<-- Topic Split -->
Original Topic: https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=290503
Just about to do the same - thanks ROF / Supreme2k
Like I tell most people who are looking to buying a PC.
Warranties are only good if they are lifetime no questions asked warranties. When it comes to PC parts the first 90 days are when you can usually tell a malfunctioning device (still working but malfunctioning). This is also the time when most people get to know their PC, work on it alot, install tons of their own software, buy an add-on external part, etc.
In other words, the first 90 days is critical to making sure your PC is working 100% operationally sound. After that initial break in period there are very few failures of which most parts are covered for at least a year anyways. Company warranties are mostly fluff in order to get you to spend more money as if you already didn't overpay.
Their upgrade now for $70 more sales pitch is their way of feeling sorry for ripping you off so they give you something which makes your purchase worth at least half of it's total true market value.
I say if it don't die in the first 90 days it's not gonna die (unless abused) until just after the warranty you purchased expires.
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IMHO, there are about three "camps" each with their own theory of buying computers.
Camp 1) Boutique is king. Buy a nice boutique PC frm Falcon NW, AlienWare, etc. Dell XPS is trying to edge into the boutique camp. Fast and furious, but you'll pay.
Pros: nice system out of box, usually good support policy go to with it as well, customized to way yu want
Cons usually expensive, may not be QUITE as customizable as you really wanted
Camp 2) Buy cheap, since computer is a commodity. Buy regular Dell Dimensions, or eMachines, or those Compaq / HP Presario / Pavilions that starts at 300 and up. By the time you outgrow this one it's obsolete and get a new one any way. Not the best components, but I got money left over in my pocket!. Dells have complete systems as low as $450, with LCD monitor quite often.
Pros: cheap, some of these systems can go as low as $300, often comes with printer and other bonuses
Cons: to make them into game or video edit machines requires signif8icant upgrade, such as a LOT of memory (as most cheapies comes with only 256 MB and 40 GB HDs), and they often have lousy video cards.
Camp 3) The ONLY way to do it right is to do it yourself. Building a PC ain't that hard, and you'll learn a lot in the process, and you'll bow to no one's selection!
Pros: you get exactly what you pay for, and only the stuff you want, nothing else! Cheapter than going boutique
Cons: no support, except yourself and forums like this one, and your network of friends, piece-meal upgrade may result in sort of Frankenstein machine with bits and pieces cobbled together
There are a few sites out there who will allow you to customize your computer and they will put it together for a small assembly/burn-in fee. This will get you a true standard computer with no proprietary stuff like Dell does and save you the worry of accidentally damaging the components during the install. There was a site accessmicro.com a while back that would do this but they are no longer around. This is an option as well. You will need to do the research though and find out the hardware you want to put in it.
capture card (if you'll be doing that sort of thing!)
cd/dvd rom drive
If you're not really sure about the components of a computer and their purpose i made a manual for a technical writing class that kinda gives a description of all the parts that make up a computer and their purpose and kinda describes how they all interface with one another without actually being a detailed step-by-step installation guide.
These customization sites are usually quite limited in respect to what they allow you to add or subtract. First, they must have the parts on hand. Anyone who has ever put their own computer together knows if you get the parts from all one site you must either settle for inferior products, something you don't want, or pay a higher price for certain parts you could certainly find cheaper elsewhere. These customization sites are also so very limiting I dare say Dell has better customization options. Although I'd never recommend getting a Dell unless you have money to waste and plan on buying a new computer to replace your limiting upgradable POS Dell will serve to you.
i dunno....i just went shopping for someone who doesnt have a lotta knowledge of computers...they ended up with a HP Pavillion with like 200gb of hdd space, a gig of ram, and an AMD 3600 (maybe it was a 3400....cant remember exactly) 64 bit processor for something like 720 dollars....not too bad for a prebuilt........they WANTED a prebuilt or i wouldve done it for them, but quite honestly, your best off building your own, or having someone else build it for you........as far as building a pc, these days they make them nearly idiot proof...if you know how to read, you know how to put together your own pc......
Originally Posted by whitejremiah
I dare say the answer are either no or next to nothing in relation to all questions above. At $720 there was of course a 19" LCD included right? I'd guess that to be a no as well. It's a shame how some people think they got a deal when in fact they are quite limited. I'd imagine it's got a sub 400 watt power supply which means there won't be any high end graphics card or additional drives added without a blowout.
When it comes to building a PC they really are idiot proof. The hardest part for most people when building was processor placement and heatsink/fan attachment. The newer sockets of today have made it so you can't really screw it up. No longer do you have to hover over the socket making sure you've properly aligned the chip. Double checking it and so forth. You simply match up the notches and close the ZIF. When it comes to heatsink/fan placement the same thing occurs. You don't have to worry about directing too much force, using a screwdriver or other sharp implement to drive home the locking mechanism. You simply place the heatsink/fan on the plastic outer band, attach the clip on one side and lower the latch until it's seated. There is no more worries about directing equal amounts of pressure. Nothing.
Everything else has been idiot proof for years. IDE cables won't fit in SATA connections. RAM only fits one way. An AGP card won't fit in a PCI Slot and so on. Even USB header cables are now contained in one block instead of 9 pins. The days of those foreign directions are gone too. Some parts come with more directions then others but like I've said it's pretty much self-explanatory or if not the connection your trying to make just won't work.
My old Dell Dimension is STILL going strong after what.....4 years...maybe 5?
When will some freaking nutballs realize that building your own is NOT an option for some people, your home built computer just might NOT be as good as someone elses "off the shelf" computer and...the bathroom stinks just as bad after you(with your home built computer) take a dump than when I(and my old and faithfull Dell computer) leave the bathroom.
Get Over It
Get A Life
The OP is asking about Dell's....he didn't ask for a pissing contest.
if anyones home built system isn't as good as an off the shelf system there are only two reasons that would explain that:
1) The home builder didn't do their homework before building.
2) The Home built system is several years older then the OTS model.
All things considered equal a home built is much cheaper, gets you the exact parts you want, allows for easy upgradability, and most importantly nothing is proprietary requiring you to purchase only specific parts.
On top of all this you get choose the software that's installed and you also get to own physical backup copies of such software. The knowledge you gain while you build will allow you to easily be able to choose your upgrades in the future. There will be no guessing whether you have an AGP Port or how many RAM Slots are available. You will know this because you bought those parts, you installed them, and you know what's available for you to add upgrades when you are done.
home building of PCs are an option for everyone. If my 8 year old under my guidance can build systems I'm quite sure someone looking to invest $1000's of dollars in a Dell is competent enough to build one. They've made construction darn near idiot proof.
Again....what does that have to do with the original post?
Some people are... how should we put it... evangelical. in their pursuit of their viewpoint. It seems ROF is that way about "self-built PCs".
I've always posted earlier that the three camps will never get along. Self builders will always see Boutique buyers and cheap OTSers as wussies and idiots. Boutique buyers see OTS as cheap wimps and homebuilts as cheap brutes. OTS sees boutique as wasteful snobs and homebuilts as "have way too much time on their hands" geeky snobs.
Nope, they ain't gonna get along.
And one last thing: self-built isn't that cheap, when you think about it. All prices are from Egghead.
Let's say a cheap case w/ PS. About $40-45, right? Mini/Mid-tower, 2 5.25 and 2 3.5 exposed bays, Micro-ATX board with tray, front audio/USB. Add ASUS mainboard, LGA775, et.c $65. Add Pentium CPU and 512 MB of mem. That's another $120 and $45 or so. That's, oh, $275. Add $30 for a floppy, $100 for a decent HD, and $100 for Windows XP, and that's almost $500. Add misc. like a decent mouse ($50?), keyboard ($20), and you're at $550. Oh, forgot a DVD burner. Add $70. That's over $600.
And I didn't even count shipping, or the time it takes for you to put it together, install the OS and all the programs!
For $600 you can get a fully configured OFF THE SHELF system and often get printer, monitor (sometimes even LCD!) and tech support thrown in.
No, self-built is not as cheap as people think.
Originally Posted by kschang
Originally Posted by kschang
Maybe at Dell they charge these prices but in most cases you need to purchase a top of line model to even get a DVD burner. Even HP has caught on and sells their bargain basement PCs with DVD Burners. With Dell it's either an added option or not available.
I will say one thing in Dell's favor. Their larger screen (20+") LCD Digitals are very nice monitors.
Originally Posted by ROF
Originally Posted by kschang
$20 for a keyboard? I hate to say it I'm buying beige, silver/black, or black cordless desktops for the price your paying for just keyobards.
$70 for a DVD Burner? If your paying more than $50 for a current DVD Burner you're kinda wasting your money or your buying a Sony product.
you're pricing is pretty much on for intel based system boards and the RAM, but nobody buys a new floppy. I haven't installed a new one in years. They are just a legacy piece of hardware that adds to boot time, takes up a 3.5 slot, and is mostly a waste of money, but $30? Even external USB models are cheaper than that.
And as stated, NO MONITOR, NO SHIPPING, NO ASSEMBLY.
An equivalent Dell sysstem is... Let's say value code: 6W300 - S50104c, needs another $60 for a 250 GB HD. Total price of... $709, INCLUDING 15" LCD FLAT PANEL MONITOR, AND 1-yr economy on-site support. Assembled.
You can probably find a 15" LCD monitor for $150, but you can't find that AND 1-yr onsite support for $150.
How about a local OTS system? How about this available at Office Depot
eMachines T5010, P4 2.93 GHz, 200 GB HD, 512 MB RAM, DVD burner, 8-in-1 media reader, MS Works / Word / etc. etc. etc. Close enough? Price is $515, and there's a $50 rebate on it. Earlier there was a "bundle rebate' of $210 if bought with certain monitors, essentially making the monitor free or very cheap. And there's 1-yr warranty on it.
Nope, building stuff yourself isn't necessarily cheaper.
I've split this into a new topic so you can freely discuss the merits of home built v off the shelf pc's.
Thanks offline, now I have to post in it :P
I've changed my stance on buying OEMs or building your own. For me I will still build my own but that's because I know what I'm doing and have built several systems that have absolutely no problems, I can maintain them (for instance my DH800 has been running two years on XP Pro SP1 without having to reinstall/reimage it), and I have a lot of spare parts sitting around that are certainly reusable (like a Lian Li PC-66 aluminum ATX case, lots of big IDE hard drives, etc.).
However if someone wants a cheap, decent computer I now recommend OEMs to them. Prices on OEMs have been dropping and there are some decent bargains for machines, namely some pretty good HTPCs. Many use proprietary hardware, Dell included, to cut corners and keep their machines theirs. They also offer warranties on them, and for someone who lacks the skills to build their own solid computer this is a good thing as it keeps them off my back when they have problems with their machine. And I like Dell's support in that they will visit your home to replace parts after you trip through their phone support. My parents now have my old Dell Dimension machine that I was using as an internet and accounting box. I bought it 4 years ago and my parents just picked up an extended warranty on it. They also have a Dell laptop. The Dimension is still going but it was bordering on obsolete the day I bought it, at least more so than usual. I recall fighting with Dell about USB 2.0 support for it since it didn't have it onboard. The Dell rep said it was a new technology fad that he thought would never catch on. At that point I already had USB 2.0 peripherals already and I didn't care if it didn't catch on or not, I still had a use for it. But that's part of the inflexibility common with OEMs that I also don't like.
However for a specialized machine I strongly urge building your own if you have the skills. If you don't then get ready to pay out your ass for one. A quick customization of a Dell workstation with similar specs as my DN800 build comes out to $3600 sans monitors and SCSI. I certainly did not pay that much for my version of the system and knowing how Dell skimps hard in their Precision systems (I have 6 at work) I know I have the better components. And I bought most of my components over the last year so if I were to buy them all now the price would come down even more.
Gaming systems are kind of an odd bird. For a truly hardcore gamer system I would consider that a specialized machine and should be built of its own if possible. Just a regular gamer can use an OEM to good effect. Fortunately a lot of gamers are getting good at building their own. Alienware and company, in my view, are for the leet gamers that have mommy and daddy buy them a system.FB-DIMM are the real cause of global warming
Originally Posted by ROF
my self.. i like customize i can put in what want and need... and there around the corner if i need a question or repair done! (none of this waiting on the phone or returning the pc for repairs by mail..smile)
however you do need to do your home work on which customize stores are reliable, warrenties and knowledge of what you want , i always go with good name parts... keeps me out of trouble. smile.. especially if your not familiar with a customize shop..!
1. has good reputation for honoring there warrenties...
2. has a good reputation for using good parts not cheap generic parts
3. there part/labor warranties are at least 6 months or a year .... that generally show a high confidence in the reliabilty of there parts!! if they only give you a month warrenty... avoid them like the plaque!! smile.
name brand.... your limited on choices, on midrange and high end they tend to be more expensive.... low _mid range very good prices..... and if you go with a good namebrand you'll have a satisfying experience.... although if a problem teck support can be a issue... talking to people who don't speak english well or really understand computers.... or if you have to send the computer in.... take forever to get it back....
and what a previous reply mentioned if a computer going to have a part problem it will show up soon.. in fact I always recommend that on ANY new computer that on the first couple of week, work it to death .. keep it on for 24/7 ..... push it hard, use it for everything..... if anything goning to go bad it generally will happen during that time....!!
final note:::: regardless of name brand or cutomize.... and this info was diffiuclt to find (companies don't want you to know about this..smile)...., don't be too surprise if there is a problem within a short time of getting you new computer..... now these numbers are old but i haven't seen any changes in years on them.....
1. just out out of the box.. 3-8% will have a serious problem
2. within a month...... 8-14% will have a serious problem ....
anway those are my thoughts and opinions..
Well, where I work have several hundred Dells, Compaq/HPs, and Apples both desktops & laptops (which our tech guys call "craptops"). We are a short-term computer & AV rental corp. and these units are in & out every day, 52/year. They get banged, bumped, stacked & restacked, setup for multi-unit network and dismantled and re-restacked, shipped commercially to other states and sent back, etc. etc. Occasionally a repair must be done, but for the abuse these units take they hold up. For us, to build each of these custom would be impossible. You pop the cover of these, and you are looking at "shrink wrapped, all-in-one generic plastic". But for our need, they are ideal and priced right and are fast enough to keep our clients happy.
We have 9 full time techs plus tech dept. manager and every blessed one of them custom-builds his own machine, and some of these guys have built game-warrior, rubber burning speed monsters. There is no way they could afford to hire Alienware to build the kind of machine for them that they can create for 33% less (or more if you get the parts on sale).
Get the picture? There is a need for both.
I am a mod in a computer help forum, and also have everyone at my church come to me when "baby isn't working right". Why? Because it is easier to buy one from CompUSA and hire someone else to repair it, which puts the owner squarely at the mercy of the tech behind the desk. Or you get helpless folks who post on the forum because they never learned how to troubleshoot their own unit.
Building your own and troubleshooting it saves tons on money in maintenance, everything from a harddrive failure to malware removal and data retrieval. If I charged my friends, I could afford a better car.
Homebuild for me? You bet your socks. Give me $700 and I will create a 64bit CPU bit cruncher that Dell could only have in a dream along with Jennifer Anniston squeezing it next to her bosom.
My sister's dell computer had a harddrive go back about 4 months after she got it. Had to totally wipe everything off and install a new (free from Dell) hard drive.
My 2 year'ish computer from www.abspc.com just had a problem of it's own. For whatever reason the BIOS wasn't seeing the RAID array. Popped in a new 80GB, deleted the RAID and now I have 3 seperate drives. I did that much on my own with a friends help.
I prefer buying it ready to go out of the box however when it messes up I can USUALLY figure it out.
But anyway, for the majority of common folk out there... building your own isn't a choice they have. "Um... what does RAM mean?"
Originally Posted by shelbyGT
The system memory inside your PC is RAM Based.
I think there was a hint of sarcasm there
Originally Posted by Craig Tucker
Out of the Box PCs are fot those who do not know much about PCs and wouldn't have a clue how to build one.
I would prefer building one in this case (Ive built several). Usually, when something goes wrong, I can solve it myself whether it hardware or software based rather than telephone a premium rate support call, not to mention being held in the queue listening to the automated service...
"for customer support press 1;
for checking the status of an order press 2";
"for business opening hours, press 3;
for BLAH BLAH press 4..."
Secondly, some components come with longer warranties than the standard one year as given with out of the box PCs. Examples include, many hard drives come with a 5 year warranty, CPU comes with 3 years warranty, etc. etc.
Thirdly, for me anyway, if a hardware fails or goes faulty, I can get it replaced same day from my local computer retailer, they test for the fault then and there, and I come home with a new replaced component, same day, (even within 20 minutes if the queue is big) For a "Out of the Box" PC, ring tech support, arrange RMA etc...you send the whole PC off, wait weeks, months for them to find the fault and repair it and return it to you.
Actually waheed, most companies allow for in-home support these days. For those that don't know enough, having someone come to your home and fixing it for you is a blessing.
Originally Posted by waheed
I think the one poster nailed it when he stated that most people are from three camps when it comes to this subject.
I couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by shelbyGT
My local computer store has its own returns department where they also test everything PC related. I had a motherboard die on me 9 months after purchase, removed it from my PC, took it back, they tested it then and there and replaced it; all within 15 minutes of me walking in the store. Who are honestly say they their "Out of the Box" bought PC can be repalced/fixed the same say, no matter how good their customer service is.
Usually, if I had bought a PC instead of building it myself, the same local store would book the PC in and it would at least 3 days (minimum that is, can be longer) before I could have it back. And that would be if I returned and collected the PC myself.
As Waheed says I do the same thing for my customers. I have plenty of stock parts on hand that I can build several PCs. These parts are used in the rare case when a customer blows up their machine. The most commonly replaced part is a power supply. The most misdiagnosed part is also the power supply. The usual scapegoat is the motherboard when in fact the motherboard is fine, the CPU is fine, it's just the power supply decided to do back flips. I keep a selection of expansion cards, motherboards, and several CPUs on hand just in case of mechanical failure. The customer is given back their PC either that day or the next and told which part needs to be replaced. There is next to zero down time for my customers. This is how I've put just about any local computer shop in our area out of business. Customers can call me day or night and weekends. They do not get a series of numbers to choose. They either speak to me or my wife. I've had people call me at 6AM and walk out of the shop with a replacement motherboard by 9AM. It's my customer service that brings people back and I hear all the time how I put together or repaired so-and-so's machine and they recommended me to them. I very rarely need to do housecalls but I've been known to do those as well without charging extra. It's my low costs and customer satisfaction that has allowed me to support my own tech buying habits, take vacations, and so on. If you have the knowledge and can build a reputation for low cost repair and installation you can really make good bucks doing what you enjoy. I know I do.
The most frequent pre-built PC's in my shop for repairs is Dell followed by HPs. I don't know what I'd do without them. It's usually a proprietary part or other mechanical failure which costs the customer quite a few bucks to repair. Quite often I get these PCs and replace them with custom built PCs. Dell uses Western Digital Hard drives and Samsung based burners/ROMs for most of their systems. These are easily placed into a quality tower without any proprietary parts. After I do this the customer will usually tell me to keep the old tower since they don't have a use for it. I appreciate this because there is always something proprietary I might need to assist the next Dell Customer.
I hate (but also respect) these split topics.
On the one hand, it left me wondering why people were ripping on ROF, since he was the "original poster".
On the other hand, it fixes any thread-jacking.
The fact that it is a split topic will now be highlighted at the top with a link, as well as a note at the point split. Hopefully this might improve matters. This whole thing is still experimental and may or may not become practice.
(I hope you don't mind me using this post)
I didn't come in until the thread was split, so I don't know.
However, Dell's are the most sold pc... hence why you receive the most of them.
I can't argue with your logic that building your own is probably the best way to go as far as getting what you want and getting a good price. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go that route, though. I'm happier with my click-and-done way of shopping. It's suited me just fine.
Originally Posted by shelbyGT
Here's an example of one of the PC specials I have for January. I've built two of them. One exactly as stated the other customized with extra drives and two video cards:
Black Steel Mid Tower Case w/Front USB+Audio
500 Watt 24 Pin Power Supply
EPOX SLI Socket 754 Motherboard w/ 1600 MHz FSB, 2 PCI-Ex16, 2 PCI-Ex1, 2 PCI, 4 SATA, 2 EIDE, Gigabit LAN
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ w/Heatsink+Fan
1GB PC3200 DDR 400 RAM
300 GB SATA-150 WD Hard Drive
NEC 3550A Black DVD/CD Dual Layer Burner
GeForce 6600 256MB PCI-E Video Card (SLI Ready)
Black 107 Key PS2 Keyboard
Black/Silver USB Optical Mouse
19” Black LCD 12ms Monitor
Windows XP Professional SP2
Nero 7 Ultra Edition
$950.00 Assembly, Software Installation + Discs Included
I challenge Dell . . . or was that I laugh at them.
I'm more of a visual guy, but that doesn't seem like a shabby deal at all especially with a 19" LCD (generic, I take it?)
Originally Posted by kschang
Although I'd say there's a fourth camp in this, which I belong to -- the ones who have to work with all sorts of computers from all three camps, and roll their collective eyes when somebody gets in a hissy fit about any of it. :P For pete's sake, it's a freakin' computer! A metal box with blinky lights! Spend you energy worrying about better things than that!
Seriously, I work with a ton of Dells and when I do, it's nice (for me) that I see the same hardware and software day in and day out, when something acts up it's really easy to diagnose and fix the problem because there are so many other similar systems we work with, we're familiar with 'em.
And at home I've got various machines in various degrees of functionality, depending on what I need to do at any given moment.
And my wife doesn't care what kind of CPU is in the box, or whose brand name case it is, as long as she can work her inventory in Excel.
It's like VHS vs. Beta, Ford vs. Chevy, there are way too many people out there with way too much time on their hands if they can still get worked up over this kind of thing.