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Custom built Pc or Prebuilt Pc


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#1 Deebeedoo

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 09:15 AM

Hello guys, I want to buy my own desktop but I can't decide which is better, the custom built or the prebuilt. Can you help me decide what is better and why is it better? Thank you in advance :)



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#2 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 10:57 AM

What is your budget? What are you doing with this pc?
In the low end market $300 and lower a prebuilt or a refurb will get you farther, but if you spend $400 or more you can make a nice custom built.

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#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:03 AM

My opinion, custom built whether built by you or someone else.
 
All my desktops have been custom built by my computer shop tech.
 
A good place to start if you want someone else to build it: (you can also compare their prices to what it would cost if you build it yourself)
Call or visit some computer shops in your area.

It would be better to go to the shop. If they have one on display you can take it for a "test drive".

A custom built system not be as expensive as you think. 2 of my 3 custom builds cost about the same as a mid-price off-the-shelf system. The first one was more expensive because I went from a laptop to a desktop and needed speakers, keyboard, monitor and mouse. I also requested sound and graphic cards.

If you already have speakers, keyboard, monitor, and mouse you'll save money because you don't need those things.

Questions to ask when consulting about your custom build:

Do you have a basic custom build?

Most of them do. Find out what the basic build consists of-OS, hard drive size, how much memory, processor type.

You won't get a sound or graphics card. If you don't want to use on board sound and graphics, you'll pay extra for the cards. If you want it to connect wirelessly you will need to get a wireless network card installed or purchase a USB wireless adapter.

What is your warranty? How long is it for, what does it cover?

(mine was 3 years, which covered motherboard, hard drive, fans, and maybe a few other things but I had to take it to the tech every 6 months so they could open the case and clean out the innards}

Will the warranty be voided if you open up the case for anything? They may put a sticker over it and if you open the case, the sticker will break.

Will you get the disk for the motherboard, and an OS disk? These are a must-have. You will need the OS disk if you ever have to reinstall Windows and the motherboard disk for the various drivers after an OS reinstall.

Will there be room for future expansion if for some reason you want to add network, sound or graphics cards if you initially opt to use the motherboard for those functions?

Once you find out what the basic build is, you can talk about extras and how much they will cost.

If you have a computer tech shop you've dealt with and like, that's the place to start. If not, ask people you know who they use.

There are advantages to a custom build. You don't get the pre-installed junk that clutter an off-the-shelf system. It also may be easier to upgrade in the future. If you are not confident you can build it yourself, this could be the way to go.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 14 February 2016 - 11:39 AM.


#4 Mars86

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 04:48 PM

Custom built by a large margin. The only caveat being that if you do it yourself, you will spend a small amount of time QA'ing your components whereas with a pre-built they presumably have already done that for you. Custom built, if you use the right price matcher, can also be considerably cheaper, by the mere fact they you are your own support tech so you're not paying for an OEM pre-built warranty.



#5 Ram4x4

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 04:11 PM

Custom built is typically cheaper pricewise as you have complete control of the exact hardware components to match your goal, but you have to have some knowledge about assembling a PC and accept you only have warranties on the individual components, vs the system as a whole.  You also have to load the OS and software yourself too.

 

Pre-built systems tend to give you less bang per dollar, but if you aren't looking for the most gaming performance you can get, or have a specific need for 6+ CPU cores, etc (i.e. if you only game lightly and do general things like email, internet, word processing, spreadsheets, etc) then they can still be a good value. 

 

So, the question is, then...what do you want your computer to do?


Edited by Ram4x4, 21 February 2016 - 04:13 PM.


#6 mjd420nova

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 08:21 PM

I've always built my own units, plus dozens more for family and clients.  My last was a store bought unit that fit the parameters of my newest project to be and was cheaper with WIN7 preloaded.  It was only after I got it that I found the same parameters on a laptop for only $50. more.  Got it for the wife.  Research the brands and now is a good time to find sale prices on last years models.



#7 Mars86

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:29 AM

I have built all my own too, but I do get the occasional customer that wants me to upgrade his or her Dell, HP, Acer, pre built machine. Custom is really better though because you have complete control of everything from quality to features, and if you research you can build it cheaper than an OEM unit if you truly take stock of what you will do with the PC. Example if I know a customer needs utmost stability, simplicity, and no tweaking or overclocking will be attempted but the family wished to game some, then I can go with a good brand bronze power supply and a midrange GPU, and use a B or H series motherboard instead of Z series if Intel, and a 970 if an AMD system.


Edited by Mars86, 27 February 2016 - 05:30 AM.


#8 mjd420nova

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 10:55 AM

Unfortunately, I don't get to choose who built what and often things just refuse to play well together.  Prebuilt with an OS already installed can bypass the headaches associated with installation of hardware and drivers in a boot order that doesn't over-write any previous drivers or reassign interrupts.  Adding to an existing home built unit can be the easiest approach to meeting current needs but looking to upgrade in the future.



#9 Mars86

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 03:22 AM

It's not rocket science. You can add pretty much any GPU and on many cases any power supply with most pre-build units. Interrupts and IRQ assignments were something out of the Windows XP-2001-2005 era. I can take near any pre-built and upgrade it fine. Depends on the unit. Example a Dell XPS 8700 but it has an I5 4460. I have upgraded two of those to I7 4790k's because I knew once I ran HWinfo 64 and it has an H series motherboard I knew it would handle the gen 5 I7. Of course adding a larger power supply and a long GPU is sometimes constrained by an awkwardly designed case (example the new Acer cases). I do agree that home built is better of course.






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