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Build your own or buy?


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Poll: Who built your computer?

Who built your computer?

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#1 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 09:18 PM

I've been building my own machines since 1994. I just love spec'ing out the components and waiting for the technology curve and my budget to synchronize. It helps when friends ask me for a well-built used system because then I can justify upgrading to whatever is current and pass on my current machine.

'freedom...is actually the reason that men live together in political organisations at all. Without it, political life as such would be meaningless. The raison d'Être of politics is freedom, and its field of experience is action'.
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#2 OFFLINE   GolfProRM

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 09:30 PM

Great topic Peachy!  My current system is a DIY that I built in March...  My computer before that was a MicronPC that wasn't a bad system (one of the few that actually came with the real Windows disc), but it taught me enough to know that I will never buy a retail system again.  If I can't build it myself, I know a couple "mom and pop" shops that build good PC's as well.  I personally don't need the extra software "junk" that comes with all the brand name systems that are out there, and I also believe that I can get more bang for my buck if I build my own...  Nothing against the quality of any of the major companies out there, but I like to know the true ins and outs of my box. :)

#3 OFFLINE   nlinecomputers

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 09:38 PM

I said DIY but that is only partly true.  I use Directron to build my boxes but they build them to my specs as it is a custom build. They build it like I would build it. But letting them build and test the boxes saves me the labor and they have the part stacks to replace bad parts should something go wrong during burn in.  If I do it I'll spend a week shipping parts back'n'forth to fix a DOA system.  And letting my blood pressure go nuts.   :blink:
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#4 OFFLINE   FuzzButt

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 09:48 PM

Do it Myself. I like the pride that comes from building a PC. My first was in 1995 or early 1996. It was a Biostar Socket 7 motherboard. I had a Pentium 200 and 80MB of RAM. 64 of it was Pariety and 24MB was EDO. It had a 8x NEC CD and 1.2GB hard drive in a case that I don't even remember what happened to it or where I bought it. That PC was upgraded a few times until I buile another based on the Pentium II 350MHz processor and and Iwill BD100 Mobo. The Biostar board and Pentium 200 is still working great in a different case with that same 8x CD in my Father-in-law's PC. It makes a great internet/email machine.I have also taken Machines that people have given me and transformed them into a great little PC. For instance I took my Brother-in-Law's Acer Tower PC that was an AT cased Pentium 60 machine into a Asus P2-99B Baby AT/Pentium III 500 Overclocked to 575MHz 192MB RAM running Windows 2000 or Windows 98SE depending on the drive that is in the slot. What used to be almost a black art had come to the local PC super store for picking right off the shelf so you can peice something together with little or no effort compared to what we had to do as little as 5 years ago. Now if Intel's prices were inline with AMD's I might even switch back to all Intel equipment. Right now though it looks like AMD is what I plan to build with.Chris

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#5 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 09:55 PM

My experience with AMD processors ends with the K6-2 500. I kick myself for not picking up a K6-III 450 when I had the chance. So, AMD fanboys/girls are the Duron and Athlon as good as they are reputed to be? I've stayed away from AMD's newer processors because I just couldn't bear to live with a VIA chipset motherboard. Now, the nForce from NVIDIA almost swayed me, but I waited for the Intel 845PE boards. Now, I'm looking askance at the Intel 865PE. I need help!  :blink:

'freedom...is actually the reason that men live together in political organisations at all. Without it, political life as such would be meaningless. The raison d'Être of politics is freedom, and its field of experience is action'.
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#6 OFFLINE   GolfProRM

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 10:02 PM

VIA's chipset hasn't given me a lick of troubles, although I do wish I'd have waited another couple weeks and bought the Nforce2 board...  I've been a big fan of AMD since my friends both bought 1Ghz Tbird chips a couple years ago...  While the benchmarks may not quite match, the price vs. performance issue has kept me with AMD...  Other than the fact that it runs a bit warm for my taste, I've got absolutely no complaints otherwise! :blink:

#7 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 11:13 PM

:blink: If I want something new I build it myself.  If I see a bargain second hand system I'll buy it and do it up.  I only ever purchased one brand name system, a Compaq, and that was because at the time I didn't know enough about computers to build one.

#8 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 05 June 2003 - 11:37 PM

Too bad you can't build your own laptop.  :D  Now that would be cool. I mean hot. Both...  :blink:

'freedom...is actually the reason that men live together in political organisations at all. Without it, political life as such would be meaningless. The raison d'Être of politics is freedom, and its field of experience is action'.
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#9 OFFLINE   teacher

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:10 AM

So I am the first to say I don't build it myself?  The one I am sitting  at I had built to suit from a local shop.  Can you say bankruptcy before the ink on the warrantee dries?:blink:  Oh well, it is old in computer terms now anyway.  The last one I purchased was a mom and pop out of colorado - shipped to NC by way of Connecticut.  I had it built to order - part by part - shipped to my brother who had extra XP Pro licenses and a hard drive - then on to me where I added the Sony DVD RW drive and zip drive.  What do you call that?  That classifies as a mutt?  I wish it was my system. <drool, drool>.  Next machine (soon) will have to be a build myself. ;)   I can say I have never owned a major brand computer since my Zenith 171 in the early 80s.  Then I did not know enough to know anything!
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#10 OFFLINE   -ct-

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 10:53 AM

how about a 3rd option?buy from a local pc shop! (i'm still working on the site, bear with me ;) )i/we do custom builds according to your needs/wants and future upgrades to itwe also do custom cases and modificationsbuying from a local shop gets everyone what they want, ususally at far lower prices than what you can do alone and definetly less cost than a brand name pc.plus you get personal service and warranty service that's local - you don't have to send the entire PC out if a vid card goes pbpbpbpbppbpbbptt :blink:

#11 OFFLINE   GolfProRM

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 10:56 AM

-ct- I believe that this would fall under the "Mom & Pop Shop" category...  :blink:

#12 OFFLINE   zox

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 11:41 AM

DIY forever :blink:

#13 OFFLINE   muckshifter

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 02:11 PM

I guess I'm a "Mom & Pop Shop" who DIY's ... Cardiff, South Wales, UK, if anybody's passing and wishes to pick one up. :D

#14 OFFLINE   siebkens

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:29 PM

I have 1 Gateway, 1 Dell & 1 $200 whitebox from Wal-Mart.  (Just retired my 1st Gateway a couple of weeks ago)  I have also built a computer for a friend, but when I start adding up the software that I need (unfortunately am tied to MS on my machines as main OS) OS & MS Office w/ Excel, it becomes at least as expensive or more for me to build as to buy.  I don't know what I'll do for my next computer.  :mellow:The one caveat to this is that actual OS & programs disks must be included for me to buy prebuilt rather than DIY.

#15 OFFLINE   SonicDragon

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 06:54 PM

I'll have to admit, that the computers here are from big companies. One IBM and one Gateway.But, building my own is definatly a project i am looking foward to :lol: Maybe not this year though. I think i'm set for a while.

#16 OFFLINE   Bruno

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 07:55 PM

Peachy, on Jun 6 2003, 05:37 AM, said:

Too bad you can't build your own laptop.  B)  Now that would be cool. I mean hot. Both...  :lol:
Peachy you can, anyway here in Holland. I know a few shops that either put them together for you according to your own specs ( mom & pop ) or you can buy the parts and put it together yourself, saves you op to 25%. If you ever come this way I´ll be glad to show you where.:D BrunoPS: voted biuld my own

#17 OFFLINE   Peachy

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Posted 06 June 2003 - 08:25 PM

Bruno, on Jun 6 2003, 07:55 PM, said:

Peachy, on Jun 6 2003, 05:37 AM, said:

Too bad you can't build your own laptop.  B)  Now that would be cool. I mean hot. Both...  :lol:
Peachy you can, anyway here in Holland. I know a few shops that either put them together for you according to your own specs ( mom & pop ) or you can buy the parts and put it together yourself, saves you op to 25%. If you ever come this way I´ll be glad to show you where.:D BrunoPS: voted biuld my own
Interesting... to a certain extent, I suppose you can, but, you don't get to choose everything though.

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#18 OFFLINE   Hawkfan

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:06 AM

My three main computers cover the spectrum:1.  AMD K6-2/500Bought as a bare-bones system at a local mom and pop computer shop...transferred the hard drive, video card, etc from the previous system to this one.2.  AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.2 GhzBought as a full system from another local mom and pop shop.  3.  AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.4 GhzBought the motherboard, CPU, RAM, and PSU from a friend of mine.  I bought a Chieftec Dragon case to put everything in and took the hard drive, NIC, and video card from a K6-2/350 I had (gave the K6-2/350 to my mother when I got this system up and going).  Guess that would make this one a DIY.   B) Planning to upgrade in the next few months in preparation for Doom 3 and Half-Life 2.   ;)

#19 OFFLINE   Synquest

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 01:07 AM

If you build it yourself, or your local shop assists you,You get what you want, not what a marketing dud thinks you should have...You get 100% industry standard and upgradeable, not proprietary hardware and software...You don't spend the first two weeks (or longer) removing software you didn't want...Your tech support isn't in India... "Happy to be you! What can we do of me today sir?" hmmm...You're already ahead of the tech cycle because your machine didn't spend twelve months going through the R&D/manufacturing/wholesale/retail pipeline...You'll have a lot more fun playing (ok, working) with a computer you know inside and out...If you shop a little, you'll still spend less money!

#20 OFFLINE   havnblast

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 01:21 AM

Yup a DIY here also - I have only owned one store bought computer and that was a 486, other than that with the AT case it has been emptied and rebuilt a couple times now.  I like to know what is in my computer and OSes have lesser problems with good hardware vs. the whatcha ma call it some company threw together.

#21 OFFLINE   SocBum

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:34 PM

B) I have two from the big boy stores,  Compaq & IBM.My decision was based on time between purchase and using the computer so I ended up buying a marketing box!! oh well...They have done me well.But, I have been thinking about building my next one as a hobby box, DVD, ultra fast video,  ...  After reading through the stuff at Extremetech I found what I was looking for!http://www.extremete...1,644478,00.aspThe site has some great guides on different solutions and with the help that I have found here I know that I can get out of any trouble that my lack of experience will get me into!!

#22 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 09:50 PM

I voted D-I-Y, because I built my last two computers. But I'm not so sure I'll build my next one. PC prices have come down so far in price that it may be cheaper to buy a decent one than build your own. When I factor in my labor, DIY definitely is more expensive. But even on the parts, DIY is more expensive these days.I agree, you get a better PC when you build it yourself -- assuming you know what you're doing. It's not the thing to do if you tend to be stingy. You should spend for good quality hardware if you build your own. If you have to cut costs, cut them on peripheral items you can easily upgrade later.But you guys know all this stuff!  :rolleyes: -- Scot
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#23 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 10:09 PM

:rolleyes: It's more fun building your own.  There's no challenge in buying one from the shop!

#24 OFFLINE   dicknite

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 08:09 PM

Total Mix here...I have a Compaq Laptop, an HP Vectra (old), an HP Presario, a Monorail (mail-order?  too long ago...), a box built locally by CompUSA, and 2 home-built boxes.Been building boxes since the 8088 days, so am experienced a little, but there are times that I feel the "deal" is too good and go with a pre-built, pre-configured, and running right when I plug it in, box.For my business, I like the warranty of the pre-builts, and for personal I like building/tweaking my own.A short story here - I was building a new box for my wife last week through the process of cannibalizing old ones and adding to a new case and MB.  I realized that her old one (e-Machine) had on-board everything, so started going through the stack of old parts boxes I have collected.  Needed a sound card and video card.Came across one box with a HUGE video card in it.  Full length with lots of chips and jumpers on it.  Pulled it and it turned out to be an MGA!  I think it was the card that was in my first ever "real" computer, a Kaypro PC!  That one didn't make it into the new box!d|:^)Dick

#25 OFFLINE   rick5127

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 05:49 PM

I am pretty much a diy guy myself. I have built many for myself and for others over the years. I rarely feel I build a good machine for much less than the second tier guys. Yah I used to beat the big boys price but that was easy. Second tier is always a bit cheeper and more in line with what they should cost. Of course nowadays even the big companies discount things to a great price.The thing I do get when I build my own is a lot of knowledge of what I have. I know every part, every serial number, every revision level, etc etc etc. Try getting all that info from Gateway, or Dell, or whatever. I also get you to use the best parts in all the places. I use Lian Li aluminum cases, YS-Tech high speed fans, Crucial memory, nvidea or Matrox video cards, HighPoint raid controller, Enermax or PC Power and cooling power supplies, Thermalright copper coolers, and the list goes on. I get to spec the system down to ever single component, including motherboard manufacturer and chipset.I run my systems 24/7 and I tweak things here and there all the time, I write some code, etc so sooner or later if there are any bugs I usually hit them. Then it is much easier to find the root cause or troubleshoot it with Microsoft or whomever as I know every single thing in my computer.My current system is an IWill (no longer recommended by the way) DVD266u-RN motherboard with dual Pentium III 1.4g Tualatins, Thermalright SK-6 copper heat sinks, YS-Tech HO fans, home built fan controller, 2 gig PC2700 memory, Santa Cruz sound, Buslink CD-RW drive, two removable hard drive trays, one 80 gig  ata-133 drive and two 40's both ata-100's on a raid array for speed, Lian Li aluminum tower, 6 or 8 fans all replaced in tower with high volume fans (forgot the name off hand), two 19" Sun monitors and two Compaq Qvision 21" ers, MSI MS440-8x nvidea GeForce4 card with 64mb ddr, Logitech wireless keyboard and optical mouse. And probably a few things I forgot. I am only running two monitors off this card and have a Matrox G200mms PCI card that can control 4 more when I get all the bugs worked out. hehe Oh and running XPMy other machine is not quite so elaborate, SuperMicro P3TDE6 dually board with built in SCSI raid, two Seagate Chetah 15K SCSI drives, I have two 800mhz PIII's for it, SK-6 heat sinks again, same fans as above, probably one of the Matrox G200MMS cards (I have 3), 1 gig of registered ram, all in another Lian Li Tower again. Its sitting in the corner waiting for me to put it together.. hehe... that machine will be running Solaris (a unix version) and I plan on putting it on the network and using it as a secure firewall amongst other things.




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