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View Full Version : Prebuilt Vs. homebrew(Computers)



chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 03:32 AM
What type of machine do you think is better, a prebuilt pc e.g dell, HP, Gateway, Compaq
or a good old home built system designed for your personal needs. What are the pros and cons between the two.

Whiffle
April 4th, 2008, 03:35 AM
Mine is built by me. Advantages for me were cost mainly, but knowing the thing inside and out is nice as well. Additionally, it has no proprietary parts, so if I need something like a new power supply, or motherboard, i don't have to go to dell.


Disadvantages...no one place to call about warranty. Then again, newegg rocks.

rfruth
April 4th, 2008, 03:38 AM
Homebrew beats prebuilt saves U money & ya get what you want but it takes some time & planning to build your own :)

mcsimon
April 4th, 2008, 03:38 AM
Being able to purchase all linux-friendly hardware is a definate advantage :)

zachtib
April 4th, 2008, 03:42 AM
Definately build my own.

As for warranty issues, I haven't generally had problems. Though I did go through three mobos on this build, but only one was really defective (as far as I know).

I like to ensure that every component is top-of-the-line in terms of build quality, which I can't do on a prebuilt

pastormick
April 4th, 2008, 03:46 AM
I love the feeling of booting into a home-brew for the first time! I don't usually have to worry about screw-ball drivers for any of the hardware I've included, and like the whole idea of having to 'think' if something does go wrong. Besides, I don't have to listen to someone from Brand-X tech support asking 'What's a Ubuntu?!?'

The only down side is sneaking the parts past the All Knowing Eye (uh, that would be the missus...) :-\"

chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 03:46 AM
I agree prebuilts are the way to go, There worth the investment, because you get what you want, and besides I find building your own machine fun.

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 03:48 AM
I "inherited" my wife's compaq when we got married. After about the 20th windoze crash, I gutted the thing, and used the case to build my own. I agree that being able to buy Linux-friendly stuff is a lot better than trying to figure out how to get proprietary crap to work.

Power to the home machine builders!

A little off-subject- would you consider the Linux machines for sell from other builders in the same category as the non-homebuilt (commercial) machines?

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 03:50 AM
The only down side is sneaking the parts past the All Knowing Eye (uh, that would be the missus...) :-\"

I feel your pain- I can't tell you how many times I've had to justify that extra hard drive or power supply, etc..... :)

chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 03:53 AM
not really because the fact that linux is run by the public is what makes it better than those systems built mainstreem manufacturers.
in my opinion I thinks that all linux systems should be made homebuilt and under total control of the user.

D-EJ915
April 4th, 2008, 03:58 AM
depends on what it is, the last time I got a computer I didn't feel like messing around with parts and just wanted one which worked, so I ordered up a Sun which is rock solid. Next x86 computer I get will probably be built by me, unless it's the f1200 SGI has (8 quad cores in 1 box, craziness).

chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 04:00 AM
Cool your from Va Beach too Rock on:guitar:

kjb34
April 4th, 2008, 04:05 AM
I prefer homebrew. I built mine. It was cheaper than anything I saw in the store. It taught me patience since my first mobo was bad then the DVD drive went crazy. I have learned to troubleshoot pretty well because of this experience. Next time I will actually try to plan it out instead of playing it by ear.

chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 04:11 AM
you definitly learn more about computers when you build your own, and that pays off later on.

Victormd
April 4th, 2008, 04:15 AM
Been builtin' all my life, would never go any other way!

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 04:18 AM
you definitly learn more about computers when you build your own, and that pays off later on.

Homebuilding also helps when you take your A+ certification test....

EdThaSlayer
April 4th, 2008, 04:19 AM
Homebrew computers are most of the time more expensive, but then again they are nicer because you were the one that made it. Haven't had one made yet since I don't think I can assemble my own laptop(is it even possible to make your own "laptop"?).

chris82543
April 4th, 2008, 04:22 AM
yha ive never heard of a homebrew laptop, modded maybe

metalf8801
April 4th, 2008, 04:27 AM
There are many reason to build your own or to pay a local geek to do it for you. Heres a big one you can't buy a quality computer for $500 or less per built computer you. However you can build a quality computer for less then $500.

kevin11951
April 4th, 2008, 04:27 AM
well, i strictly use laptops, so prebuild for me, actually i JUST bought a system76 laptop (Gazelle Value) from system76:

$1,208.00

1 x Gazelle Value
Options
*Bluetooth : Bluetooth
+ $39.00
*Extra AC Adapter : no extra AC adapter
+ $0.00
*Extra Battery : no extra battery
+ $0.00
*Graphics and Webcam : nVidia GeForce 8400M GS 256 MB g
+ $125.00
*Hard Drive : 160 GB 7200 RPM SATA
+ $130.00
*Hardware Warranty : 1 Yr. Ltd. Warranty and Technica
+ $0.00
*Laptop Bag : no bag
+ $0.00
*Memory : 2 GB - 2 x 1 GB DDR2 667 MHZ
+ $50.00
*Operating System : Ubuntu 64 Bit 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon
+ $0.00
*Optical Drive : CD-RW / DVD-RW
+ $0.00
*Portable Flash Drive : no flash drive
+ $0.00
*Processor : Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0 GHz 800 MHz
+ $165.00
*Wireless : 802.11 agn
+ $0.00

metalf8801
April 4th, 2008, 04:31 AM
yha ive never heard of a homebrew laptop, modded maybe

I have but it used a desktop cpu so it needed extra fans which made it bigger and caused it to have bad battery life.

odiseo77
April 4th, 2008, 04:32 AM
Mine was prebuilt. I'd love to build my own computer but even if I have a general idea about how to do it, I don't know that much about hardware and -more important- I don't want to end up with a burnt motherboard or processor, or something (if I knew everything was gonna be fine, I'd do it).

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 04:34 AM
I have but it used a desktop cpu so it needed extra fans which made it bigger and caused it to have bad battery life.

"Hey, check it out!"

"What's that, man?"

"My new laptop- it only weighs 2 stone."

"That's pretty sweet. Can you play games on it?"

"Yeah, but only solitaire, and only for about ten minutes."

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 04:36 AM
Mine was prebuilt. I'd love to build my own computer but even if I have a general idea about how to do it, I don't know that much about hardware and -more important- I don't want to end up with a burnt motherboard or processor, or something (if I knew everything was gonna be fine, I'd do it).

You may (or may not) find this useful. We used it in school. Not bad- pretty cool, actually.
http://compreviews.about.com/c/ec/1.htm

odiseo77
April 4th, 2008, 04:45 AM
You may (or may not) find this useful. We used it in school. Not bad- pretty cool, actually.
http://compreviews.about.com/c/ec/1.htm

Thank you! I will subscribe and take the course :) (I took a short computer maintenance course some years ago, but it was rather general).

linuxbeatswin
April 4th, 2008, 04:54 AM
Thank you! I will subscribe and take the course :) (I took a short computer maintenance course some years ago, but it was rather general).

Not a problem- hope it's helpful. Enjoy your weekend.

arbulus
April 4th, 2008, 05:03 AM
In almost all instances, self-built computers are less expensive. Plus you can get parts that you know are Linux compatible.

AllenGG
April 4th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Some of the above posts may be misleading to "newbies" (bless 'em)
If you 'shop' for parts, get deals, and put in some effort, you can build a machine similar to a store unit, and save a few bucks, euros, pesos etc.
But IF you're looking for high quality, NOT found in Dell etc you will spend more. Combine the methods and shop for deals on high quality items, and try to concentrate on Linux-friendly hardware.
The third option: and by far the most successful, find a good tech shop, order up the parts and have a techie build your machine while you watch. Your techie, if any good will be using Linux.

jespdj
April 4th, 2008, 03:34 PM
I voted "homebuilt" but actually I don't think one is clearly better than the other.

I built my desktop PC myself. The main advantage is that you can choose exactly the components you want. It's a little bit, but not that much cheaper than buying a premade PC; I wouldn't day that price is a major advantage. The main disadvantages are that you have to have some knowledge of components, you'll have to do some research to make sure that you're buying parts that work well together, and if it doesn't work then you'll have to try to get it working yourself. You'll have to be careful about all aspects, including things that you might not have thought about beforehand.

With a premade PC it's very easy, just plug it in and go, and you can be sure that the system is well-built and you'll have guarantee.

There's more risk in building it yourself than buying a premade computer.

Building your own PC is not for newbies.

Twitch6000
April 4th, 2008, 03:39 PM
homebrewed is always better due to price.Plus with linux it makes it just alot easier to know it is going to wok.

herbster
April 4th, 2008, 07:05 PM
I always build my own, and it's not very difficult to learn how. There are oodles of resources on the net.

I build my own because a) it's fun, b) to build a new machine, I'll wind up learning much of current technology and c) it's exactly what I want, in every way. Also, the PSU is probably the most important part, and in many prebuilt computers it's rarely-- if ever-- even brought up when the customer is considering whether to purchase or not. This is obviously because most consumers are unaware of what to look for in this part, which goes back to building your own forcing you to learn and be aware of what parts come together to form the box that perhaps holds most if not all of your precious data.

I just built my new box about a month or so ago and just finished putting together my old parts into a new case with some other new parts for a server last week. It's good to know what's under the hood :)

era86
April 4th, 2008, 07:09 PM
I enjoy hunting down parts from recycled PC stores. My current build cost me under $50 and runs XP and Ubuntu flawlessly!

dashnak
April 4th, 2008, 07:13 PM
I always roll my own computers. Mainly because I'm always on a very tight budget and can "take from here and put it there" when it comes to HW.

VitaLiNux
April 4th, 2008, 07:31 PM
not really because the fact that linux is run by the public is what makes it better than those systems built mainstreem manufacturers.
in my opinion I thinks that all linux systems should be made homebuilt and under total control of the user.

I agree with you! I don't like the idea of having a PC with an OS I can't customize with my whole will... I'd feel restricted with the "USER" TAG on me and I wouldn't learn beyond the threshold of what you plainly see. I mean, Generally when you buy a prebuilt machine you got the hardware, got the software and now what :confused: But, when you build your machine yourself, it's totally different. GENERALLY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHY YOU WANT IT. So there's no clueless face :)

Wobedraggled
April 4th, 2008, 07:36 PM
My first PC was the only one that was pre-built.

mcduck
April 4th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Home built of course. Getting a prebuit computer is like getting a Lego kit that's already assembled. It takes great part of the fun from getting a new gear.

Besides, prebuilt machines are always assembled from parts that are cheap for the manufacturer. The only way to get a really good machine with reasonable price is to build it yourself, or at least select the parts yourself.

Linuxratty
April 4th, 2008, 09:37 PM
I've had both..I prefer having a friend build me one so i can get it just like i want it.

Chame_Wizard
April 4th, 2008, 10:15 PM
my pc is a homebrew :guitar:

jabeez
April 4th, 2008, 10:26 PM
I've built all the computers in my house, and much prefer them for the simple fact of troubleshooting if stuff goes wrong. I've also had the displeasure of working on other peoples pre-builts, and it is usually a huge PITA. Although lately I've seen some pretty sick deals (on slickdeals, heh) on Dell's. Recently had a Intel Core 2 Duo based machine with 250 or 500 gig HD, 2 gigs ram, with 19" widescreen LCD for like $370!! Homebuilding used to be cheaper, but with deals like that out there, I couldn't come close to buying all that hardware for that cheap........

heartburnkid
April 4th, 2008, 10:57 PM
I've built all the computers in my house, and much prefer them for the simple fact of troubleshooting if stuff goes wrong. I've also had the displeasure of working on other peoples pre-builts, and it is usually a huge PITA. Although lately I've seen some pretty sick deals (on slickdeals, heh) on Dell's. Recently had a Intel Core 2 Duo based machine with 250 or 500 gig HD, 2 gigs ram, with 19" widescreen LCD for like $370!! Homebuilding used to be cheaper, but with deals like that out there, I couldn't come close to buying all that hardware for that cheap........

I take that as a challenge, and will likely be putting that to the test tomorrow morning.

jabeez
April 4th, 2008, 11:15 PM
I take that as a challenge, and will likely be putting that to the test tomorrow morning.

Well I wish you the best of luck!! From what I can figure, you're gonna be pretty close to $370 with just the processor and monitor. If you can pull it off, please let me know how...........:)

nomail
April 4th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Well i am a laptop user, so basically i am using prebuilt pc. But for a desktop it's definitely homebrewed. It's easier to upgrade them, allows to assemble the machine that exactly suits your needs(or wishes). And it save a good bunch of money.

Almost forgot, it's also a lot of fun to do it on your own....especially when something isn't going well :twisted:

Tomatz
April 4th, 2008, 11:30 PM
[edit]

dada1958
April 4th, 2008, 11:53 PM
Definitely homebrew ... building my current machine, over one year ago was a very pleasant experience. I went for a low budget system, but with decent components, because it was going to be the first one. After more than a decade spent with Macs, the costs were a relief. It was also fun to read, search, taking the risk after this thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=371174) here in ubuntuforums.org.
I never regretted that step, as I never regretted the switch to Ubuntu :)

pt123
April 4th, 2008, 11:55 PM
Home built with a decent motherboard & case installation is simple.

heartburnkid
April 5th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Have some downtime at work, so I decided to take a stab at doing it with just a Newegg run; unfortunately, I still went a bit over $370 (total of $448), but if we drop the monitor, I did manage to beat the lowest price that Dell seems to be offering at current without a monitor ($288 vs. $479), which is a small point of DIY pride.

I'll take another stab when I have time for comparison shopping.

Just to clarify, are we talking about an actual Core 2 Duo? Because I've seen quite a few sellers use a Pentium Dual-Core and attempt to obfuscate the fact... (not that the PDC is a bad chip, mind, but it would give me much more room to play with)

zenwhen
April 5th, 2008, 02:04 AM
I used to build all of my computers but now I am very very much in favor of prebuilt systems. My PC's from now on are going to be Dell, that is if I decide to buy another PC. I have been buying Macs pretty much exclusively for the last couple years. I run Linux on my trusty old Dell laptop.

/usr/bin/hacked?
April 5th, 2008, 06:40 AM
I think that the poll speaks for itself, lots of us know how to build computers, therefore we recognize the advantages, and know how to deal with the disadvantages.

cacycleworks
April 5th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Heheh, some of you are going to hate me. :) Buuut, read all of it before gettin steamed, ok? (= While most of these points were LAW a decade ago when I was in college, not so much now.

I'll start out with the "negatives" then shift toward the "positives" =o)


on MONEY alone...


There are many reason to build your own or to pay a local geek to do it for you. Heres a big one you can't buy a quality computer for $500 or less per built computer you. However you can build a quality computer for less then $500.

Probably the opposite is true now unless you want a PIII, or something else no one on this forum would buy new. ;) Specifically, I have 4 Dells in my company that were bought new with 19" monitor for under $400 each. One or two got upgrades but none were over $500.

One of them has been turned on for a year. No lack of quality there.


homebrewed is always better due to price.Plus with linux it makes it just alot easier to know it is going to wok.

False on the price, but true that it is possible the 2nd point has validity. However, google will really help with buying premade. Since I've started with ubuntu and buying from Dell, I learned to research the components and google for the model+ubuntu+problem.


In almost all instances, self-built computers are less expensive. Plus you can get parts that you know are Linux compatible.

+1 see above. :)


One must also include TIME along with MONEY...



Home built of course. Getting a prebuit computer is like getting a Lego kit that's already assembled. It takes great part of the fun from getting a new gear.

Besides, prebuilt machines are always assembled from parts that are cheap for the manufacturer. The only way to get a really good machine with reasonable price is to build it yourself, or at least select the parts yourself.

In this, you're marginalizing the value of your time with the "fun" above. IMHO, most computer buyers want an out of box working gizmo.

IMHO, now-a-days, computer manufacturers are upping the quality so they don't get yelled at. AND, the last time I fully rolled my own, there were 4 trips to the store to replace out of box faulty components. This was after buying their recommended parts for my best compatibility.

Used to be that the all-in-one integrated mother boards were the source of everyone's problems stemming from prebuilts. You know, like that on board modem on the Gateway. Everyone is all-in-one these days. TRY to buy a mo-board without one or most of: LAN, video, USB, audio, modem.

IMHO, the prebuilts pull an advantage over homegrown as the prebuilts are picking components which will result in the least amount of problems for the users, as tech support for bad parts costs far more than buying un-crap parts to begin with. ;) Meanwhile, the homebuilt market relies on bleeding edge, which often is just not as reliable.


I always roll my own computers. Mainly because I'm always on a very tight budget and can "take from here and put it there" when it comes to HW.

THIS is the real argument for the roll your own. No contention there.


I've built all the computers in my house, and much prefer them for the simple fact of troubleshooting if stuff goes wrong. I've also had the displeasure of working on other peoples pre-builts, and it is usually a huge PITA.

I've worked on a few kinds ... several cheap-o import cases for homebuilts, old Dells, new Dells, HP, Gateway (prolly the worst?), Sony, and TiVo ;). None of them have been particularly easy.

I think from my years of experience, only someone like "new Dell" shifts the balance towards prebuilt. I've always found computers to be mensa puzzles. When I took a dremel to one of my Dell's I really really loved their online service manuals: pictures and instructions on how to totally take apart your desktop or notebook computer.

Their C521 is almost completely tool-less. I was able to replace the CPU and RAM in one in like 5 minutes. If that...


Although lately I've seen some pretty sick deals (on slickdeals, heh) on Dell's. Recently had a Intel Core 2 Duo based machine with 250 or 500 gig HD, 2 gigs ram, with 19" widescreen LCD for like $370!! Homebuilding used to be cheaper, but with deals like that out there, I couldn't come close to buying all that hardware for that cheap........

Yup.


I used to build all of my computers but now I am very very much in favor of prebuilt systems. My PC's from now on are going to be Dell, that is if I decide to buy another PC. I have been buying Macs pretty much exclusively for the last couple years. I run Linux on my trusty old Dell laptop.

I used to only build my own and am now all about the out of box working prebuilt. No experience with mac's here, though. The price tag always scared me off.


I enjoy hunting down parts from recycled PC stores. My current build cost me under $50 and runs XP and Ubuntu flawlessly!

You, sir, are my hero. :) That's awesome! Oh wait, what about the licenses? (j/k!!)



I know I sound like a Dell mole or something, but they've really impressed me. AND you're free to substitute any OEM maker which combines all the extra services Dell does into a "good prebuilt" list...


Their Indian support people annunciate clearly, they're very polite, they're responsive, they make me think they/Dell cares, and they make me happy.
Their prices are amazing when you subscribe to their "deals" e-mails. I'm on their small business e-mailing and there are amazing deals about every other month.
They clearly show options and pricing so you can choose between components.
They have been selling quality components.
I got a 24" monitor + base-model desktop for about $60 more than the monitor alone. It's sitting on the shelf with its XP Pro license waiting for the day when one of our legacy computers starts asking for replacement. Heck, the license is worth more than the $60 I paid for the whole box. (and spare keyboard and cheap mouse)


Anyhow, I love great debate like this and hope that my thoughts can help folks to at least take a moment to consider the Dark Side of buying prebuilt.

:D Chris

Tomatz
April 5th, 2008, 10:32 AM
Heheh, some of you are going to hate me. :) Buuut, read all of it before gettin steamed, ok? (= While most of these points were LAW a decade ago when I was in college, not so much now.

I'll start out with the "negatives" then shift toward the "positives" =o)


on MONEY alone...



Probably the opposite is true now unless you want a PIII, or something else no one on this forum would buy new. ;) Specifically, I have 4 Dells in my company that were bought new with 19" monitor for under $400 each. One or two got upgrades but none were over $500.

One of them has been turned on for a year. No lack of quality there.



False on the price, but true that it is possible the 2nd point has validity. However, google will really help with buying premade. Since I've started with ubuntu and buying from Dell, I learned to research the components and google for the model+ubuntu+problem.



+1 see above. :)


One must also include TIME along with MONEY...




In this, you're marginalizing the value of your time with the "fun" above. IMHO, most computer buyers want an out of box working gizmo.

IMHO, now-a-days, computer manufacturers are upping the quality so they don't get yelled at. AND, the last time I fully rolled my own, there were 4 trips to the store to replace out of box faulty components. This was after buying their recommended parts for my best compatibility.

Used to be that the all-in-one integrated mother boards were the source of everyone's problems stemming from prebuilts. You know, like that on board modem on the Gateway. Everyone is all-in-one these days. TRY to buy a mo-board without one or most of: LAN, video, USB, audio, modem.

IMHO, the prebuilts pull an advantage over homegrown as the prebuilts are picking components which will result in the least amount of problems for the users, as tech support for bad parts costs far more than buying un-crap parts to begin with. ;) Meanwhile, the homebuilt market relies on bleeding edge, which often is just not as reliable.



THIS is the real argument for the roll your own. No contention there.



I've worked on a few kinds ... several cheap-o import cases for homebuilts, old Dells, new Dells, HP, Gateway (prolly the worst?), Sony, and TiVo ;). None of them have been particularly easy.

I think from my years of experience, only someone like "new Dell" shifts the balance towards prebuilt. I've always found computers to be mensa puzzles. When I took a dremel to one of my Dell's I really really loved their online service manuals: pictures and instructions on how to totally take apart your desktop or notebook computer.

Their C521 is almost completely tool-less. I was able to replace the CPU and RAM in one in like 5 minutes. If that...



Yup.



I used to only build my own and am now all about the out of box working prebuilt. No experience with mac's here, though. The price tag always scared me off.



You, sir, are my hero. :) That's awesome! Oh wait, what about the licenses? (j/k!!)



I know I sound like a Dell mole or something, but they've really impressed me. AND you're free to substitute any OEM maker which combines all the extra services Dell does into a "good prebuilt" list...


Their Indian support people annunciate clearly, they're very polite, they're responsive, they make me think they/Dell cares, and they make me happy.
Their prices are amazing when you subscribe to their "deals" e-mails. I'm on their small business e-mailing and there are amazing deals about every other month.
They clearly show options and pricing so you can choose between components.
They have been selling quality components.
I got a 24" monitor + base-model desktop for about $60 more than the monitor alone. It's sitting on the shelf with its XP Pro license waiting for the day when one of our legacy computers starts asking for replacement. Heck, the license is worth more than the $60 I paid for the whole box. (and spare keyboard and cheap mouse)


Anyhow, I love great debate like this and hope that my thoughts can help folks to at least take a moment to consider the Dark Side of buying prebuilt.

:D Chris
I haven't the time or inclination to poke holes in your comments.

If you own a business it's probably better to buy prebuilt (in the UK anyway) as you can claim tax back.

For home use NO WAY! Crappy stock parts, limited space, ports etc for upgrades.

Just open the side of your dells then you will see why they are so cheap!

But i will admit the good part of the deal is the monitor, keyboard etc :)

st0n3cutt3r
April 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Prebuilt systems almost without exception require you to purchase a proprietary OS with the computer, and come with a bunch of crap pre-installed (if for some reason you wanted to use that OS)

That aside, if you can build it yourself you'll get twice the computer for the same money, or the same computer for half as much if you shop around and buy online.

For example, even doing something like buying this lovely http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/9854001/wo/sr3Z0fWD9jTw2Q0xti8QAsCEbwX/2.?p=0 apple notebook computer, and upgrading the ram yourself... you'll pay Apple $500 to have them install 2x2GB sticks of 667MHz DDR2 RAM, and TAKE your 2x512MB 667MHz DDR2 RAM OR you can buy it stock, sell your "Genuine Apple Memory!" on eBay, and buy this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227251 2x2GB 800MHz DDR2 RAM on newegg.com for $65.98 after shipping, install it yourself, and pat yourself on the back with the $434.02 you've saved.

It's really that simple.

st0n3cutt3r
April 5th, 2008, 12:30 PM
I've built all the computers in my house, and much prefer them for the simple fact of troubleshooting if stuff goes wrong. I've also had the displeasure of working on other peoples pre-builts, and it is usually a huge PITA. Although lately I've seen some pretty sick deals (on slickdeals, heh) on Dell's. Recently had a Intel Core 2 Duo based machine with 250 or 500 gig HD, 2 gigs ram, with 19" widescreen LCD for like $370!! Homebuilding used to be cheaper, but with deals like that out there, I couldn't come close to buying all that hardware for that cheap........

I looked on Dells website, and the closest thing I've seen to that is $599 for what you described with the 19" monitor(+$30.16 Tax), or $349 for the cheapest tower you can get (no monitor, and I didn't bother to figure out the shipping/tax charges).

So, if the challenge is to beat $629.16, if you can live without windows (you wouldn't really use it anyway, would you?) I beat it by about $20 using the same parts, shipping included. Also, I was lazy and only shopped newegg.com. I'm sure anybody more determined than I was to save a few cents, and cut more corners could find better prices among other retailers. Also, rather than blowing $170 on the 2.33GHz e6550, you could buy the 1.8GHz e2160 for $70, and overclock it to 3GHz, even 3.2GHz on stock cooling, if you so wish (I have this processor, and have done it. Completely stable at 3GHz (I tested thoroughly), and while I was running at 3.2 it never crashed, although I tested it less thoroughly, so no guarantees about the stability at 3.2..... either way, it's a hell of an improvement over 2.33, and you could pocket the $100, or do something really crazy, and buy yourself an actual graphics card... or a decent power supply. The options are endless! :lolflag:

Actually... I was forced to make a few improvements, as I could not bring myself to search for 667MHz RAM, so I went with the 800MHz, and my hard drive doesn't promise on the label that it will crash, like the DELL one does ("w/DataBurst Cache™")....

Bottom line, that's a d**n good deal dell is offering (for the weekend sale), but I'd still build my own in a minute. No DELL to beg for repairs and replacements, you know EXACTLY what you're getting, no one tries to hide the power of the PSU, and you don't get a bunch of crap stuck on your OS.

Other thoughts: isn't "Dude, you got a Dell." the official response to "Why isn't this working?" from a preconfig-pc owner?

3rdalbum
April 5th, 2008, 12:33 PM
I bought one prebuilt machine (Compaq) which was very nice. Relatively, the performance was good, the price was REALLY good (clearance model) and it was quiet. It worked well with Linux too.

But I can't risk buying a prebuilt computer and finding that some crucial part of it doesn't work with Linux. So I ended off building a new computer to my specifications, with all the parts researched to work with Linux. It works well, but it's a bit noisier than the Compaq.

Building my own has also helped with Linux adoption. A friend of mine was wanting to buy a new computer. My quote of $610 and Ubuntu preinstalled beat the other quote she got from someone else; something like $800 with Windows XP. So my friend is going to have an Ubuntu computer now, thanks to the power of home-brew!

cacycleworks
April 5th, 2008, 11:01 PM
I haven't the time or inclination to poke holes in your comments.

If you own a business it's probably better to buy prebuilt (in the UK anyway) as you can claim tax back.

For home use NO WAY! Crappy stock parts, limited space, ports etc for upgrades.

Just open the side of your dells then you will see why they are so cheap!

But i will admit the good part of the deal is the monitor, keyboard etc :)

Well, I wasn't expecting much, so the replies aren't a surprise. It is surprising how you guys cling to your old thinking. Worse than those VI people! Oh, wait, I'm one of those vi people, too...

The FUD about prebuilts is over the top, though.

Here's that crap component in my latest Dell (http://www.tigerdirect.com/include/AddCartfromGallery.asp?EdpNo=3353977&Sku=E145-2030&imgcart=1&imgcounter=5).

Tomatz, your arguments disclose that you didn't actually bother to READ what I said because then you'd realize (or is that realise?) that I actually HAD opened up my Dells. All of them.

And I'll supply a link for those who couldn't find one of the Dell Deals, here's a link (http://smallbusiness.dell.com/r/c/r?2.1.2d.2UW.1d%2a8K3.D5pZae..N.HWtc.2cLY.az0yOTIw NSZtcDI4OTY0PTgyMTI3MTgyBcaIHPM0). It's $429. They raised their lowest options. You're stuck with a 20" monitor and pentium dual core. They're not even offering the celeron. No bloatweare: "No Pre-installed Productivity Software [Included in Price]" Upgrade to a coreduo and 2G of RAM and you're still at $579. I normally won't upgrade much on their site and buy the upgrade parts as I need them from Tiger Direct or newegg.

But you guys aren't hearing it - just like most of the closed minded windows users who won't even open their minds enough to consider the concept. That's all good. Sorry for attempting to share something positive about modern computers and how they don't necessarily suck like they used to.

Didn't mean to be a bother,
Chris
:)

markp1989
April 5th, 2008, 11:14 PM
my current pc was prebuilt, it was to cheaper then i could build one for

specs
3.2ghz single core celeron d
256mb of ram
80gb hdd
brought for £180 in december 2006

since then it has been upgraded , new graphics card new hdd and new ram

next pc i get will most likely be a self build, as soon as i can afford it

Tomatz
April 5th, 2008, 11:15 PM
Well, I wasn't expecting much, so the replies aren't a surprise. It is surprising how you guys cling to your old thinking. Worse than those VI people! Oh, wait, I'm one of those vi people, too...

The FUD about prebuilts is over the top, though.

Here's that crap component in my latest Dell (http://www.tigerdirect.com/include/AddCartfromGallery.asp?EdpNo=3353977&Sku=E145-2030&imgcart=1&imgcounter=5).

Tomatz, your arguments disclose that you didn't actually bother to READ what I said because then you'd realize (or is that realise?) that I actually HAD opened up my Dells. All of them.

And I'll supply a link for those who couldn't find one of the Dell Deals, here's a link (http://smallbusiness.dell.com/r/c/r?2.1.2d.2UW.1d%2a8K3.D5pZae..N.HWtc.2cLY.az0yOTIw NSZtcDI4OTY0PTgyMTI3MTgyBcaIHPM0). It's $429. They raised their lowest options. You're stuck with a 20" monitor and pentium dual core. They're not even offering the celeron. No bloatweare: "No Pre-installed Productivity Software [Included in Price]" Upgrade to a coreduo and 2G of RAM and you're still at $579. I normally won't upgrade much on their site and buy the upgrade parts as I need them from Tiger Direct or newegg.

But you guys aren't hearing it - just like most of the closed minded windows users who won't even open their minds enough to consider the concept. That's all good. Sorry for attempting to share something positive about modern computers and how they don't necessarily suck like they used to.

Didn't mean to be a bother,
Chris
:)

Oh they suck and considering its my job to fix them day in day out. I think i do know a little more on the subject than some [EDIT] American citizen who thinks he has been witness to the dawn of a new era in computing by buying 4 pc's from Dell.

As i said crappy stock parts, load of crud that comes with the OS ("recovery" partitions etc), Usually limited room for expansion (lack of cable/s on the psu, ide leads with one connector) etc etc etc

At the end of the day i could build a top notch, sli ready etc gameing PC for a fraction of the price.

P.s That board (in the link) was old a year ago!

Tomatz
April 5th, 2008, 11:18 PM
my current pc was prebuilt, it was to cheaper then i could build one for

specs
3.2ghz single core celeron d
256mb of ram
80gb hdd
brought for £180 in december 2006

since then it has been upgraded , new graphics card new hdd and new ram

next pc i get will most likely be a self build, as soon as i can afford it

For £250 you could have built twice the compuer.

Look here:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/

(it's where i get all my stock from)

intense.ego
April 6th, 2008, 02:02 AM
Oh they suck and considering its my job to fix them day in day out. I think i do know a little more on the subject than some [EDIT] American citizen who thinks he has been witness to the dawn of a new era in computing by buying 4 pc's from Dell.

As i said crappy stock parts, load of crud that comes with the OS ("recovery" partitions etc), Usually limited room for expansion (lack of cable/s on the psu, ide leads with one connector) etc etc etc

At the end of the day i could build a top notch, sli ready etc gameing PC for a fraction of the price.

P.s That board (in the link) was old a year ago!

I'm no expert on building computers and hardware, but using this (http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?b=&c=uk&cs=ukbsdt1&kc=D4X20001&l=en&m_30=138820&oc=D042002&rbc=D042002&s=bsd) as my base, I managed to create this computer for under £250 (no monitor):

2.2 ghz core 2 duo
2gb ram
80gb hard drive
keyboard+mouse
1yr warranty
windows vista business (you can always just uninstall it)


I doubt you could build your own pc like that for that price, though, like i said before, I am no expert. So, if you can, please show me,

A$h X
April 6th, 2008, 02:25 AM
While I agree that you won't get a graphics card in the prices being thrown around, you really can't say that building your own PC is cheaper than a dell anymore. You get a crappy mobo and 533mhz ram but still you get more bang for your buck. I set myself a target of £300 and got these as homebrew:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/2518/hutyhte8.jpg

and an alternative:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/6001/blasdhlh7.jpg

Now I'm pretty sure for that £300 I could get a equivalent if not better deal from dell. Obvoiusly the mobo and GFX card will suffer (no decent overclocking on dell's AFAIK), but if you are looking at the best value for money then I think prebuilt's have the edge.

heartburnkid
April 6th, 2008, 03:09 AM
Now I'm pretty sure for that £300 I could get a equivalent if not better deal from dell.

That's what you get for assuming.

Take a look at the screenshots below; one from Dell, and one from Newegg. You'll note that the pile o' parts from Newegg is $90 cheaper, includes a much better quality motherboard, likely a beefier power supply (Dell's system doesn't spec that out), and the graphics card has twice the memory. Not noticeable from the pics, but still very important, is the fact that all the parts from Newegg are engineered to standards, which leaves my upgrade options wide open in the future, as opposed to Dell's proprietary stuff that locks me in.

Yes, yes, I know, time is a factor as well, but considering that I can get this together within 2 hours or so, I'd say that, at worst, I break even cost-wise building it myself.

aysiu
April 6th, 2008, 03:17 AM
Prebuilt for me.

I don't have the technical knowledge and hand-eye coordination to build a computer myself.

heartburnkid
April 6th, 2008, 03:29 AM
Prebuilt for me.

I don't have the technical knowledge and hand-eye coordination to build a computer myself.

I'll take "things you'd never expect to hear from a Linux user" for $400, Alex.

Changturkey
April 6th, 2008, 03:31 AM
Prebuilt for me.

I don't have the technical knowledge and hand-eye coordination to build a computer myself.

Lulz. Same here.

jbonll05
April 6th, 2008, 03:38 AM
My first home built was for Ubuntu, at that time AMD gave better support for open source. Intell has now closed the gap, with help from the community. Avoid wifi from Broadcom. jb

jabeez
April 6th, 2008, 08:06 AM
I looked on Dells website, and the closest thing I've seen to that is $599 for what you described with the 19" monitor(+$30.16 Tax), or $349 for the cheapest tower you can get (no monitor, and I didn't bother to figure out the shipping/tax charges).

So, if the challenge is to beat $629.16, if you can live without windows (you wouldn't really use it anyway, would you?) I beat it by about $20 using the same parts, shipping included. Also, I was lazy and only shopped newegg.com. I'm sure anybody more determined than I was to save a few cents, and cut more corners could find better prices among other retailers. Also, rather than blowing $170 on the 2.33GHz e6550, you could buy the 1.8GHz e2160 for $70, and overclock it to 3GHz, even 3.2GHz on stock cooling, if you so wish (I have this processor, and have done it. Completely stable at 3GHz (I tested thoroughly), and while I was running at 3.2 it never crashed, although I tested it less thoroughly, so no guarantees about the stability at 3.2..... either way, it's a hell of an improvement over 2.33, and you could pocket the $100, or do something really crazy, and buy yourself an actual graphics card... or a decent power supply. The options are endless! :lolflag:

Actually... I was forced to make a few improvements, as I could not bring myself to search for 667MHz RAM, so I went with the 800MHz, and my hard drive doesn't promise on the label that it will crash, like the DELL one does ("w/DataBurst Cache™")....

Bottom line, that's a d**n good deal dell is offering (for the weekend sale), but I'd still build my own in a minute. No DELL to beg for repairs and replacements, you know EXACTLY what you're getting, no one tries to hide the power of the PSU, and you don't get a bunch of crap stuck on your OS.

Other thoughts: isn't "Dude, you got a Dell." the official response to "Why isn't this working?" from a preconfig-pc owner?

Well I had to go back and look (www.slickdeals.net, the March 31st posting), and the link is dead, but check it out, you certainly could have gotten that machine for that price. It was through Dell SB with some promotion code, but nonetheless if you keep an eye out there are deals that simply can't be beat hardware-wise. I'm not saying I would buy one, but they are out there........

misfitpierce
April 6th, 2008, 08:25 AM
I chose pre-made only because I only use laptops. If I liked desktops then yes homebuilt all the way. But for a laptop HP/Compaq/Dell never fails my laptop needs.

intense.ego
April 6th, 2008, 03:22 PM
That's what you get for assuming.

Take a look at the screenshots below; one from Dell, and one from Newegg. You'll note that the pile o' parts from Newegg is $90 cheaper, includes a much better quality motherboard, likely a beefier power supply (Dell's system doesn't spec that out), and the graphics card has twice the memory. Not noticeable from the pics, but still very important, is the fact that all the parts from Newegg are engineered to standards, which leaves my upgrade options wide open in the future, as opposed to Dell's proprietary stuff that locks me in.

Yes, yes, I know, time is a factor as well, but considering that I can get this together within 2 hours or so, I'd say that, at worst, I break even cost-wise building it myself.

The situation is quite different in the UK because, whereas Dell UK's prices are almost as good as Dell US's, there is no retailer in the UK which is nearly as cheap as Newegg.

intense.ego
April 6th, 2008, 03:23 PM
While I agree that you won't get a graphics card in the prices being thrown around, you really can't say that building your own PC is cheaper than a dell anymore. You get a crappy mobo and 533mhz ram but still you get more bang for your buck. I set myself a target of £300 and got these as homebrew:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/2518/hutyhte8.jpg

and an alternative:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/6001/blasdhlh7.jpg

Now I'm pretty sure for that £300 I could get a equivalent if not better deal from dell. Obvoiusly the mobo and GFX card will suffer (no decent overclocking on dell's AFAIK), but if you are looking at the best value for money then I think prebuilt's have the edge.

Out of curiosity, what are the two websites you used?

Tomatz
April 6th, 2008, 03:55 PM
I'm no expert on building computers and hardware, but using this (http://configure.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?b=&c=uk&cs=ukbsdt1&kc=D4X20001&l=en&m_30=138820&oc=D042002&rbc=D042002&s=bsd) as my base, I managed to create this computer for under £250 (no monitor):

2.2 ghz core 2 duo
2gb ram
80gb hard drive
keyboard+mouse
1yr warranty
windows vista business (you can always just uninstall it)


I doubt you could build your own pc like that for that price, though, like i said before, I am no expert. So, if you can, please show me,

I'm not going to waste my time because i know the outcome.

Waste your own (below) maybe next time you'll save money ;)

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/

P.s Dell are stopping that service anyway (check bbc news, slashdot)

Tomatz
April 6th, 2008, 03:57 PM
The situation is quite different in the UK because, whereas Dell UK's prices are almost as good as Dell US's, there is no retailer in the UK which is nearly as cheap as Newegg.

I think you'll find there is:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/

VChief
April 6th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Homebuilt. I have never bought a prebuilt computer. I perfer being able to choose exactly what I want. In fact, I'm planning my next system right now.

intense.ego
April 6th, 2008, 05:53 PM
I think you'll find there is:

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/

In terms of prices, microdirect seems way worse than newegg for most products.

Ex 1:
MD http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(19963)Intel-CPU-Core-2-Duo-E6550-233GHz-1333FSB.aspx
NE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030&Tpk=BX80557E6550

Ex 2:
MD http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(32345)Kingston-VR-1GB-667MHz-DDR2-ECC-unbuffered.aspx
NE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134332&Tpk=KVR667D2E5%252f1G

And there are many more.


In terms of service, microdirect also lags behind:

Microdirect: http://www.ciao.co.uk/Reviews/Microdirect__5612879

Newegg: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Newegg

Tomatz
April 6th, 2008, 05:56 PM
In terms of prices, microdirect seems way worse than newegg for most products.

Ex 1:
MD http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(19963)Intel-CPU-Core-2-Duo-E6550-233GHz-1333FSB.aspx
NE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115030&Tpk=BX80557E6550

Ex 2:
MD http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(32345)Kingston-VR-1GB-667MHz-DDR2-ECC-unbuffered.aspx
NE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134332&Tpk=KVR667D2E5%252f1G

And there are many more.


In terms of service, microdirect also lags behind:

Microdirect: http://www.ciao.co.uk/Reviews/Microdirect__5612879

Newegg: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Newegg

US store UK store

you can't really compare the two pricewise. As i own a business it would be a nightmare with the tax man .

Microdirect is best in the UK the prices might seem high to an American. But in the UK that is cheap ;)

intense.ego
April 6th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Yeah you have found a few points but overall microdirect is cheaper.

Care to give any examples?

Also, I would never buy things from a shop with such abominable service.

Barrucadu
April 6th, 2008, 05:59 PM
I used to buy all my computers, however after upgrading my desktop computer by hand, the homemade bug has bitten me, and I'll never buy a prebuilt computer again.

Tomatz
April 6th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Care to give any examples?

Also, I would never buy things from a shop with such abominable service.

I use them weekly and have had no problems. I have seen that review before though

I wouldn't recommend them if they weren't good ;)

Cresho
April 6th, 2008, 06:05 PM
I love mines! I chose exactly what I wanted for it. My pc even performs better over a 3000 doller prebuild from hp. Mines only costed 800 dollars minus monitor.

6400 black edition amd
8800gt nvidia bfg 512mb memory
gigabyte motherboard
2gb memory a-data
coolermaster aluminum case (7 years old)still looks new!
silvesrtone fan controller with 4 fans controlled (gygabite controlls the other 3)
a nice powerbox to power up my new stuff. Dirt cheap
It also has 2 television tuners etc. and much much much more.

my monitor costed 350 dollars (hpw248) it was on special from frys and I forced bestbuy to lower the price for me.

I could not of done this if I kept buying from dell or hp or gateway.


THE MAIN REASON TO DO THIS IS TO AVOID PAYING A MICROSOFT TAX!