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OEM or custom?


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#1 Steve_Irwin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:38 PM

Hi all, so I am thinking of getting a new computer soon, and I have been debating whether to get a OEM or make one myself. ( I have no experience in building a computer, but I have opened up my computer multiple times to upgrade.)

I looked at Dell, and this looked like a great deal:
PROCESSOR:	Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor Q8200 (4MB L2, 2.33GHz, 1333FSB)OPERATING SYSTEM:	Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-BitWARRANTY & SERVICE:	1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote DiagnosisMONITOR:	22 inch S2209WFP Widescreen Digital Flat Panel MonitorMEMORY:	6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4DIMMsHARD DRIVE:	640GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™OPTICAL DRIVE:	16X DVD+/-RW DriveVIDEO CARD:	ATI Radeon HD 3650 256MB supporting HDMISOUND:	Integrated 7.1 Channel AudioKEYBOARD & MOUSE:	Dell Consumer Multimedia Keyboard and Laser Mouse
It went about $787 USD subtotal; The total went to $864.00 with free shipping. I think this is a good deal?

Anyways, I went to new egg, and bought around same specs (but I did not really look at the brand) and it came to 800 without a video card.

I know Dell has horrible quality, but is it just my horrible new egg buying skills or is it really that much cheaper? BTW I do not really game that much, but I multitask a lot with many programs running, so are the specs right for me?

Thanks for helping, I really appreciate it. :thumbsup:

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:21 PM

A 3650 graphics card is pretty cheap, probably $40 if not less. So they come out to be about the same price, but the thing is a custom built computer will have is higher quality parts. Dell is notorious for using cheap motherboards, power supply, and ram. Also, a custom built computer will have better upgrade options too. Another thing is that some people, such as myself, enjoy building our own computers and the better customization such as having a nice looking case.

I usually look at it this way. Building a computer is definitely the better option when building a high-end system, because OEM companies tend to jack up their profits when you spend more money and get high-end graphics cards.

Dell and other OEM companies are better for average users looking for cheaper systems, who may also be looking to include a monitor, and some other peripherals. Since most of these companies get deals on operating systems, and make their owns monitors, they can charge less for those too. The choice is really up to you what you want to do. If you're not planning on gaming, and don't really want to build a computer unless it would save money, buying a Dell maybe a better choice.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 Steve_Irwin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:31 PM

A 3650 graphics card is pretty cheap, probably $40 if not less. So they come out to be about the same price, but the thing is a custom built computer will have is higher quality parts. Dell is notorious for using cheap motherboards, power supply, and ram. Also, a custom built computer will have better upgrade options too. Another thing is that some people, such as myself, enjoy building our own computers and the better customization such as having a nice looking case.

I usually look at it this way. Building a computer is definitely the better option when building a high-end system, because OEM companies tend to jack up their profits when you spend more money and get high-end graphics cards.

Dell and other OEM companies are better for average users looking for cheaper systems, who may also be looking to include a monitor, and some other peripherals. Since most of these companies get deals on operating systems, and make their owns monitors, they can charge less for those too. The choice is really up to you what you want to do. If you're not planning on gaming, and don't really want to build a computer unless it would save money, buying a Dell maybe a better choice.


Would you say a 700-800 range would be good for a custom desktop with a 20+ inch monitor? I don't really want to spend more then 1000+ as things depreciates so fast. Thanks that was a lot of help! :thumbsup:

#4 Sterling14

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:05 PM

I think your fine. You could always get a motherboard with Integrated graphics. AMd and Nvidia are making some very good integrated graphics lately, that can do a little gaming with older games. you could always add a graphics if needed to in the future.

For processor, the Q8200 isn't really that great. The Q6600 would be better, and if that's too high out of your price, maybe you should go with a core 2 duo. The E8400 is an amazing processor especially for the price http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115037 . Even though it's a dual-core, you would see more performance from it than a lesser quad core

For the motherboard, you can get a solid motherboard for $75-$100 now. some better brands are Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI. There's many others too.

4gb of ram is plenty for most. A couple months ago I bought 4gb of ram (2x2gb sticks) for $55 from newegg. It had a mail in rebate for $35 which I just got yesterday. 4gb of ram only cost me $20 :thumbsup:

You don't want to go cheap on the power supply, but you don't need to spend $100. I've been using my cheapy $40 power supply for a year and a half, and love it! I have also bought two others and put them in other's computers, and I haven't received any complaints! Just read the reviews from other people who have actually bought the product.

I've seen some 22" monitors for around $180 or less. Here's a nice looking one for $160: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16824254035

Vista will cost you $100, and make sure to go with 64-bit so you can use 4gb of ram or more.

You can definitely build a solid computer for $700-$800. It will probably have more upgrade options than a Dell, and better quality. If you become interested, let us know, we can help you pick out parts.

Edited by Sterling14, 08 March 2009 - 05:06 PM.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:25 PM

I agree with Sterling, building a PC is better than purchasing one from an OEM. Constructing a PC is relatively straightforward, of higher quality, and you have total control over what goes on the PC. However, Dell includes monitor and peripherals which can add to the value.

Here is a suggested configuration. Note that I kept the price below $800 (after rebates) so you can purchase a decent non-Dell monitor and peripherals. The other components depreciate less quickly than the components inside of a PC.

Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower - You need something to put all of your components into. A full ATX case is large and heavy, but it has the room to accommodate the largest components and has more upgrade possibilities. $74 (Before $25 mail-in rebate)

Motherboard: ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard - This motherboard supports AMD processors, which often has a better power to cost ratio than Intel. This also supports Crossfire and is, most likely, of higher quality than a Dell board. $79

Video Card: HIS Hightech H487FN512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - This is a far better card than the one you chose with the Dell PC. Plus, it comes with a free video game included. $159 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz - This CPU is faster than the Q8200 and is only about $20 more expensive. At standard factory clock speeds, it holds up well against the Q6600 and costs less. The Phenom II is AMD's current flagship line of processors. $184

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 - I suggest purchasing two of these kits to fill all memory slots. However, if you want to save money, you can purchase one now and another later when you have the cash. $40 per kit, $81 for two

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - This is probably the same hard drive Dell has. $79

Optical Drive: LITE-ON Combo Drive - You need a simple drive to load software. $22

Power Supply: hec X-Power Pro 600 600W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - Most OEM's don't use quality power supplies. This is a good unit that will provide enough power to run two 4870's if you so choose. $50

Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM - This OS will allow you to use all 8GB of RAM. $99

Total Cost: $833 (Before rebates and includes two RAM kits)

Now, you have about $150 for a monitor, like the Acer X203Wbd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor.

Edited by DJBPace07, 08 March 2009 - 05:32 PM.

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#6 tg1911

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 06:40 PM

One other advantage to a custom build, over an OEM.
A custom build won't come loaded with all of the garbage programs, OEM's insist on loading.
You get to choose the programs you want to use, not what someone else thinks, you should use. :thumbsup:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#7 Steve_Irwin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:03 PM

I agree with Sterling, building a PC is better than purchasing one from an OEM. Constructing a PC is relatively straightforward, of higher quality, and you have total control over what goes on the PC. However, Dell includes monitor and peripherals which can add to the value.

Here is a suggested configuration. Note that I kept the price below $800 (after rebates) so you can purchase a decent non-Dell monitor and peripherals. The other components depreciate less quickly than the components inside of a PC.

Case: Sunbeam Transformer IC-TR-US-BA-WOPSU Black Steel ATX Full Tower - You need something to put all of your components into. A full ATX case is large and heavy, but it has the room to accommodate the largest components and has more upgrade possibilities. $74 (Before $25 mail-in rebate)

Motherboard: ASRock A780GXE/128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G ATX AMD Motherboard - This motherboard supports AMD processors, which often has a better power to cost ratio than Intel. This also supports Crossfire and is, most likely, of higher quality than a Dell board. $79

Video Card: HIS Hightech H487FN512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - This is a far better card than the one you chose with the Dell PC. Plus, it comes with a free video game included. $159 (Before $10 mail-in rebate)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz - This CPU is faster than the Q8200 and is only about $20 more expensive. At standard factory clock speeds, it holds up well against the Q6600 and costs less. The Phenom II is AMD's current flagship line of processors. $184

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 - I suggest purchasing two of these kits to fill all memory slots. However, if you want to save money, you can purchase one now and another later when you have the cash. $40 per kit, $81 for two

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - This is probably the same hard drive Dell has. $79

Optical Drive: LITE-ON Combo Drive - You need a simple drive to load software. $22

Power Supply: hec X-Power Pro 600 600W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - Most OEM's don't use quality power supplies. This is a good unit that will provide enough power to run two 4870's if you so choose. $50

Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit OEM - This OS will allow you to use all 8GB of RAM. $99

Total Cost: $833 (Before rebates and includes two RAM kits)

Now, you have about $150 for a monitor, like the Acer X203Wbd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor.


Thanks, this looks great. :huh: The only thing that I kind of need to change is the video card, since I do not really play games that much :thumbsup:
Do you think that a 50 dollar one will affect my performance? Thanks again.

(btw, will a XP OEM disk work on a custom computer? just wondering xD)

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:16 PM

I strongly advise not going to XP. First, you'll need the 64-bit version of XP which sucks and secondly Microsoft is discontinuing mainstream support in about a month. Just go with Vista 64-bit and you'll be good to go. Remember, you need a 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of RAM. Besides, the OEM disc of XP 64-bit costs more than Vista Home Premium OEM. If you're going to reuse the XP OEM disc from a PC you already own, you cannot do that because of licensing restrictions.

As for the video card, the SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 will do the job for $60.

Edited by DJBPace07, 08 March 2009 - 07:21 PM.

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#9 Steve_Irwin

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 07:38 PM

I strongly advise not going to XP. First, you'll need the 64-bit version of XP which sucks and secondly Microsoft is discontinuing mainstream support in about a month. Just go with Vista 64-bit and you'll be good to go. Remember, you need a 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of RAM. Besides, the OEM disc of XP 64-bit costs more than Vista Home Premium OEM. If you're going to reuse the XP OEM disc from a PC you already own, you cannot do that because of licensing restrictions.

As for the video card, the SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 will do the job for $60.

Ok, thanks again. xD
Sorry for asking more questions :X but can I use this case for the build above?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811147099
It comes with a 400W power supply, and it is only 50 dollars, which seems very cheap :thumbsup:
Since I live in California, NewEgg unfortunately charges me tax, so I'll need to modifiy it a bit to fit my price range :huh:
Thanks again.

#10 Sterling14

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:13 PM

That power supply would be good enough, but sometimes those power supplies are cheap and can fail. You can take the chance if you want, and Rosewill is one of the better brands for certain computer peripherals. The reviews do seem pretty good for it too.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#11 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:24 PM

The graphics card may not be able to fit into that case and the motherboard is incompatible with it. The motherboard selected is a standard ATX motherboard, not a microATX which is what the case can hold. Since you're not a gamer, you may be able to squeak by with a mid ATX tower, but not a micro. The microATX cases also have issues with heat dissipation due to their small size. If you're looking to save more money, you can get a different case.

Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower - This is one of the cheapest cases Newegg has that gets good reviews. $30

hec HP585D RETAIL 585W ATX12V Power Supply - If you're not planning on using Crossfire with that graphics card, you can get this. $30

Sometimes, you can get a case with an adequate power supply. If you do this, I suggest getting one rated for 500 watts or higher. Personally, I would get a power supply separate from the case, but occasionally you come across a good one.

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply - This is a good choice especially with a $30 mail in rebate. $89
Linkworld 313-11(3131-11) Black / Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - $52
Broadway Com Corp 939PL-BLACK Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Okia ATX 550W Power Supply - $49

Edited by DJBPace07, 08 March 2009 - 09:42 PM.

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#12 eastonch

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:28 PM

Custom would be better for yourself because you dont get none of the BIOS bleep that DELL integrate to stop you from changing certain things aswell as the software they include and the lagg thast can be brought from them, i am not a fan of DELL but if you're confident to build you're own check around for items, you WONT get all the items you want from one site at the cheapest rates. shop around Amazon and so on, make sure everything will be compatible and you have knowledge about building a PC. one possitive about dell is that if its not right, its their fault and you CAN send it back to be sorted, although building your own, if you spark it by accident or it doesnt wire up right, you're knackered. and you cant go to dell. you would end up paying somebody around 20$+ for them to build it.




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