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Thread: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

  1. #17
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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    My first PC was a pre-built back in 2003 and was based around a AMD Athlon 2000+ and a GeForce MX200 if I remember right. I bought it from a local independant PC shop and it died just after it's miserly 1 year warranty ran out. It was 1-2 weeks outside it's warranty and the shop didn't want to know about it. I knew very little about pc's back then and didn't really know what I was doing but on taking the side panel off it was obvious what had failed from the awful electrical burning smell coming from the cheap ass Mercury PSU they had used. I bought a better replacement along with a hdd as the PSU killed that when it failed and was up and running again. Once I started doing some research it was obvious that they had used the cheapest of everything in that pc despite charging quite a high price for it. The PSU weighed next to nothing!! I vowed never to buy a pre-built ever again and have been building my own ever since.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    After getting my first serious job at a tech firm in the early 1990's, I invested in a big brand 486 SX25 system. These humble beginnings gave me a taste of the alien world of PC architecture, after many years of being part of the Amiga faithful.

    Fitted my first ISA Card (an Orchid 'SoundWave 32' sound card) in that modest PC, expanded the RAM and was instantly hooked on the flexibility of upgrades that PCs offered. The fact I could do serious work on that PC, learn and also play the odd X-Wing mission makes me look back on that as a golden time that expanded my horizons - even if I still loved the Amiga I had just sold in the name of progress (the writing was on the wall for Commodore by then).

    Gonna stop there before I start getting all emotional over building my first rig with a 3DFX Voodoo card in it - and the many years of silky smooth Unreal Tournament that followed ;-)

  3. #19
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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Quote Originally Posted by KultiVator View Post
    Fitted my first ISA Card (an Orchid 'SoundWave 32' sound card)
    They were awesome! Came with a bus that you could plug a CD drive (woah, future tech) into as well.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    NEVER HAD, NEVER WILL.*

    *commissioned, custom build may be exempted

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    My first "PC" was a Spectrum, followed by Atari, Commodore, Amiga and then an Evesham so yes I've bought many pre-built machines.
    Since the 90's though I've always built my own PC from scratch.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    once 20 years ago , but now enjoy doing it myself

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    yes 2 times, and that was my first PC the DX2 66 MHZ speed wonder, and the following 266 MHZ machine.
    The next one was my 700 MHZ machine but that one i build myself, and it was also the first machine i overclocked on, it was also my first AMD machine.

    In this day and age no one outside of gooberment should buy prebuild machines, but sadly i am sure the figures on that are going the opposite way, as people today are too stupid to build their own PC.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    My most recent system was prebuilt - the Corsair One form factor was too neat, too tempting, and there was no equivalent available as parts.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    My first PC (by which I mean DOS/Windows box, as opposed to other computers) was pre-built from a cheap chassis with a 486/66, offered by long-gone chain Escom in a local small town. I had them change a few parts (eg. soundcard) and asked to watch them do it. Having some experiece of upgrading my non-PC systems, and having used PC co-processors etc, I watched them somewhat ham-fistedly work on the machine, and helped out a little getting drivers sorted (edit - in hindsight I must have been a real pain in the neck for them). Having seen them do it, I could hardly *not* DIY in future, because it was almost like lego!

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Twice, but both in the early days, by which I mean mid-'80s. This was when home PCs were nearly unheard of, not least due to being blooming expensive, and second, the parts industry was, at best, nascent. The first was a Dell 8086 and I bought a bare bones system even then, and added the graphics board and hard drives, and CD drive, myself.

    The second was a "family discount" scheme for employees of a computer manufacturer, and was at least partly designed to get employees to gain subsidised experience. That was a state of the art high end system, otherwise known as a '386, but it had a 338MB (yes, MB) HD, a tape backup drive and a full retail price a whisker under £10,000. I got it a LOT less than that but even so, it was a good proportion of a price of a decent spec brand new Ford car. My Capri 2.8i special was about £9k.

    However, nowadays, I seriously would think about a pre-built, albeit a custom-spec'd system. I would not buy a generic machine, like HP or Dell, but a custom build from Scan or similsar? Yeah.

    Why? Exactly the reasons given in the article, plus one or two. Certainly, convenienceand warranty. Secondly, availability of parts. Thirdly, a large reason would be convenience.

    TThese days, I'm only interested in computers for the things they enable me to do, not for the inherent interest in either building, or working out the spec. There are some people on here (you know who you are) that will get a "Heyyyyelppppp" PM when it comes to optimising components because I'm simply too out of touch. Also, building a PC holds about as much interestand appeal these days as buying the bits and building my own car. i.e. zero. I just want minimum fuss, minimum hassle, and the quickest and easiest way to get the right machine.

    Within reason, the cost is low down the priority list. Obviously, I'm not looking to chuck money away for noreason, but minimising the hassle, especially if the build process doesn't go smoothly, has a value attached for which I would pay a modest premium.

    I don't mind sticking a board or two, etc, in, and updating drivers but the notion of a ground up build has no appeal.

    And one final reason.

    All my existing kit is so old that, excepting maybe case and possibly PSU, there's not much I'd be looking to cannibalise for a new build. And for just those, why not buy new? A good reason for building my own always was just buying the bits I needed to upgrade, and moving over the rest. Now, there's precious little (hardware) worth moving over. Software, of course, is a different story.

    So yeah, my next PC (probably my last ever) desktop may well be a custom-built complete (or nearly complete) system. Maybe. I certainly wouldn't rule it out, and it's more likely than me building it.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Not since 1987, when I got an Amstrad PC1640 very cheap from Dixons.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Kept getting HP Compaq Presario for some reason. Horrible quality and reliability. The price that HP was charging for pre-built's back then was totally not worth it. Most likely still isn't. This is why I really try to get people to build there own PC. So you can do the research and know what brand of quality you will be getting and choose something else. You will also will be able to figure out what's wrong with your PC hopefully. So you will not have to do expensive repairs like me back in the day. I really don't support pre-built's 99 percent of the time. Unless you have no other choice where you live and how much you can afford. I recommend doing it yourself.
    Last edited by Korrorra; 11-06-2021 at 09:04 PM. Reason: fixing broken spelling

  13. #29
    HEXUS.Squirrel Output's Avatar
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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    I bought a few prebuilds to start off with, but graduated onto proper builds where I could be sure of every aspect being a quality component and not simply something to cheap out on for maximum profit by the prebuilder.

    My preference will always be self-built (for maximum choice) desktops, with custom-built desktops being a close second.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    I don't know why you wouldn't go for pre-built. Prices are on point, the components DEFINITELY work together, and the warranty is usually far superior to individual components: plus, if it breaks it's not your responsibility to find out which component went wrong, you just send it off and it's their problem.

    I'm sure people on here love cable management and troubleshooting driver/compatibility issues for days on end but I value my time way more than that maybe £100 saving you're getting for buying separately.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Bought a few Amiga units way back when but when they went down - i built all my dos units. For the youngsters dos preceded windows but a smidgen. Then again i learned programming on punch cards.
    Next unit will be an Alder lake - later this year. Don't need the speed but the present stuff if getting old.

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    Re: QOTW: Have you ever bought a pre-built desktop?

    Sort of...
    Parents bought my first few computers due to still being in school (this was 486 era)
    First PC (had c64, atari 1025ste first) one was off the shelf (packard bell iirc), second one was built by a computer shop and third was a prebuilt (tiny, yeah I know seemed 'good value' at the time).
    Then I went and had one built to my hardware spec by a local pc shop, so sort of pre-built I suppose... which then had issues.

    I've built every one since then (since around 2005ish), having said that if the current shortages keep up I may have to resort to a prebuilt (am5 time) to get an update to my current setup, it's starting to show it's age in the work I want it to do.

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