced or reused in case of an upgrade. You will also save some money if you build it yourself. Don't forget that you would be paying Dell not only for parts, but for their labor and brand name. Start by taking a sample machine from Dell and then dissect it by parts, take a look at how much each part would cost at or I've done that in the past and I've come up with some better parts for anywhere from $150 to $400 less of the total system cost. For example, Dell might charge $1700 for a well-equipped machine; you might be able to build the same machine, or a slightly better one for $1300. If you don't have the skill to build one, have someone help you. Keep an open mind and listen to what others have to say. Someone here might be able to come up with other ideas too.
  5. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

  6. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Try to stay away from companies like Dell, HP, and etc. Their pc can't be upgradeable much. If I were you, I would build one myself.

    If you have some money to burn and you don't feel confident enough to build a pc. I suggest you have alook at custom build PC's like Alienware and Falcon Northwest Computer Systems.
  7. SmAsHeR

    SmAsHeR TS Rookie Posts: 33

    i can't belive you use dell and gamer in the same paragraph. i you have the knowledge build. if you have the money, buy one of the custom built pcs on the net but reserch the parts first to find out if its really worth it.
  8. Viva_Las Vegas

    Viva_Las Vegas TS Rookie Posts: 16

    I was faced with the same thing.

    dont laugh at me you tech-y types....

    not sure where your from...but out here Los Angeles we have a store called "Fry's", thats where I got mine.

    Model: FS7470, came with XP Media Center, ATI 9600 DVI connection, 150 gig, 512DDR, intel p4 w/HT, two DVD drives-one's a burner, and some other stuff.

    plays all my games CoD, Farcry,BF1942, Halo,UT2004

    if i recall, it was about $2k back in Jan04
  9. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Build vs. Buy?

    Well, like many have been saying, the build is good if you have coinfidence and are willing to expel the effort to do the research. When I did the reasearch, the cost of a homebuild far surpassed that of a prebuilt, but who knows, its worth a shot. There is nothing wrong with a prebuilt, because even if you do choose to upgrade it they will not have compatibility issues with most types of hardware that you would probably consider (Video Cards, Ram, HD, Sound card, etc). Recently I bought a Sony 2.8 p4 with an ugraded 1 gig of ram, 120 gb HD, and i added a 9600 for dual monitors and I've been very happy with it. For god's sake though, don't by a Dell or a Compaq. Good luck, feel free to ask any other questions
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