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Chacham's Journal: Verbiage: Building a computer and saving money 25

Journal by Chacham

Someone told me that building a computer yourself saves money. Hmm...I guess that means he doesn't pay for his software.

I mentioned to someone the only reason to home-build is if that is what you want to do, even if it comes out worse. Otherwise, such as with Dell, the better case, guaranteed compatibility, and warranty are well worth it.

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Verbiage: Building a computer and saving money

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  • Lightsaber Analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow@wrought.gmail@com> on Monday July 25, 2005 @02:44PM (#13158479) Homepage Journal
    There is a sig floating out there, don't remember the UID, but it something like, "A Slashdotter not building their own computer is like a Jedi not building their own lightsaber." I think there is a certain amount of truth to that. My current computer is a relic I got for free through my wife's old work- a P90 with a 4G harddrive and wotherboard limited 128megs of ram. When the time comes (ie we've reduced our debt to the point that I have disposable income) one of my projects will be to build my own system. It just seems to be the right thing to do. Putting it all together, tweaking, troubleshooting, and optimizing is more a need than anything else. At least to my noggin;-)
    • A Slashdotter not building their own computer is like a Jedi not building their own lightsaber." I think there is a certain amount of truth to that.

      Heh. Though slashdotter may be too broad a term, i definitely agree with the sentiment.
  • It seems like a good idea but it's not like repairing a car. An old roommate I had thought he knew all about that stuff and built his own. His CD burner never worked, not even occasionally.

    He used an illicit copy of XP and bragged about it but then silently bought a copy when it didn't work correctly, thus loosing all that money he was going to save. It also had a water-cooling system (don't ask why, no reason was ever given) which he didn't even try to make run.

    I myself have a Dell and bought my own DVD b

    • He used an illicit copy of XP and bragged about it but then silently bought a copy when it didn't work correctly, thus loosing all that money he was going to save

      Heh.

      XP is expensive though. When i challenged myself to pay for an OS, i just moved to Linux. :)
  • by Degrees (220395) <degrees AT sbcglobal DOT net> on Monday July 25, 2005 @04:20PM (#13159572) Homepage Journal
    I can be fun, but it is not cheaper. Sure, I can get super cheap parts, but the results are going to suck, if things even work at all. By the time you spec out parts comparble to what Dell or HP or IBM would sell you, your cost is 10% or more higher. And that's just hardware.

    For me, it is fun: I'll spend weeks reading reviews, checking out Usenet posts, asking friends their opinions. Heard from one person that NVidia + AMD fits nicely, ditto ATI + Intel. Had had some squirrely problems with my ATI card in my AMD system - swapped it for an NVidia, and things were smoother. Who knew?

    If I were buying something for my mom, I'd go preconfigured from Dell or HP or IBM. But for myself, I prefer to build from scratch. I don't do off- brand motherboards, nor do I throw myself on the bleeding edge. I look at that 'bang for the buck' curve, and try to maximize that.

      • can be fun, but it is not cheaper. Sure, I can get super cheap parts, but the results are going to suck, if things even work at all. By the time you spec out parts comparble to what Dell or HP or IBM would sell you, your cost is 10% or more higher. And that's just hardware.

      Comparable in terms of numbers? Sure. Quality? Not really.

      See, Dell may sell you a 300 watt power supply, but it is a cheap 300 watt power supply.

      Likewise with their fans, I have more problems with OEM fans than I care to mention

      • I don't know about the fans, but i think Dell's parts are pretty good for the most part. The motherboards i have seen were sturdy and worked well, and when it didn't they shipped me one overnight. The hard drives are always brand name, and no power supply from them ever died on me.

        I do homebuild my own computers, but i am still rooting for a Dell. There must be others, i just don't know who.
      • Ditto. And the big cost/value curve flucuates often too.
  • Someone told me that building a computer yourself saves money. Hmm...I guess that means he doesn't pay for his software.

    The measure isn't so much software as it is portability of components. If you buy a dell and want something better in 18 moths, you need to buy a whole new dell. If you build a home-brew system and want to upgrade in 18 months, you can just buy the parts you want to upgrade and keep the rest around.

    If you really don't care and just want a PC box that works, don't go with Dell. Go to
    • If you buy a dell and want something better in 18 moths, you need to buy a whole new dell. If you build a home-brew system and want to upgrade in 18 months, you can just buy the parts you want to upgrade and keep the rest around.

      This assumes though that you paid more for the parts to allow the upgrade. With the money saved from cheaper parts, it may be better to buy a completely new system later on.

      Unless we're just talking about the motherboard and Dell is selling a very limited version.

      The measure isn't s
  • I've found that if your desires are a little bit off the beaten path, building comes up cheaper.

    For example, if you want a system with a crappy CPU but alot of disk or you can recycle your old GeForce 1, you can easily save hundreds of dollars.

    Generally upgrades from vendors like Dell are more expensive... configuring a memory upgrade can be 2x more than buying the memory from Micron.

    The other thing is quality of service. My time is literally too constrained and valuable to waste on hold or arguing with
    • Generally upgrades from vendors like Dell are more expensive... configuring a memory upgrade can be 2x more than buying the memory from Micron.

      The beauty is you can go to their website and find out the exact details for the part, then buy it elsewhere. They do not brand their memory, they just guarantee it. So if two times as much is not worth the guarantee, buy it elsewhere.

      I was on a small business account once (not me, the company i worked for, but i was purchasing) and i told them the part was so muc
      • My experience with Dell:

        - @Work (30,000+ workstations & servers) Real-time, excellent support... top notch

        - @Home Long waits, needlessly long level-1 troubleshooting procedures, etc

        • I've heard the same. We have one guy at our shop that somehow became 'the Dell authorized contact', and if he calls in a problem, the support is excellent. Anyone else calls in, they get treated like a home user, made to jump through all sorts of hoops before getting real service. We don't have a lot of Dells, so it is not a problem. So I can chime in: yes, Dell does value business customers higher than home users.

          • Interesting, both of you... thanx for the reply.

            BTW, why only a drawn picture of you?
            • For the /. Photo Contest, I took down my photo. Then, here at work, we installed phpBB and I needed an avatar. So I used The GIMP and followed these instructions [gimp.org].... Once the PhotoKon was finished, I put the avatar file up.

              Just playing around. :-)

              • That's perty kewl. I think I'm going to have to try that. :)

                Though, the lack of some lines, such as around the mouth or eyes does seem to change the face slightly. In the drawing the moth looks more serious and the eyes are more pronounced.
        • Thanx for the report.
  • not because I want to...but because the school I work for receives a lot of donated hardware...
    I don't get to build what I want..although sometimes I do...like the $5k server 2yrs ago ;)

    At home I would buy a Dell..simply because you can't beat the price. $450 for a P4 3GHz with a free 17" LCD when they have their uber deals...is something I can't compare with anywhere.

    Granted, I'm not the guy playing all those FPS games nor WoW or that sort of thing that requires a $300 graphics card, but neither are the

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