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Windows 7: Does it still make sense to build your own computer?


20 May 2013   #1

Windows 7 x64 and numerous virtual machines
 
 
Does it still make sense to build your own computer?

Quote:
In the old days, there was often an economic advantage. Today it's the dominion of a few passionate hobbyists. Has the DIY PC era come to an end?

Read more from the source.

Does it still make sense to build your own computer? | Marketplace Blog - CNET Reviews

I have always built my own PC's since 1999. What does everyone here think? Not talking about laptops but desktops. Is it better to built it yourself or buy off the shelf?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 May 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro | Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
 
 

It is always better to build yourself. Articles like that are the typical desktop's are dead mongers. While it may be easy to buy a pre-built for some, enthusiast will always be here. There are a lot more of us enthusiast out here than the media thinks. We are certainly not "A Dying breed" The author has never built one, so he simply doesn't know!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I won't attempt to go into great detail but I always build my own because I get exactly the computer I want. Plus, I leave room for expansion which I see missing on so many off the shelf computers.

I have never saved money by building my own but there is a lot of satisfaction in doing it.

I built three Windows 7 computers since May of last year. One you see in my specs here and two lower end ones (half the price) which I am very happy with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

It does make sense to build your own. If you are careful about the components used you will have a more reliable system that is more configurable and easier to upgrade. The PC market today is highly competitive and manufacturers will do whatever is necessary to keep costs down. Price is usually a major concern and in many cases the deciding one. An OEM computer will have a weak and usually poor quality PSU which will probably be inadequate for a modern gaming video card. OEM computers are not particularly upgrade friendly. If you are contemplating overclocking a home built system is the only viable option. A home built system will remain usable for a longer period of time and this will offset the higher purchase cost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #5

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

I personally file those articles close to the ones about "PC gaming is dying" and "Touchscreen will replace mouse/keyboard" and "Mikio Kaku's thoughts about what will be our the future". The writer says stuff about something he knows nothing about. This guy is honest at least, and does admit it, hats off to that.

Let's list all the good reasons to DIY your desktop:
-Pre-made ones are filled with the cheapest and crappiest parts available, leading to more chances of crashes and weird stuff you then have to troubleshoot, if you try to go beyond "office and facebook". No really. How do you think they are cheaper besides getting discounts on OS licence?
I mean really. These eyes have seen too much.

-The average tech-support is worth far far far less than a trafficked forum like this. You got the warranty on each part. That's all that really matters. If you bought off newegg or whatever in the US they have better customer support than any brand I had the pleasure to contact.

-Customization sucks. The entire point of a desktop is having the ports and the hardware you want it to have, and if that is too expensive to do in one go, to upgrade it over time. This is what allows you to save big, in the long run. My rig for example can accept up to a friggin Phenom II X6 1090T and any modern GPU, in case I really need it (well, maybe I need a more reliable PSU first). Bulk of the cases are miniaturized beyond reason (and bad component arrangement is common), leading to cramped cabling AND overheating. And of course making any upgrade harder due to simple lack of space.

-Customization sucks 2.0. There is little to no documentation to know what components could be replaced/upgraded, the BIOS has little if any feature, they use proprietary connectors (internally) and motherboards, and the PSU is usually cheapo AND wimpy, so any serious upgrade would require to buy a decent PSU as well.

-Customization sucks 3.0. Pre-buy customization choices about what you can have on any particular PC are very limited too. For example, you can have the case in any color you want, as long as it is BLACK.
Heck I can find white and gray-ish or metallic laptops. I've seen PURPLE ones (on this board lol).

To sum it up, most prebuilt desktops are basically semi-immobile laptops, with far worse looks and generally higher price-per-feature.
In the past desktops were more powerful, but now... Moore's law is out of the window since what, 4 generations of processors? Heck you can still use nearly 7-year-old hardware (case in point-->Pentium D, launched in 2006) to run most Average Joe stuff at a good pace with Windows 7. Even older stuff if you use Linux (and we have pretty darn good linux distros now, for the average joe) Back in the day you had to buy new every few years or you were stuck using outdated software.

So yeah, sales of these things are decreasing since 2008.
How unexpected.

Does that tell anything about the sales of components and the wellness of the DIY desktop ecosystem?
No. Comparing apples and oranges.

Afaik, there is no symptom that it's going sour.
Lots of reputable brands, huge offering of different boards, cases and expansions, even sites that assemble to spec and send.
The only issue is the CPU. Moore's law is out of the window. So a Sandy bridge (same i3-5-7 class) is about on par with Ivy bridge, and is likely going to be at a slight disadvantage with a Haswell or whatever is the next gen.
And that AMD hit a brick wall some generations ago. Still have hopes for the guys, though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

My reason is short and sweet. I bought a brand name one time. After a few years the power supply went out. It was proprietary and cost $300 to replace. Never again.................
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

It all depends on who you ask. I build my own and have no interest in a pre built desktop PC. I'm an electronic technician by trade so its something that interests me. Most of my friends and family though wouldn't know where to start or what to buy to build one themselves. Some barely know where to connect all the cables etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #8

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

If anything it makes less sense to get a OEM one. Those can be a royal pain to upgrade and may not exactly suit your needs. and if you're not going to upgrader then you may be considering a tablet or laptop anyways. I'm planning to build a computer with a custom case the size of a dvd player once Haswell chips with GT3e come out.


I'm FINALLY going to build it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #9

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

I myself would have loved to build my own computer, because I find doing stuff like that for fun. However, money is tight, it would have taken me several years to save up enough money and I really needed to get off my laptop (from 2007) as my main machine. I had $4,000 credit with Dell, paying in monthly installments. while in the long run I'll pay more, I get to have the computer NOW. And it is very much upgradable like any home built machine.

I paid $3,500 for the whole machine filled with top end gear. About the same if you built it yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2013   #10

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

If all you need is a machine to handle basic functions, such as standard office work all day, it is more economical to buy one than to build one. However, if one has special needs, such as graphics work, large volume data storage, gaming, etc. it is probably more economical to "roll your own" since it can be customized to meet your needs, not wasting your money on features you don't need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Does it still make sense to build your own computer?




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