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#1 wkid

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 01:41 PM

There is no rush for me to make a decision on this topic. My target is about six months from now because of budget considerations. Because of a few extra features, like multiple monitors and (maybe) multiple CD/DVD or Blue Ray player/recorders, I am looking at options other than purchasing a system "off the shelf".

I understand that my options ranked from most to least expensive are:
  • get a custom build from a manufacturer like Dell, HP, etc.
  • get a custom build from a local shop
  • build it myself

I want to know if my understanding is correct about considerations other than the price as indicated above. Any advice, guidance, or explanations about the following will be appreciated.
  • Full factory support is available only on custom builds from a manufacturer. Warranty and support considerations for other the options is confined to individual component pieces or guarantees offered by a local shop.
  • The cost of software, like the OS, is additional above and beyond the cost of the build in all but custom builds by a manufacturer. This could result in a change in the price ranking above.
  • Additional software, which may be part of bloatware installed by a manufacturer, may or may not be free on the other builds. I'm not sure that any of the bloatware is desirable for any reason than to lower the price as delivered.
  • Compatibility issues are my responsibility if I build my own machine.
  • If I build my own machine, I must carefully research to ensure that all necessary pieces are present. Additionally I should avoid too many "whistles and bells" <-- feature creep, if you wish.
  • Modifying an "off the shelf" machine would probably be the most expensive way to build a custom machine.

Please correct where I may have a misunderstanding and/or offer some additional guidance as you see fit.

Thanks,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 01:23 AM

Six months from now will be a different technology landscape with the new Intel and AMD CPU's, plus, AMD and Nvidia will have newer GPU's out. It doesn't make much sense to think up builds until about a month from when you want to purchase the computer. Anyway, there are differing manufacturer's for OEM PC's. Dell and HP, for example, are the least expensive due to volume, then building your PC, then, perhaps tied with do-it-yourself would be a local shop, and finally, a boutique builder would be most expensive. When building your own PC, individual component problems are your responsibility, but most hardware comes with a decent warranty. As for the bells and whistles, there aren't many unless you are going for an extreme build, the majority of the bells and whistles for some components are merely increased performance.

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#3 wkid

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 05:03 PM

Hi DJBPace07,

Thanks for the input.

I'm approaching the new computer as I imagine a developer would spec a machine. I am compiling a list of my uses and desired future uses. From this I am deciding which hardware will be required for my convenience. I review and revise the process from time to time.

In this manner I maintain the discipline to continue to budget for the purchase. (In the present economy I deem it to be unwise for me to take on debt for a new machine.) Likewise as my knowledge base improves and my usage evolves, I find the need to modify plans for the build to suit future needs. For example I have recently acquired an interest in video editing. If the interest persists, the nature of system requirements will change also.

These are among the reasons that I am beginning the process so far in advance.

regards,
wkid
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Benjamin Franklin




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