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"Building your own PC saves lots of money." MYTH?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DigMe, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Let me explain myself:

    People always say you can really save a lot of money by building your own PC. Personally I think that these days if you buy wisely and avoid the mainstream companies like Dell and HP then the statement is no longer true if you're building from scratch.

    Ok, so if you scavenge some of the parts then it may be true but that's kinda different. Also, if you're going for top-of-the-line then scavenged parts usually will not do.

    You can play out an example yourself if you'd like. Just go to www.ibuypower.com and configure yourself a top-of-the-line computer that they'll build, burn-in and support (24/7, 365 for a year I think). Then go to www.newegg.com, which is the standard website for a lot of do-it-yourselfers (great place to buy parts), and add up the cost of buying all the identical components that you have on the ibuypower machine (don't forget case, mobo, ps, fans, etc..). If you configured the ibuypower machine with an OS then be sure and add in the cost of an OS and any other software you had put on the other machine. I think you'll find that there are not significant savings to be had. In some cases the parts might actually be more.

    If you disagree then state your case but keep in mind the disclaimers I gave at the beginning.

    Of course there will be exceptions...like the tech guy who gets lots of free or dirt cheap hardware but my argument only goes for Joe Consumer without such advantages. So if you want to argue that I'm wrong wherever you buy your parts must be some place that is open to any consumer that wants to buy computer parts.

    brad cook
  2. darkspec


    Jan 2, 2003
    Cleveland Ohio
    My 2 cents...

    I dont build my computers to save my money, I build them so i can fix them myself and not have to wait for parts. Plus the word "Integrated" dont do it for me...Most companies these days put everthing on the motherboard, something I highly advise against. The myth of saving money now-a-days is also becoming far fetched because the price of parts has gone up as the demand has gone up. Alot more people can build these days, becoming the more popular thing to do I guess.

    Its just like building a Bass in the end though, you dont do it to to save money, you do it because you want it to be a custom of sorts, something that you can say you made. Whos with me?
  3. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham

    Nov 14, 2002
    +1 to that
    Also i think it depends on what kind of machines your talking about... your average 4gig home/gaming/internet/mp3 jukebox type or a workstation/enthusiast high octane rig. If your building the former you probably wont save much. But if your into a dual Xeon, w/highend video or audio worstation class computer you can save a bundle over store boughts. Plus you get to have all the fun of putting it together!! :hyper:
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I agree but that's a whole other conversation and not the statement I was trying to make. I'm just bringing this up because in a thread on another board someone was talking about building your own computers and people keep saying "You can save a lot of money if you build your own!" and whatnot. These people must not venture outside of Best Buy or Circuit City when pricing computers...that's all I can come up with.

    My brother is constantly building something just because he likes to tinker.

    brad cook
  5. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I think the opposite is true. You could save more money building a slower general use computer because you can scavenge older parts that are acceptable but you can't save much money building a true top-of-the-line gaming system because those older parts are NOT acceptable in that type of system and you have to buy all new parts. That may not be the case with dual xeon as I haven't looked into those but it's definitely the case with the Athlon 64 FX or a high class pentium.

    brad cook
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i think in the short run, with hardware, you will get more bang for your buck, but where all the proprietary systems get you is in the software packages (whether you use them or not) - most of the bundled software is hard to beat.

    right now, i am totally against desktops, after i got my laptop, my non-smoking fat-ass is on the couch with wi-fi....
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I would argue that even with just hardware it's cheaper. Try it...configure a system at ibuypower or one of the other independent but reputable places and don't have any software or OS put on there and then compare the parts...meh..I know you don't have time for that but I've looked into it before and it never worked out that there was a significant different in price.

    Remember, I'm not talking about Dell and HP here.

    brad cook
  8. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i think, if researched properly, a non-proprietary system is waaaaaaaay better than a proprietary system....even if it's a few bucks diff, i would go with a non-proprietary sys (or a mac :D )

    sorry i didn't help that much... :(
  9. ashbory


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    One thing I have noticed is the pre-built "budget" systems tend to use the cheapest parts available.
    If you build your own system you can spend a little more on the things that you find important. Like the sound card and CD burner if your a music dude, or the video card if your a games dude.
  10. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I'm not talking about those. Like I said I'm talking about the reputable ones...the ones where you custom configure every single part. Look at the configurator over at ibuypower and you'll see what I mean.

    brad cook
  11. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    I think it can be cheaper if you are willing to look around a lot and you are building the right kind of computer.

    I recently finished building my high end gaming rig and I saved a bundle over anything comparable that I could buy premade. I also got to pick each part which let me really get some cool stuff.

    Now I have a big black scary loud thing at my feet and I love it.
  12. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    That's just Latimour...he hasn't showered in a while. We love it too.

    brad cook
  13. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    lets put it this way... for budget pc... it would be about the same but quality of built pc would be a bit better... I mean its hard to built a very good pc for 400$

    but for more advanced... someone just bought a dell pc for 1500$... i looked up parts and it came up to be a better pc for 700$... 1000 if you want to buy winxp pro and some software...

    So i would say for low budget pc it don’t matter that much but if you want to have more advanced PCs it does matter a lot. doubt dell can build a machine that i could for same money...

    Also there is what parts they use... what hd they use... if its Maxtor or IBM stay away... most of big companies use those. MB… asus, abit and maybe intel or msi are good... doubt those companies use them… ram most likely big companies use is generic... They put A LOT of generic parts in already built pcs like Compaq/hp, dell, etc etc makes pc stability go down.

  14. Well, it's generally considered that you can get the best deal from either building it yourself, or buying from a small company. When people say do it yourself to save, they usually mean against the big companies like Dell, HP etc.
  15. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX

    Read my original post and you'll see why this point is irrelevant.

    brad cook
  16. Only


    Sep 8, 2002
    Warrensburg, MO
    There's a simple reason the statement is generally true.

    If you are a guy or gal into PCs enough to be able to build your own, you will almost invariably have a contact who can get you new parts cheaper than regular price or know someone who can get you super-cheap used parts.

    That's all it is.
  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    that and timing for super cheap new parts.
  18. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Man, I got zung and I didnt even know it :(

    BTW here in Australia PCs are quite expensive and it is definately cheaper to put your own together if you require a "custom" system. However Dell and other like brands do represent some pretty good value for more basic systems.
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    If you want an Acer I guess.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My brother builds custom computers for people, top of the line specs, and saves them hundreds. He can sell it and make a profit and still sell it for 40% less than usual retail.