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Every day I see people talk about some computer they bought. Some of them even brag about it. In reality, a store-bought computer is just about the furthest removed from a bragging right you can get. Assembling a computer is much easier than companies like Dell or Hp want you to think it is. Ignorance is a consumer's worst enemy, and companies use this to peddle their unreliable, underpowered machines with a huge markup to boot. And don't even get me started on Macs. There are so many reasons to build your own over a pre-built that it seriously makes me wonder why Gateway and the likes are still in business.
Putting together a computer might seem like something only tech experts could do, but it really is an easy task. All that's required of you is the time and effort to educate yourself. This is the basic checklist of parts you will need to buy:
Learning what's compatible with what and what parts to choose for your build can be the hardest part of the whole ordeal, but there's people willing to lend their time to helping you. Newegg has forums, as does Overclockers.co.uk, and there's even the computer construction crew right here on newgrounds. Overclock.netis also a good place to expand your knowledge about computers.
As for the physical assembly, there's countless guides on how to do it on youtube.
This is a main point for most people deciding on a computer of their own. When you build your own, it's cheaper. This is unconditional. Want proof?
Here's a low-end Dell computer. The most I would use this computer for is email and word processing, maybe playing some flash games.
Here's a computer with the same specs built on newegg. (Ubuntu is a great way to cut down on price for low end rigs)
Here's a mid range HP computer. It could do some decent gaming and probably run crysis on Medium/High to boot. It'll let you watch, edit, and compile 1080p media.
Here's a top of the line alienware computer. It's got all the bells and whistles, will max out Crysis, and has the kind of hardware that futureproofs you for about 2 years.
What happens when your premium pre-built computer breaks? One option is to bring it to geeksquad where they'll solicit you a new computer. The other is to call support for your computer and possibly end up having to pack up your computer to be shipped for testing. Not to mention most companies charge money for warranties.
To start, when you build a rig, you become your own tech support. Knowing how a computer works, you're much more able to troubleshoot yourself. Don't worry though, each manufacturer for your parts still has it's own tech support.
When you order your parts for a custom built computer, you have two safety nets. If something fails quickly, you can usually return it to the reseller within 30 days for a replacement. After that, your part manufacturers have provided you with either a 1 year, 3 year, or even lifetime warranty, for free! If you choose good brands, submitting an RMA is painless and easy, and some companies even cover shipping!
Before you even turn on your store-bought for the first time, there's software on it that you didn't put there. The usual package is an "antivirus" trial, the trial version of Microsoft office, and a bunch of manufacturer programs you don't need. In fact, the copy of windows doesn't even belong to you; it's licensed to the company you bought the computer from. Needless to say, when you build a computer, none of that crap is on there to begin with.
The ability to upgrade is a key factor in just how futureproofed your system is. Now, this is something that will differ from computer to computer, but I'll take my stepsister's Dell Dimension as a worst case scenario.
The case has two slots for hard drives, meaning you have the option to add another. Most normal cases off of newegg have 5 or more. The motherboard has a slot to put a graphics card in, but because the case is small, you're limited in what you can fit in it. It also has no mounting holes for additional ventilation fans, and a gaming graphics card would probably overheat in it. Worse, the motherboard is proprietary, meaning if you want to upgrade that, you can't because the mounting holes won't line up with anything you buy.
Most importantly, any computer you buy will have a locked bios, meaning you're even limited in the CPU and RAM upgrades you can get due to a bunch of settings you're not allowed to touch. But what's so great about these settings, anyway? For lack of a better statement, this is where shit starts to get heavy.
Overclocking is changing the settings of parts in your computer in order to make them run at higher speeds. Free performance. It's a school of knowledge in itself that you need to educate yourself on, but once you understand how to do it, it's very possible to make your processor and graphics card run 15% faster, or even more. What computer manufacturer is going to let you do that?
Please, listen to the advice I've taken the time to outline. It may be scary to personally handle hundreds of dollars of parts, but when your homebuilt rig is up and running perfectly, you WILL NOT regret it. If even one person decides to build a computer because they've seen this, I'll feel like I've done something. I'm just tired of seeing people get ripped off. To anyone who already knew all of this, give yourself a pat on the back.
TL-DR If you need this, you deserve to buy a Dell.
I made my computer and man is it fast ^_________^
Even as a friend when i stare into your soul I can see your fear of me.Also,I'm voice acting in case you need a voice actor.
I build the computer I am on a year ago and I have not had one single problem so far.
VOTE BUSH 2012
At 7/29/09 03:55 PM, Sevkat wrote: I don't buy computers.
I steal them.
Give me it back.
I really would but I got this computer ages ago and it was at a discounted price.
Plus I was a total computer moron then.
But I will keep this in mind for when I have to get a new one.
That depends on what kind of computer your making. The kind I made was very fast and had very good graphics and about 50 gigs of ROM. But those can take a while to make. But, the one I made got a virus and is dead so I gave it to some other bastard. So now I'm on a little crappy 200$ dell I got about 5 years ago as a back up computer.
I hate this thing.
I would buy a computer from you, but I don't have the money.
What a shame, Mister Jensen.
I never asked for this, Mister Denton.
You need to buy an OS too when you build pcs
You could really go for a chocolate chip cookie right about now...
I agree with you on the fact that building your own computer is usually the best way to go about having a cheap one made with power, but not everyone can do it. Most American consumers who buy electrical products will not be able to custom build a computer themselves, so they have no choice but to buy a pre built one. And don't tell me that they can just look up a guide to doing it, because there are some families out there who cannot access the Internet for guides, and cannot get to a library or Internet cafe to search for one.
Big companies also can't have all their computers custom built. They usually have to have hundreds, if not thousands, of computers made for it's employees to use, and it's much cheaper for them to buy in bulk from somebody like Dell or Apple. Can you imagine the labor costs that the company would have to pay if they had all their computers custom built? And the employees wouldn't be able to build them themselves, either because many of them won't be tech-savvy enough.
Simply put, custom building is just for those who are eager enough, and willing enough to do it, and no one else.
This computer I'm using is from 2003. Sure, it has been modified some times (new screen, +RAM, new HD...), but it's still running. We're only going to change it the day it completely breaks. And, of course, it won't be a pre-made computer. Both my brother and my cousin are great with computers, so they'll be handy. =P
At 7/29/09 03:59 PM, Acid wrote: You need to buy an OS too when you build pcs
I included those in the price.
At 7/29/09 04:00 PM, Fim wrote: I wouldn't know where to start, but I'll bookmark this page for the future.
The best place to start is to just look at parts, read specs, etc. If you don't know what a spec means, google it. Research, research, research, is how I learned.
Also, anyone using this for reference can feel free to paypal me some of the money I saved you. :)
All of that only really applies to desktop computers since its a cakewalk to snap all the components together. Just try giving that advice to someone interested in a laptop instead.
I took two computers apart once, and they really are simple. It's just people are too lazy and ignorance. And premade is easier for the non-computer gurus.
Strychnine and cyanide. A healthy part of this complete breakfast.
At 7/29/09 04:10 PM, bdash1990 wrote: unless you want a mac.
GOod luck assembling one of those.
I have so many problems with Macintosh computers and Apple as a company that I don't even know where to start. But I happen to remember a blog post by RageVI that puts it in good words.
At 7/29/09 04:12 PM, StephanosGnomon wrote: All of that only really applies to desktop computers since its a cakewalk to snap all the components together. Just try giving that advice to someone interested in a laptop instead.
Comparing laptop specs to desktop specs, it's very easy to see that you get ripped off VERY quickly in terms of performance. I would only recommend a laptop to someone who absolutely needs the mobility. And then there's gaming laptops, which make me lol.
Well, I'd make my own, however I'm still computer retarded and lazy.
More along the lines of lazy though..
Respect, it's what I do...Then again, so is UberCream's job.
Really interesting thread Frenchy. I'm getting myself a new laptop very soon, and while the idea of making my own has always appealed to me I just know I'd mess it up, so to save time, effort and cock ups, it's easier for me to just buy one from Dell, or HP, or PC World, wherever.
I never custom build or upgrade. The only time I get a new computer is when I decide that it's too slow, or if I've somehow managed to break it.
I made my computer, ALL BY MYSELF! But that was about three years ago.
You pay for convenience with store-bought computers, that's pretty much the point. You can't build laptops either. Dell is the best store-bought brand IMO, better than Alienware even.
Seriously though, about Alienware, the only reason they are so expensive is because they have the AWESOME alien logo on it. You're paying for a brand, they're like Macs, except they don't suck.
Do you own roller skates?
The computer I'm currently on is custom built by me but my previous one was bought from Dell I think, it was a family computer though and my Dad bought it so I didn't really have a say in the matter. I think quite a few people on NG build their own computers and after building mine I've realised how much better and more satisfying it is.