Author Topic: PC Build or Buy  (Read 13012 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jmelson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2796
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2019, 08:00:02 pm »
I never buy new PCs.  I buy (generally off-lease) Dell Optiplex (their commercial, as opposed to home-grade systems) on eBay for under $100 delivered.  I generally get them without a hard drive, they are cheaper that way, and then add either a NEW hard drive or SSD.  Never had a problem with these, I've got something like a dozen of them set up for various uses at home, some have run 12 years and STILL going strong.

Jon
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21611
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2019, 12:39:38 am »
For desktops I always preferred to build because I can customize every detail to precisely what I want. I don't think it really saves much money these days but it's still fun to do. Whether to build or buy depends greatly on one's skill level and interests. I think the building and tweaking part is fun but if they just want to start gaming it's probably easier to buy a well rated gaming system. Games are one of the few applications these days where people tend to really need a lot of horsepower.
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1667
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2019, 12:10:23 pm »
It's hard to give advice about what to buy, there's too many variables and there are new products and models being released regularly.

If building your own I will say this though; buy a good brand name motherboard (I have had success with gigabyte in the past).

Getting the thermals right can be tricky, especially if it's a high power pc.

Games are one of the few applications these days where people tend to really need a lot of horsepower.
It was many years since I was into games now, so maybe it has changed (doubt it), but for a long long time it's been the gaming consoles that set the performance requirements for modern games. I.e. game developers usually target the gaming consoles, so the games has to be able to run on those, and they usually have pretty poor performance compared to a pc rig. I.e. you can get away with a pretty mediocre pc these days. You do want a dedicated gaming GPU though.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21611
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2019, 03:49:44 pm »
PC games tend to blow away console games in most cases, at least once the console has been out a few months. I haven't been a gamer for years but I still know a few and they're the only guys I know who still upgrade hardware regularly.

Meanwhile I bought my laptop in 2015 and it's still plenty fast. I still remember when a top of the line pc would be almost useless a year or two later.
 

Offline apis

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1667
  • Country: se
  • Hobbyist
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #29 on: May 30, 2019, 04:24:57 pm »
In theory yes, but in practice I don't think there are many pc only games any more, most are cross platform (or exclusive to a console brand). PC only games are usually mmorpgs, at least a few years ago, and those aren't usually that resource intensive.

I don't really know what is popular anymore, but a quick search for pc games mentioned this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_Legends
Which was launched this year: "It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 4, 2019, without any prior announcement or marketing." And both PS4 Xbox One are over 5 years old...

Often games have settings where you can turn up the eye candy, and to get to the best graphics settings you might need a top notch machine, but the game must also run nicely on the 6 year old consoles, so it's not going to be necessary to play the games satisfactorily. Maybe there are a new console generation on the way with updated hardware, then you wouldn't want to spec your pc below that though.

There might be some new pc only game that I'm not aware of that is very demanding, but I would guess they are few. Otoh, if you intend to buy a pc gaming rig maybe you have a specific pc only game in mind.
 

Offline Mechatrommer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11701
  • Country: my
  • reassessing directives...
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #30 on: May 30, 2019, 06:48:38 pm »
if me? i will build myself. for you? i will advice to buy premade brand name, why? because you asked. try to explain why i choose the decision for me is a long story... fwiw try this... https://www.pcgamer.com/best-cpu-for-gaming/ i was thinking to upgrade my PC to game grade CPU, when looking at the price of CPU alone, i better stick with my 10yrs old Core 2 Quad 2.66GHz... now i know why game PC can cost 5X the normal PC... the processor alone is the cost of my whole PC, let alone colorful water cooled, tip top GPU and 9.1 1MSps sound card (well the last one is an exaggeration :P) not to mention the arm chair. funnily, my current monitor is rated as Gaming Monitor but that one is not really blood sucking expensive, blessed i'm not into gaming (it was long time ago that i've wasted so much time), i bought it just because my previous monitor (Samsung) acted funnily and looking for the same or bigger size and thats the best sold available by our best local shop.
Nature: Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness (Stephen L. Talbott): Its now indisputable that... organisms “expertise” contextualizes its genome, and its nonsense to say that these powers are under the control of the genome being contextualized - Barbara McClintock
 

Offline JxR

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #31 on: May 30, 2019, 06:58:32 pm »
Building PCs is pretty easy, and I've been doing it since the Intel 486. There really was no WWW then, and you had to order parts from distributors in magazines like Computer Shopper.  I would usually never discourage anyone from trying...

But, as you stated this computer is not even for you, its for a friend.  I wouldn't try building my first computer when its for someone else.  The margin on desktops is really small, and it honestly is unlikely that you will save that much money doing it yourself.  A new pre-built system comes with a warranty, which your friend may appreciate.  It also, kind of gets you off the hook if something goes wrong.  Nothing wrong with doing a bit of research and presenting them with different options.  Then, it is your friend's responsibility to decide which one to pick.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 07:00:51 pm by JxR »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 21611
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2019, 06:15:46 pm »
In all likelihood you'll spend *more* money if you build it yourself. The reasons for building a PC these days are mostly a matter of enjoyment, and the fact that you can build exactly what you want. If those factors are not important then just buy one that's ready to go, tested and doesn't require any tweaking or tuning. DIY can be a crapshoot, I've had systems I've built that were absolutely rock solid but I've also built a few that had various issues I never quite solved. 
 

Offline wilfred

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1252
  • Country: au
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2019, 11:54:08 pm »
I wouldn't try building my first computer when its for someone else. 
@JxR's advice is pretty spot on.

Especially not a friend and most especially not a gamer.  Stay friends. Advise and help them make their own choice.

If you look at the marketing of computers and peripherals to gamers you can't excape thinking they are not easily satisfied. I suspect like audiophiles (not phools) they have to spend the money themselves on improvements to see value.

 

Offline wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 17317
  • Country: lv
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2019, 12:27:31 am »
In all likelihood you'll spend *more* money if you build it yourself. The reasons for building a PC these days are mostly a matter of enjoyment, and the fact that you can build exactly what you want.
You certainly can spend significantly less for the same thing if you don't buy ridiculous components. Also prebuilt computers usually are either overly expensive for given performance or/and built from cheapest crap assembler could get.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4243
  • Country: nz
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2019, 05:13:06 am »
I've assembled my own PCs in the past but it's a huge risk, not only of choosing compatible components or breaking something but even if something is DOA it can be awfully difficult to figure out which part it is if you don't have spares lying around, and even if you do you're faced with convincing them you didn't break it.

Now, I always pick the components myself, but pay someone to assemble and test them.

In NZ I've used Ascent and PBTech for this a few times each. If I recall, Ascent don't (or didn't) charge anything at all for assembling it -- they figured their savings in tech support made it worth while.

I've just moved to the USA and a couple of weeks ago got a custom system from Adamant.com. They have prebuilt configurations too, or you can choose alternatives from a pop-up list, or you can send them a completely custom parts list.

It's a beast! For large-scale programming for my work, not gaming. It does my most common operation (recompile one C++ file and relink a bunch of libraries and binaries) 52x faster (10s vs 8m46s) than my previous 4.2 GHz turbo quad core i7-8650 with 32 GB RAM, and most other things 6 to 8 times faster. It's also several times faster than the $30k Xeon servers at work, even when noone else is using them.


 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9810
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2019, 07:19:54 pm »
I'd say picking your own components and assembling them is a risk, but definitely not a huge risk. Do your homework and chances of things not working or not working right are slim. It's also worth remembering prebuilt systems don't always work right. Specific models or model ranges suffer from known issues which are hard to get acknowledged by the manufacturer. It typically needs to be fairly bad before action is taken.
 
The following users thanked this post: wraper

Offline KaneTW

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 806
  • Country: de
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2019, 07:33:29 pm »
If you have the time, build it yourself. Prebuilt PCs often cheap out on power supplies, motherboards, RAM or cases, and usually get the cheapest GPU with the stated chip available. You can also get it silent or near-silent if you spent a bit of effort to estimate how much dissipation you need.
 
The following users thanked this post: wraper

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4243
  • Country: nz
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2019, 10:06:34 pm »
If you have the time, build it yourself. Prebuilt PCs often cheap out on power supplies, motherboards, RAM or cases, and usually get the cheapest GPU with the stated chip available. You can also get it silent or near-silent if you spent a bit of effort to estimate how much dissipation you need.

You can get all those advantages by picking the components yourself, but paying $50 or $100 someone who has tools, test equipment, spare parts they can swap to diagnose problems, and WHO BUILDS MULTIPLE COMPUTERS EVERY WEEK instead of one computer every three or four years (like I do).
 

Offline wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 17317
  • Country: lv
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2019, 10:47:54 pm »
If you have the time, build it yourself. Prebuilt PCs often cheap out on power supplies, motherboards, RAM or cases, and usually get the cheapest GPU with the stated chip available. You can also get it silent or near-silent if you spent a bit of effort to estimate how much dissipation you need.

You can get all those advantages by picking the components yourself, but paying $50 or $100 someone who has tools, test equipment, spare parts they can swap to diagnose problems, and WHO BUILDS MULTIPLE COMPUTERS EVERY WEEK instead of one computer every three or four years (like I do).
Those tools are a cheap multimeter and a post card at best. And they usually have nearly zero understanding about what they are actually doing. It's a shitty minimum wage job.
 

Offline KaneTW

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 806
  • Country: de
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2019, 10:59:16 pm »
If you have the time, build it yourself. Prebuilt PCs often cheap out on power supplies, motherboards, RAM or cases, and usually get the cheapest GPU with the stated chip available. You can also get it silent or near-silent if you spent a bit of effort to estimate how much dissipation you need.

You can get all those advantages by picking the components yourself, but paying $50 or $100 someone who has tools, test equipment, spare parts they can swap to diagnose problems, and WHO BUILDS MULTIPLE COMPUTERS EVERY WEEK instead of one computer every three or four years (like I do).


If you know someone that you trust enough to do a good job, sure. I don't.
 

Offline soldar

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3505
  • Country: es
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2019, 09:47:08 pm »
I feel a lot of the latest posters do not realize this is an old thread, from a year and a half ago, and the OP is probably no longer looking for advice.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
The following users thanked this post: JxR

Offline JxR

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
  • Country: us
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2019, 06:53:38 pm »
I feel a lot of the latest posters do not realize this is an old thread, from a year and a half ago, and the OP is probably no longer looking for advice.

 :-DD  There always someone who seems to necro an old thread back to life for reason which only they know.  There are a few reason which are justifiable to do so, this is certainly not one of them.  Maybe just some confusion when the new forum sections opened up in this case.
 

Offline GlennSprigg

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1259
  • Country: au
  • Medically retired Tech. Old School / re-learning !
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2019, 01:45:36 pm »
I always liken it to say a Car.
Do you throw out the old one because it has flat tyres ??
Why spend money unnecessarily Framework, Power Supply etc is ok...
For a fraction of the cost, you can get a modern MotherBoard, & some extra RAM etc.
And maybe a better 'Graphics Card', if all you are is a 'Gamer'. What is your goal??
Probably 99% of people do not need the 'Power' they think they want/need.
It's like buying a Lamborghini just to go round the corner to buy some Milk !!!
Like the 'car', usually just too much Testosterone !!!   8)
Diagonal of 1x1 square = Root-2. Ok.
Diagonal of 1x1x1 cube = Root-3 !!!  Beautiful !!
 

Offline KaneTW

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 806
  • Country: de
Re: PC Build or Buy
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2019, 04:56:02 pm »
Assuming all the basic needs are met (enough space, enough power):

Better case => better thermals/airflow => more silent operation => more quality of life.
Better PSU => better power efficiency => less operating costs.

Also: Better PSU => generally more silent and more reliable.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf