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Build your own or buy?

Who built your computer?  

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One of the joys of BIY is the neverending mods you can make. Yesterday I received my 10 port USB 2.0 thingy that fits into the old floppy spot in my tower. It's a marvel of engineering with not only 10 ports packed neatly in, but a nifty little power light too!

The real surprise is that it was free shipping and came from Hong Kong. Took 7 days. What's the deal with that? Half way around the world and only 7 days. So now I get to open my case and add a new toy and hopefully clear up some clutter.

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Very nice Richard!

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A few things I learned over the last couple of years about new desktop systems:

  • You'll likely only need to replace the CPU box when you upgrade. The speakers and monitors last a long time and if you have DVI or HDMI on the monitor you are good to go.
  • If you buy, go for a business grade unit. You'll get a nicer case with better cable management and a decent mobo/CPU combination. My Acer Veriton even has an upgraded cooler for the CPU, and also features Windows 7 Pro. A lot less crapware as well.
  • That said a commercially available unit will have some compromises. In my instance it was a wimpy power supply and poor integrated video - fine for business but no good for gaming. I had to pay extra to replace the PS and add a video card. Cooling was also inadequate so I had to put in a case fan. I also added some RAM so at the end of the day it probably would have been cheaper to spec and build the machine as I now have it.
  • If you are going to get a new machine for Linux, there's no question that you should build it yourself. You can make sure your hardware is Linux friendly, and you don't have to buy Windows or remove it from the PC. You also don't have to worry about the UEFI/Secure Boot nonsense either if Windows 8 was never installed.
  • Bottom line - if you are upgrading a desktop system it still makes a lot of sense to DIY even if the economics are about the same.

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